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lyonadmiral
July 26th, 2011, 05:38 PM
I've got a sick Hard Card 20 where the controller on the card seems to be starting to fail. It is in a PC 5150, but seems to come back to life after the PC is booted up with a DOS diskette. What can I start troubleshooting with?

Thanks,
Dan

GottaLottaStuff
July 26th, 2011, 06:40 PM
Are you sure it's the controller? Could be that it takes longer to get up to speed than it should, maybe power supply getting weak or spindle bearings getting tight. If you have an XT around, maybe try it in that. Different power supply that way, and if it works after a reset but not from a cold boot you'll know something about the bearings. :)

Chuck(G)
July 26th, 2011, 11:06 PM
I'll second that. When a hardcard goes, it's almost always the drive and not the controller.

billdeg
July 27th, 2011, 11:10 AM
Those cards aren't really made to last, they were a novelty at the time...feel lucky you have one today that even kind of works without serious work to keep it going!

glitch
July 27th, 2011, 11:37 AM
Those cards aren't really made to last, they were a novelty at the time...feel lucky you have one today that even kind of works without serious work to keep it going!

Yup, all of the ones I have/had experienced drive failure. You're better off with an XT-IDE and a solid state disk (CF or industrial Flash, though I prefer the Flash choice).

lyonadmiral
July 27th, 2011, 03:48 PM
When it does get going, I run it through SpinRite, and please also comment on your opinion of that software, SpinRite does pass the drive and controller with passing colors.

Chuck(G)
July 27th, 2011, 04:29 PM
After you get it going, can you power off your system, then power it back on again and have the drive recognized?

lyonadmiral
July 30th, 2011, 03:39 PM
@Chuck, et. al.
If I leave the system off for a couple of days and power it on, I get the 17XX controller error. I have to leave the machine on for a few hours and it will slowly come to life, until I can run SpinRite on it then after running SpinRite on it comes back to life until I power it off again for a few days.

Thanks,
Dan

Unknown_K
July 30th, 2011, 04:58 PM
Bad capacitors on the controller board maybe?

gerrydoire
July 30th, 2011, 05:25 PM
Yup, all of the ones I have/had experienced drive failure. You're better off with an XT-IDE and a solid state disk (CF or industrial Flash, though I prefer the Flash choice).

Best way to go!

Unknown_K
July 30th, 2011, 06:18 PM
There is something to be said for fixing the old stuff and making it work again instead of just tossing it and using something new.

Chuck(G)
July 30th, 2011, 06:41 PM
One more if you're interested. Since things are rather balmy this time of year, try leaving the hardcard out in the sun to warm up and then try it in a system. At least this would identify a thermal issue.

lyonadmiral
July 30th, 2011, 06:54 PM
@Chuck
Will try that Chuck tomorrow since I have to put an EGA card in the beast.

-Dan

Druid6900
July 30th, 2011, 07:32 PM
One more if you're interested. Since things are rather balmy this time of year, try leaving the hardcard out in the sun to warm up and then try it in a system. At least this would identify a thermal issue.

And it could just as well identify the fact that the spindle lubricant is old and slowing down the spin-up time giving an error as it's not up to speed in the alloted time.

Leaving it running gives the bearings time to heat up the lubricant and thin it out a bit and allows it to get up to speed when the system is re-booted. Leave it off for a while and the lube clots up again.

Some 3 in 1 down the spidle shaft will thin out the old lube and clean up the bearings.

lyonadmiral
August 7th, 2011, 12:43 PM
I completely forgot about putting some 3 in 1 down the bearings while I had it out. I did take a look at the card though and nothing looked damaged on the card. Capacitors and chips looked completely okay.