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marc.hull
February 20th, 2016, 04:44 PM
Bought a xtide card and have spent some time trying to get it to function in a laser turbo xt. The Xtide is cabled to a startech cf adapter holding a 256 mb sandisk cf. What I have done is...

Formatted the cf (tried both FAT and FAT 32.)

This led to a disk that could be seen by the xtide bios but couldn't be accessed.

So i tried the hard drive format utility that came with the machine.

I could the go into drive c but every time I attempted to make a directory or copy a file I just got a file error. When I brought the card back to my xp machine it now read as RAW and showed 33MB so obviously the Mfm format utility wasn't a good idea.

So anyone know a working process to get this going?

Thanks

SomeGuy
February 20th, 2016, 05:01 PM
Well, at this point you will need to clear all partition information off of that CF card.

What I would do is stick it back in the turbo XT, fire up the Norton Utilities Disk Editor and manually zero out the first physical sector (the Master Boot Record). This will make 100% sure that no existing information conflicts, and that the hardware is properly talking to the card.

Then boot DOS from a floppy on the turbo XT and use that to FDISK, FORMAT, and SYS it.

There is no need to run any low-level format for a CF card, as that is not applicable.

marc.hull
February 22nd, 2016, 03:44 PM
Well, at this point you will need to clear all partition information off of that CF card.

What I would do is stick it back in the turbo XT, fire up the Norton Utilities Disk Editor and manually zero out the first physical sector (the Master Boot Record). This will make 100% sure that no existing information conflicts, and that the hardware is properly talking to the card.

Then boot DOS from a floppy on the turbo XT and use that to FDISK, FORMAT, and SYS it.

There is no need to run any low-level format for a CF card, as that is not applicable.

Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately still no dice.

I am kinda confused though on a couple of points. Since the controller id IDE and fdisk is (I think ) is meant for mfm drived. At least the copy I am using (1986ish.) Is this mixing apples and oranges ?

SomeGuy
February 22nd, 2016, 03:59 PM
FDISK only cares that the drive is BIOS accessible. It doesn't care if it is MFM, RLL, IDE, SCSI, SATA, etc, as long as BIOS provides the appropriate BIOS support.

You would only have to worry about the controller type when doing a "low level" part of the format, but low level formats are not applicable to CF media anyway.

So exactly what happened when you tried the above?

marc.hull
February 23rd, 2016, 04:49 AM
FDISK only cares that the drive is BIOS accessible. It doesn't care if it is MFM, RLL, IDE, SCSI, SATA, etc, as long as BIOS provides the appropriate BIOS support.

You would only have to worry about the controller type when doing a "low level" part of the format, but low level formats are not applicable to CF media anyway.

So exactly what happened when you tried the above?

I run the format hard drive utility which calls fdisk and format. Those two run ridiculously fast to the point that it basically starts by asking if I want to create a dos partition. After it does that I get prompted to reboot, which I do.
I can then access c: but cannot save anything to it including command.com.

SomeGuy
February 23rd, 2016, 05:28 AM
Normal MS-DOS does not have a "format hard drive utility". It sounds like you are running an OEM specific tool that expects a very specific hard drive and controller.

You need to run FDISK and format manually so you can partition the drive as per your preferences and so you can see any error messages.

What version of DOS is this? Is this an OEM version?

I'd suggest obtaining either MS-DOS 3.31, 5.0 or 6.22.

Remember DOS 3.30 and earlier can not access partitions larger than 32MB. DOS 5 and later use more of the 640K memory unless you have a 286 and himem.sys.

marc.hull
February 23rd, 2016, 09:38 AM
Normal MS-DOS does not have a "format hard drive utility". It sounds like you are running an OEM specific tool that expects a very specific hard drive and controller.

You need to run FDISK and format manually so you can partition the drive as per your preferences and so you can see any error messages.

What version of DOS is this? Is this an OEM version?

I'd suggest obtaining either MS-DOS 3.31, 5.0 or 6.22.

Remember DOS 3.30 and earlier can not access partitions larger than 32MB. DOS 5 and later use more of the 640K memory unless you have a 286 and himem.sys.

It's DOS 3.3 and the utility I am using is from the original Laser disks.

So I need to get DOS 3.3 and a seperate copy of fdisk and format. Any idea where I could get those ?

Thanks for your patience.

marc.hull
February 24th, 2016, 04:54 PM
Thanks for the lessons. Disk image found and installed. Xt kinds looks funny with a cf card sticking out the front but it works again.

3pcedev
February 26th, 2016, 03:04 PM
Good to see another forum member with a Laser Turbo XT.

Just a word of warning; don't switch the computer into High Speed mode while it is initialising the XT_IDE bios. It can cause it to hang and do a heap of weird things. I wait until it has found the SD card and started booting MSDOS before switching modes.

marc.hull
February 26th, 2016, 07:40 PM
Good to see another forum member with a Laser Turbo XT.

Just a word of warning; don't switch the computer into High Speed mode while it is initialising the XT_IDE bios. It can cause it to hang and do a heap of weird things. I wait until it has found the SD card and started booting MSDOS before switching modes.

My laser doesn't have a turbo button. Turbo mode is only available in software AFAIK so I couldn't do it if I tried. What model is yours ?

3pcedev
February 27th, 2016, 01:54 PM
Neither does mine, but if you hold 'ctrl' and press the '8' key it will shift into high speed mode; no utility required.

The high speed mode light on the front will then illuminate and the PC speaker should beep. Makes a huge difference to loading times as it steps up the processor to 10MHz.

29860

marc.hull
February 27th, 2016, 02:33 PM
Neither does mine, but if you hold 'ctrl' and press the '8' key it will shift into high speed mode; no utility required.

The high speed mode light on the front will then illuminate and the PC speaker should beep. Makes a huge difference to loading times as it steps up the processor to 10MHz.

29860

Well that's going into my hip pocket. Thank you.

Krille
February 28th, 2016, 04:31 AM
Just a word of warning; don't switch the computer into High Speed mode while it is initialising the XT_IDE bios. It can cause it to hang and do a heap of weird things. I wait until it has found the SD card and started booting MSDOS before switching modes.

Interesting. What version of the BIOS is this? Full mode or Lite mode?

3pcedev
February 28th, 2016, 11:44 PM
Cant think of the version off hand, but its running on a Lo-Tech compactflash adaptor card.

Basically I wouldn't worry about it. It's only when you put it into highspeed mode while its searching for the CF cards. I'm guessing it throws some sort of timer off or something like that. The usual fault is it will either not detect the CF card, or it will detect it and hang the system when it tries to boot from it.

It takes all of 5 seconds to get past the XT-IDE bootstrap, once past there you can switch in/out of highspeed no worries at all.

marc.hull
March 6th, 2016, 03:49 PM
So after a couple of weeks running I feel good enough to close the case back up on the computer and call it permanent. Cudos to the card designers and the DSR authors. This box should be valid another 30 years. Thank you.