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Thread: Plus Hardcard 20 error

  1. #1
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    Default Plus Hardcard 20 error

    Does anyone have a manual or know the causes of a Plus Hardcard 20 1701 error (IBM PC 5150)? Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Now this is pretty odd. I've tried switching around the slots, and it works, and it even works when in the same slot as previously - but only when the outer case is off. When I conclude that it's working again and put the computer back together, it ends up taking much longer to boot (to the point that I don't even wait for the 1701 error, as something is obviously malfunctioning). Is there a reason that it would be so iffy?

  3. #3
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    "1701" is generated by the BIOS expansion ROM on the Plus Hardcard (and other XT-class hard disk controllers). Part of the code in that ROM gets executed at computer startup time. Unfortunately, 1701 is usually a catch-all error message that the authors of the controller's BIOS ROM use to indicate, "I did some startup checks and one of those checks failed."

    Does the 1701 happen when the case top is simply slid into position, or only after the rear screws have then been added and tightened ?

  4. #4
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    Wouldn't there have to be microswitch detectors? I'd guess just the case cover, not the screws.

  5. #5

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    I’ve got one that I removed from a computer I bought (that is currently dead) and I was wanting to see if it had any interesting software on it. I stuck it in a 5160 and I got the same error. I gave it a technical tap (percussive maintenance?), thinking maybe something was seized, and it worked. It started working again. I decided to run spinrite on the drive to give it some exercise and move all of the components through their normal ranges, and it seems to be happy to work again. I have no idea how many years it sat on a shelf in the dead computer. I’m guessing 20 or so, since it was an OG compaq deskpro.

  6. #6
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    That can be due to "magnetic stiction" of the head(s) to the platter(s). I've had to give the odd SCSI drive an "air spinning" to free the heads from this - a little less likely to cause damage, unless the heads aren't on the landing zone.

  7. #7

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    Yep. Back in the day we used to put 3.5 inch drives label side down on the floor and spin them to try and free them up. It’s a little harder to do with a full length hard card.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by modem7 View Post
    Does the 1701 happen when the case top is simply slid into position, or only after the rear screws have then been added and tightened ?
    I've only ever tested it closed up, because I assume it's working - but once, I was lazy and didn't take the case all the way off, leaving it so I could access components but could also just slide it right back, and it didn't work then. This may be just a correlation and not causation situation, and the drive just works sometimes randomly, but I don't know. When it does work it appears to be fine and I'm able to DIR it (if that's a verb), but then other times the entire computer just doesn't boot up. Could it be due to the heat in the case? I've noticed that the card becomes quite hot, even when the case isn't on - but then I switched the it around so that it has a free slot next to it, and it still doesn't work.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RC14 View Post
    When it does work it appears to be fine and I'm able to DIR it (if that's a verb), but then other times the entire computer just doesn't boot up.
    Imagine that sometimes, at 5150 power on, the spindle motor in the drive is unable to overcome 'head stiction' to spin the platter. If that possibility is what is happening, then perhaps you can detect that. When the platter is turning, I expect that you can hear the drive making a sound and that you can feel vibration on the drive's cover.

    1701 is very generic. For example, a chip on the Hardcard may be intermittently bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by RC14 View Post
    Could it be due to the heat in the case?
    The Hardcard designers would have allowed for a normal amount of heat in the case, but heat can be a symptom trigger, not the cause. Or, heat just makes symptom appearance more likely.

    Quote Originally Posted by RC14 View Post
    I've only ever tested it closed up, because I assume it's working ...
    There have been times when you have powered up your 5150 cold (has been powered off for hours) and observed the symptom. That suggests to me that heat is not the the symptom trigger.

    Quote Originally Posted by RC14 View Post
    I've noticed that the card becomes quite hot, even when the case isn't on ...
    Because of your "even when the case isn't on", I take your "quite hot" to even apply when the drive is working. So I guess the question becomes, is your "quite hot" the norm or not. Hard drives can generate significant heat.

    In the situation where 'head stiction' is preventing the the spindle motor from spinning the platter, the spindle motor may be generating much more heat than normal.



    BTW. You can see many earlier threads on the VCF about the Hardcard by doing a Google site search using: site:www.vcfed.org Plus Hardcard

  10. #10
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    I've done some research, but haven't found anything about it sometimes working and sometimes not - but oh well, I guess I'll just test it more and try to narrow it down. I hope it's just intermittent stiction and that it'll clear up!

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