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IDE - SATA converter boards (using them under win-98)


Nomen
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I bought a few of these small IDE - SATA boards on Ebay recently. They are bi-directional adapters and can be plugged directly into either a motherboard IDE connector (to provide a SATA port to connect to a SATA drive) or can be plugged into an IDE drive (to allow an IDE drive to be connected to a motherboard SATA connector). I know there are lots of IDE/SATA/USB adapters around - this board has no USB connectivity.

I'm wondering about connecting a large SATA drive to an IDE port on Win-98 systems and the 137 GB problem. A system I'm thinking of trying this on has an Intel 82801DB Ultra ATA Storage controller and is using IntelVSD.VXD and IntelATA.MPD for the IDE drivers. I do not appear to be using ESDI_506.PDR. I recall that Intel made a set of drivers (Intel Application Accelerator?) way back for certain controllers and (I think) it had the side effect of not having the 137 gb problem (28 bit LBA vs 48 bit LBA). Anyways,

I'm going to try a spare 250 gb SATA drive with one of these boards and see if I can read/write properly to the entire drive. I might split the drive into multiple 80 gb volumes and then make sure I can access each volume correctly. Other than that, I have some motherboards that don't have IDE ports where I run win-xp and 7 and have a bunch of old IDE drives to clean up and off-load files and this seems like a good way to connect these drives.

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These IDE to SATA adapters take care of the 48bit addressing because they are using ATA-6 or 7. There are a number of caveats see here and a few of my posts above and below https://msfn.org/board/topic/180571-hd-ac97-audio-beyond-the-137gb128gib-barrier/?do=findComment&comment=1175057 The 48bit extender unofficial driver for 98 may still need to be needed though to read the larger drives properly - checked in Paragon Partition Manager -  just have to see when connecting a non boot drive that has been formatted if you have all that is required to use the larger drives. I was running with the original ESDI_506.PDR until just recently as well so I do not know but I have installed the above mentioned driver for WinME and it made a difference.  If you update to use Rudolph Loew's PATCHMEM.ZIP then ESDI_506.PDR is updated/patched only if you use the /M option. Correction, was timed closely to PATCHSATA explained in next post.
 

Edited by Goodmaneuver
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3 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

These IDE to SATA adapters take care of the 48bit addressing because they are using ATA-6 or 7. There are a number of caveats see here and a few of my posts above and below https://msfn.org/board/topic/180571-hd-ac97-audio-beyond-the-137gb128gib-barrier/?do=findComment&comment=1175057 The 48bit extender unofficial driver for 98 may still need to be needed though to read the larger drives properly - checked in Paragon Partition Manager -  just have to see when connecting a non boot drive that has been formatted if you have all that is required to use the larger drives. I was running with the original ESDI_506.PDR until just recently as well so I do not know but I have installed the above mentioned driver for WinME and it made a difference.  If you update to use Rudolph Loew's PATCHMEM.ZIP then ESDI_506.PDR is updated/patched only if you use the /M option.
 

Aside from the other issues in this post... PATCHMEM has absolutely nothing to do with ESDI_506.PDR, or SATA drives, or 48-bit LBA, or ATA in general, or anything remotely related to or resembling a hard drive whatsoever for that matter. :whistle:

A standard SATA to IDE/IDE to SATA adapter will most definitely not provide compatibility with 48-bit LBA drives on a system that does not already support this in the BIOS.

Where does this stuff come from? :wacko:

--

Now, as to the original subject. These types of adapters are now very common and cheap.. however the quality can vary widely. Do your homework on manufacturers and especially chipsets used.

The Intel Application Accelerator does provide 48-bit LBA (beyond 137GB) compatibility for Windows 98/ME on certain supported chipsets, but it is locked down to these chipsets and cannot be used on "post-9x support" systems. IIRC, rloew said that there was a bug or some other limitation somewhere in the IAA, but I no longer remember offhand what exactly he said about it. It's probably stated somewhere here on the forum if one takes the time to search.

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9 hours ago, LoneCrusader said:

Aside from the other issues in this post... PATCHMEM has absolutely nothing to do with ESDI_506.PDR, or SATA drives, or 48-bit LBA, or ATA in general, or anything remotely related to or resembling a hard drive whatsoever for that matter.

ESDI_506.PDR was patched with a hidden attribute with a time stamp that was the same as the PATCHMEM.EXE /M installation. I may have tried RLoew's PTCHSATA.EXE which explains the ESDI_506.PDR update. So PATCHMEM has absolutely nothing to do with ESDI_506.PDR is correct.

9 hours ago, LoneCrusader said:

A standard SATA to IDE/IDE to SATA adapter will most definitely not provide compatibility with 48-bit LBA drives on a system that does not already support this in the BIOS.

You did not believe me before but it is true the SATA hardware uses 48bit addressing and I have tested it on a SIS 5597/98 motherboard. A 500GB SATA drive booted with this early motherboard with the IDE to SATA plug in board but read my link I showed.

RLoew said for the PTCHSATA.EXE

NOTE: This file will not eliminate the 137GB Hard Drive limit for either the
PATA or SATA Controllers. You will need a Driver Patch such as my
High Capacity Disk Patch.

 This file has not been tested with, and may not work with, the Intel
 Application Accelerator, VIA MPD or SIS Drivers.

Edited by Goodmaneuver
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16 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

You did not believe me before but it is true the SATA hardware uses 48bit addressing and I have tested it on a SIS 5597/98 motherboard. A 500GB SATA drive booted with this early motherboard with the IDE to SATA plug in board but read my link I showed.

You may have booted with it, but did you actually verify that you were able to access and actually USE the entire disk beyond the ~137GB barrier, WITHOUT corruption or errors? There's a big difference in being able to boot with a newer, larger drive and actually being able to use it as intended/expected. AFAIK, there has never been an issue with "booting" from these larger drives on older systems, the problems only arise when you attempt to write data and/or access beyond the limit.

It is my understanding that the adapters that are the subject of this thread only provide a translation of the data streams from SATA->PATA "protocol" and vice versa. This is only a bridge across the two ports to connect a drive of one type to a connector of another type. These intermediate bridges cannot override the actual PATA/SATA onboard controller and/or the BIOS, through which the OS must communicate with the drives in question. If the HDD controller and/or the BIOS does not know how to address a "larger" hard drive, then a bridge that simply changes the drive type connector cannot cure this deficiency.

An add-in controller card that has its own HDD controller and ports however, is another thing entirely.

16 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

RLoew ... PTCHSATA.EXE ...will not eliminate the 137GB Hard Drive limit ...

Let's not further confuse rloew's tools. PATCHATA removes the 137GB barrier. PTCHSATA allows use of Native SATA controllers (i.e. not "Legacy" / "IDE" / "PATA"). Only the first is necessary on an IDE/PATA only system. The second will probably be needed in addition to the first on a SATA only or SATA/PATA mixed system. Both of these patches only apply to the built-in Windows 9x ESDI_506.PDR driver, and will not help you if you are using another manufacturer-provided driver, whether it's IAA or manufacturer-provided SATA controller drivers.

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It is clear if you plug in a drive bigger than 32GB on the SIS 5597/98 IDE then it will not boot but it does if you use the SATA plugin adapter. The system was VISTA and I accidentally had the wrong IDE port set set in BIOS for booting. Once it started to boot I was not sure what to do as the owner had a sign in password so I turned off power but it was too late. The drive had been encrypted already and we lost the data as the HDD needed maintenance - will not work on most machines. As I said with my ME system when viewing this drive 500GB was just outside the IDE size I estimate, as with Partition Manger the partition was not shown properly. Putting the drive on a USB port would have been the safer way to go of course in the first place but I had been less experienced at that time and not as easily done. For some reason I was using SmartRecovery program to retrieve files from what I recall and it may have been the encryption that lead me to this. The public user files were retrievable but not files in other places. Normally all that is required to retrieve files anywhere in an off-line drive is to use Partition Explorer from Paragon to extract the files using Win9x. I had the greater than 137GB patch; KernelEX4.5.2; Paragon NTFS for 98, and unofficial WinMe SP1 installed which has SP2.CAB inside.

If both PATCHATA and PTCHSATA patch the same file then if you install both patches then it would only work for the last driver patch that is installed, you would think. Not all RLoew products are available like File64. I have the demo and it stops several games starting but no full package available.

Edited by Goodmaneuver
There were 2 drives involved one an external USB and exact sequence of events may not be 100%.
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21 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

...SIS 5597/98...

I've never had any experience with this chipset, so I can't speak from any experience with it. Maybe the SATA adapter did in fact cause something to be "reported differently" to the BIOS which allowed a drive connected through it to boot where a similar larger drive directly connected would not. It's impossible to know. But I would definitely not place any faith in such an adapter "providing" 48-bit LBA support where the original BIOS does not. Only thorough testing with multiple writes + retrievals of data beyond the barrier can prove whether or not the issue is resolved, and even then the results most likely only apply to that extremely SPECIFIC hardware configuration.

21 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

If both PATCHATA and PTCHSATA patch the same file then if you install both patches then it would only work for the last driver patch that is installed, you would think.

Not really, if you understand how file patching works. Each patch fixes a specific issue in a specific section of code. These can easily be mutually exclusive.

Remember that even Microsoft HotFixes are "cumulative" - fixes included in previous versions are still present when a new issue is fixed.

It is worth noting for the record here that the "most complete" / "ultimate" patched version of ESDI_506.PDR exists in the TBPLUS package. This version includes everything from the two mentioned packages plus several other fixes.

21 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

Not all RLoew products are available like File64. I have the demo and it stops several games starting but no full package available.

I know. :( There are several that even I do not have. I'm hoping that Jason does not give up on expanding the site he set up for his dad's work.

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All that was required was to get over the hurdle of the boot then the drivers take over. Remember the drive limit pins that were on the hard drives they allowed the larger IDE drives to boot on the old hardware. Patching yes good thank you. TBPLUS package is not available also but I think I have the full package of File64.

Edited by Goodmaneuver
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To recap:  I have a few Soyo socket 478 motherboards with Intel 82801DB IDE controller.  I have installed long ago the IAA which replaces ESDI_506.pdr with IntelVSD.VXD and IntelATA.MPD for the IDE drivers.

I attached a 250 gb SATA drive using the small IDE-SATA adapter (the adapter plugged directly into the second IDE port on the motherboard) and from DOS (format + fdisk) I have formatted the drive into 4 volumes (65/65/65/44 gb).  During POST startup the drive is detected and displayed properly by the bios in the secondary master IDE position.

In Windows I have copied several hundred MB from my existing C drive to the last volume (44 gb) on the sata drive and these files seem to be ok.

I am sure this would not have worked if I was using the original ESDI_506.pdr and maybe there are other alternatives to the 48 bit LBA problem when it comes to IDE drives, I've never attached to a win-98 system any IDE drives larger than 80 gb.  For me it is somewhat rare to have any IDE drives larger than 80 gb but I do have some 320 gb IDE that I was using to build some XP systems 10 years ago (I still have 1 or 2 of those drives still sealed in mylar bag).  But for some IDE controllers the IAA files seem to work ok (this is the first time I've ever tested them under these conditions of having >137 gb IDE drive).

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Intel 82801DB IDE is Ultra ATA/100/66/33 so if you plug one of your 320GB IDE drives directly to the IDE port then the BIOS will not recognize the drive without the size limiter bridge shorted - if it has one. This is because the BIOS has been set to 28bit for sector count of which each sector is 512 bytes. This means the BIOS can only see up to 137GB or 128GiB. The advantage with BIOS configured this way back in the day was that it freed up some bits for other devices. Your results confirm the SATA hardware had to recognize the 250GB drive and the BIOS has no problems assigning the drive. You can format the drive to one full volume partition if you like by placing the drive on one IDE port and a Win98 boot operating system drive on the other to which you format the drive.

Edited by Goodmaneuver
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5 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

Intel 82801DB IDE is Ultra ATA/100/66/33 so if you plug one of your 320GB IDE drives directly to the IDE port then the BIOS will not recognize the drive without the size limiter bridge shorted - if it has one. This is because the BIOS has been set to 28bit for sector count of which each sector is 512 bytes. This means the BIOS can only see up to 137GB or 128GiB. The advantage with BIOS configured this way back in the day was that it freed up some bits for other devices. Your results confirm the SATA hardware had to recognize the 250GB drive and the BIOS has no problems assigning the drive. You can format the drive to one full volume partition if you like by placing the drive on one IDE port and a Win98 boot operating system drive on the other to which you format the drive.

The Soyo motherboard in question has a 2002 or 2003 bios and I'm sure there are no socket-478 P4 motherboards ever made that were not LBA-48 bit capable straight from their original factory V1 bios.   I could have formatted the drive as a single volume (single primary partition) even booted directly into DOS, but if I wanted to test the ability to read and write to logical sectors far out beyond the 137 gb point I assume that by creating 4 volumes as I did that the volumes are assigned fixed sector positions (start and end) and thus writing directly to the last volume would have beyond the 137 gb point.

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4 hours ago, Nomen said:

and thus writing directly to the last volume would have beyond the 137 gb point

One possible effect of buggy support is when the writes go to a totally different LBA than the requested, damaging existing data.

If you test just a part of the drive this may go undetected.

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