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cached IDE controller, need new bios

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    cached IDE controller, need new bios

    A while ago I got a good deal on one of those "lot" auctions on ebay where some bloke dumps a bunch of computer parts into a bin and sells it for cheap. Long story short the only thing I wanted in this particular auction was a Promice SuperIDE cached controller for ISA. It looks Identical to this one, except I have an Intel processor and what looks to be version 220 bios, not 221.



    Now, the card works. So long as I use a hard drive under the 540mb barrier. I originally wanted to use this in my 386/40 and while the motherboard supports up to 8.4gb drives, the controller doesnt seem to care and limits to 540. Some people remember me having the same issue with an adaptec 1542 scsi card. Well, here I am again. YAY!

    I google'd this card for a good hour and I cant find squat. I was hoping someone here might know where I can find an updated bios for larger hard drives, or knows that i'm basically S.O.L. For the record, I was trying to use a 2gb SD card.
    It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

    #2
    Would an XT-IDE BIOS do the trick?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

    Comment


      #3
      I looked at that, and I believe that the onboard cache puts a monkey wrench into the machine.
      It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

      Comment


        #4
        Odd, I never had an issue with a size limit barrier using SCSI.

        Anyway are you sure the cards BIOS is being used (you can disable it and use the MB BIOS which would have limits)? Is there a DMA setting or a place to manually enter drive parameters?
        Last edited by Unknown_K; May 8, 2012, 03:13 PM.
        What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
        Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
        Boxed apps and games for the above systems
        Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

        Comment


          #5
          if it's got an on-board bios, it may be meant for something along the lines of a 286 or earlier 386, neither of which supported drives much over 100mb *In my experience* anyway
          Nothing beats the roar of a 36yr old drive coming to life after a decade in storagg

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            #6
            cute, an 80186!
            Twitter / YouTube

            Comment


              #7
              I cant say positively, but I am pretty sure the roms are just firmware for the 80186. I doubt if the card
              would let you use large drives even if the computer supported them. But I could be wrong.

              Comment


                #8
                MB BIOS may not be useful.
                I have 386's and 486's that auto-detect drives in the Gb range, but don't do translation, so it's still 505MB after POST. First machines I have that support 'LARGE' are Pentium.

                Have you tested your memory card + adaptor in a more modern machine to make sure it works?
                If it does, then try 1024/16/63 for CHS if you can manually set it on the card BIOS. Should give you access to the first 505MB, which is a ton for a 386
                Twitter / YouTube

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by k2x4b524[ View Post
                  if it's got an on-board bios, it may be meant for something along the lines of a 286 or earlier 386, neither of which supported drives much over 100mb *In my experience* anyway
                  That appears to be the case. My 386 actually has a use for more than 500mb of hard drive space. I have no less than 30 games that I have planned for it, and those are just the ones I have boxes for!

                  Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post
                  Odd, I never had an issue with a size limit barrier using SCSI.

                  Anyway are you sure the cards BIOS is being used (you can disable it and use the MB BIOS which would have limits)? Is there a DMA setting or a place to manually enter drive parameters?
                  If I use a "dumb" card I have no issues. The motherboard supports up to 8.4gb. I have another controller, made by SIIG that is "smart" and will do all the auto-detecting and everything else. Both have no issues.

                  Originally posted by SpidersWeb View Post
                  MB BIOS may not be useful.
                  I have 386's and 486's that auto-detect drives in the Gb range, but don't do translation, so it's still 505MB after POST. First machines I have that support 'LARGE' are Pentium.

                  Have you tested your memory card + adaptor in a more modern machine to make sure it works?
                  If it does, then try 1024/16/63 for CHS if you can manually set it on the card BIOS. Should give you access to the first 505MB, which is a ton for a 386
                  Actually there is no option to go into the card's bios. It acts just like a "dumb" card, it doesn't even toss a line of text up during post. As for the CF card, it works perfectly. I've even tried different hard drives. ALL drives WORK, however there is a cut-off at 540mb. I have a hard drive testing program and I will run it on 2 different cards and post it here.
                  It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have had a similar problem with a 486 and a Buslogic BT-510a, but 2gb barrier. Eventually I just said screw it and used the quantum overlay. Works fine, although I loose a bit of performance... still faster then a non cached ide controller though. Downside is win3.x won't run in 32 bit LBA mode. DOH! Somehow the overlay does not work properly with the 3.x buslogic drivers while using an overlay package.

                    My buslogic is very similar to your promise. Has a 286 onboard , goldstar floppy and cdrom controllers, as well as onboard bios. Mine does have a boot time configuration prompt though, like a scsi card. Wonder if you could use the bios off my card.. hrmm... IF you have a way to blow an eprom, I'll make a dump of the rom for ya.

                    Hope someone can come up with a workaround...
                    Last edited by twolazy; May 8, 2012, 05:17 PM.
                    '. \ / .'
                    '. .'``'. .'
                    ......:::::::`.....`::
                    Currently seeking a Compaq Deskpro 386

                    Comment


                      #11
                      No line of text / setup program suggests to me either the ROM is disabled, or it's (as mentioned by another poster) purely just to initialise the 186 to do the caching.
                      Twitter / YouTube

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by twolazy View Post
                        I have had a similar problem with a 486 and a Buslogic BT-510a, but 2gb barrier. Eventually I just said screw it and used the quantum overlay. Works fine, although I loose a bit of performance... still faster then a non cached ide controller though. Downside is win3.x won't run in 32 bit LBA mode. DOH! Somehow the overlay does not work properly with the 3.x buslogic drivers while using an overlay package.
                        I think the Buslogic caching IDE cards were manufactured under license from Data Domain or Future Domain or some company (forgot) and you might have better luck down that path instead.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I've got a Promise VLB card that I used to use with a 1.6 GB and a 1.0 GB and two other drives, all at the same time on a 486 and there were no size problems/restrictions.
                          PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

                          Comment


                            #14
                            ran a few benchmarks, this is what happens:

                            Quantum bigfoot 2gb
                            normal ide: http://www.co-ui.com/luckybob/SIIG2GBF.TXT
                            cached ide: http://www.co-ui.com/luckybob/CASH2GBF.TXT

                            2gb compact flash
                            normal ide: http://www.co-ui.com/luckybob/SIIGCF.TXT
                            cached ide: http://www.co-ui.com/luckybob/CASH2GCF.TXT
                            It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              so I dropped this into a socket 7 pentium system. The onboard ide works as it should with read/write speeds 5x what my 386 was doing. When I add the cached controller, I have to manually enter the values into the bios. naturally. However it still caps at 540mb. There is 2 jumpers on the card itself. apparently the only thing this does is enable or disable the controller, as the only noticeable change was one setting gave me "no hdd found" errors in the bios
                              It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.

                              Comment

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