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Thread: Wanted: Altos 886 diag/disk setup utils

  1. #1

    Default Wanted: Altos 886 diag/disk setup utils

    So until I have more time to investigate the faulty MiniScribe 3425 in my Altos 886, I obtained a couple of ST-225s to try replacing it and just re-installing Xenix.

    The drives seem to be fine. The Altos Xenix 3.2f boot disk seems to find it. It says HARD DISKS [1] but when it loads the controller device driver, I get a message that says "Cannot read drive configuration." When the install menu comes up and I try to install Xenix, the same message comes up along with an I/O error line.

    altos-hd-err.jpg

    I tried a MiniScribe 3425P as well, which works fine in my DEC Pro 350, but it also causes this error on the Altos.

    Only thing I can think of is that it needs to be partitioned and formatted for the Altos, where Xenix may require an FF partition at the MBR Track 0 containing the so-called Xenix Bad Block Table. But can't find any kind of diagnostic disk anywhere that can do this and the boot disk has no option for it.

    Anyone have any idea where I can find this if it exists or if not, how to properly configure a hard drive for the Altos 886? Maybe there's some kind of ROM-based routine buried in it's ROMS accessible via the debug facility?

    Thanks!
    Latest Acquisitions: ADDS Envoy, Sun 3/50, Teletype BLIT, DECMate II
    Still Wanted: Ithaca Intersystems DPS-1, SSB Chieftain, Altos 2086, TRS-80 Model 16, Victory FACTOR
    Always looking for: AT&T 3B2's and UnixPC/3B1's.
    http://www.securix.net/retrotekvintagecomputers

  2. #2

    Default

    I found out this is called the SDX diskette. I found one for the 586, but it will not load on the 686/886.

    If someone has a copy of the 686/886 version of the SDX diskette, please let me know.

    Thanks!
    Latest Acquisitions: ADDS Envoy, Sun 3/50, Teletype BLIT, DECMate II
    Still Wanted: Ithaca Intersystems DPS-1, SSB Chieftain, Altos 2086, TRS-80 Model 16, Victory FACTOR
    Always looking for: AT&T 3B2's and UnixPC/3B1's.
    http://www.securix.net/retrotekvintagecomputers

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Securix View Post
    I found out this is called the SDX diskette. I found one for the 586, but it will not load on the 686/886.

    If someone has a copy of the 686/886 version of the SDX diskette, please let me know.

    Thanks!
    Reviving an old thread. I'm in need of an SDX diskette for a similar problem (replacing a drive)
    I did image the disks with Dave Gesswein's MFM emulator, so I know what the low-level format
    is, just hoping I don't have to puzzle out the disk labeling.

    I did do a successful install of Concurrent CP/M today from a drive out of an 886 (backed up first)
    Image up on bitsavers under bits/Altos. The old drive from the 686 has a bad head.

  4. #4

    Default

    Ok... I've already responded to Al via email.. I've successfully brought back old moldy diskettes... good thing I made MULTIPLE backups.. I've extracted quite a few disks.. Including the SDX 886.. If I remember correct there was even a hidden menu system.. I have it written down. At any rate.. I've got the whole Altos Office Manager Suite I think.. I'm still removing diskettes from sleeves and cleaning them and then backing them up to directories.. Since I don't know much about UUCP there is a program that I extracted and installed that is Async Communications that allows you to send files to a port.. my question is how to do this? It's been so long since I have played with this thing.. And I've been mostly focused on Macs in the past years.. In the end I'd like to extract the entire hard drive 80MB Micropolis and image the diskettes for everyone.. I am interested in finding a SSD solution to replace the Micropolis. I have already recapped the power supply in this thing and cleaned the floppy drive.. The motherboard and drive controller boards don't seem to have any electrolytic caps on them thank god.

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