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Thread: IBM 5170 w/ AMI BIOS will not read, but will write to IDE disk

  1. #1

    Default IBM 5170 w/ AMI BIOS will not read, but will write to IDE disk

    Hey Everyone,

    I have a few 5170's I'm working on and I hit a really weird issue. I am trying to use a 128mb DOM IDE module on a 16-bit IDE card with the AMI Bios in a 5170. I was able to make the chips, and it's coming up fine. The module I'm using has a geometry of 492 Cylinders, 16 heads and 32 sectors which is well below the 504mb limit. The machine comes up with this setting, sees the HD, lets me FDISK and format and then, nothing! After playing around some more, I booted from a floppy and go right to the C drive no issue. It will let me create a directory, and copy files from the floppy. I then just tried to run command.com from the root, and then I get a read error. I then noticed, I cannot seem to read anything from the drive no matter what I do! I thought perhaps it was just responding too quickly, and the only other drive I have sitting around is an older 200gb IDE. I set it to 1024-16-63 which is the 504 limit, and I get the exact same behavior. Maybe this drive is too fast too?

    Whatever the case, I'm really perplexed on what else to try short of getting an older HD. I was hoping this setup would work.

    Has anyone seen this, or any suggestions?
    Thanks!
    -Kevin

  2. #2

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    The first thing I would try is FDISK /MBR. That will rewrite the master boot record on the DOM and possibly correct any error that might be preventing it from booting. This can always be a problem that is quite easy to rectify if it is. Even though it appears that the problem is larger than just not booting it never hurts to try.

    If you want the old IBM 0665 30MB MFM drive from a 5170 I've got one of those for sale.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  3. #3

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    Hey, did fdisk/mbr. It not only won't boot, but I cannot read any file even if I boot from floppy. I'm thinking since my machine is 6mhz, perhaps the card is too fast in responding and causing some timing issues. I'm guessing most cards want to run @ 7.33, or whatever it was that the bus speed settled @ for the ISA standard.

    I don't really trust the old MFM drives. I have 10 5170's, and not one of their drives worked.

    Thanks!
    -Kevin

  4. #4

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    Does the card work in another machine, IOW, is the card known to be good?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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    3,803

    Default

    Go into FDISK and make sure the drive partition is set to active.

    I've found that, sometimes the DOS will do it automatically and, sometimes, it won't.
    Legacy Computers and Parts

    Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Druid6900 View Post
    Go into FDISK and make sure the drive partition is set to active.
    That wouldn't prevent reads or writes after a floppy boot.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  7. #7

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    Yeah, I have a ton of these IDE combo cards, and they're all brand new. In fact, I'm selling some on eBay as I bought about 25 of them from a local computer dealer that went under last year, and they have worked in everything I've tried them in. It's these guys:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/16-Bit-ISA-I...e=STRK:MESE:IT

    I just kept enough to fix machines as I repair them. The partition is active, and I've actually done about everything that makes sense IMO. I feel like it's a timing issue. I even had to go through about 5 VGA cards before I found one that was happy in this machine, and I already thought the slow bus might be the culprit with these guys. They are all 6mhz, so I'm assuming the bus is too, or even slower.

    I thought the DOMs would be perfect as you can only get a 504mb partition to work on the AMI bios due to the ancient limitations of it.

    It's just weird that it will write all day, but nothing else.

    Thanks!
    -Kevin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    3,803

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    That wouldn't prevent reads or writes after a floppy boot.
    Actually, you're right, it shouldn't.

    However, the OP says that he can write to the hard drive, just not read from it, so, as you suggest, it may be the IDE card.

    I can't see two drives behaving in exactly the same manner.

    Perhaps using a "dumber" IDE controller would tell us something.
    Legacy Computers and Parts

    Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

  9. #9

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    There's a jumper for IOCHRDY, which I tried too and it didn't help. I found that this may help with some older machines, but not in this case.

  10. #10

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    While I don't know exactly what the hangup is I will venture a guess that it does have something to do with the card. If you have a more standard IDE interface, try that.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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