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Thread: XTIDE Universal BIOS

  1. #471
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    I would second that it makes more sense to just replace the internal HDD of a 486 laptop with flash storage; you can use a 44-pin PATA to CF adapter (which is essentially a passive wire adapter), or you could go with laptop PATA to SD (the widget for that costs about $10), or possibly a PATA to M.2/mSATA adapter, although I've heard the last option there tends to be trouble with machines that have less than UDMA/33 controllers. If the issue is BIOS support for a larger drive then, and I know this is an unpopular thing to mention in some circles, drive overlay software like EZdrive can save your bacon without needing any hardware upgrades.

    A few PC laptops can boot ATA PCMCIA flash/drive cards. If the Dell does then you could track down a PCMCIA hard drive, ATA flash drive, or a PCMCIA-CF adapter and go that route, but I think it's pretty unlikely you'll have the BIOS support for that.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  2. #472

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackepyon View Post

    The question is though, what do you need it for?
    It's an old laptop with I think DOS 5.2 or so. I thought I would need XTIDE bios to use a compact flash card because it's too big for both the bios to see or dos to partition. If I misunderstood that, it would be easier to just get what you are saying. I maybe have to find a small size CF card? It's getting very hard to buy non-fake small cards I think.

    Apparently, there were PCMCIA to micro-harddrive adapters around at one point, which I think used the CF card interface anyways
    Yes, there are many CF PCMCIA cards commercially available always. They were to read data, but I'm not sure if you can boot from them? https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lexar-Media...kAAOSwu6ldln83 for example. should I just get that?

  3. #473

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    I would second that it makes more sense to just replace the internal HDD of a 486 laptop with flash storage; you can use a 44-pin PATA to CF adapter (which is essentially a passive wire adapter), or you could go with laptop PATA to SD (the widget for that costs about $10), or possibly a PATA to M.2/mSATA adapter, although I've heard the last option there tends to be trouble with machines that have less than UDMA/33 controllers. If the issue is BIOS support for a larger drive then, and I know this is an unpopular thing to mention in some circles, drive overlay software like EZdrive can save your bacon without needing any hardware upgrades.

    A few PC laptops can boot ATA PCMCIA flash/drive cards. If the Dell does then you could track down a PCMCIA hard drive, ATA flash drive, or a PCMCIA-CF adapter and go that route, but I think it's pretty unlikely you'll have the BIOS support for that.
    Ok. Thanks. It sounds like my best bet is to find a small size CF card (prob less than 2 GB?) and do a replacement then? The current HDD is kinda working, but seems to be a bit flaky, I'm trying to preempt the collapse.

  4. #474
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    A CF should work fine. I'm pretty enamored with a common 44-pin to SD adapter that I've found works more reliably than most CF cards with my 8-bit XT-CF adapter, but you shouldn't have the same sort of compatibility funs with a full 16 bit IDE port. It shouldn't be a *problem* per se to have one bigger than the laptop's BIOS can support; you can probably just go ahead and set the BIOS for the biggest type it supports (Or, ideally, if it has a "User" type just max out all the numbers) and use what it sees. (Or, like I mentioned, you could use something like EZ-Drive to patch the BIOS at boot so it can see the whole thing.) Sometimes BIOSes that have an autodetect option can mess up/hang/whatever if they detect a too-large drive, but I've only seen that on Pentium-era machines myself.
    Last edited by Eudimorphodon; January 13th, 2020 at 06:47 PM.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  5. #475

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    Ok. Thanks. I'll try that.

  6. #476

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    Maybe McAfee got it wrong, but it flagged the XTIDECFG.COM included in the v2.0.0. Beta 3 downloaded from https://code.google.com/archive/p/xt...bios/downloads as containing the Waft virus. Kinda funny vintage software includes a vintage Amiga virus from 1989.

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