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View Full Version : XT-IDE and HD sizes on a PC or XT



Chromedome45
June 29th, 2012, 12:39 PM
Just wondering what size Hard drives were people hooking up to there XT-IDE controllers? IMHO I think anything more than maybe a 80MB drive is kinda a waist.

It takes more than a few seconds on my PC just to get a directory listing from a 32MB partion using an ADP50 IDE controller. Can't Imagine someone using DOS 5 and a 2GB partition for a computer this age. Must take forever to get a directory listing.

Ok now don't start throwing rotten eggs and veggies at me. I was just curious that's all.:D

Jorg
June 29th, 2012, 01:44 PM
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showwiki.php?title=XTIDE+TestResults


:P

SpidersWeb
June 29th, 2012, 03:41 PM
People will pay $20-40 for an 80Mb drive, whereas I got boxes of 1-40Gb drives for almost nothing. Better to use the almost free ones.
The reward for using the cheaper and more available drives is also faster access times - my 386 testbox flies booting off its 20Gb.
I save my smaller drives for native 386/486 builds.

If you want the slower speeds to retain part of the XT experience then it's worth it, otherwise can't see any reason to.

To avoid the calc issue, you can just use smaller partitions.

Chromedome45
June 29th, 2012, 03:57 PM
Very true the newer drives are cheaper in the long run. Didn't really think about that obciously! Just I have a bunch of small IDE's laying around.

pearce_jj
June 29th, 2012, 11:08 PM
For random access within files (i.e. databases), bigger partitions offer a significant performance benefit, see here (http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?30452-DOS-File-System-Random-IO-Throughput-Oddness).

If my 8-bit compact flash card makes it to a production run then cheap compact media will be the best option - 4GB cards are about 5 at the moment :)

hargle
July 2nd, 2012, 07:28 AM
I use 8 gig drives. I'm doing that for several reasons:
1) I have a box of them from old XBOX-1's that I have modded. The drives are useless otherwise.
2) These drives were actually made this century. They are extremely quiet and probably have better power consumption than a 80MB drive built in 1992. (especially with a completely loaded 5150 with stock power supply, every little bit helps!) I believe these drives are less likely to fail than a drive made 10 years earlier.
3) 8.4G is where my DOS version tops out at. Since I have everything else in my machine as maxed out as it could be, might as well do my storage that way too.
4) I have a *massive* DOS game collection to copy onto the drive. While the physical file size is small (probably 300MB) when you're working with DOS and FAT file systems, every 500 byte file is actually taking up 16k or 32k of cluster size, and I will chew up 1.5 2Gb partitions with just the games from 1981-1989.
5) it's nice to have scratch partitions for work areas, so lots of partitions are a-ok with me.

I do agree that it is way overkill, and there isn't actually enough software written that runs on an 8088 that would ever fill a HDD that big. I think that concept is mind boggling.
I think even a couple of my partitions have yet to be formatted. ;)

Gib
July 8th, 2012, 04:38 PM
I've got a "1358MB" (as Toshiba describes it) 2.5 in. HDD pulled from an early LCD laptop. I've connected it to a full-size adapter, formatted it, loaded it with programs and data, and I'm looking forward to installing it in my 5155 portable, IFFFFFF I can either buy a used XT-IDE controller or one of the newly-designed models when they are produced.

Any idea where I can find a used XT-IDE controller or what the ETA is on the new ones?

NobodyIsHere
July 8th, 2012, 04:46 PM
Hi
I am going to get another small batch of the XT-IDE V2 PCBs during the next PCB reorder. There are still builders requesting them and now they are starting to pile up again so I'd like to clear them. I am not 100% on the time line quite yet but I am anticipating to make the order in the next week or two.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

Unknown_K
July 8th, 2012, 05:40 PM
If you stick to DOS 3.3 you are stuck with a few 32MB paritions so 100MB+ drives are kind of a waste. I keep a box with stacks of old 3.5" IDE drives 100-500MB and under for such use (all tested to no have bad sectors). I figure if the drives last 25+ years with no defects then they should last a bit longer.

Stone
July 8th, 2012, 06:00 PM
Just because they aren't showing any bad sectors doesn't mean they don't have any. :-)

Unknown_K
July 8th, 2012, 08:19 PM
I was using a bootable disk analysis program like seatools that checks every sector no matter if DOS thinks it is usable or not.

Chuck(G)
July 8th, 2012, 09:07 PM
Small CF cards can be had for very cheap. I use a 192MB CF on one; the other has a 32MB CF card. I save the bigger cards for systems that can use them.

I suspect that one of the old IBM 100MB Microdrives would also work well.

NobodyIsHere
July 22nd, 2012, 12:43 PM
Hi
I am going to get another small batch of the XT-IDE V2 PCBs during the next PCB reorder. There are still builders requesting them and now they are starting to pile up again so I'd like to clear them. I am not 100% on the time line quite yet but I am anticipating to make the order in the next week or two.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

Hi! Several builders have asked about the XT-IDE V2 PCBs and I have reordered a batch. They should be here the second week of August. They will be identical to the previous batch of boards. I will announce when the PCBs arrive. Please do not send any funds until the boards arrive.

They will be $12 each plus $2 shipping in the US and $5 shipping elsewhere. After I announce the boards have arrived please send a PayPal to LYNCHAJ@YAHOO.COM and I will send your boards right away!

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

evildragon
July 22nd, 2012, 12:45 PM
I'm using the never-released XT-IDE rev 2.. At least I still think it was never released because other solutions because available later..

I have a 2GB disk on module PQI attached to it.

evildragon
July 22nd, 2012, 01:00 PM
Hi! Several builders have asked about the XT-IDE V2 PCBs and I have reordered a batch. They should be here the second week of August. They will be identical to the previous batch of boards. I will announce when the PCBs arrive. Please do not send any funds until the boards arrive.

They will be $12 each plus $2 shipping in the US and $5 shipping elsewhere. After I announce the boards have arrived please send a PayPal to LYNCHAJ@YAHOO.COM and I will send your boards right away!

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

How did I miss this.

So you still are making the rev 2's? Awesome.

I still have mine from when I was debugging it with Jeff.. Mine still works, though I use the XTP BIOS to get good performance out of it, as the regular BIOS has half the read performance.

I still never got my UART working, not because I couldn't figure it out, I just never had the time.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v395/Evilweredragon/jumpers.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v395/Evilweredragon/speedtest.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v395/Evilweredragon/large2.jpg

NobodyIsHere
July 23rd, 2012, 02:21 AM
Hi! Thanks! Yes, several builders have requested the XT-IDE V2 PCBs so I thought we would have another run. There was a batch late last year too.

The boards seem to work well but are kind of redundant with all the other XT-IDE like board projects. However these boards are relatively easy to build for those new to the home brew computer hobby and work well as your photos indicate.

I recall someone did get the serial port for external booting working although I forget the specifics. In theory at least you could boot your XT remotely and then generate boot floppies or format the hard drive which helps break the "catch-22" of cold starting a PC/XT without disks. It is a neat idea but not much demand for it though AFAIK.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

pearce_jj
July 23rd, 2012, 03:46 AM
Mine still works, though I use the XTP BIOS to get good performance out of it, as the regular BIOS has half the read performance.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v395/Evilweredragon/speedtest.jpg


I don't know what system that is running in, but I'd be inclined to check that test against a stop-watch. At that rate the read test should take about 8 seconds to run.

evildragon
July 23rd, 2012, 07:55 AM
I don't know what system that is running in, but I'd be inclined to check that test against a stop-watch. At that rate the read test should take about 8 seconds to run.

IBM PS/2 Model 25 with a V30 installed, running the V30 specific BIOS.

I'll try video taping it run the test. I was using a 128MB CF card then, I'm using a 2GB DOM now, and the test is slightly different.

Gib
July 23rd, 2012, 08:47 AM
HERE'S A DIFFERENT TWIST ON THE DISK SIZE QUESTION... "DIVIDE ERROR!"

I've been preparing a 1.3GB 2.5" IDE HDD for the arrival of the latest XT-IDE board and installation in my 5155 portable. One of my favorite programs from the 80s, PCSHELL, from Central Point, won't run on the 1.3GB. I get a Divide Error!

I swapped out the 1.3GB for a 500MB, the smallest size and oldest mfg date (1994) HDD I own, and PCSHELL works just fine on it. So, is there an upper disk size limit for some of the programs we are planning to run on our XT-IDEs?

Chuck(G)
July 23rd, 2012, 08:57 AM
If PCShell is attempting to determine the total size of all drives, I suspect that there's an arithmetic overflow in computing the total. Not at all unusual for the time. Drives simply weren't that large.

Stone
July 23rd, 2012, 08:59 AM
I'm not sure the disk size has any bearing on that problem. You just may get lucky if you try using LOADFIX.

Chuck(G)
July 23rd, 2012, 09:45 AM
Maybe--but then I've written programs that blew up as the disk size increased. It's not hard.

Note that I'm not saying "partition size", but rather "disk size". There are programs that attempt to determine the sum total of all partitions. Here's one, that in an act of desperation, I had to bracket at 655MB to keep from blowing up. It was, according to the file date, written in 1990.

evildragon
July 23rd, 2012, 11:02 AM
Here's a live speed test of my XT-IDE rev 2.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvMMgUjIJos

Gib
July 23rd, 2012, 01:40 PM
Stone,

I didn't "get lucky," as you suggested I might with LOADFIX. It resulted in the same "Divide Error!"

Mad-Mike
July 23rd, 2012, 06:25 PM
Just wondering what size Hard drives were people hooking up to there XT-IDE controllers? IMHO I think anything more than maybe a 80MB drive is kinda a waist.

It takes more than a few seconds on my PC just to get a directory listing from a 32MB partion using an ADP50 IDE controller. Can't Imagine someone using DOS 5 and a 2GB partition for a computer this age. Must take forever to get a directory listing.

Ok now don't start throwing rotten eggs and veggies at me. I was just curious that's all.:D

I'm using a small cache of older drives I assembled over the course of 2001-2008, I basically grabbed everything under a Gigabyte that I could before the well dried up in Alabama/Seattle. Currently I have 2 Connor CFS-420 hard drives in there, and at one point I was running a 420MB Seagate and a 124MB Maxtor 7120AT. The next drives for that machine will be 3GB, but due to the file sizes on an XT, I just don't see the point in going over a Gigabyte for the games I play on one.

pearce_jj
July 23rd, 2012, 09:50 PM
Here's a live speed test of my XT-IDE rev 2.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvMMgUjIJos

I worked the numbers back and that is possible with a V30 (clearly!) but seems to imply it's running it's 8-bit slots at 8MHz, whereas most 8-bit slots have wait states added to keep the cycle time to 800ns or so (the same as the original PC).

evildragon
July 23rd, 2012, 10:00 PM
I worked the numbers back and that is possible with a V30 (clearly!) but seems to imply it's running it's 8-bit slots at 8MHz, whereas most 8-bit slots have wait states added to keep the cycle time to 800ns or so (the same as the original PC).

Yes, it's an 8-bit ISA slot clocked at 8MHz.

EDIT: Copy and pasted from IBM's reference manual for the model 25:
"CLK (0): System clock: This is the system clock signal with a frequency of 8 MHz and a 33% duty cycle."
"I/0 CH RDY (I): I/O Channel Ready: This line, normally active (ready), is pulled inactive (not ready) by a memory or I/O device to lengthen I/O or memory cycles. It allows slower devices to attach to the I/O channel with a minimum of difficulty. Any slow device using this line should drive it inactive immediately after detecting a valid address and a Read or Write command. For every clock cycle this line is inactive, one wait state is added. This line should not be held inactive longer than 17 clock cycles."

pearce_jj
July 23rd, 2012, 10:56 PM
I wonder what it does with the DMA controller. In the context of my XT-CF board, the model 25 now has my attention :)

Krille
July 24th, 2012, 12:54 PM
HERE'S A DIFFERENT TWIST ON THE DISK SIZE QUESTION... "DIVIDE ERROR!"

I've been preparing a 1.3GB 2.5" IDE HDD for the arrival of the latest XT-IDE board and installation in my 5155 portable. One of my favorite programs from the 80s, PCSHELL, from Central Point, won't run on the 1.3GB. I get a Divide Error!

I swapped out the 1.3GB for a 500MB, the smallest size and oldest mfg date (1994) HDD I own, and PCSHELL works just fine on it. So, is there an upper disk size limit for some of the programs we are planning to run on our XT-IDEs?

You can limit the size of the drive by enabling the "User specified CHS" or "User specified LBA" options in XTIDECFG.

pearce_jj
July 24th, 2012, 01:36 PM
I don't think the disk size is the issue assuming you're using the XT-IDE Universal BIOS. I've been running into timing issues and a divide overflow on boot is one symptom I've seen.

Gib
July 24th, 2012, 04:38 PM
Krille, good point. I'd try limiting the size of the drive if I didn't have a smaller one available (and useless for anything else).

pearce_jj, I'm not sure what you're saying. I don't yet have an XT-IDE, but do you mean I will likely run into timing issues when I get one? (Until I get the XT-IDE, I'm using a computer manufactured in 1998, which has an onboard controller, to prepare the hard drive for the XT-IDE to be installed in a 5155 portable.)

Stone
July 24th, 2012, 04:41 PM
HERE'S A DIFFERENT TWIST ON THE DISK SIZE QUESTION... "DIVIDE ERROR!"

I've been preparing a 1.3GB 2.5" IDE HDD for the arrival of the latest XT-IDE board and installation in my 5155 portable. One of my favorite programs from the 80s, PCSHELL, from Central Point, won't run on the 1.3GB. I get a Divide Error!

I swapped out the 1.3GB for a 500MB, the smallest size and oldest mfg date (1994) HDD I own, and PCSHELL works just fine on it. So, is there an upper disk size limit for some of the programs we are planning to run on our XT-IDEs?Have you tried partitioning the drive?

wdegroot
July 25th, 2012, 12:17 PM
hmmm xt ide controllers
HOW much will they sell for does anyone sell them commercaiilly ?
early in the thread some one mentioned the dos hd limit

it is and has been 2,048 m - 2g.
I wonder if pc-dos 200 exceeds this I will have to try.
I have two st-2096 drives I have to test them.

wdegroot
July 29th, 2012, 06:43 PM
the "2096"
is a typo somewthing I am famous for,
they are 89m st-4096 full height drives.
I may have some Microplis drives but unless someone has a hat full of driver transistors
that will run almost long enough to fdislk format and then die
JR from monroe calculator said they replaced a lot of those transistors.