PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

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I have A Trinity 400 (S1854) motherboard that goes back to 1999.
Currently, it has an 80GB IDE/PATA hard drive installed.
It is my understanding that the BIOS of a motherboard going back to
that era has a 137GB (or so) limit in terms of hard drive size.

I would like to install a 320GB IDE/PATA hard drive, so I am looking
for a PCI hard drive controller card that can handle such size.
I did some searches on the internet and ran across a few cards that can
handle hard drives up to a 128-137GB capacity.

Does anyone know if there is a PCI controller card that can handle a
320GB IDE hard drive?

This would be the only hard drive installed on the motherboard, so the
card needs to be able to get along with BIOS and chipset. (The chipset
is VIA Apollo Pro 133A, the BIOS is Award BIOS 4.51PG,
05/11/2000-694X-596B-977-TYAN1854C-00, TYAN S1854 Trinity 400 Rev.


Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

tb wrote:

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PCI bus speed?
IME, many PCI cards are highly dependant on the bus speed.

Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

On 09/12/2011 08:23 PM, terryc wrote:
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66 MHz.

Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

tb wrote:
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    "Six 32-bit 33MHz (5-volt) PCI slots"


Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

tb wrote:
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This might possibly be one of the first. Ultra133 TX2 PCI IDE.
The Ultra100 TX2 might work, if it had a more recent firmware installed.


You don't mention the OS you're using, which would be another potential
issue if the OS was old enough. This archived document, helps address
the general subject of using the larger drives.


Promise stopped making those TX2 cards years ago, so the only way to get them
is used. At one time, those cards were even bundled in retail disk drive boxes,
as a promotion. That's where I got at least one of mine.

There is nothing special about those cards, it's just I have a couple.

You can try a more modern card, and the thing is, as long as the card
supports the 133MB/sec cable transfer rate, chances are it is 48 bit LBA
compatible. In terms of year of introduction, anything past the middle of
2003, should be ready for 48 bit LBA.

One of the problems with shopping for IDE cards now, is the poor selection
available. There are cards with IT8212 chip from ITE, as well as cards
with the VIA VT6421 or VT6421A. The SIL0680 chip seems to be gone, so there
are no more cards with that one. The Promise cards are gone. And none
of the cards on Newegg for 8212 or 6421, have very good reviews. If anything,
perhaps you could buy locally, and return the card if it doesn't function
as expected.


Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

On 9/12/2011 at 8:41:08 PM Paul wrote:
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The hard drive has two Linux OSs:  Ubuntu 11.04 and Slackware 13.37 --
both 32-bit.  I am hoping that their kernels will take care care of the
driver interface.

I was taking a look at an SIIG UltraATA 133 PCI (p/n SC-PE4B12-S4) and
an ACARD AEC-6280 PCI ATA-133 IDE.  The first one has a Linux driver
only for hardware v.1.  (I think they are up to hardware v. 4 now.)
The second one states that it is compatible with RedHat, Fedora, RH
Enterprise, SuSE, Tubro.

So I am guessing that Linux's kernel includes drivers for the
controller cards.  (Right?)

Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

tb wrote:

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In general, not necessarily. IME, reliability might be an issue. just
watch the logs if the install is successful.

My 2c is that your first problem will be that the card can work on a
33MHz bus. You might have to do a nonstandard install and spec the
kernel to operate the bus at that speed.

Then there will be the issue of the card working okay on a possibly
slower bus than it is designed for.

Then the issue of data speeds.

Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

tb wrote:
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This entry on Newegg has a customer feedback entry that says
the main chip is a SIL0680 (which in turn was a CMD0680, which
SIL redesigned for ATA133 or something). Historically, it's probably
one of the oldest designs around, having been dragged through two
companies. One reviewer here mentions the 500GB limit.


The card has a separate EEPROM on it. That's the "PMC" on the left.
In some cases, the flasher and firmware, come as a separate package.
With Promise cards, there tended to be a relationship between the
driver version and the firmware, so with Promise, you'd want to
get them as a "pair" on the same web site visit.


Now, if Siig doesn't provide good support, does someone
else have SIL0680 firmware ? The firmware, would be the Extended
INT 0x13 code in the flash chip on the card, used during the boot

On this Syba card with the SIL0680, it looks like they had two
versions of card, and the difference between them could be
the firmware loaded. The SIL0680 could support RAID, but it's
just "soft RAID". There is no firmware flasher offered there, to
change an "I" card to an "R" card.


If we go looking on the SiliconImage site, there is firmware there.


There is also a page with drivers for various OSes.


Those links come from the product page.



I actually have an AEC-6280M here, which is the Macintosh version
of product. Years ago, I got a new Mac, which came with an ATA-66
disk interface (ugh!). I wanted something a little better, so got the
AEC card. The front of the box claims it is ATA-133, while the
printed manual still mentions ATA-100.

I'm browsing the installer CD from the box the product came in,
and it has drivers for several OSes. The WinXP AEC6280.INF file
is from 08/18/2003. The PCI VEN/DEV in that file is PCI\VEN_1191&DEV_0009.
 From the pci.ids file, it looks like AEC made the chip themselves ("ATP865").

1191  Artop Electronic Corp
    0009  ATP865

In the Linux folder on that CD (where there is *no* driver), it says:

    "The driver of AEC-6280 was built-in Red Hat Linux 7.3 & Later

     Note: The hard disk connected to the aec6280 IDE card will locate
           on /dev/hde to /dev/hdh.

     You can execute dmesg command to check it."

So that's all I've got of interest on that one. You'd want to check
in Linux-land for the history of ATP865 development, and whether the
ATP865 bears a resemblance to any other chips. The user manual that
came in the box, doesn't seem to align with the version of hardware
shipped, and in any case, there are no details on "drive size limit"
or the like, in that manual. At least the CD with drivers on it,
is well organized.

(the ATP-865 as a chip... ATA-6 implies "big disk" but there are no
words to confirm that)


I can get some keywords from this post...


    libata  aec62xx driver  pata_artop

It's not a "very warm trail", so I'll stop there.


Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

tb wrote:
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Look for an ATA100 or ATA133 card because I don't think any of the
ATA33 or ATA66 cards support drives bigger than 128-137GB.  Even older
(pre-2003) ATA100 and ATA133 cards may need firmware updates to add
large drive support, but that's easy if the card uses a Promise, Artec
(from Siig), or Silicon Image chip.   Cards usually differ by chip,
not by card brand, so don't rule out cheap stuff because I've bought
brand new Silicon Image cards from Ebay for $3 (delivered, probably
now at least $5) that were identical to $20 ones sold elsewhere.   If
you check thrift stores, Silicon Image cards stick out in the pile
because almost every one has a large chip angled at 45 degrees from
the others.  Their PATA cards use the 0680A chip.

There are also combination PATA-SATA cards, and the most common ones
use a VIA chip, typically the VT6421A.  Avoid VT6421 and VT6421L chips
because they have a serious design flaw that prevents them from
recognizing SATA drives configured for faster than 150 megabytes/
second maximum speed, and that may also be true of VT6421A chips made
before late 2009 (date code is under part number, in the form yywwxx,
where yy = last 2 digits of the year, ww = week of the year, and xx =
two letters).

Plug-in controllers can be incompatible with some motherboards and
require changing BIOS settings for the motherboard's RAID controller
or even re-flashing the plug-in card's firmware to either the RAID or
non-RAID version.

Plug-in controllers don't seem to work very well with optical drives,
and booting from one may be impossible.

Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

On 9/13/2011 at 6:31:28 AM larry moe 'n curly wrote:
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I was taking a look at a SIIG UltraATA 133 PCI card (p/n SC-PE4B12-S4)
at the SIIG online site, but could not find anything about firmware
updates.  Their site only has Windows updated drivers.  (Suprisingly
even for Windows 7!!)

Do you happen to know if a firmware update is handled by such a driver
update?  Sorry, but I am not the most experienced person in this field
and I am curious to know just in case I decide to get one of these


Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

tb wrote:
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I made a mistake about those older SIIG cards.  I said they used an
Artec chip, but it seems the chip is actually by Acard, and SiiG put
out several versions of the SC-PE4b12-s4 PCI PATA controller, some
with the Acard ATP865 chip, others with the Silicon Image 680 or
680A..   Drivers, firmware, and utilities for those Silicon Image
chips can be downloaded from:


Driver and firmware updates are separate.

The forums at http://clubs.myce.com have a lot of information about
SATA and PATA controllers, especially about their operation with
optical drives.

Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

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This may depend on your Operating System.  When using Win98
I discovered that although the BIOS was limited to 137 Gb per
driveletter I could still use FDISK to partition a 360 Gb drive to
three drive letters, wholely useable by the Win98 system.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)

Re: PCI Hard Drive (IDE) Controller Card

mehamgul101 had written this in response to
thanks for sharing such a nice and useful information about the computer
and thanks for it

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