View Full Version : Superbrain diagnostic disk?

June 5th, 2017, 10:54 PM

Does anyone have an image of the Superbrain diagnostic disk?

This disk has the official name "Diagnostic diskette DA1" and contains at least three programs: RAMTEST.COM, PORTTEST.COM and DISKTEST.COM. It's described in one of the technical bulletins (B051031). I am particularly interested in the disktest as my Superbrain is having difficulty writing and formatting disks (in the HxC emulator or physical drive).


June 6th, 2017, 02:06 AM
Look again in the QD-UTILS*.ZIP

DISKTEST appears to be just for the Hard Drive:

SIGNON: DB CR,LF,LF,'Hard Disk Diagnostic.',CR,LF
DB 'Version 1.1 of 09-01-81',CR,LF
DB 'This program will perform an indepth test of the',CR,LF
DB 'hard disk controller and hard disk drives. Note that',CR,LF
DB 'three of the tests (6, 7 and 9) are data destructive,',CR,LF
DB 'meaning that user files on the hard disk will be',CR,LF
DB 'permanently lost if those tests are run!',CR,LF,LF
DB 'All questions asked by the program indicate the type',CR,LF
DB 'or range of answer expected. Default values are',CR,LF
DB 'provided for every question and are used by pressing',CR,LF
DB 'the CR key.',CR,LF
DB 'While tests are running, they may be '
DB 'aborted by pressing the ESC key.',0
ECAMSG: DB 'Enter disk controller address (',0
EDNMSG: DB 'Enter drive number (',0
TEDMSG: DB 'Test the entire disk',0
ESTMSG: DB 'Enter starting track number (',0
EETMSG: DB 'Enter ending track number (',0
ESHMSG: DB 'Enter starting head number (',0
EEHMSG: DB 'Enter ending head number (',0
ESSMSG: DB 'Enter starting sector number (',0
EESMSG: DB 'Enter ending sector number (',0
WTMSG: DB 'Which test do you want to run (',0
SOPMSG: DB 'Do you want to set any special operating parameters',0
WRDMSG: DB 'Do you want random data used for disk write/read',0
EFDMSG: DB 'Enter the fixed data to use (',0
HMRMSG: DB 'Enter number of times to retry disk reads (',0
HMEMSG: DB 'Enter number of data errors to output per sector error (',0
CCTMSG: DB 'Do you want to continuously cycle the test(s)',0
WOEMSG: DB 'Wait for operator response on error',0
CPMSG: DB 'Do you want to change any parameters',0
YNMSG: DB ' (Y or N,'
CREMSG: DB ' <CR>=',0,')?',0
YNEMSG: DB CR,LF,'Please answer the question with Y (yes), N (no)'
DB ' or <CR>.',0
VIEMSG: DB CR,LF,'Please answer the question with a HEX value in the'
DB ' indicated range or CR.',0
ABTMSG: DB CR,LF,LF,'Tests aborted!',0
PSSMSG: DB CR,LF,LF,'Pass ',0,' complete.',CR,LF
DB 'Total errors on this pass = ',0
ERRMSG: DB ' error.',CR,LF,0

There are two format programs with .ASM code:
Version 2 has:

MENU: ;0439
DB CR,LF,'Select Format Type (1, 2, or 3) or RETURN to '
DB 'Exit',CR,LF,LF
DB ' (1) Double Density, Single Sided',CR,LF,LF
DB ' [SuperBrain JR] [CompuStar M20]',CR,LF
DB ' [SuperBrain II JR]',CR,LF,LF
DB ' (2) Double Density, Double Sided',CR,LF,LF
DB ' [SuperBrain QD] [CompuStar M30]',CR,LF
DB ' [SuperBrain II QD] [CompuStar EM20]',CR,LF
DB ' [CompuStar EM30]',CR,LF,LF
DB ' (3) Super Density, Double Sided',CR,LF,LF
DB ' [SuperBrain II SD] [CompuStar M40]',CR,LF
DB ' [CompuStar '
DB ' (1/2/3/RETURN):$'
SELDRV: ;0636
DB 'Select Drive(s) to Contain Diskette(s)',CR,LF,LF
DB ' (A) Format Single Diskette on Drive "A"',CR,LF
DB ' (B) Format Single Diskette on Drive "B"',CR,LF
DB ' (M) Format Two Diskette on Drives "A" '
DB 'and "B"',CR,LF,LF
DB ' (A/B/M):$'
INSDISK: ;0707
DB CR,LF,LF,'Insert Diskette(s) '
DB 'in Drive(s) Selected, Type '
DB '"S" to Start.',CR,LF,LF
DB '$'
DDSSSEL: ;0749
DB 'Double Density, Single Sided '
DB 'Format Selected',CR,LF
DB '$'
DDDSSEL: ;0778
DB 'Double Density, Double Sided '
DB 'Format Selected',CR,LF
DB '$'
DB 'Super Density, Double Sided '
DB 'Format Selected',CR,LF
DB '$'
DB CR,LF,LF,'Verify (Y/N):$'
DB 7,ESC,'~B soft write error',ESC,'~b',CR,LF,'$'
DB 7,ESC,'~B soft read error',ESC,'~b',CR,LF,'$'
BADDISK: ;0836
DB '~BProgram Halted for Write/Read Error. '
DB 'Possible Bad Media, Please Change Diskette!'
DB ESC,'~b',CR,LF,LF,'$'
DB '(R) Restart Format Program, or (E) Exit',CR,LF,LF
DB ' (R/E):$'
FORMDRV: ;0903

Which would be a better bet for testing the floppy drive.

There is also a 64KTEST.COM Program.

I didn't locate "PORTTEST.COM" on that QD-UTILS image.



June 6th, 2017, 03:21 AM
Thanks Larry!

The 64KTEST program was on one of the few boot images that work and I ran it. No problems.

RAMTEST.COM checks the main memory as well as the "DISK BUFFER" RAM.

FORMAT20.com is the format program v2.0 (not a 20 MB HDD format as I had supposed). It's got three different formats, and the one that seems to work is format 2 (DS DD). However, when copying a file across with pip, all I get is a single .$$$ temporary file, even with a wildcard. This write problem is what I'm trying to diagnose at the moment.

The DISKTEST referred to in the bulletin says it is for floppy disk testing, not HDD testing. There must be a different, earlier version. Also, the RAMTEST program on the image differs from the description in the bulletin because it has a separate test for the "DISK BUFFER", which I assume is the SRAM that CPU2 uses. The bulletin doesn't refer to this test.

I am now testing "DISK BUFFER" RAM. It is very slow. I think it's putting 0-255 into every byte and reading it back. I'll have to be patient. There is a counter but it appears to be in base 10 (which suggests "not a memory address"). If I did a test of 64K I'd probably expire before it completed at this rate...

June 7th, 2017, 06:06 AM
I'm trying to work out what the RAMTEST program is trying to tell me when it is running.

The instructions are clear enough - when it finds a RAM error it sets off the beeper and shows the address and value written plus value read (which differs, of course). From this we can derive the RAM bank and chip that is defective.

However, there is a counter in the top right hand side of the screen. According to the only description of the program I can find (the storyboard for the Superbrain Diagnosis and Repair (http://www.bluestonemedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/superbrain.pdf) film), it is called a "cycle counter" but that doe not tell me what it is really counting.

It's possible it is testing 64K of RAM repeatedly and incrementing the counter once per test. If that is true, then once the counter increments, I can be sure it has tested all the memory. It takes about 10 minutes per cycle and I am currently at cycle 8 with no errors.