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View Full Version : Microsolutions Backpack parallel daisy-chaining devices help needed.



Sega
May 16th, 2017, 07:43 PM
I recently got a hold of an external Microsolutions 1.4Mb floppy disk drive and I'm trying to install it but I'm having some issues. The pc that I'd like to install this is an Amstrad Mega PC (with 486 Cyrix upgrade running WIn95/DOS). Basically, I already have an external Microsolutions Backpack Bantam cd-rom drive attached to the Mega Pc and works fine, these units were advertised as "All Backpack devices can be daisy-chained" and that's exactly what I'm tryin to do between the parallel cd-rom and FDD. I was given the compatible drivers from another fellow member and the installation seems to go according to plan until the pc asks to re-start so it can see the new device. Once that is done the FDD is not showing. The thing is the software gives the parallel FDD the letter "D" but the parallel cd-rom also has the letter "D" for the device.

Any ideas or suggestions what the problem could be? perhaps I need to rename the drives???. I did tested the FDD with a laptop and works ok. Thanks in advance for any reply.

This is a pic showing how the devices are currently daisy-chained :

http://i1079.photobucket.com/albums/w509/Segamegadisk/DSC00362_zpsauvptrcq.jpg

http://i1079.photobucket.com/albums/w509/Segamegadisk/DSC00237_zps2atzpcix.jpg

modem7
May 16th, 2017, 08:52 PM
My parallel port backpack configuration is shown at [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/images2/external_drives.jpg)].
I am running DOS only.
My CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT are shown at [here (http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?51366-Daisy-Chaining-Backpack-Devices)].

Key points:
* Different drivers for different backpack devices
* Use of a LASTDRIVE statement in CONFIG.SYS
* Order of driver loading may be important

Sega
May 16th, 2017, 09:34 PM
Thanks much for your reply and nice daisy-chain combo you have there :thumbsup: . Excuse my ignorance, how do you change the assigned letter of your drive? (in your case "G" for the FDD as seen in your pic). Is that done by the lines in config and autoexec.bat?

modem7
May 16th, 2017, 10:43 PM
Excuse my ignorance, how do you change the assigned letter of your drive? (in your case "G" for the FDD as seen in your pic). Is that done by the lines in config and autoexec.bat?
At boot of my IBM AT, the output of the backpack CD-ROM driver appears first.
Then I see the output of the ZIP driver, showing D: assignment.
Then I see the output of the backpack diskette driver, showing G: (the driver chose G:).
Then I see the output of MSCDEX, showing H: (MSCDEX chose H:, probably as a follow-on to G:).

If I up the LASTDRIVE statement to 'M' rather than 'J', there is no change to driver letter assignment.

If I remove the LASTDRIVE statement, MSCDEX fails to load, indicating that there are not enough drive letters.

I am running IBM DOS 3.3

The backpack diskette driver that I am using is on the link at [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/transfer/35_inch/backpack_014350_dos_driver.htm)].

Sega
May 17th, 2017, 06:15 PM
Ok quick update. I've got the daisy-chain working great under DOS, it can see the cdrom under the "E" drive while the parallel 1.4MB is "D" but no matter what I do I still can't get it to work under Windows 95 :confused: .During the start up I can tell the FDD is doing some sort of communication because it messes the sound card intro a little. Anyone knows how to access/edit config.sys under windows 95C? when trying sysedit all I'm getting t is the : "C:CONFIG.SYS Cannot open this file" error :mad:

Thanks for the help!.

modem7
May 18th, 2017, 03:16 AM
Ok quick update. I've got the daisy-chain working great under DOS, ...
So, hardware proven good.


... but no matter what I do I still can't get it to work under Windows 95
Maybe the DOS drivers are not intended for use in Windows 95.
Have you tried the Windows 95 drivers ?

krebizfan
May 18th, 2017, 03:33 PM
Have you installed the IOSFIX for Windows 95?

Editing CONFIG.SYS can also be done with NOTEPAD. Do you have CONFIG.SYS in a different directory from C:\?

Sega
May 18th, 2017, 08:00 PM
Have you installed the IOSFIX for Windows 95?

Editing CONFIG.SYS can also be done with NOTEPAD. Do you have CONFIG.SYS in a different directory from C:\?

Hello, yes IOSFIX has been installed but there is no change. There is one CONFIG.SYS directory on C:\ but there doesn't seem to be anything there, write protected perhaps??? I also changed the cd-rom drive letter to "E" in win95 just to be sure that's not the problem.

How one goes about editing CONFIG.SYS with NOTEPAD? I do believe the problem is that the Microsolutions 1.4MB Win95 software is not writing/saving the needed line in CONFIG.SYS.

The thing is that I'm running a somewhat custom win95 / DOS installation (just to give a better/proper DOS) exactly like this from Phil (skip to minute 8:00) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6HzttM6wS0&t=595s but that shouldn't affect I don't think. The only difference is that I have the Microsolution cd-rom driver/line and now the parallel 1.4MB driver so everything works perfectly under DOS but not in Win95 :sad: .


So, hardware proven good.

Oh yes it works, definitely.



Maybe the DOS drivers are not intended for use in Windows 95.
Have you tried the Windows 95 drivers ?

Yes, I have the supposedly windows95 driver installation floppy.

modem7
May 19th, 2017, 04:27 AM
Yes, I have the supposedly windows95 driver installation floppy.
I got a 2002 dated CD with my backback diskette drive. I have put the contents of that at [here (http://minuszerodegrees.net/backpack/Backpack%20setup%20CD%20(CD-200)%20dated%202002.zip)]. It includes user guides (installation, trouble shooting, etc.)