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Question About Using A SATA Drive With Windows 98SE


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I am not finding too much information using the search in the forum. I thought there was a discussion on this but I'm not finding it. I have decided to get an extra hard drive or two for spares. These are 80 GB IDE drives for a notebook that I am looking at ... Newegg has these available ... the 160 GB was just a few dollars more but they are sold out and probably are gone for good. This is a Seagate Barracuda drive but as I said it is IDE ... these drives now seem to be scarce these days ... there is also a Seagate Barracuda 250 GB drive for just a few dollars more with free shipping but it is a SATA drive. My computers are older ... Thinkpad T42 - Pentium M, Dell Latitude - Pentium 3 ... I guess I need some advice on buying the older IDE 80 GB drive or the newer 250 GB SATA drive.

I'm finding people on Google asking the same question ... getting mixed "yes and no" results.

Example: Does anyone know if you can use SATA with Windows 98 SE?

1st reply:

Should not be a problem if you have a mother board that supports SATA or

your using a host controller for SATA with drivers for win98SE.

2nd reply:

I just set up a new computer with a SATA HD and Windows 98/SE.

SE didn't care a bit. I had absolutely NO problem with it till I tried to upgrade to XP pro. To load XP-Pro, I had to use the SATA driver disk that came with the mobo. XP can be such a pain in the Bxxx!

But, yes, 98/SE ran just great on the SATA drive.

.... so is this the main problem with an older notebook ... having a motherboard that doesn't support SATA or can I download SATA drivers to make the SATA drive work? I not an expert in any way dealing with newer stuff that "may or may not" work with Windows 98SE. I appreciate some expert ( anybody above my level is an expert ! ) input concerning these newer hard drives and Windows 98SE. I figured I should be getting some IDE hard drives before they are gone unless I can use a SATA drive instead. ... thanks

Edited by duffy98
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You have four options for using SATA Drives.

1. Motherboard or Add-In Card with Windows 9x RAID Driver.

2. Motherboard or Add-in Card (Not AHCI Only) with my SATA Patch.

3. SATA to IDE Adapter.

4. External SATA Enclosure.

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Moreover, when the subject of your question is Win 9x/ME, you ought to seach *this forum* and its subforum first, using the forum's search engine, before turning to Google. The info on Win 9x/ME out on the whole internet is too scanty, and then also interspersed with lots of misinformation, for you to get meaningful results fast.

In any case, what's the chipset and southbridge on the motherboard you intend to put SATA on? With that info I can give you a more specific reply. Use CPU-Z to find out the motherboard info and its chipset info.

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Guest wsxedcrfv

.... so is this the main problem with an older notebook ... having a motherboard that doesn't support SATA or can I download SATA drivers to make the SATA drive work? I appreciate some expert ( anybody above my level is an expert ! ) input concerning these newer hard drives and Windows 98SE. I figured I should be getting some IDE hard drives before they are gone unless I can use a SATA drive instead. ... thanks

There is a big difference if we're talking about a portable computer (notebook, netbook, laptop, etc) vs a desktop computer. This is true for many things related to windows 98. Windows 98 will always be more applicable to desktop PC's than to laptops or netbooks. I think most people should forget the idea of installing win-98 on portable PC's because lack of proper drivers for the WIFI adapter, followed by lack of drivers for the chipset and video components. If you have a portable PC that has acceptible driver support for win-98, then that portable PC is probably so old and under-powered that it's not worth lugging around.

But your question in confusing. You mention that your main problem is with an "older notebook". But later you think you should be getting more IDE drives before they're gone - which leads me to believe that you think you can substitute an IDE drive for a sata drive in a notebook pc.

When it comes to Win-98 and SATA drives, the issue of compatibility or functionality is not really with the drive, but with the controller. You need to be able to find win-98 drivers for the SATA controller, regardless if the controller is integrated into the motherboard or comes as an add-on PCI card.

So you need to tell us what your primary computing devices are. Are they desktop PC's or are they portable laptops or notebooks?

For portable PC's, forget the idea of running windows 98.

For a desktop PC, you need to get yourself an old PCI SATA card and scrounge for win-98 drivers. You can also dig around for old PC's or motherboards that have integrated SATA-1 controllers and use that as a basis for a new win-98 PC. I would suggest you confine your search to motherboards or PC's that date to between 2004 and 2006.

The computer I'm typing this on has an Intel 845-based chipset and was made in 2003 or 2004. It has a PCI Sata controller card that I have various SATA drives connected to it at various times. This includes a 250, 400, 500 and 750 gb SATA hard drive. I'm also building some new win-98 systems based on the Asrock DualVSTA motherboard which has an integrated SATA controller and for which I have found win-98 drivers.

The benefit of running Win-98 from a SATA hard drive is that there is no 137 gb drive-size limitation when using a SATA drive, so there is no need to worry about obtaining a patched version of ESDI_506.PDR, which is necessary when using IDE drives larger than 137 gb.

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OK, thanks for all the info everyone ... rloew, thanks for listing the options ... I will have to check each one out. I can still buy IDE hard drives just going to have to hunt around for them. I bought three 40 GB IDE drives in 2006 for spares but now wish I had picked up a larger size drive also. At the time the larger drives were still high in price ... just left too many years go by before I realized portable drives had changed from IDE to SATA.

dencorso ... I ran CPUz on my NEC ... Chipset: Intel ... i440BX/ZX Rev 1 ... no Southbridge info listed ... blank This NEC notebook was bought in 2001 ... it's a Pentium 3 .... My Dell notebook is also around that time frame, it has an Intel 845-based chipset ... Pentium 3. I appreciate your help ... I will just look around for some IDE drives ... I have some large USB external drives that I can use for storage and large downloads. I just didn't know how these notebook drives had changed since 2006.

My computers have IDE drives in them now and I will just try to find some IDE drives online somewhere .... Newegg has those 80 GB drives but I'd like a couple of larger drives ... but I can live with the 80 GB drives if that's all I can find. I should have started looking this time last year for these older type drives.

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Last year I came across the Intel Application Accelerator while at the Intel website looking for any chipset updates. I didn't fully understand what it was or would do but since it was listed to also be for Windows 98SE, I downloaded it and installed it. This is the description provided by Intel:

The Intel Application Accelerator is designed to improve performance of the storage sub-system and overall system performance. This software delivers improved performance through several ingredient technologies (components). Certain components will be available only on Pentium 4 processor-based systems running Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Software installation is flexible and fully automated for MS Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows Me, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, and Windows XP operating systems.

As I said, I didn't fully understand what it was supposed to do on my notebooks but I figured it would hurt anything and I was curious what it might actually do. I was thinking it might make "flash drives" work faster. So you are saying this application would be necessary to be able to use a SATA hard drive. Intel also said that ver 2.2.2 was the last version for "mobile chipsets". ...


Intel Application Accelerator

Note: Mobile chipset support was removed from Intel Application Accelerator version 2.3. Version 2.2.2 is the last version available that supports mobile chipsets.

The files above contain the Intel Application Accelerator. This utility updates Windows XP, Windows ME, Windows 98SE, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0 to reduce the storage sub-system bottleneck - enabling faster delivery of data from the hard drive to the processor and other system level hardware. The Intel Application Accelerator replaces the Intel Ultra ATA Storage Driver.


Well, thanks for the additional info ... maybe a better understanding of the Intel Application Accelerator than I had a year ago.

Edited by duffy98
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NEC ... Chipset: Intel ... i440BX/ZX

My Dell notebook is also around that time frame, it has an Intel 845-based chipset

Both chipset support IDE drives only. Most likely there is no SATA connector available.

NEC BIOS maybe limited to 28 bit LBA.

Last year I came across the Intel Application Accelerator while at the Intel website looking for any chipset updates

You may add a 48 bit LBA drive, example a 160GB IDE disk. http://www.48bitlba.com/win98.htm

Can anybody verify this? Any additional settings required?

Newegg list a HM160HC, WD1600BEVE, WD2500BEVE and a WD3200BEVE.

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thanks cdob ... for the additional information. I did put a new 40 GB IDE hard drive into the NEC in 2006 and also my Dell Latitude ... both had come with smaller hard drives ... a 12 GB and a 20 GB, so an IDE drive will work in the NEC. That was the last time I bought any internal hard drives (2006) ... bought three 40 GB IDE drives, two I put into my notebooks and I wanted a "spare", still have one unopened 40 GB HD, but now with "no warranty", after all these years ... but the other two are still working just fine ... I bought that NEC in 2001 and was surprised later on to find out it had that older chipset ... however, in 2001 ... I didn't know very much about chipsets ... It had an Intel Pentium 3 inside and at that time that was still "state of the art" or close, so I was expecting a "faster" computer, that's all I knew back then ... get a Pentium 3. When I learned more about "chipsets" later on I was wondering myself why the older chipset ... Intel ... i440BX/ZX Rev 1 .... I can't even run the Intel Application Accelerator (IAA) on the NEC since these are the chipsets that are listed that the Accelerator will work with:

Intel 810 Chipset Family

Intel 815 Chipset Family

Intel 820 Chipset Family

Intel 840 Chipset Family

Intel 845 Chipset Family

Intel 850 Chipset Family

Intel 860 Chipset Family

I can run it on my Dell Latitude and my IBM Thinkpad T42 has a Pentium M 1600 with i855PM chipset so I can probably run it on that notebook also. I think I only ran the IAA on my Dell, as I said earlier, I wasn't sure what the IAA would do or what benefits I might get from it.

Edited by duffy98
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dencorso .... discovered something interesting a few minutes ago, so I have some further information regarding the chipset in my NEC. I've had CPUz for years on my computers but I also have Everest Home Edition v2.20.405. I usually just run CPUz for any "quick" information I might want and Everest I will run when I need more detailed or just more information. A few posts back you said to run CPUz and give you the chipset information that it revealed, which I did.

CPUz info: Intel ... i440BX/ZX Rev 1 ... no Southbridge info listed

but when I run Everest I get different and much more information, including Southbridge readings.

Everest info: Intel 82443BX/ZX ... South Bridge: Intel 82371EB PIIX4E

So I do have an 800 series chipset in the NEC but why CPUz is reporting very different information from Everest has got me puzzled ... and yes my CPUz version is up to date ... v1.54 ... downloading v1.56 now ... since they separated Windows 98 from the main download. Anyway, I have new, better chipset information for you. I may consider getting CPUz off my computers and using Everest HE for everything, I've had it on my computers for years also. Perhaps others could be getting different information on older computers using CPUz ... Everest is a much better product anyway with tons more information provided. So I would be interested in your opinion (or anyone's opinion) why the readings are different between these two programs and has anyone else noticed different readings or information using these two programs. Any input or ideas welcomed.

dencorso ... now with this "new" information ... can you provide any new information on using a SATA drive, as from your earlier post asking for the Southbridge information?

thanks ...

Edited by duffy98
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Which NEC notebook do you use?

Which Dell notebook do you use?

BIOS may limit size too. Which BIOS version do you use? Does exist a update?

There is a Intel PIIX Bus Master IDE driver for BX chipset. But I doubt, this helps at your case.

As for 48 bit LBA

Which hard disk size do you like? Newegg list a 120gb WD1200BEVE

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The NEC is a NEC Versa SXi and a Dell Latirude CPXj plus I have the IBM Thinkpad T42 - Pentium M ... someone posted two years back that the Thinkpad T42 was the last Thinkpad that would work with Windows 98SE ... found a refurbished one by IBM and grabbed it ... the best computer I have at present. I will run the Intel Application Accelerator (IAA) later today on the NEC ... I'm finished with CPUz .... taking it off later today also ... will use Everest for all my information from now on ... I also have Astra32 installed and Belarc Advisor so I'm covered anyway for information. I probably will not order anything from Newegg, finding some better deals on Amazon through the Amazon sellers, have to really search and dig around. I'm wondering why CPUz is giving me information that doesn't match up in any way with Everest HE. I probably will just keep searching for an IDE hard drive ... I just found out yesterday that ATA and IDE hard drives are the same. Plenty of ATA drives at Amazon.


What is ATA / IDE?

ATA (AT Attachment) and IDE (Integrated Device Electronics) are one and the same: a disk drive implementation that integrates the controller on the disk drive itself. This was directly connected to the I/O bus of the first PC - the IBM AT. As a consequence, the bus width is still 16 bits on all implementations.

... plus I found this info about using the IAA:

You can use the Intel Application Accelerator to access the full capacity of hard drives that are larger than 137 GB on supported Intel® chipsets with a supported operating system. The Intel Application Accelerator supports hard drives that are greater than 137 GB -- which is also referred to as 48-bit logical block addressing (LBA).

Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Me, Windows 98 SE, Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 do not provide native support for hard drives that are larger than 137 GB. 48-bit LBA support can be added with Windows XP Service Pack 1 and Windows 2000 Service Pack 4. In order to enable hard drives larger than 137 GB, you will need to install the Intel Application Accelerator or install a 3rd party 48-bit LBA controller card.

Although the Intel Application Accelerator supports 48-bit LBA hard drives, it is not designed to, nor is it capable of, modifying partition sizes. When using Windows Me, Windows 98SE or Windows 98 you may need to install a 3rd party hard drive partitioning software such as PartitionMagic or Partition Commander in order to increase the partition size to the hard drive's full capacity.

.... this is all very interesting ... thanks

Edited by duffy98
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Older CPU-Z usually work better with older motherboards... In any case, Everest is detecting your southbridge correctly and the version of CPU-Z you're using is not. Try CPU-Z 1.38, just for the record. And, if you feel like it, you can find the last one that works for you: here is a great collection of its older versions.

Now, regarding the 82371EB PIIX4E southbridge, it doesn't support SATA (but supports PATA aka IDE, of course, but just up to Ultra DMA/33 or ATA-4 or UDMA2), and, BTW, it doesn't support USB 2.0 either (just USB 1,1). So SATA disks can only be used if you give them a hardware SATA to PATA converter... but, in doing so you'll be limited in the same ways as if you were using a normal IDE HDD. This quotation of Sper's results is relevant:

At first it was not not a good choice, because the motherboard built in controlled detected the connection as 40pin cable. So, the mode was reduced to just UDMA2. But, I've learned, the 80 pin connection is recognized by the pin 34 of the IDE connector. If it is grounded, the controller complains about 40 wire connection, no longer. After modifying the adapter the UDMA5 mode kicked in, and the overal performance was higher than with the PCI SATA controller.

However, since the maximum speed your southbridge allows you to attain *is* UDMA2, no grounding by hand should be needed, and the converter ought to just work. :)

So, I'd say your safest bet would be to stick to a 120 GB PATA HDD. If that's not enough, then we'll have to tackle the issue of 48-bit LBA, which your BIOS (SXi-BIOS-v16 is the latest still offered by NEC) probably doesn't support. And, while the Intel Application Acellerator has you covered, you'd have to use special measures to be safe while on DOS (at least at boot time). I'd advise a third party BIOS upgrade or a DDO, but YMMV. So the ball is up on your court again... what do you wish to do, from this point?


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dencorso ... thanks for the CPU-Z link ... just tried that version (1.38) and I get the same exact information that v1.54 gave me and no Southbridge information at all. So Everest will be what I will use from now on ... already have it on all my notebooks anyway. Perhaps others might be getting incorrect information on older computers, maybe newer computers should also be double checked with another program to compare the results.

Appreciate your input and help on the SATA hard drive question. Many things have been cleared up over the past week and I know a lot more about hard drives than I did a week ago. ... I will continue searching around for an older hard drive ... thanks to "all" for the help.

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