David,

On Sat, 2008-01-26 at 00:48 +0000, David Larkin wrote:
> It is a fairly old machine I  am trying to use.
> One that has been switched  off and  gathering dust for some time. 
> 
> ROM PCI/ISA BIOS  2A5LHL1A
> 
> Award Modular  BIOS v4.51PG, AnEnergy Star Ally
> Copyright(c)  1984-99  Award Software, Inc.

That bios description looks terribly familiar.

> I've never updated a BIOS before and it sounds a  bit scarey.

Well, the first step is to see if there's even one available. You might
well find the machine already has the latest available (manufacturer's)
bios.

> I guess I'll  just overwrite an old 10Gig disk with FreeBSD 4.3 on instead.
> 
> I don't really  need the extra space but thought it would be sensible to 
> install on a new disk.
> 
> Probably  stick the new disk on ebay  ;-)

Well, depends what you want to do with the machine. Chances are you'll
find that you're going to want that extra space soon enough. Plus
there's no telling how much life is left in that old 10 Gigger - not
that there's any guarantee your new one won't fail, either. Such is
life. Having two physical drives can be useful in a number of
circumstances, too.

I posted some years back about difficulties I was having getting a bios
to recognise a large hdd's geometry. Yes, here:

http://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-questions/2003-April/002301.html

Note the part about setting the heads to 15 in the bios. That is,
disable the auto-detect-on-boot and set the geometry manually.

Good luck.


Wayne

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