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billdeg
June 5th, 2008, 12:07 PM
Per recent tip in the auction section, I picked up an IBM 5150 Rev "a" 16K/64K system. This is one of the older PC's with the black power supply.

Pictures including ROM dump screen:
http://vintagecomputer.net/ibm/5150/5150_A/sn0239462/

The system came with a Plus Hardcard 20, an extra 64K card (combined with the motherboard RAM = 128K system), dual IBM 360 drives with stock controller, and the IBM monochrome monitor card.

Initial boot screen codes:

9010 201 +

(...I then pressed F2 to clear the error, followed by...)

PARITY CHECK 2

SO -
I removed the Plus Hardcard 20 and rebooted.

This time I only got the PARITY CHECK 2 error message.

I checked/corrected the jumper settings and re-seated the RAM.

System booted perfectly, both drives work.

The serial number is 0239462 and the ROM is dated 10/27/82, one year newer than the MARCH IBM PC 5150 I restored last week (see vintagecomptuer.net for details and pics)

I then tried the Plus Hardcard 20 again. I get a 1701 error indicating that the drive is detected but there's a problem with drive. These are interesting cards - a hard drive on a card. I may work on this some more later.

The restoration took all of 15 minutes.


Bill

tezza
June 5th, 2008, 04:54 PM
A good find Bill.

When did those Hardcards first come out? I thought they were much later than 1982. Could it be it's just not suppose to go in such old equipment (i.e. the 5150)

billdeg
June 5th, 2008, 07:48 PM
1986. This was clearly added later, in an attempt to upgrade the system. The drive was made for AT's, but if you had a new enough ROM in a PC 5150 it'd work (as I have read).

Most 5150 PC's I come across have some upgrades to keep them useful. People held onto their 5150/5160 PC's into the 90's and upgraded them with 3.5 drives and extra memory.

It's rare to find a PC that has had 0 upgrades. 5150's were not considered disposable like computers today.

bd

vwestlife
June 5th, 2008, 08:39 PM
It's rare to find a PC that has had 0 upgrades. 5150's were not considered disposable like computers today.
The PC also had an exceptionally long production run, just like the Mac Plus. In fact, the original PC actually lasted longer than the XT, which was replaced with the XT-286 in 1986.

modem7
June 6th, 2008, 04:27 PM
Refer http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=9692
The original BIOS (dated either 04/24/81 or 10/19/81) on your 16/64K board has upgraded to the final BIOS (dated 10/27/82) in order to support the added hard drive.

Trixter
August 12th, 2008, 12:45 AM
The system came with a Plus Hardcard 20

Did it come with the software? I just borked my Plus hardcard 20 (my own fault, I deliberately tried to do something I shouldn't have) and I really need the software to reformat it or it's as good as a brick.

The software should look like this: ftp://63.73.69.140/desktop/APXHC2.TXT
(or this: ftp://63.73.69.140/desktop/E1_2HC.TXT)

billdeg
August 12th, 2008, 04:28 AM
no I do not have the software. Do you think that I will be able to resurrect the card with software, given that I am getting a 1701 error? If anyone would be willing to post the software, please advise and will be happy to experiment with the card.
Bill

Chuckster_in_Jax
August 12th, 2008, 08:04 PM
It has been awhile since I installed one of these Plus Development Hardcard 20's. The last one I installed was in an XT class machine. The computer would not recognize the card and I had to use an older version of Disk Manager to get it going. What exactly in Disk Manager I did I can't remember (possibly deleted the partition and recreated it). After that I believe I was able to low-level format with the debug routine. Unless the drive is damaged, this should do the trick.

dongfeng
August 31st, 2008, 02:43 PM
I recently came across a haul of software that contains 3 disks labelled...

"Plus Hardcard"

"Plus Hardcard DOS 3.2 Restore Disk"

"PLUS Hardcard Utilities"

They are copied disks with handwritten labels - I'll fire up the XT sometime in the next day or so and get directory listings and images made for you :)

Trixter
August 31st, 2008, 08:34 PM
I recently came across a haul of software that contains 3 disks labelled...

"Plus Hardcard"

"Plus Hardcard DOS 3.2 Restore Disk"

"PLUS Hardcard Utilities"

They are copied disks with handwritten labels - I'll fire up the XT sometime in the next day or so and get directory listings and images made for you :)

No rush, and much appreciated! Feel free to create a directory in /pub/incoming on ftp.oldskool.org and stash them there.

Anonymous Freak
August 31st, 2008, 09:10 PM
I don't recall the specifics of the PC, but I had a 20 MB hardcard in my 5150 back in the mid '80s. Eventually, I even ran Windows 3.0 on it, with its Hercules graphics.

(I was a big fan of running Windows 3.0 on horrendously under-spec hardware; I also ran it on an HP 200LX, a Compaq Portable II, and an 8088 laptop of forgotten brand.)

dongfeng
September 1st, 2008, 01:13 AM
I have a couple of Western Digital FileCards - they're just a metal framework with a 30MB MiniScribe RLL hard drive and a WD controller card bolted on... aren't the Plus HardCards the same? I can't understand why special utilities are needed?!?

billdeg
September 1st, 2008, 06:13 AM
It would be appreciated if you could post these disk images somewhere so I can get a copy too. I would be happy to host on my site if you don't have anywhere to put them.
bd

Druid6900
September 1st, 2008, 07:43 PM
I have a couple of Western Digital FileCards - they're just a metal framework with a 30MB MiniScribe RLL hard drive and a WD controller card bolted on... aren't the Plus HardCards the same? I can't understand why special utilities are needed?!?

Some hardcards came already assembled and ready to go with all the necessary stuff in a nice box.

The software was ususally some flavour of DiskManager for those people that would have been dangerous with Hsect, Fdisk and Format. For the more advanced, these programs let you partition a larger-than-allowed hard drive into whatever size and however many partions your little heart desired.

Most 8-bit controllers responded to debug's G=c800:5, but, unless you knew exactly what you were doing and what all the required parameters were and what a virtual setup was, you were better off with DiskManager.

I just went through the debug thing with the hardcard on the Tandy 1000TX, but, fortunately, I had done it many, many times before.

Other vendors sold just the frame and let you supply the controller, cable and hard drive (usually turned out to be about the same price) for computers that didn't have (or didn't have enough) space for a hard drive.

In some cases, you just attached the hard drive to a space under the drive stack (if available) with sticky Velcro strips, split the power connector going to one of the floppies and run the cables from a controller to the HD. It wasn't pretty, but, if done right, it was safe and it worked.

However, if the PSU wouldn't handle the load, it didn't matter how you installed a hard drive, it wasn't going to work.

kb2syd
September 2nd, 2008, 06:58 AM
I believe the early Plus Development hardcards were not like the newer "hard drives on a card" that used a standard card and a smaller form factor drive.

They were quite custom. The one I have did not use DiskManager, nor did it have debug formatting built in that could be accessed with debug. They required special low level formatting tools.

modem7
September 3rd, 2008, 01:02 AM
Plus (Plus Development Corp.) can be 'different'.

For example, in the late 80's I worked on Plus Passport drives. They were removable hard drives available as 20MB or 40MB.

A Plus Passport drive was internally spit into two segments, which Plus named 'volumes'. The BIOS only saw the first volume. You added a driver named PLUSDRV.SYS into CONFIG.SYS and that resulted in the second volume appearing as D:
Nothing was found that could low-level format the drives. Whilst Plus supplied some utilities, they didn't supply anything to low-level format the drive. Our supplier indicated that Plus refused to release their low-level formatting software.

So I wouldn't be surprised if Plus Hardcards required specialist low-level formatting software.