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luckybob
November 20th, 2011, 12:13 AM
I finally got the last part I needed to put a 10k rpm 9gb scsi drive into my hotrod 386 system. Replacing the 6gb ide drive that was failing. Long story short, I've had a nasty time with my setup but I've finally fingered everything out. It turns out that the bios(s) on my Adaptec aha-1542b do not support hard drives beyond 1gb. As it would have it, a bios upgrade will up the limit to 8.5gb. Which is just fine with me. Anything is better than the 400mb that the controller is limiting me to. Now, to put a fly in the ointment, Adaptec's website is down. So I cant even ask for a copy of the latest bios. And if my current lucky streak continues, I'd going to end up with some punk that will just tell me to get a new card and they dont have the files. :P I've had some luck in ghetto-rigging my 3com 905 card into a flash programmer. I just need the files. If you want more info on the problem you can read up on it here: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/storage/Legacy/43124/00000009.htm

TLDR: I need the bios and microcode files for the adaptec AHA-1542B scsi card.

modem7
November 20th, 2011, 02:14 AM
TLDR: I need the bios and microcode files for the adaptec AHA-1542B scsi card.
I don't know if they are useful or not, but ROM images for the AHA-1542C and AHA-1542CP are at http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/rom/rom.htm

luckybob
November 20th, 2011, 08:59 AM
Close but no cigar. The C revision doesn't have the 1gb hard drive issue. This update is only needed on the "B" cards like mine. :( Awesome site though! I did bookmark it for later, just in case.

Chuck(G)
November 20th, 2011, 09:10 AM
I've been reading this and I have to admit that I'm confused.

Since the 1GB issue is pretty much the difference between issuing the 6 byte and 10 byte SCSI command packets, why would a simple 1542 BIOS swap not work? You can issue 10 byte command packets on any SCSI card; it's mostly a matter of BIOS software.

luckybob
November 20th, 2011, 01:14 PM
A bios swap IS the solution. The bios modem7 linked is for the C revision card, not the B revision that I have. They use different onboard processors and such. The bios revision I have on my card is BC00 where revision BD00 will let me go up to the 8.5gb barrier. Which for a 9gb drive is just fine. The drive works fine on the card, I'm just limited to 490mb:

7149

The drive is maxing out the 3mb/s limit for the controller. Because the drive comes to live and breathes fire when I put it on a faster controller:

7150

So, if I can't get a hold of the upgraded bios files, is there a better scsi controller than the 1542b? There is a part of me that want to see if I can saturate the isa bus with this hard drive (16mb/s) :twisted:

RJBJR
November 20th, 2011, 02:07 PM
This may or may not do what you need. Only thing I could find.

ftp://ftp2.ibspan.waw.pl/pub/mirror/ftp.mpoli.fi/hardware/HDD/ADAPTEC/154XCODE.ZIP

"This code has the following capabilities:

-support for Western Digital and IBM SCSI drives
-ability to access all capacity with drives greater than 1 gigabyte
under MS DOS 5.0. (using an alternate translation scheme). A
jumper must be installed on the AHA-1540/42B at J6, position 2 to
enable the new translation scheme. Please read the enclosed file
154X_GIG.DOC for complete details and limitations. A new
ASPI4DOS.SYS (version 3.0a) is required and is available as a free
upgrade on the Adaptec BBS using the program UPGRADE.EXE in the
UPGRADE file library.

luckybob
November 20th, 2011, 07:17 PM
You know that feeling that when something CAN go wrong, does, just because it can? I think the Germans have a word for this that doesn't directly translate to english... but anyway the chips are 27c128's which means they cant be programmed by my 3com nic. If I bought a programmer, i'm out 40$ AND then I'd need a UV eraser... BAH.

Its cheaper to just buy a $10 C revision card off ebay. Thanks for the help! In the off chance someone else is having this issue, they should have an answer a LOT faster than I did.

Chuck(G)
November 20th, 2011, 08:14 PM
You know that feeling that when something CAN go wrong, does, just because it can? I think the Germans have a word for this that doesn't directly translate to english... but anyway the chips are 27c128's which means they cant be programmed by my 3com nic. If I bought a programmer, i'm out 40$ AND then I'd need a UV eraser... BAH.

I'm confused again--I feel as if I'm only getting half a conversation.

Do you mean that you can program 28C128s? If so, why should that make any difference? Same JEDEC pinout between the EPROM and the EEPROM.

luckybob
November 20th, 2011, 11:13 PM
I cant actually. I've re-purposed a 3-com 905 NIC as a programmer. And its quite limited in the chips it will accept. From what i've been told on the internets, the C denotes its a Eprom and I need to use UV light to erase the chip before programming. I dont have this. I'm basically limited to 32 pin EEproms.

glitch
November 21st, 2011, 04:28 AM
You can use a 28C128 directly in place of a 27C128 as far as reading goes. They're exactly the same pinout when it comes to reading. The only difference is writing, which the Adaptec card won't be doing. So, you can burn the code to a 28C128 with your 3com NIC and drop it in the Adaptec card, and as long as the data you burn to the EEPROM is correct, it should work.

luckybob
November 21st, 2011, 01:31 PM
they are also 28 pin not 32. I was informed that the nic can only program 32 pin flash chips. Its okay, I'll just buy a rev C card off ebay or something. I REALLY could use a eeprom programmer, but I just dont ahve the cash to get one at the moment. :(