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SteveMarg
June 2nd, 2014, 07:20 PM
Hi there.

I was looking through some of the obsolete PCs at work and came across a modern motherboard (it has an i3 CPU) with 3 PCI slots and one ISA slot.

So that got me thinking - what would happen if I put the PC card used for an IBM 5161 into the ISA slot? Would I be able to communicate with the hard drives in the expansion unit?

What are your thoughts - before I drag my 5161 into the office.

Thanks.

SpidersWeb
June 2nd, 2014, 07:35 PM
Well the bus clock will be almost double, and I'm not confident an i3 system would look for the boot ROM (on HDD controller) nor Windows would look for a Winchester controller. It may be an ISA connector, but a lot has changed.

Generally for ISA compatibility, you avoid going past an original Pentium.

(Just my thoughts, I haven't seen anyone use a 5161 card in anything other than a 5150 or 5160)

offensive_Jerk
June 2nd, 2014, 09:53 PM
What about a MDA card in the ISA slot to use a monochrome 5151?

per
June 3rd, 2014, 02:56 AM
The 5161 interface is actually very "dumb" so you could surely get it to work somehow. But be aware that anything but an IBM 5150/5160 probably lacks the POST-code to set it up and to test the comunication.

TNC
June 3rd, 2014, 04:55 AM
What about a MDA card in the ISA slot to use a monochrome 5151?

Several years ago I had one in a dual Pentium Pro machine. I didn't explore further, but booting a Linux in textmode worked fine.

offensive_Jerk
June 3rd, 2014, 06:46 AM
Several years ago I had one in a dual Pentium Pro machine. I didn't explore further, but booting a Linux in textmode worked fine.

That would actually be pretty cool. Too bad my PIII board with a ISA slot died.

IBM_User
June 3rd, 2014, 07:32 AM
That would actually be pretty cool. Too bad my PIII board with a ISA slot died.

A few months ago I used an IBM 5151 with the IBM MDA Adapter in a 486 system w/ out any problems.
That was the only solution I had at this moment to test this machine.

krebizfan
June 3rd, 2014, 09:40 AM
MDA would be a problem with all the modern BIOSes that expect VGA or better graphics. I believe changes to graphic card standards have made it impossible to use MDA as a secondary monitor. I at least failed when trying it with a Pentium III.

I doubt the 5161 will work when attached to much more modern systems. I wish I could recall an exact reference because I very vaguely remember a magazine article about using expansion chassis with non-IBM hardware and didn't always succeed. But then, it is unlikely to cause damage if tried.

offensive_Jerk
June 3rd, 2014, 10:21 AM
I was wondering about the bios issue after thinking about this for a while.
Modern bioses don't really have an option for mono anymore (unless the option isn't required anymore?)

SpidersWeb
June 3rd, 2014, 11:51 AM
I was wondering about the bios issue after thinking about this for a while.
Modern bioses don't really have an option for mono anymore (unless the option isn't required anymore?)
Well those settings were there so the computer could look for and initialize an MDA (MONO) or CGA adaptor (CO40 or CO80). Eventually this became unnecessary because (other than for a laugh) nobody would use MDA/CGA on a modern PC. So not only is the option missing, but the code to use the card likely is as well.

SteveMarg
June 3rd, 2014, 01:36 PM
Thank for your input.
So I guess it's decided. I need to try it. :p
I will keep you posted!

sergey
June 3rd, 2014, 03:38 PM
Well those settings were there so the computer could look for and initialize an MDA (MONO) or CGA adaptor (CO40 or CO80). Eventually this became unnecessary because (other than for a laugh) nobody would use MDA/CGA on a modern PC. So not only is the option missing, but the code to use the card likely is as well.
Last time I've tried it (with Pentium III system or so) BIOS supported MDA just fine. The legacy (MDA/CGA) BIOS takes 1 KiB of space, so no real reason to remove it.

SpidersWeb
June 3rd, 2014, 03:59 PM
Last time I've tried it (with Pentium III system or so) BIOS supported MDA just fine. The legacy (MDA/CGA) BIOS takes 1 KiB of space, so no real reason to remove it.
hmm that's pretty cool, good to know it's worth a shot.

inakito
June 3rd, 2014, 04:18 PM
MDA output was used in the late days for debugging, as a secondary display. Later, when PCI became ubiquitous, it was possible to have two vgas working at the same time, so MDA was losing interest, but most programers still used the mda card. MDA is very easy to initialize, you dont need the Bios to work with it. I would not mind to have one of these motherboards with i3 and ISA slots. I still own several MDA cards from my debugging years.