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Thread: Seagate ST-01 SCSI card. AT required?

  1. #1

    Default Seagate ST-01 SCSI card. AT required?

    I have just tested a couple of Seagate ST-01 SCSI cards. I remember using one of them with an ST-157N drive years ago - but I don't remember in what system.

    My first test was in an XT clone board (a modern one; integrated chip-set, V20, 256kB RAM). I got this result, no matter what working drive I attached:


    Then I tried moving the card to a 386 board. Much better result:


    I finally tried a more "classic" XT clone, using a standard 8088 and a full 640kB RAM. Same result as the other XT board. Adding an extra 256kB to the "modern" board also did not change anything. Does the Seagate board with a recent BIOS need a 286 to work?

    I tried BIOS version 3.0, 3.2 and 3.3.2. The board came with 3.0 originally. The 3.3.2 version supports more devices, and has more verbose output. But none of the versions worked in my XT boards...

    Just for fun, I tried connecting a 4.3GB wide SCSI-2 drive. That almost worked:


    The existing partition was recognised, I could format the drive and copy some files, but I got random hangs. That could just be the cable I used though. It was made for connecting a narrow drive to a wide controller - not the other way around.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Indiana, USA


    I have some ST-01 cards and have only used them in 8bit PCs, with no problems. I have never even tried one in an AT system. I have had lots of strange failures of the 50 conductor cables/connectors however.

  3. #3


    I used to have one in a Commodore PC-10 (8086 iirc). Worked fine. Later put a Microsoft 286 cpu upgrade card in it. SCSI card still worked fine.
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  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by mcs_5 View Post
    Does the Seagate board with a recent BIOS need a 286 to work?
    I don't see where an 8-bit board would need a 286 to work.
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  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    I don't see where an 8-bit board would need a 286 to work.
    Some later 8-bit boards were designed for 8-bit slots in 286+ mainboards. The BIOS (or drivers) uses 286 instructions etc. I have an EPROM programmer that needs a 386. The board is still an 8-bit board.

  6. #6


    Just tested the board in a PS/2 model 30. Works fine there. So the Seagate board is just picky about what 8086/8088 systems it will work in. I tested it in three very different systems, and it works in one out of three...

    In another thread here, someone called the ST-01/02 cards a pain in the ass to work with. Perhaps this is one of the reasons

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pacific Northwest, USA
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    I've got an ST-01A and it's touchy to say the least. I prefer to use later controllers. Just used a Trantor T13B and a SCSI zip drive to back up an old XT clone. The bonus is that you get full DOS ASPI support.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Dublin, CA USA
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    I don't see where an 8-bit board would need a 286 to work.
    It is conceivable that an 8 bit card, with its own bios, could require a 286 or 386+ cpu, this would be unusual for sure, but possible none the less. But let's stick with the topic at hand, the OP asked a specific question, lets get him a specific answer and not conjecture based on a general rule of thumb.

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  9. #9


    My conclusion so far: The card works in some XT-class systems, but not all. It works fine in both 386 systems I tested it in (Hauppauge and Olivetti).

    Later BIOS versions are available here (ST-02 uses the same BIOS):

    According to another thread here, hardware modifications are needed to run the 3.3.2 BIOS. This doesn't appear to be the case on my board, which had version 3.0 originally. Perhaps that applies to boards running pre-3.0 versions?

    The 3.3.2 version is recommended, if your board supports it. It allows more than 2 drives to be connected, and it displays the names of the drives it detects.

    And if you see the "Host adapter failure" error message, that might just mean that no drives were detected. My working card displays the error when no working drives are connected, or when nothing is connected. My second card displays the error no matter what. In that case it seems accurate

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    near frankfurt/m, germany


    You may try Nec V20 instead of 8088. V20 and V30 supports some of the missing 286 instructions. Also IOMEGA guest driver is such a case, it only runs on XT if the Intel-CPU is replaced by NEC chip.


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