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Jar
September 4th, 2013, 06:20 AM
Hi everyone! Trying to get an IBM XT 5160 working that I purchased from EBay. When powered the screen displays a memory count up to 512K and then displays an error of 1701.

Here is some info that I could provide without knowing exactly what would be needed for a diagnosis as this is my first time trying to get one of these older machines to work.

I did not have a monitor, so I purchased a TVGA9000b ISA vga card. With this card installed I am able to see the memory count and error code.

Next I noticed the hard drive (ST-412) was not spinning, which probably made the 1701 error appear. I replaced it with a TM502 and the error went away and the replaced hard drives sounds as if it is working correctly. Now the machine just repeats the memory count, over and over and over...

It came with what appears to be all the parts from the manufacturer, including a 256k memory expansion card. The board is missing the math processor; which is not needed from my understanding. I removed the expansion board and powered the machine on and got the same results. Memory count up to 256K then restarts. this indicates to me that this board is most likely not the problem.

I also removed the original video card and Async card. Same results.

Any advise is welcome.

**Side Question: If I had one of these old MFM drives and wanted to move data to a more recent PC. What is the easiest way of doing so? Is there current hardware and software that can accomplish this?

Denniske1976
September 4th, 2013, 06:40 AM
Maybe you could check the DIP switch settings of bank1 to see what memory it is set for, that could explain why it's rebooting with missing memory in both cases??

vwestlife
September 4th, 2013, 07:29 AM
Make sure you have the DIP switches set correctly:

http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~preid/pcxtsw.htm

If switch 1 is set ON, then it will loop through the POST (Power-On Self Test) continuously.

Try removing the hard drive controller, and see if it will boot into Cassette BASIC. After the RAM test it should beep once and then look for a boot disk in drive A, and then after a few seconds it will give up and go into BASIC.

Stone
September 4th, 2013, 07:40 AM
If the more recent PC has either a serial or parallel port you can use Laplink to transfer data. You will need the appropriate cable as well.

Jar
September 4th, 2013, 07:47 AM
Thanks guys.

I switched over to VGA (5 and 6 ON) on the DIP switches and this lets the PC show the video card first on power. It then goes into the memory loop. Sometimes I get a beep after the RAM test, sometimes not.

I tried all combinations of 3 and 4 with and without the expansion card...no luck. My board has 4 banks(0-3), so I left them both in the off position.

Jar
September 4th, 2013, 07:53 AM
If the more recent PC has either a serial or parallel port you can use Laplink to transfer data. You will need the appropriate cable as well.


How is laplink different then any other recovery software? What cable would go from an MFM drive to modern PC?

Stone
September 4th, 2013, 08:09 AM
How is laplink different then any other recovery software?It isn't recovery software. It allows you to transfer files back and forth between two computers.



What cable would go from an MFM drive to modern PC?NONE! The cable goes between the parallel ports or the serial ports.

Jar
September 4th, 2013, 08:36 AM
It isn't recovery software. It allows you to transfer files back and forth between two computers.


NONE! The cable goes between the parallel ports or the serial ports.

Ahhh. I was thinking that you were referring to a connection between a 5160, or drive, to a modern pc.

Any tips on a modern PC that can get access to MFM drives but still be able to use modern hardware and software? I am really looking for a PC that I can use to conduct said easy transfers and such. It seems like each time I run into an MFM drive, I have to jump hoops with controllers and different bios' to get any kind of access. I have ~10 winchester cards that I routinely use.

All this is much appreciated guys!

Stone
September 4th, 2013, 08:41 AM
Ahhh. I was thinking that you were referring to a connection between a 5160, or drive, to a modern pc.I was... If both PCs have serial or parallel ports you can do it with Laplink.

Jar
September 4th, 2013, 09:04 AM
I was... If both PCs have serial or parallel ports you can do it with Laplink.

Oh ok. But to do this I need to finish restoring this machine.

pearce_jj
September 4th, 2013, 09:33 AM
**Side Question: If I had one of these old MFM drives and wanted to move data to a more recent PC. What is the easiest way of doing so? Is there current hardware and software that can accomplish this?

An XTIDE Board or some derivative thereof and a CompactFlash card makes this pretty easy and fast. These are my boards (http://www.lo-tech.co.uk/wiki/Lo-tech_XT-CF_Boards).

MikeS
September 4th, 2013, 09:35 AM
Any tips on a modern PC that can get access to MFM drives but still be able to use modern hardware and software? I am really looking for a PC that I can use to conduct said easy transfers and such. It seems like each time I run into an MFM drive, I have to jump hoops with controllers and different bios' to get any kind of access. I have ~10 winchester cards that I routinely use.The problem with the PC MFM and RLL drives is that different controllers formatted the drive differently (and incompatibly), so you pretty well need the same controller with which the drive was formatted in order to read it; if you have that then any compatible computer ought to be able to read the data and transfer it somehow, either directly to a different drive/card type (IDE/CF/SD) or over a serial/parallel/ethernet connection.

Stone
September 4th, 2013, 10:17 AM
...if you have that then any compatible computer ought to be able to read the data and transfer it somehow, either directly to a different drive/card type (IDE/CF/SD) or over a serial/parallel/ethernet connection.While this is true in theory I have an Intel Socket 7 board with both ISA and PCI slots and this CPU...

15054

that doesn't seem to like MFM/RLL cards. But it might be something wrong with the board, itself.

MikeS
September 4th, 2013, 11:15 AM
The problem with the PC MFM and RLL drives is that different controllers formatted the drive differently (and incompatibly), so you pretty well need the same controller with which the drive was formatted in order to read it; if you have that then any compatible computer ought to be able to read the data and transfer it somehow, either directly to a different drive/card type (IDE/CF/SD) or over a serial/parallel/ethernet connection.


While this is true in theory I have an Intel Socket 7 board with both ISA and PCI slots and this CPU...
that doesn't seem to like MFM/RLL cards. But it might be something wrong with the board, itself.Well, then it's obviously not compatible :p

(You learn to leave yourself loopholes on forums like these ;-) )

billdeg
September 4th, 2013, 11:32 AM
I think you have two things here
1) getting the XT running
2) how to get software onto the machine once it's running.

For the first task, remove all cards except the video card, set the on-board jumpers to match the on-board RAM with no extra RAM cards installed. Once that's stable and working, add one card at a time to be sure you have a foundation of working stuff. Remember to update the motherboard jumpers (i.e after you add the disk drive card and re-hook up the drive, then after you add more RAM, etc).

Next, try to boot to DOS with a disk in the 5 1/4" drive - does this work? Do you have a diskette?

The ST-412 - If you're brave open the cover and spin the drive manually (I think counter clockwise) in a clean room with a clean cloth. Just a little poke to loosen the platter. That might be all you need to get back in business with the hard drive. I have had great success with this technique. If you get the HD running, maybe it has an OS, and you can format a disk on the disk drive (format a: /s/v) that boots.

Bill

Stone
September 4th, 2013, 11:33 AM
Well, then it's obviously not compatible :pNo, like I said, this board may have a problem that I can't pin down. I think it has a problem with it's onboard IDE interface so I use an IDE card and disable the onboard feature. Whether that can carryover to MFM/RLL cards.....?

SpidersWeb
September 4th, 2013, 11:54 AM
Have you tried it with the memory card removed?

Rebooting right on the 256K boundary seems mighty suspicious to me - as that is exactly where that card would start being used on most IBM XT boards.
The first 256KB you see ticking over in the RAM test is most likely to be the memory on the motherboard.

MikeS
September 4th, 2013, 12:20 PM
No, like I said, this board may have a problem that I can't pin down. I think it has a problem with it's onboard IDE interface so I use an IDE card and disable the onboard feature. Whether that can carryover to MFM/RLL cards.....?Ah, so what you meant was "While this is true in theory (any compatible computer ought to be able to read the data), if the computer in question is broken then it might not work"? :rolleyes:

OK, enough kibitzing; sorry.

Stone
September 4th, 2013, 12:51 PM
Exactly! :-)

Jar
September 4th, 2013, 12:51 PM
I think you have two things here
1) getting the XT running
2) how to get software onto the machine once it's running.

For the first task, remove all cards except the video card, set the on-board jumpers to match the on-board RAM with no extra RAM cards installed. Once that's stable and working, add one card at a time to be sure you have a foundation of working stuff. Remember to update the motherboard jumpers (i.e after you add the disk drive card and re-hook up the drive, then after you add more RAM, etc).

Next, try to boot to DOS with a disk in the 5 1/4" drive - does this work? Do you have a diskette?

The ST-412 - If you're brave open the cover and spin the drive manually (I think counter clockwise) in a clean room with a clean cloth. Just a little poke to loosen the platter. That might be all you need to get back in business with the hard drive. I have had great success with this technique. If you get the HD running, maybe it has an OS, and you can format a disk on the disk drive (format a: /s/v) that boots.

Bill

Removed all the cards except video and I still get the same response. Just in case, I tried all combinations of settings for #3 and #4, but according to the information I have gathered, the correct position should be OFF.

Jar
September 4th, 2013, 12:52 PM
Have you tried it with the memory card removed?

Rebooting right on the 256K boundary seems mighty suspicious to me - as that is exactly where that card would start being used on most IBM XT boards.
The first 256KB you see ticking over in the RAM test is most likely to be the memory on the motherboard.

Yes, the only difference is that when the card is removed, it reboots at 256k. With the expansion card it reboots after it go through the full 512K.

Stone
September 4th, 2013, 02:45 PM
What about switch 1 like vwestlife mentioned?

Jar
September 5th, 2013, 05:19 AM
What about switch 1 like vwestlife mentioned?

Changing this to ON or OFF does not appear to change the results.

Stone
September 5th, 2013, 05:40 AM
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by Stone http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/images/buttons/viewpost-right.png (http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?p=292268#post292268)
What about switch 1 like vwestlife mentioned?
Changing this to ON or OFF does not appear to change the results.That could be the problem. That switch functions as expected on my XT. OFF it boots normally. ON it counts the memory, beeps, and then recounts the memory -- which is what it is supposed to do with switch 1 ON, but not with it OFF. You may have a faulty/dirty switch block. Some contact cleaner may help or it may be defective.

Chromedome45
September 6th, 2013, 03:52 PM
Or it could be a chip on the board. One of the big ones the 8255 PPI. If memory serves the Switch block goes through it to set the options. But hopefully it's just the switch block.

modem7
September 6th, 2013, 06:46 PM
If this is a switch 1 issue (physical switch or the circuitry that reads the switch) then use of the Supersoft/Landmark Diagnostic ROM (at [here (http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/supersoft_landmark/Supersoft%20Landmark%20ROM.htm)]) will show that. The diagnostics shows the read state of each switch in switch block SW1.

Chromedome45
September 7th, 2013, 05:38 AM
That's assuming the OP has an EPROM burner and a 27256 to burn the image into it.

modem7
September 7th, 2013, 01:48 PM
That's assuming the OP has an EPROM burner and a 27256 to burn the image into it.
The OP could, for example, source the programmed ROM from member glitch or from www.hobbyroms.com
However, based on what the OP has posted, the OP appears only to have a VGA display, and the subject diagnostics don't display on VGA.

Chromedome45
September 7th, 2013, 03:08 PM
So he really needs to get a CGA card as well. Until that happens not much OP can do.

Modem7: Will a MDA card work for that? I have a spare one of those.

modem7
September 7th, 2013, 04:00 PM
Modem7: Will a MDA card work for that? I have a spare one of those.
An MDA or CGA card will work. An EGA card will produce a dislay that is not nice, but is useable.
However, reading the OP's first post, the 5160 that he purchased had such a card, but he lacked an appropriate monitor.

Chromedome45
September 7th, 2013, 04:40 PM
Guess I missed that part. Needs to get a Monochrome or CGA monitor or better yet a Multi-sync but those are getting harder to find and expensive.

modem7
September 7th, 2013, 04:50 PM
Until that happens not much OP can do.
For all we know, the OP manged to fix the problem.

If not, the looping nature of the issue is a big problem because no boot to BASIC or disc can happen. Had the machine been able to boot to either, then there are ways to see if the eight switches are being read properly.

I'm not convinced that the cause is a switch 1 related issue, because the OP wrote, "Sometimes I get a beep after the RAM test, sometimes not."
If this was a switch 1 issue, there should always be a beep.

The Supersoft/Landmark Diagnostic ROM will give the motherboard a decent test, not like the crude one that the 5160's POST does.