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Gib
July 17th, 2012, 12:34 AM
I'm loading 2M-XBIOS with config.sys and then running 2MX. This software promises to allow 1.44mb and 1.2mb floppy drives to run on 5160 motherboards, such as the one in XTs and the IBM 5155 portable. A 16-bit SPF2 multifunction card is installed in the 8-bit slot, and the stock 360k A: drive and either a 1.44mb or a 1.2mb B: drive are connected.

Seemed like such a great idea, and after some initial problems with boot disks (I'm formatting them all on the 5155 now), I'm at the point where the OS loads reliably from A: But I keep getting Drive Not Ready failures with 1.44mb B: drives.

I've tried two different 1.44mb drives that work fine in other computers, and I've used DOS 3.3, 6.22, and DR-DOS 7.03, all with the same results: Drive Not Ready.

Any ideas what the problem may be?

per
July 17th, 2012, 05:54 AM
What's the numbers on the FDC chip on the multifunction card, and how many osc. crystals are there on it (and what frequencies)?

You may also test the multifunction card with a 1.44MB FDD in another computer.

Gib
July 17th, 2012, 08:16 AM
I'm looking at the Epson SPF2 card as I write this, trying to identify the FDC chip. Is it the chip closest to the 34-pin connector, which is a WD37C65B-PL (00-02-8841) mfg in 1987? Does that "WD" refer to Western Digital?

As for the osc. crystals and frequencies, I don't know how to determine that. Can you give me some guidance on that.

Since even the oldest of my other computers has an onboard floppy controller, I hadn't thought to try the SPF2 card on it. But it does have a couple of ISA slots, and I could disable the onboard controller in BIOS, and maybe the serial and parallel as well, since I haven't figured out whether they are active on the card... OK, I'll give that a try and report back.

Gib
July 17th, 2012, 09:30 AM
As suggested, I installed the SPF2 card in another computer. It works! I connected both of the 1.44mb floppies, and A: booted without any problem. B: drive works fine, too. No "Drive not ready" failures.

So, the Epson SPF2 card boots A: drives in both computers (the old 360k drive in the 5155 portable, and the newer 1.44mb drive in the circa '98 desktop), and it accesses the 1.44mb B: drive in the desktop. The problem is that it can't access the same 1.44mb B: drive in the 5155 portable, using 2MX software.

Why is that?

per
July 17th, 2012, 10:50 AM
As suggested, I installed the SPF2 card in another computer. It works! I connected both of the 1.44mb floppies, and A: booted without any problem. B: drive works fine, too. No "Drive not ready" failures.

So, the Epson SPF2 card boots A: drives in both computers (the old 360k drive in the 5155 portable, and the newer 1.44mb drive in the circa '98 desktop), and it accesses the 1.44mb B: drive in the desktop. The problem is that it can't access the same 1.44mb B: drive in the 5155 portable, using 2MX software.

Why is that?

Then it's not the card that's the problem at least...

What command line text do you use to run 2MX in Config.sys?

sergey
July 17th, 2012, 11:56 AM
As suggested, I installed the SPF2 card in another computer. It works! I connected both of the 1.44mb floppies, and A: booted without any problem. B: drive works fine, too. No "Drive not ready" failures.

So, the Epson SPF2 card boots A: drives in both computers (the old 360k drive in the 5155 portable, and the newer 1.44mb drive in the circa '98 desktop), and it accesses the 1.44mb B: drive in the desktop. The problem is that it can't access the same 1.44mb B: drive in the 5155 portable, using 2MX software.

Why is that?

Can you try specifying /13 flag to 2M-XBIOS.EXE? I think I had similar problem, and this flag resolved it. Also as per suggested make sure you specify other flags correctly (something like 1:360K 2:1.44M)

Gib
July 17th, 2012, 11:59 AM
The config.sys command is: DEVICE=2M-XBIOS.EXE A:1 B:4
Then I run 2MX from the prompt.
I've also tried adding /13 to the config.sys command, as the program's creator suggests when drives are problematic.

Gib
July 17th, 2012, 12:10 PM
Sergey, the program author specifies 1=360k and 4=1.44mb. The configuration I am trying to get working is a 360k A: drive and a 1.44mb B: drive.

sergey
July 17th, 2012, 03:12 PM
Sergey, the program author specifies 1=360k and 4=1.44mb. The configuration I am trying to get working is a 360k A: drive and a 1.44mb B: drive.

Yeah you right. (I don't have my XT right now, so I was trying to read the help from binary file :-))
But just for the record, 2M-XBIOS did make 1.44 MB drive work on my Taiwanese Turbo XT clone board. I used an AT multi-io board (Prime 2C) as FDC controller...

Gib
July 17th, 2012, 05:15 PM
Those multi-io boards are getting harder to come by. Seems like I'm soooo close to getting 2MX to work on my 5155. The Epson card is able to boot the old 360k just fine, and it tries to access the 1.44mb. What could possibly cause that "Drive not ready"?

modem7
July 18th, 2012, 03:21 AM
I have never used 2M-XBIOS before.
I pulled out my IBM 5155, and after a couple of hiccups, got 2M-XBIOS working with A: of 360K and B: of 1.44M

For this I used a 16-bit IDE/floppy card from one of my 286 based clones (one with a 1.44M drive). The card has a FDC37C65B floppy controller chip.

At first, any time I put "B:4" in as an option when loading 2M-XBIOS.EXE via CONFIG.SYS, 2M-XBIOS.EXE would hang the machine.
"A:1" was fine, but "A:1 B:4" resulted in a hang.

The first hiccup was that the copy of 2M-XBIOS.EXE I had was version 1.2
I upgraded to 1.3
That enabled me to use the /13 switch (which is not present in version 1.2).

DEVICE=2M-XBIOS.EXE A:1 B:4 /13

The use of /13 stopped the hanging, and I saw on screen: 2M-XBIOS 1.3 installed on A:360K B:1.44M [INT 13h]

Then, when I tried to access B: drive ("DIR B:"), I saw the familiar, "Insert diskette for drive B: and strike any key when ready".
I realised from that the motherboard switches were set for one floppy drive.
I set the switches for two drives, rebooted, and then I was able to get a directory listing of B:

Gib
July 18th, 2012, 11:15 AM
Thanks, modem7, for going to all that bother.

My 5155 came with two 360k IBM (Qume) floppy drives, so the motherboard is set for two floppy drives. On arrival, both drives were malfunctioning. A Q-tip cleaning fixed the A: drive, but the B: still was reporting data errors. I decided to upgrade 1.44mb. (Yesterday, I found a cleaning diskette and after running it in B: drive, it's working again. But I'm still trying to install the 1.44mb, because I have to boot with a 360k and since they're hard to come by, I'd like to keep the second 360k as a backup.)

Anyway, I've been using version 1.3 of 2M-XBIOS from the start, so I added "/13" on the config.sys command line after early unsuccessful results. I get the same confirmation you do: 2M-XBIOS 1.3 installed on A:360K B:1.44M [INT 13h], which always makes me feel hopeful... Then my hopes are shattered by "Not ready error reading drive B" when I try to access the 1.44mb with dir b:

I've tried two 1.44 drives with the same result. I've installed the Epson controller card in another computer and been able to run both 1.44 drives routinely.

NOW, HERE'S SOME NEW AND PERPLEXING INFORMATION:

Since my 360k B: drive is working again, I connected it to the Epson controller card along with the 360k A: drive. I modified the config.sys to make B:1 and booted. The confirming message was: 2M-XBIOS 1.3 installed on A:360K B:360K. (I left off /13 to see if it would work without that switch.) Then I entered dir b: and THE B: DRIVE WORKED, PROVIDING A DIRECTORY LISTING!

So, 2M-XBIOS successfully loaded, and the controller worked, and the 360k drives both worked. But neither of the 1.44mb drives works in the 5155, although they have no problem working in another computer, whether connected to an onboard controller or the Epson controller card.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

[Edit: Since I discovered the Epson controller can also run the two 360k drives fine without 2M-XBIOS, it may not seem relevant that it can run them with that BIOS. But if the native IBM BIOS is replaced by 2M-XBIOS, then it shows the replacement code works. The Epson card can also run the 1.44mb drive with or without 2M-XBIOS, as a 720k! The one option that doesn't work is to use the 1.44mb floppies in the drive, with or without 2M-XBIOS. That results in the Drive not ready failure (with 2M) or a General failure (without).]

SO, AGAIN, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN (other than you can't always get what you want)?

Gib
July 18th, 2012, 08:41 PM
FINALLY, SUCCESS...

All my efforts had been directed toward getting a 1.44mb to work as B: drive, by using 2M-XBIOS software, while retaining the stock 360k A: drive. All those efforts failed.

I finally got around to trying two 1.44mb drives, identifying them to 2M-XBIOS as a:3 and b:4 (720k and 1.44mb) in config.sys, and THAT WORKED! Drive A: reads and writes 720k floppies, and drive B: reads and writes both 720k and 1.44mb floppies.

For some reason, my system will not allow the B: drive to function as a 1.44mb unless the A: drive is a 720k (or in this case, a 1.44mb misidentified as a 720k).

Thanks to all of you who offered assistance.

wdegroot
July 19th, 2012, 12:27 PM
some of what you mention is somehting that may not have existed in 1887 when I worked with xt's and compatibles., At that time there two options
1) a controller card with a bios
2) a "compati card - no bios- but it used a driver statement in config.sys
Work around ( sort of) according to an old PC World letter the XT and likely the clones would boot from a 720k floppy ( 80 trk 9 sectors)
But unless the 8088 machine had " device=driver.sys " or " drivparm" no device =
same "switches for both." it would format the 3,5" floppy as a 360k. this is with the original controller. YOU could use a 1.44 floppy drive as the computer did not know the difference.
BUT the 1.44 disk needed the OTHER hole taped over or a newer system could not read it.

this is a cheap and simple way to get around the lack of new 5.25" floppies and reliable drives. If you are tempted to use an old 5.25
720k drive DON'T ( from cpm) it is troublesome with both 360 and 1.2, floppy disks.
been there. the 1.,2 floppy drive is useless in a 8088 unless the controller had it's own bios.
been there, Too.

per
July 19th, 2012, 01:35 PM
Perhaps the problem was that the 5.25" drive may have had terminator resistors that caused issues with the 3.5" drives you have?

ibmapc
July 19th, 2012, 03:45 PM
Perhaps the problem was that the 5.25" drive may have had terminator resistors that caused issues with the 3.5" drives you have?
Per,
If the 360K drive was used as Drive A, it would be on the end of the cable right? Wouldn't it need the terminator resistor pack if it's at the end of the cable?

Gib
July 19th, 2012, 04:57 PM
Based on Per's comment, I tried booting the 360k drive again with and without the terminator resistor. In both cases, it booted and loaded 2M-XBIOS from config.sys. But in both cases, I got the familiar "Drive not ready" when I tried to access the 1.44mb drive with dir B:

per
July 20th, 2012, 01:40 AM
Based on Per's comment, I tried booting the 360k drive again with and without the terminator resistor. In both cases, it booted and loaded 2M-XBIOS from config.sys. But in both cases, I got the familiar "Drive not ready" when I tried to access the 1.44mb drive with dir B:

Ok. I was just wondering.

Then I can only imagine that it may be a bug or something in the driver itself. How does it work if you switch the two so the 1.44MB drive becomes drive A (you can still boot 720KB disks* in it)?

(* These must be real 720KB disks and not just HD disks formatted as 720KB disks.)

Gib
July 20th, 2012, 12:42 PM
The 1.44mb drive boots a 720kb floppy, but with or without 2M-XBIOS loaded I get a "Drive not ready" error when I do a dir b: to access the 360kb drive. I think there is some sort of incompatibility between the new and old drives going on here.