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Mike Chambers
November 14th, 2006, 04:15 PM
okay, so everybody tells me i'm better off getting an 8-bit SCSI ISA adapter and using a SCSI hard disk rather than trying to rig up an IDE drive to work on my XT clone.

in a box of cards i found an adaptec 8-bit SCSI card. it was originally for an old HP ScanJet i had back in the real early 90's. is this suitable for a HDD? i've never messed with SCSI much. i'm sure theres an expert here.

mbbrutman
November 14th, 2006, 04:57 PM
Does it have a boot BIOS? If not, don't bother.

To be bootable any card either needs BIOS support on the motherboard, or a boot BIOS on the card. If the card as designed to run a scanner, it probably doesn't have a boot BIOS. Post the model number and a picture to be sure.

Mike Chambers
November 14th, 2006, 05:04 PM
Does it have a boot BIOS? If not, don't bother.

To be bootable any card either needs BIOS support on the motherboard, or a boot BIOS on the card. If the card as designed to run a scanner, it probably doesn't have a boot BIOS. Post the model number and a picture to be sure.

i don't have my camera here... i accidentally left it at my friends house the other day.

but, i know for a fact it is not bootable. i don't mind though. all i'd have to do anyway is set up a boot disk floppy with the SCSI card and disk drivers, and then at the end of autoexec:


C:\COMMAND.COM /K /P

that would transfer OS control to the COMMAND.COM on C: (so it doesnt read the floppy after exiting programs, etc)

all i gotta do now is pick up a scsi hard drive :/
i don't have one. all i have is a scsi cd-rom drive

Anonymous Coward
November 15th, 2006, 05:20 AM
Heh, if you really wanted to have some fun you could install that SCSI CD-ROM drive provided you can find the ASPI drivers to go with your card. Then you could just write a disc on your PC with all the programs you want to play with. It'll work as long as you don't need to write to the disk :D Maybe it's not such a great idea, but it would be fun!
I'm sure if you can't find a SCSI drive on ebay you can find somebody in the forum with one. Your controller can probably handle up to 1GB of space.

mbbrutman
November 15th, 2006, 05:34 AM
If you don't care about it being bootable, why not go for a parallel to SCSI adapter or a parallel-to-IDE adapter? Same thing, but now the hard drive is external and portable.

Performance with a card would be just slightly better, but the portability is nice.

daflory
November 15th, 2006, 08:32 AM
i don't have my camera here... i accidentally left it at my friends house the other day.

but, i know for a fact it is not bootable. i don't mind though. all i'd have to do anyway is set up a boot disk floppy with the SCSI card and disk drivers, and then at the end of autoexec:


C:\COMMAND.COM /K /P

that would transfer OS control to the COMMAND.COM on C: (so it doesnt read the floppy after exiting programs, etc)

all i gotta do now is pick up a scsi hard drive :/
i don't have one. all i have is a scsi cd-rom drive


If you aren't worried about booting, then you shouldn't have any trouble. Adaptec is great about keeping their legacy adapters posted. You'll just need to boot the ASPI driver and the adapter's hard drive driver from DOS.

I just put "SET COMSPEC=C:\COMMAND.COM" at the end of autoexec.bat file (that should be faster than running COMMAND.COM again) and after that it will run entirely off the HDD.

Your only problem is likely to be with your HDD size and DOS. The BIOS of the early nineties Adaptec cards could usually handle up to 1 GB. Since you don't have a BIOS, you don't have that particular limit to worry about...

The "current" :) DOS drivers can let you access more that a gig if DOS cooperates, but I've found that MS-DOS 3.x tends to choke on large drives.

I've had problems with a 500MB, and I'm eventually going to try a newer DOS or else try a sub 100MB drive when I can get ahold of one.

I've had weird situations where fdisk and format in DOS 3.3 disagreed on the translation scheme for a large SCSI disk...which caused...problems, to put it mildly.

I don't know what version you're using, but I would try DR-DOS, PC-DOS 7 (which I think works on the XT), or Freedos.

Best of luck,

Dave

daflory
November 15th, 2006, 08:39 AM
If you don't care about it being bootable, why not go for a parallel to SCSI adapter or a parallel-to-IDE adapter? Same thing, but now the hard drive is external and portable.

Performance with a card would be just slightly better, but the portability is nice.

There are always those noisy external SCSI cases...with the fat 50pin centronics cables!

Mike Chambers
November 15th, 2006, 09:21 AM
If you aren't worried about booting, then you shouldn't have any trouble. Adaptec is great about keeping their legacy adapters posted. You'll just need to boot the ASPI driver and the adapter's hard drive driver from DOS.

I just put "SET COMSPEC=C:\COMMAND.COM" at the end of autoexec.bat file (that should be faster than running COMMAND.COM again) and after that it will run entirely off the HDD.

Your only problem is likely to be with your HDD size and DOS. The BIOS of the early nineties Adaptec cards could usually handle up to 1 GB. Since you don't have a BIOS, you don't have that particular limit to worry about...

The "current" :) DOS drivers can let you access more that a gig if DOS cooperates, but I've found that MS-DOS 3.x tends to choke on large drives.

I've had problems with a 500MB, and I'm eventually going to try a newer DOS or else try a sub 100MB drive when I can get ahold of one.

I've had weird situations where fdisk and format in DOS 3.3 disagreed on the translation scheme for a large SCSI disk...which caused...problems, to put it mildly.

I don't know what version you're using, but I would try DR-DOS, PC-DOS 7 (which I think works on the XT), or Freedos.

Best of luck,

Dave

i'm using DR-DOS 7.02 - MS-DOS won't boot for some reason. i've found drivers for the card already, now all i have to do is find a drive. this particular card you can only connect to externally, with what looks like a 25-pin connector just like a parallel port. is that going to be a problem?

for now, to get more space on there i've been using interlnk and intersvr :(

Mike Chambers
November 15th, 2006, 09:23 AM
If you don't care about it being bootable, why not go for a parallel to SCSI adapter or a parallel-to-IDE adapter? Same thing, but now the hard drive is external and portable.

Performance with a card would be just slightly better, but the portability is nice.

i'm not worried about portability at all. i want to keep this costing me as little as possible, and since i already have a card i'll use it :)

daflory
November 15th, 2006, 11:07 AM
i'm using DR-DOS 7.02 - MS-DOS won't boot for some reason. i've found drivers for the card already, now all i have to do is find a drive. this particular card you can only connect to externally, with what looks like a 25-pin connector just like a parallel port. is that going to be a problem?


Not as long as you remember not to plug a printer into it! :eek:

That's the (once) common Mac-style SCSI connector. You won't have any trouble finding an old DB-25 to Centronics-50 cable (or whatever your external enclosure winds up using...some use HD50, which is the same except with a smaller connector).

You'll need a 50-pin SCSI drive, a cable, a 50-pin style SCSI enclosure, and probably a terminator. (An old external SCSI CD-ROM case will work fine.)

the xt guy
November 15th, 2006, 11:35 AM
I bought a few SCSI cards from a reseller a few years ago, unfortunately they no longer have the card. It is a Rancho Technologies RT-1000B2. It only has an internal SCSI connection. Only disadvantage to it is that the ASPI driver for it needs a 286.

There are lots of old SCSI hard drives around. Several of my 8088's have Quantum LPS or EPS 40 or 42 meg SCSI drives, apparently used on the old Mac SE series. Quantum did make larger SCSI drives, the controller happily accepts Quantum 270mb drives, and I even tried a 1 gb. SCSI drive on it, it worked fine (no 528 mb. limitaion like the IDE drives have). Kind of pointless to have such a big drive in an 8088 though, who can fill even 270mb on an 8088?.

All the drives have a 1:1 interleave, so they are much faster than an MFM or RLL drive with 3:1 or 5:1 Interleave. Data transfer at over 500 K/sec. vs. 80-148 K with a typical MFM drive.

The reseller used to sell the cards at $14.00, but 2 or 3 times a year, they would have a sale on them for $4.00. The in-stock quantity was always listed and I noticed not many of them sold over the years. They still had a quantity of 564 left, then one day I noticed they were all gone from their website.

As for DOS, I have a copy of MS-DOS 3.31. Yes, there was a Microsoft version. With this, you can have a single partition even on a 270MB drive. It takes about 9K less RAM than DOS 6.22, and 1K more RAM than MS-DOS 3.30.

If I'm going to run something such as Windows 3.0 on an 8088, I need all the RAM I can free up, especially if I try to run Word for Windows 1.1 on an 8088!

IBMMuseum
November 15th, 2006, 06:52 PM
okay, so everybody tells me i'm better off getting an 8-bit SCSI ISA adapter and using a SCSI hard disk rather than trying to rig up an IDE drive to work on my XT clone.

in a box of cards i found an adaptec 8-bit SCSI card. it was originally for an old HP ScanJet i had back in the real early 90's. is this suitable for a HDD? i've never messed with SCSI much. i'm sure theres an expert here.

I have put an Acculogic IDE card on a PS/2 Model 30 (8086 at 8MHz, XT bus). Also the Trantor T130B is a good 8-bit SCSI card (they come up on eBay & elsewhere), most of the time with a BIOS extension. Got that on a Model 30 as well, with a 1Gb HDD (add-in VGA card to get Windows 3.0 Real Mode in color) & external CD-ROM.

Anonymous Coward
November 15th, 2006, 07:05 PM
Trantor 128 with BIOS is also good on XT-bus systems.

Anonymous Coward
November 16th, 2006, 09:03 PM
If nobody has offered already try this website. It looks like they have pretty decent prices on old SCSI cards:

http://www.a1usedcomputers.com.au/shop/prodList.asp?idCategory=36

I'd probably go with the Trantor T130B unless you can confirm the BIOS version on the TMC850 card. Version 8.2 on the TMC850 is the one you want. V8.4 won't boot on an XT. Version 8.0 lacks support for larger drives. By the way, this site has small SCSI drives too.

mbbrutman
November 17th, 2006, 02:03 PM
If you are just looking for cheap storage, why not an old parallel port Zip drive?

IBMMuseum
November 17th, 2006, 02:28 PM
...I'd probably go with the Trantor T130B unless you can confirm the BIOS version on the TMC850 card. Version 8.2 on the TMC850 is the one you want. V8.4 won't boot on an XT. Version 8.0 lacks support for larger drives. By the way, this site has small SCSI drives too.

Yes, I'll second that on the T130B (there is programs I used with mine to format, etc.). The TMC-850s around here usually don't have a BIOS (for running external CD-ROMs), but great information AC. My luck has been to find many 8-bit SCSI cards on school system auction lots in years past.

Mike Chambers
November 18th, 2006, 11:52 AM
If nobody has offered already try this website. It looks like they have pretty decent prices on old SCSI cards:

http://www.a1usedcomputers.com.au/shop/prodList.asp?idCategory=36

I'd probably go with the Trantor T130B unless you can confirm the BIOS version on the TMC850 card. Version 8.2 on the TMC850 is the one you want. V8.4 won't boot on an XT. Version 8.0 lacks support for larger drives. By the way, this site has small SCSI drives too.

wow, that is a great price for the t130b! thanks for the link... now i can stop using slow interlnk to map a C: via null modem :)

Anonymous Coward
November 18th, 2006, 06:37 PM
Ah, no problem. You're pretty lucky. I was searching the internets for something unrelated, and I came across this website by mistake. Hopefully their product matrix isn't out of date. I guess $15 is reasonable, but they're probably not worth more than $5. Sometimes paying more is the way to go if you feel impatient :D

I recommend eBay for the harddrive. I can find nice SCSI drives of several gigabyte capacities for $5-$10.