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k2x4b524[
March 27th, 2010, 08:17 PM
Just got speedstor, but it doesn't seem to like my micropolis 1304, recognizes the WD-1002-wx1 controller, but only uses 4 of the 6 heads. The drive IS LLF through the bios on the card. Partitioned through dos 3.3 to a 32mb partition and a 9mb partition BUT set it up to boot, JUST after Format c:/s from the original dos disk. Says Bad or missing command interpreter.. Am i missing something here? Stason shows the super bios only taking jumper settings for a 10 or 20mb drive, BUT the built in LLF allows for much more. What am i missing?

modem7
March 27th, 2010, 09:01 PM
First, the WD-1002-WX1 is for XT's, and so I'll assume that you are doing all this on an XT class computer.


Stason shows the super bios only taking jumper settings for a 10 or 20mb drive, BUT the built in LLF allows for much more. What am i missing?

For some controller cards with a BIOS, there were many revisions of the BIOS. In many cases, the drive types supported by the BIOS changed with each revision. Stason (and other information sources) sometimes quote the drive types for only one or two of the different BIOS revisions. You indicate that you have the "Super BIOS" in your WD-1002-WX1. Maybe there were multiple revisions of the "Super BIOS" on the WD-1002-WX1, but Stason is only showing one of them.


Just got speedstor, but it doesn't seem to like my micropolis 1304, recognizes the WD-1002-wx1 controller, but only uses 4 of the 6 heads.
On an XT, SpeedStor by default uses the drive geometry reported by the BIOS on the controller. Maybe the "4 heads instead of 6" is indicative of the problem.


The drive IS LLF through the bios on the card. Partitioned through dos 3.3 to a 32mb partition and a 9mb partition BUT set it up to boot, JUST after Format c:/s from the original dos disk. Says Bad or missing command interpreter.. Am i missing something here?
The Super BIOS is capable of a dynamic LLF (it asks you for cylinder count, head count, etc.). Did you use dynamic?


Partitioned through dos 3.3 to a 32mb partition and a 9mb partition BUT set it up to boot, JUST after Format c:/s from the original dos disk. Says Bad or missing command interpreter.. Am i missing something here?
I've seen that error caused by multiple causes, but just to ensure that the cause isn't the obvious one, confirm for us that when you boot from a floppy, that you can see COMMAND.COM in the root of C: drive.

k2x4b524[
March 28th, 2010, 03:48 PM
I am able to see command.com through a boot floppy. Looking at my card, it says WD1002A-WX1 no revision at all

The bios chip has this on it
WD
62-000096-61

The back of the card has this
60-600003-02 REV A

Is there some place i can get ALL the information for ALL the 1002A-WX1 series?

modem7
March 29th, 2010, 03:04 AM
Is there some place i can get ALL the information for ALL the 1002A-WX1 series?
Not that I'm aware of. Bits and pieces can be found about. For example, one Internet source writes that a BIOS part number of 62-000094- followed by any three numbers indicates a SUPER BIOS.


Anyhow, I have WD1002A-WX1 with a 62-000094-002 BIOS. It has the SUPER BIOS.

The SUPER BIOS can dynamically low-level format the drive. Have you tried that?
If not, initiate the low-level format (G=C800:5), then when prompted with "Are you dynamically configuring the drive - answer Y/N" question, answer with Y.
You will then be asked to enter in the disk characteristics in a particular format.
For your Micropolis 1304, you would enter: 830 6 830 830 11 3

Note that the "3" component specifies an 18 uS step rate. That's the fastest selection based on the 'Optimum Step Rate' spec for the Micropolis 1304, which is "20 usec or faster (buffered seek)". If the default of "5" is used (equates to 75 uS), that would cause seek problems if the Micropolis 1304 isn't designed to handle step rates significantly above 20 uS.

When you then see the question about virtually configuring the drive, answer with N.

k2x4b524[
March 29th, 2010, 05:56 PM
Where did u find that out? I've been using the defaults for the settings after the head count. That means the Micropolis 1304 is a pretty snappy FH drive. Seeing mine is pretty much brand new, a hand me down from my dad's old datamedia server, it was bought new as a spare and NEVER used, when i first plugged it in, the head actuator didn't want to move. Should last me a while though now everything works. I'll try LLF with the full settings u say :)

modem7
March 30th, 2010, 02:46 AM
Where did u find that out?

The bit about "62-000094-xxx" is from page 227 of the book, 'The PC Engineer's Reference Book - Volume 3'.

The step rate range for the Micropolis 1304 is in the 'Features' section of the page at at http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/hard-drives-hdd/micropolis/1304-42MB-5-25-FH-MFM-ST412.html

As for the characteristics entry format to use during a dynamic LLF on a WD1002A-WX1, that actually appears on-screen when you start the dynamic LLF process on a WD1002A-WX1. I know, because I performed a dynamic LLF using my WD1002A-WX1. Even though you have a different ROM revision to mine, Western Digital seems to have standardised the user interface for the dynamic LLF in the SUPER BIOS. For example, the SUPER BIOS is used on some other Western Digital controllers as well (although I expect different code to allow for hardware differences), and the same characteristics entry format is used. For example, look at the WDXT-GEN manual at http://www.vintagecomputer.net/ibm/wdxt-GEN_controller/WDXT-GEN_Winchester_Disk_Controller.pdf (in particular, PDF page 4 of 6). What I see there for the dynamic LLF matches what I see in the WD1002A-WX1.

Supporting that is the user manual at http://www.uncreativelabs.net/textfiles/drives/20MEG.FMT

The one area of uncertainty I have is the step rate code (the "o" in the characteristics entry format of "ccc h rrr ppp ee o"). On-screen, the description of that is, "step rate select (1 hex digit) range = 0 to 7, default = 5 refer to controller and drive specification for step rates." I don't have a manual for the WD1002A-WX1. But the manual for the WDXT-GEN that I pointed to earlier has a table of the 8 codes in the LLF section. The LLF code in my WD1002A-WX1 is dated 1987 ("Super BIOS Formatter Rev. 2.4 Copyright Western Digital Corp. 1987") and the date of the WDXT-GEN manual that I pointed to also 1987. I think it's a safe bet that the codes are common between the two controllers.

k2x4b524[
April 2nd, 2010, 06:06 PM
awesome, that helped BIG TIME, though speedstor still reports 4 of 6 heads, Seagates disk manager 3.1 reports all 6 heads too.
Also i got a WDXT-GEN and a WDXT-GEN2 card, you seem to have experience with these, what do they support?

modem7
April 2nd, 2010, 06:44 PM
awesome, that helped BIG TIME
So maybe an invalid step rate for the drive was the cause.


though speedstor still reports 4 of 6 heads, Seagates disk manager 3.1 reports all 6 heads too.
I'm curious about SpeedStor misreporting the head count. I might do some investigations of my own (I'll add it to my 'projects' list).


Also i got a WDXT-GEN and a WDXT-GEN2 card, you seem to have experience with these, what do they support?
The drives supported by the WDXT-GEN are listed in the WDXT-GEN manual that I pointed to earlier.
Tables 1 & 2 shows that the drive geometry supported depends on the BIOS supplied.
The F300 BIOS is the best because that's the SUPER BIOS, i.e. dynamic LLF.

I'm unsure about the WDXT-GEN2 (beyond what is shown at stason.org and other such sites).

k2x4b524[
April 4th, 2010, 04:36 PM
i know what part of the problem is, speedstor looks at the bios on the card directly and not translating it, if it has jumpers, speedstor reads the jumpered setting, not the dynamic setting. In my zenith z-158 *if you have jumper settings for the z158 i'd be eternally grateful* it reports a 20mb as being over 2gb, and when properly setting a drive through it, fdisk fails epically BUT if you go into the type menu in speedstor, take the settings for a particular drive, and use those settings through debug, it appears to work correctly.

modem7
April 4th, 2010, 09:36 PM
i know what part of the problem is, speedstor looks at the bios on the card directly and not translating it, if it has jumpers, speedstor reads the jumpered setting, not the dynamic setting.
I have an ST-225 (615 cylinders and 4 heads). With my WD1002A-WX1, I dynamically formatted that ST-225 as 124 cylinders and 3 heads. When I then ran SpeedStor, it reported 124 cylinders and 3 heads. So SpeedStor is reporting the dynamic configuration. With your 'SpeedStor reporting a particular 6 headed drive as having 4 heads' issue, there must be something else going on.

SpeedStor does have some smarts. For example, for most controllers, where in SpeedStor you see the drive parameters, SpeedStor will also show "<system given Params.>". I'm pretty sure that that means that SpeedStor determined the parameters by interrogating the controller's BIOS using interrupt 13h call (function 8), just as FDISK would do.

But when I use my WD1002A-WX1 controller, SpeedStor displays "<WD Super BIOS>" in place of "<system given Params.>". So that means that SpeedStor knows about Western Digital's Super BIOS.
In the case above where I dynamically formatted an ST-225 as 124 cylinders and 3 heads, on the WD1002A-WX1 controller, SpeedStor reported different drive parameters compared to interrupt/function 13h/8:
1. SpeedStor reports: 124 cylinders and 3 heads
2. interrupt/function 13/8 reports: 123 cylinders and 3 heads

So from that, I deduce:

1. The controller's Super BIOS is reserving a cylinder for its own use (to store the dynamic drive parameters on) and reporting the revised cylinder count (124-1=123) to callers of interrupt/function 13/8

2. SpeedStor (knowing about the Super BIOS) has identified that the Super BIOS is running in dynamic configuration mode, and accordingly reporting the actual cylinder count of 124 to the user of SpeedStor.


DRIVE PARAMETER LIST

With the WD1002A-WX1 controller, starting SpeedStor with the /ROMLIST switch will display the drive parameter table in the Super BIOS.
The 4 parameters shown for my WD1002A-WX1 match with the 4 shown in the 'BIOS REVISION SUPER BIOS DRIVE TYPE TABLE' section of the WD1002A-WX1 page at the Stason web site.

For another XT controller I have, the LCS-6220, SpeedStor reports that it couldn't find the controller's drive parameter table. I guess that is because SpeedStor relies on the table being in a particular format, or needs to be familiar with the particular BIOS.