Cylinder_Head_Sector.svgEver attempt to get old computer hardware operational again?

We have a 14 year old asus P2-99 motherboard with a pentium3 @ 550MHz processor and 128mb or PC100 SDRAM and a 20gb IDE drive that we need to get working.

We removed the 3.5″ floppy drive as it will never be needed again and cloned the old hard drive just in case it decided to fail.
One of the cloned drives was a WD800 (80gb) IDE. The bios at startup did not see it. We reset the bios time, removed the entry for the floppy and tried again. hmm bad date. Guess the motherboard battery was dead, a CR2032 3vdc flat battery. Yep Replaced that, went through the configuration again and now at least it is keeping time. Still not seeing the 80gb drive.

Thinking back 10-15 years of tech brought back drive limitations of 2Gb, 8Gb, 32Gb etc. and something to do with CHS, LBA, Large mappings among other things. Too bad the motherboard doesn’t know about LBA and large. But since the original 20Gb drive was larger than the first two limitations of 2 and 8Gb, it must know about CHS numbers for that large a size.

While we had the case open, we added a 2nd stick of RAM, a 64Mb PC100 SDRAM… The system now totals 196Mb! Wow! Who needs more memory than that?

Back to the drive. We put the original 20gb back in and everything started up just fine.
Took the cloned 80Gb to test on another system and added the alternative jumper setting to limit the cylinders detected.
Jumper pins 3/4 and 5/6 (master/slave at the same time).
The drive was then autodetected as a 32Gb drive and worked out the CHS entry to be 65531cylx16headx63sectors.
Now we just have to test this theory on the original old motherboard.

Another possibility is to purchase a PCI bus IDE/EIDE card. They seem to be selling for around $50 on amazon.. a little pricey but I suppose they are now classed as obsolete.

Updated: 2013 June 21 – Summer has arrived.
Testing the cylinder limited jumpered 80Gb drive on the old motherboard had it appear as a 32Gb drive and it did work fine as the cloned image on it was only 20Gb.