New computer

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Robert Baer, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Just got a new "bare-bones" computer with two new-from-factory 500GB
    SATA had drives.
    Intel Core G w/ Core i3 3240 CPU and Intel H61 MB; obviously has
    absolutely NO provision for a floppy drive.
    Makers of the included Biostar "6+ Experience' DVD driver set are as
    lame as M$ "re-connect keyboard and press Ctrl+Alt+Del".
    Drivers include one for the SATA drives, which _demand_ a floppy drive.
    Say what? Why not demand a cassette tape via a unique 1-bit port?
    Naturally, SATA drivers then were "native".

    Problem and q:
    Installed Win2K (yes, i know, "obsolete" for the MB) and got the
    following problems:
    1) see in BIOS "shutdown temp" 70/75/80/85/90 C selections (if enabled);
    what is a decent lowest value and a decent highest value to use?
    2) see in BIOS no way to select boot order.
    3) complained about drives being "raw"; a bit cantankerous attitude;
    took a bit of wasted verbiage.
    4) Absolute max partition allowed was 131,062 MB (no hint of the other
    5) Computer Manager program refused to allow access to the rest of the

    When placed in my old computer and booted from its own Win2K,
    Computer Manager clearly saw the whole 500GB drive,saw the 370GB section
    as not-partitioned, and was able to partition, format and label it.
    Clearly, the "native" SATA driver of the "old, obsolete" computer was
    far superior to that of the new Biostar MB.

    Q: Now, what is the story concerning the 131GB "limit" i ran into?

    Q: How the hell do i set-up this MB with a decent SATA driver?
    Need a simple way so even a low-level tech in Addis Ababa can do it?
    Robert Baer, Jun 13, 2014
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  2. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    These are all predictable outcomes.

    1) To avoid the need for a floppy drive, to avoid using the
    Biostar-provided hard disk driver, you need to enter the
    BIOS and select "compatible" mode for the SATA ports.
    Compatible mode supports a max of four storage devices.

    If you provide me with the mother board model number, I can
    go look in the PDF file for the motherboard, and tell you
    what to select.

    2) When you select compatible mode, the Intel chipset maps
    the SATA drive into I/O space, using the same addresses
    as an IDE drive would use. Even old OSes like Win98 can use
    this. The two disk controllers end up at INT14 and INT15.
    Every OS since Win98 at least, has a driver for this.
    Thus, no F6 floppy needed.

    3) Set BIOS shutdown temperature to 90C. The processor has
    THERMTRIP, and the CPU would shut things down at 100C anyway.
    I don't know where or what they're monitoring in the case,
    but it sounds like "Tcase" and not "Tj". If the manual explains
    which sensor that is tied to, then perhaps that will suggest
    some other value. If it was computer case air temperature they
    were measuring, then 70C would be plenty (disk drive would be
    unhappy at 70C).

    4) You are using a Win2K SP2 installer CD. You should download
    SP4, and "slipstream" that into the installer CD. I used to
    use Autostreamer for this (that's how I made my Win2K SP4 installer
    CD). There is also NLiteOS, but I haven't used this for Win2K.

    "Integrate a Service Pack"

    Win2K SP2 does not support 48 bit LBA. That's why it has a
    137GB limit. I think that might correspond to 28 bit LBA.
    When you slipstream (or install SP4 later), then the
    OS supports 48 bit LBA.

    Assuming you don't want to be bothered slipstreaming, you can...

    a) Install making drive as big as possible now. Make it 137GB.
    b) Install Win2K SP2.
    c) Now, install SP4. After that, do Rollup 1 revision 2.

    (SP4, suited for install or for slipstream)

    (Rollup 1 Revision 2 - don't know if this can be slipstreamed,
    and in any case, this is not critical to "size of disk" support.)

    d) Using a Partition Manager (Easeus makes a free one),
    "expand" the 137GB partition until it fills the entire
    disk. You can do this now, because SP4 supports large disks.

    If you are uncomfortable using a PM, you can also go
    to Disk Management, and make a second partition after C:,
    and use that to fill the disk.

    | MBR | C: 137GB | D: (the rest of the space) |

    If you used Easeus, you could expand C: like this.
    You can do this, once SP4 is installed.

    | MBR | C: (all of the space) |

    Also, be careful, any time a computer with Win2K SP2 is in
    the room. The SP2 computer "stops at 137GB". If a partition
    on a 500GB hard drive "spans" the 137GB mark, that partition
    will get damaged. So if you still have SP2 computers in
    the house, by all means, install SP4 service pack. That's to
    avoid a catastrophe. In this example, I have a 500GB drive,
    and the Second partition "spans" the 137GB mark. An SP2
    computer will attempt to mount the Second partition and
    destroy it on the first write. The Third partition will not
    be visible and will refuse to mount. The Third partition
    cannot be damaged.

    <------- 137GB ------>|
    | MBR | First | Second | Third |

    If you instead make a hard drive setup, where no partition
    touches the magic 137GB point, then an SP2 computer will
    not mount D:, only C: is visible, and nobody gets hurt.
    If all the computers run SP4, this would not have been
    a problem. By making my disk this way, I can plug the
    disk into SP2 or SP4, and nobody gets hurt. If I plug
    this drive into SP2, D: will be invisible, and D:
    will not be damaged.

    <------- 137GB ------>|
    | MBR | C: 137GB |Gap| D: (rest of the space) |

    By some luck, I have dodged this bullet for years.
    Talk about being careful... :) You need the reflexes
    of a Ninja, to avoid mistakes with an SP2 in the house.

    You can open your System control panel, and check the
    OS version there for yourself.

    Paul, Jun 13, 2014
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  3. Robert Baer

    VanguardLH Guest

    Your BIOS actually has a low temperature threshold setting?

    Start here to understand some of the terminology:

    Then go here to see the max Tcase temperature that the BIOS is

    From your description of the temperature alarm settings in the BIOS, it
    doesn't have a low enough value to be below the max Tcase. You'll have
    to use the lowest BIOS temperature of 70. This is only for a runaway
    scenario, anyway, since the CPU will throttle itself (slow down or halt)
    to reduce temperature if it gets too hot. Unlike AMD CPUs, Intel CPUs
    will protect themselves from thermal destruction and don't rely on
    external logic for protection. On that page with CPU
    specs, click on or scroll down to Advanced Technologies. Hover over and
    click on Thermal Monitoring Technologies.
    Some low-end desktops and laptops don't provide many, if any, user-
    configurable settings. Does the manual mention the BIOS settings (or is
    it lame doc)?

    You didn't mention the brand and model of the motherboard. Intel H61 is
    the chipset, not the brand and model of the motherboard. Never heard of
    and cannot find online info on a "Core G" Intel motherboard. I went to:

    and selected H61 for the chipset and only 1 motherboard was listed:
    Intel Desktop Board DH61AGL. It's product page is at:

    Since this is a new build, presumably you aren't using an ancient mobo
    that Intel discontinued which would not show up in this list. Is that
    what you have? If so, it's a minimalist board (mini-ITX). It had a
    Technical Details link that took me to:

    An online copy of the manual is at:

    Page 68 shows the BIOS navbar. Did you look under the Boot category?
    The manual doesn't say what settings are under the Boot category for
    BIOS configuration. If boot order isn't there then you don't get to
    specify it. Page 72 talks about boot order so it looks like you can
    change it. RTFM.
    What complained? The OS (Windows)?

    You installing an ancient version of Windows while deploying new
    hardware. Did you configure the BIOS to use MBR instead of UEFI? I
    don't know if this board can be configured for UEFI versus MBR. There
    is no mention in the BIOS settings in the online manual about MBR and
    UEFI; however, page 83 mentions diag codes for EFI boot services. Could
    be, since this is a minimalist board, that you don't get a choice. It's
    new hardware expecting a newer OS that understand UEFI.

    Windows 2000 would have no idea what is UEFI. It only knows the MBR
    That's a limitation of that old OS you installed. You don't know that
    by know after using Windows 2000 for nearly 15 years?

    You'll need to install an extender: a driver that knows how to handle
    LBA drives with a greater number of sectors. What were you using before
    to make your partitions larger than 128 GiB (137 GB)?
    "Windows ME, NT, 2000 and XP without SP1 or SP2 installed can¢t
    recognize partitions over 128 GiB because they don¢t enable 48-bit LBA
    by default. The solution is to run a small program that fixes this

    The hardware provides 48-bit LBA addressing to go up to 2 TB per
    partition but your old OS doesn't. It's still back using 24-bit LBA

    Go to the manufacturer's web site for your hard disks to get their "Disk
    Manager" extender driver. For Seagate/Maxtor/Samsung drives, I think
    you use the Seagate's DiscWizard. As I recall, it usurps the MBR's
    bootstrap code area so you can never use this area for other utilities
    (e.g., Acronis TrueImage boot-time Rescue utility, multi-boot managers
    like GAG). I don't recall the tool from Western Digital. If WDC, see:

    I somewhat sure this extender is to overcome hardware limitations, not
    OS limitations. You have new hardware so it is highly likely that it
    support 48-bit LBA mode. It's your old OS that's the problem. Paul
    might know more.

    Did you buy bare/OEM drives? If you got the retail package then a
    software CD should've been included.

    Oh, did you format as FAT or NTFS? See:

    While Windows 2000 has a 32GB boot volume max partition size, you can
    use any 3rd party partition manager to enlarge it.
    See above.
    You probably had support software/drivers installed in that decade-old
    instance of Windows 2000 that you forgot about. Or, as mentioned, there
    are limits on the boot partition but not other partitions, and, from
    what said, you slaved the new drive to your old system so you were not
    changing the boot partition.
    Copy the folders and files from the floppy onto a CD and tell Windows
    2000 (hit F6 at the first screen) to look at the CD for the driver.

    I think there will be a problem, though. The F6 (get other drivers
    routine) in Windows 2000 and XP will only look at the A: drive. Both A:
    and B: are reserved for floppy drives. With such a minimalist mobo, it
    won't have a floppy header (so you could connect a floppy drive whether
    there was a bay for it or not in the case). It is such a minimalist
    motherboard that there isn't even a spare daughtercard slot where you
    could use a floppy controller card. Lots of problems when you don't
    match minimum features of the hardware to the OS.

    Since this KB article applies to Windows XP, and since Windows 2000 is
    even older, the same limitations apply when using the F6 key during
    setup to install 3rd party mass storage drivers. So you can't even use
    a USB-attached external floppy drive. You can search online on "windows
    2000 f6 no floppy" to see what others have tried. I suspect you may end
    up having to use nlite to slipstream Windows 2000 and the SATA drivers
    together onto a new install CD and boot using that slipstreamed CD.
    Doesn't look like it. You're trying to match an old OS that had a
    snapshot of hardware that existed 14, or more years, ago with hardware
    that is designed for operating systems released in about the last 5
    VanguardLH, Jun 14, 2014
  4. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    System BIOS screen (my scribbling is hard to decode - sorry about
    APTIO Setup Utility -- Ver 2.14.1219 (C) 2011
    Compliancy -- UEFT 2.3; P_T 1.2
    Project Code -- IH611-MHS
    Model Name -- H61MGV3
    BIOS Version -- H611R40.BSS
    Build Date -- 04/08/2013 (so quit bitching about "old")
    Total Memory -- 2048 MB (DDR 1600)
    SATA Controllers -- Enabled
    SATA mode selected -- IDE (AHCI is other mode)
    SMART Self Test -- Enabled
    Shutdown Temp - i selected 80C/176F, no clue if core temp
    I found in one of the screens Boot Option Properties semi-directly
    allows #1 CD/DVD drive or hard drive (actually gives drive code
    designation), with #2 being the opposite of the #1 selection.
    Computer had SATA 1 as CD/DVD, SATA 2 and SATA 3 as 300GB Toshiba
    drives; the Boot Option Properties do not say or allow selecton of
    _which_ HD.

    Re: 132GB limit, had never seen that in Win2K or 2 reasons: firstly,
    been using SP4 update on a SP2 original disk since 2003; secondly
    largest HD ever used was 200GB with SP4 in force.

    Re: Win2K bitching about the SATA drive; I _DID_ say the HDs were
    brand new..UBCD partition manager reports "NO partition table" . . which
    should be obvious as the HDs are 100 percent clean and raw from the

    WinXP SP2 is living on them now just fine and dandy.
    Robert Baer, Jun 16, 2014
  5. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    So are you using an actual slipstreamed SP4 disc (Autostreamer),
    or are you saying you used a Win2K SP2 disc, followed by installing
    the separate SP4 executable ?

    The mshdc.inf files on my two OS installations, are largely the
    same, in the sense that they seem to cover the same contingencies.
    The list of Intel chipsets is longer on the WinXP SP3 one, than
    on my Win2K SP4 installation mshdc.inf.

    The Biostar INFINST Intel chips package, the IDE installation
    uses stub installers. If I look at "cougide.inf" just as an
    example file, it has "Include=mshdc.inf" which means the
    stub INF Intel is providing, calls the OS INF which is already
    present. The OS installer is triggered two ways. Either with a
    specific VEN/DEV (and the Win2K support list is shorter than
    the WinXP one), or via a PNP code. The BIOS is capable of
    passing ACPI PNP information, which is an adjunct to VEN/DEV.
    And some drivers do the right thing, based on some PNP code
    or class code. That helps cover cases where the mshdc.inf
    isn't "new enough" for a new chipset.

    Since you have WinXP running on it, you can go to Device
    Manager, do Properties on the disk controller item, and
    have a look at what drivers WinXP is using. Then see if
    Win2K has ths same approach in terms of its available

    Your BioStar BIOS is missing the kind of detail I like
    to see. It supports IDE on the SATA ports or AHCI. There
    are only four SATA ports on the chipset.

    On an Intel chipset, that IDE setting should have
    two options. "Compatible" and "Native". Compatible
    puts the SATA ports in I/O space. where propcessor I/O
    assembler instructions can reach them. The chipset
    pretends it has the same control and data registers,
    as a legacy IDE (ribbon cable) chipset. Compatible
    exists for the sole purpose of allowing things
    like Win98 to be installed.

    The Native option places the SATA drive controller in
    PCI address space, at a PCI BAR with config info. It
    uses INTA# on the PCI bus (or the equivalent of that
    via internal chipset wiring). Not all Windows OSes,
    have PCIIDE and PCIIDEX files. The former can be
    vendor-specific (like VIAIDE), while the library
    file PCIIDEX can be the one the OS has. And the mshdc.inf
    files I have here, on both WinXP SP3 and Win2K SP4, have
    that kind of logic in there (I can see lines with PCIIDE
    in them). And if the VEN/DEV doesn't match, it's not the
    end of the world if the motherboard BIOS passes a
    standard bit of "class" info, so the PCIIDE logic can
    still be applied.


    I doubt these will help, but you can look at these anyway
    if you're bored. SATA uses an advanced enough ATA/ATAPI
    spec, to already have 48 bit LBA as far as I know.

    This one hardly ever comes into play. We had some discussions
    about this years ago, but I think for the most part,
    people were able to dodge the need to do this (via slipstreaming
    and the like, to a newer SP level).


    If I was debugging this, I would want to use an OS that can
    report what the BIOS and hardware are telling the working OS
    you've got. So you can understand why the less-satisfactory OS
    ended up that way, and fix it. Adding a third-party disc controller
    card would be another solution, but that's an act of desperation,
    and might still require some NLite integrating, if you were
    sending an installer CD to your IT helper on the other side
    of the world.

    Paul, Jun 16, 2014
  6. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    * Win2K SP2 followed by SP4 installation.
    Could never find out how to do slipstream - when i asked nobody would
    Been in the closet on that until you _very nicely_ gave the state secret.

    * Yes..
    * Still does not cover the stupidity of Biostar concerning the DEMAND
    of a floppy drive for SATA AHCI support.
    * Thanks!
    Is there a selection in UBCD that i could use for what the BOS is
    actually doing [for the OS]?

    I am purposely staying away from AHCI as 1) i hate the mess it
    creates, and 2) converting a HD with installed programs and data (if
    possible) is not conducive to sanity to say the least, and 3) stupid to
    expect 3rd world techs to know and understand its quirks.
    Robert Baer, Jun 16, 2014
  7. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    You can use AHCI if you want. But it would likely require
    pressing F6 and offering a floppy diskette with the
    driver file on it. You can also slipstream in the AHCI driver
    with NLite.

    The idea of leaving it at the default "IDE" setting,
    is on the assumption that all the OSes already have
    drivers. And they would, if the sub-flavor of "IDE" was

    Some of the newer OSes, have built-in AHCI drivers.
    Things like Vista/Win7/Win8 have MSAHCI for example,
    as a built-in.

    As for figuring out what the hardware is offering,
    that would be a chore for me, and I haven't any suggestions
    as to where to start. While there is a "hwinfo" utility,
    and it has a "verbose" option, I don't know if that
    extends to indicating the I/O space address or the
    address offset to a PCI BAR. The last Ubuntu disc
    I downloaded, the damn thing was missing "hwinfo"
    and it required using package manager to install it.
    Not very friendly.

    Paul, Jun 16, 2014
  8. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    Stupid question:
    Say a "basic" setup is always needed: Win2K SP2, SP4, rollup, drivers.
    I understand from the wording and tone of the instructions, that
    AutoStreamer "checks" (proffered) files for relevancy ad timeliness FIRST.
    So file dates better be in order. And the drivers will be excluded
    because they are not updates.
    Why can it not be symple, like do the desired minimal install, and
    make some kind of (compressed?) image for later (direct) install?
    Robert Baer, Jun 17, 2014
  9. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    It's an OS installation, and if you have the skills of a Ninja IT
    guy, it's a piece of cake :-(

    Paul, Jun 17, 2014
  10. Robert Baer

    Robert Baer Guest

    I almost have the skills of a doofus, despite my 30+ years of
    computer experience.
    So, it seems that one still must go thru the pain of driver install
    after the install-from-slipsteam.

    What is the status of the unofficial service pack 5.2? is it (or
    something close) available?
    Robert Baer, Jun 17, 2014
  11. Robert Baer

    VanguardLH Guest

    I believe nLite, previously mentioned, can slipstream Windows 2000, too.
    nLite is maintained (last public release was Aug 2013). Autostreamer is
    pretty old and got abandoned on or before Dec 2004 and his home page is
    gone; however, that's a couple years after Windows 2000 got released.
    Not a problem with the hardware. A problem with the old Windows 2000.
    Windows XP released a year later was the same way.
    "Compliancy -- UEFT 2.3; P_T 1.2". Looks like the hardware is in UEFI
    mode. UEFI 2.4 was approved July 2013 so it's expected for BIOSes to
    lag behind a version or two. UEFI 2.1 was released in 2007.

    " Build Date -- 04/08/2013 (so quit bitching about "old")". WHAT was
    "it" that I said was old?

    If the BIOS permits the user to switch from UEFI to MBR mode then it
    should be in the BIOS settings. I did find what looks to be UEFI to MBR
    translation within the OS which presumably the hardware cannot be
    switched out of UEFI mode.

    "Model Name -- H61MGV3". Did a search on H61MGV3 and turned up:
    with product page at:

    I was looking for an Intel mobo at Intel's site. So is what you have
    this Biostar mobo? You mentioned Biostar in your first post but it was
    unclear if you were talking about the motherboard's brand. If so, you
    didn't identify the model at that time (and it was purely a guess on my
    part to search on H61GMV3 from your later post).

    If it's this mobo, it is barely wider than the I/O backpanel plate.
    There's not going to be much functionality on this mobo. The manuals
    for that one is at: &

    I opened the manual on the BIOS. It's very title is "UEFI BIOS Manual".
    "UEFI" was mentioned a lot. MBR wasn't mentioned once. It's not
    greatly detailed (they never are) but my guess is you go under the
    Advanced tab, PCI Subsystem Settings, and change the "PCI ROM Priority"
    to Legacy (since, by implication in the help pane on the right, the
    other mode would be EFI).

    What's selected under Advanced -> SATA Configuration, SATA Mode

    I looked in the setup manual. Both it and the BIOS manual list the
    following supported OS platforms:

    Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8

    They aren't clear on which editions of each are supported. Intel's
    Itanium CPUs supported EFI 1.02. The vast majority of Windows XP users
    had the 32-bit edition. There were 64-bit editions of Windows XP:
    Windows XP x64 edition 2003 (based on Windows 2003 Server with the XP
    desktop) and Windows XP x64 Itanium. So technically one of the members
    of the "Windows XP" family supported EFI. Windows 2000 didn't have
    anything for EFI.

    I didn't see anything obvious in the Biostar's BIOS to switch between
    UEFI and MBR modes. Maybe that's what the PCI setting is for but it's
    ambiguous. You may not be able to use that new hardware on that old
    *operating system*. You could contact Biostar to ask about switching to
    MBR mode ( or on that new
    VanguardLH, Jun 17, 2014
  12. Robert Baer

    Paul Guest

    There is the Win2K "Update Rollup", and it's not a Service Pack.
    It reduces the missing number of Windows Updates, if you
    were to visit Windows Update afterwards.

    NLite can integrate a Service Pack and it can also pack
    drivers into the installer CD. The trick is, only a certain
    format of drivers is allowed. It is the "TXTSETUP.OEM" kind
    and those are the ones you find on an F6 floppy. So if you
    want to try your hand at adding drivers to your slipstream CD
    you can do it.

    I never needed NLite myself, because my WinXP SP3 disc when I
    bought it, was already the latest. So there was nothing to do there.

    Years before that, I used Autostreamer (a tool similar to NLite),
    to add SP4 to my purchased Win2K SP2 CD. But Autostreamer support died
    out after a while, so it was time to look for other things. And I don't
    know if the Update Rollup can be added or not. The Update Rollup isn't
    an immediate critical item, and if you placed the Update Rollup on a
    second CD to send in your "kit", would be just as good.

    Paul, Jun 17, 2014
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