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upgrading 486s BIOS

Perhaps someone reading the list has resolved this already,

Recently I inherited ten working DELL 486/MEs with: 66 MHz, 325MB hard drives, and 32
MB RAM. Eventually I plan to use them to build a Beowulf system. I installed a 6.0 GB
hard drive on one of them with SuSE Linux 6.0, it works fine and is now my primary
Linux box.

I partially installed Red Hat Linux  6.0 on another 486. The installation was
incomplete needing 770 MB or so.  I decided to upgrade with a 8.4 GB drive, and had to
upgrade the Phoenix Ltd. BIOS. The BIOS can)B?t see the 8.4 GB hard drive. I bought a
"DTC Ultima EIDE port and BIOS upgrade card" (for older computers if BIOS does not
support HDD greater than 500 MB) and plugged it into an ATI slot. I couldn)B?t partition
"/dev/had", only starting at "/dev/hdc". The new BIOS more or less recognizes the
large ATA drive and reports this, but the machine defaults to the Phoenix Ltd. BIOS.
It advises checking the jumpers, I tried, switching the drive from Master (default) to
Slave, with the same results, can)B?t access it.

I installed Red Hat 6.0 on this machine and it worked fine, except I was unable to
access "/dev/had", or "LILO" , so I had to boot Linux from a floppy. I read in "Linux
secrets" Linux cannot be installed via a secondary BIOS. My question is: Has anyone
successfully installed Linux after upgrading the BIOS on a 486? Short of going ahead
and replacing the motherboard, this might be an exercise in futility, but I)B?m not
convinced yet.
Thanks in advance for any information,

- Leslie Everett

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