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Bypassing BIOS with linux and/or flashing it?

by Dawg Monitor / July 27, 2009 12:49 PM PDT

To whom is may concern, thanks if you can reply.

I have an old computer, Pentium II with luckily bit over 512MB of RAM, however its BIOS is very limited. About none of the HDDs I have cannot be detected, besides the 4GB one, by the BIOS.

So I've heard that Linux actually bypass the BIOS and can access the HDD, but is this really true? Does certain distributions has it or all of Linux have it? Also, if I were to install a HDD controller card onto an old computer, would it then detected larger HDD on the controller?

Also another question: whats the usual chance that flashing the BIOS would be successful? Does the floppies have to be exactly new or made for flashing? Would the Beta or second best BIOS update be
appropriate? And would finding old BIOS be hard to get?

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by GODhack / July 27, 2009 4:00 PM PDT

Linux can start boot from floppy and then pass boot to hdd.
But if HDD is not showed in BIOS at all I do not think Linux can help then.

You should try to update BIOS. Consult in you motherboard company site.

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You may not like the fix.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 27, 2009 8:59 PM PDT

While Linux has been seen to do that let me jump past all the things that are not working and share what I've done to get around this.

1. Connect the drive with USB 2.0, Firewire or on another controller.

That's it. We never use any of the motherboard's connections on dated hardware.

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Controller Card, not so bad
by Dawg Monitor / July 28, 2009 3:23 AM PDT

The motherboard has a USB 1.1, and however, not successful in plugging in any USB device. I guess an controller card would work out than having to risky flash the BIOS (only supports up to 70GB anyway after).
Thanks anyways, John

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About USB 1.1 and hard disk enclosures.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 28, 2009 5:13 AM PDT

Hasn't worked with all cases I've encountered. And most of them claim USB 1.1 capability but the ugly truth is they likely are lying.

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