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The Creeping Network

FAIL! Next time, order BUILT and TESTED

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This is more about my stupid fails than my epic wins. I've talked alot about the great things I've done computer-wise, but I guess I'll start here.

I build guitars, I should be better at wiring than I apparently am, but I stupidly screwed up on the XT-IDE card and put RR1 UPSIDE DOWN! ARGH! That seems to be the whole reason the modified XT I'm running would not boot when I flipped on the power switch the first couple of times. Instead, I was greeted with colorful screens. Took me about 3 hours.

I removed RR1...then the PINS broke off...so I flipped it upside down, and tried to solder to the pads of metal left (assuring the right polarity) this time, flicked the switch, and the machine roared to life.

As my misadventures in electronics continue, the boot menu came up. Now THIS is something I've ALWAYS wanted on an XT, since I want to play around with CP/M and some other 8086/8088 related O/S. With glee I booted from my goofball 1.44M drive setup on this machine, and entered the setup program (idecfg) and set everything according to the card's switches (I/O 300-308, Memory D0000, IRQ disabled).

Hooked up to two old Connor CFS420R IDE Hard Drives (420MB) apparently the cranky old Connors were not recognized by the card. So then I tried a Seagate 1239A....no dice. Then an ST3550A. Nope, then a 3GB Samsung, nope. Western Digital Caviar 636MB....nope. Discouraged, I figured I'd better figure out or find a Resistor pack somewhere, but alas, Everett has no electronics component stores aside from rat-shack.

So I went to rat-shack, bought a pile of 10K resistors, and built my own Resistor pack out of those.....same problem, with the polarity right this time....(Price Is Right Fail Horns play).

Next up, cut each resistor one by one, till the blasted thing boots up, nope, only did it boot when ALL of the bussed 10K Resistors were cut off.......(sigh). So as a last ditch attempt, I tried my ST3660A Seagate, pretty much identical to the drive currently in my 286, and no dice this time either.

Looking at the tests, when I had the resistor pack removed (it's the one nearest the dip switches), my memory address comes up at 3D2D when I run "findcard" off my DR-DOS 6 diagnostics disk that I composed for this project, the IRQ Vector comes up as 58, and DMA channel 54

Anyway, looks like Hargle is getting another $35.00. This time for a built and tested card, as soon as my blasted paycheck comes in. Dammit, I wish my company would get direct deposit. The shipping was faster than I expected. Still not sure weather to bother reusing the chips off the old card or not. The Flash BIOS is apparently in full operational order. It just will not find the drives attached to it.

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  1. per's Avatar
    Findcard only works with Hargle's 8-bit IDE BIOS extension. Your card problably has Aitotat's 8-bit IDE BIOS extension, and it is incompatible with the utilities designed for Hargle's version. Aitotat has made some utilities for his BIOS extension, and those should be used instead.

    If you do got Hargle's BIOS extension, you should double-check the soldering joints of the EEPROM and supporting chips.