>
> Upon trying to buy a new hard drive (80 GB) I was asked
> about the capabilities of my system, and I just thought that
> these were needed to tell what kind the IDE (ATA)
> capabilities. However, the vendor said that depending on the
> BIOS the system might not be able to recognize a large disk.

BIOS is only needed to boot.

FreeBSD then drives it without BIOS


there are 3 possibilities:

1) BIOS just supports whole drive. nothing special needed

2) BIOS can't support the whole drive, it detects as much smaller one.

solution:

install system with separate /boot partition that fits in the range that
BIOS supports. after booting FreeBSD will get whole disk

3) BIOS hangs completely trying to drive your disk.
rare case but i have this with P133 machine with 80GB disk.

machine runs NetBSD, and i boot kernel from floppy, then NetBSD supports
whole drive.

with FreeBSD it could be difficult to fit kernel on floppy but it is
possible if you will compile yours with minimal set of drivers (but
including disk) and then load modules from disk by startup scripts.

my custom kernel compresses to 977000 bytes, loader takes 237568 bytes so
it could fit.

unfortunately i don't have enough FreeBSD knowledge now to tell you how
prepare such floppy.
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