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How Do I Perform a Low Level Format on A IBM 5160XT

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    Explains how to do the format, be sure to change cyl/heads to match your drive...
    '. \ / .'
    '. .'``'. .'
    Currently seeking a Compaq Deskpro 386


      Regarding the web page pointed to.

      The G=C800 method is not applicable in your case.

      Because a third thread of yours suggests that you don't yet have the ability transfer software from the Internet to a 5.25" floppy, that rules out the ADVANCED DIAGNOSTICS floppy in the short term.

      The 'Assembler code in Debug' section will work. The low-level format will take a few minutes to complete, and when complete, the drive's access light will go out, and the dash prompt will return in DEBUG.


        can I have help on this for a 20mb hdd


          Originally posted by johnnydicamillo View Post
          can I have help on this
          1. Boot from a DOS boot floppy that contains DEBUG.COM
          2. Run DEBUG (you'll then see a dash prompt).
          3. Enter the following (press ENTER key after each line):

          a 100
          mov ax,707
          mov cx,1
          mov dx,80
          int 13
          int 3

          4. Press the ENTER key again. That will take DEBUG out of 'assemble' mode, and you'll see the dash prompt again.
          5. Press the "g" key.

          You should see the drive's access light come on solid.


            I should have added this:

            A statement in the 'Assembler code in Debug' section is, "This will format the drive as a 10MB drive (4 heads, about 306 sectors), with the original IBM controller."
            That is correct for the original version of the IBM/Xebec controller - it only supported 10MB drives of type 1.
            You have a later version of the controller, and it will be switched to support your 20MB drive. Accordingly, the code should low-level format your drive to 20MB.


              thanks soo much!!!!


                nevermind thats for a 10mb


                  Originally posted by johnnydicamillo View Post
                  nevermind thats for a 10mb
                  It sounds like you didn't read one of my posts, post #20.
                  The procedure is not 10MB limited.


                    after I do this should my drive show up in fdisk?

                    p.s sorry pc crappy didn't see that post until after I already posted


                      Originally posted by johnnydicamillo View Post
                      after I do this should my drive show up in fdisk?
                      Yes (if all went as expected).


                        Yeay! Good work! Glad to see it running... Ya I wasnt 100% sure the same debug statements work on his drive , but I do recall 15 years ago doing that on a 20+ mb seagate.
                        '. \ / .'
                        '. .'``'. .'
                        Currently seeking a Compaq Deskpro 386


                          ahhh it still doesn't show up in fdisk


                            Originally posted by johnnydicamillo View Post
                            ahhh it still doesn't show up in fdisk
                            Did you see the hard drive light come on for a while?

                            I have to head off for many hours now, but when I get back I'll try the procedure on my 5160 (with IBM/Xebec card).
                            There may be something wrong with the code. For example, looking now, I can see that it's starting at cylinder 1. I thought it would need to start at cylinder 0.


                              yeah it went on for a while, it may have to start with cylinder 0, but its been at least 3 years since I coded in asm.

                              does anyone have any ideas?
                              Last edited by johnnydicamillo; June 4, 2011, 05:46 PM.


                                Exactly what does FDisk say? Does it greet you with an error, or is it just that no partition shows up?
                                Current systems owned by me:
                                Vintage:IBM PC/XT submodel 087 ( 1983 ), [Kon]tiki-100 rev. C (1983), Compaq Portable I ( 1984 ), IBM PC/XT submodel 078 ( 1985 ), IBM PC/XT286 ( ~1986 ), 3x Nintendo Entertainement Systems ( 1987 ).
                                Obsolete:Commodore A500 ( ~1990 ), IBM PS/2 model 70/386 type 8570-161 ( 1991 ), Atari Lynx II ( ~1992 ), Generic Intel 486SX PC ( ~1993 ), AT/T Globalyst Pentium w/FDIV bug MB ( 1994 ), Compaq 486DX4 laptop ( ~1995 ).