Hard Drive Configuration

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  • Configure the drive
    • Pre-installation before physically installing a hard disk
    • Designating the drive as a master/slave or using the Cable Select (CS) feature.
    • Master has first priority over Slave.
    • SATA drives do not require configuration with jumper blocks
  • Configure the host adapter (if used)
    • Today’s PCs have integrated host adapters
    • Older hard disk drives require separate host adapters(via bus slots
    • SCSI drives require a separate host adapter (involves system resources)
    • ATA interface driver is part of the PC BIOS
    • SCSI interface driver is part of the SCSI BIOS
    • When BIOS is enabled specific address space is used (UMA)
    • UMA (upper memory are) is the top 384KB in 1MB of system memory
  • Physically install the drive
    • ATA cables are limited to 18”, shorter is fine, but longer causes signal integrity problems.
    • A ground wire is put between the data lines to keep from getting data loss.
    • Ultra-DMA modes (ATA-66 to ATA-133) superior 80-conductor cable.
    • Simultaneous drives should be set on separate cables
  • Configure the system to recognize the drive
    • Provide computer with basic drive information
    • Autodetect (automatic drive detection) is where the BIOS sends a special identify drive command to all devices attached to it.
    • BIOS then enters the information in CMOS automatically
    • Manual drive parameters –you must add drive information to system BIOS and provide values for cylinders, heads, and sectors per track
  • Partition the drive (FDISK, DISKPART, or SETUP)
    • LLF is performed by the manufacturer
    • Primary partition can be boot-able but extended cannot
    • Large hard disk support (<2.1GB) uses FAT 32 instead of FAT16
    • FDISK, DISKPART, and SETUP depend on BIOS info about hard disk.
    • Drive partitioning (assigning volumes to separate areas in a hard disk)
      • FDISK- DOS command for partitioning with no control over drive letters; accepted through all OS’s (destructive)
      • DISKPART(Disk Management)- GUI based; has no provision for migrating data
  • High-level format the drive (FROMAT or SETUP)
    • Primary function is to create a FAT and directory system on the disk so the OS can manage files.
    • You can High-level format with FORMAT.COM program or the formatting utility

Drive letters (C: D: E: F: G: H: I:)
Subdividing a single drive into multiple volumes increases data security
Each sector on a hard disk holds 512B (Bytes).
Primary IDE has first priority over Secondary IDE.
FDISK allows you to create an extended partition using 100% of the drive
CDROM gets leftover drive letters.
FORMAT.COM syntax (FORMAT C: /S /V) format, copy files, label