PDA

View Full Version : Gateway 400 Series BIOS



bettablue
October 6th, 2012, 11:51 AM
OK, Here's the situation. My Tweener is a 1997 Gateway 400 series Pll running a 233 Mhz processor, 128 Megs of RAM, dual 40 Gig hard drives, internal DVD reader/Writer, internal 100 Meg Zip disk, 3.5" 1.44 Meg floppy and 5.25" 360K DDSD IBM floppy drive. (I think that's about it.)

The problem I'm running into is that although the computer runs everything I've thrown at it so far, DOS apps included, the system BIOS will only allow the use of 1 floppy drive at a time in the machine. Most of the time, I need the 3.5 1.44 Meg drive, so I leave things alone, but there are times I need to use the 5.25 360K drive; which means shutting the computer off, unplugging power, disconnecting the 3.5" floppy and connecting the 5.25, then during bootup, reconfigure the BIOS to recognize the correct drive. When I'm done with the 5.25" drive, I have to reverse the entire process so I can go back to using the 3.5" drive again.

Question: Do any of you know if Gateway had a BIOS update for the 400 series that would allow the computer to run with both floppy drives installed and at the same time? Or would you recommend using a different computer, possibly a 386, or 486 running Windows 3.1, or Windows 95? I've heard people mention system 7 mother boards, but I'm not familiar to anything prior to the Windows 95 computers I had access to. (Which is one of the primary reasons I had so much trouble getting started with my IBM 5150 and in these forums.) And, because of track width differences, I don't want to go with a combo drive that has a 3.5" 1.44 Meg, and 5.25 1.2Meg floppy drive all in one unit. The track widths are so different that these cause their owm problems when going from machine to machine.

What are your thoughts? Is there another option I haven't thought about for my Tweener?

Stone
October 6th, 2012, 12:52 PM
What are your thoughts?I think you should be able to run both floppies. I don't know what the problem is but there must be a way to resolve it.

krebizfan
October 6th, 2012, 01:00 PM
My tweener is the G6-300 Pentium II with Intel motherboard which works fine with both drives. I believe that almost every 286, 386, 486, or Pentium desktop or tower should have no problem with two floppy drives installed. Many of them shipped with both 5.25" HD and 3.5" HD so if you can track down a system built between 1990 and 1995 you should just need to swap out the 5.25" HD and install the 5.25" DD. Make sure you have a proper 5 connector floppy cable; my 486 Gateway came with a cable that required the A drive to be 5.25" which isn't too useful after OSes switched to 3.5" boot floppies.

I would also check to see if you can find a cheap secondary floppy controller.

Sorry, I don't know of a BIOS update. Gateway was very bad at keeping up with needed updates. If you can track down the actual base motherboard, you might be able to find an update to that. That is what I had to do to update my Gateway system's BIOS with the Intel update.

bettablue
October 6th, 2012, 01:15 PM
Thanks stone. You do seem to be everywhere... I like that.

What I hope to do is find a way to use both floppy drives at the same time.. I've tried to have them both connected, however in that configuration, the computer won't boot. Instead it will throw an error about the floppy drive being incompatible. I just thought this was pretty funny for a computer of that era. Other systems both before and after this computers release seem to allow for both, so why not this one?

Others here seem to recommend a 486 machine. But on the other hand, I have a 286 IBM machine waiting for me too. If I can run Windows 3.0 on it, that will do the trick too, because I know it will let me run both floppy drives at the same time.




I think you should be able to run both floppies. I don't know what the problem is but there must be a way to resolve it.

Stone
October 6th, 2012, 01:31 PM
You need to take both floppies and the ribbon cable and plug the whole assembly into another machine. If you get the same error the problem is one of the floppies or the cable. Another thought... you're using a floppy ribbon cable with a twist, right? You need to check both drives to be sure that they are both set to DS1 for Drive Select. That's the second position counting from zero like 0, 1, 2, 3. If one of them isn't set to DS1, change it.

bettablue
October 6th, 2012, 01:48 PM
I do know how to set up floppy drives. I've done it numerous times. It's just this one machine. Even the BIOS only shows a drive A when both are connected. I have it so that the 3.5" 1.44 Meg is the master on drive "A" and the 5.25 360K is the slave on drive "B". However, because they can't both run at the same time due to the percieved limits of this computer; I'm running them individually as a master drive "A". So, when I nees the other drive, I'll open the computer, make the swap and so forth.

I wish I could be clearer than that. But, at least I did the proper setups and normal troubleshooting. Hell, the Gateway was given to me along with another almost identical P3 system. Neither will accept dual floppy drives. Bummer! That's why I'm considering yet another computer to use as my tweener.


You need to take both floppies and the ribbon cable and plug the whole assembly into another machine. If you get the same error the problem is one of the floppies or the cable. Another thought... you're using a floppy ribbon cable with a twist, right? You need to check both drives to be sure that they are both set to DS1 for Drive Select. That's the second position counting from zero like 0, 1, 2, 3. If one of them isn't set to DS1, change it.

modem7
October 6th, 2012, 02:15 PM
I have it so that the 3.5" 1.44 Meg is the master on drive "A" and the 5.25 360K is the slave on drive "B".
So when both drives were connected, you removed/disabled the terminator on the 5.25" one (at middle of cable).

Stone
October 6th, 2012, 02:22 PM
FWIW, there is *no* master or slave with floppies. :-)

Try the 5.25" drive an A and the 3.5" drive as B.

Did you check the DS jumper on both drives?

I don't think there are any limits on your computers. It will run two floppies when configured correctly.

bettablue
October 6th, 2012, 02:39 PM
The terminator was removed, and the two drives were installed, and connected, we tried setting one drive as the master and the other as a slave, set both to cable select, and both set to master. Then I swapped out the cable for one without the twist, and did it all again. The computer's BIOS just will not give me more than one floppy drive at a time, And it doesn't seem to matter which drive is set to the master or slave position, or if their set to cable select, the BIOS won't let me proceed, with both floppy drives connected. and will throw an error.



So when both drives were connected, you removed/disabled the terminator on the 5.25" one (at middle of cable).

krebizfan
October 6th, 2012, 02:46 PM
At this point, models numbers of drives and computer including bios version would probably be helpful. I think there is some miscommunication that is creating a bit of confusion. Pictures might not hurt either.

I think the cause might be any of the following:
A budget BIOS that only supports a single floppy disk though I thought that was rare in 1997.
A floppy cable that either lacks the expected twist or has been damaged.
The 360kB floppy was adjusted to work in a non-IBM PC compatible system.

Stone
October 6th, 2012, 02:51 PM
The terminator was removed, and the two drives were installed, and connected, we tried setting one drive as the master and the other as a slave, set both to cable select, and both set to master.Once again, master and slave are IDE features, not floppy features and that goes for cable select as well. I really can't follow what you're trying to convey.

Did you try the 5.25" drive as drive A? If not, you need to try this.

bettablue
October 6th, 2012, 04:38 PM
Sorry stone, but now it is I who don't know what you're asking. ;-) I thought I had answerd that several querries ago... Yes, both were tried as drive "A", and both were tries as drive "B" position on two seperate cables, both in their position on the cables and with their switching via jumpers. Both floppy drives were moved and switched around every which way but sideways!

I have to apologize if this thread has gotten a little out of hand, and I sound frustrated... I just think that everyone is so willing to help, and pass on what they know, (And I'm guilty of this too) that everyone seems forget that sometimes the user does know what they're doing. I truly am greatful for the advice, but yes, I really do know what I'm doing in this case. Rest assured that this is one of those occasions. Yes, I have tried every known configuration of drive to cable position, switch position, cable type; twisted vs non twisted, and I even tried a seperate non twisted cable jus to make sure. I actually spent the better part of 2 hours trying out all of the different settings, and setups that I could. In each case, the Gateway just does not accept a 2nd floppy drive. That's all there is to it. I can accept that. I find it wierd, but I still accept it.

Now can we move forward to the real questions which are, if there were any BIOS upgrades for the 400 series of Gateway computer running a P2 processor, or whether or not an older machine might be better for the purpose? My thinking here is a 386 or 486 running either Windows 3.1, or Windows 95.




Once again, master and slave are IDE features, not floppy features and that goes for cable select as well. I really can't follow what you're trying to convey.

Did you try the 5.25" drive as drive A? If not, you need to try this.

modem7
October 6th, 2012, 08:04 PM
that everyone seems forget that sometimes the user does know what they're doing. I truly am greatful for the advice, but yes, I really do know what I'm doing in this case. Rest assured that this is one of those occasions.
But of course, you can understand that the use of incorrect terminology might suggest otherwise to some.

bettablue
October 7th, 2012, 07:46 AM
And, yes, I am at fault for that, of course. (I'm not being sarcasric.) I do truly like all everyone has done, and their willingness to assist. And, yes, my lack of communication skills sometimes get's in the way, but then again when I attempt to be too accurate, it all comes out wrond there too. So, I don't fault everyone nearly as much as I do myself.

This P2 Gateway, and it's twin P3 are great systems, but with both exhibiting the exact same issue and their inability to accept a 2nd floppy drive, they just aren't what I really need, so I guess theonly real option really is to replace it with another system, or to manually swap the drives whenever I need the 5.25". I'll be on the lookout for a decent 386 or 486 that already has dual floppy disks installed; something with a decent video driver, and that can still be upgraded somewhat. That way there won't be any issues with trying to install something that wasn't there to begin with.

Thanks everyone. Sorry for wasting your time.




But of course, you can understand that the use of incorrect terminology might suggest otherwise to some.

Stone
October 7th, 2012, 08:38 AM
Thanks everyone. Sorry for wasting your time.Hey, it's not a waste of anybody's time. And, we're not done yet, either. :-)

Does the CMOS Setup in those machines allow for both floppies? You know, a line to choose floppy A and a second line to choose floppy B. If so you should be able to have two floppies installed together.

Is the floppy controller on the motherboard or on an expansion card? Give a response for each machine if they are different. I'm guessing it's on the motherboard. If it's on the motherboard you could probably insert a floppy controller card into a slot and try that out. There's probably a setting in your setup to enable/disable the onboard floppy controller.

bettablue
October 7th, 2012, 09:08 AM
I do love persistance! (also not being sarcastic)

Q) Does the CMOS Setup in those machines allow for both floppies? You know, a line to choose floppy A and a second line to choose floppy B. If so you should be able to have two floppies installed together.

A) No, the CMOS only has one line, and that is to either anable or disable the floppy drive, and then it is only on drive A that is ever listed. Now, if there is something I can do to ferify this to make completely sure, I'll be more than happy to oblige. But during the bootup, pressing F1 brings me into the BIOS setup. Tab over to the Advanced page, and arrow down to floppy setup. In that window there is a line that specifies the floppy controller forone of 3 settings. enable, disable, or auto. And finally under that, is a line labeled "Diskette A" where the drive type is selected. Only one drive type can be chosen, and there is never an option to add a 2nd drive, even with the 2nd drive installed using any of the configurations we've previously discussed. In addition; both of these Gateway computers have the same exact BIOS configuration screens. As I said; wierd.

The model I'm currently using is GP6-400, with a standard 1.44 Meg Mitsubishi 3.5" floppy and the 5.25" drive is a Teac 360K DDSD drive. Unfortunately, I don't know the model numbers of either without completely removing them both. Both of the floppy drives worked fine in my previous Tweener, a Dell tower that I had Frankensteined together. There was just no room in that small tower to do anything with. And since I had to remove it's CD Rom in order to install the 2nd floppy, was also pretty useless to me.

OK, I think , let me repeat, THINK, I have everything covered. Does anything I have included here help? Or is there something still missing? LEt's get to the bottom if it.

;-)









Hey, it's not a waste of anybody's time. And, we're not done yet, either. :-)

Does the CMOS Setup in those machines allow for both floppies? You know, a line to choose floppy A and a second line to choose floppy B. If so you should be able to have two floppies installed together.

Is the floppy controller on the motherboard or on an expansion card? Give a response for each machine if they are different. I'm guessing it's on the motherboard. If it's on the motherboard you could probably insert a floppy controller card into a slot and try that out. There's probably a setting in your setup to enable/disable the onboard floppy controller.

Stone
October 7th, 2012, 09:19 AM
So, yank the floppy controller from Alice and put it in the Gateway. Of course, if you happen to have an extra floppy controller you won't need to bother Alice. :-) Make sure the Gateway has the controller set to disable or auto. Disable would be a sure thing. :-) Then try both floppies. See if you can set them up from there. If you can all you would need is a floppy controller for the Gateway.

bettablue
October 7th, 2012, 09:47 AM
Ooops.. Nice try, but I gotta shhot you gown again. I know you're trying though. That won't work either though. The floppy controller in the Gateway is integrated into the mobo. I suppose I could add a floppy controller, but will Windows 95 pick it up? Will the Gateway's BIOS need to be configured? Because although I won't move Alice's controller, I may just try an ISA floppy controller; if that will work. One more small item, the Gateway computers both have a single ISA slot for expansion. Do you think adding a floppy controller will do the trick? I would hate to buy one and then have it not work. I suppose, I could remoce the controller fromm my Compaq Portable.... More possibilities, and options.

This might be the way to go.

As for moving the controller from Alice, that is absolutely worse than what I'm doing now! Besides, being the one armed man in a wheelchair, taking the monitor off the top of Alice isn't the easiest thing for me to do. One slip and I have IBM salad! I would much rather switch the connector on the floppy drives as I'm doing now. Besides, the only reason I need the 5.25" drive is to write a floppy for Alice. So, that would definitely be a chore just to get a couple of disks ready for me to use on the 5150. I'm prinarilly only using the 5.25" disks to transfer files and programs over to the expansion unit's drives.


So, yank the floppy controller from Alice and put it in the Gateway. Of course, if you happen to have an extra floppy controller you won't need to bother Alice. :-) Make sure the Gateway has the controller set to disable or auto. Disable would be a sure thing. :-) Then try both floppies. See if you can set them up from there. If you can all you would need is a floppy controller for the Gateway.

RWallmow
October 8th, 2012, 04:27 AM
To the point of a BIOS update, can you get us some numbers off the board, its VERY likely the board is an Intel board, and we might be able to find you an Intel (or other mfgs) BIOS image that would work, gateway didn't make boards back then, they just stuck their logo and info in a customized BIOS to identify it as theirs.

You may want to invest in a pre-flashed BIOS chip if we find a compatible one, in the case the board doesn't like a generic BIOS or we get the model wrong, then you can just swap chips back to the stock one, also there may be some check that has to pass to update with Intel/Generic BIOS image and it would be easier to just chip swap in that case. There's a few sellers on ebay (or badflash.com (http://www.badflash.com), used them a few times to recover from failed BIOS flashs) who will custom program a new BIOS chip for you, or if you have your own EEPROM/flash burner, all you would need would be a compatible chip.

bettablue
October 8th, 2012, 05:59 AM
Thank you for this info.

I personally like the idea of updating the BIOS infinitely more than adding the 2nd controller card. So, that is certainly the option I would like to go with. I don't have an EEPROM/flash burner of my own, and to be completely honest, I wouldn't even know where to begin with one.

Quote: You may want to invest in a pre-flashed BIOS chip if we find a compatible one, End Quote

This sounds excellent! What am I looking at as far as cost to my door? I'll have to start budgeting for that expense, plus other vintage computer related items coming my way...

I'll attempt to get the Mobo info for you today. That is if I can get to the Mobo without doing a complete Lobotomy. Again, the model number is: GP6-400. If for some reason I can't get into the system far enough to get the Mobo info, what other information can I get that will help you?



To the point of a BIOS update, can you get us some numbers off the board, its VERY likely the board is an Intel board, and we might be able to find you an Intel (or other mfgs) BIOS image that would work, gateway didn't make boards back then, they just stuck their logo and info in a customized BIOS to identify it as theirs.

You may want to invest in a pre-flashed BIOS chip if we find a compatible one, in the case the board doesn't like a generic BIOS or we get the model wrong, then you can just swap chips back to the stock one, also there may be some check that has to pass to update with Intel/Generic BIOS image and it would be easier to just chip swap in that case. There's a few sellers on ebay (or badflash.com (http://www.badflash.com), used them a few times to recover from failed BIOS flashs) who will custom program a new BIOS chip for you, or if you have your own EEPROM/flash burner, all you would need would be a compatible chip.

RWallmow
October 8th, 2012, 06:18 AM
This sounds excellent! What am I looking at as far as cost to my door? I'll have to start budgeting for that expense, plus other vintage computer related items coming my way...
I would expect anywhere between $5 and $20 shipped, but if you have some obscure oddball flash chip it could be more, the model of the flash chip will usually determine price, the service of flashing the chip is usually very minimal.

Try to get us a detailed photo of the board, close up on model numbers, and bios chip. Should help us figure out a lot of info for you.

EDIT: I should also note, some mfgs would SOLDER the BIOS chip, so a chip swap may not be possible, but the vintage you are talking about could go either way, these days soldered chips seem to be more common than older machines.

bettablue
October 8th, 2012, 06:46 AM
Great, thanks for the heads up. I believe I know a couple of folks here in the forums who have EEPROM/flash burners. Chuck G I think is one of them. But first, I'll pull the computer apart today, and I mean apart, without pulling the power supply or the Mobo, and I'll get you some good close-up shots. It will take some time though. First, I'll have to get my wife to lift the thing up to my work bench for me.

I'll send an update along with the photos soon.




I would expect anywhere between $5 and $20 shipped, but if you have some obscure oddball flash chip it could be more, the model of the flash chip will usually determine price, the service of flashing the chip is usually very minimal.

Try to get us a detailed photo of the board, close up on model numbers, and bios chip. Should help us figure out a lot of info for you.

EDIT: I should also note, some mfgs would SOLDER the BIOS chip, so a chip swap may not be possible, but the vintage you are talking about could go either way, these days soldered chips seem to be more common than older machines.

RJBJR
October 8th, 2012, 06:51 AM
Try to get us a detailed photo of the board, close up on model numbers, and bios chip. Should help us figure out a lot of info for you.


If you can also provide the BIOS version number that shows during POST it would help. It will look something like 4W4SB0X0.15A.00XX.XXX
It should also be listed at the bottom of the BIOS Setup Main tab, look at the bottom of the screen for the current BIOS version.

bettablue
October 8th, 2012, 06:34 PM
OK, guys and gals... Here's what we got. :computer:

When I opened the computer to really get a good look at the Mobo, I was actually surprised at the utter lack of information printed anywhere on the board. :hammermon: The are a few things of note though : The processor is indeed an Intel P2 part No.80011627 Rev A. Then to the lower rightnear the CMOS battery is a silver sticker labeled M02C8364.

Also, from what little I know about this computer, it has three slots for the installation of RAM, but I believe it is maxed out at 128Megs. Of course, I could be wrong. The board could accept up to 256 Megs. Although I do seem to remember something about this particular system having a max supported amount at 128. The P3 will accept 1 Gig!

If you look at the photos, I have included some very niceclose-ups of the Mother boards' visible silver labels/stickers. I have also included some photos showing as much of the mother board as possible, and close up views of the visible portions ofthe board. (Actually what is visible without completely dismantling the entire computer.) I looked behind the power supply by using acouple of angled mirrors and a bright light source, and didnít see anything else that would be of any use, so I stopped there. If there is anything on the other side of theMobo, it will have to remain there, because I donít want to strip the computer down any more than absolutely necessary. Also, as you can see in the photos, the case is completely closed off onthe back side of the Mobo anyway, just like any other machine I have ever seen. Because of the number of photos, I will be adding as may as I can in this reply, and the rest in another response.

Iím still considering the addition of a secondary floppycontroller. :lightbulb: I guess if I add an ISA controller capable of running dual floppy drives, Iíll have to disable the floppy drive in the system BIOS too, am I correct? :crutch:Which controller should I get that will work with both 3.5Ē 1.44 Meg, and 5.25Ē 360Kb DDSD drives? And, does anyone have an extra controller I can purchase? How much would it cost me including shipping etc.? Will Ihave to stick with an 8 or 16 bit ISA controller? or is there also a PCE floppycontroller I can use in the box?

Thanks everyone; especially to you stone; :bow2: If you werenít so persistent we wouldnít have even this one option and I would be looking at replacing the computer.

bettablue
October 8th, 2012, 06:37 PM
Part 2

This is the 2nd post of photos I took of the Gateway system. I honestly do hope these help in some way to determine what course of action I need to take.

And, again; thanks everyone.

RJBJR
October 8th, 2012, 07:52 PM
Looks kind of like one of these http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/INTEL/m00402/m0040201.shtml
The specs page indicates it has an SMC floppy controller that supports one floppy http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/INTEL/m00402/M0040202.shtml

Here is the link to where I dug this up from, there are other Intel Tabor motherboards listed but they all support one floppy only
http://support.gateway.com/support/drivers/getFile.asp?id=14952&dscr=BIOS%20update%204W4SB0X0.15A.0019.P14&uid=356834225

RWallmow
October 9th, 2012, 03:37 AM
Looks kind of like one of these http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/INTEL/m00402/m0040201.shtml
The specs page indicates it has an SMC floppy controller that supports one floppy http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/INTEL/m00402/M0040202.shtml

Here is the link to where I dug this up from, there are other Intel Tabor motherboards listed but they all support one floppy only
http://support.gateway.com/support/drivers/getFile.asp?id=14952&dscr=BIOS%20update%204W4SB0X0.15A.0019.P14&uid=356834225

You beat me to it. Unfortunately no BIOS update will ever get this thing seeing more than one floppy. Only option would be a floppy controller with its own BIOS.

Another option that may work for you, one that I use myself on newer PCs without a floppy controller, would be to use an IDE LS-120 (http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/INTEL/4000501/400050101.shtml) drive as your 3.5" and then you could leave the 5.25" fixed on your floppy controller. The LS-120 drive will read and write 720k, 1.44m, and 120m disks all very well, never run into any compatibility issues with it, though its possible if you have some obscure real DOS program that tries to talk directly to the hardware it may not work, but I have always been able to do any disk imaging I needed from winimage under windows, and it handles it flawlessly. You could even do an external USB LS-120 if you are out of IDE ports, however I would doubt that a PC of this age would support booting from it, most do support booting from IDE one though.

Stone
October 9th, 2012, 04:15 AM
Here's a simple solution. Use the 5.25" drive inside the machine and add a USB card to one of the PCI slots. This one is under $6 shipped.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-1-Port-Extended-USB-2-0-PCI-Adapter-Card-for-Desktop-/320998519220?pt=US_Internal_Port_Expansion_Cards&hash=item4abd00b1b4

Then you can use a USB 3.5" drive that can be found everywhere and very reasonable ($5 - $20). Doesn't get much easier than that.

bettablue
October 9th, 2012, 09:45 AM
So, I'm not crazy after all! Well, OK, maybe a little!

Does that also mean adding a second controller won't work? I'm perfectly OK with trying the USB floppy drive, AND, I don't need to add USB to the computer. It's already there, and integrated into the Mobo. Although, I do have a USB add in IDE card.


Thanks again to all of you who have orrered assistance. Depending on your feedback on me this entry, I'll probably set up the 5.25" drive and go with an external floppy, as suggested, unless I can add in the ISA floppy controller.


Here's a simple solution. Use the 5.25" drive inside the machine and add a USB card to one of the PCI slots. This one is under $6 shipped.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-1-Port-Extended-USB-2-0-PCI-Adapter-Card-for-Desktop-/320998519220?pt=US_Internal_Port_Expansion_Cards&hash=item4abd00b1b4

Then you can use a USB 3.5" drive that can be found everywhere and very reasonable ($5 - $20). Doesn't get much easier than that.

Stone
October 9th, 2012, 10:02 AM
You can probably add another controller. But you will need to either disable the onboard controller via CMOS or change the address of one of the controllers if they conflict. Otherwise just use the USB option. I'd plug something into the USB port to test it before I would get a USB floppy. You don't want to get the floppy only to discover that the USB port doesn't function and then have to get a USB card in order for the floppy to work. :-) It never hurts to be proactive.

RWallmow
October 9th, 2012, 10:12 AM
Just remember any USB solutions will not boot in a computer of that vintage. That's personally the reason I prefer my IDE LS-120 drives in my machines. In my experience computers didn't start supporting USB boot till late in the P3, early in P4 genres.

Stone
October 9th, 2012, 10:24 AM
He's not looking to boot from floppy. It's his tweener.

krebizfan
October 9th, 2012, 10:33 AM
Be cautious when choosing the USB floppy. Some of the newer models only work with 1.44MB not 720kB or those IBM and Microsoft specially formatted install disks. Depending on you planned needs, you may want one that has been sitting in a warehouse for a few years and can work with more varieties of 3.5" disks.

I would suggest looking for a secondary controller except I can't find any that are clearly able to handle 1.44MB drives and have jumpers allowing for changing address to make it a secondary controller. I wouldn't pay Ebay prices for "working pull" controller cards that have no indication of which chip is used. All Jameco has left are IDE+FDD controllers but I don't know if the IDE controller would conflict with your motherboard's IDE controller. At $3.95, it might be cheap enough to try. http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_291901_-1

RWallmow
October 9th, 2012, 10:48 AM
He's not looking to boot from floppy. It's his tweener.

No, he's not actively looking to be able to boot it, but I find that I frequently boot disks on my tweener to test things, or if I had to reload the OS, just saying it is something to think about, something to note.

If hes fine swapping internal floppys in the rare instance he needs to boot one, then no big deal.

Also with the large production of IDE LS120 drives back in the day, and relative failure commercially speaking, there's lots of cheap drives out there, might be cheaper than a USB 1.44 drive.

RJBJR
October 9th, 2012, 10:58 AM
So, I'm not crazy after all! Well, OK, maybe a little!
Does that also mean adding a second controller won't work? I'm perfectly OK with trying the USB floppy drive, AND, I don't need to add USB to the computer. It's already there, and integrated into the Mobo. Although, I do have a USB add in IDE card.


You can add a second controller that has a BIOS and then disable the floppy drive in the Gateway/Phoenix BIOS. Since you have both ISA and PCI slots it should be easy to locate a card. Even an old SCSI card with floppy support will work. The alternative USB solution that was suggested should work, too. That motherboard probably has USB version 1.x (USB spec for V2 was released in 2000) so you would need to make sure that the external USB floppy supports legacy USB ports. You also mentioned you have a PCI USB card, that may support USB version 2 and would work with a USB floppy that supports USB 2. Then all you would need would be drivers that support that card in your operating system (Win98?)

I can't help but wonder what would happen if you connected the floppy cable that has no twists to both floppy drives and tried switching between floppy drives using the Gateway BIOS? :) No, on second thought, not a good solution. Lots of choices though.

Stone
October 9th, 2012, 11:37 AM
I'm gonna come clean to all of ya'. When I boot my tweener to get something written to a 5.25" disk -- I boot to DOS!!! No USB, no HD, just A:, B: and a very large RamDrive. So, if Thomas wants to do it this way he's gonna need a dual floppy controller. Bottom line here, it works every time and there are zero conflicts. In the event I need to access the HD on that machine which happens to have a 10 gb drive in it I boot from a WIN ME boot disk which recognizes large disks and gives me access to the entire HD. I just don't like to be running WinBlows when I'm doing old DOS stuff.

patscc
October 9th, 2012, 12:31 PM
It looks a lot like a Intel WS440BX-based motherboard, in which case it should support up to 384 Mb.. At least they both use the 1-floppy controller FDC37C707 I/O chipset.
There used to be a lot of 16 bit multi i/o generic controllers around that let you set the card to the secondary controller addresses via jumper. If bettablue wants me to see if I can dig one up, let me know. I know I've got some, they're just a bit buried since I don't use them much, but don't want to chuck them.
patscc

RWallmow
October 9th, 2012, 12:42 PM
I'm gonna come clean to all of ya'. When I boot my tweener to get something written to a 5.25" disk -- I boot to DOS!!! No USB, no HD, just A:, B: and a very large RamDrive....

IDE LS-120's are accessible under real DOS (5.25 would likely be A, LS120 takes next free B), HOWEVER if an application tries to write to the RAW floppy hardware RATHER than using DOS calls/drive letter access it will not work. Only things like that I have run across that dont work on a LS120 from DOS is stuff like old disk utilities, and the self-extracting "reference disk" image for the IBM PS/2-25 (however Compaq's self extracting BIOS disks DO work).

Stone
October 9th, 2012, 01:18 PM
HOWEVER if an application tries to write to the RAW floppy hardware RATHER than using DOS calls/drive letter access it will not work. Only things like that I have run across that dont work on a LS120 from DOS is stuff like old disk utilities,......I like to use old Norton stuff on floppies. Programs like Norton Disk Doctor, Disk Test and several others that I find to be indespensable. I also use the old List.com and PCTools regularly. These gotta work or I won't be happy. :-)

RWallmow
October 10th, 2012, 04:07 AM
I like to use old Norton stuff on floppies. Programs like Norton Disk Doctor, Disk Test and several others that I find to be indespensable. I also use the old List.com and PCTools regularly. These gotta work or I won't be happy. :-)

I can test some of those out and see, really the list of things that haven't worked has been pretty slim. Not saying its a perfect solution though, just better than USB options (due to less cable clutter, boot-ability, and decent floppy emulation in DOS).

I would bet list.com would be fine, it was maintained until well after LS-120 had been out, I am sure even if its using direct hardware access, it probably takes LS120, ZIP, etc all into account, but I will test it out and let you know.

Stone
October 10th, 2012, 05:17 AM
The PCTools I use is v4.30 and Norton is v4.5 AE. These versions are from 1988 and 1990 respectively and are bacically the foundation of my floppy disk utilities. List is v9.0h from 1994.

bettablue
October 12th, 2012, 12:45 PM
stone nailed it on the head! All I want, are the "A", "B" and me internal hard disks, which are already able to be seen by DOS. Personally, I think the option that is going to work best is adding an ISA floppy controller. And, since my tweener supports 16 bit ISA cards, all I need to know is whish card to get. I'll add it to my list of items I am buying at the end of the month.

Thanks again everyone. I think we finally have exactly what I need!




I'm gonna come clean to all of ya'. When I boot my tweener to get something written to a 5.25" disk -- I boot to DOS!!! No USB, no HD, just A:, B: and a very large RamDrive. So, if Thomas wants to do it this way he's gonna need a dual floppy controller. Bottom line here, it works every time and there are zero conflicts. In the event I need to access the HD on that machine which happens to have a 10 gb drive in it I boot from a WIN ME boot disk which recognizes large disks and gives me access to the entire HD. I just don't like to be running WinBlows when I'm doing old DOS stuff.