View Full Version : My IBM 5160 - questios.

June 2nd, 2006, 11:59 PM
Yesterday I've recived an IBM XT with oryginal keyboard and IBM 5153 CGA monitor it in great visual condition. I have few questions:

1. It has NC 3.0, ChiWriter 3.14, few packing programs - this is common but is DOS 3.30 in Italian (?) version common?

2. The drive seems to be good. But it sometimes don't work propetly... when machine is powered up after counting memory (what a long time!) sometimes display: "Error di BOOT" and after few 'enters' it boots up. When I boot from diskette I have acces to HDD, but only sometimes I can read data from it... "General failure...". Would low level format help?

3. My XT has 64 kB - 256 kB mainboard, when were - 640 kB IBM mainboards introduced?

4. It's true that when monitor is screeching something is wrong with transformer? My sometimes is screeching.

5. For example in Norton Commander when I have long list and I'am re-wrapping it, upper part of screen is flashing, it's normal or something is wrong with monitor or card?

6. What is different between BASIC.COM and BASICA.COM?

June 3rd, 2006, 03:45 AM
My XT is November 1985 and has the 64-256k mainboard. You can find a date stamp somewhere on the case, for me it is under the hard drive cradle. I think they changed to the later mainboard in early 1986.

Maybe your drive needs a low-level format? It seems that can solve a lot of the problems.

June 3rd, 2006, 05:28 AM
Can I somewhere find original software for IBM XT? Now disk work fine I will instal DOS 2.10 on it I think. I have just formatted the drive:

10584064 bytes total disk space
10584064 bytes available on disk

Great... ;). If seller wouldn't park heads it would be propably broken down. I have done only standard format, do I need to do low level format?

June 3rd, 2006, 05:55 AM
Yes indeed, a low level might do the trick.
I wouldn't worry about dos 2.10, if you ever want to use that machine, dos 2.10 will hinder your fun. You might want to use dos 3.3 or something. Since it dates to 1985, dos 3.3 is perfefct anyway. You could also run windows 2.03...

June 3rd, 2006, 08:01 AM
... 3B 301 ... something with keyboard? I have plastic crap that work but IBM keyboard is much better. Huh... it work now :P I have diassembled it and assembled... it work :). I think something is wrong with the cable.

June 3rd, 2006, 08:19 AM
Whenever I get a new machine I do the following:

Clean out the dust. Especially near the drives
Look for loose wires and broken pieces
Check for broken pins on connectors

After that, it is safe to power up.

I've not seen DOS 3.30 in Italian, but that is not a big problem. Just put whatever version of DOS you would like on it. DOS 3.3 is fine for a machine like that. DOS 2.0 is probably what originally came with the machine, but I would not bother with it.

To do a low level format on an XT with the original controller you need software. IBM provided this software on the 'Advanced Diagnostics Diskette', which is very hard to find. You should look at this thread - it can be done with a BIOS interrupt:


This thread I found on Usenet is more like the way I would do it:


You need to be slightly familiar with assembler to pull that trick though. If you need help I'll guide you through it - just not this morning. :-)

After the low-level format you can do the DOS format.

BASICA has a few more functions than BASIC. I would use it instead. IBM used to give you two flavors back when systems only had 64K and every byte counted. The size difference is so small that it's not worth bothering with BASIC.

June 3rd, 2006, 08:33 AM
I have saved all files from disk and formatted it with DOS format, I think that low level format is ineeded, I have installed PC-DOS 2.10 already, I like it more than 3.30 because it's older :) . Seller has powered up machine, so I have only cleaned MoBo, it don't have any lost cables etc. Keyboard is external pherypherial, so cable could be damaged, but now KB works.

June 3rd, 2006, 08:37 AM
as to your question about the BASICs, the early IBM stuph had a somewhat stripped down BASIC interpreter built into ROM. If a bootable floppy wasn't found, or you didn't have a hard drive...or didn't have one with a bootable partition, it would load the interpreter from ROM. To supplement it's functionality, IBM dos disks would have the BASICA program. If you executed that, the interpreter would also be loaded, but it would be augmented by the addition of the commands in what not in the BASICA file. By itself, BASICA was worthless.
Now if you had a non-IBM PC, what you'd get on your DOS disk is GW-BASIC, which is the same thing as IBM ROM BASIC and BASICA combined. Virtually no non-IBM PCs came with BASIC in rom. I think there was a thread about that. Did we conclude that any had it?

June 3rd, 2006, 08:45 AM
Not entirely accurate.

'Cassette BASIC' is what is built into the ROM of the machine.
'BASIC.COM' is known as Disk BASIC.
'BASICA.COM' is known as Advanced BASIC

Clones used something like GWBASIC because to put BASIC in ROM like on the PC was copyright infringement on the IBM PC BIOS. (IBM must have had some sort of exclusive agreement with MS and MS couldn't license the ROM based BASIC to another manufacturer.)

If you have a PCjr, you also have 'Cartridge BASIC' which is the mother of all BASICS. It is on a ROM chip and is available whether you have booted DOS or not. (Instead of booting into Cassette BASIC which is built in, if you have Cartridge BASIC inserted it will boot to that.)

What's nasty on the Jr is that DOS checks to see if you are on such a machine, and if it is it won't run BASIC.COM or BASICA.COM from disk. You *have* to have Cartridge BASIC if you booted from DOS. The work-around is to rename BASIC.COM or BASICA.COM to something different, like DBASIC.COM or DBASICA.COM to circumvent the DOS check.

Terry Yager
June 3rd, 2006, 09:10 AM
As to the question about CGA 'flicker' or 'snow', yes, that is considered 'normal' for an IBM CGA card. There are software solutions available, such as the 'Flicker Free' (freeware) program. (The monitor screech is not a good sign tho).


June 3rd, 2006, 09:44 AM
So someday transformer in monitor could fail :( ? It don't screech all time... only sometimes. Even PS/2 computers had BASIC in ROM I think.

June 3rd, 2006, 09:58 AM
PS/2 Computers are genuine IBMs, not clones. Go find a Compaq or a Dell that has a built-in BASIC.

June 3rd, 2006, 10:37 AM
Yes but Chris wrote: 'the early IBM stuph had a somewhat stripped down BASIC interpreter built into ROM'. So what is wrong with monitor if it's screeching? Damn... I need to low level format the drive because it's propably loosing data... I can't load OS now... :S LOL I can't acces built-in BASIC... there is nothing bootable in the computer, it says: "Wrong disk. Insert a SYSTEM disk and press any key." Hmm... but how do low level format? G=C800:5 gives Divide overflow... I love this. Maybe 'loosing data' it's beacause of discs that I use to install DOS 2.10? I'am making thier images in HD floppy attached to this 2.8 GHz Celeron, that I'am writing from.

Terry Yager
June 3rd, 2006, 12:16 PM
So someday transformer in monitor could fail :( ? It don't screech all time... only sometimes. Even PS/2 computers had BASIC in ROM I think.

The squeal doesn't always mean that the flyback is failing, but it's never A Good Thing.

Everything you never wanted to know about monitors:



June 3rd, 2006, 01:08 PM
The cutoff frequency for our hearing drops as we get older. Someone over 40 (men more so than women), you may not be able to hear the whine at all...

I'am young now ;). Remember this is low frequency eyes-burning monitor, anything is posible... I'am more 'calm' after reading this article.

June 3rd, 2006, 03:48 PM
I think the XT will only boot into BASIC if it does not detect a hard disk or a floppy disk in the drive. So unplug the hard disk, and you should boot it to BASIC... (I think)

June 3rd, 2006, 05:30 PM
A 'squealing' sound emits from a component that is vibrating. That will usually be a transformer or coil. Compared to other electronic devices, a CRT based display also has a flyback transformer, however that isn't always the problem. Quite often, I find the cause (repeat CAUSE - not the actual component that is vibrating) to be a faulty electrolytic capacitor in the switch-mode power supply section. It's capacitance will probably be normal but it's ESR won't.


If you're lucky, your squealing monitor may continue to operate for many months (or even years).


Regarding a low-level format.

A great program I used to use for low-level formatting and testing of MFM drives was SpeedStor.
Get it from http://members.dodo.com.au/~iamextinct/

Because few MFM drives had compensation for the expansion of the platters caused by temperature changes, you should ideally do the low-level format when the drive is roughly in the middle of its operating temperature range. That's rarely practical to achieve. You should be right as long as you don't do the low-level format when the drive is cold.

June 3rd, 2006, 10:26 PM
Thanks for program... computer is dying propably... :(. I just powered it up to see if hard drive will boot up, it doesn't... I booted from floppy and I was looking for DOS 2.10 disks that I made yesterday. After checking few disks floppy died, now it is only motor is running all the time... and POST says 601 error. I opened it and connected another floppy, no 601 error, so controller is fine. Tried to connect floppy again nothing, I reconnected it again - works. Awf I'am angry! What could be not okay? One time it work, the other it fails...

June 4th, 2006, 11:57 PM
The BIOS in the type 1 motherboard for an XT (256K maximum RAM) only supports 5.25" drives.
And it wasn't until MS-DOS 3.0 that 1.2MB floppies were supported in DOS.
Therefore in your configuration (DOS 2.1 on a type 1 motherboard) 360K floppies are the best you can expect to read/write to.

The next time your computer doesn't work, measure the voltages coming from the power supply. To see how to do that, look at the "Troubleshooting an XT" thread.

Also, try reseating all of the RAM chips.

If the power supply voltages are good, and you've reseated the RAM chips, then I suggest you run a diagnostic program suitable for the xT.

June 5th, 2006, 02:26 AM
Something else you need watch out for on IBM-XT's:

In the days of the IBM-PC and early IBM-XT's, pin 34 of the floppy drive interface is 'DRIVE READY'.
When IBM introduced the IBM-AT, pin 34 became 'DISK CHANGED'.

Many of the floppy drives from that period have a jumper on them that controls whether the drive generates a 'DRIVE READY' signal or a 'DISK CHANGED' signal on pin 34. If you were installing the drive in an IBM-XT then you would set the jumper for 'DRIVE READY' - for an IBM-AT the jumper would be set for 'DISK CHANGED'.

If you install a floppy drive into an IBM-XT (expecting 'DRIVE READY' on pin 34) and the drive is set to generate a 'DISK CHANGED' signal, then a lot of the time, the IBM-XT will think that the drive isn't ready.

I'm not sure how XT clones behave. Some may behave like the IBM-XT (expecting 'DRIVE READY' on pin 34) and some may behave like the IBM-AT (expecting 'DISK CHANGED' on pin 34).

June 5th, 2006, 03:16 AM
A good diagnostic tool of the time was CheckIt.

Get a 1990 version (definately suitable for the IBM-XT) from http://members.dodo.com.au/~iamextinct/

June 6th, 2006, 05:57 AM
I've done Check it tests, computer passed everything.

June 7th, 2006, 12:20 AM
If the problem is intermittent, the only way that you will catch it is if you run Checkit (or other diagnostic) continuously, or for a long period of time.

The old CheckIt has a batch mode where CheckIt will run selected tests a certain number of times (as defined by you).

June 7th, 2006, 04:08 PM
"'Cassette BASIC' is what is built into the ROM of the machine.
'BASIC.COM' is known as Disk BASIC.
'BASICA.COM' is known as Advanced BASIC"

Were there versions of PC-DOS that came with "BASIC.COM"? I'm personally not aware of them (don't mean they don't exist). Every version of PC-DOS I've owned had only BASICA.COM (off the top of my head, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 6.3).

"What's nasty on the Jr is that DOS checks to see if you are on such a machine, and if it is it won't run BASIC.COM or BASICA.COM from disk. You *have* to have Cartridge BASIC if you booted from DOS. The work-around is to rename BASIC.COM or BASICA.COM to something different, like DBASIC.COM or DBASICA.COM to circumvent the DOS check."

I'm confused. Are you saying that BASICA.COM doesn't need cassette BASIC to operate? I was under the impression it just adds to the file/code that's located in ROM.

June 7th, 2006, 05:18 PM
DOS 3.3 has both BASIC.COM and BASICA.COM. Go find your original diskettes and check.

BASIC.COM, BASICA.COM and the PCjr cartridge BASIC build on the Cassette BASIC built into the machine.

June 8th, 2006, 06:36 AM
Is this true?

5151 work with MDA,CGA,EGA and Hercules cards.
5153 work with CGA card.
5154 work with CGA and EGA cards.

I booted up to Cassete Basic after disconnecting hard drive.
It was never modified? Copyright even in PS/2 is 1981.

June 8th, 2006, 08:23 AM
>5151 work with MDA,CGA,EGA and Hercules cards.
>5153 work with CGA card.
>5154 work with CGA and EGA cards.

I think the 5151 only works with MDA and Hercules, the rest fits.

I've got all three of them, and all those cards, but I'm not gonna try :)

June 8th, 2006, 08:33 AM
I'am 100% sure that 5151 works with CGA, but I don't know if it works with EGA card.

Terry Yager
June 8th, 2006, 08:40 AM
Most EGA cards can be setup for TTL monochrome monitors, but I don't recall if IBM's is one of them.


June 8th, 2006, 08:41 AM
The 5151 is the monochrome monitor. Do not use it with a CGA card!

If anything, the 5151 will work with an EGA card, assuming the EGA card has the switch settings correct. But it definitely does not work with a CGA card.

June 8th, 2006, 09:15 AM
I don't have 5151 but my amber display works with CGA great. It was cheaper alternative for 5153 - graphics, but no colors. It's true that in most cases it was sold with MDA card but I'am sure that CGA is working with 5151.

June 8th, 2006, 06:57 PM
Clone monitors and cards could do things that the genuine IBM's couldn't (that's not a slur on IBM).

I recall a Taxan colour monitor from the late 80's that had a three position switch on the front panel. In the normal position the screen displayed colour. In the second position, all colour was converted to green (like a monochrome display). In the third position, all colour was converted to amber.

The genuine IBM CGA card can't 'drive' an IBM 5151 (a monochrome monitor). This is because the IBM CGA card supplies three video signals (red/green/blue) on pins 3/4/5 of the connector, but the 5151 (and other monochrome monitors) expects a single video signal on pin 7 on the connector. The IBM CGA card doesn't deliver anything on pin 7.

Between CGA and monochrome, the horizontal and vertical sync pulses use the same pins, and the frequency of the pulses is the same. Therefore, in theory, you could get an IBM CGA card / 5151 combination to basically work only if you used some kind of mixer/adaptor that combined the CGA video output from pins 3/4/5 and put the output on pin 7 (for the 5151).

The genuine IBM EGA card can be configured to drive a 5151. To do that, there are switches on the card (as mbbrutman stated).

The only way for a CGA card to drive a 5151 is if the card is a clone card that has been designed to drive either a monochrome monitor, or a CGA monitor (maybe via switches, but not necessarily).

Micom 2000
June 8th, 2006, 08:19 PM
I recalled an old program called SIMCGA but it was a long time ago. Checked my old DOS disks and found one labeled CGA EMU. UTIL. which had SIMCGA on it. My workspaces are in disarray at present and the 5.25 in my main W98 isn't functioning. Anyone remember this program ? From the other programs on the disk it appears to have something to do with the Hercules Graphic Card.
I remember at one point way back using it quite a bit.


June 9th, 2006, 03:59 AM
Okay. This don't work, but will CGA work with 5154?

Simcga is emulating CGA on Hercules monitor.

June 9th, 2006, 05:50 PM
The problem with that combination is that CGA and EGA use different horizontal synch frequencies.

You have to be careful in that scenario. These days, if your video card supplies horizontal/verical synch pulses at a rate that your monitor can't handle, you normally see an "out of range" type message on your monitor. With monitors of the eighties and early nineties, if your video card supplies horizontal/verical synch pulses at a rate that the monitor can't handle, you can damage your monitor.

June 10th, 2006, 12:06 AM
I have a monitor from '97-'98 right here on my dual-VGA setup, & when I set it to 70 Hertz (60 Hertz hurts my eyes a little), It just gets a horizontal scroll. Could this be damaging?

(I know it's a little off subject, but...whatever...)

June 10th, 2006, 01:37 AM
You should have V. HOLD regulator on back, check various positions.
It should stop scorling.

June 10th, 2006, 01:43 AM
Nope I checked. Maybe there's one inside the case, but I'm too lazy to open it. Anyways, back on topic, whatever we where talking about...Something about which pins & frequencies corrospond to what monitors...

June 14th, 2006, 09:52 AM
What models of 10 Megs hard drivers will work with standart Xbec controller?
I'll propably buy new one...

June 15th, 2006, 04:12 AM
As we identified earlier, you have the first type of Xebec HDD controller - the one that only supports type 1 drives (drives that have 306 cylinders, 4 heads, 17 sectors per track, and a write precompensation cylinder of 128).

The ST-412 is a type 1 drive. Even if we could identify type 1 drives made by other manufacturers, your chance of finding such a drive is very slim.

You can substitute the ST-412 with an MFM drive that has 306 or more cylinders, and has 4 or more heads. The controller will limit the use of the drive to 10MB (306 cylinders, 4 heads, 17 sectors per track).
The one problem with this approach is write precompensation. Write precompensation is where the controller instructs the drive to write using a stronger magnetic field in sectors that are closer to the centre of the disk. For the ST-412, that needs to happen on cylinders past 128.

For example, the ST-225 (615 cylinders, 4 heads, 17 sectors per track, and a write precompensation cylinder of 300) is a very common type 2 drive of the period. If you use that as a substitute for the ST-412, your Xebec controller (thinking that a type 1 drive is attached) will start write precompensation at cylinder 128 instead of the 300 that the ST-225 requires. You may experience data errors between cylinders 128 and 300 (approximately).

However a type 13 drive will be good - 306 cylinders, 8 heads, 17 sectors per track, and a write precompensation cylinder of 128. Compared to the ST-412, it simply has twice the heads.

You get the idea.

NOTE: The drive types I'm referring to are the IBM ones. For type 20 and below, some clone AT's decided to ignore the IBM standard.

June 16th, 2006, 05:33 AM
Can I safetly open 5153's case? I want to clean it inside a bit.
There is lot of dust.

June 16th, 2006, 07:28 AM
I opened it and cleaned - monitor still work!

Where can I find some old IBM BASIC apps, or IBM software?

June 17th, 2006, 12:43 AM
I've got some apps that are good for an XT


Xtree was a very popular disk manager. I have a few versions, but the one I've put on my XT is one of the first versions - 1.06 (from 1985).
Strangely, it didn't want to run on my 256K motherboard until I added a RAM board that gave me a total of 640K.


One of the early word processors (see http://wordstar.org/wordstar/history/history.htm).
I have version 3.31 from 1987.
WordStar was so popular that others writing text editors sometimes used some of WordStar's editing commands. The key combination to delete a line in WordStar is CTRL-Y. Guess what CTRL-Y does in Visual basic?

Get them from http://members.dodo.com.au/~iamextinct/

June 17th, 2006, 01:13 AM
Ok, thanks.
I have noticed that on both XT machines with hard disks I have, IBM Disk Manager was installed. Is this app functional?
I have also found SideKick, what is this?

June 17th, 2006, 06:10 AM
Sidekick is a classic Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) productivity application from the early 80s from Borland, the same people who bought you Pascal. Do a Google on 'Borland Sidekick' for details.

June 17th, 2006, 06:13 AM
WordStar 3.31 is a classic. It goes back much earlier than 1987 though .. I am sure that I was using it in 1984 on my PCjr.

I remember that there was a series of patches for 3.31 that you could do against the executable to change the number of lines on the display or change other features. I need to dig those up again.

WordStar for the PCjr was essentially the same as 3.31, except that it added support for subdirectories.

June 17th, 2006, 06:41 AM
SideKick is nice, but how can I remove it from memory?

June 17th, 2006, 07:04 AM

June 17th, 2006, 05:19 PM
I have noticed that on both XT machines with hard disks I have, IBM Disk Manager was installed.
When I used 'disk manager' to describe Xtree, it was meant in a very broad sense.

The term 'disk manager' was used in the names of applications that had different functionality.
There was 'Seagate Disk Manager', 'Ontrack Disk Manager', 'IBM Disk Manager' and so on.

These 'disk managers' were typically used when you needed to fit a hard drive that was larger than what your computer's BIOS and/or DOS would allow.
I avoided their use where possible because of complications. For example, Nortons Utilities would get confused.

June 17th, 2006, 05:21 PM
WordStar 3.31 is a classic. It goes back much earlier than 1987 though .. I am sure that I was using it in 1984 on my PCjr.
I'm sure I was using WordStar on my CP/M machine as far back as '81

Terry Yager
June 17th, 2006, 06:15 PM
The link above seems to be non-functional. Try this one:



June 17th, 2006, 10:38 PM
The link above seems to be non-functional.
I see the problem. The closing parenthesis was included.

June 20th, 2006, 08:29 AM
I don't really need Word Star. I just need small, simple and old text editor.
For writing I need graphics editor to support these strange letters from our alphabet ęąśłżźćń....
Will early ChiWrite run under PC-DOS 2.10?

June 20th, 2006, 02:31 PM
I don't really need Word Star. I just need small, simple and old text editor.
I think most people in this forum would describe WordStar as a "small, simple and old text editor".

An early 'word processor' that had multi-language support is WordPerfect. Version 4.2 lists as a feature, "Foreign language support" (with a caveat of, "not available on all machines"). Also, the Requirements section includes, "DOS 2.0 or later" and "256 Kb memory".

WordPerfect is a more complex than WordStar, but now you know of another option.

June 20th, 2006, 02:38 PM
But doesn't WordStar have the control keys (user interface) from H*ll? I've never tried it, only heard about it, but there seems to have been two distinct groups in WordStar people and Emacs people.

(ok, I can see if anyone wants to counter with Emacs also has a user interface from the same heated place that never is supposed to freeze over)

June 20th, 2006, 03:59 PM
But doesn't WordStar have the control keys (user interface) from H*ll?
You bet it does. I'm not espousing the use of WordPerfect other other software, justing trying to give Luke some options.

June 20th, 2006, 04:05 PM
DOS 2.1 introduced the use of code pages (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code_page ).
Implemented via a COUNTRY command in CONFIG.SYS
I have never had to use it.

Some of the references on the Internet suggest that it changes DOS' character set (as well as other things).
Perhaps that may help.
Perhaps you are already aware of code pages.


Enables MS-DOS to use country-specific conventions for displaying times,
dates, and currency; for determining the order by which characters are
sorted; and for determining which characters can be used in filenames. You
can use this command only in your Config.sys file.

The COUNTRY command configures MS-DOS to recognize the character set and
punctuation conventions observed when using one of the supported languages.




Specifies the country code.

Specifies the character set for the country.

Specifies the location and name of the file containing country information.

June 20th, 2006, 10:24 PM
modem, codepage is only useful when you have right ROM in MDA, CGA, Hercules or you have EGA, VGA card...
I'll try to find this WordPerfect, and what about ChiWrite?
I can't find this WP, 5.1 is everywhere, but there is no 4.2.

Micom 2000
June 20th, 2006, 10:49 PM
Both Wordstar and Wordperfect were full-featured word-processing programs. IIRC Sidekick also used Wordstar.

My favorite was PCWrite. More spartan than WS or WP but easier to use and with a smaller footprint.

Should still be available on some archive site.


June 21st, 2006, 03:15 AM
I can't find this WP, 5.1 is everywhere, but there is no 4.2.
Unfortunately, I have a 4.2 box/manuals but no disks.
Version 5.1 also has DOS 2.0 as a minimum. It requires "384k of free memory".

June 21st, 2006, 03:41 AM
If any one could send me a copy of WrdPerfect 4.2 or ChiWrite 3.2 or older I'd be glad.

I don't need the world processor now, so I will serach for WP 4.2.

Terry Yager
June 21st, 2006, 06:30 AM
I would (as usual) recommend MS Works (or one of it's many clones). It has all the features you'll need for WP, and it's very simple to learn and use.


June 22nd, 2006, 01:53 AM
MS Works is graphic text editor?

Awf, finding vintage apps is harder than I tought! I can't find and ChiWrite and WordPerfect 4.2... my ChiWrite don't have one file so I can't start it...

Terry Yager
June 22nd, 2006, 05:18 AM
MS Works is graphic text editor?

Awf, finding vintage apps is harder than I tought! I can't find and ChiWrite and WordPerfect 4.2... my ChiWrite don't have one file so I can't start it...

MS Works is actually an integrated software package that features a drop-down menu driven interface.


June 22nd, 2006, 06:42 AM
isn't it Chiwriter? I had a copy yeeeeears ago.

June 22nd, 2006, 09:38 AM
You've got a private message.

I have ChiWriter 1.31 and WP 4.1

June 22nd, 2006, 10:08 AM
Jorg, please, clean private messages box ;).

June 25th, 2006, 01:35 AM
Is this true, that DOS 3.00's chkdsk was bugged?
Wasn't DOS 2.10 designed for IBM PC Jr?

June 25th, 2006, 06:22 AM
DOS 2.1 came out with the PCjr and it sets the proper stepping rate for the new half-height drives that came out with the machine. It also looks for DOS commands on cartridges. However, it runs on any PC or XT as well.

As for bugs .. they are all bugged to some extent. I wouldn't touch DOS 3.0 .. if you need something in that series, go for 3.3.


June 25th, 2006, 06:31 AM
I have original IBM DOS 3.1 from my XT if you want images of the disks?

June 25th, 2006, 06:58 AM
If someone have IBM DOS 2.00 please msg me.
I have never seen 2.00, on every page there is only 2.10.

It's normat that after ~20 mins 5153 is becoming warm?

June 25th, 2006, 07:54 AM
I have DOS 2.0 . Never bothered to try it out though. DOS 2.1 had some bugs, but I at least know what those are. DOS 2.0 would be a little scary to use for anything more than a test drive.

Compared to 1.1 it was a tremendous step forward - there was a lot of new function added, most notably the hierarchical file system and device driver paradigm which borrowed heavily from Unix.

As or the 5153, it is a monitor. They use a lot of energy. Doesn't any monitor get warm after a few minutes?

June 25th, 2006, 08:05 AM
In the computer lab at my University, they switched from normal tube monitors to TFT ones. As the TFT ones don't heat up anywhere near as much as the old CRT's, they also had to install a newer heating system to compensate!

June 25th, 2006, 08:21 AM
mmburtman, have you images of diskettes? I will run DOS 3.1 on XT but I want 2.0 to 'collection'.

June 26th, 2006, 12:12 PM
What a strange XT!


Is this Professional Computer XT?

Terry Yager
June 26th, 2006, 12:43 PM
Looks like an 'Industrial Grade' IBM. Could be a PC or XT, either one. Do you have more info (Model, number of expansion slots, etc)?


June 26th, 2006, 12:56 PM
No, I found this during googling.

This is Hungarian page:

It have HDD and orange logo, so it could be clone...
Have you some photos of these industrial XTs/PCs?

Terry Yager
June 26th, 2006, 02:53 PM
Here's what mine looks like, but keep in mind that mine's a re-badge. It has an Allen-Bradley logo, and it says 'Industrial Computer, Manufactured by IBM Corporation' on the front badge. It's Model number is 5531. The drives are stashed behind a trapdoor on the front. There is a foam filter and an extra fan behind the louvers to the left. It is distingushed by having a dark grey case ('Industrial Grey'), rather than the usual beige.


June 26th, 2006, 03:11 PM
from memory, Terry's and the one in the link seems to look a bit different from mine. I'll have to dig it out and photograph it for everyone's perusal.

July 2nd, 2006, 09:33 AM
Chris, have you photos already?

Anybody know all 10 Meg full-height hard drives?
I need to know all models, because I want to buy the other one in future.

September 1st, 2006, 09:22 AM

Is this IBM memory expansion card?

September 1st, 2006, 09:27 AM
Sure looks like one.

September 1st, 2006, 09:30 AM
Thanks for fast reply.

Nice, that it's original.

September 1st, 2006, 09:49 AM
Yes, I have two of them, they are 256kB. I put one in my 5150 with 5151 :)

September 1st, 2006, 10:22 AM
I'am starting general cleaning.
I pulled all cards from XT and realized, that they are all original.

Inside ext. chassis there are two dates (day (!), month and year).
One is on plastic part and another on metal part.
The say when parts were produced? Or lastest say date of finishing machine?

September 1st, 2006, 11:03 AM
They are dates when that part was produced. I found that they can vary in dates, the largest gap being 5 months! Take the latest date, and that should be approximately when the computer was assembled.

I always took the paper sticker on the chassis to be the "complete" date, on all 3 of my machines it is the latest of them all.

September 1st, 2006, 11:05 AM
Actually, I just remembered. In my XT there was a cloth tag attached to the power supply cables. It was an inspection sheet, so I think that would have been added when the computer was assembled. I forgot the date on it already.

September 1st, 2006, 11:17 AM
My XT:

Chassis: 11 July 1986
Floppy card: 8629 (July 1986)
Mainboard: 8611 (March 1986)
PSU: 2786 (June/July 1986)
Case front: 12th July 1986
Case lid: 31st May 1986
Cloth Tag: 8th July 1986

I don't really want to remove the drives to check those right now:

The XT was bought new on 11th September 1986.

September 4th, 2006, 03:10 AM
What's this disk?

http://allegro.pl/item125319577_dla_kolekcjonera_dysk_5_25_ibm_1988r _0671_21f4250.html

September 4th, 2006, 03:38 AM
According to the Internet, an IBM p/n 21F4250 is a 314MB hard drive from an IBM 5363


September 4th, 2006, 03:42 AM
Isn't that an ESDI hard disk? Some 314-387 MB capacity, according to various Internet sources (maybe depending on exact model).

September 6th, 2006, 05:48 AM


Can I use St-225 with any of these settings?
I want to install it in my 5160, until I find full height 10 Meg disk.

September 6th, 2006, 06:49 AM
I want to install it in my 5160, until I find full height 10 Meg disk.

Did you get the original Seagate ST-412 to work ?
I have a 5160 which has a dead (bad track 0) ST-412. I was
planning to try the trick of moving the Track 0 position by turning
that very small screw on the stepper motor arm. This was
mentioned in another forum post....

But I haven't been able to find an allen wrench small enough to fit
that screw !

If I can't get this ST-412 to work, I'm planning to put a different controller WD-1002 in my 5160 with a 20MB drive.

September 6th, 2006, 06:52 AM
I tough, that I resolved the problem, but it came back.
My ST-412 need to warm up, it's propably tired.

I don't have any other free controller.
Only DTC 5150BX4 and it don't have option for ST-225, but I should be able to use similar settings.

September 9th, 2006, 05:26 AM
I've just cleaned half of XT's case.
CIF do the job great, but should I worry about the painting?

September 9th, 2006, 05:36 AM
On the case, as long as you don't press too hard it will be fine. On the 5153, be very careful on the grey area surrounding the screen, and also case logo is fragile.

Be very careful on the 5153... you don't want to get it wet... clean it dry on the top and only ever so slightly damp cloth...

September 9th, 2006, 05:43 AM
I see, 5153 around screen at bottom is white already ;).

And what about cleaning 5153 inside?
Dust isn't good for monitor...

I've cleaned one (not IBM) and it was horrible to put guts inside again.
Cleaning 5153 is hard too?

September 9th, 2006, 06:41 AM
You have to be careful if you dismantle, since electric discharge from CRT is very high!

I removed back cover, and cleaned it away from 5153, you can clean it well that way. The inside CRT part I used air gun to blow as much dust as possible, but I did not touch anything, just air.

The front I used damp cloth with small brush, but very careful not to get it wet.

September 9th, 2006, 11:00 PM
Only DTC 5150BX4 and it don't have option for ST-225, but I should be able to use similar settings.
There is a good chance that the DTC5150BX will support a ST-225 (or any other drive). When I look at the details of that board in TH99, one of the drive type settings is "Reserved for non-standard". In my experience, that entry is there to allow for drives non covered by the other switch settings.

Try this:
1. Connect the ST-225.
2. Set switch settings 3/4/7/8 for "Reserved for non-standard".
3. Boot up on a DOS floppy.
4. Run DEDUG.
5. Enter "G=C800:5" (without the quotation marks).

At this point, I'm expecting that the DTC5150BX will start asking questions, eg. how many cylinders, how many heads, and so on.
Once you answer all of the questions, the DTC5150BX will do a low-level format. The DTC5150BX will reserve one cylinder/track for itself (that's where it stores the cylinder/heads/WPC info).

Give it a go - worth a try.

September 10th, 2006, 10:00 AM
I setted everything correctly and runneg LF program from controller's BIOS.

Now it say 'Creating Hard Disk Format...', HDD's light is on and heads are making tick very slow.
I mean tick (10 sec.) tick (10 sec.)...

September 10th, 2006, 10:07 AM
Finally it gave me error.

ST-225 need WPC on 300 cyl.
Is WPC form 0, 100, 256 or 30 cyl bad?

I can understand, that no WPC would be bad and WPC form eg. 350 'd be bad too.

September 11th, 2006, 04:12 AM
And so it appears that the "Reserved for non-standard" setting isn't what I thought it was. Worth the try.

Regarding WPC. I'll repeat a previous answer I gave you.

Let's look at the situation of an ST-225 connected to your 'type 1 only' board. The ST-225 (a type 2 drive) is expecting to have WPC activated from cylinders 300 to 615. The board (believing it has a type 1 drive attached) will turn on the ST-225's WPC from cylinder 128 onwards.
Thus between cylinders 128 and 300, the ST-225 will have its WPC activated when it should not. I would thus expect some read/write errors in those cylinders, probably in the cylinder range of 128 to 200, with more errors appearing the closer the heads are to cylinder 128.
How often would the errors occur? I don't know. It might only be one error per one thousand read/writes.
It's a bit like asking, "The manual says the specification for the +12 volts is +/- 0.5 volts. Will my drive work okay if I supply only 11 volts?"
Maybe it will or maybe it won't. It would probably depend on the drive.
It might be the same with WPC - the error rate depending on the drive and for that drive, how far off the WPC setting is.
I doubt that you will find anyone on this forum who is prepared to say, "Use any WPC setting you like - there will be no problems."

September 11th, 2006, 07:33 AM
So... I'll use it as this drive:


Next problem.
My PSU is making sometimes something like 'wrr...wrr...wrr...'.
Sounds like something under that yellow big sticker.

There is high metal... something ;).
What's this?

Are these sounds bad?

September 11th, 2006, 07:54 AM
I'm all for helping you get your machine running, but this thread has been running for too long. I would suggest getting some technical service documentation if you are serious about fixing these problems. Technical service docs for the PC, XT, floppy drives, and hard drives are out there - but it does take some time to find, training to understand, and $$$ to purchase.

This hardware is old, and a lot of it is cranky. Posting about every piece of cranky hardware is not going to make it less cranky.

Terry Yager
September 11th, 2006, 08:52 AM
Second the motion.


September 11th, 2006, 10:04 AM
Feel free to close it.

But... don't close the ST412 thread.