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Olivetti M24 XP1050 can't get it to boot from HD

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    I was aware of the use of DEBUG.COM to access BIOS routines, but I thought the controller supplied with the M24 had no onboard BIOS, in fact the BIOS EPROM is missing. I think it's under direct control of the M24 BIOS.
    I found the LLF utility for the AT&T6300 that Trixter uploaded some time ago and it did the job. Then FDISK and FORMAT from Olivetti MSDOS 3.30, a bit of SYS C: and the M24 is back online, shiny & new (well... almost )
    - 300 computers and counting -


      Olivetti's own notes say tha there could be several extension BIOSes or none for the WX1. So even they weren't sure. My own 6300 has an 80MB hard card, so while the 6300 BIOS reports the presence of a hard disk, it stops short of reporting the capacity. Just a message like "Hard disk is" and then nothing. It all works, just a little curious.


        Originally posted by Gabriele72 View Post
        Thanks everyone for the answers. I had no idea different MFM controllers weren't compatible at low level format.
        I have the original DOS 3.30 diskettes and the M24 Customer Test disk but I seem to miss the HD utilities.
        Will the debug command work to format the HD or do I need something else, if not could someone send me a disk image with the necessary setup utilities?
        Thanks in advance.
        Hi Gabriele, would it be possible for you to make a disk image of that Customer Test disk?


          Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
          Why is anyone even arguing about this? The link I gave has complete documentation, right down to Olivetti's documentation for the WX1, service manual (which covers installation of a hard disk), and operations guide. The software has all of the original software images--and a program to write those images to disk. Heck, somewhere on the site, there's a schematic of the system.

          Would that other old systems be as well documented!
          Some people just love to argue lol



            I am trying to restore the HDD of an Olivetti M24.
            The BIOS chip on the DTC (Digital Data Corporation) 5150BX4 disk controller is missing.

            1) Is that a problem? Is there another HDD ROM on the motherboard from Olivetti ?

            2) Where is the low level format utility LLF? Is it in "AT&T PC6300 (M24) Customer Diagnostics Disk Image 360K" on the website ?

            Last edited by tonata; April 25, 2020, 12:21 PM.


              This is what you're looking for:
              Offering a bounty for:
              - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
              - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)


                Originally posted by tonata View Post

                I am trying to restore the HDD of an Olivetti M24.
                The BIOS chip on the DTC (Digital Data Corporation) 5150BX4 disk controller is missing.

                1) Is that a problem? Is there another HDD ROM on the motherboard from Olivetti ?

                2) Where is the low level format utility LLF? Is it in "AT&T PC6300 (M24) Customer Diagnostics Disk Image 360K" on the website ?

                1) It depends on the dip switches on the mainboard to decide if that is a problem or not. With controllers without BIOS, like this one, you select the harddisk parameters by DIP switches on the mainboard and it is using M24 BIOS inside HDU funcrion. But you can disable that and use controllers with own BIOS. The 2nd makes sens if you have a very intelligent controller where you can input other values like those from the DIP switches.

                2) With HDU support by M24 BIOS you have to use the tool on the customer test disk. When using controller's own BIOS, then start the LLF with the debug command of that specific controller.

                m24sp.jpg m240ll.jpghdubios.jpg
                Last edited by 1ST1; April 26, 2020, 06:40 AM.


                  Thanks a lot!!!

                  It is DSW1/3 and now the computer sees the fixed drive, which is a great! For XT-IDE I think it should be off (yes because it is an external ROM).

                  Unfortunately my rather contemporary computer with 5.25 floppy is gone (motherboard is burnt). I will appreciate if you know how to write the image (.img) from a 8086 clone?
                  Last edited by tonata; April 27, 2020, 03:26 AM.


                    There are many ways to write disk images directly from DOS; I use IMG2DSK (one copy is at ) but there are others too, such as . But how will you get the disk image over to you 8086 to write it?
                    Offering a bounty for:
                    - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
                    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)



                      Thank you all!!!!

                      It worked with the AT&T low level format tool lowform.exe. I could not write the image of the Olivetti diagnostic disk on a floppy disk though.

                      Anyway I am quite happy

                      Maybe the only small thing is how to enter a defect from the back of the hard drive:
                      TRK HD byte_count **** (bits)
                      152 02 05772 04

                      into the lowform.exe which expects: CYL HEAD SECTOR CODE

                      So it should be: 152 02 and then ?????

                      My hard drive is 306 cylinders and 4 heads, 10 MB.


                        I think you can not enter the sector. Just tracks.