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137GB limit - ESDI_506.PDR and other limits

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#26
Petr

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While you are trying your combinations you may want to add the following:

BIOSes with and without 48-Bit LBA Support

Yes, I suppose to test it. I have several boxes with Intel chipsets available, 430HX, 430TX, 440BX, 815E, 845PE and also several add-on cards.

and

Different brands of hard drives (Seagates are particularly interesting)

I have only WDC drives available now.

Rudolph R. Loew

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It would take much time anyway. I have to find some easy way how to test what sector was *really* read/written because of possible sector wrapping or shifting.

Petr


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#27
rloew

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Dear Petr,

I saw your solutions to the Award 32GB and 64GB problems. Having a Tyan S1590 motherboard, I encountered the 32GB problem until they updated it. They stopped supporting it in 1999, before the 137GB limit was overcome. I developed a fix for the 137GB limit but have only tested it in the S1590 BIOS.

Most of my experience is on the Amiga computers which I still use for some projects. There the biggest limit was 4GB.

Your original post suggested switching modes at sector 0xFFFFF00 which I used in some versions of my Patch. The ATA-7 specs are a bit ambiguous on that point. None of the hard drives I have tested require switching at that sector. VIA chose an even higher switchover point which makes their driver faulty.

I haven't seen "warez" people posting in this forum but one I know of is a member and was browsing this topic earlier this morning.

Credit card payments add cost which would raise the price. Paypal does not allow separate charges for cash and credit. Western Union is a last resort. So far only person paid me through Western Union. He lived in Poland and wanted the Patch immediately.

Rudolph R. Loew

#28
Petr

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Your original post suggested switching modes at sector 0xFFFFF00 which I used in some versions of my Patch. The ATA-7 specs are a bit ambiguous on that point. None of the hard drives I have tested require switching at that sector. VIA chose an even higher switchover point which makes their driver faulty.


I suggested switching modes at this sector because it seems to be the highest sector number safe enough.

ATA-7 spec besides other things defines:

1) Words (61:60) shall contain the value one greater than the total number of user-addressable sectors in 28-bit addressing and shall not exceed 0FFFFFFFh. The content of words (61:60) shall be greater than or equal to one and less than or equal to 268,435,455.
and even more clear statement:
That is, if the device contains greater than the capacity addressable with 28-bit commands,words (61:60) shall describe the maximum capacity that can be addressed by 28-bit commands.

My understanding is so that not more than 0FFFFFFFh sectors should be addressed using 28-bit LBA addressing.

I remember memory addressing in PC/AT, where the address FFFF:10 (seg:offs) may be either physical address 000000 (wrapped) or 100000 (linear) depending on the gate A20 state. So to avoid possible wrapping on the 28-bit LBA boundary I'd suggest to choose the swithching point below 0xFFFFF00.

In fact, the switching point can be even lower, it has just to be above the biggest size of HDDs not supporting 48-bit LBA, i.e. above 120 GB. I think it is not necessary to use higher sector number than 0xFFFFF00 in 28-bit LBA mode and therefore it is also not necessary to test the behavior of specific disks. Even if all drives tested would be able to use 0xFFFFFFF sector number, I would't recommend to use it because nobody can be sure that it really works for all drives in the world.

ATA-7 also specifies that:
4) The contents of words (61:60) and (103:100) shall not be used to determine if 48-bit addressing is supported. IDENTIFY DEVICE bit 10 word 83 indicates support for 48-bit addressing.
but I believe it is reasonable risk not to test it.


From the description in chapter 4.14 the 28-bit LBA support seems to be obligatory so it seems not necessary to address >137GB disks using 48-bit LBA only.

But I remember so many incompatibilites between disks and controllers that nobody can be sure that the solution is final and will work forever..... Even original ESDI_506.PDR contains a list of models that need special handling.

Petr

#29
tarquel

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Most of my experience is on the Amiga computers which I still use for some projects. There the biggest limit was 4GB


ahhhh my poor old 2.5" 100MB (I think thats how big it is) in my "miggy"... wonder if it still works.

You've just reminded me to get the old-reliable out of the cupboard (short of space to have it setup and out all the time) and fire it up again - I'd use it now if i had a lan card for it - heard they're working on a new version of one of the browser's - not sure which one it was.

ooops... really sorry to disgress (an old passion for Amigas). I meant to just ask could/can the 4GB limit be overcome? I have the catweasel thingy (not sure of its name now) that has a few connections on it.

Regards,
N.
Enterprise Development Officer @ CCC (gov) - MS SB & "Freelance" repairer
My Rig: [color="purple"]Antec S Lanboy + 430W PSU[/color]-AMD "barton" CPU-MSI KT6-HyperX 512MB-SB Audigy 2 ZS P.Pro + TD7700-AIW 9800SE & My notebook: Acer TravelMate 8104WLMi - reviewed here
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#30
rloew

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Dear Petr,

I agree that 0xFFFFF00 is a safe limit. I've even used 0xF000000 in some applications, which is still more than a 120GB Hard Drive.

The ambiguity is in paragraph 4.2.2 which limits the requested LBA number to less than words (61:60) rather than the last sector accessed. One hard disk manufacturer used this interpretation, the others don't even meet this requirement.

ATA-7 also specifies that:
4) The contents of words (61:60) and (103:100) shall not be used to determine if 48-bit addressing is supported. IDENTIFY DEVICE bit 10 word 83 indicates support for 48-bit addressing.
but I believe it is reasonable risk not to test it.

Using a switching threshold does not require reading either (61:60) or (103:100) so that paragraph is not applicable. Only if there were hard drives with
0xFFFFF00 < Sectors < 0x10000000 would this be necessary.

ooops... really sorry to disgress (an old passion for Amigas). I meant to just ask could/can the 4GB limit be overcome? I have the catweasel thingy (not sure of its name now) that has a few connections on it.


Dear it_ybd,

There are two approaches to overcoming the 4GB limit. I wrote one that patches the drivers and works with AmigaOS 1.3, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1 and the X-Surf Card. The Amiga community developed a number of extensions to the driver interface standard. One of these is the Trackdisk64 protocol that provides 64 Bit Byte offsets. Support for larger hard drives was integrated into the AmigaOS 3.5 and above. Many of the files are on Aminet but I am not sure if enough of them are there for a complete solution.


Rudolph R. Loew

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Edited by rloew, 30 August 2009 - 12:52 AM.


#31
eidenk

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I can't speak for 98SE but with Windows ME and the native Esdi_506.pdr 4.90.3000, there is no problem for handling more than 128/137 GB of data on a single disk provided the partitions are smaller than 128/137 GB. I just tested it. See screenshots :

1) Filling the drive with data
2) Result

I've noticed that some people on these forums say that they can use large hard drives without dealing with the 137GB limit. Windows in many cases will say everything is fine. It is only when they have loaded up their drive with a lot of data, and have the most to lose, that all of a sudden their directories turn to gibberish. I have seen a lot of postings in other forums where people have suddenly found their systems to be seriously corrupted. Using small partitions will not solve this problem.

It would seem that despite apparences I might be wrong (I haven't posted earlier, sorry I was very sick in bed for several days). I have found out that many of the tar files are internally corrupted. Their size is alright, they can be copied on other volumes or deleted but their content is crap. I will test again as I believe the damaged files may correspond to the moment I began to simultaneously copy three files at once on the volumes with Total Copy. I did so with the aim of generating heavy fragmententation. I wanted to test the performance of Diskeeper versus Defrag on such volumes.
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#32
eidenk

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I have now erased the files which appeared to be corrupt and it resulted in the apparition of absurd folders and files with gigantic size on the first partition of the same drive as well as the destruction of all the data that was on it. Sorry I could not edit my previous post to add that.
Asus A8V Deluxe - Athlon 64 FX-55 2.6Ghz - 1GB DDRAM 400 - Windows ME (IE 5.5 SP2 Shell) + KernelEx 4.0 and Revolutions Pack 10

#33
azagahl

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VIA chose an even higher switchover point which makes their driver faulty.

Could you please give more info about this bug?

Is the bug in VIADSK.MPD? VIAIDE.VXD? Somewhere else? In particular versions or all versions?

Can it be fixed?

Does the bug occur in practice? I don't understand what's wrong with a switchover point of 10000000. Are there hard drives supporting 48-bit LBA but dumb enough to "wrap" when receiving 28-bit commands? Lower switchover points are guaranteed to produce bugs with the right size of hard drive.

The VIA Drives you mentioned only works on some Chipsets and has a Bug that can affect some Hard Drives.

Aha, so it's only some hard drives. Maybe some hard drives are buggy. BTW, have you tested your drivers with every kind of hard drive?

I think the best thing is to not have a switchover hack and simply query the drive for 48-bit support. I think linux's ide.c does this (note: this is probably a good example code to look at). I guess this is difficult to fix when hacking an existing binary though :(

#34
tarquel

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@rloew:

Thanks for the bit of info :)

There are two approaches to overcoming the 4GB limit. I wrote one that patches the drivers and works with AmigaOS 1.3, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1 and the X-Surf Card. The Amiga community developed a number of extensions to the driver interface standard. One of these is the Trackdisk64 protocol that provides 64 Bit Byte offsets. Support for larger hard drives was integrated into the AmigaOS 3.5 and above. Many of the files are on Aminet but I am not sure if enough of them are there for a complete solution.


Now if i could only just get a lan card, I'd give it a go.

Just for info, if you could overcome the 4GB limit by your suggestions, what would then be the limit?

Sorry about the off-topic thing here - I will indeed shut-up now :)

Regards,
N.
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#35
azagahl

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VIA chose an even higher switchover point which makes their driver faulty.

BTW, VIA + Western Digital seems to be an OK combination. I have data written from 120 GiB - 160 GiB, 0 - 10 GiB, and a few other areas. All seem fine. Scandisk of either area detects no problem.

#36
rloew

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Repeating my previous warning:

I've noticed that some people on these forums say that they can use large hard drives without dealing with the 137GB limit. Windows in many cases will say everything is fine. It is only when they have loaded up their drive with a lot of data, and have the most to lose, that all of a sudden their directories turn to gibberish. I have seen a lot of postings in other forums where people have suddenly found their systems to be seriously corrupted. Using small partitions will not solve this problem.

Dear Eidenk,

Sorry, you were sick the last few days.

Your experiment demonstrates how people can be fooled into thinking that everything is fine while their data is being turned into mush. The corruption is not always obvious and may not even show up until you access some vital data that has been overwritten. I hope that people who read your last two posts will take my warning seriously and take the necessary measures before they lose irreplaceable data.

VIA chose an even higher switchover point which makes their driver faulty.

Could you please give more info about this bug?

Is the bug in VIADSK.MPD? VIAIDE.VXD? Somewhere else? In particular versions or all versions?

Can it be fixed?


Dear Azaqahl,

The bug is in the VIADSK.MPD file. I have only seen one version so far.

I have a Patch for this file. I have not advertised it on my website since no one had shown an interest in it.

Interestingly enough the bug appears only when using hard drives that actually follow the ATA-7 Standard. Many hard drives do not follow the Standard and work with the VIA driver, which is probably why they never found the bug themselves. The Western Digital drives I have tested fall into the latter category. This may change in the future if they decide to correct their non-compliance.

Note: SCANDISK may not detect this problem. Depending how the partitions are laid out, SCANDISK may not access the sector in a way that triggers the error.


Just for info, if you could overcome the 4GB limit by your suggestions, what would then be the limit?


Dear it_ybd,

My approach allows up to 2TB which is also the limit for SCSI drives.
The Trackdisk64 protocol effectively provides 55-Bit Support.
I bought the X-Surf Card for the LAN. The IDE Port was a bonus, and a challenge.
It supports Trackdisk64. I added my protocol to it and added the 48-Bit LBA Support it lacked.

Yes, this is off-topic. You may want to correspond directly with me at rloew@hotmail.com.


Rudolph R. Loew

http://rloew1.no-ip.com

Edited by rloew, 30 August 2009 - 12:07 PM.


#37
Petr

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Maybe I will find some time this weekend and try put 160G disk into W98SE box and try all possible combinations of drivers, partitions and tools to bring some more light into the darkness of contradictory statements regarding various tools.

So I've found short time only so here are the results. WD2000JB disk was used.
GA-586HX (Intel 430HX chipset) motherboard with Award BIOS: No boot
GA-6OXE-1 (Intel 815E chipset) + IAA2.3: everything OK
GA-8PE667Ultra2 (Intel 845PE chipset) + IAA2.3: everything OK
Kouwell KW-571A ATA/100 disk controller (With CMD 649 chip): not functional
Windows 98 SE FDISK: no problem with 137GB, cosmetical errors for >=100 GB
Windows 98 SE FORMAT: no problem with 137GB, small cosmetical error for >xxGB?
Windows 98 SE CHKDSK: display correctly
Windows 98 SE SCANDISK (DOS): OK
Windows 98 SE formatting (GUI): OK
Windows 98 SE SCANDISK (GUI): won't start (insufficient memory)
Windows 98 SE DEFRAG (GUI): won't start (insufficient memory)

The test was not extensive, but it seems it is not necessary to replace DOS FDISK and FORMAT utilities, it just may be interesting to modify the display (add one column in FDISK and correct the Formatting xxxxxx MB message).

Short look at PCI controller cards shows the following:
Silicon Image/CMD 646, 648 (ATA/66), 649 (ATA/100) No 48-bit LBA support
Silicon Image SiI0680/0680A (ATA/133): 48-bit LBA supported
Promise Ultra 66: BIOS No 48-bit LBA support, Windows driver: 48-bit LBA supported
Promise Ultra 100, 133: 48-bit LBA supported
HighPoint HPT370 (ATA/100), HPT302, HPT372, HPT374 (ATA/133): 48-bit LBA supported

This seems to be support for Intel disk controllers:
Standard ESDI_506.PDR:
Intel® 82371FB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller (PIIX)
Intel® 82371SB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller (PIIX3)
Intel® 82371AB/EB/MB PCI Bus Master IDE Controller (PIIX4/4E/4M)

Intel Application Accelerator 2.3 has support for
Intel® 82801AA Ultra ATA Controller (ICH)
Intel® 82801AB Ultra ATA Controller (ICH-0)
Intel® 82801BA Ultra ATA Controller (ICH-2)
Intel® 82801DB Ultra ATA Controller (ICH-4)
(IntelATA.mpd version 2.3.0.2160 15-Oct-2002)

Older Ultra ATA Storage Driver 6.20.2008 has support for:
Intel® 82801AA Ultra ATA Controller (ICH)
Intel® 82801AB Ultra ATA Controller (ICH-0)
Intel® 82801BA Ultra ATA Controller (ICH-2)
Intel® 82801CA Ultra ATA Controller (ICH-3)
(IntelATA.mpd version 5.2.2008.0, 20-Aug-2001 - not sure if 48-bit capable)

The following newer Intel IDE controllers are serverd by ESDI_506.PDR only:
Intel® 82801EB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers (ICH-5)
Intel® 82801FB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers (ICH-6)

Probably no support for this newest IDE controller:
Intel® 82801GB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers (ICH-7)

Petr

#38
Gape

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Windows 98 SE FDISK: no problem with 137GB, cosmetical errors for >=100 GB
Windows 98 SE FORMAT: no problem with 137GB, small cosmetical error for >xxGB?
Windows 98 SE CHKDSK: display correctly
Windows 98 SE SCANDISK (DOS): OK
Windows 98 SE formatting (GUI): OK
Windows 98 SE SCANDISK (GUI): won't start (insufficient memory)
Windows 98 SE DEFRAG (GUI): won't start (insufficient memory)

Thanks!

Did you try Updated FDISK (from Microsoft) and Tihiy's SCANDISK (1.0) ?

#39
Petr

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Did you try Updated FDISK (from Microsoft) and Tihiy's SCANDISK (1.0) ?


Yes, I have tested fully patched system, i.e. with updated FDISK.
No, the only advantage of Tihiy's Scandisk seems to be skinning.

Petr

#40
tarquel

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Yes, I have tested fully patched system, i.e. with updated FDISK


Is there a link/download avaliable on the microsoft site? Can you post it [link] please?

Thanks,
Nath.
Enterprise Development Officer @ CCC (gov) - MS SB & "Freelance" repairer
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#41
Petr

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Yes, I have tested fully patched system, i.e. with updated FDISK

Is there a link/download avaliable on the microsoft site? Can you post it [link] please?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/263044

Petr

Edited by Petr, 06 June 2005 - 01:12 PM.


#42
Petr

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Few new observations:
GA-586HX (Intel 430HX chipset) BIOS won't boot with WD2000JB enabled, it freezes during disk detection. If I disable the disk, big surprise, Windows 98 SE will detect it and shows the right capacity! Strange thing - how can Windows find disabled disk?

Maybe the XBIOS is installed on the HDD? I have no idea. Some information is here: http://support.micro....com/kb/126855/

One problem - since the disk is disabled, BIOS does not set the right timing of the disk. There may be the solution to limit the maximum LBA by WD LifeGuard tools, I have not tested it.

I have also found an explanation of the scandisk for Windows limit: http://support.micro...kb;en-us;184006

The ScanDisk tool included with Microsoft Windows 95 and Microsoft Windows 98 is a 16-bit program. Such programs have a single memory block maximum allocation size of 16 MB less 64 KB. Therefore, The Windows 95 or Windows 98 ScanDisk tool cannot process volumes using the FAT32 file system that have a FAT larger than 16 MB less 64 KB in size. A FAT entry on a volume using the FAT32 file system uses 4 bytes, so ScanDisk cannot process the FAT on a volume using the FAT32 file system that defines more than 4,177,920 clusters (including the two reserved clusters). Including the FATs themselves, this works out, at the maximum of 32 KB per cluster, to a volume size of 127.53 gigabytes (GB).

Dskmaint.dll is 16-bit so probably no chance to overcome this limit.

Petr

#43
randiroo76073

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So, from this, I gather am better off using 120gb hdds and below to avoid possible data corruption from scandisk or defrag?

#44
Petr

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So, from this, I gather am better off using 120gb hdds and below to avoid possible data corruption from scandisk or defrag?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If your BIOS and disk controller driver support 48-bit LBA, you should just use partition size below 136 GB (127 GiB).

Petr

#45
randiroo76073

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If your BIOS and disk controller driver support 48-bit LBA, you should just use partition size below 136 GB (127 GiB).
Petr

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thank you Petr for further enlightenment :thumbup

#46
eidenk

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If you want some more details such as inspecting the FAT, just tell me what I must do to copy it to a file.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have found an easy to use Windows GUI soft that does this (between other things). It is a professional grade forensic software and it is apparently free.

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#47
azagahl

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I have a 63 GiB partition on a 100 GB drive. This partiton has about 40 GB of files on it. This partition is much smaller than the claimed Scandskw (Windows ScanDisk) limit of 127 GiB.

Scandskw fails with an out of memory error when trying to scan this partition. I have 1 GB of RAM, so this error is bogus. It's Windows ME Scandisk too, since I installed 98SE2ME.

In DOS mode, SCANDISK.EXE works much better.

#48
Rostock

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A very nice fdisk is here.
I've use this fdisk on a 160Gb hard-disk (Western Digital) without problems. In fact, the complete configuration was: 2x160Gb SATA hd in mirror on an Abit IC7-G motherboard...

#49
ack-hh

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I have a 63 GiB partition on a 100 GB drive. This partiton has about 40 GB of files on it.
This partition is much smaller than the claimed Scandskw (Windows ScanDisk) limit of 127 GiB.

Scandskw fails with an out of memory error when trying to scan this partition. I have 1 GB of RAM, so this error is bogus.
It's Windows ME Scandisk too, since I installed 98SE2ME.


From http://support.micro...b/229154/EN-US/ :

This problem may occur if either of the following conditions is true:
• You are running Windows on a hard disk that is larger than 8 gigabytes (GB)
and that has a cluster size that is smaller than 8 kilobytes (KB).

This configuration may occur if you use a third-party disk tool to create a partition
on a hard disk that is larger than 8 GB and that has a cluster size that is smaller
than 8 KB.

-or-
• You are running Windows on a very large hard disk that has a default Windows
cluster size of 32 KB.

#50
erpdude8

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Here's a nice FAQ page from the Hitachi Global Storage Technologies web site on 137Gb hard drives:
http://www.hitachigs...ort/hddfaqs.htm

The faq does mention Intel Application Accelerator [IAA]. IAA can only work with Intel Pentium 3 or Pentium 4 CPUs with Intel 82801AA, 82801AB, 82801BA or 82801DB Controllers as noted in its Readme.txt file. If your system is not using any ONE of the four Intel controllers, then IAA will not work, nor will it get installed.
Latest version is 2.3. Hasn't been updated for a few years.

Intel Application Accelerator v2.3 readme file:
ftp://aiedownload.intel.com/df-support/4857/ENG/readme.txt
Release notes:
ftp://aiedownload.intel.com/df-support/48.../Release_23.htm




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