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RichCini
May 12th, 2017, 04:31 PM
All --

I'm repurposing an old 5170 I have as a "disk imaging" machine for an S-100 restoration project I'm going to be doing over the summer. So, I thought I'd take this time to trick-out the AT a bit to make it more versatile and maybe play games. Below is the setup, but I have a few random configuration questions that I SHOULD remember from the old days, but I never had a 286 -- I went from the Mac right to a Compaq 386 so I missed some of the nuances of the original AT platform.

Here's my setup:
* 5170 AT with 2x1.2MB floppies
* IBM drive controller replaced with an Adaptec AHA-1522CF (has very flexible NatSemi floppy controller chip)
* 400mb Imprimis SCSI hard drive; MS-DOS 6.22
* Intel Above Board/AT with 1,664K of RAM (128K conventional backfill; 1.5mb flexible extended/expanded)
* Video7 VGA controller
* SoundBlaster 16 ASP
* 3Com EtherLink III with TCP stack

The AB is configured as "extended", giving the PC total memory of 2,176K. MSDOS HIMEM works fine. With all of the drivers loaded, a lot of conventional memory gets chewed-up. If I configure the board as "expanded" the Intel EMM driver doesn't work and says to run the "SETUPAB" program. "SETUPAB" barfs when run, complaining that required setup files are missing.

On the 386 platform, I used to run Quarterdeck QEMM386. I located a copy of Quarterdeck QRAM, which should work on the 286, but it complains that it needs expanded memory, which I can't get working because of the incomplete drivers.


The questions:

1. Does anyone have a full/complete driver disk and manual for the AboveBoard/AT that maybe they could send me a PM about?
2. What other memory managers, if any, were available for the 286 platform that would enable loading drivers "high" like can be done on the 386?

Thanks in advance for any help with this!

gslick
May 12th, 2017, 04:38 PM
I have an original manual and disk for the Intel AboveBoard. I can copy the disks later today or tomorrow if I don't forget.

RichCini
May 12th, 2017, 04:48 PM
Thanks Glen. It's the AT (16-bit version). I can give you the assembly number if helpful. Much appreciated!

Also, the more I research "memory management" on the 286, the more discouraged I get because it really lacks memory management hardware.

Caluser2000
May 12th, 2017, 04:51 PM
Have you ran Memmaker to see if that tightens up the memory usage? You should be able to get about 600k free.
You can reduce the amount of Buffers available in the config.sys

RichCini
May 12th, 2017, 05:01 PM
Memmaker only works on the 386.

Caluser2000
May 12th, 2017, 05:36 PM
Memmaker only works on the 386.Right you are. Sorry.
It'd be interesting to see how DRDos fares compared to MS Dos.

It's a very nice setup you have there.

What are you running for your TCP software?

SpidersWeb
May 12th, 2017, 07:21 PM
Loading DOS high can be done by just putting DOS=HIGH (along with a HIMEM.SYS entry which you no doubt already have) in CONFIG.SYS.
This can save up to 64KB of conventional memory and is available in MS DOS 5+

But since you mention the 386, I think you're thinking of upper memory (the zone between 640 and 1024 where a 386 or LIM3/EEMS board could map memory to).
I think the most practical solution here is to actually just use DOS6 or higher and make a boot menu - one for games, one for loading every driver under the sun etc etc

But if you were determined, QRAM+LIM3/EEMS board or USEUMBS+Lotech 1MB board (new), could be used.

RichCini
May 13th, 2017, 02:57 AM
Loading DOS high can be done by just putting DOS=HIGH (along with a HIMEM.SYS entry which you no doubt already have) in CONFIG.SYS.
This can save up to 64KB of conventional memory and is available in MS DOS 5+

But since you mention the 386, I think you're thinking of upper memory (the zone between 640 and 1024 where a 386 or LIM3/EEMS board could map memory to).
I think the most practical solution here is to actually just use DOS6 or higher and make a boot menu - one for games, one for loading every driver under the sun etc etc

But if you were determined, QRAM+LIM3/EEMS board or USEUMBS+Lotech 1MB board (new), could be used.

Thanks. I do have HIMEM loaded, and DOS=HIGH, so that's good.

Yes, I guess I'm thinking in the context of the 386, but I'm learning that the 286 lacks the memory management hardware to do what I want. I'll have to dig out my DOS6 manual and get back to menu writing...that's a great idea. Something to do today.

For TCP, I used the Microsoft Network Client 3.0 disk and installed the TCP protocol. I have Michael Brutman's TCP utilities. Still testing it on my network. It uses something like 250k of memory.

Stone
May 13th, 2017, 04:25 AM
But if you were determined, QRAM+LIM3/EEMS board or USEUMBS+Lotech 1MB board (new), could be used.IIRC, QRAM requires a board with a C&T chipset. While it's good at what it can do it's hardware scope is extremely limited.

RichCini
May 13th, 2017, 07:38 AM
IIRC, QRAM requires a board with a C&T chipset. While it's good at what it can do it's hardware scope is extremely limited.

Yes, but it also says that it can work with a LIM/EMS driver. At this point I think I'm down a rabbit hole with it...still need to get the full manual and docs for the AB/AT to get the EMM driver working.

Thanks!

gslick
May 13th, 2017, 10:32 AM
Thanks Glen. It's the AT (16-bit version). I can give you the assembly number if helpful. Much appreciated!


Does your Intel Above Board have an 84-pin PLCC package ASIC in the middle of the board and no DIP switches, or no PLCC package ASIC and two 8-position DIP switches?

The Above Board with the 84-pin PLCC package ASIC in the middle is either an Above Board Plus if it doesn't have a serial and parallel port, or an Above Board Plus I/O if it does have a serial and parallel port (and optionally a second serial port).

The manuals and disk I have are for the Above Board Plus and Above Board Plus I/O version.

I also have a disk for the "Above Board 286 and PS/286". Maybe the board without the 84-pin PLCC package ASIC is the Above Board 286. I don't have a manual for that board.

RichCini
May 13th, 2017, 11:23 AM
Mine is the AboveBoard/AT. It's all-TTL with two 8-position DIP switches in the upper-right corner near the bracket. No piggyback RAM card and no I/O on this model. The part number on the back is "300096-002". I attached a picture of it from eBay (which shows the -005 version; different auction).

Thanks!

gslick
May 15th, 2017, 09:36 AM
Mine is the AboveBoard/AT. It's all-TTL with two 8-position DIP switches in the upper-right corner near the bracket. No piggyback RAM card and no I/O on this model. The part number on the back is "300096-002". I attached a picture of it from eBay (which shows the -005 version; different auction).

Thanks!

In addition to a few Intel Above Board Plus I/O boards I also have one of the "300096-002" boards. I don't have a manual for the "300096-002" board and haven't found a scan of one anywhere online yet.

This page appears to match the "300096-002" board. I'll have to try installing the board in my 5170 and see if the switch settings documented there are correct and if I can get the board to work in my 5170. I have never tried this "300096-002" board previously.
http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/memory-cards/INTEL-CORPORATION-Memory-card-ABOVE-BOARD-AT.html

RichCini
May 15th, 2017, 10:32 AM
In addition to a few Intel Above Board Plus I/O boards I also have one of the "300096-002" boards. I don't have a manual for the "300096-002" board and haven't found a scan of one anywhere online yet.

This page appears to match the "300096-002" board. I'll have to try installing the board in my 5170 and see if the switch settings documented there are correct and if I can get the board to work in my 5170. I have never tried this "300096-002" board previously.
http://stason.org/TULARC/pc/memory-cards/INTEL-CORPORATION-Memory-card-ABOVE-BOARD-AT.html

Thanks Glen. Yes, I've used this site as a reference for the board, and there's also an old thread on the Vintage Computers board that's a better-formatted version of it. My board works as "extended" memory (the AT counts to the right MB amount at power-up). What doesn't work is if S1 is set all-off (meaning set for "expanded" memory). The EMM driver is supposed to be loaded like this (M4 is page frame CC00 and I5 is I/O port 0258H): "device=c:\intel\emm.sys M4 I5" but all I get is an error and it says to run the SETUPAB program which complains it's missing files.

gslick
May 15th, 2017, 11:31 AM
How did you have the switches set to supply extended memory?

I first tried my "300096-002" board in my 512KB 5170 with all switches off, except SW2/1 which is supposed to be ON for 256K memory chips. I currently have only Bank 0 filled with 18 256K memory chips. In that configuration the POST counted to 512KB. I then ran TESTAB and it found the board and the memory test passed for the 18 memory chips installed.

I think flipped switches SW2/3 and SW2/4 ON to fill conventional memory from 512KB to 640KB. Then the POST counted to 640KB as expected so that looked good.

Then I tried also adding extended memory starting at 1MB by flipping switches SW1/5, SW1/6, and SW1/8 ON as listed in the stason.org page. The the POST still only counted to 640KB and then I got a Parity 2 error.

I then went back to the working 640KB configuration (all OFF except SW2/1, SW2/3 and SW2/4 ON) and ran the INSTALL program. That ended up with "DEVICE = EMM.SYS M5 IF" (all OFF is I/O base at 2F8h), which resulted in an error about the system not being IBM AT compatible. The 5170 is currently running PC DOS 6.10. Haven't tried any other versions of DOS in case that matters.

I think the "300096-002" board must be an Above Board / AT, not an Above Board 286. When I run the SETBOARD program on the Above Board 286 floppy it doesn't find any boards, while the TESTAB program does.

RichCini
May 15th, 2017, 11:59 AM
Glen --

Here's the old thread I found that has an easier-to-understand configuration discussion: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-36640.html. Look for the "Shadow Lord" poster.

Bank 0 has 18 64kx1 chips, for 128K backfill 512k->640k
Banks 1-3 have 54 256kx1 chips, for 1,536K

Right now, the DIP switches are set as follows (left-to-right)
LEFT: 10101101 RIGHT: 10111010

This places the start of the board @ 1MB, the end at 2.5MB, 64k/256k chips, conventional memory backfill enabled, and port 0258h.

If you set all LEFT switches to 0, that should turn it to an "expanded" memory board (the default) for which you need the EMM driver.

EDIT: did some testing with the AB/286 software:

The AB/286 software has three key programs: SETBOARD, TESTAB (v1.2), and INSTALL (v2.0).

* TESTAB performs a confidence test on the memory. TESTAB identifies that the board is an AB/AT, reports the wrong switch settings and fails the memory test in two columns. Interestingly the board passes using TESTABAT (v1.0) from the AB/AT disk.

* SETBOARD configures the board. It cannot detect the AB/AT.

* INSTALL is used to install the EMM driver. It has trouble here, but wants to install the software to a system floppy disk in drive B (it will not install to A or C), and insists on it being a real IBM system disk, not MSDOS. Not sure what it does to the disk because it doesn't appear to add any drivers or make other changes.

The above tests were also performed with the board configured as "expanded" memory (all S1 switches off). Same results.