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uriahsky
April 9th, 2012, 09:09 PM
I am not sure about this but can I put a larger hard drive like a 2.1GB into a 80286 and have it work but only be able to access 504MB of space using DOS 6.2? Isn't the XTIDE BIOS, overlays, etc used to access more than the 504MB limit? If I can do this do I enter the 2.1GB drives actual CHS numbers into my user type, manual entry settings in the BIOS HD table or do I have to do some math on the CHS and enter the settings that end up in 504MB HD. Or is this pointless.
Thank you
Russ

SpidersWeb
April 9th, 2012, 09:44 PM
For the XTIDE ROM (or XTIDE card) you specifiy no hard drive. The XTIDE ROM takes care of the rest (program runs as an extension ROM from an EPROM or Flash chip)

If you're using drive overlay software (program that installs in the boot sector), then 1024 cyl, 16 heads, 63 sectors - the software will unlock the rest of the drive on startup

Although I think most people will have trouble filling 528Mb on a 286!

Other limitations: DOS 6.2 can only have partitions up to 2.1Gb and can only see the first 8.4Gb of a drive (ish).
Everyone seems to have luck with setting the CHS to a lower number but on my 386 I got 'Harddisc configuration error' which was quite annoying.

Hope that helps, if I've made any mistakes I hope someone corrects me but that's what I've gathered from all the discussions recently. I've only got one machine with an oversized drive and I went with the XTIDE ROM.

uriahsky
April 9th, 2012, 10:52 PM
With no overlay and no XTIDE can I still install a 2.1GB on a 286 with DOS 6.2? If so do I just set the BIOS to the actual CHS that are on the HD or do I set it to 1024/16/63 or some other number. I am still a bit confused.
Thanks
Russ

Megatron-uk
April 10th, 2012, 12:42 AM
If you can put the correct CHS settings in, then yes - however a 286 BIOS is unlikely to support such drive geometry; at least on the ones I've seen the settings loop back round to 0 after a certain number.

FYI, I was using the XTIDE ROM in a 3Com network card and had several 2GB partitions available. You could also use a Windows 98SE dos boot disk in addition to XTIDE and fdisk/format/sys the drive using that, which will use FAT32 and give you a basic DOS 7.1 system (to which you add your DOS 6.22 utils) - that will let you use partitions greater than 2GB in size.

nestor
April 10th, 2012, 01:40 AM
Windows 98SE dos boot disk needs 386+

Stone
April 10th, 2012, 11:54 AM
Windows 98SE dos boot disk needs 386+Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I had never tried to boot a 286 from a disk like that but sure enough, it choked on the first track. Once again, I learned something today thanks to you.

SpidersWeb
April 10th, 2012, 01:14 PM
With no overlay and no XTIDE can I still install a 2.1GB on a 286 with DOS 6.2? If so do I just set the BIOS to the actual CHS that are on the HD or do I set it to 1024/16/63 or some other number. I am still a bit confused.
Thanks
Russ
Try it. 1024/16/63 (which is the highest you can likely enter)
See what happens for you then report back.

RBARDY
April 10th, 2012, 05:53 PM
with a 286 you are stuck with the dos limit of 1024 cyl 16 heads and 63 sectors which is 504 meg but a meg on a hard drive is 1048 so the total space is 528 meg this is the design requirement there is no practical way around it the guy who talks 8.4 gig, that is the limit for 486 motherboards the only practical way to beat the dos limit is with a scsi controller and drive with scsi you do not set the board bios to a drive leave the bios with no listing the scsi contoller handles everything and will run up to 7 drives on it you have to realize the 286 was for mfm or rll harddrives with dos 3.3 32meg partition limit

hargle
April 10th, 2012, 06:44 PM
...there is no practical way around it the guy who talks 8.4 gig, that is the limit for 486 motherboards...
This is absolutely not true. Lots of us have 8.4 gig hard drives now on our XT's and PCs because of the XTIDE controller. The 504MB limitation is *software/BIOS*. Change the software and you break the limit. I've repeated this 4 or 5 times now in the multiple threads that have spawned on this same question.

My PC, XT, 286 and 386 all have 8gig hard drives in them. My PC+XT machines have XTIDE controllers in them. My 286 and 386 machines have the XTIDE universal BIOS installed on a NIC card. My 486 has a Promise VLB card that natively supports larger hard drives. There are lots of options out there. The XTIDE universal BIOS installed onto a NIC card does the exact same thing you're talking about with your SCSI controller. Set the drives to "none" in setup and let the XTIDE BIOS install support for the drives instead.


...you have to realize the 286 was for mfm or rll harddrives with dos 3.3 32meg partition limit
also not true at all. I'm running DOS 6.22 on my 286, and I have multiple 2 gig partitions on IDE drives and CF devices.

SpidersWeb
April 10th, 2012, 07:52 PM
yeah I was like "WTF" but hargle covered it.
ROM or overlay software will let you access beyond the 504MB limit.

I'm hoping a simple 1024 16 63 setting for CHS will work and suit the original poster though.

MikeS
April 10th, 2012, 08:34 PM
...The 504MB limitation is *software/BIOS*. Change the software and you break the limit. I've repeated this 4 or 5 times now in the multiple threads that have spawned on this same question....And I'm sure you'll have many more opportunities... ;-)

uriahsky
April 12th, 2012, 01:32 AM
Try it. 1024/16/63 (which is the highest you can likely enter)
See what happens for you then report back.

It works! but... I realize but I realize why I am having a problem. One of my reasons to use a more current hard drive is because I can easily plug the drive into my Vista machine and transfer files back and forth quickly. But if I set the BIOS in my 286 to 1024/63/16 and I Fdisk and Format the drive in that 286 when I go to plug this into my Vista machine it will recognize it as what it actually is? a 2.1GB, not a 1024/16/63, 504MB drive? Right?? If I transfer files over won't there be some kind of corruption? I think that is why when I tried this many of the programs had garbled text and acted funny.

If I use the XTIDE BIOS, (I ordered a NIC card) will have these types of problems? Will I be able to swap the drive between different computers and not have any corruption of data? I think I will order a 504MB drive just in case I do have problems.
Thanks
Russ

Stone
April 12th, 2012, 02:47 AM
You don't need to order a 504 MB drive, just use 504 MB on the drive you already have. If you want, I have a 356 MB, a 420 MB and a 545 MB.

hargle
April 12th, 2012, 05:59 AM
But if I set the BIOS in my 286 to 1024/63/16 and I Fdisk and Format the drive in that 286 when I go to plug this into my Vista machine it will recognize it as what it actually is? a 2.1GB, not a 1024/16/63, 504MB drive? Right??
Correct. The BIOS on your Vista machine is up to date and knows about larger hard drives.


If I transfer files over won't there be some kind of corruption? I think that is why when I tried this many of the programs had garbled text and acted funny.

I give it about a 25% chance that it will work. It depends on how your vista machine is talking to the drive, details of which I won't go into here.
Provided the vista machine does not attempt to write any data to the drive (like writing a signature to it or whatever stupid things windows sometimes does), it would be harmless to try putting it on the vista box and 1st READING files off it that you put onto the drive using the 286. If files can be copied off and verified correct, then it should be ok-ish, although the longer I type, the more hesitant I get in suggesting it. You could corrupt your drive if you attempt to fill it on the vista machine if the translation is not 100% the same as the 286. It only takes 1 stray write in the wrong place to completely wreck whatever you've built up on the 286, so only do stuff that you don't mind re-doing if things go wrong!



If I use the XTIDE BIOS, (I ordered a NIC card) will have these types of problems? Will I be able to swap the drive between different computers and not have any corruption of data?
The XTIDE BIOS is a much safer method, and the way it talks to the drive can be configured so that it is doing the same translation as your Vista machine. Check the xtide universal bios 2.0 testing thread:
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?29749-XTIDE-Universal-BIOS-v2-0-0-beta-testing-thread

There is a tool: http://kotisivu.lumonetti.fi/ttilli/XTIDE/BIOS_Drive_Information_Tool_v1.0.1.zip that allows you to check the translation on the 2 machines (you'd probably have to boot into DOS on your vista machine to verify it). If the two machines report the same output, then you are golden.

I think I will order a 504MB drive just in case I do have problems.This may not actually solve your problem. Even with a drive that is small, the vista box may still be accessing it with a different translation method than your 286. I would hold off on buying any additional components for now. If you find that the XTIDE gives you full compatibility with your 2.1G drive, you may in fact want to upgrade it even further and put a larger hard drive in. IMO, an 8-10G hard drive, built in this century at least, is going to be more reliable, less power hungry and quieter than something from the mid-late 90s, so why not use it? You can probably get drives that size for free from craigslist, but you'd have to pay to get a "vintage" smaller drive...

Chuck(G)
April 12th, 2012, 09:07 AM
I'll just add that for a 286 machine, 500MB is a staggering amount of storage. It might be useful to ask yourself if it's too much for what you plan on doing. Old software isn't like today's bloated packages, where 20MB is considered "modest" in terms of storage.

Mark2000
April 14th, 2012, 12:05 PM
I can tell you I've just gotten started with my 286 machine and I've filled nearly 60 megs. If this is going to be a test bed for everything you can throw at it I think it's best to have as large a drive as possible.

Chuck(G)
April 14th, 2012, 12:43 PM
If you're using the drive for mostly passive storage, why not use a network connected to a server that's made for handling lots of files? FAT16 is pretty miserably inefficient when you get to the large cluster sizes needed to support large volumes.

Just saying...

pearce_jj
April 14th, 2012, 12:46 PM
You can hook up DOS LanManager to Server 2003 very easily (it just works), not tried later.

Caluser2000
April 14th, 2012, 02:30 PM
I can tell you I've just gotten started with my 286 machine and I've filled nearly 60 megs. If this is going to be a test bed for everything you can throw at it I think it's best to have as large a drive as possible.Know exactly where you are coming from. I bought a 286/16 new with an IDE 40meg hdd and realised very quickly it wasn't enough storage space ;) Running DrDos 6(and before that Compaq Dos 3.31) so there was no 32meg limit. I put a 240meg drive in it.

Caluser2000
April 14th, 2012, 03:54 PM
You can hook up DOS LanManager to Server 2003 very easily (it just works), not tried later.There are simpler solutions that "just work" with little effort as well.

Chuck(G)
April 14th, 2012, 04:37 PM
Know exactly where you are coming from. I bought a 286/16 new with an IDE 40meg hdd and realised very quickly it wasn't enough storage space ;) Running DrDos 6(and before that Compaq Dos 3.31) so there was no 32meg limit. I put a 240meg drive in it.

My point was that in the 80286 world, 4GB was unimaginably huge. I had a 330MB SCSI drive on my 80286 and I thought it was enormous.

This goes back to the "Are you after the vintage experience? If not, why bother?" argument that's been brought up from time to time.

Caluser2000
April 14th, 2012, 05:02 PM
It really comes down to the individual. Not unlike vintage motorcycle riders. Some prefer the old brakes, rock hard tyres no suspension while some prefer a bit of updating.

SpidersWeb
April 14th, 2012, 05:35 PM
You can hook up DOS LanManager to Server 2003 very easily (it just works), not tried later.

Yeah I got given a Pentium 4 for free, so I made it a Windows 2000 server, really handy for networking machines.

I wouldn't use hard disc removal as my method of transfer but up to the user. Really handy one is parallel 100Mb Zip drives - one for the 286 one for the new machine - I got mine for $5 each with discs. You can also still get USB models if needed.

twolazy
April 14th, 2012, 07:05 PM
I see no problem in adding additional storage to vintage systems, provided you keep the original drives in a safe environment. Way I see it is, overall anything newer is going to be less taxing to the old power supplies anyways, and be faster transfer rate wise, so why not? Its not like your irreversibility modifying the machines, more just an upgrade... Plus sometimes its just fun to play mad hatter and experiment! >.<

BTW I have a 2gb microdrive in my XT-286, and yes it is hard to fill all it. But its nice to be able to make backups easily, and have room for experimentation. I feel as long as you have fun, and dont ruin anything, have at it. That imho is what this hobby is about.

Caluser2000
April 14th, 2012, 09:19 PM
Simple fact is hdds do fail, either in use or sitting in storage. Some a lot sooner than others. If you want a replacement "period correct" hdd sure go for it and get one from here (http://www.aacomputech.com/aacomp-bin/web_store/web_store.cgi) if you want. It's great to have an alternative solution.

Stone
April 15th, 2012, 04:00 AM
$1000 for a Maxtor XT-1140..... I'll give ya' two of 'em for that price. :-)

Mark2000
April 15th, 2012, 10:23 AM
I don't understand the high price value for a lot of old computer tech, especially hard drives. HDDs are the one thing even the most dedicated tech head can't fix. Sealed, dust free chambers. Motor drives that move faster than the eye can see. Platters that are useless with the tiniest scratch. A thousand dollars for something that will fail irrecoverably very soon is a terrible investment.

What's especially hilarious is that I pondered getting an ST-225 for my AT because a friend had one back in the day and the sounds it makes are incredible. I was calling the recyclers selling them and asking if they parked the heads before removing the drive. If the tech even knew what I was talking about the about the answer was always "no". And the computer it came from was always stripped so they couldn't put it back in and prepare it properly. This means a lot more DOA drives are being made regularly. It's such a shame.

Caluser2000
April 15th, 2012, 11:07 AM
That's basicly why the XT-IDE project came about I'd imagine. Gives users of old kit a chance to keep them servicable.

uriahsk have you tried using overlay software as suggested? I've got a 4 gig bootfoot I swap around various machines, 486s and lower, from time to time with an overlay it on. But only as the master boot drive to test how well some software runs. Runs fine on later machines as the boot up drive too if you manually set the drive type to something rediculous like 10 megs. Personnally wouldn't go sticking it in a later machine with the overlay on it as an extra drive to transfer data though as you're asking for problems. hargle has covered all your options.

Chuck(G)
April 15th, 2012, 11:24 AM
For that matter, why bother with floppy disks either. Just run it all in an emulator on a modern PC. :)

Others have noted that few retro computing fans use modems--I've found it fascinating that few use retro printers (daisywheel or dot matrix). Back in those days, I'dve been lost without a printer.

SpidersWeb
April 15th, 2012, 02:17 PM
man, I'd LOVE to get a daisy wheel printer again, it's amazing watching those things operate.
Modems I have trouble finding practical purpose for, maybe a retro gaming local for old multiplayer?

XT-IDE - we just need to slow it down and add a speaker to make the stepper motor seek noises, 300ms seek is where it's at.
I want an ST251 for my 5170 build, but prices for a tested unit is making me stick with an old IDE (older and noiser the better).

Mark2000
April 15th, 2012, 04:54 PM
Yes, some kind of board (not enough mem for a TSR) that could capture the HDD activity and the user's choice of classic drive sounds (selected by jumper) would be amazing. I do need a modem because I'm planning to do some work with Procomm Plus and it won't initialize and start without one, apparently.

MikeS
April 15th, 2012, 05:29 PM
...I do need a modem because I'm planning to do some work with Procomm Plus and it won't initialize and start without one, apparently.
Eh? Why not?

twolazy
April 15th, 2012, 05:37 PM
It will work just fine with direct cable connections. Just make sure to go through setup, and delete all modem string lines...

Mark2000
April 15th, 2012, 05:44 PM
Dunno. The same copy that starts up fine in Dosbox where a modem is being emulated just sits on the initialization screen on an actual DOS machine with no modem in it. Requires a reboot to get out of it. twolazy, don't have any direct cables. I might as well get a modem. That might lead to some other interesting side projects.

twolazy
April 15th, 2012, 06:25 PM
Will admit, I love to get ahold of an early acoustic coupler style modem, just to play with it!

8542

twolazy
April 15th, 2012, 07:29 PM
Well if you want to do modem to modem, I have done that before, using a dreamcast going to pc. Its how we are able to still play phantasy star online! :D

You will possibly need a small box somewhere inbetween on the phone line between both computers. All it does is hold a 9v battery, resistor and cap, to trick the machines to thinking there is line voltage...
See this page how to make one, super super easy! :D
http://www.jagshouse.com/modem.html

framer
April 16th, 2012, 05:32 AM
After skim reading this thread, I use a cheap cdrom drive connected to an old sound card. I've seen them on fleabay for under $5 bucks. Just burn whatever files you want on your vista machine to a cdr and put the disk in that old cd-drive and transfer what you want. I burn a new CD about once a year with stuff I've collected then just leave it in the 5170 if I need something on it.

framer

Floppyemulator
July 10th, 2012, 02:01 PM
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