Originally Posted by scorpio3
i don't know if i'm explaining it they way they did but it sounded reasonable to me.
Close enough since we're all speculating.
ATA hard drives support an "Identify Device" command, which provides the HDD model number, serial number, firmware revision, sectors, etc. So, the Toshibas may look for specific hard drive specs, a range of acceptable values, etc. For example, firmware version 1.4, serial number range xxxxx to yyyyy, model number 4R160L0, etc.
I'm speculating that units like the XS32 might look for the HDD model, since we can change HDDs, but can't use different models with the same number of sectors, heads, etc. It was probably a matter of simple economics. Why write extra code for a unit with a finite market life, designed for 80GB and 160GB drives? The later XS models (XS54...) seem to have a more generic DOS, since they'll accept a variety of different HDDs.
If anyone has a 120GB Maxtor 4R120L0 or a 120GB Seagate ST3120025A, I'd be curious to see if they'd work in an XS32/XS52/KX50, since they're in the exact same drive families as the drives that work.