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haightc
June 28th, 2016, 09:54 AM
I have two ISA SCSI cards neither appear to be boot or rather recognizable from the BIOS as far as I can tell.
Can you recommend some boot-able 16bit ISA SCSI cards to be on the lookout for?

glitch
June 28th, 2016, 09:57 AM
My go-to 16 bit card is the Adaptec 1522/1542 card. Built-in floppy controller too, and depending on which revision, the floppy can often do single-density.

Chuck(G)
June 28th, 2016, 12:27 PM
Just curious--do either of your non-bootable cards have a socket for a PROM? (i.e. what are they?)

I like the Future Domain 16xx cards as well as the ones made by DTC and Ultrastor.

haightc
June 30th, 2016, 09:59 PM
None of them have sockets, I have the fallowing SCSI cards
Symbios SYM20403
Adaptec AVA-1502E
Must Systems AZ-SCSI

I also have a sound card with a built in IDE interface, but no internal expansion bays. However from what I understand if I get an XT-IDE bios chip that might open up my options. Also my 3com Etherlink III also doesn't have a a ROM socket. Although I am still a little muddy on how to get the chip and how it really works.

Pyewacket
April 5th, 2017, 12:33 PM
I have an adaptec SCSI that came with my SCSI Floptical - a 21mb SCSI Floppy Drive and I actually have 5 floptical disks. It also reads standard 3.5" floppies as well and boots from the drive.

Grandcheapskate
April 11th, 2017, 04:57 PM
JUst an idea...

On the couple non-bootable SCSI controllers I have (DOS machines), what I did was use a small IDE drive to hold the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files, as well as the SCSI drivers. Once the SCSI drivers are loaded, all the other software can be on the SCSI devices.

The IDE drives I used were only 80mb.

Joe

Stone
April 11th, 2017, 05:07 PM
I also have a sound card with a built in IDE interface, but no internal expansion bays.


JUst an idea...

On the couple non-bootable SCSI controllers I have (DOS machines), what I did was use a small IDE drive to hold the AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files, as well as the SCSI drivers. Once the SCSI drivers are loaded, all the other software can be on the SCSI devices.

The IDE drives I used were only 80mb.

JoeBooting from a floppy seems like a reasonable alternative.

Chuck(G)
April 11th, 2017, 06:34 PM
I can speak for the Adaptec 1502 and Symbios 20403--they were bare-bones controllers sold to the scanner market. You can get ASPI support (and hence disk and CD) for them, but there's no provision for booting.

After all, why would someone want to boot a scanner? :)

gslick
April 11th, 2017, 07:39 PM
This is sort of a weird resurrection of a year old thread, but if anyone is still looking of decent ISA bus bootable SCSI controllers then you can't go wrong with an Adaptec 1542, as was mentioned near the beginning of this thread. I must have a few of the different revisions of them around. They should be fairly easily found at cheap prices.

deathshadow
April 27th, 2017, 08:59 AM
This is sort of a weird resurrection of a year old thread
Was thinking same...


but if anyone is still looking of decent ISA bus bootable SCSI controllers then you can't go wrong with an Adaptec 1542
ALSO thinking the same.

The entire 1542 line are in my experience the BEST in ISA SCSI adapters, if for no other reason than that unlike most other ISA SCSI adapters, it actually seems to properly implement being hot-pluggable.

Back in the early 1990's I was working for a place where one of the clients had pretty much built their entire business around the Compaq portable III using a custom card to turn them into EKG machines. They also had a desktop version for calibration and office testing, but the portable was more popular with hospitals... but they had a problem.

1) Extra hassle of an external parallel drive since the data had to be shipped off for proper analysis.

2) Compaq PC3's were drying up in the supply channel since they were already out of production

3) Next generation information gathering required more powerful systems in both processors and storage capacity

4) The custom card for the PC3 was unreliable and often broke loose in shipping.

But I remembered from the back of Computer Shopper that there was a company selling PC3 style cases -- nearly identical -- but with a full height floppy bay, internal room for a 3.5", and that took a standard mini-AT motherboard... So I got my boss to order one for evaluation, built it up as a 486DX/2-66 with a 1542C, removable SCSI 1 gig hard drive (which was batshit storage for a PC in '92), internal 512 meg for booting and software, and one of the client's desktop cards plugged into it.

Which from the time I showed it to the client to the time I left the company, they bought those suckers like hotcakes. We had several hundred deployed 'in the wild' with pretty much every model of 1542 Adaptec ever made, with zero failures, zero issues, and greatly sped-up deployment. They were just rock solid reliable and even replaced their desktop models.

... and being we're talking about a lunchbox where they would get shlepped around by medical personnel not computer experts, that's a harsh environment where failures should (and typically were) common. See the pile of junk actual Compaq's the client had piled up in the corner. (Always regretted not asking "Hey, could I have a couple of these?")

Though some custom changes I made to the case of the PC3 clones helped with the shipping issues as I took a page out of the PC Jr's playbook, and took some lexan and hot-cut slits into it which was then epoxy'd to the lid. When you put the cover back on it, the slits lined up with the control cards meaning they couldn't lift up out of their sockets during shipping. Was a cleaner solution than going down in there with a hot-glue gun like you saw so many companies do.

If you can find them the 1542CF -- here's an older pic of one from my collection:
http://www.deathshadow.com/images/AHA-1542CF.jpg

Is the best of the best of the best -- with honors -- to come from Adaptec for the ISA form factor. I usually HATE software controlled hardware settings, but the card never failed me, it's auto-detection of other hardware is (in my experience) bulletproof in that it even seems to go "hey, there's ROM here, let's not put our ROM there" and show a "Rom Conflict, check AHA-1542 Address switches" message -- and is still PRE "plug and play" meaning you still retain far more control over it from its ROM than you would relying on the system BIOS to place the IRQ's, DMA channels, and ports.

But if you want to go the old-school jumper route, 1542B is a fine and dandy card that is otherwise identical.

Hell, that 1542CF pictured above is in my 286-20 clone driving a 1 gig seagate right now.... though that drive is probably being pulled to see if it will work with a ST-02 V3.0.0 in a XT clone.

Bottom line, if I need SCSI and have a 16 bit ISA slot available, AHA-1542 or GTFO.

Chuck(G)
April 27th, 2017, 09:21 AM
I have a 1540A (1542 without floppy section populated); older version on a full-length ISA card. If you're interested, drop me a line. I have the 1542CF (and a pile of others) already.

gslick
April 27th, 2017, 10:46 AM
One thing to note with the Adaptec AHA-1542 is that the on-board FDC controller chip used varies with the different versions.

That should only be an issue if you want to read and write images of certain disk formats which are non-standard for PCs.

The FDC registry link here says the earlier AHA-1542 versions use some flavor of an DP8473 FDC controller while later ones use some flavor of an 82077 controller, which apparently does not support Double-Density with 128 bytes sectors.

http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm

Stone
April 27th, 2017, 11:50 AM
I've got a tested AHA-1542CF that's available.

Xacalite
April 27th, 2017, 07:31 PM
But if you want to go the old-school jumper route, 1542B is a fine and dandy card that is otherwise identical.
1542B has one problem: 1 GB HDD size limit in BIOS.
Apparently there was some BIOS/firmware update to allow up to 8.4 GB, but I can't locate it. Any help?

Chuck(G)
April 27th, 2017, 07:52 PM
Have you tried updating it with the BIOS from a 1542C?

Xacalite
April 27th, 2017, 11:59 PM
Have you tried updating it with the BIOS from a 1542C?
No.
I may give it a try when I find a 1542C, but I doubt it's gonna work, there are many differences between B and C - http://www.scsifaq.org/scsifaq.html#_Hlk407095087

Xacalite
April 28th, 2017, 04:56 AM
BTW, another question to 1542B users:
That adapter has jumpers to select DMA speed: 5.0, 5.7, 6.7, 8.0 MB/s, default is the slowest one, and I'd like to set it to the fastest safe speed.
The manual reads: "See Appendix A for system timing requirements."
But I can't find that appendix, anybody has it?

clh333
April 28th, 2017, 05:29 AM
I have two ISA SCSI cards neither appear to be boot or rather recognizable from the BIOS as far as I can tell.
Can you recommend some boot-able 16bit ISA SCSI cards to be on the lookout for?

I don't mean to "jump" this thread but I wonder if anyone can recommend an 8-bit ISA SCSI adapter with a BIOS suitable for booting a hard disk?

Thanks,

-CH-

Xacalite
April 28th, 2017, 03:11 PM
I don't mean to "jump" this thread but I wonder if anyone can recommend an 8-bit ISA SCSI adapter with a BIOS suitable for booting a hard disk?
Seagate ST01 and ST02 are pretty common, but their BIOS has some severe HDD size limit.

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2017, 04:27 PM
A Trantor T128 or T130 (that hasn't been stripped for CD-ROM only support) are both pretty decent. There are some nice DTC 8-bit boards, such as the 3180--apparently, they're harder to find. And Future Domain put out an 8-bit board as well.

Note however, that most 8 bit cards use 6-byte CDBs, which limit them to about 1GB of addressability.

Cloudschatze
April 28th, 2017, 07:46 PM
I'm not sure if this helps, but regarding some of the bootable 8-bit SCSI adapters I've used, and continue to use:

Future Domain TMC-850M

BIOS Address Selection: C800h, CA00h, CE00h, DE00h, E800h, EC00h
BIOS HD Limit: 1GB
I/O: Memory-mapped
Max Transfer Rate: 2 MB/sec
ASPI/CAM Manager: ASPIFCAM.SYS, DCAM950.EXE, MCAM950.SYS
External TERMPWR: Yes

Rancho RT1000B (w/BIOS 8.20R)

BIOS Address Selection: C800h, CC00h, D000h, D400h, D800h, DC00h, E000h, E400h
BIOS HD Limit: 2GB
I/O: Memory-mapped
Max Transfer Rate: 2.5 MB/sec
ASPI/CAM Manager: RTASPI10.SYS
External TERMPWR: Yes

Seagate ST01/ST02 (w/BIOS v3.3)

BIOS Address Selection: C800h, CA00h, CC00h, CD00h
BIOS HD Limit: >1GB (The largest I've attempted is 4.3GB)
I/O: Memory-mapped
Max Transfer Speed: <unknown>
ASPI/CAM Manager: N/A
External TERMPWR: No

Trantor T128/T228

BIOS Address Selection: C800h, CC00h, D800h, DC00h
BIOS HD Limit: 1GB
I/O: Memory-mapped
Max Transfer Rate: 1 MB/sec
ASPI/CAM Manager: MA120.SYS
External TERMPWR: No

Trantor T130B

BIOS Address Selection: CA00h, CE00h, DA00h, DE00h
BIOS HD Limit: 1GB
I/O: Port-mapped (350h, 340h, 250h, 240h)
Max Transfer Rate: 1 MB/sec
ASPI/CAM Manager: MA13B.SYS
External TERMPWR: Yes

Chuck(G)
April 28th, 2017, 09:31 PM
The funny thing about the Trantor T130 and the Seagate ST01 is that they used essentially the same chip (ST01 uses a TI version of the NCR 53C400), which is a "made to order" chip for the PC architecture--it includes 64 bytes of scratchpad RAM, memory-mapped I/O and even decoding for the BIOS extension ROM.

The T130B takes all of this wonderful stuff and re-maps it to the I/O address space with PALs. Screwy, just plain screwy.

clh333
April 29th, 2017, 04:01 AM
I'm not sure if this helps, but regarding some of the bootable 8-bit SCSI adapters I've used, and continue to use:

Helps greatly; now I know what to look for. Thanks to all for your input.

-CH-

alecv
April 30th, 2017, 01:18 PM
(ST01 uses a TI version of the NCR 53C400)
ST-01 chip is more like to the Future Domain TMC-950 chip used for TMX-85x cards. See an early Linux sources:
http://lxr.free-electrons.com/source/drivers/scsi/seagate.c?v=2.0.40

Chuck(G)
April 30th, 2017, 01:27 PM
It's possible--the idea's the same--a single chip to provide a PC ISA bus with BIOS to SCSI. The 53C400 is basically an NCR 5380 with added support logic.

FWIW, if storage size is a concern, you might see if the ASPI drivers can handle larger partitions. by using the 10-byte CDBs. So you'd need a small boot partition that could load the drivers. It's a thought, anyway...

clh333
May 4th, 2017, 03:06 PM
With the help of your guidance I obtained the Seagate SCSI adapter shown below. To the best of my knowledge it is an ST-02 (support for floppy drives) and it has v. 3.0 BIOS.

I plan to use this in an AT&T PC 6300 in order to retain both 5.25 drives and have an HD at the same time. I have a Quantum ELS with a 50-pin interface selected for the drive. I also have some documentation from Seagate concerning the adapter settings.

I have not been through a SCSI HD installation and I am wondering whether I can format the drive through the BIOS or need a driver installed through DOS (AT&T's version of MS-DOS 3.30) or a third-party application such as Adaptec's EZ-SCSI. Or would FDISK suffice?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks,

-CH-

38247

clh333
May 5th, 2017, 03:44 AM
I installed the ST-0x card in the AT&T PC 6300 and powered up. The AT&T BIOS (Rev. 1.43) on POST noted the presence of an "optional" ROM at C800 and the ROM displayed its heritage and version, then went no further with booting. I waited a couple of minutes before powering down but no more progress.

This may be because I had nothing attached to the controller, or it may be due to a configuration issue. I have an Adaptec 2940 UW for example that only loads its BIOS if there is a boot device attached to it and if not allows POST to proceed. That's a PCI device and a later design, however.

Next I'll attach a drive I know is capable of booting and see what happens.

-CH-

IBM Portable PC
May 9th, 2017, 04:47 PM
Rancho RT1000B solved my issues in a Tandy 1000. It even boots from a Floptical drive at 720K (I have not tested 21MB as yet, althought it 'should' work), as well as my 3.5" Magneto Optical 540MB drive (I have both installed).

clh333
May 10th, 2017, 03:17 AM
Thanks for your suggestion. The possibility exists that the trouble with the controller is being caused by a flaky motherboard. Until I have that sorted I won't know for sure, but I plan to test the controller and drive on an IBM XT to see if it will work there. I also found an update to the controller BIOS (from 3.0 to 3.2) and that may be an avenue to explore as well.

-CH-