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Falcon_H
March 19th, 2017, 02:44 PM
Hello!

A few months ago I became the happy new owner of a IBM PC-XT. The machine was nice and clean, had 640k of ram, and a SCSI drive. the hard drive has been wiped, so when the computer boots It finds the hard drive and then says "Disk error. Replace and strike any key when ready." I assume that if I disconnected the drive the computer would boot to basic? I didn't want to use a floppy drive in my modern PC to get software to the IBM, so I decided on a CF conversion. I then purchased an ISA to CF kit from lo-tech.co.uk and a 1 GB Kingston Flash card.

I am waiting on parts to build the adaptor, and decided to try and install MS DOS 6.22 on the CF card using my modern PC. How should I go about this? Everything I find online is called a boot disk, which doesn't sound like the full operating system. I was looking at this one here: http://www.bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm.

I'm like a fish out of water here, so I greatly appreciate the help!

-Falcon_H

modem7
March 26th, 2017, 03:03 AM
Welcome to these forums.


I assume that if I disconnected the drive the computer would boot to basic?
Try removing the hard drive controller card.

pearce_jj
March 26th, 2017, 03:26 AM
Look up VMware player - free for personal use. Download the MSDOS disk images, create a virtual machine, specify DOS when prompted and choose a hard disk size slightly smaller that your CF card. Next boot the VM from a floppy image and proceed as you would with a physical install - fdisk then format /s. Next copy over MSDOS files and whatever else you need.

Then shutdown the VM and using eg WinImage, write the .VMDK file (which is the virtual hard drive) out to the CompactFlash card. That should be it.

Malc
March 26th, 2017, 05:13 AM
Or try the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool, SoftPaq 27608. You will need a CF USB adapter and a DOS boot disk, You won't get a full install but who needs a full install anyway, Lots of places on the net you can get full DOS 6.22 floppy images from, just extract them to a directory on your modern PC and copy over files that you need, Beats installing from floppy on your XT.

Falcon_H
March 9th, 2018, 12:07 PM
It's been loooong time since I started this thread, but I finally have the lo-tech adapter working.

It recognizes and tries to boot from the CF card, but it never gets any further than "starting ms-dos." I made a VHD file using virtual box and installed everything on the card using WinImage. I am not sure what is going wrong. Could the problem be the virtual machine that I used? I have attached the vhd file.

Thanks a million for the help!

-Falcon_H

Falcon_H
March 9th, 2018, 12:08 PM
It's been loooong time since I started this thread, but I finally have the lo-tech adapter working.

It recognizes and tries to boot from the CF card, but it never gets any further than "starting ms-dos." I made a VHD file using virtual box and installed everything on the card using WinImage. I am not sure what is going wrong. Could the problem be the virtual machine that I used? I have attached the vhd file.


Thanks a million for the help!

-Falcon_H

Falcon_H
April 17th, 2018, 09:40 AM
Since my last post, I've tried installing DOS a few more times with a couple different variations. For some reason I haven't been able to get it working. I know this should be possible!

Is there someone who has a copy of 6.22 and is using CF cards who could install it?

Thank you very much for the help!

eswan
April 18th, 2018, 12:47 PM
I've had problems using CF cards where partitioning and formatting with a USB adapter will use a different cylinders/heads/sectors interpretation than the ide->cf adapter in the target machine sees. Try fdisking (and fdisk /mbr for the heck of it) and formatting with a boot disk on the target machine.

Falcon_H
August 12th, 2018, 03:15 PM
I finally admitted defeat and tried to install DOS from disks. When I inserted the boot disk, the XT-IDE bios said "ERROR 4!H". I suspect the floppy drive is not working...

Is there someone who uses a CF adapter who could install DOS using their machine if I sent them my CF card? I really appreciate the help!

pivanow
August 15th, 2018, 07:30 AM
I have some experience with XT clones and with CF adapters for them, and I'll try to help.

1) XTs are not able to read high density floppy disks. So, if you want to boot your XT from a floppy disk, it will have to be a 5 1/4 360kb or a 3,5 720kb disk.

2) I've had this "Starting MS-Dos" forever message problem some times. In my case, it was a memory problem. I've had to substitute some memory chips. But I think the problem can be a consequence of other issues too.

So, I recomend:

1) Pull up any other expansion boards from your XT. Keep just video card, floppy controller card and XT-CF card.

2) Be sure about the sort of floppy disk you are trying to use for booting the XT. I recomend you to substitute your original floppy for an USB floppy emulator that permits you to emulate 720kb floppy drives (like this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-3-5-USB-SSD-Floppy-Drive-Emulator-for-Yamaha-Roland-KORG-Keyboard/173258240305). I have some of them and they work very fine (actually, they work as read-only drives in XTs, but it's enouth for booting them). All you have to do is to download a 720kb boot disk image and add it to a pen drive. It's easy to find information about these floppy emulators on the web.

3) After booting your XT with the floppy, use FDISK to remove all existing partitions on the CF card. Create new ones. I've seen that the best practice is to create the primary partition with 30MB. Don't forget to make this first partition active in FDISK, or the XT won't boot from it. Use FORMAT /S to format the partitions.

4) I recommend you to try another DOS versions too.

Let us know about the results.