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Thread: Using a modern IDE drive with Deskpro 386

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Wisbech, CAMBRIDGESHIRE, UK
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    Default Using a modern IDE drive with Deskpro 386

    When I go into the BIOS of this beastier, I get a choice of about 60 types.

    The original drive auto-recognises as type 22, but a more modern drive (with no type, just C/H/S values) doesn't auto recognise at all.

    My question is, would a utility like Western Digital's EZ-Drive or OnTrack's Drive manager be able to help here? I can't test this right now, as with every re-boot, the BIOS is lost again until my replacment DS1287 battery arrives.

    The BIOS does not have a type where I can enter C/H/S values. Am I onto a loser here?

    Paul.
    My vintage Computer Museum. Please visit.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Stevens Point, Wisconsin
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    2,315

    Default drive

    What's the modern drive ? It might not be autorecognizing due to the size limitations on older BIOS's & Controllers.
    They all support larger drives (inluding Maxtor's MaxBlast) to some extent or another, but the catch is that they either require drivers, hack the MBR, use non-standard translations, etc.
    A possibility would be to scrounge up an IDE controller that has it's own BIOS & supports larger drives.
    If you don't need the full drive, try setting it to the largest translation in the available modes, and test it out, see if it works at that capacity and then at least you can use it on your machine.
    patscc

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    minneapolis, MN
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paul.brett View Post
    My question is, would a utility like Western Digital's EZ-Drive or OnTrack's Drive manager be able to help here? I can't test this right now, as with every re-boot, the BIOS is lost again until my replacment DS1287 battery arrives.
    It'll work. Even on my 286, using drive manager, I can support (at a minimum) an 8.4gig drive. Set your drive type to type 0 or 1 and install the software.

    All that needs to happen is that the first few sectors get loaded off the drive at boot, which any BIOS regardless of size limitations can do, and then the driver software loads and replaces your INT13 handler to allow the entire drive to be seen.

  4. #4
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    Default

    IDE drive controllers can also be obtained with their own BIOSes, which enable them to accommodate a wide variety of drive geometries.

    But DiskManager and EZDrive essentially need to have access to the first part of the first track of the first cylinder of the drive, so a BIOS type of 1 usually suffices.

    The way a drive overlay works is to place its own small bootable partition on the first track of the drive. Once this is loaded into memory, the BIOS hard disk interrupt vector is "hooked" by the code and the part of the disk containing the drive overlay is hidden to user access.

    Since drive overlays mainly concern themselves with real-mode execution, protected-mode applications such as Windows or *nix have to be aware of the presence of drive overlays and make appropriate adjustments of their own.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, FL
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    Default

    Just a word about the plug in ISA controller cards with their own BIOS. These too are getting pretty antique. Most are more than 10 years old. It is a rare one that can handle > 8.4GB. I've got several including some very nice SIIG pieces that I use in my 386 and 486 machines and to a one, none of them can take larger than an 8.4 GB drive. While that should be plenty for an installation of DOS and several partitions it is still a data point to take into account as older hard drives begin to drop out and get destroyed or recycled..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    minneapolis, MN
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    Default

    All the more reason that our IDE controller project, which is being talked about here:
    http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...ad.php?t=12359

    needs to do another model in 16bit size! Our card has a minty fresh BIOS (written by yours truly) which supports eINT13, which as 64bit LBA addressing, which is currently larger than any hard drive in existence. yay!

    Of course you still need an OS capable of supporting drives bigger than 8.4G. Windows 98SE DOS will do.

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