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cruising
March 15th, 2014, 08:04 AM
Hello!

I just bought a XT with monitor and keyboard + some programs and manuals comes with it. I'm still waiting for it to arrive. I have been looking for one some years now!

AND this is my first old computer, so i dont know much about this, ofc.. i had one old Compaq Deskpro 15 years ago.

So... i have no way to read/write 5.25 inches floppies except on the XT, so i cant write files to use on the XT, however.. i have been reading this forum and figured out that i need a HD card to be able to use a 1.44Mb floppy drive?
Or can i use a card like this one? Ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/1987-SEAGATE-8-BIT-ISA-PC-HARD-DISK-DRIVE-FLOPPY-HDD-FDD-CONTROLLER-I-O-BOARD-/221348196152?pt=AU_Computers_Vintage&hash=item3389616f38

Or maybe a cable like this only? http://www.nullmodem.com/images/fddcable02.jpg

Otherwise i need to use seriell port, and i have no idea how that works or setting up with a null cable.

So any tips is welcome :)

Caluser2000
March 15th, 2014, 10:26 AM
Welcome.

For HD floppy support either option will work and you'll need that cable with those boards. You wont be able to just fit the cable to the current controller and expect it to support 1.44mb media. You'll be limited to 720kb only.

If you look up "laplink cable" on the forum you'll find quite a few threads discussing serial and parrallel port file transfers.
Another option to transfer files is an 8 bit network card using a packet driver and mTCP suite.

AT any rate the VCF members will be able to help you through.

cruising
March 15th, 2014, 10:33 AM
Welcome.

For HD floppy support either option will work and you'll need that cable with those boards. You wont be able to just fit the cable to the current controller and expect it to support 1.44mb media. You'll be limited to 720kb only.

If you look up "laplink" on the forum you'll find quite a few threads discussing serial and parralell port file transfers,
Another option to transfer files is an 8 bit network card using a packet driver and mTCP suite.

Thanks!

So if i just buy that cable i posted in the link, ill will only able yo use 720K out of 1.44 with a 3.5 floppy? if so.. thats better then nothing i guess.
But ill gonna check that laplink later when i have my XT at home

SomeGuy
March 15th, 2014, 11:10 AM
If you go the 720k route, keep in mind some USB 1.44mb floppy drives (such as Bytecc) don't work with 720k but others do. If you use a USB drive on your newer machine, you will need to check for that functionality.

There are also adapters that will let you connect the pin connector of a normal internal 3.5" drive to an existing card-edge cable.

Stone
March 15th, 2014, 12:23 PM
I've got lots floppy ribbon cables with both card edge and header connectors for both floppy drives.

cruising
March 15th, 2014, 12:57 PM
If you go the 720k route, keep in mind some USB 1.44mb floppy drives (such as Bytecc) don't work with 720k but others do. If you use a USB drive on your newer machine, you will need to check for that functionality.

There are also adapters that will let you connect the pin connector of a normal internal 3.5" drive to an existing card-edge cable.

I have a sony usb floppy drive mpf82e, i google a little and found out that this one supports 720K, 1.4Mb, 1.44Mb. http://www.hellotrade.com/digiconcepts/sony-mpf82e-1-44mb-black-usb-external-floppy-drive.html

@SomeGuy
I would be interested in one cable if it will work to use that cable with a "modern" floppy, BUT... can i still use 1.44Mb floppies but write maximum 720K on each disk?

modem7
March 15th, 2014, 10:24 PM
Or can i use a card like this one? Ebay ...
No. The card pictured there has no floppy interface connector.

modem7
March 15th, 2014, 10:31 PM
So any tips is welcome :)
Some methods of transferring files from a 'modern' PC to an 'old' PC are at the link [here (http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/transfer/transfer.htm)].

As has been mentioned, hooking up a 1.44M drive to the IBM-supplied floppy controller in the IBM XT (5160), does allow you use to use 720K diskettes.
That is discussed [here (http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/5150_5160/720k/5150_5160_boot_using_720k.htm)].

cruising
March 16th, 2014, 03:28 AM
I have quoted you guys, but my quotes never shows up after several hours + others post has been made after my quotes and do show up :S

deathshadow
March 16th, 2014, 06:03 AM
Word of warning, THIS:

Ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/1987-SEAGATE-8-BIT-ISA-PC-HARD-DISK-DRIVE-FLOPPY-HDD-FDD-CONTROLLER-I-O-BOARD-/221348196152?pt=AU_Computers_Vintage&hash=item3389616f38

Is NOT, I repeat NOT capable of driving a floppy. That is JUST a hard drive controller. Check the number of connectors; the one big connector is shared by both HDD, the two smaller ones go direct to each HDD individually... there is NOT floppy connector present on that!

Basically the seller has no clue what they have.

monzamess
March 16th, 2014, 08:03 AM
I bought a MicroSolutions Backpack parallel port 3.5" drive off eBay. It works well, if a little slowly, on my PCjr with unmodified parallel port. However, you'll need to get the driver on to your system, and the package only comes with a CD-ROM. Kind of a chicken-and-egg problem there. I also bought a USB 3.5" drive for my other PCs (under $15 on Amazon), since none of them have any floppy drives at this point. With this set up I can copy 1.44MB of stuff at a time from the Internet to my PCjr, so I'm happy with it.

I also have an old P4 computer with a 5.25" drive (that's how I got the Backpack driver to my PCjr). I also use it to create 360k boot floppies using downloaded .IMG files for PC/PCjr. For this work work, the floppies have to be formatted on the PCjr first. However, with this setup, I can only transfer 360k of stuff at once, and it's the only reason I even power on the P4 PC. So even with the P4 PC available, I prefer the 3.5" disk method because they hold 4x as much and I can transfer from any modern PC to the PCjr that way.

I suppose you could also get the Backpack parallel-port CD-ROM and transfer lots more stuff that way but I just didn't want to mess with it.

cruising
March 16th, 2014, 08:33 AM
Word of warning, THIS:

Ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/1987-SEAGATE-8-BIT-ISA-PC-HARD-DISK-DRIVE-FLOPPY-HDD-FDD-CONTROLLER-I-O-BOARD-/221348196152?pt=AU_Computers_Vintage&hash=item3389616f38

Is NOT, I repeat NOT capable of driving a floppy. That is JUST a hard drive controller. Check the number of connectors; the one big connector is shared by both HDD, the two smaller ones go direct to each HDD individually... there is NOT floppy connector present on that!

Basically the seller has no clue what they have.


I see! im not so good at this, but im learning and reading untill my XT arrives next week. I guess mine comes with a 320K 5.25 floppy, could i replac that one with a 1.2Mb one without buy any other nessesary components?

And how to upgrade the bios to the 3rd version? is the bios in a reemoveable chip? i readed that the earlier bios only can read 544K mem?

per
March 16th, 2014, 04:37 PM
To get full 1.44MB capability, you need 3 different things that supports it: Hardware, BIOS and Software.

Hardware support is simply the floppy disk controller (FDC) and the drive. There are some dedicated 8-bit ISA FDCs with HD support, but you can often get away with a common 16-bit ISA multifunction card (like http://www.ebay.com/itm/251373018714 ). Allthough having a 16-bit ISA connector, the FDC only uses the lower 8 bits, and as such it works just fine in 8-bit slots.

BIOS support is nessecary. BIOS is the thing software talks through when it has to access the hardware, and if BIOS doesn't know about HD floppy disks, then it can't make heads or tails when software tries to access one. The mentioned dedicated 8-bit ISA hardware often has this onboard as a BIOS extension. For the 16-bit boards without BIOS Extension onboard, it has to be loaded as an "BIOS Overlay" driver after boot. 2M-XBIOS.EXE is such a driver, and recomended for this use.

Software support basically means you have to use DOS 3.3 or later. Earlier versions of DOS don't know about 3.5" HD floppies at all.

SomeGuy
March 16th, 2014, 05:45 PM
I see! im not so good at this, but im learning and reading untill my XT arrives next week. I guess mine comes with a 320K 5.25 floppy, could i replac that one with a 1.2Mb one without buy any other nessesary components?
A 1.2mb drive requires a high density controller. Confusingly, and unlike 1.44mb drives, it requires a high density controller in order to use high AND low density media. This is due the 360RPM speed. So, no, you can't just drop in a 1.2mb drive as a replacement. There are also compatiblity issues with writing low-density media... so long story short, just don't.

Caluser2000
March 16th, 2014, 07:46 PM
It's probably worth mentioning again that DrDos 7 seems to be able to support 1.44meg floppies using a 16 bit multi i/o card on XT class systems without the need of special drivers. It'll even boot from the fd drive. There are a few posts by vcf members to back this up.

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/archive/index.php/t-22905.html