Pentium II 350MHz hang at BIOS HDD size

Hewlett-packard / Vectra ve 6/350 series 8
January 7, 2011 at 04:41:57
Specs: Windows XP, 350MHz./512 SD Ram
My HP Vectra VE 6/350 Series 8 recognize a Seagate Baracuda 7200.7 HDD, 80GB.
but hang saying "Primary Master" without telling the cylinder or other details.
I cannot type in any thing on the screen.

The Seagate HDD guide says Pentium II and III won't see HDD bigger than 30 GB.

I used to run WinXP fine on a 30GB HDD, 512MB RAM.

Any idea to solve the problem?

See More: Pentium II 350MHz hang at BIOS HDD size

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January 7, 2011 at 06:08:34
I think the issue is with the motherboard or BIOS. I know that some motherboards used with the Pentium II (and possibly the Pentium III as well) would not work with a drive over 32 GB. I has this problem with a Pentium II board. I solved it with a jumper on the drive that would limit the capacity to 32 GB.

A BIOS update may resolve this issue, if such is available. Only do a BIOS update if it specifically addresses a problem you are having.

Others may have other solutions.

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January 7, 2011 at 07:09:09
"I used to run WinXP fine on a 30GB HDD"
Is this drive still good but, you just wanted more space??


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January 7, 2011 at 08:22:25
Thank you, larry

The 30GB HDD (an IBM) I mentioned of just couldn't boot or run. When connected as an external drive it cried out with the same sound like something broken inside. It was my first experience with a broken HDD.

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Related Solutions

January 7, 2011 at 08:32:34
Thank you, LMiller7

I couldn't find a BIOS update version addressing the problem. There is an update in HP support site but not for my problem.

By the way, if we set the jumper to limit HDD capacity to 32GB, what will happen to the data in the HDD. Or do we have to move out the data before doing that?

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January 7, 2011 at 09:48:43
If the drive contains data you would need to copy it elsewhere (on a different computer), change the setting, and then reformat the drive. In my case it was a new drive. Not all drives have this option.

There is a method that allows full access to the drive but it involves using a special driver. I have never done this.

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January 7, 2011 at 12:11:19
from seagate's site:

If you are experiencing a capacity limitation where you may have used a Dynamic Drive Overlay (DDO) in the past, we now offer the following resolutions:

Check for BIOS updates. If you are running into a hardware limit of an older ATA or SATA controller, there may be a downloadable update for that controller.
If the controller does not offer a BIOS update then there are several vendors that offer PCI cards that will allow you to see the full capacity of the drive.

if you go the pci card route, there is a possibility you won't be able to boot from it.


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January 7, 2011 at 12:40:25
A lot of thanks to both of you for prompt responses.

After trying connecting another 80GB HDD to the Vectra VE, I found the same result, i.e. hang at BIOS checking the capacity of the drives.

Searching for BIOS update, I found a website discussing the same problem with someone quoting from HP FAQ of another model that "The BIOS can handle hard disk drives up to 33.8 GB." and "HP does not plan to release an updated BIOS to increase this limit." I followed the quote and found that it's true of my model too. They didn't say that in their BIOS update page :(

So, I consider the case closed.

Thank you for your kind help.

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January 7, 2011 at 14:27:48
could run it without a HD


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January 7, 2011 at 18:38:26
I'd first try whatever bios update shows for that model on HP's site. If that doesn't work get the ata PCI card. They're cheap enough on ebay. Look for a Promise card. It'll be bootable. Don't get one of the raid cards.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

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February 17, 2011 at 21:42:35
Hi Larryf215,

Could you please be more specific?
I followed the link but couldn't figure out how to run without a HD.

Many thanks

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