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Thread: Partition problems on MFM harddisks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Dordrecht , Netherlands

    Default Partition problems on MFM harddisks

    Have some problems with removing
    obscure or that is Non Dos Partitions.

    2 drives same kind of problem.
    one had HPFS/NTFS Other Xenix/user.

    Can remove them with AEFDISK but
    after the new Dos partitie it keeps comming up
    with those partition formats instead of Dos.
    Also when removing I getthe error There Are Writing Errors in partition.
    LowLevel etc does not solve the problem.

    Fdisk not at all. That way i use that other program
    had on a utillity disk.

    1 disk I could solve in a 5160 XT machine.
    Throug Advance diagnostic and new LLformat.
    Thinknit is to stupid to unferstand those NonDos partitions.LoL
    but other one a St 225 drive I have not the
    XT driver card. So must be the AT 386.

    Some one a better DOS program?
    2020-09-13 20.00.42.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Melbourne, Australia


    The partition table resides in the hard drive's master boot record (MBR), the first sector on the hard drive.

    The DEBUG program of DOS can be used zero/erase the data in the first sector. See 'Step 2' at [here].

    After that, FDISK is expected to show you an empty partition table.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by MauriceH View Post
    LowLevel etc does not solve the problem.
    Than you have some other issue here. There is no way that a LLF will *not* remove these partitions.

  4. #4


    These Seagate drives have an abnormal write current gate which will inhibit writes if something is peculiar, as a way to prevent an electronics fault from causing the drive to write unexpected garbage. This is the kind of behavior that might be observed in such a case.

    I've repaired a couple ST225/ST251s behaving this way by replacing a couple of the electrolytic capacitors on the drive logic board. If you're lucky it'll just be the two by the power connector. Worth a shot IMO.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Dordrecht , Netherlands


    Ok every thing is working now, and a new Dos 5.00 is put on the HD.

    First I did the suggestion of Modem7 to type in the step 2 option as mentioned in his post.
    That looked promising and got an output.
    I could not make a DOS partition by than, so made a new LLFormat through the Bios of the 386 PC.
    Great tool, never seen that in a PC-Bios to LLFormat a Hardisk, It even determines the best Interlevel number.

    Have an original set of DOS 5.00 FFDs so could perform the setup, and that puts first the DOS partition on the disk,
    than format, put system on and ready to go.
    Again a rescued MFM Hard disk.MINISCRIBE 6053 43MB
    It is hudge and heavy.
    And I remember again Why I Use NortonCommander from day 1 back in 1990, till this day,WinnCommander.
    what a crap that "explorer"

    @Bear, I have a broken ST-238R, I'll check the capacitors, May be I'll get that one going also.
    It won't even spin.
    But I last got an IBM Type 13 WD25 back in fully working state I think this one could be next.

    Miniscribe 6053_LLFormat_20200914_001.jpg
    Miniscribe 6053_LLFormat_20200914_003.jpg
    Miniscribe 6053_LLFormat_20200914_005.jpg
    Miniscribe 6053_LLFormat_20200914_006.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Blog Entries


    "Huge?" Guess you've never toyed with a Shugart SA-4000 series drive... My first drive on an IBM PC was a Shugart SA-1000 drive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Dordrecht , Netherlands


    haha ok 4000 => 35 pounds or 16kg LoL
    This summer worked on the DEC RL02 Harddisk with cartridges, now also working in the PDP1123.

    There is a obscure 8" Hard disk, microplus??
    But your Shurgart SA-4000 is indeed counted as really hudge.

    My first HD was the Seagate ST-225 second hand bought and I had to buy the Seagate MFM card new, to upgrade my XT, sadly that card is now broken.
    The Pc 8088 long gone.But the matrix PeaCock printer I still have.
    My first "pc" was the Datapoint 1800 , still up and running, dual 8" ffd's.With its Datapoint A3 Wheelprinter on console.
    first real computer the ZX81, bought in 1982, also still working.
    Jeh I seldom throw anything away.
    And as I have in the early 90's as a student rebuilt lots of XT-286-386's, to be able to buy some beer in the weekends. I still have some parts left of that time
    Found the box of old Hd's and try to get them going again.
    That is my WD25 in the IBM 5160 broke down and was looking for same options.
    But I got the old WD25 after a big hardware debug up and running.

    Just having some fun with these oldies.


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