View Full Version : Booting XTIDE with a NIC card

April 15th, 2012, 11:01 PM
First off, I want to thank everyone, especially Mr Hargle for the very helpful information. I have been trying to get a larger IDE hard drive working in my 286 and have been running into problem after problem. Overlay didn't work and I don't think will work because I would like to swap drives between 286 and Vista or XP. Just changing the BIOS setup didn't work when trying a 2.1GB drive. I got a bunch of corrupted data.

So I had ordered a NIC card and it just showed up. But I can't seem to find enough info on setting it up. I did some reading and found that someone said you have to program the chip in a programmer? I do have a programmer but could use some helpful instructions.

Is there a particular EPROM I should be using? I have tons of them floating around here and many are old so I might have what ever is best.

Any guide in how to program it? I have a Needhams EMP30 and the NIC card I have is a Linksys Ether16 ISA 10BaseT Lan Card.

Do I set the BIOS for "No Drive" when trying to boot from the NIC card?

Any particular image I should use? I notice there were a few modified versions of the XTIDE bios and one was modified for someones NIC card.

Any other details would be appreciated.

Thanks again,

April 16th, 2012, 06:05 AM
Use an 8k eeprom. The manual for the ethernet card may have some additional information about which ROM types it supports though. It is possible that the NIC only wants larger eeproms than what the XTIDE BIOS uses, that's ok.

You will have to program your ROM with your burner. Make sure your eeprom reads back properly in your burner to verify it is working.

For the ROM image itself, download a copy of the XTIDE universal BIOS from here: http://code.google.com/p/xtideuniversalbios/ The 2.0 beta stuff is likely perfectly acceptable for you to use. Burn the IDE_AT.BIN file into your ROM. If your IDE controller is standard, using ports 1f0-1f7, this rom image should be good to go for you. I'm not sure where you're looking for images.

You will need to investigate the linksys ether16 documentation about how to enable ROM booting- the 3com cards that I have used have a setup utility that you run to enable/disable ROM support. It may just work right out of the gate.

In your mainboard BIOS setup, put both drives to "no drive" but keep the drive(s) plugged in and cabled up to the existing IDE controller.

Remove any other card in your machine that you don't absolutely need to boot. We're only doing this to eliminate potential conflicts. Once we know the card is working and detecting drives, you can put them back in.

Upon boot, if the NIC has successfully allowed your system to load the XTIDE BIOS, you will get a nice popup message that looks similar to this:

Even if something is wrong with the setup, if the NIC is loading the ROM, you will *always* see some kind of message coming from the card during POST. If you don't see any XTIDE related messages, the NIC is not loading the ROM out and running it, and we need to solve that before going any further.

If you get a nice popup message like the above photo and it is seeing your drives, you have made it! Your next step would be to run biosdrvs.com that came with the xtide universal BIOS package and save the output. Move the drive to your modern machines and run the program on it. Compare the outputs. If the translation is the same, then you can safely transfer data from the modern machine to the 286 by just moving the drive between the 2. If the translation is not the same, then we will have to start tweaking. Feel free to try different drives at this point too; you may find that some translate perfectly, other drives may not.

Good luck!

April 16th, 2012, 12:44 PM
8KB EPROM = 27C64 or 2764
16Kb EPROM = 27C128 or 27128
etc etc

But your card may want a 16 or 32KB chip (27128 or 27256) - no doubt you'll find out when you're in the setup program.

Anywho, drivers/configuration tools:

Disk 1: http://members.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php?driverid=1952&si=d33b4aeaae666fc1ccaa0319b353457b&sp=2
Disk 2: http://members.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php?driverid=1953&si=d33b4aeaae666fc1ccaa0319b353457b&sp=5

You'll need to use their 'DriverGuide Installer' on a modern machine to get them free, just be extremely careful to untick things like the 'Babylon Toolbar'.
I absolutely despise sites that do this but I couldn't find your install disks anywhere else.

The program will want to create 1.44Mb floppy disks, but once they're made you can just copy the files on to anything. You can configure the card in one machine before moving it to another, so in theory you don't need to copy the files to the 286 (but you'll need to be outside of Windows, or Windows will configure it on your behalf).

There should be a utlity folder on disk 1, inside I beleive is setup.exe, which I think will be the configuration tool to configure the card from the command prompt. You'll need to set the EPROM size and location (for location I use D000)) and make sure it's enabled.

As for burning the ROM, that could be a whole new adventure depending on weither you've written to one before.

If you're interested in learning about EPROMs etc this method is awesome.
But overlay software (not 'anydrive') or using a smaller hard disc will save you a lot of time (if all you want is the machine going that is).

April 16th, 2012, 02:00 PM
Thank you very much, I will be working at all of these things and I will try the overlay method again. I guess I need something different then the anydrive overlay. Eventually one of these methods should end up working.