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Thread: 1701 POST error after Low Level Format of a ST-225

  1. #1

    Default 1701 POST error after Low Level Format of a ST-225

    Greetings all,

    I am trying to get my ST-225 MFM hard drive working with my IBM 5150 that I just received. After the 5150 POSTs, it would not boot from the hard drive. I would get error "Operating System Not Found" error or something along those lines. After fixing the floppy drive, I decided to do a low level format on the hard drive. It has a WD WDXT-GEN2 PLUS hard disk controller which looks like it was made for the ST-225. Booting to DOS via floppy, I typed in DEBUG. Then typed in g=c800:5 which brings up the LLF utility. I key in 615 4 616 300 11 7. The hard drives activity LED stays on for about 6 or 7 minutes and the HD formats without any errors. System reboots but now I get the 1701 error. Never got this error prior to the low level formatting. I really can't do anything now as FDISK, FORMAT and SpeedStor fails to detect a hard drive with this 1701 POST error. The only thing that still works is the low level format from DEBUG. I am assuming my hard drive is toast but would like some input before I move on.

    Thank you all in advance !!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Marietta, GA
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    3,351

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    The formatter in the BIOS does not verify what is written at all. In fact, the MFM/RLL data cable can be completely disconnected and it will still look like it succeeded.

    I would suggest double checking the cables. Make sure they are both plugged in securely, there is no damage to the cables, and that the Data cable is not connected backwards at either end, perhaps try different cables.

    I'd stick with speedstor, as that does more sanity checks. Although in this case that 1701 error needs to be gotten rid of first.

    Is this a drive you have used before, and it worked? If this drive has not been used in ~30 years, then it would not surprise me if stepping over all of the tracks may have hit some debris and crashed things.

    You haven't tried using this with a different controller, by any chance? Almost no two different models of MFM or RLL controllers are compatible - the drive will appear blank when moved between controllers until it is low leveled by the current card. Just something to keep in mind.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the reply SomeGuy.

    I have never seen this drive in action. I received it like this but without the 1701 error. It's very well possible that this drive hasn't been used in 30 years as I unfortunately don't know the history behind it.

    I don't have another controllers as this is my first and only MFM drive. The drive does sound to me what appears to be normal. No loud clanking of any sort or any clanking at all. Spins up nicely. I have a ton of cables in a bin somewhere so I will definitely see if I have the appropriate ones.

    I have been checking out ST-225 drives on eBay and there is this one guy selling them guaranteed working for $49 with free shipping. I have purchased items from him before and he does stand behind what he sells. I'm going to rule out the controller at this point as I never did get the 1701 error until I did the low level format. I makes sense to me that if anything, it would be the drive but you never know.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    6,483

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaCJaX View Post
    ... Then typed in g=c800:5 which brings up the LLF utility. I key in 615 4 616 300 11 7.
    So, per the installation guide for the WD WDXT-GEN2 PLUS, you are doing 'dynamic' configuration.

    Per the guide, you would normally only choose the 'dynamic' route if you had a drive that does not match one in table B-1 of the guide.
    The ST-225 matches the fourth entry (615 cylinders, 4 heads) of the table.
    Do you see different behavior if you use 'jumper' configuration instead of 'dynamic' configuration ?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaCJaX View Post
    I would get error "Operating System Not Found" error or something along those lines. After fixing the floppy drive, I decided to do a low level format on the hard drive.
    A LLF is always my last choice for something like this.

    SYS C: or FDISK/MBR should have been tried before performing a LLF.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Indiana, USA
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    506

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaCJaX View Post
    The drive does sound to me what appears to be normal. No loud clanking of any sort or any clanking at all. Spins up nicely. I have a ton of cables in a bin somewhere so I will definitely see if I have the appropriate ones.
    The ST225 will spin up, then make a series of muttering sounds as it moves the heads toward track zero with a final sweep sound as it comes ready. If the drive is spinning up, but makes no sounds otherwise it is likely not coming ready which will produce a 1701 error.

  7. #7

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    start with the fundamentals - clean the ISA edge connector on the controller card and the data/control ones on the HDD, then try the LLF again

  8. #8

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    [Guys, thanks for the replies !!

    Quote Originally Posted by modem7 View Post
    So, per the installation guide for the WD WDXT-GEN2 PLUS, you are doing 'dynamic' configuration.
    Thanks modem7, I did select 'y' for 'dynamic' configuration and typed in the drive specs. I believe I also tried selecting 'no' and also needed to type in those specs. There is currently no jumpers in any of the jumper locations on the card, which is factory default.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    SYS C: or FDISK/MBR should have been tried before performing a LLF.
    Thanks Stone, I was initially able to use FDISK at first. It did see a partition but I was never able to format the drive with the FORMAT command so I deleted the partition in FDISK. Once I did this, I wasn't able to create one. I don't recall the specific error but it wouldn't let me create a partition. This was kind of the point of no return with initiating the low level format. I never tried the SYS C: command. Totally forgot about that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatwizard View Post
    The ST225 will spin up, then make a series of muttering sounds as it moves the heads toward track zero with a final sweep sound as it comes ready. If the drive is spinning up, but makes no sounds otherwise it is likely not coming ready which will produce a 1701 error.
    Good to know and thank you ! I will be sure to check for this tonight, when I get home and will post my results.

    Thanks, again all !

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaCJaX View Post
    Thanks Stone, I was initially able to use FDISK at first. It did see a partition but I was never able to format the drive with the FORMAT command so I deleted the partition in FDISK.
    FDISK/MBR doesn't alter the partition. It just rewrites the Master Boot Record which corrects any drive geometry misconfiguration that may be present. When you see... "Operating System Not Found" that generally can correct the problem without the need to either LLF or Format the disk.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  10. #10

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    My ST-225 is probably nearly dead and it’s become temperature sensitive I guess. It works better if I let it sit powered on for an hour or so and warm up. If I low level format it or high level format it while it’s still cold it causes me all kinds of errors.

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