I installed a new hard disk yesterday. 1.5 terabytes. Which got me to recalling my first hard disk install. Around 1985, it was a 20 meg MFM drive.
Folks have it easy today, but back then, you started the system. Booted from a floppy, then ran “debug”. The command was “g=c800:5” followed by “E” for execute. This placed the debug program to a point in the hard drive controller’s BIOS to run the initialization routine.
After that – it was fdisk, to make a partition, followed by making that partition active and system. Then it was format – all this took HOURS.
We’ve come along ass way.