Latitude D610 request - fix for 137GB BIOS limit

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by LATD610_please, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. LATD610_please

    LATD610_please MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2010
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    Hey, I'm currently trying to upgrade a Dell Latitude D610 from its crashed original HDD to a newer, larger drive over the 137GB limit.

    The first new drive fried (went to a blank cursor screen [lost the boot loader] and then became inaccessible through a USB enclosure even after zeroing). Second one is in there and working for the time being, but I have the machine shut down until I can update BIOS w/ a fix.

    If anyone has already made or is willing to make a BIOS fix for this, I and a bunch of other people I've seen looking for a solution would be grateful. :worthy:

    TIA
     
  2. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    Is it a bios limit or is it a limit of your OS? what are you using to format/install your OS? If it is the original XP disks then that could be the issue.
     
  3. LATD610_please

    LATD610_please MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2010
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    It's a BIOS limit. Running XP on it, but used Windows 7 to create the partition. I read online (and seems to be confirmed) that it doesn't matter if you have the OS tell it to address higher than the 137GB limit since it will just end up wrapping around and writing over boot sector etc... anyway once it hits the end of the recognized file space.
     
  4. urie

    urie Moderator
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  5. LATD610_please

    LATD610_please MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2010
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    Based on my reading online, that is incorrect. From what I've read that update applies to Windows XP's internal limit of 137 GB previously, but does not address BIOS limitation and once Windows tries to address past the limit it'll just overwrite boot sector etc.. and kill your OS. On my BIOS screen, the size of the drive only shows up as 137 GB. Actual drive size is 320 GB. Reading online, there've been others with this issue and at present there appears to be no way around this other than not using half the drive: ht tp://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/disk-drives/f/3534/t/18751106.aspx?PageIndex=3 (remove the space in the link - it won't let me make a link since I have under 20 posts).

    It would be really nice to be able to use the full capacity instead of being restricted to 137GB.
     
  6. urie

    urie Moderator
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    @ LATD610_please, fair enough you did not mention before that it only showed 137 gb in bios. i remember years back with windows 95 e.c.t that some manufacturers used to supply overlay type software that patched your drive i,e like a loader to enable the os to see full drive. have you actually tried xp sp3.
     
  7. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    #7 shakeyplace, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    Yes, it does appear he is right, I was checking the other forums and I find it hard to believe hat Dell wouldn't enable 48 bit lba on their Intel 915 laptops (and many other manufacturers as well, I hate the mentality of manufacturers who would rather sell a new product and have the old one discarded than simply include what seems to be an easy update) but sadly it is true , I found many references to this in Dell forums, also with the inspiron line kinda silly I believe, isn't it? after all, does a modern 250 Gb 2.5 inch pata drive run hotter or draw much more power than an older model, unlikely... I suppose you could partition the hard drive and install to the first partition, keeping it under 137 Gb and allocate the rest to another partition without any critical data on it required for booting... of course the OS will have to be updated to support the larger drive before using the rest (XP sp2 with large lba enabled, but preferably sp3 minimum), Hey, it would be really nice if one of the really smart members here knew just what was required for this though because it does appear as though the hardware does support it!
     
  8. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    As for your first hard drive, a friend had a hard drive that was zeroed, windows install disks could not even see it either, not even as an unpartitioned drive.. I think I used Hiren's boot cd (google), if I recall correctly. one or more of their hard disk utilities, installed a mbr, then created a partition... can't remember for sure which utilities on the disk but it does sound similar, had to try several before one found the drive (if you still have it)
     
  9. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

    Apr 29, 2008
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    #9 tqhoang, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    I have access to a D610 but no large PATA hard drives (>137GB) to test any of the following. We need some Dell BIOS guru like Apokrif to chime in, but anyone think it's possible to use AndyP's PhoenixTool to merge some BIOS modules from the similar D810 with the D610?

    According to Dell's website, the D810 BIOS A04 added 48-bit LBA support and a USB HD fix was applied in BIOS A05. If we compare the modules between A03 and A04, we can probably narrow down the module(s) that have the BIOS hard drive access routines right?

    BTW, the Dell Latitude D810 seems to be to the Precision M70...as the Latitude D610 is to the Precision M20. M70 has 48-bit LBA and M20 does not have 48-bit LBA.
     
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  10. LATD610_please

    LATD610_please MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2010
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    #10 LATD610_please, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    (OP)
    shakeyplace,

    As of right now, I have it partitioned as 120gb or so primary and the rest a second partition "not to be used" (since you can still overwrite boot with windows write unless the bios correctly recognizes it). The crashed drive was RMA'ed already. It was actually 250GB and they sent back 320GB upgrade for the replacement.

    On a side note, I found it fairly remarkable how fast the laptop was after I replaced the HDD. Both boot, load, and write times improved dramatically over what they were with the stock HDD before it crashed. It's almost like a modern computer now... just need that 48-bit LBA if possible :)
     
  11. jguy

    jguy MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2007
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    FWIW i've got the latest BIOS for a D510 and it sees 160Gb fine... so a 610 should be no problem.
     
  12. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    #12 shakeyplace, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    I'm on your side, I see jguy says the D510 bios sees the entire drive, let me look into the D510 specs, I do not have a D610 for testing, I have a damaged Inspiron 6000 board, I'll look for a drive if I can find something promising. It would be nice if we found another Dell with the same specs that supports 48 bit lba, I would be willing to swap modules with the other bios in an attempt, I really am not a programmer but do play around lots, I once got a board from ebay for an Inspiron 6400 thaty had a D620? (I think it was) bios on it, no idea how they managed, anyways we could swap a few modules using Andyp's tools and cross our fingers, it would be nice for everyone. I don't really think swapping with a desktop would be as safe, different processors, different slot and ram modules...

    on the other note, you could use the hitachi feature tool to limit the size of the drive and still get your performance but you wouldn't be able to create a partition or anything with the extra space..
     
  13. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    #13 shakeyplace, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    As far as I know all the hardware supports it, it is just a bios limitation, perhaps a large Dell customer requested the upgrade for the D510?

    Sorry, I got to ask, the Bios sees the entire drive or is it just windows that sees the entire drive? (they are different and that is a very important difference), also what are the D510 specs (I am looking)? chipset? southbridge? (can get these with cpuz if you aren't sure)..
    ps, I can't find many details but the drivers are all on the same "compatability" lists..
    pps, looks like all the same rom sizes, hdr file sizes... would really like to find out about system specs ie, any different motherboard connectors or different parts such as tpm modules,
    we may be able to do a straight bios switch if both models have the same video adapters, in the case of the 6000 it has an optional discreet ati board and that would be more tricky
     
  14. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    #14 shakeyplace, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    LATD610, here is what I am thinking....
    The D510 only comes with Intel graphics, the D810 comes with only discreet graphics, the 610 comes with either option..
    Which do you have? I am thinking if you had discreet graphics we may be able to just flash it over to a D810, would both be 915pm chipsets, if you have onboard graphics maybe we can flash to a D510 if we get confirmation on LBA , otherwise we could try switching modules using Andyp's tool, hopefully not breaking the bios but that would be very risky.
    otherwise we would need someone with true programming skills to come to your aid..
    The old inspiron 6000 board I have has onboard graphics so that would fall under the latter, more risky but it may be even more riskier since some of the onboard ports are likely not as similar for the inspiron line.. I will try some flashing experiments tomorrow if nothing more promising comes too light... If I can get some successful flashes I may look for a pata hard drive for testing..
     
  15. jguy

    jguy MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2007
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    #15 jguy, Sep 28, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
    Says 160gb in BIOS (originally had a 30GB) BIOS is A04. Haven't got it to hand but i'm sure its a 915gm chipset, got 2Gb DDR2, DVD-RW in there as well and upgraded it to a Pentium M 770 (2.13Ghz), i got the BIOS from this site i think, Win7 32 bit flies.
     
  16. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

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  17. jguy

    jguy MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2007
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    I've got a few Asus A3E (915GM) and A3F (945GM, Core 2) laptops that see 160GB fine, so that guy saying its the first PATA laptop that can support 160gb he heard of is a bit mislead, as the BIOS on the A3E goes back to 2005 lol.
     
  18. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    Thanks, I will try cross flashing my inspiron board tomorrow, I used to have a inspiron 6400 board with a D620 bios (If I remember right, may have been D630) and it was only stable for short periods of time, I attributed that to the additional onboard slot on the Latitude line (I see additional expresscard drivers for the latitude line), I don't see LATD620 having the same issues, maybe if I can isolate the module in the bios and blank it out, it could become stable
     
  19. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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  20. LATD610_please

    LATD610_please MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2010
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    #20 LATD610_please, Sep 29, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
    (OP)
    Discreet ATI x300 graphics on this D610 so hopefully that makes it easier