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Thread: Want to Add Hard Drive to XT

  1. #31


    Quote Originally Posted by Kazblox View Post
    Future Domain controllers boot ANYTHING, as long as the block size of the media is what the operating system expects (MS-DOS likes a block size of 512.)
    Ok, maybe I lied. Tried seeing if the v8.2 BIOS could detect my internal Zip100 drive, and that was a no go. SCSIDIAG could see it though.
    Join your local penny pincher movement today!

  2. #32


    Spidersweb: I am interested in your post. Would you care to mention a few of the MFM drives you have that are still reliable? I am not questioning your experience, it just doesn't match mine. 3/4 of the MFM drives I have a dead. But I do own a few in XT's that worked when I last booted them about 5 years ago. In the later days of the DEC PDP-11 there where several manufacturers selling drive replacement boxes and controllers using MFM drives in place of standard DEC drives. I own one of these (with a dead MFM drive) and have interacted with 3 people who own early 1980s Mcleyvier Synthesizers that used a similar system. The five such Synthesizers known to exist are all dead due to MFM drive failures. Sadly the owners were musicians and they made no backups! I also would recommend alternatives to a physical MFM drive. However I believe there is at least one MFM drive emulator which is supposed to be reliable: This would be an alternative to the ide controller approach which I have no experience with but sounds interesting.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    New Zealand
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by willyk View Post
    Spidersweb: I am interested in your post. Would you care to mention a few of the MFM drives you have that are still reliable?.
    Here is a few of mine that I have running MFM/RLL reliably [and that have been used often enough I can vouch for them]

    IBM PC XT - ST412 - MFM (can't hear it over the PSU fan)
    IBM PC XT 640KB - ST225 + NEC D5126
    IBM PC Portable - ST-251 (good pick because of the auto parking)
    IBM PC AT replica - Maxtor XT-110 (might be a 170).
    Random T3200 Clone - 3.5" MFM (can't remember which model I installed, sounds like a cat meowing when turned on, works great, laptop smells like rat urine though)
    Exzel PC XT CGA - ST225 + ST225
    Exzel PC XT MDA - actually can't remember what I put in it, but it's most certainly MFM
    DTK PIM-640 clone - ST412 - MFM (1983)
    DTK PIM-640 clone - Miniscribe 3.5" 30MB RLL on a card (1987) [didn't work when received, hit with screwdriver, works a champion over a year later)
    IPC AT - ST-238R - RLL
    Commodore PC-10 - ST225
    Commodore Colt - 20MB hard card
    Commodore PC-40 - can't remember, runs fine
    Wang PC 286 - ST-251 - MFM
    Wang Professional - ST-225 - still running off original factory format because I haven't got around to backing it up yet.
    IBM RT - 2 x 380MB ESDI,... third drive works too but was getting a bit loud (bearing wear)

    I've got other systems too and a box of tested ST225's and spare tested Maxtor XT1000 series drives + tested NEC's etc etc but I haven't used those often enough to guarantee they're reliable in all aspects. But my known good list is a lot bigger than my box of dead guys.

    The highest failure rate for me occurs when I buy bulk lots of random drives, especially server stuff (or cheap 3.5" MFM drives), then you start getting in to 50/50 territory.

    A fresh low level factory format is important. If that hasn't been done since it left the factory, it's certainly going to play up and start losing data.
    But overall my motto is "if it spins it wins".
    WTB: IBM RT Ethernet and/or Graphics Adapters
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  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by SpidersWeb View Post
    hit with screwdriver
    Percussive maintenance saves the day again!

    (Looking for Olivetti M24/AT&T 6300 Keyboard - but I'm in AUS!)

  5. #35


    I also have several MFM or RLL drives that still run fine. They are:


    ST-225 X 2


    XT-1140 X 2
    If you're looking for DS/DD or DS/HD 3" or 5" floppy disks, PM me. I've got some new, used, and factory over-labeled disks for sale.

    There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. -- Leonard Cohen
    ☞ Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

  6. #36


    The ST-225 amazes me. Mine had absolutely no sector errors and survived a wacky shipping adventure in which the faceplate came off, along with some minor damage to other stuff surrounding it such as the AT&T 6300 it was in. And it still worked!
    Join your local penny pincher movement today!

  7. #37
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Fairfield, Ohio


    Quote Originally Posted by SpidersWeb View Post
    Just press the any key.
    ...But I can't find the key marked "any."

    I used to knew a fella at Computerland who swore someone called in with that exact complaint.

  8. #38


    My 2 MFM HDD stopped working all of sudden, could it be the controller ? It's a WD 1002-S

    All I get now is a 1701 error. It was working a week ago where I installed xenix86 on it. The light on the ST255 does not even turn on. The drives they start, spin, but there is no activity. I'll check the cable as well...


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