VA503+ Hardrive > 60GB?

Discussion in 'FIC' started by /.., Dec 5, 2003.

  1. /..

    /.. Guest

    Hi, folks. My Linux server is running out of room. It's built on my
    old va503+, with 128MB, and some 16GB IBM Dhea's. It runs great and
    does what I need, but the bios rev. is probably original -- 1.15JE36
    I installed the drive I recently replaced from my main/production
    machine, a Maxtor 7200rpm 120GB UATA133 drive. Bios cannot see it,
    it just freezes when trying to detect it (as master on 2nd channel.)
    I did a bit of Googling (v.t.), and see that one of the last bios's
    -- beta -- in development at FIC for the board, JE4333, has been
    recommended, at least once, to provide support > 66GB.

    I wonder if anyone knows if that bios/board combination will support
    the 120GB drive? Even if it would work at UDMA 66 instead of the
    full 133, it would help to extend the life of these components. The
    important thing is to increase storage space; most file transfers STR
    probably won't exceed the network's (100TX) speed, I think.

    If the bios is known to work, it's worth it to try the flash,
    potentially killing the board. If not known to support 120GB drives,
    tho, my best alternative would a pci/ide addon card for < US$35 until
    I upgrade my production machine and the Athlon 1800+ and mobo get
    passed on to the server....

    Thanks for any recommendations,

    /ts

    --

    exec rm -r /bin/laden*

    ##--------------------------------------------------##
    "We are stardust, we are golden,
    And we've got to get ourselves back to the Garden"
    Joni Mitchell
    ##--------------------------------------------------##
     
    /.., Dec 5, 2003
    #1
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  2. /..

    farmuse Guest

    you answered your own question > get the controller card > better
    speed and less risky than flashing a bios. btw the 503+ was ATA33 not
    66. the 503A was 66. Good luck ~
     
    farmuse, Dec 5, 2003
    #2
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  3. Yes, I can confirm that my VA503+ recognizes and boots the 120gb Maxtor
    DiamondMax Plus 9 with a flash to JE4333. And I don't see any evidence on
    fic.com.tw that JE4333 is considered beta.

    (Note: compare the HDD FAQ on fic.com.tw with the one on the nearly useless
    fica.com.)

    http://www.fic.com.tw/support/motherboard/faq.aspx?model_id=19#qid210

    http://www.fica.com/site/html/services/faq_detail.asp?c_id=240000257

    Don't be fooled by JE439 which has the more recent date on ftp.fica.com .
    It's old. And don't be surprised that a manufacturer is a little reticent about
    the capabilities of legacy machines. They're in business to sell newer models.

    Jerome
     
    Cooperstown.Net, Dec 5, 2003
    #3
  4. /..

    John Smith Guest

    I though this NG was for big boys not wimps :)

    Latest BIOS is JE4333 or JE4333(APM) for AT PSU users, as modded by the very
    same Kyle Brant as on this NG. Completely reliable and safe to flash as I
    and many other users can testify, and IIRC supports up to 137GB, mine runs a
    80GB HDD.
    Taking the control card route is the other option, but sounds like you need
    a BIOS update in any case to handle a faster K6-2/III+ CPU - if you want to
    spend some money.

    Keith
     
    John Smith, Dec 5, 2003
    #4
  5. /..

    farmuse Guest

    some jerk wrote >

    I though this NG was for big boys not wimps :)


    ha ha , NOT funny; flashed MANY bioses in my time, never lost a
    machine yet. But it IS risky. In his case a $30 controller card would be
    the best bet, simply because the newer hard drive would opperate much
    much better.

    you know, everytime I suggest this some jerk says its not the
    thing to do. BS, complete and total BS.

    If he were adding a K6 III+, yes he would HAVE to flash, but in
    his case all he wants to do is add a larger hard drive.

    Promise controller cards are the best thing since sliced bread ~
    IMHO

    ~ farmuse
     
    farmuse, Dec 5, 2003
    #5
  6. Promise controller cards are fabulous, but a better candidate for the "best
    thing since sliced bread" designation is the competing technology in this
    discussion, i.e. flash memory. It may have seemed creepy to flash our BIOSes
    back in the last millennium when we first became aware of the feature on our
    MB's. But we're in an era of 256mb flash drives on a keychain. Nothing to it.

    Remember there's a primitive fallback ROM bios on the 503+ that will let you
    boot a floppy and try flashing again if you screw up. But I think it requires
    an ISA video card if you want to see what you're doing. Maybe there's a way to
    take the interactivity out of Flash713 and create a "GO.BAT" that will let you
    flash blind if necessary. (Too risky to make it autoexec.bat!)

    Jerome
     
    Cooperstown.Net, Dec 5, 2003
    #6
  7. /..

    Keith Dawson Guest

    What is your problem farmuse
    - not getting enough sex?
    - not killed enough?
    you write like some ex-army five-star general or GW's policy expert.
    People, especially those on NGs are allowed to have differing opinions
    to yours.
    If you don't like it go back to the desert(without your PC) and stick
    your head back in the sand or somewhere else where the sun don't shine.
    *IMHO*

    Keith
     
    Keith Dawson, Dec 6, 2003
    #7
  8. /..

    Kyle Brant Guest

    |
    | | > /.. wrote:
    | > > Hi, folks. My Linux server is running out of room. It's built
    on my
    | > > old va503+, with 128MB, and some 16GB IBM Dhea's. It runs great
    and
    | > > does what I need, but the bios rev. is probably original --
    1.15JE36
    | > > I installed the drive I recently replaced from my
    main/production
    | > > machine, a Maxtor 7200rpm 120GB UATA133 drive. Bios cannot see
    it,
    | > > it just freezes when trying to detect it (as master on 2nd
    channel.)
    | > > I did a bit of Googling (v.t.), and see that one of the last
    bios's
    | > > -- beta -- in development at FIC for the board, JE4333, has been
    | > > recommended, at least once, to provide support > 66GB.
    | > >
    | > > I wonder if anyone knows if that bios/board combination will
    support
    | > > the 120GB drive? Even if it would work at UDMA 66 instead of
    the
    | > > full 133, it would help to extend the life of these components.
    The
    | > > important thing is to increase storage space; most file
    transfers STR
    | > > probably won't exceed the network's (100TX) speed, I think.
    | > >
    | > > If the bios is known to work, it's worth it to try the flash,
    | > > potentially killing the board. If not known to support 120GB
    drives,
    | > > tho, my best alternative would a pci/ide addon card for < US$35
    until
    | > > I upgrade my production machine and the Athlon 1800+ and mobo
    get
    | > > passed on to the server....
    | > >
    | > > Thanks for any recommendations,
    | > >
    | > > /ts
    | > >
    | > > --
    | > >
    | > > exec rm -r /bin/laden*
    | > >
    | > > ##--------------------------------------------------##
    | > > "We are stardust, we are golden,
    | > > And we've got to get ourselves back to the Garden"
    | > > Joni Mitchell
    | > > ##--------------------------------------------------##
    | > you answered your own question > get the controller card >
    better
    | > speed and less risky than flashing a bios. btw the 503+ was ATA33
    not
    | > 66. the 503A was 66. Good luck ~
    |
    | I though this NG was for big boys not wimps :)
    |
    | Latest BIOS is JE4333 or JE4333(APM) for AT PSU users, as modded by
    the very
    | same Kyle Brant as on this NG. Completely reliable and safe to flash
    as I
    | and many other users can testify, and IIRC supports up to 137GB,
    mine runs a
    | 80GB HDD.
    | Taking the control card route is the other option, but sounds like
    you need
    | a BIOS update in any case to handle a faster K6-2/III+ CPU - if you
    want to
    | spend some money.
    |
    | Keith
    |

    One small correction, Tim Stinnett did the BIOS mod, and I have a link
    for the APM version if you need it.
     
    Kyle Brant, Dec 6, 2003
    #8
  9. /..

    farmuse Guest

    have several GF, just a lousy childhood ha. ty. I been on this NG
    for a long time. Chill out. We dont need the flame wars of the past. I
    was stating an opinion, and for some reason folks just dont see the
    advantage of the controller card. I mean, you really think there's no
    significant difference betweem ata33 and 100 ? thats the real advantage
    of the card. If folks think flashing is totally safe, they must be the
    more experienced ones. I see bad flashes posted on ng and forums almost
    daily. Its not for everyone. The controller card is 100% safe and
    overall a better choice.

    IMHO
     
    farmuse, Dec 6, 2003
    #9
  10. /..

    Keith Dawson Guest

    Thanks for the retraction.
    Variety is the spice of life, just have to learn to share it.
    Of course the control cards a good idea, but let everyone give their
    reasoned opinion and let the customer make up their mind, huh?

    Keith
    PS Just about to swap my VA-503+ for a VA-503A... a MVP3C2 and a
    K6BV3+/66 :)
    PPS I'll take cover.
     
    Keith Dawson, Dec 6, 2003
    #10
  11. /..

    Kyle Brant Guest

    My preference is to find a cheap controller card, even a Promise
    Ultra66 (the last 3 I bought were $8 or $10 ea., I think) is a better
    setup than using ata33. Frankly, since only the most recent new HD's
    can produce a sustained data rate above the 66MB/s speed, even an
    ultra66 is quite beneficial in terms of upgrade performance.

    On the flip side, I agree there are many who have failed with BIOS
    flash upgrades, but I've probably done it 40-50 times or more, and
    have yet to fail, the process is simple, create the boot disk with the
    flasher program and new BIOS file, power up the computer on a UPS,
    save your old BIOS to a file, have your command line for the flash
    utility fully sorted out, and just do it.

    --
    Best regards,
    Kyle
    |
    | have several GF, just a lousy childhood ha. ty. I been on this
    NG
    | for a long time. Chill out. We dont need the flame wars of the past.
    I
    | was stating an opinion, and for some reason folks just dont see the
    | advantage of the controller card. I mean, you really think there's
    no
    | significant difference betweem ata33 and 100 ? thats the real
    advantage
    | of the card. If folks think flashing is totally safe, they must be
    the
    | more experienced ones. I see bad flashes posted on ng and forums
    almost
    | daily. Its not for everyone. The controller card is 100% safe and
    | overall a better choice.
    |
    | IMHO
    |
    |
    |
    | Keith Dawson wrote:
    | > What is your problem farmuse
    | > - not getting enough sex?
    | > - not killed enough?
    | > you write like some ex-army five-star general or GW's policy
    expert.
    | > People, especially those on NGs are allowed to have differing
    opinions
    | > to yours.
    | > If you don't like it go back to the desert(without your PC) and
    stick
    | > your head back in the sand or somewhere else where the sun don't
    shine.
    | > *IMHO*
    | >
    | > Keith
    | >
    |
     
    Kyle Brant, Dec 7, 2003
    #11
  12. /..

    Robert Akins Guest

    Here is the closest thing to a reference to the JE4333 bios as a beta
    version:
    http://www.fic.com.tw/support/motherboard/faq.aspx?model_id=19
    Q40: I used mother board PA-2013. This board can't support K6III+. How
    to do for this problem? 2000/8/14
    A: We understand there is some area in this world lack of AMD K6(2)
    CPU supply, user was force to switch to AMD mobile CPU, we offer beta bios
    for user who are aware that risk they take to combinate K6(2)+ or K6(3)+
    with our socket 7 board. FIC has no rigid test reports for these
    combinations and we will not offer any further support of this case. Here
    are list of bios filename and FIC socket 7 models for it:
    a.. VA-503+ JE4330
    b.. PA-2013 JI4330
    c.. VA-503A JO4116 & JN4116
    (If you confuse on two bios, please follow original "English Letter"
    serial)
    d.. PAG-2130 SA4122 & SB4122


    The JE4330 bios was the predecessor of the JE4333 and both are considered
    beta versions because no extensive testing was done; the BIOSs were
    developed in response to user demand (and probably dealer demand too,
    because they thought it would help sell the boards) for a modification that
    would support the + CPUs. I don't know if the hard drive table was changed
    prior to 4333 or not. The beta designation really doesn't matter anymore
    since there has been far more real-world testing done by users of this NG
    than FIC would have done in any case.
    Robert
     
    Robert Akins, Dec 11, 2003
    #12
  13. /..

    /.. Guest

    By Thu, 11 Dec 2003 03:33:40 GMT, "Robert Akins"
    (op:)
    Thanks for that information re: the JE4333 bios and others, and to
    all who posted inre: my original questions. This was a lot of
    helpful info. I think that I'll try the bios flash in order to
    support the 120GB drive on the VA503+.

    The ide-addon cards I've looked at start at ~US$35, and go up; the
    choice seems to be between the Highpoint and Promise versions. It
    only seems to make sense that you'd (I'd) want a bootable version.
    Promise card also supports ATAPI devices -- cdroms and such -- but
    cost more. The bios flash is free, and there is high likelihood of
    success.

    I'm trying, now that I have time to fool around with the process, to
    determine just how to set it up. Looks like I should have a boot
    disk floppy with an o/s, probably win-98 dos, with blank autoexec.bat
    and blank config.sys; it should also contain the .bin file with the
    bios (I've downloaded that) and the flash program; and I should write
    a short .bat file to run the flash, pointing to the flash prog, with
    the bin file named as an argument and any options selected and
    enumerated. The command line of the form:

    flash713.exe /py /sy /sd /R je4333.bin

    Where:
    flash713.exe : program to run
    /py : do Program Flash Memory
    /sy : do Backup orig. bios to file
    /sd : Save DMI info to file
    /R : Reset system after programming
    je4333.bin : bios to program into flash rom

    Are these a good choice of options? Are they complete or excessive
    for this purpose? There are a few more options that I'm not sure are
    needed, nor what purpose they would serve, such as:

    cp: Clear PnP(ESCD) Data After Programming
    cd: Clear DMI Data After Programming
    cc: Clear CMOS Data After Programming

    Since it's been YEARS since I set the board up, I'll step through all
    bios screens and note settings. Should I also return the bios to
    defaults before flashing? And after the flash, should I boot once to
    be sure that the system is still working?


    Thanks again for the info,

    /..
     
    /.., Dec 12, 2003
    #13
  14. /..

    Kyle Brant Guest

    FWIW, you can find less expensive IDE controller cards at
    www.pricewatch.com, look at the I/O controller cards pricing.

    --
    Best regards,
    Kyle
    | By Thu, 11 Dec 2003 03:33:40 GMT, "Robert Akins"
    | <> decided to post
    | "Re: VA503+ Hardrive > 60GB?" to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.fic:
    |
    | >Here is the closest thing to a reference to the JE4333 bios as a
    beta
    | >version:
    | >http://www.fic.com.tw/support/motherboard/faq.aspx?model_id=19
    | > Q40: I used mother board PA-2013. This board can't support
    K6III+. How
    | >to do for this problem? 2000/8/14
    | > A: We understand there is some area in this world lack of
    AMD K6(2)
    | >CPU supply, user was force to switch to AMD mobile CPU, we offer
    beta bios
    | >for user who are aware that risk they take to combinate K6(2)+ or
    K6(3)+
    | >with our socket 7 board. FIC has no rigid test reports for these
    | >combinations and we will not offer any further support of this
    case. Here
    | >are list of bios filename and FIC socket 7 models for it:
    | > a.. VA-503+ JE4330
    | > b.. PA-2013 JI4330
    | > c.. VA-503A JO4116 & JN4116
    | > (If you confuse on two bios, please follow original
    "English Letter"
    | >serial)
    | > d.. PAG-2130 SA4122 & SB4122
    | >
    | >
    | >The JE4330 bios was the predecessor of the JE4333 and both are
    considered
    | >beta versions because no extensive testing was done; the BIOSs were
    | >developed in response to user demand (and probably dealer demand
    too,
    | >because they thought it would help sell the boards) for a
    modification that
    | >would support the + CPUs. I don't know if the hard drive table was
    changed
    | >prior to 4333 or not. The beta designation really doesn't matter
    anymore
    | >since there has been far more real-world testing done by users of
    this NG
    | >than FIC would have done in any case.
    | >Robert
    | >| >> Yes, I can confirm that my VA503+ recognizes and boots the
    120gb
    | >Maxtor
    | >> DiamondMax Plus 9 with a flash to JE4333. And I don't see any
    evidence
    | >on
    | >> fic.com.tw that JE4333 is considered beta.
    | >>
    | >> (Note: compare the HDD FAQ on fic.com.tw with the one on the
    nearly
    | >useless
    | >> fica.com.)
    | >>
    | >>
    http://www.fic.com.tw/support/motherboard/faq.aspx?model_id=19#qid210
    | >>
    | >>
    http://www.fica.com/site/html/services/faq_detail.asp?c_id=240000257
    | >>
    | >> Don't be fooled by JE439 which has the more recent date on
    | >ftp.fica.com .
    | >> It's old. And don't be surprised that a manufacturer is a little
    reticent
    | >about
    | >> the capabilities of legacy machines. They're in business to sell
    newer
    | >models.
    | >>
    | >> Jerome
    |
    | (op:)
    | Thanks for that information re: the JE4333 bios and others, and to
    | all who posted inre: my original questions. This was a lot of
    | helpful info. I think that I'll try the bios flash in order to
    | support the 120GB drive on the VA503+.
    |
    | The ide-addon cards I've looked at start at ~US$35, and go up; the
    | choice seems to be between the Highpoint and Promise versions. It
    | only seems to make sense that you'd (I'd) want a bootable version.
    | Promise card also supports ATAPI devices -- cdroms and such -- but
    | cost more. The bios flash is free, and there is high likelihood of
    | success.
    |
    | I'm trying, now that I have time to fool around with the process, to
    | determine just how to set it up. Looks like I should have a boot
    | disk floppy with an o/s, probably win-98 dos, with blank
    autoexec.bat
    | and blank config.sys; it should also contain the .bin file with the
    | bios (I've downloaded that) and the flash program; and I should
    write
    | a short .bat file to run the flash, pointing to the flash prog, with
    | the bin file named as an argument and any options selected and
    | enumerated. The command line of the form:
    |
    | flash713.exe /py /sy /sd /R je4333.bin
    |
    | Where:
    | flash713.exe : program to run
    | /py : do Program Flash Memory
    | /sy : do Backup orig. bios to file
    | /sd : Save DMI info to file
    | /R : Reset system after programming
    | je4333.bin : bios to program into flash rom
    |
    | Are these a good choice of options? Are they complete or excessive
    | for this purpose? There are a few more options that I'm not sure
    are
    | needed, nor what purpose they would serve, such as:
    |
    | cp: Clear PnP(ESCD) Data After Programming
    | cd: Clear DMI Data After Programming
    | cc: Clear CMOS Data After Programming
    |
    | Since it's been YEARS since I set the board up, I'll step through
    all
    | bios screens and note settings. Should I also return the bios to
    | defaults before flashing? And after the flash, should I boot once
    to
    | be sure that the system is still working?
    |
    |
    | Thanks again for the info,
    |
    | /..
    |
     
    Kyle Brant, Dec 12, 2003
    #14
  15. Hi, /.. .

    It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it. A lot of motherboard
    manufacturers make their BIOS .zip packages just as you describe. It is not
    strictly necessary to make a .bat file out of the command line. You can just
    type it in at the DOS command prompt. If you find it more convenient to out it
    in a .bat file, though (e.g., you may be testing out a BIOS, so you may be
    flashing back and forth), then go for it.

    I usually don't bother setting the BIOS back to its defaults before flashing
    (unless I'm overclocking or something), but I do usually reset it after flashing
    and then manually change the values back to the way they were. The reason I do
    this is in case some fields were added or removed from the BIOS, I don't have to
    worry about some unknown data lurking in there. I believe the "/cc" switch will
    do this for you.

    Just make sure you are using the correct version of the flash program, and
    make sure your computer does not turn off while you are flashing the BIOS.

    --Alex
     
    Alex Zorrilla, Dec 12, 2003
    #15
  16. /..

    Robert Akins Guest

    What I would suggest, is if you have a Win ME, 98 or 95 machine, just format
    a floppy and use the full option, and copy system files. Once it has
    finished, read the report and make sure it has no bad sectors. If it does,
    throw it away and start over again. Once you have a bootable disk, copy the
    flash program and new bios file to the floppy. Take any precautions you can
    to ensure the power does not go off while in the flash process (if you have
    a UPS, use it). Go into the BIOS and set the computer to boot first from
    the A drive. You can also select Load BIOS Defaults if you have changed
    numerous things before, just to be on the safe side. Save settings and
    reboot with the floppy disk you just created in the drive. Once the system
    boots to the A prompt, just do a dir command if you need to remind yourself
    the names of the flash program and bios file (writing them down wouldn't be
    a bad idea). Run the flash program manually and enter the new file name
    when requested. It wouldn't hurt to save your existing bios file while
    you're at it (don't write protect the floppy). Once it has completed,
    Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot and go back into BIOS setup (you can eject the floppy
    at this point if you like). Load BIOS defaults again with the new version.
    Save and exit. Enter BIOS setup one more time. Now if you want to change
    any settings to match your configuration you can. Also set the boot
    sequence back to your preference. You should be good to go after that.
    Robert
     
    Robert Akins, Dec 12, 2003
    #16
  17. /..

    Louie Guest

    Don't be fooled by JE439 which has the more recent date on
    My 503+ has the JE439 version of BIOS. Should I flash to JE4333? I'm
    having trouble getting JE439 to recognise an Acer 1032A-002 CD-RW. Thanks.
    --
    Be seeing you,

    Louie
    Gainesville, FL, USA

    eat the flies to email
     
    Louie, Dec 13, 2003
    #17
  18. Doubt it will make a difference. Something to try, if you haven't: boot
    from a WinME startup diskette with CD-ROM support. It'll attempt to drive your
    Acer read only with generic drivers and thus let you rule out driver issues.

    Jerome
     
    Cooperstown.Net, Dec 13, 2003
    #18
  19. This 503+ got a flash to support the K6 III+, but I still ended up using the
    Promise card .. transfer and general HD performance was about 40-60%better.

    One other good reason for using a Promise card on older mobo's -- put your
    hispeed devices on the Promise and put the low-speed stuff on the 503's ; it's
    amazing how much better ATAPI devices work if they are masters on their own
    channels.
     
    R. Asby Dragon, Dec 19, 2003
    #19
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