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-   -   Ping: Ben Myers (http://www.hardwarebanter.com/showthread.php?t=173841)

William R. Walsh November 27th 08 04:49 AM

Ping: Ben Myers
 
I realize it's been ~4 years, and the only explanation I have is that I was
feeling nostalgic, remembering better times in alt.sys.pc-clone.compaq,
wandering through the Google Groups archives when the subject of one of your
messages struck me as interesting. On November 2nd, 2004 at 8:17 PM, you
wrote:

Opened up the chassis and saw a Western Digital WD400BB disk drive in it.
Looked up the specs at the WD web site. Yep. 40GB. Great! More than
I'd bargained for.


The BIOS reported the drive manufacturer and model correctly, but
showed the capacity as 10GB.


Well, the same thing happened to me with an Evo D500 P4 I bought a few weeks
ago. It came to me sporting a Maxtor 6E040L0 "Diamondcrash" (so-called
because that's what every one of those things I've run into--including two I
bought new!--have done) drive.

Now, I know these are a 40GB drive. But this one only shows up in the BIOS
as 20GB, and sure enough, it's got a sticker placed over the real capacity
that shows it to be a 20GB drive. I know better than that.

Quick look around, time to make sure nobody's watching. It's only a Maxtor
drive, so I don't care if I diddle it in some interestingly fatal manner. I
whipped out a copy of HDAT2 and sure enough...the weasels at HP have set an
HPA that divides the drive right in half!

What's more, the Compaq BIOS Will Not Allow Any Diddling With The HPA. It
not only locks that out, but also blocks any attempt to send the in-drive
secure erase command. That was easy to work around--HDAT2 suggested booting
the system with the drive unplugged from the data cable at first...after
which I'd plug the cable in (how's that for trying?) and run HDAT2. It
worked. I now have a full 40GB paperweight. I will not dare trust this drive
or even use it although it does presently work. Too many bad experiences
with previous examples of the same thing...which was outstandingly bad even
by Maxtor standards.

Perhaps you don't have the system any more, perhaps you already know this,
perhaps you don't care...but what I really wondered about was this comment
that showed up later in the thread:

Pretty much what I've concluded, especially given that the DeskPro SFF
BIOS also seeems quite limited in its BIOS hard drive capacity


What was the limit...do you remember? I'm curious to know. I know I've run
up to 120GB drives on mine, and more than that once (320GB) Windows 2000 had
taken over from the BIOS and removed the 48-bit LBA limit. Most of the
machines I've got still have whatever BIOS they came from the factory
with...

William (computer/Usenet historian extraordinaire)



Ben Myers[_2_] November 27th 08 04:08 PM

Ping: Ben Myers
 
William R. Walsh wrote:
I realize it's been ~4 years, and the only explanation I have is that I was
feeling nostalgic, remembering better times in alt.sys.pc-clone.compaq,
wandering through the Google Groups archives when the subject of one of your
messages struck me as interesting. On November 2nd, 2004 at 8:17 PM, you
wrote:

Opened up the chassis and saw a Western Digital WD400BB disk drive in it.
Looked up the specs at the WD web site. Yep. 40GB. Great! More than
I'd bargained for.


The BIOS reported the drive manufacturer and model correctly, but
showed the capacity as 10GB.


Well, the same thing happened to me with an Evo D500 P4 I bought a few weeks
ago. It came to me sporting a Maxtor 6E040L0 "Diamondcrash" (so-called
because that's what every one of those things I've run into--including two I
bought new!--have done) drive.

Now, I know these are a 40GB drive. But this one only shows up in the BIOS
as 20GB, and sure enough, it's got a sticker placed over the real capacity
that shows it to be a 20GB drive. I know better than that.

Quick look around, time to make sure nobody's watching. It's only a Maxtor
drive, so I don't care if I diddle it in some interestingly fatal manner. I
whipped out a copy of HDAT2 and sure enough...the weasels at HP have set an
HPA that divides the drive right in half!

What's more, the Compaq BIOS Will Not Allow Any Diddling With The HPA. It
not only locks that out, but also blocks any attempt to send the in-drive
secure erase command. That was easy to work around--HDAT2 suggested booting
the system with the drive unplugged from the data cable at first...after
which I'd plug the cable in (how's that for trying?) and run HDAT2. It
worked. I now have a full 40GB paperweight. I will not dare trust this drive
or even use it although it does presently work. Too many bad experiences
with previous examples of the same thing...which was outstandingly bad even
by Maxtor standards.

Perhaps you don't have the system any more, perhaps you already know this,
perhaps you don't care...but what I really wondered about was this comment
that showed up later in the thread:

Pretty much what I've concluded, especially given that the DeskPro SFF
BIOS also seeems quite limited in its BIOS hard drive capacity


What was the limit...do you remember? I'm curious to know. I know I've run
up to 120GB drives on mine, and more than that once (320GB) Windows 2000 had
taken over from the BIOS and removed the 48-bit LBA limit. Most of the
machines I've got still have whatever BIOS they came from the factory
with...

William (computer/Usenet historian extraordinaire)



Ben Myers[_2_] November 27th 08 04:14 PM

Ping: Ben Myers
 
William R. Walsh wrote:
I realize it's been ~4 years, and the only explanation I have is that I was
feeling nostalgic, remembering better times in alt.sys.pc-clone.compaq,
wandering through the Google Groups archives when the subject of one of your
messages struck me as interesting. On November 2nd, 2004 at 8:17 PM, you
wrote:

Opened up the chassis and saw a Western Digital WD400BB disk drive in it.
Looked up the specs at the WD web site. Yep. 40GB. Great! More than
I'd bargained for.


The BIOS reported the drive manufacturer and model correctly, but
showed the capacity as 10GB.


Well, the same thing happened to me with an Evo D500 P4 I bought a few weeks
ago. It came to me sporting a Maxtor 6E040L0 "Diamondcrash" (so-called
because that's what every one of those things I've run into--including two I
bought new!--have done) drive.

Now, I know these are a 40GB drive. But this one only shows up in the BIOS
as 20GB, and sure enough, it's got a sticker placed over the real capacity
that shows it to be a 20GB drive. I know better than that.

Quick look around, time to make sure nobody's watching. It's only a Maxtor
drive, so I don't care if I diddle it in some interestingly fatal manner. I
whipped out a copy of HDAT2 and sure enough...the weasels at HP have set an
HPA that divides the drive right in half!

What's more, the Compaq BIOS Will Not Allow Any Diddling With The HPA. It
not only locks that out, but also blocks any attempt to send the in-drive
secure erase command. That was easy to work around--HDAT2 suggested booting
the system with the drive unplugged from the data cable at first...after
which I'd plug the cable in (how's that for trying?) and run HDAT2. It
worked. I now have a full 40GB paperweight. I will not dare trust this drive
or even use it although it does presently work. Too many bad experiences
with previous examples of the same thing...which was outstandingly bad even
by Maxtor standards.

Perhaps you don't have the system any more, perhaps you already know this,
perhaps you don't care...but what I really wondered about was this comment
that showed up later in the thread:

Pretty much what I've concluded, especially given that the DeskPro SFF
BIOS also seeems quite limited in its BIOS hard drive capacity


What was the limit...do you remember? I'm curious to know. I know I've run
up to 120GB drives on mine, and more than that once (320GB) Windows 2000 had
taken over from the BIOS and removed the 48-bit LBA limit. Most of the
machines I've got still have whatever BIOS they came from the factory
with...

William (computer/Usenet historian extraordinaire)


William,

My suspicion is that the Compaq SSF has a BIOS limit of 132GB, another
in the long parade of hard-coded BIOS limitations this industry has
seen, starting with 528MB on 386/486 systems. I actually still have a
couple of the Compaq P3 SSF systems here. It is time to put them in the
hands of my local exporter of old computers and get maybe $20 apiece.

AFAIK, Compaq is the only name-brand mfr that imposed on its hard drive
vendors to limit the capacity of a drive at the factory. I suspect this
has a lot to do with government contracts, and if you have to meet the
letter of a govt contract, you WILL meet the letter. Never mind if you
have a replacement part that is better than original. So a 20GB
replacement drive MUST have 20GB capacity to satisfy the federal
procurement weenies.

I'm with you on Maxtors. Every so often, I gather out 5 or 6 and sell
them quickly on eBay. I don't even want to give them to my enemies.

.... Ben Myers

William R. Walsh[_2_] November 28th 08 04:42 PM

Ping: Ben Myers
 
Hi!

My suspicion is that the Compaq SSF has a BIOS limit
of 132GB, another in the long parade of hard-coded
BIOS limitations this industry has seen, starting
with 528MB on 386/486 systems.


It seems inline with any other system of the time. A notable exception
is my Dell Precision Workstation 220 "toy". The 2002 A13 BIOS on that
machine has 48-bit LBA support...the BIOS can see and utilize all
200GB of the second installed hard disk. (Funny that my newer Latitude
D800 doesn't have 48-bit LBA support in the BIOS...)

I actually still have a couple of the Compaq P3 SSF
systems here.


I've come into probably seven now, and of those, at least two went out
after being refurbished and provided with XP Home. They're plenty good
enough for a "second computer" or something for kids to goof around
on.

I love the ones I have, although recently I've found the Evo D500, a
Pentium 4 Deskpro with a black/silver case and only minor internal
changes.

AFAIK, Compaq is the only name-brand mfr that imposed
on its hard drive vendors to limit the capacity of
a drive at the factory.


Interestingly, when I had my Contura 410C laptop, they kept sending it
back with bigger and bigger drives each time it smoked one. (It had a
tendency to blow up the Quantum Daytona 2.5" drives, so one day it
came back with a Seagate Marathon 420MB drive. That one blew up too,
so it came back with an IBM 720MB drive. The IBM drive survives today
in a PS/2 L40SX laptop.)

I guess they couldn't boss the 2.5" drive makers around in the same
way, or maybe they treated the machine differently because it was in
the hands of a "mere mortal" who didn't contract with them in any
special way.

I'm with you on Maxtors. Every so often, I gather out
5 or 6 and sell them quickly on eBay. I don't even
want to give them to my enemies.


Same here, although I have held on to a very few as they have worked
properly. I don't know what miracle is keeping them alive, and I
haven't checked too closely. Seagate Data Recovery Services (!!!) of
Canada actually bought a Maxtor drive from me on eBay...

I was curious, so I asked them why they wanted it. Amazingly enough,
they needed it for parts to recover a drive someone had sent them.

William

Ben Myers[_2_] November 28th 08 05:24 PM

Ping: Ben Myers
 
William R. Walsh wrote:
Hi!

My suspicion is that the Compaq SSF has a BIOS limit
of 132GB, another in the long parade of hard-coded
BIOS limitations this industry has seen, starting
with 528MB on 386/486 systems.


It seems inline with any other system of the time. A notable exception
is my Dell Precision Workstation 220 "toy". The 2002 A13 BIOS on that
machine has 48-bit LBA support...the BIOS can see and utilize all
200GB of the second installed hard disk. (Funny that my newer Latitude
D800 doesn't have 48-bit LBA support in the BIOS...)

I actually still have a couple of the Compaq P3 SSF
systems here.


I've come into probably seven now, and of those, at least two went out
after being refurbished and provided with XP Home. They're plenty good
enough for a "second computer" or something for kids to goof around
on.

I love the ones I have, although recently I've found the Evo D500, a
Pentium 4 Deskpro with a black/silver case and only minor internal
changes.

AFAIK, Compaq is the only name-brand mfr that imposed
on its hard drive vendors to limit the capacity of
a drive at the factory.


Interestingly, when I had my Contura 410C laptop, they kept sending it
back with bigger and bigger drives each time it smoked one. (It had a
tendency to blow up the Quantum Daytona 2.5" drives, so one day it
came back with a Seagate Marathon 420MB drive. That one blew up too,
so it came back with an IBM 720MB drive. The IBM drive survives today
in a PS/2 L40SX laptop.)

I guess they couldn't boss the 2.5" drive makers around in the same
way, or maybe they treated the machine differently because it was in
the hands of a "mere mortal" who didn't contract with them in any
special way.

I'm with you on Maxtors. Every so often, I gather out
5 or 6 and sell them quickly on eBay. I don't even
want to give them to my enemies.


Same here, although I have held on to a very few as they have worked
properly. I don't know what miracle is keeping them alive, and I
haven't checked too closely. Seagate Data Recovery Services (!!!) of
Canada actually bought a Maxtor drive from me on eBay...

I was curious, so I asked them why they wanted it. Amazingly enough,
they needed it for parts to recover a drive someone had sent them.

William


William,

Wow! Seagate Recovery Services bought a Maxtor from you! You mean
there is hope that I can get some reasonable dollars for the Maxtors
that keep piling up here? If you don't mind my asking, how much did you
get and for how much capacity? All the drive manufacturers offer data
recovery services, either directly or indirectly by brand-naming OnTrack
data recovery. This is a lucrative business, but it requires a clean
room for some classes of recovery involving drives with internal
contamination from head crashes and/or stuck heads. The few simple
recoveries I have done involve swapping PCBs from drive to drive when a
failed drive simply won't respond. But for the PCB swap to work, the
firmware on the two PCBs has to be absolutely identical. That's why
some models of drives have decent value to a drive recovery service.

The 2.5" drives back in the day of the Contura did not yet have the rich
ATAPI command set that includes being able to change the visible
capacity. The more complete ATAPI command set seems to have matured in
the timeframe of 6 to 10 GB 3.5" drives. Even so, there is still no
consistency in the use of SMART arributes, which are supposedly a
manatory part of the ATAPI standard.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend or Black Friday, depending on how you
celebrate it... Ben

Kevin Childers November 28th 08 05:25 PM

Ping: Ben Myers
 

"William R. Walsh" wrote in message
...
Hi!

My suspicion is that the Compaq SSF has a BIOS limit
of 132GB, another in the long parade of hard-coded
BIOS limitations this industry has seen, starting
with 528MB on 386/486 systems.


It seems inline with any other system of the time. A notable exception
is my Dell Precision Workstation 220 "toy". The 2002 A13 BIOS on that
machine has 48-bit LBA support...the BIOS can see and utilize all
200GB of the second installed hard disk. (Funny that my newer Latitude
D800 doesn't have 48-bit LBA support in the BIOS...)

I actually still have a couple of the Compaq P3 SSF
systems here.


I've come into probably seven now, and of those, at least two went out
after being refurbished and provided with XP Home. They're plenty good
enough for a "second computer" or something for kids to goof around
on.

I love the ones I have, although recently I've found the Evo D500, a
Pentium 4 Deskpro with a black/silver case and only minor internal
changes.

AFAIK, Compaq is the only name-brand mfr that imposed
on its hard drive vendors to limit the capacity of
a drive at the factory.


Interestingly, when I had my Contura 410C laptop, they kept sending it
back with bigger and bigger drives each time it smoked one. (It had a
tendency to blow up the Quantum Daytona 2.5" drives, so one day it
came back with a Seagate Marathon 420MB drive. That one blew up too,
so it came back with an IBM 720MB drive. The IBM drive survives today
in a PS/2 L40SX laptop.)

I guess they couldn't boss the 2.5" drive makers around in the same
way, or maybe they treated the machine differently because it was in
the hands of a "mere mortal" who didn't contract with them in any
special way.

I'm with you on Maxtors. Every so often, I gather out
5 or 6 and sell them quickly on eBay. I don't even
want to give them to my enemies.


Same here, although I have held on to a very few as they have worked
properly. I don't know what miracle is keeping them alive, and I
haven't checked too closely. Seagate Data Recovery Services (!!!) of
Canada actually bought a Maxtor drive from me on eBay...

I was curious, so I asked them why they wanted it. Amazingly enough,
they needed it for parts to recover a drive someone had sent them.

William


And if you look at what they or anyone else charges for such services, you
find that you grossly under priced the drive when you sold it.



Kevin Childers November 28th 08 05:28 PM

Ping: Ben Myers
 

"Ben Myers" wrote in message
...
William R. Walsh wrote:
Hi!

My suspicion is that the Compaq SSF has a BIOS limit
of 132GB, another in the long parade of hard-coded
BIOS limitations this industry has seen, starting
with 528MB on 386/486 systems.


It seems inline with any other system of the time. A notable exception
is my Dell Precision Workstation 220 "toy". The 2002 A13 BIOS on that
machine has 48-bit LBA support...the BIOS can see and utilize all
200GB of the second installed hard disk. (Funny that my newer Latitude
D800 doesn't have 48-bit LBA support in the BIOS...)

I actually still have a couple of the Compaq P3 SSF
systems here.


I've come into probably seven now, and of those, at least two went out
after being refurbished and provided with XP Home. They're plenty good
enough for a "second computer" or something for kids to goof around
on.

I love the ones I have, although recently I've found the Evo D500, a
Pentium 4 Deskpro with a black/silver case and only minor internal
changes.

AFAIK, Compaq is the only name-brand mfr that imposed
on its hard drive vendors to limit the capacity of
a drive at the factory.


Interestingly, when I had my Contura 410C laptop, they kept sending it
back with bigger and bigger drives each time it smoked one. (It had a
tendency to blow up the Quantum Daytona 2.5" drives, so one day it
came back with a Seagate Marathon 420MB drive. That one blew up too,
so it came back with an IBM 720MB drive. The IBM drive survives today
in a PS/2 L40SX laptop.)

I guess they couldn't boss the 2.5" drive makers around in the same
way, or maybe they treated the machine differently because it was in
the hands of a "mere mortal" who didn't contract with them in any
special way.

I'm with you on Maxtors. Every so often, I gather out
5 or 6 and sell them quickly on eBay. I don't even
want to give them to my enemies.


Same here, although I have held on to a very few as they have worked
properly. I don't know what miracle is keeping them alive, and I
haven't checked too closely. Seagate Data Recovery Services (!!!) of
Canada actually bought a Maxtor drive from me on eBay...

I was curious, so I asked them why they wanted it. Amazingly enough,
they needed it for parts to recover a drive someone had sent them.

William


William,

Wow! Seagate Recovery Services bought a Maxtor from you! You mean there
is hope that I can get some reasonable dollars for the Maxtors that keep
piling up here? If you don't mind my asking, how much did you get and for
how much capacity? All the drive manufacturers offer data recovery
services, either directly or indirectly by brand-naming OnTrack data
recovery. This is a lucrative business, but it requires a clean room for
some classes of recovery involving drives with internal contamination from
head crashes and/or stuck heads. The few simple recoveries I have done
involve swapping PCBs from drive to drive when a failed drive simply won't
respond. But for the PCB swap to work, the firmware on the two PCBs has
to be absolutely identical. That's why some models of drives have decent
value to a drive recovery service.

The 2.5" drives back in the day of the Contura did not yet have the rich
ATAPI command set that includes being able to change the visible capacity.
The more complete ATAPI command set seems to have matured in the timeframe
of 6 to 10 GB 3.5" drives. Even so, there is still no consistency in the
use of SMART arributes, which are supposedly a manatory part of the ATAPI
standard.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend or Black Friday, depending on how you celebrate
it... Ben


Of note they can even rebuild physically broken/fragmented platters and
recover the data to some degree. It all depends on how important the data
is and what cost your willing to pay.



William R. Walsh[_2_] November 28th 08 05:54 PM

Ping: Ben Myers
 
Hi!

And if you look at what they or anyone else charges for
such services, you find that you grossly under priced
the drive when you sold it.


I can't think of any data recovery outfit that has their prices right
on their web site. (This is probably because you'd fall over dead from
shock if you knew right away how many arms and legs (possibly a few
firstborn children in there as well) it was going to cost...although,
perhaps more seriously, it's because every case is different.)

I didn't want the drive--and Seagate Canada was very good to deal
with. The only pain was in dealing with UPS, who weren't sure if they
did or didn't need customs paperwork. Turned out they did, which put a
delay on of a few days. They bought it immediately, paid immediately
and I spent the money on something that I'm sure I liked more than a
Maxtor drive! 8^)

William

William R. Walsh November 28th 08 06:48 PM

Ping: Ben Myers
 

Hi!

Wow! Seagate Recovery Services bought a Maxtor from you! You
mean there is hope that I can get some reasonable dollars for the
Maxtors that keep piling up here?


They sure did. I was *astounded*...here comes a big company looking to
someone like "little ol' me" to get them something they need?

The drive was 20GB. It sold for $16.05. They wanted it *overnighted* via
UPS...

Happy Thanksgiving weekend or Black Friday, depending on how
you celebrate it... Ben


We had a good traditional feed here, plenty of turkey, yams, mashed
potatoes, that sort of thing. Loafed in the living room afterwards, watching
a TV movie and later, watching PBS beg for money with Irish singers and
Barry Manilow.

William



Ben Myers[_2_] November 28th 08 08:42 PM

Ping: Ben Myers
 
Kevin Childers wrote:
"William R. Walsh" wrote in message
...
Hi!

My suspicion is that the Compaq SSF has a BIOS limit
of 132GB, another in the long parade of hard-coded
BIOS limitations this industry has seen, starting
with 528MB on 386/486 systems.

It seems inline with any other system of the time. A notable exception
is my Dell Precision Workstation 220 "toy". The 2002 A13 BIOS on that
machine has 48-bit LBA support...the BIOS can see and utilize all
200GB of the second installed hard disk. (Funny that my newer Latitude
D800 doesn't have 48-bit LBA support in the BIOS...)

I actually still have a couple of the Compaq P3 SSF
systems here.

I've come into probably seven now, and of those, at least two went out
after being refurbished and provided with XP Home. They're plenty good
enough for a "second computer" or something for kids to goof around
on.

I love the ones I have, although recently I've found the Evo D500, a
Pentium 4 Deskpro with a black/silver case and only minor internal
changes.

AFAIK, Compaq is the only name-brand mfr that imposed
on its hard drive vendors to limit the capacity of
a drive at the factory.

Interestingly, when I had my Contura 410C laptop, they kept sending it
back with bigger and bigger drives each time it smoked one. (It had a
tendency to blow up the Quantum Daytona 2.5" drives, so one day it
came back with a Seagate Marathon 420MB drive. That one blew up too,
so it came back with an IBM 720MB drive. The IBM drive survives today
in a PS/2 L40SX laptop.)

I guess they couldn't boss the 2.5" drive makers around in the same
way, or maybe they treated the machine differently because it was in
the hands of a "mere mortal" who didn't contract with them in any
special way.

I'm with you on Maxtors. Every so often, I gather out
5 or 6 and sell them quickly on eBay. I don't even
want to give them to my enemies.

Same here, although I have held on to a very few as they have worked
properly. I don't know what miracle is keeping them alive, and I
haven't checked too closely. Seagate Data Recovery Services (!!!) of
Canada actually bought a Maxtor drive from me on eBay...

I was curious, so I asked them why they wanted it. Amazingly enough,
they needed it for parts to recover a drive someone had sent them.

William


And if you look at what they or anyone else charges for such services, you
find that you grossly under priced the drive when you sold it.



Regularly doing a species of computer repair myself, I see no harm in
someone making a good buck by paying pennies for the hardware needed to
do a repair and charging substantially for very specialized know-how and
potentially expensive procedures... Ben Myers


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