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Thread: XT-IDE and floppy drives

  1. #1

    Default XT-IDE and floppy drives

    I have a Tandy 1000 SX fitted with an XT-IDE Compact flash adapter, and if im remembering correctly, once a system is fitted with one of those, that is the BIOS utilized by the system, not the on board BIOS. My issue is that the 5.25" floppy drive that is original to the machine is not being recognized properly (TESTFDC reports drive a: as "Unknown"), and even after replacing that with a known, working drive yielded the same results. Any attempt to format a disk fails instantly, and it sound like the disk is dragging against the heads inside the drive.
    I've already tried editing config.sys to recognize physical drive 0 as a 5.25", 360k drive, but that didn't change anything.
    Have I missed something? Is there an incompatibility between the drive and the XTIDE bios? I haven't tried booting from a disk because I only have 1 copy of dos 5, and I'm not about to put it in a drive that eats disks for breakfast.

  2. #2
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    The XTIDE BIOS only adds an Int13h driver for the hard disk, the BIOS driver built into the ROM continues to handle the floppy drive. I have a homemade XTIDE in my Tandy 1000HX and EX machines and there's no issues with floppy support. (And it's particularly critical that the BIOS driver run the floppy drive in those models because, unlike most PCs, there's no DMA controller. A "generic" floppy BIOS would definitely fail.)
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  3. #3

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    So would you go so far to say that something is wrong with the onboard floppy controller/rom? I went ahead and tried booting from floppy and that failed instantly.

  4. #4
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    At post #9 of [here], a just-constructed XT-IDE card had an I/O address conflict with the floppy controller.
    The cause (post #13 and #14) was faulty construction.

    From what I have seen, the default starting I/O address for XT-IDE cards is 300h. I do not know which "XT-IDE Compact flash adapter" you have, but as an example, look at the web page at [here]. For that card, setting a starting I/O address of "0x3E0" (i.e. range 3E0h to 410h) would result in a conflict with a standard floppy controller (3F0h to 3F7h). Perhaps the '0x300' setting was desired, but on the card's switches, an owner confused OFF with ON.

  5. #5

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    There is a bug with respect to the bios equipment list for floppy drives in the old versions of XUB. Make sure you are using an up to date rom from http://www.xtideuniversalbios.org/binaries/

  6. #6

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    Max, I was using an old version of the XTIDE bios from 2013, since updated it and the problem still persists. The more I mess with it, the more I begin to suspect that there could be an issue with the onboard floppy controller. If I get my hands on a controller card ill try that out. At least I know it's not the XTIDE or the drive at this point.
    Is it possible that the onboard chipset IC could be toast? IIRC, that's where the board BIOS is stored, since the SX doesn't have any sort of onboard rom.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrochrome View Post
    Max, I was using an old version of the XTIDE bios from 2013, since updated it and the problem still persists. The more I mess with it, the more I begin to suspect that there could be an issue with the onboard floppy controller. If I get my hands on a controller card ill try that out. At least I know it's not the XTIDE or the drive at this point.
    Is it possible that the onboard chipset IC could be toast? IIRC, that's where the board BIOS is stored, since the SX doesn't have any sort of onboard rom.
    I have XTIDE what is working correctly on 1000 SX but It has problem on 1000 TX 360 k floppy is working fine
    but 3"25 720 k floppy doesn't work at all (without XTIDE 720k fdd is working fine)

  8. #8
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    Ferrochrome,

    I noticed that you didn't say that "the SX won't boot with the XT-IDE removed." Pull the XT-IDE out and see if the SX boots normally off the floppy. That should simplify figuring out where the issue is.

    Tom

  9. #9
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    Having been more-or-less involved in XTIDE from the start, I remain baffled why the XTIDE BIOS needs to do anything with the floppy drives. I use an old hargle BIOS on my xtides and it works fine.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Having been more-or-less involved in XTIDE from the start, I remain baffled why the XTIDE BIOS needs to do anything with the floppy drives. I use an old hargle BIOS on my xtides and it works fine.
    The way the XUB boot menu allows booting from either A or B is switching them in the BIOS

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