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Thread: Replacing and MFM Drive with IDE in 80286

  1. #1

    Default Replacing and MFM Drive with IDE in 80286

    I have an old IBM-AT Clone with an 80286 processor and a Seagate ST-4096 80MB MFM Hard drive that is ready to die. I need to know if it is possible to install an IDE Controller card and to add an IDE Drive in place of the existing MFM Controller Card. I think it would have to be an ISA or EISA card to work. Anyone know if this is possible and where I could get the parts?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhaninger View Post
    I have an old IBM-AT Clone with an 80286 processor and a Seagate ST-4096 80MB MFM Hard drive that is ready to die. I need to know if it is possible to install an IDE Controller card and to add an IDE Drive in place of the existing MFM Controller Card. I think it would have to be an ISA or EISA card to work. Anyone know if this is possible and where I could get the parts?
    EISA is a 32-bit bus, so you won't see it paired with a 286, 386SX, 386SLC, 486SLC2, or 486SLC3 CPU motherboard (my way of saying it would be ISA, not EISA). Sure, there are many IDE/floppy controllers (just like the AT MFM controller, usually with a floppy drive controller on the adapter), some with additional I/O (up to serial ports, one parallel port, & sometimes a game port). If your motherboard has an AMI BIOS make sure it is 4/9/1990 or later (visible within the string displayed in the lower left corner at boot).

  3. #3
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    IDE is definitely doable, so I second IBM's advice. And all you have to do is ask, I'm sure someone here has a controller card or three laying around. Heck, I might have something... I'll check.

    Nathan
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  4. #4

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    My AMI bios is dated 4-29-88. Am I out of luck with the IDE upgrade?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhaninger View Post
    My AMI bios is dated 4-29-88. Am I out of luck with the IDE upgrade?
    AMI says (in their "Programmer's Guide to the AMIBIOS"): "IDE hard drive support has been fixed. To use an IDE drive in your system, the BIOS Date should be 040990 or later". I think it was for timings with particular IDE combinations, but remember running IDE on older versions myself. There is also cards with their own BIOS extentions for IDE to avoid troubles too.

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