Recovering data from a HD larger than BIOS permits

Recovering data from a HD larger than BIOS permits

Post by Zakhari » Sun, 08 Dec 2002 03:45:27



I have a system with a Samsung 40 GIG HD and it no longer works. Before sending it out for repair, I want to copy the data from it. The problem is, my two other (and older) machines are limited to 32 GB. The first is an old Gateway 486 upgraded to a Pentium 83 MHz while the second has a Biostar M6TLC motherboard and a Pentium II 300 MHz.

Gateway does not provide BIOS updates for a machine this old (in fact, back when I got a 1.2 GIG HD for it, I had to purchase the BIOS from Micro Firmware) while Biostar insists that it is a Motherboard limit and they can't do anything about it.

I've often heard that Linux bypasses the BIOS for most hardware access. Can I get LINUX to see the entire drive on either of these machines? (I have Slackware installed on both)

Thanks in advance

 
 
 

Recovering data from a HD larger than BIOS permits

Post by John-Paul Stewar » Sun, 08 Dec 2002 04:08:43



> I have a system with a Samsung 40 GIG HD and it no
> longer works. Before sending it out for repair, I
> want to copy the data from it. The problem is, my
> two other (and older) machines are limited to 32 GB.
> The first is an old Gateway 486 upgraded to a
> Pentium 83 MHz while the second has a Biostar M6TLC
> motherboard and a Pentium II 300 MHz.

> Gateway does not provide BIOS updates for a machine
> this old (in fact, back when I got a 1.2 GIG HD for
> it, I had to purchase the BIOS from Micro Firmware)
> while Biostar insists that it is a Motherboard limit
> and they can't do anything about it.

> I've often heard that Linux bypasses the BIOS for
> most hardware access. Can I get LINUX to see the
> entire drive on either of these machines? (I have
> Slackware installed on both)

If you can boot Linux off of another hard drive, don't even
tell the BIOS about the 40GB drive.  Then mount the
partitions manually.  Linux only needs the BIOS for the
bootloader stage.  (Assuming that the Linux kernel itself on
the old machines understands 40GB drives.)

Have you tried anything yet with the 40GB drive?  You don't
say if you've tried and failed or you haven't even tried
yet.  If you tried and failed, what was the exact
error/problem?

 
 
 

Recovering data from a HD larger than BIOS permits

Post by Zakhari » Sun, 08 Dec 2002 06:18:25


I did not try yet as I am obviously concerned with data loss. Both systems already have two drives, so I would have to replace the slave drive with the one I am trying to access. It was originally a master, but would need to be set up as a slave (this is non-destructive, right?)

The Gateway machine (which I'm more inclined to use since I don't normally use it and am not afraid to cripple) uses the primary HD for the root directory, but the second one for /usr. The Biostar one has Linux confined to the primary disk, so I can boot Linux without needing the second partition. The kernel version on the Gateway system is 2.2.14 and I believe it is a similar version on the Biostar one. The kernel documentation seems to imply it knows how to deal with "large" drives, though no upper limit is given as far as I can see.



> > I have a system with a Samsung 40 GIG HD and it no
> > longer works. Before sending it out for repair, I
> > want to copy the data from it. The problem is, my
> > two other (and older) machines are limited to 32 GB.
> > The first is an old Gateway 486 upgraded to a
> > Pentium 83 MHz while the second has a Biostar M6TLC
> > motherboard and a Pentium II 300 MHz.

> > Gateway does not provide BIOS updates for a machine
> > this old (in fact, back when I got a 1.2 GIG HD for
> > it, I had to purchase the BIOS from Micro Firmware)
> > while Biostar insists that it is a Motherboard limit
> > and they can't do anything about it.

> > I've often heard that Linux bypasses the BIOS for
> > most hardware access. Can I get LINUX to see the
> > entire drive on either of these machines? (I have
> > Slackware installed on both)

> If you can boot Linux off of another hard drive, don't even
> tell the BIOS about the 40GB drive.  Then mount the
> partitions manually.  Linux only needs the BIOS for the
> bootloader stage.  (Assuming that the Linux kernel itself on
> the old machines understands 40GB drives.)

> Have you tried anything yet with the 40GB drive?  You don't
> say if you've tried and failed or you haven't even tried
> yet.  If you tried and failed, what was the exact
> error/problem?

 
 
 

Recovering data from a HD larger than BIOS permits

Post by John-Paul Stewar » Sun, 08 Dec 2002 06:38:19



> I did not try yet as I am obviously concerned
> with data loss. Both systems already have two
> drives, so I would have to replace the slave
> drive with the one I am trying to access. It
> was originally a master, but would need to be
> set up as a slave (this is non-destructive,
> right?)

Right.  Change the jumper on the back of the drive from
"Master" to "Slave", plug it into the proper connector, and
power up the system.  All of your data will still be in
place.

Quote:> The Gateway machine (which I'm more inclined
> to use since I don't normally use it and am
> not afraid to cripple) uses the primary HD
> for the root directory, but the second one
> for /usr. The Biostar one has Linux confined
> to the primary disk, so I can boot Linux
> without needing the second partition.

It would be easier to use the Biostar, given that info.  The
partitions on the 40GB drive will then show up as /dev/hdb*.

Quote:> The kernel version on the Gateway system is
> 2.2.14 and I believe it is a similar version on
> the Biostar one. The kernel documentation seems
> to imply it knows how to deal with "large"
> drives, though no upper limit is given as far
> as I can see.

I'm not familiar with kernel limits that far back, either.
 
 
 

Recovering data from a HD larger than BIOS permits

Post by Zakhari » Tue, 10 Dec 2002 01:29:06


Thanks for the help. It worked perfectly. Didn't even have to make it a slave, just a secondary master. I can't wait for a Linux-based BIOS to be released.
 
 
 

Recovering data from a HD larger than BIOS permits

Post by John-Paul Stewar » Tue, 10 Dec 2002 04:01:42



> Thanks for the help. It worked perfectly.
> Didn't even have to make it a slave, just
> a secondary master. I can't wait for a
> Linux-based BIOS to be released.

You might want to check out:

http://www.acl.lanl.gov/linuxbios/index.html

 
 
 

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