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Thread: XT Hard Drive shows 1701 error on ROM low level format utility

  1. #1

    Default XT Hard Drive shows 1701 error on ROM low level format utility

    Hi Guys,

    I got passed an IBM XT the other day and I'm just working on it.

    The hard drive will show a directory but that's about all. I won't boot.

    Going into Debug g=C800:6 shows the message..

    1701 (20)
    1 Hard Disk

    ..and then it hangs. I know 1701 is the POST error for hard disk parity failure.

    Can I assume the drive is toast?

    Tez
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    My vintage collection: http://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
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  2. #2
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    Tez, are you sure the hard drive matches what the BIOS thinks it is? A mismatch in the number of heads will cause the failure you describe.

  3. #3

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    Not sure at all Chuck although it's the drive that was installed in the machine. Mind you, that doesn't necessarily means someone else didn't add it and failed to set the correct dip switches on the disk controller...

    I'll continue to investigate....
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: http://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  4. #4

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    Hmm.. I checked the dip switches of the card (found config info on the web) and it seems to match what it should.

    I started to look at this XT this weekend. It's the first item in this haul, which I've now got to after working through the System 80 stuff.

    At first the machine was dead as a doornail. Some poking around on the 256/640k motherboad revealed a shorted tantalum cap. This was replaced and the thing roared into life. It now boots fine on floppy A but the second floppy doesn't work (the machine doesn't even recognise it) and there is also this hard drive issue.

    Re: the hard drive I don't know if it's the hard drive or the hard drive controller. After fiddling with the dip switches on the controller a bit, I moved them back to their original positions. The machine says there is a hard drive attached during boot but if I try to move to c: the machine now tells me that c: is not a recognised drive?? On the same settings before I experimented it at least recognised the drive and I could list a directory. I've checked all cables and the like so I'm not sure what's going on.

    Another hard drive was given to me at the same time. I think this was the original on in the machine. it's a full-height behemoth. I tried to configure the card to recognise this one, but it couldn't. I have its specs. Again, the system told me a hard drive was attached during the boot process but when it came to access it I couldn't. Debug threw up the 1710 error and DOS told me the drive didn't exist on the system.

    I'll keep at it. The floppy controller is an 8-bit one and there is no CMOS in the machine. I might look for a similar floppy controller in on the other machines I snagged. I need to determine if it's the drive or the controller that's the issue here.

    Tez
    Last edited by tezza; October 31st, 2010 at 07:40 PM.
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: http://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  5. #5
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    Tez, remember that on most old MFM drives, there's the issue of "terminators". I've seen one system where two drives had been installed and the one with the terminators installed removed.

    Fortunately, there are quite a few diagnostic tools as well (e.g. SpinRite), so you're not completely out of luck. Remember too, that a hard drive puts quite a load on these old PSUs, so check your voltages with the drive spinning.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tezza View Post
    I need to determine if it's the drive or the controller that's the issue here.

    Tez
    Tez,

    I think it would be worth a try to plug a different cable between the controller and the drive, just to make sure. It's easier than checking for continuity on each line, which is what the HM&S manual says to do.

    Sean

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tezza View Post
    I got passed an IBM XT the other day and I'm just working on it.

    The hard drive will show a directory but that's about all. I won't boot.

    Going into Debug g=C800:6 shows the message..

    1701 (20)
    1 Hard Disk

    ..and then it hangs.
    If it still has the original Xebec controller installed, then there is no low-level format utility in ROM. You were supposed to use IBM's Advanced Diagnostics disk to do the format, but there are other low-level format utilities available. Also make sure the DIP switches or jumpers on the controller are set to match the size and parameters of the hard drive you have installed. I believe there were two models of the Xebec controller; the original one which only supported the 10 MB drive, and then a later version which supported either 10 or 20 MB drives.

    If it has an aftermarket controller installed, such as Western Digital or Seagate, then of course you can ignore everything I just said above. Most aftermarket controllers do have a low-level format utility in ROM, but the command to access it varies. The most common I've seen and used is g=c800:5 (not :6) in DEBUG.

  8. #8

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    Hi,

    No it's a third party controller with it's own BIOS. It's name escapes me right now. When I get home I'll post the specs.

    One question someone might be able to answer. I've got the XT technical manual which describes those dip switches on the mainboard. The manual seem to be largely for the 64/256 boards. Are those switches the same for both a 64/256 and 256/640k (MkII) board? I have the latter.

    I unplugged the second floppy disk as it wasn't working, but did not alter that switch on the mainboard to say I have 1 floppy drive now not two. I wonder if this would lead to a situation where the C: drive is listed as absent, even though the machine could see it before (perhaps before I unplugged drive B)?

    Doing this makes me remember how much fun it was (-NOT) with all this non-plug and play-type PC technology in the 1980s! I love my vintage computers but I don't have any kind of hankering to return to the "old" days in this respect anyway!

    I'll continue the investigation tonight. Ideally I'd like to get the full height hard drive going as this makes the machine look more "authentic" somehow. It's incredibly huge, heavy and generally impressive!

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: http://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  9. #9

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    Just a related query...if going into Debug g=C800:6 shows the message..

    1701 (20)
    1 Hard Disk

    this would indicate the System has found some kind of HD config routine, yes? Other common address calls for this kind of thing just seem to hang.

    Terry
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: http://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  10. #10
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    No, it's more probable that you're simply re-entering the HD BIOS initialization code. Get us the controller model and we can go from there. The 20 code is for a general failure.

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