Image Map Image Map
Page 2 of 55 FirstFirst 1234561252 ... LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 544

Thread: XTIDE Universal BIOS v2.0.0 beta testing thread

  1. #11

    Default

    A few comments on the v2-beta:

    - Flash utility seemed to have problems with ST M28C64C-15P1 chips. It wrote one out with SDP=None eventually.
    - Flash utility also hung the PC when saving settings on one occasion (edit: maybe because the FDD entry point was via the BIOS I'd just over-written?)
    - With the BIOS loaded, MDA cursor position is floating - looks like: C:\>-

    Using my simple testing utility (file system test with 4MB file on a compact flash card) throughput was:

    - XT: write 117KB/s, read 205KB/s (MHS D8088.)
    - P200: write 101KB/s, read 175KB/s (IDT WinChip P200)

    The P200 slower!? Shadowing it's ROM has a BIG effect, increasing the numbers to 520KB/s and 750KB/s, and 770 sector-IOPS (off a compact-flash card, this is). Of course the on-board controller is way faster as we'd expect, 3-4MB/s and 1400 IOPS. All tests done twice and tally to stop-watch.

    The card boots just fine and runs Norton Disk Doctor OK.

    That's it so far!
    Last edited by pearce_jj; March 19th, 2012 at 01:56 AM.

  2. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pearce_jj View Post
    A few comments on the v2-beta:
    - Flash utility seemed to have problems with ST M28C64C-15P1 chips. It wrote one out with SDP=None eventually.
    Sounds like the EEPROM chip does not support Software Data Protection. If that is the case, then I strongly recommend to use one that does.

    - Flash utility also hung the PC when saving settings on one occasion (edit: maybe because the FDD entry point was via the BIOS I'd just over-written?)
    This is a new problem.

    - With the BIOS loaded, MDA cursor position is floating - looks like: C:\>-
    I thought I already fixed that but I could't test it since my MDA equipment is currently in storage. Do you have original IBM PC or XT BIOS or did this happen on a clone BIOS?


    The P200 slower!? Shadowing it's ROM has a BIG effect, increasing the numbers to 520KB/s and 750KB/s, and 770 sector-IOPS (off a compact-flash card, this is). Of course the on-board controller is way faster as we'd expect, 3-4MB/s and 1400 IOPS.
    Pentiums are terrible at fetching code from 8-bit BUS, just like I documented on the wiki manual.

  3. #13

    Default

    Re MDA, my test platform is a 5160 with original BIOS and MDA card.

    I missed the two notes about Pentiums (performance and flashing); since I use that system for flashing that probably explains it too.

    Many thanks!

  4. #14

    Default

    The Shadow RAM stuff was in the wiki all along but I added the Pentium flash problem just after my last reply.

    I made the CHS compatibility testing a lot easier. Here is new BIOS Drive Information Tool v1.0.1. Here is an example of what it displays:
    Code:
    -= Drive 81h   =-
    ATA-information from AH=25h...
     Name: HMS360606D5CF00                        
     Cylinders    : 11905     , Heads: 16   , Sectors: 63  
     CHS   sectors: 12000240
     LBA28 sectors: 12000556
    XTIDE Universal BIOS v2.0.01 (2012-03-19) generates following L-CHS...
     Cylinders    : 744     , Heads: 255   , Sectors: 63  
    Old INT 13h information from AH=08h and AH=15h...
     Cylinders    : 744     , Heads: 255   , Sectors: 63  
     Total sectors: 11952360
    EBIOS information from AH=48h...
     Version      : 21h  , Interface bitmap: 1h  
     Total sectors: 12000556
     Sector size  : 512
    The XTIDE Universal BIOS v2.0.01 (2012-03-19) generates following L-CHS... is what is new. It displays the L-CHS parameters what XTIDE Universal BIOS v2.0.0 beta 1 generates and that helps in three different ways:

    1) It is now a lot easier to check if the XTIDE Universal BIOS uses compatible CHS values so you can move the drive from one system to another. Heads and Sectors must be the same!!! Cylinders might be one less in other BIOSes but that does not matter if you create partition(s) in the system that shows less cylinders.

    2) Even though XTIDE Universal BIOS v1.x.x uses different method for generating L-CHS for LBA drives, there are some drives where the CHS will end up being the same (cylinders can be one or two less). It should be safe to update to v2.0.0 beta 1 in that case. Do take backups before updating, just in case.

    3) I asked to do comparisons with other BIOSes. It is now easy since it is no longer necessary to install XTIDE Universal BIOS. Just run the BIOS Drive Information Tool v1.0.1 and let me know if there are any differences between XTIDE Universal BIOS v2.0.01 (2012-03-19) generates following L-CHS... and Old INT 13h information from AH=08h and AH=15h... (no need to report if the latter displays one cylinder less).

  5. #15

    Default

    Please do some testing. I'd really like to know if the CHS parameters are the same as on other BIOSes.

    By the way, next beta will have native support for QDI Vision QD6500 and QD6580 VLB IDE controllers. Read rates were 1.9 MB/s with beta 1 and now they are nearly 7 MB/s on my 486. I'd like to know if there is need for supporting other VLB or PCI controllers as well.

  6. #16

    Default

    It really depends what you're trying to do with it; what advantage does it present over the built-in BIOS? Regardless, the coding speedup is pretty impressive

    I will be doing some testing of the CHS stuff at some point - as ever, time is always the problem!

    BTW I wanted to raise the idea of a 'silent' mode. Say I replaced an old ISA hard card with an XT/IDE board, it would be nice if the system could remain 'authentic', i.e. with no BIOS mention of anything to do with storage. Just a thought

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    31,972
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    I'm still using the modified Hargle BIOS on mine. I can't say that I've ever used the startup menu.

    Just a simple report of what was found and an attempt to boot from A:, followed by an attempt to boot from C: would probably be fine. No menu.

  8. #18

    Default

    To be fair the menu itself can be silenced in the v2, but IIRC it still has various keyboard options at the bottom of the screen and displays drive info. I'm probably being picky

  9. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pearce_jj View Post
    what advantage does it present over the built-in BIOS? Regardless, the coding speedup is pretty impressive
    Motherboard BIOSes do not support VLB IDE Controller chips (unless it is integrated to the motherboard). There are many different VLB IDE controllers made from the beginning to the end of VLB lifetime. Without support, the 32-bit VLB multi I/O cards do not offer any advantage over 16-bit ISA multi I/O card (except that few VLB multi I/O cards have jumpers for setting timings, usually up to PIO-2). For example the QDI Vision QD6580 that I have defaults to slowest possible timings with read buffering disabled.

    Since there is no BIOS supports, drivers must be used to get the controller to work with all features enabled. How many of you ever used drivers for VLB multi I/O cards? I never did.

    Drivers need to be installed and they require memory. Native support in XTIDE Universal BIOS autodetects the controller, sets fastest possible timings supported by the drives and enables 32-bit I/O. This is what later BIOSes do for the intergrated IDE controller.


    BTW I wanted to raise the idea of a 'silent' mode. Say I replaced an old ISA hard card with an XT/IDE board, it would be nice if the system could remain 'authentic', i.e. with no BIOS mention of anything to do with storage. Just a thought
    I'm not going to add any option to disable all output. At least the BIOS title and version should be displayed, like display adapters do. It would be very easy to disable all character output since eventually one function gets called that places the character on screen or calls BIOS to handle special characters. If you really need the silent mode, you'll have to build XTIDE Universal BIOS by yourself.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    2,624
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I'm using the version 2 beta BIOS (burned the latest copy 3 weeks ago) on an 80386SX, using the ROM in a network card, no problems to report. I'm getting 1.4MB/s reads.
    Using a 20Gb Seagate Medalist, Pheonix ROM BIOS PLUS 1.10.20, and a Goldstar Prime 2 - DOS 622 + WIN 311. Only thing I noticed was checkitpro describes the drive as being -137Mb but thinking that could be just an overflow error in the program.

    I too would like a simpler startup (maybe hold CTRL for boot detection details and menu?). Product name and copyright is all good, even a "Auto-detecting drives...." just looks odd scanning 4 channels and referencing their hex addresses and 99% of the time I just want to boot off the first primary. I'm using the AT BIOS standalone not the full XTIDE card though.

    But I do wish to give my HUGE thanks, the BIOS is a huge help and I got a bit of a rush when I watched "XTIDE" appear on my 386 at boot!

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •