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Thread: XT-IDE Rev.4 Questions

  1. #1
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    Default XT-IDE Rev.4 Questions

    I am posting this on the XT-IDE thread, asking for help with a Gltich Works Rev. 4 XT-IDE board. The board was assembled from a kit and is untested as of yet. The target machine is an AT&T WGS6312 / Olivetti M240 with an MFM hard drive already installed.

    My questions concern configuration, generally speaking.

    Q1: Where are the V3 and V4 XT-IDE BIOSes located? I found http://www.xtideuniversalbios.org/ and https://code.google.com/archive/p/xtideuniversalbios/ but only V2 is referenced there.

    Q2: I downloaded V.2.2b and was going to install xtl.bin but noticed it is 15K. The Atmel AT28C64B on my board has only about 8K of room, so I had to opt for xt.bin instead. There must be a larger-capacity substitute; why create the larger BIOS otherwise. If I wanted to use all of the options in the package which Atmel IC should I be looking for?

    Q3: I couldn't use the xtidecfg.com executable to configure and program the AT28C64B - my "tweener" died earlier this year - so I used an EPROM programmer instead. I read the docs and figured I would just accept the defaults and that would get me started. Programming concluded successfully, but I still had switches and jumpers to configure. I found info on http://minuszerodegrees.net/xtide/re...%20general.htm but I noticed under "Common problems" that my AT&T had one big one: The "Chuck mod" was going to have to be disabled and the XT-IDE default BIOS address of &H0300 was going to have to be changed - on the board switches and in the BIOS code. With a hex editor I counted 9 occurrences of 0300 in the xt.bin file, and I don't know which or how many should be changed to anjother address. Suppose I wanted to use &H0D00 instead: Does anyone know the location in code to modify?

    Thanks for your replies.

    -CH-

  2. #2
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    The WGS6312 has a 286 CPU in it, doesn't it? If that's the case you probably want to at least use IDE_XTP.BIN instead of IDE_XT.BIN. (Or is it an M240 with an 8086? It looks like they're two different machines.)

    Is there a reason you can't just run the xtidecfg.com executable on the AT&T itself? I'm not sure why you'd need a tweener unless the EPROM has an image in it that's crashing the machine at startup, and you should still be able to get around that if your card has a flash disable jumper.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    The WGS6312 has a 286 CPU in it, doesn't it? If that's the case you probably want to at least use IDE_XTP.BIN instead of IDE_XT.BIN. (Or is it an M240 with an 8086? It looks like they're two different machines.)

    Is there a reason you can't just run the xtidecfg.com executable on the AT&T itself? I'm not sure why you'd need a tweener unless the EPROM has an image in it that's crashing the machine at startup, and you should still be able to get around that if your card has a flash disable jumper.
    Thank you for your reply. The WGS6300 is an 80286. If IDE_XTP.BIN is a better choice I'll favor that.

    However, the configuration problem stems from my inability to transfer the requisite software to the target machine, which has only one 5.25" HD floppy drive; no USB, no 3.5", no networking. And I don't have the means at hand to write to a 5.25 HD floppy except with that machine. I might be able to add a 3.5 to the AT&T but my documentation for the machine is almost non-existent. I'm kind of stuck at the moment.

    -CH-

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    For the floppy problem I'd probably recommend checking out FlashFloppy plus a cheap Gotek as a future solution, at least. I was similarly SOL when it came to writing a PC-formatted 5 1/4" disk when I got my Tandy 1000, but I've had really good luck (for the most part) with FlashFloppy. I highly recommend the OLED display mod; if you shop around you should be able to get both the Gotek and the display for under $25. (I'd also recommend getting a USB A->A cable and programming it via that. It's less bother than having to solder the programming jumper.) I haven't *tried* using one to replace a 1.2MB floppy but it should be able to handle it fine. (The firmware seems to be pretty decent at looking at the format of raw .img files and determining their geometry, and it also supports .hfs and other formats that explicitly specify.)

    But, for now... instead of trying to manually patch the EPROM image can you just run the xtidecfg program in DOSBOX or another emulator? That should work. Use the "write back to file" option on the firmware bundle you loaded to modify, then write that with your EPROM programmer.

    The advantage IDE_XTP.BIN would have over IDE_XT.BIN is it incorporates some streaming port transfer instructions that were missing on the original 8088/8086, which makes it a lot faster. (Almost twice as fast on my Tandy with a V-20, which includes the 80186 instruction set, compared to the 8088-compatible version.)
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    For the floppy problem I'd probably recommend checking out FlashFloppy plus a cheap Gotek as a future solution, at least. I was similarly SOL when it came to writing a PC-formatted 5 1/4" disk when I got my Tandy 1000, but I've had really good luck (for the most part) with FlashFloppy. I highly recommend the OLED display mod; if you shop around you should be able to get both the Gotek and the display for under $25. (I'd also recommend getting a USB A->A cable and programming it via that. It's less bother than having to solder the programming jumper.) I haven't *tried* using one to replace a 1.2MB floppy but it should be able to handle it fine. (The firmware seems to be pretty decent at looking at the format of raw .img files and determining their geometry, and it also supports .hfs and other formats that explicitly specify.)

    But, for now... instead of trying to manually patch the EPROM image can you just run the xtidecfg program in DOSBOX or another emulator? That should work. Use the "write back to file" option on the firmware bundle you loaded to modify, then write that with your EPROM programmer.

    The advantage IDE_XTP.BIN would have over IDE_XT.BIN is it incorporates some streaming port transfer instructions that were missing on the original 8088/8086, which makes it a lot faster. (Almost twice as fast on my Tandy with a V-20, which includes the 80186 instruction set, compared to the 8088-compatible version.)
    Excellent suggestions, both. I have DOS Box but didn't realize I could use it to write back the BIN file and then load it with the EPROM programmer. I'm assuming I can select the new BIOS address in software while running DOS Box.

    And FlashFloppy is news to me as well. What a great idea. I'll be looking into that as well. I have a GOTEK that I bought for my Amiga 500 but I'll look for one of the newer ones for this purpose.

    Thank you for your replies.

    -CH-

  6. #6
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    I used DOSBox to run the config executable and made my best guesses as to configuration. Thank you for the suggestion. I burned the XTP.BIN file with my EPROM programmer.

    I have BIOS and switches set to address 370h, compatibility mode for now, power to the interface enabled, ROM enabled, ROM write off, 8k selected, Slot 8 off, etc. I will put the card in the machine and see what happens. If it hangs I'll disable the ROM and try again.

    My thanks to Modem7 for contributions on configuration: http://minuszerodegrees.net/xtide/re...%20general.htm
    where I also learned that there is a larger Atmel IC that can be substituted.

    -CH-

    P.S. Ordered another GOTEK...

  7. #7
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    Make sure you had the config program generate a checksum for the ROM -- the system won't pick it up if the checksum is wrong (it may or may not give a ROM CHECKSUM ERROR or similar, not all systems do). If you have trouble with the 2.x series, I have the v1.1.5 release on my site:

    http://filedump.glitchwrks.com/xt_id.../xub_1.1.5.zip

    I usually recommend folks start with the v1.1.5 images and then upgrade if they want, since I've personally had less trouble with v1.1.5. I also recommend starting with the XT image and then upgrading once you know the card works.

  8. #8
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    Excellent, hopefully it'll work for you. I knew about the "write it back" functionality in the configuration utility because the homemade XT-CF cards I've built for my machines use SST Flash chips instead of EEPROMs, which requires using an external utility to program them.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

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    I find the card is about 1/16" too long for the slots on the AT&T. I also removed the bolster as the spacing was a little off as well. I am loathe to trim the card next to the contacts but I don't see an alternative.

    -CH-

    Resampled2.jpg

  10. #10
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    6312 WGS bricked Not sure why and with no docs not sure what line of investigation to pursue.

    Tried the XT-IDE card in an 8-bit slot and a 16-bit slot, with the ROM enabled and without. Results varied from "nothing" (no power LED, no movement, no sound) to no POST, but at the end of the process no POST is where the machine remains, even with the card out. Keyboard's three lights remain on unblinking and I can hear the HD seek but nothing on the display and no beep. Disconnected the battery backup in hopes of erasing any BIOS config but as of yet no difference.

    Took a shot in the dark and shot myself in the foot, it seems. Trending.

    -CH-

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