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weekend project to get to an end

my system (purchased fall 2001)

Gateway SELECT 1400CS
1.40GHz AMD Athlon 133MHz external bus
768 MB of RAM (will upgrade to 1024; specs say supports 1GB, but BIOS utility says 1536MB)
20 GB of Harddrive space (want to add 2nd 160GB Seagate Internal Hard Drive. circuit city, $49.99 [ST3160023A-R])
64MB NVIDIA GeForce2 MX400 AGP Video Card w/ DVI and TV Out
Screen Area/Colors: 1280x1024 pixels, 16 million colors
Monitor: SyncMaster 730B(Analog)
Windows XP Service Pack 2


little confused on this...Weekend Project - Get gigs to spare with a new hard drive, Step 3: Assess your PC.

i want to add a 2nd internal HD (160GB), but the weekend project said "...If your motherboard's BIOS is more than a few years old, it might not recognize the full capacity of a huge modern drive..." it said to google the BIOS version for specs and/or updates to see if it could handle the amount of HD space i wanted. couldn't find the specs though.

so in order to avoid problems i tried to update my BIOS anyway. 1st thru American Megatrends, Inc. website which after all the BS directed me to esupport.com which seems like a scam to pay for the update.
then i went to gateway and found the update for my BIOS version (AMD Athlon BIOS update 0AAWV P09)

now...
went thru the steps and put BIOS update file on a floppy and restarted the PC to update the BIOS just to get a non bootable disk, strike any key error.

possible problems...had trouble with floppy drive (Panasonic 1.44-MB Floppy Disk Drive Revision 5) before where with any disk (new, old, formatted, unformatted, etc) inserted a message would pop up saying disk needed to be formatted...format now? and would sometimes make loud noise when reading a disk. but i disabled, uninstalled, reinstalled, and enabled thru device manager and now it reads floppy disks.

questions i have:

is it possible my BIOS has already been updated thru a windows xp patch/hotfix/update? or can it only be done with a boot floppy disk procedure?

where would i find the specs of want my BIOS can handle?

can i add RAM based on the 1024 MB max specs of my AMD (Keystone) Motherboard - 1.4-GHz? or can i go by the BIOS max of 1536MB? i get contradicting info on banks and slots (3 banks of 1 slot or 2 banks of 1 slot) but i will open up the PC today and look.

do i need to do the BIOS update for my BIOS version to recognize my soon to be new hard drive total capacity?

what if i want to keep my old drive as my master drive with the xp OS (so i dont have to install xp on the new drive) and use the new hard drive just for backup/storage? i dont need to install xp on the new drive if i'm just using it as storage, right?

apologies for all the info and questions. just wanted get all that was on my brain.

thanx in advance

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If this was mine...

In reply to: weekend project to get to an end

First the machine is new enough I wouldn't check the old disk size limit issue.

But the 20GB is getting to the age I'd begin to not want it to be my primary boot drive. Your new 160GB drive will come with drive copy software so you can move onto that new drive. Not only that but they'll have instructions to do that.

This is safe too since we don't touch the 20GB but set it aside when we boot from the copy on the new 160GB drive.

Bob

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thanks for the reply and info

In reply to: If this was mine...

so i should be able to make an image of the old drive onto the new drive with given software? then i can clear the old 20GB drive and use that for storage?

about the RAM max, should i go by gateway specs or the BIOS?

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A little confused.

In reply to: thanks for the reply and info

Did you ask me to repeat my first answer?

As to the RAM, you can check crucial.com as well.

Bob

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same problem

In reply to: A little confused.

I am having somewhat of the same problem, only am using 512 of Ram but wanted to upgrade my 40GB hard drive (as it is failing) with a new 250GB hard drive. I have basically the same computer, Gateway Select 1400CS with the 1.4 GHz AMD. My computer will only show 127 GB of the new 250GB hard drive. Wanted to update my BIOS but the only updated I could find was the one on Gateway, I can't find the current BIOS driver I am using or the motherboard exact model. Which limits me on finding a BIOS driver update.

My floppy has never gone bad and am using new pre-formatted IBM floppy disk, at start-up comp will not read BIOS update from the booted floppy. Returns with the same thing you stated..."Non-system disk or disk error Replace and strike any key"

You ever have any luck booting the new BIOS version or finding a better download to update BIOS.

Let me know, thanks.

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Somewhere as we passed 1 GHz...

In reply to: same problem

The disk size problem noted at http://www.48bitlba.com went away. If this was mine I'd update my BIOS if I found any item they noted worthy.

'My floppy has never gone bad and am using new pre-formatted IBM floppy disk, at start-up comp will not read BIOS update from the booted floppy. Returns with the same thing you stated..."Non-system disk or disk error Replace and strike any key"'

I find that many have forgotten how to make a dos boot diskette. Tell me how you made this diskette so I can check your work.

Bob

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disk set up

In reply to: Somewhere as we passed 1 GHz...

followed instructions that came as readme file to BIOS driver, which stated to unzip a driver file to the hard drive then copy all files in stated folder to a new floppy disk. That's all I did, then booted of the disk. Thanks for the 48bit website will have to read more of it.

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Those instructions are for DOS heads.

In reply to: disk set up

"which stated to unzip a driver file to the hard drive then copy all files in stated folder to a new floppy disk."

The new floppy disk would be a DOS boot diskette. No one bothers to tell you today about such since it's been 2 decades that this has been the way of things.

I think you found the problem. You followed the directions...

Bob

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thanks bob

In reply to: Those instructions are for DOS heads.

Well thank you Bob for that info, you know I really appreciate the reply. I surely wasn't looking for help, what I really wanted was a snide remark. Oh sure, I will now look up on the internet how to make a DOS boot disk and figure out how to flash my BIOS. So you certainly solved the problem. But maybe next time when you ask to "check" someone's work you will come back with a more informative response. Such as, please look at this website, or simply state how you would make the disk. But I sure do appreciate being treated like an idiot.

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Following the directions is not being an idiot.

In reply to: thanks bob

You did just fine. My snide comment is that today you will find many of these instructions to assume that you would know that "you also need to do this."

If that isn't good enough for you consider this. I will never rewrite a post if it gets the job done. That is, this is all volunteer and if it will take me more than 30 seconds to rewrite it to avoid bruising someone's psyche I won't. Let's get it done.

Ok?

Bob

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