Question Vintage PC, SATA-IDE adapter and a non working SSD

DeadnightWarrior

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Jan 13, 2008
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Hi all,

I've got a very old (20 y.o.!) computer that I'd like to take as a basis for a retrogaming project with DOS, Windows 98 and Windows XP.

Current specs:

The mainboard is wonderful as it features both an integrated 32Mb S3 SavagePro video card AND a true Soundblaster PCI128! That's thanks to the Via KM133 chipset.

First things first, I wanted to get rid of the old, slow and painfully loud hard drive, so I invested a handful of Euros in:
The adapter has a master/slave jumper which is currently set to master; it is connected to the first IDE channel with a classic ATA66 ribbon cable:


The BIOS recognizes the drive as a generic "60Gb" unit. This same drive, when attached to a modern machine, can be partitioned, formatted and messed with without issues, I tried with EaseUS and Gparted.

When using the Win98 boot CD and/or the FreeDOS boot CD and start FDISK, I'm able to make, delete and activate primary or extended partitions:



BUT.

The drive doesn't wanna know to be formatted. Win98 complains about not being able to "read from the last cluster (???), FreeDos throws an "error 55 - locked" message and WinXP can't even detect it!



What is it? A defective adapter? A defective and/or poor quality SSD? Should I just find a recent IDE hard disk and call it quits?
:??:
 

cdrkf

Honorable
Hi all,

I've got a very old (20 y.o.!) computer that I'd like to take as a basis for a retrogaming project with DOS, Windows 98 and Windows XP.

Current specs:

The mainboard is wonderful as it features both an integrated 32Mb S3 SavagePro video card AND a true Soundblaster PCI128! That's thanks to the Via KM133 chipset.

First things first, I wanted to get rid of the old, slow and painfully loud hard drive, so I invested a handful of Euros in:
The adapter has a master/slave jumper which is currently set to master; it is connected to the first IDE channel with a classic ATA66 ribbon cable:


The BIOS recognizes the drive as a generic "60Gb" unit. This same drive, when attached to a modern machine, can be partitioned, formatted and messed with without issues, I tried with EaseUS and Gparted.

When using the Win98 boot CD and/or the FreeDOS boot CD and start FDISK, I'm able to make, delete and activate primary or extended partitions:



BUT.

The drive doesn't wanna know to be formatted. Win98 complains about not being able to "read from the last cluster (???), FreeDos throws an "error 55 - locked" message and WinXP can't even detect it!



What is it? A defective adapter? A defective and/or poor quality SSD? Should I just find a recent IDE hard disk and call it quits?
:??:
Hmm, I would try a different IDE cable to start with... also maybe try the drive on the second IDE channel instead of the first.
 
This looks like a logical problem, not physical.

FreeDOS is seeing a FAT12 boot sector. That's usually only used by floppy diskettes, or very early machines that were limited to 32MB of storage. Sometimes Microsoft's F*XBOOT utility turns a perfectly good HDD partition into a 10MB FAT12 volume. Is that what you did?

Why do your two partitions only span 75% of the drive? Was that intentional?
 

DeadnightWarrior

Distinguished
Jan 13, 2008
48
2
18,545
0
This looks like a logical problem, not physical.

FreeDOS is seeing a FAT12 boot sector. That's usually only used by floppy diskettes, or very early machines that were limited to 32MB of storage. Sometimes Microsoft's F*XBOOT utility turns a perfectly good HDD partition into a 10MB FAT12 volume. Is that what you did?
Absolutely not, I went the classic FDISK -> reboot -> format way the first time.
Then I took the SSD out and used Gparted to create a FAT32 partition with 32K cluster size but nothing changed, even when I tried installing W98 without disk check (setup /is if I recall correctly).

Why do your two partitions only span 75% of the drive? Was that intentional?
Yes that was intentional, I wanted to have a 15Gb partition for W98, a 30Gb one for XP and another 15Gb for future tinkering.
 

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