Trouble sourcing HDD (Vintage)


Baseband Member

I found an old Compaq Armada laptop I had from back in the day and decided to try an restore it somewhat.

Unfortunately the old HDD was dead so I bought a 40GB replacement (one of the lowest capacity 40 pin IDE's I could find at the time) with the plan of just partitioning it up.

However the fdisk only recognises about 7554MB, I tried partition magic and even Acronis OS Selector (which has a partitioner) both threw up errors or only recognised 7554MB.

So plan B. I set the HDD up on Windows 10 instead (Partitioned/formatted) and finally it then works OK, I can install Windows 98 and even the 20gig partition is accessible. However Scandisk reports weird errors, says it fixes them but they come up again next time. And when installing certain software can throw a weird path error or two (Although not certain if related).

I checked the BIOS to find that it has completely wrong readings for the HDD and also shows as 8062MB instead (Pic attached for fun). So I checked for a BIOS update and there isn't one past 1999 (which it was already "up to date").


So I'm thinking that either the drive is still too new for the computer, the capacity is beyond it's limit, or a bit of both. I tried sourcing an older HDD but they seem pretty rare, and the ones there are expensive for what it is. Like £40 for a 5GB drive!

Anybody know of a workaround or somewhere I can pick up a cheaper HDD?
What version of DOS is being used with Windows 98? Open a command prompt and enter the command ver.
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Ver just returns the version of Windows. Even if you exit to DOS an try.

But Windows 98 SE comes with DOS, I think it's 7.0 as far as I can remember.
Actually, Windows 95 was the first graphical OS.

IIRC, you are allowed so many heads and cylinders and in this case you need to increase the heads (up to 256) to get more capacity with 16K cylinders.
Celery - Windows 95 isn't and never was an OS. Like Windows 98, it is a graphical shell that runs on top DOS.

Windows NT was Microsoft's first graphical OS. It was pre-dated by both the Mac OS from Apple as well as IBM's OS/2.
Try again strollin:

DOS is 8 bit. Windows 95 is 16 bit.

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If Windows 95 isn't an OS, you'd be wrong on two counts, since Windows 1.0 already had a graphical user interface, nevermind how unattractive:


Regarding the OS dilemma, I think strollin is tryng to make a distinction between the kernel, system utilities and user interface. However, the operating system was branded as "Windows 95," so I think there is pretty much no room for argument there.
All Windows versions up thru Windows ME ran as an application running on top of DOS. The subject came up in this thread because the OP was having trouble installing an HDD and knowing which version of DOS was underneath would allow one to determine if the limitation was a DOS limitation or not.

There's an old trivia question: What was the first operating system that Microsoft developed? Most would answer DOS but the real answer is Windows NT. Prior to that MS only operating system was DOS and they didn't develop that, Bill Gates bought it from another company.
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