View Full Version : IBM 5170 Episode 3: AMI BIOS Boogaloo

October 1st, 2017, 07:39 AM
So, the last thread died and I hate to spam the forum more with a third thread, but the saga continues. I'm using a Boca IDE Plus adapter with a 128mb IDE DOM to replace a dead 20MB MFM drive, and I can make and alter files fine on the DOM. DIR works fine, and FDISK and FORMAT pass muster. However, I can't run anything off the drive and any attempts to produce a bootable DOS install with SYS wouldn't boot. I suspected me having to fudge the geometry due to the IBM BIOS not supporting custom geometry was a culprit, so I had a friend burn some ROMs with the 5170 AMI BIOS so i could use the Type 47 custom drive mode. The drive's full capacity is now recognized, but I still cannot produce a bootable system (It tries, but gets stuck indefinitely on a blinking underscore) or execute data off the drive. Anything I can do here, or should I just snag myself a XT-IDE?

October 1st, 2017, 08:00 AM
Have you run any diagnostics on the drive? (i.e. write, read, compare-type stuff?)

October 1st, 2017, 08:15 AM
On the IBM 5170 you have 2 free ROM sockets U17 and U37, You could burn a couple of Eproms with the XTIDE Universal Bios, You will need to split the XUB into Even and Odd bytes, Even bytes in U17 and Odd bytes in U37, Set the AMI bios to 'No drives' and let the XUB have control, Worth a try if you can burn the Eproms.

October 1st, 2017, 08:38 AM
I suspect after everything that has been done to it, the MBR might contain some bad information, and FDISK doesn't always clean that up.

What I would do is grab a copy of the Norton Utilities or some other disk editor and fill the MBR (first physical sector of the drive) with zeros. On a normal hard drive I would suggest using MAXLLF to wipe it, but I'm not 100% sure how a DOM would interpret that. (It should still just fill all sectors with zeros).

Then re-fdisk and format with the version of DOS you plan to use. (For a single 128mb partition must be DOS 3.31 or later)

Afterwards I would suggest running Norton Wipedisk to test writing to all unused space and wipe any garbage. If you still see issues, perhaps try Norton Disk Doctor and Norton Speed Disk.

October 1st, 2017, 09:30 AM
If you still see issues, perhaps try ... Norton Speed Disk.Why would you even attempt to defrag an empty disk? :-)

October 1st, 2017, 09:49 AM
Why would you even attempt to defrag an empty disk? :-)
I'm assuming he will copy DOS and other stuff to the drive first, and from my own experience running Speed Disk can be helpful detecting really oddball read/write issues.

Well, usually when something like that is wrong it craps out an makes a mess but, the upshot is does so when I expect it.

And even on a solid state type device, Speed Disk neatens up the DOS directory structures.

To me, running Speed Disk after everything else is done and installed is kind of like Peter Norton giving the drive a final "thumbs up".

October 1st, 2017, 02:58 PM
Ooh, i was thinking of seeing if i could use a XT-IDE ROM in the option slots! Also, Target DOS version is anywhere from 3.1 to 5.0.

BIOS level diagnostics crap out at Cyl. 990, Head 7, Sector 22 with a very unhelpful "Undefined error".

October 1st, 2017, 07:46 PM
Weirdly, norton disk doctor's checks prompt me about how "The disk in drive C: is missing" (https://photos.app.goo.gl/tTB50VgKOUVXYAJf1) when it gets to checking directory structure. Huh.

October 2nd, 2017, 09:31 AM
Test with a regular IDE drive (preferably a very small one) or a CF card in an adapter before you give up. The DOM might not work with your controller. Also, with everything on the correct geometry, run FDISK /MBR to ensure that's kosher.

October 2nd, 2017, 11:55 AM
Aye. Gonna try a cheapie 64mb i've got since all the nicer, more likely bootable ones i have are 8gb and thus way more than would be appropriate for this sucker at all. Also looking into getting a XT-IDE if the Boca card turns out to just have not been up to the job. I don't have any traditional IDE or MFM drives that aren't spoken for, so sadly that's not an option.

Attempting to run any progs off the drive still just results in a long wait followed by "Drive not ready reading drive C" and i can't boot off it at all.

EDIT: The 64mb didn't play ball either. Starting to suspect controller issues.

October 3rd, 2017, 04:45 AM
The DOM might not work with your controller. Also, with everything on the correct geometry, run FDISK /MBR to ensure that's kosher.
I have a thin client Winnet with a DOM on board. It ran some Linux clone from this DOM. I managed to connect a CDROM and to boot Win98SE. Next I ran FDISK w/o any problem. But when trying to boot the system, no disk was found. Booting from CD and running FDISK again showed me the configuration I entered before.
My two cents: when wanting to boot from DOM, I think there is more needed then just the usual stuff.

October 10th, 2017, 11:39 AM
So, a update - Glitch sent me a XT-IDE card and in conjunction with the Boca card, she's good to go!