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Vintage Computers Any vintage computer systems, calculators, video games etc., but with an emphasis on 1980s and earlier equipment.

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Old 30th May 2017, 10:05 pm   #1
M0YAA-Dave
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Default Gateway 2000 (486DX) - HDD & Clock Battery

I know it's not an 80s machine, but it's closer than my laptop is

I have a Gateway 2000 P4D-66, I've attached a picture. I'm wondering what is the largest hard drive this machine can handle.

I also have a failed Clock battery. Consider the computers build date is 1994 I don't think it's done too badly. Now it's a 4.5v Alkaline battery. I'm assuming that like their modern counterparts they are not rechargeable so 3x1.5v standard AA can replace it.
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Old 30th May 2017, 10:39 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Gateway 2000 (486DX) - HDD & Clock Battery

It depends on the BIOS manufacturer and the OS you're going to run. There are also software solutions which insert translation software into the HD boot sector. See http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Large-Disk-HOWTO-4.html

The restrictions largely affect the boot process. Once the OS has booted, the disk(s) will be handled by the OS drivers rather than the BIOS, so the limit is likely to be set by the controller hardware.
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Old 30th May 2017, 10:53 pm   #3
Records
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Default Re: Gateway 2000 (486DX) - HDD & Clock Battery

Probably about 2gb maximum depends on the bios. but you can use any size ide drive you can find but you would have to set it up as multiple partitions which can be done using dos.
It was probably running windows 3.11 when new and would run 95, windows 98 will be pushing it a bit.
You can replace the clock battery CMOS but remember that machine is probably not year 2000 compliant so will only see the date uptil 1999.
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Old 30th May 2017, 10:55 pm   #4
M0YAA-Dave
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Default Re: Gateway 2000 (486DX) - HDD & Clock Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
It depends on the BIOS manufacturer and the OS you're going to run. There are also software solutions which insert translation software into the HD boot sector. See http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Large-Disk-HOWTO-4.html

The restrictions largely affect the boot process. Once the OS has booted, the disk(s) will be handled by the OS drivers rather than the BIOS, so the limit is likely to be set by the controller hardware.
It's a pheonix Bios, I'll have a look further into it tomorrow morning. I know the smallest drive I have is a 40Gb
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Old 30th May 2017, 11:08 pm   #5
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Gateway 2000 (486DX) - HDD & Clock Battery

The BIOS certainly won't handle a 40G drive. Your best bet may be to fit it in a more modern computer and create a 2GB primary partition, which the BIOS will probably be able to see. Once the OS has booted then you can partition and format the rest.

There may still be a 32GB limit in hardware. Some drives have a jumper which makes them behave like a 32GB disk.
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Old 31st May 2017, 5:39 am   #6
arjoll
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Default Re: Gateway 2000 (486DX) - HDD & Clock Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by M0YAA-Dave View Post
I'm wondering what is the largest hard drive this machine can handle.
If you're lucky, you might be able to use 2GB, but it's possibly 504 MB. That was the limit of the Compaq Prolinea 433 and Digital PC 433dxlp machines we used to run at E&Y in the 486 era - around 1992-94.

The machines we had took a 520-ish MB drive ok, but could only see 504 MB.
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Old 31st May 2017, 5:40 am   #7
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Default Re: Gateway 2000 (486DX) - HDD & Clock Battery

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Originally Posted by paulsherwin View Post
There may still be a 32GB limit in hardware. Some drives have a jumper which makes them behave like a 32GB disk.
This isn't always perfect. I have an old Pentium II with Epox motherboard in the workshop - it will not boot with a 40 GB drive plugged in, no matter what it is jumpered to.
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Old 1st Jun 2017, 9:04 am   #8
M0YAA-Dave
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Default Re: Gateway 2000 (486DX) - HDD & Clock Battery

Does anyone know if something like this will work as a pseudo hard drive?

https://www.reichelt.com/gb/en/?LANG...hQQaAj6M8P8HAQ
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Old 1st Jun 2017, 8:44 pm   #9
hamid_1
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Default Re: Gateway 2000 (486DX) - HDD & Clock Battery

In theory it should work, as long as your computer can support hard drives >504MB. If not, the system is likely to see it as 512-504=8MB hard drive. I remember having this problem when upgrading a 486 many years ago. The new hard drive came with a software disk which had to be loaded after installing the new drive, but before installing the operating system. The software patch allowed DOS and Windows 3.1 to use the full capacity of the new drive despite the BIOS limitation, but did not work with Windows 95.

Another problem if the BIOS does not autodetect hard drives, you will need to enter the number of cylinders, heads, sectors manually. This information may not be known for a flash drive.

An even cheaper alternative is this : http://www.dx.com/p/3-5-ide-to-cf-ad...d-green-428043

All you need is a small compact flash card to go with it, <512MB will be ideal, and very cheap for a used one. I used a similar CF to 2.5" IDE adaptor to replace a hard drive in an Amiga 1200 computer. It worked really well, and is silent.

Only thing to bear in mind, flash drives are not really designed for massive amounts of rewriting. Windows likes to use 'virtual memory' which constantly writes to the hard drive. This will wear out the flash drive after a few months. Be sure to disable the virtual memory if using Windows on your flash drive.
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Old 3rd Jun 2017, 9:53 pm   #10
M0YAA-Dave
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Default Re: Gateway 2000 (486DX) - HDD & Clock Battery

Ah, I have a couple of those knocking about
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