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Get around BIOS limitations

And the road to hell is paved with loose wires.

Q. I have all my IDE ports filled–I have HDD, ZIP, CD-ROM, and CD-R/RW drives. I want to add another HDD, but the motherboard only offers four IDE ports. I don’t want to buy a SCSI card to add another hard drive, so can I buy another IDE interface card to use another HDD?

A. It’s possible–at least in theory. An IDE-type port requires an interrupt (IRQ) and other system resources, and it only supports up to two IDE devices. The system BIOS only supports a total of four IDE devices, such as hard drives. Traditionally, adding more controllers has been problematic because of the added resources needed by the new controllers. However, some of the newest PCI drive controllers, such as the Promise Ultra100 controller www.promise.com, claim that they can be installed along with the existing controllers. The controller’s onboard BIOS and use of the PCI slot allow the card to reside in the system with minimal of trouble. With the Ultra100 supporting up to four drives, and the motherboard’s controller supporting up to four drives, the system may be able to handle up to eight drives.

Q. I’ve installed an HP ScanJet IIp SCSI scanner on my older Windows 95 system, but now my system hangs. Any ideas why, or what I might do to correct it?

A. This is usually a driver problem with the SCSI host adapter. Windows 95 may crash if you try to use a ScanJet IIp scanner with an Adaptec AHA1542 SCSI host adapter. The default Windows 95 AHA154x.mpd miniport driver may not work correctly with the native Adaptec ASPI drivers. Microsoft suggests replacing the Windows 95 miniport driver with the A333.exe file available from its FTP driver site >ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/Services/whql/drivers/win95/stoscs/

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