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View Full Version : Promise FloppyMax ISA LS-120 IDE Controller on eBay for $15 (9 available).



IBM Portable PC
January 31st, 2016, 02:00 PM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/231830996572

This is a rare item, I've not seen it come up before. It allows usage of an LS-120 on a 16 bit ISA machine.

A good deal for NOS $14.95

PS I am NOT the seller, nor do I know the seller.

Chuck(G)
January 31st, 2016, 02:12 PM
Isn't the LS-120 drive simply a plain old ATA/ATAPI device? Seems that any system capable of supporting a standard IDE hard disk would support an LS-120.

What am I missing?

Stone
January 31st, 2016, 02:19 PM
Nothing!

krebizfan
January 31st, 2016, 02:37 PM
The Promise card also has a BIOS extension to permit booting off any ATAPI device. Plus the ability to be a third or fourth controller in a system. Might be handy for some 386 and 486 systems. Not too useful in the systems current in late 1996 when the card was released.

glitch
January 31st, 2016, 03:00 PM
If it can boot ATAPI devices, does that mean it can boot CD-ROMs?

IBM Portable PC
January 31st, 2016, 08:01 PM
I 'believe' it can boot from a 1.44MB / 720KB floppy in an LS-120 drive and that the drive still appears as A:

johnnynismo
February 6th, 2016, 06:46 AM
Amazingly I'm looking at the same eBay item. I want to use it for larger hard drive support. I'm hoping it will run a 3.5GB Quantum in my old 286-12Mhz. I have a very rare SIIG Fast EIDE Controller in my 486 and I can't find a second one. If this Promise controller works similarly to that one, I'll be in heaven.

Bannon
March 4th, 2016, 08:50 AM
Could I use this card in a PS/2 Model 30-286 to make a bootable IDE hard drive?

dorkbert
March 4th, 2016, 07:34 PM
and to think we threw out like hundreds of those when we were cleaning house a few years ago when I was still working at Promise...

lutiana
January 1st, 2017, 10:31 PM
Amazingly I'm looking at the same eBay item. I want to use it for larger hard drive support. I'm hoping it will run a 3.5GB Quantum in my old 286-12Mhz. I have a very rare SIIG Fast EIDE Controller in my 486 and I can't find a second one. If this Promise controller works similarly to that one, I'll be in heaven.

Did it work with the HDD you wanted it to work with? I just bought 2 and I am worried that they may only work with LS-120 and other ATAPI devices, but I just want to use it for a HDD in my 5162 and 5170.

alecv
January 2nd, 2017, 04:23 AM
If it can boot ATAPI devices, does that mean it can boot CD-ROMs? No, ATAPI CD-ROM implements MMC-5 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCSI_Multimedia_Commands) command set and requires "El Torito (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Torito_(CD-ROM_standard))" bootable CD-ROM support.

alecv
January 2nd, 2017, 04:28 AM
Did it work with the HDD you wanted it to work with? I just bought 2 and I am worried that they may only work with LS-120 and other ATAPI devices, but I just want to use it for a HDD in my 5162 and 5170. Replace PROMISE BIOS with XTIDEUNIVERSALBIOS
http://www.xtideuniversalbios.org/
It would support IDE HDD on the secondary/tertiary ISA IDE controller, but does not support ATAPI devices (yet).

lutiana
January 2nd, 2017, 11:44 AM
Can it work as a primary controller and allow me to boot from an IDE disk?

Krille
January 6th, 2017, 07:19 AM
Can it work as a primary controller and allow me to boot from an IDE disk?

Yes...

lutiana
January 6th, 2017, 07:26 AM
Yes...

Bloody awesome to hear as the two I ordered arrive today!

Krille
January 6th, 2017, 07:33 AM
I'm stupid. I just realized you meant the card, not the XTIDE Universal BIOS...

Judging by the images on eBay it looks like the card can't be jumpered to be the primary IDE interface. Then again, XUB can boot from any drive on any IDE interface so this shouldn't be a problem.

lutiana
January 6th, 2017, 07:38 AM
I'm stupid. I just realized you meant the card, not the XTIDE Universal BIOS...

Judging by the images on eBay it looks like the card can't be jumpered to be the primary IDE interface. Then again, XUB can boot from any drive on any IDE interface so this shouldn't be a problem.

I imagine it may be an issue from a hardware (I/O) address stand point, and I assume that if it is set to secondary it is going to inhabit a different address space than the primary, and could cause issues with software that is hardcoded to use to the primary I/O address and/or possible conflicts with other hardware. Though in real world use, this may not even be a concern.

If I flashed it with the XTIDE Universal BIOS, what would the benefits be over the Promise BIOS? I also note that the card is nearly identical to the Promise EIDEMax, so I am wondering if I could obtain the BIOS from that card if it would work on this one.

Krille
January 6th, 2017, 08:11 AM
I imagine it may be an issue from a hardware (I/O) address stand point, and I assume that if it is set to secondary it is going to inhabit a different address space than the primary, and could cause issues with software that is hardcoded to use to the primary I/O address and/or possible conflicts with other hardware. Though in real world use, this may not even be a concern.
Exactly, the only problems would be with software assuming the boot drive is on the primary interface (1F0h) and which would also bypass the BIOS and access the drive(s) directly. I doubt this will be a problem on the IBM machines you intend to use the cards with.


If I flashed it with the XTIDE Universal BIOS, what would the benefits be over the Promise BIOS? I also note that the card is nearly identical to the Promise EIDEMax, so I am wondering if I could obtain the BIOS from that card if it would work on this one.
I don't know anything about the Promise BIOSes so am unable to really compare them with XUB (aside from features in XUB like the boot menu or support for virtual serial drives, you won't find those in the Promise BIOSes).

lutiana
January 6th, 2017, 10:03 AM
If I went with the XUB, would I be able to set it as the primary address (1F0h)?

Krille
January 6th, 2017, 11:12 AM
If I went with the XUB, would I be able to set it as the primary address (1F0h)?

No, not unless the card can be set (with jumpers) to be the primary interface (and it doesn't look like it can) but, as I said, it doesn't really matter since XUB can boot from any interface.

alecv
January 6th, 2017, 01:47 PM
If I went with the XUB, would I be able to set it as the primary address (1F0h)?
Take a conventional IDE ISA adapter, it's cheaper. Most of them can't be switched to alternate address and even has no "gold fingers" on the ISA connector for alternative IRQs.

lutiana
January 6th, 2017, 03:35 PM
Take a conventional IDE ISA adapter, it's cheaper. Most of them can't be switched to alternate address and even has no "gold fingers" on the ISA connector for alternative IRQs.

If I did that, what would the BIOS be on?

I am trying one of these cards in my 5162 now, and have zero luck with it. It seems to interfere with the ISA IDE I/O controller I have in there (that has the IDE interface disabled, so it is being used as a floppy controller and for the IO ports only).

Promise has a EIDEMax card, which looks absolutely identical to this board, it has a few resistors in places that this one does not (but the mask is there) and it has a 4 pin header for an LED (once again this card has the mask for that). So it looks like the EIDEMax and FloppyMax are the exact same circuit board, slightly differently populated and with a different BIOS. So the question is, if I made this card match an EIDEMax (by adding and removing the components on the EIDEMax) and then installing the XUB, do you think it could be used as a primary IDE controller?

FloppyMax:
35267

EIDEMax:
35268