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5150 Compact flash formatting

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    5150 Compact flash formatting

    Hi everyone, I have an IDE/CF adapter for my 5150 and I along with my cousin have been trying to format it in some way to get it to boot, to limited to no success. I was wondering if anyone knew how we could put DOS onto the CF card and get it to boot. We've tried formatting the CF card with MS-DOS 3.31 in a VM and installing to it, which installs and boots under the VM, however in the 5150 it says "Missing operating system" after correctly detecting the card and attempting to boot from it.
    I ran:

    format c: /s
    md c:\dos
    copy a:\ c:\dos
    copy a:\command.com c:\

    and this boots correctly under the VM.

    We have also attempted to low-level format the card in the VM like here:http://minuszerodegrees.net/ibm_xebe..._llf_debug.htm but same problem.

    What are we missing here? Not sure what the usual steps to do this is, and we do not have access to floppies to try booting from one and installing that way.

    The card is a ToshibaTHNCF256MMA, in the IBM 5150 with 256KB RAM, Monotech XT-IDE Deluxe with CF adapter, floppy controller with two 5.25" drives, and a clone Hercules for MDA graphics output to a 5151.

    #2
    I'd try doing all steps from the 5150. Boot off floppy with a later version of DOS, anything 5.0 and up. Delete any partitions with FDISK then erase the cards master boot record (C:\Fdisk /MBR). Reboot then FDISK to create/set active a new partition. Finally, reboot then format with system.

    Comment


      #3
      I sell LOTS of pre-configured CF cards on eBay. I created a diskette that prepares CF cards that work in 99.9% of PC to 386 era computers. Here is a link to it:

      www.kc8eyt.com/downloads/repair/cfprep5.IMA

      Boot from the diskette and just sit back. It works in three steps:

      1 - WIPEDISK wipes all contents of the CF card and then a reboot is performed
      2 - FDISK is used to create an active primary partition then a reboot is performed
      3 - FORMAT is used to format the CF card and copy the system files to make the card bootable

      The diskette is fully automated and takes a few minutes to get the job done. I also use the Monotech controller with this diskette so I'm very confident this will work for you.

      Don't forget to tell your XTIDE controller to boot from the A: drive after each reboot (press A on keyboard).

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Andrettigto View Post
        I'd try doing all steps from the 5150. Boot off floppy with a later version of DOS, anything 5.0 and up. Delete any partitions with FDISK then erase the cards master boot record (C:\Fdisk /MBR). Reboot then FDISK to create/set active a new partition. Finally, reboot then format with system.
        well, we said we don't have a floppy so that cannot work

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by kc8eyt View Post
          I sell LOTS of pre-configured CF cards on eBay. I created a diskette that prepares CF cards that work in 99.9% of PC to 386 era computers. Here is a link to it:

          www.kc8eyt.com/downloads/repair/cfprep5.IMA

          Boot from the diskette and just sit back. It works in three steps:

          1 - WIPEDISK wipes all contents of the CF card and then a reboot is performed
          2 - FDISK is used to create an active primary partition then a reboot is performed
          3 - FORMAT is used to format the CF card and copy the system files to make the card bootable

          The diskette is fully automated and takes a few minutes to get the job done. I also use the Monotech controller with this diskette so I'm very confident this will work for you.

          Don't forget to tell your XTIDE controller to boot from the A: drive after each reboot (press A on keyboard).
          Cool program, thanks for that. I ran it in the VM and it works all good there but again cannot boot from the CF on the actual hardware. If we had floppies I'd try to install it within the actual 5150 but don't have access to them. Also I had assumed with 256K RAM we'd be limited to older versions of DOS but maybe not.

          Comment


            #6
            VM.png
            Here is DOS running of the CF in the VM and attempting to boot on 5150.
            Attached Files

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Blaze8088 View Post

              . . . there but again cannot boot from the CF on the actual hardware..
              I don't want to hijack this thread but just this note: Time and time again folks have come across this problem with attempting to get CF cards to boot. I have a suggestion in that many users are having to resort to the CF approach; maybe the forum could use an area with a library of fixes for the CF where successful booting procedures could be collected in one place.
              Surely not everyone was Kung-Fu fighting
              SE Michigan

              Comment


                #8
                The process I had to do to get out of the same trap.

                Figure out what the XT is seeing for cylinders/heads/sectors. This involves somehow booting the machine enough to get that info. In my case I could get a CF to kind of boot, but not reliably.

                Create a virtual drive in your emulator of choice using the same CHS geometry

                Prepare the virtual machine drive however you want, dos, games, utilities.

                Export that virtual drive to a disk image

                Write the disk image back to your CF card.

                Boot and enjoy.

                I have since found it MUCH easier to keep a spare gotek around where I can load up a 6.22 disk, fdisk my heart out, get the machine running and then put the gotek back in the closet for the next machine.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Blaze8088 View Post

                  Cool program, thanks for that. I ran it in the VM and it works all good there but again cannot boot from the CF on the actual hardware. If we had floppies I'd try to install it within the actual 5150 but don't have access to them. Also I had assumed with 256K RAM we'd be limited to older versions of DOS but maybe not.
                  You need to run the diskette on the actual iron. Doing this from a VM is causing you issues.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by TheDrip View Post
                    The process I had to do to get out of the same trap.

                    Figure out what the XT is seeing for cylinders/heads/sectors. This involves somehow booting the machine enough to get that info. In my case I could get a CF to kind of boot, but not reliably.

                    Create a virtual drive in your emulator of choice using the same CHS geometry

                    Prepare the virtual machine drive however you want, dos, games, utilities.

                    Export that virtual drive to a disk image

                    Write the disk image back to your CF card.

                    Boot and enjoy.

                    I have since found it MUCH easier to keep a spare gotek around where I can load up a 6.22 disk, fdisk my heart out, get the machine running and then put the gotek back in the closet for the next machine.
                    Hmm, do you remember how you got it to boot unreliably? Was thinking about those gotek's but don't have one. What kc8eyt is saying seems true, just was hoping we could find a way around that.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I played around with CHS geometry making educated guesses and finally got close enough that the machine was able to boot and run a utility to report the CHS. I couldn't edit autoexec.bat or reboot the machine 3 times before it wouldn't boot anymore.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Blaze8088 View Post

                        Hmm, do you remember how you got it to boot unreliably? Was thinking about those gotek's but don't have one. What kc8eyt is saying seems true, just was hoping we could find a way around that.
                        Which VM are you using? I've had some success using PCEM but even then it was spotty. PCEM seemed to work with a few of the Tandy models I had but I never tried the 5150 built into PCEM.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Virtualbox

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by kc8eyt View Post

                            Which VM are you using? I've had some success using PCEM but even then it was spotty. PCEM seemed to work with a few of the Tandy models I had but I never tried the 5150 built into PCEM.
                            QEMU/KVM from libvirt under Manjaro Linux, probably a weird choice, but I already knew how to pass the CF as an HDD under it and wasn't sure how to do that when we tried PCEM. I suppose our next steps will be to figure out how to get this CHS geometry right, and maybe try to use Virtualbox some. Thanks for your advice here, everyone.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If you would like to install DOS without a VM then you could try Serdrive. I like to use Serdrive for single disk versions of DOS when a floppy is not available. Serdrive is usually included the Xtide Bios v2.0 bundle.

                              To install dos using serdrive you would need a:

                              -Windows machine with serial port (or usb to rs-232)
                              -XT-Ide machine with serial port
                              -Null Modem cable
                              -Dos Floppy image
                              -Clean CF card

                              With the two computers connected via null modem cable you simply run serdrive [diskimage name] from the command line on the windows pc, then start the 5150 and tap F6 after POST. It will take awhile, but eventually it will boot dos from the serial drive. If you have a Clean CF with a clean MBR then you should be able to follow the normal procedure to create a bootable "c:" CF card.

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