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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Compaq BIOS - Puppy/Linux/Unix - HD settings issues etc
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Joined: 20 Oct 2005
Posts: 451
Location: Boston MA USA

PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov 2005, 09:35    Post_subject:  Compaq BIOS - Puppy/Linux/Unix - HD settings issues etc  

The general subject here is: BIOS Settings and Linux -- what are the potential issues and solutions? A related matter might be, Linux and Hard Drive geometry issues.

Certain computers were built incomplete -- the motherboard does not contain all of the software for accessing BIOS settings! This requires using additional software, either by diskette or installed onto a special Diagnostic Partition (on the hard drive).

Example: Compaq P-233MMX
When the hard drive is swapped on this motherboard, if the new one is small (<1GB approx) it seems to just automatically re-configure. But if it is larger, this happens:

Compaq Deskpro 2000           DP2000 5233MMX
The following configuration options were automatically updated:
 Disk 1: 4326 Mbytes
  If you are running Unix, you need to configure your system
  using the COMPAQ User Diagnostics diskette.
F1: Save Changes

So, the question is, what is this warning all about? What are the potential problems/issues?

I have seen this kind of warning for years, but always ignored it, since it was not relevant to Windows. Now that I am trying to convert to the Puppy/Linux world, what Unix issues apply, if any?

What other BIOS settings have specific Linux/Unix concerns? I seem to recall a setting like "PnP OS" that mentions Unix.

There is also the whole (possibly related) terribly complex matter of hard drive geometry mappings, and needing to understand very thoroughly in order to be able to successfully move hard drives from one computer to another and have the partitions etc actually work right. What exactly does one need to know for successful Mobile Transplantable Puppy/Linux hard drives?

Here is a good question -- any answers?
(Where does this "HD parameter translation" happen?)

The explaination is that DOS, Windows, etc
require that a HDDs parameters need to be translated
so that it appears to have fewer than 1024 cylinders !
Unix, Banyan, etc require untranslated HDD parameters !

Revised Question :

Does anyone know if this address translation issue
affects Linux or FreeBSD ?

Since Linux and FreeBSD evaluate the disk geometry
and read/write directly to the HDD does the
BIOS HDD geometry need to be translated ?
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Joined: 15 Aug 2005
Posts: 284
Location: Appalachian Mountains

PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov 2005, 10:51    Post_subject: go for it  

I would ignore it just like you did with windows and see what happens. I don't think you could mess up your computer with hard drive setting.

ie. if you set it up wrong then it would just not work.

On older compaqs the BIOS settings program WAS ON the hard drive. So if you where to switch the hard drive out then you would have major problems. I don't think this is the case now. I think you have to use a special BIOS floppy to edit these settings
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