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anormal
August 21st, 2017, 05:53 AM
I got a Olivetti PCS86, standard model, 720KB 3.5 floppy, internal Conner 20MB HD (CONNER CP3026, a Olivetti rebrand of more usual CP3024).

I am thinking about upgrading it, a SB 16, a 5.25 floppy (a 360k, for testing and copying old floppies), exchanging the 720kb for 1.44MB one (i've read the jumper's config in seasip.info page) and...

...well, the HD has bad surface, errors reading it, boots ok, but for example running WordPerfect 5.1 (installed in the machine) reports error reading files.

I currently have it running Spinrite 5.0, 6.0 hangs because this model has a Nec v30 processor (8086), and it seems 6.0 needs a 286. It surprised me, because i thought Spinrite was robust coded, it could check for less than 286 processor and report it instead of hanging up, anyway...)

Spinrite 5.0 is doing its "supossely" magic, in fact i do it for the fun. It says 500h remaining...And just testing surface, not using "recover" bad sectors...

Well, a new HD is the way. This model has a integrated IDE controllers as I read. Even when this HD seems to be XTA instead of ATA? (but i've read in Seagate reference manual, it's ATA)...

My question, is modern IDE could work?. For modern I am thinking a 120MB of the 90s or so... I think i have some of them in a box. The other idea is using a conversor.

As i think, i don't need a XTIDE? as this model has already a ide controller (apart from xtide being much better, faster, etc...) Do you think a SD to IDE card conversor (40 pins) would work? I can find it for pennies in internet.

Any other ideas about upgrading the HD in this model?

Thanks for your time gentlemen.

Edit, i forgot about the 2 free simms slot in the motherboard. They work as EMS, read it somewhere... Worth effort? I've read similar questions here, but not found definitive answer.

dieymir
August 21st, 2017, 09:10 AM
I currently have it running Spinrite 5.0, 6.0 hangs because this model has a Nec v30 processor (8086), and it seems 6.0 needs a 286. It surprised me, because i thought Spinrite was robust coded, it could check for less than 286 processor and report it instead of hanging up, anyway...)

Spinrite 5.0 is doing its "supossely" magic, in fact i do it for the fun. It says 500h remaining...And just testing surface, not using "recover" bad sectors...


See this thread on this forum ... http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?57442-Spinrite-is-similar-to-snake-oil&highlight=spinrite+snake+oil





Well, a new HD is the way. This model has a integrated IDE controllers as I read. Even when this HD seems to be XTA instead of ATA? (but i've read in Seagate reference manual, it's ATA)...

My question, is modern IDE could work?. For modern I am thinking a 120MB of the 90s or so... I think i have some of them in a box. The other idea is using a conversor.


As i think, i don't need a XTIDE? as this model has already a ide controller (apart from xtide being much better, faster, etc...) Do you think a SD to IDE card conversor (40 pins) would work? I can find it for pennies in internet.

The IDE interface on that computer it's XTA (like many other XT clones) so almost any ATA drive will not work. You definitively need a XTIDE adapter.

Simone2013
August 21st, 2017, 09:23 AM
I think that is XTA, but I'm not sure - If it's a standard IDE you should see the HD Table (or modify it) to see the HD - If I'm right it should work with 10/20/40 Mb Hd as is. Or you can install the XTIDE Universal BIOS, to get a full working and fast HD.
If it's XTA you must lose a slot and install the XTIDE card.

1ST1
August 21st, 2017, 10:04 AM
Yes, true, PCS86 is an 8086 (or NEC V40) and that is using XTA Interface, not AT-BUS/IDE. ALso a Soundblaster 16 does not make big sense, better using a 8 Bit Soundcard or maximum SB-Pro.

By the way, joke: PCS means Plastics Computer System ... ;)

anormal
August 21st, 2017, 01:55 PM
Thanks for the answers. I already asked for a xtide kit. Also it seems i was going over the board with this pc...

Well, after some tests, it seems disk mechanics are ok (made testing with diskmanager, etc). And only first 4 cylinders have bad sectors, thanks god not 0/0/0. I am thinking in partition it, and move active boot partition past these bad tracks.

I know i cannot trust this hd, i am not going to store nothing important of course, just casual gaming, and some coding. But i think i could try this while i get my hands in a xtide.

Also, i tried for LLF this hd. I've been unable to do it, tried Maxtor LLF, WDFMT, Conner LLF (cnrfmt), etc... No work.

I remember reading somewhere there is a way in asm of invoking controller LLF any info on this?

Thanks guys!

1ST1
August 22nd, 2017, 12:31 AM
Hello, you can't lowlevel format such disks.

RWallmow
August 22nd, 2017, 04:40 AM
Low Level Format and tools like spinrite are meant for older ST225/MFM/RLL hard drives, where you actually needed to LLF drives and mark out bad sectors because there was not enough smarts in the drive to do it. XTA/ATA drives *should* take care of all that in their integrated controller, if you are seeing bad sectors in an IDE drive, it's probably beyond saving, at least long term, might work in the short term. Conner drives are notoriously unreliable though, I'd not waste my time with one.

I'd contact "glitch" (Jonathan) here on this forum, he makes the Glitchworks XTIDE cards (http://www.glitchwrks.com/xt-ide), I ordered the kit from him and assembled my own card, but he sells pre-assembled and tested cards too.

anormal
August 22nd, 2017, 05:35 AM
Yes i've already read a lot of stuff about LLF...

I was waiting that this disk is so old, and in references it says it uses (2,7)RLL method, maybe this could do something real, (not ignoring or doing nothing as in ide).

Already contacted glitch :D

I also asked him, xt-ide or xt-cf ? I only a functional hd, if a CF works ok, i don't have the real need to connect a true hd.
Or there is more differences? advantages?


edit: I am remembering... Anyone remember reviving an old hd, hitting it in the center with a scredriver to make it spin after some head fault? haha

RWallmow
August 22nd, 2017, 05:47 AM
Yes i've already read a lot of stuff about LLF...

I was waiting that this disk is so old, and in references it says it uses (2,7)RLL method, maybe this could do something real, (not ignoring or doing nothing as in ide).

Already contacted glitch :D

I also asked him, xt-ide or xt-cf ? I only a functional hd, if a CF works ok, i don't have the real need to connect a true hd.
Or there is more differences? advantages?


edit: I am remembering... Anyone remember reviving an old hd, hitting it in the center with a scredriver to make it spin after some head fault? haha

Some of the early XTA/ATA drives used MFM/RLL internally (behind their controller), but still took care of all their housekeeping in the controller, negating the need for LLF and stuff like spinrite.

XTCF just has a CF slot built in, you can add an inexpensive IDE>CF adapter and still use CF cards in an XTIDE card, I prefer XTIDE as it's a bit more versatile, I can choose to use hard drives, OR CF cards, I am not locked into just CF cards like the XTCF card is.

anormal
September 23rd, 2017, 02:15 AM
Finally got the XTIDE and a IDE>CF converter, got a pack of 4 CF cards (128MB) for 5€ in ebay. Working perfect!

As this PC don't have a working BIOS setup, it still hangs at boot asking about HD error, but then XTIDE BIOS start and boots up from CF.

I am thinking now in putting the motherboard in another case, with a standard power source, the one in this PC is half the size of the original case, with caps the size of a fist.
Also, no free power connectors, so i cannot connect a 5,25 floppy unit.

I think i need to use a multimeter to get all the cables right.

Thanks guys for your help.

Stone
September 23rd, 2017, 03:04 AM
Also, no free power connectors, so i cannot connect a 5,25 floppy unit.Get a power 'Y' cable:

http://pactech-inc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/PP-Y5-XX-AT-Power-Y-Cable-4p-Male-to-2x-4p-Female-001.jpg

anormal
September 23rd, 2017, 04:44 AM
I have 2 possible power connectors, the one from the dead HD is a thin connector i've never seen (probably some kind of standard in old MFM HDs?). The another one is the small connector used in 3.5 floppy drives. I can cut and solder new cables, so no too much prob.

But look this power source and the MB connector.

40917

40918

I have some plans to expand this PC as far as possible, so a new power source and a better case (this one is so wrong in distribution and usage...) will be ideal.

anormal
October 29th, 2017, 03:48 AM
Finally, I measured the power in the motherboard connector.

Just for reference, maybe is useful for anyone.

41598

I plan to put this pc in another case, with a newer power source.

This is the second time I use a multimeter, so I am totally ignorant here, but the multimeter shows -0 in those pins, and normal 0 in the third, don't know if this is important.

Regards.

Casey
October 29th, 2017, 06:41 PM
This site may be of some use:
http://www.seasip.info/VintagePC/pcs86.html

anormal
October 29th, 2017, 11:27 PM
Thanks for the link, it was the first i found when i got this unit months ago.
The jumper configuration show that my motherboard was configured to have the floppy drive as a 720kb SD, changing it to 1440k HD was easy, thanks.

Chuck(G)
October 30th, 2017, 08:18 AM
What's a "720kb SD"?

Stone
October 30th, 2017, 08:33 AM
What's a "720kb SD"?five'll getcha' ten it's supposed to be, 720k DD.

Chuck(G)
October 30th, 2017, 08:58 AM
In fact, we need new terminology. I propose "LD" for low density. The drive doesn't care about the modulation method, as long as it conforms to the same bandpass.

Stone
October 30th, 2017, 09:31 AM
In fact, we need new terminology. I propose "LD" for low density.But there's just Single Density, Double Density, High Density, Extra-high Density, Triple Density and Quad Density. There is no Low Density which is merely terminology that is sometimes incorrectly applied to Double Density. :-)

anormal
October 31st, 2017, 12:17 AM
Haha, all of you are right.

I don't know what exactly happens if i use jumpers and set the Sony floppy drive unit as DD (or LD), but it's capable of HD. I know the tracks and so, but don't know if setting the jumper signals the drive to behave as SD or is something in the controller side.

I want to put an 5.25 360k unit in this PC, the Xtide is working perfect!