Oh, yes. Into the Pentium era (I think some were auto-detecting by this time), if you wanted to install a new hard drive, you better copy down the sectors/heads/cylinder numbers written on the drive before putting it in the machine. Then configure the BIOS at start up so it would recognize the drive. Then run DOS so you could run Fdisk to partition the disk and then initialize it and assign it a fixed drive letter. Woe unto you if you were in a network environment in which networked volumes started at F: and you had a more than three hard drive devices (two hard drives and one optical drive, e.g.).T I remember seeing a friend's PC (I never had such thing :b&w: ) where the number of sectors/heads/cylinders had to be set manually on the BIOS xx( And "they" had no possibilty of external HDs until the advent of USB, and then so at the sluggish 1.1 speeds... But as soon as Logical Block Addressing à la SCSI became common on IDE disks, Apple started using them for our convenience (and their profit)
The differences were compelling in those days, unlike now, where I often prefer to use my Windows XP laptop over using my OSX desktop machine. I can't really see an ease of use advantage in one over the other. In OSX Apple made everything just as much of a pain in the posterior as it is in Windows.