1> Physical installation
Open your computer (powered off) and locate a free IDE slot on
either IDE cable (flat, grey cable with a red line). Connect the
cable to the back of your hard disk drive, the red line facing the
Connect a power cable from your power supply to your hard drive.
If your hard disk is the only peripheral on the IDE cable, set it to
Master (MA). To do so, refer to the manual supplied with your disk drive.
The configuring is generally done by positioning a jumper at the back
of the drive. In this case you will find three pairs of pins labelled
MA, SL and CS (Master, Slave & Cable Select).
If you have two peripherals on the same IDE cable, you may want to have
the main peripheral as Master and the other one as Slave or Cable Select.
Now power on your PC and during POST enter the BIOS editor. Find your
hard drive according to its IDE hierarchy (Primary or Secondary IDE;
Master or Slave) and set it to Auto (detection) or to User (defined).
In this case, you will have to enter your IDE settings (see manual or
label on the hard disk) according to the number of Cylinders (C), Heads
(H) and Sectors (S).
Save your BIOS changes and reboot.
If during reboot your hard disk is not 'seen' correctly by the BIOS,
reapply the above procedure and change IDE slots, modify hierarchy or
BIOS settings. If your hard disk is seen but displays a wrong size (despite
correct CHS settings in the BIOS), your BIOS may be too old and may
have to be flashed.
Note : older Pentium 1 motherboards recognize a total disk
size of 8.4Gb. To increase this figure you may want to buy an IDE controller
card like a Promise Ultra ATA33 or 66 -even 100 so that your motherboard
can manage over 8.4Gb of disk space.
Feel free to swap IDE slots, MA, SL and CS configurations or even use
jumperless configurations, since there is no "miracle" remedy
for two peripherals to get along on the same IDE cable. Try every option
until all your peripherals are seen correctly.
2> Logical Installation
Basic partitioning & formatting
Once your hard disk drive is installed and properly identified by the
BIOS, you will have to partition and format it. Start in MS-DOS (w/
Windows startup disk for instance) and at command prompt type fdisk.
This utility will allow you to partition your hard drive (creating logical
drives on the same physical drive).
Choose FAT16 for Win 3.1 and 95 (2.1Gb max partitions) and FAT32 for
other Windows9x versions (partitions limited to a few terabytes!). For
Windows NT (and Windows 2000) the installation program will allow you
to choose between FAT16 and NTFS, both systems offering advantages and
Complete the partitioning procedure and restart as prompted. Leave
the floppy in the floppy disk drive. At command prompt, type format
X: /u (where X is the letter assigned to your new drive(s)).
Your hard disk is up and running!
Note : This topic demands that the reference in hard disk management
be quoted: the awesome Partition Magic from PowerQuest. Version 5 allows
partitioning, formatting, merging, converting between FAT16 and FAT32,
etc. And all this on the fly. Besides its use is way more user-friendly
than Windows DOS utilities.
Sometimes, despite proper formatting, unwanted data can remain on the
hard disk preventing it from working properly. You may then want to
erase all data on your hard disk drive.
Master Boot Record Format
The Master Boot Record is the first bootable element on the hard disk
drive. It contains vital starting information. Some OS's (NT, Linux...),
multiboot programmes, even viruses, write data in the MBR. A simple
formatting of the drive cannot erase it.
To do so, start in MS-DOS mode and at command prompt type fdisk
/mbr. After a few seconds, the command prompt appears again;
the MBR has been flashed.
NB : For NT, you may find it useful to find and erase the boot.ini
file or, better, to rename it in case your hard drive would not boot
any longer if you have several OS's on it.
Erases all data on the disk (FAT, partitions, MBR). Very useful when
fdisk and/or formatting won't work. Download one of our zero writing
-Seagate Disk Manager available below, or
-Gateway's Universal Boot Disk (also includes a surface test
feature and can eventually correct physical errors on Western Digital
Low level format
Low level formatting allows resetting of a hard drive, including MBR.
In some cases it can correct physical errors on a drive. This feature
is found in some BIOS's. Otherwise, in case you don't find what you're
looking for below, go to your hard drive's manufacturer website and
download the proper low level format utility.
>>Seagate & Conner :
Seagate's Disk Manager offers low level format on top of
interesting (but not vital) disk management features. Warning: this
software does not give you the possibility to configure the CHS
manually; if it gives you a CHS different from your hard disk's,
don't proceed with low level formatting!
This utility works for Seagate and
Conner hard drives.
Here is a mini-programme (79Kb unzipped) from Seagate that
does wonders. It's a bit old (specifically designed for 286-486s),
but allows entering customized CHS settings to perform a low level
format and/or an error check of the drive.
In its most advanced format/check mode, it takes 5 hours for completion
for a 1Mb hard disk!... Don't forget to read the Readme.txt file
Seagate guaranteed, may work w/ other manufacturers.
>>Western Digital :
Low level format utility for Western Digital hard disks.
>>Quantum : Low level format
utility for Quantum hard disks, click here.
>>Maxtor : Low level format
utility for Maxtor hard disks, click here.
Installing and formatting
a hard disk © The Knights of the Boot - MMII
The Knights of Boot© disclaim any responsibility for any damage arising
as a result of the implementation of these instructions.