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Kaypro 16 10MB Hard Disk Upgrade Thoughts

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  • tassiedonkey
    Hi John, just saw your post from 2018!

    hey i just recieved a working vintage Kaypro 16 with a FDD and 20mb hard drive.

    I wanted to install an XT-IDE + Flash module into it to back up the existing hard drive and not too sure how to install the XT-IDE

    Do you simply pop it in the slot which uses the current parallel/serial card and hey presto it works or am i missing something?



    (I live in Tasmania Australia and my wife collects Donkeys)

    Leave a comment:

  • jjandersoj
    The 81-538 is located on the MB and socketed. I have asked a buddy fo a "dump" of the ROM image so I can poke around.

    I was pondering a modification such as you mentioned @SomeGuy, that would be the "man up" route. I may play with ANYDRIVE first.

    To put all my cards down, I'll be using a DREM-II MMF replacement unit. The DREM wasn't cheap.

    But as enthusiasts, we throw money at these old machines as a passion of preservation.

    On my last K10 build I used a PDP-8 MFM Emulator that worked great.

    When I'm done, I hope to have a full SSD Kaypro 16, similar to my last K10 restoration.


    Leave a comment:

  • SomeGuy
    I'd start by dumping the bios extension memory area. Look for a hard drive extension BIOS and see if you can locate the drive geometry parameters. Often there is a short table of two or four entries listing CHS values in binary values.

    Does your controller have a socketed EPROM chip? If so then it it should just be a matter of re-programming the ROM.

    However a quick google search for images seems to show a board with no socket EPROM or ROM, which might mean the controller code is in the motherboard BIOS. (If it boots vanilla MS-DOS then at least the code is not in the IO.SYS software)

    Leave a comment:

  • jjandersoj
    @SpidersWeb Awesome, Thanks for the tip on ANYDRIVE. I may end up going that route. I would hardly call it a "ghetto" solution. lol

    Leave a comment:

  • SpidersWeb
    Damn, I always mix it up and thought I had it that time

    Leave a comment:

  • Stone
    You mean SpeedStor, not SuperStor.

    Leave a comment:

  • SpidersWeb
    A ghetto software solution could be to use SuperStor (or similar) to do a low level format with manually entered C/H/S values, then Anydrive (tiny program that sits in boot sector) to update the configuration on each boot.
    So the computer thinks it has a 10MB drive, tests fine, then once it reads the boot sector to start, the values will be updated before MS DOS gets it's hands on it.

    Leave a comment:

  • jjandersoj
    Hi Stone,

    Thanks for the reply. I have used different controller geometries with a K10 and a Turbo ROM.

    It seems that most of the XT WD BOIS controllers of the time were "at best", jumper configurable for the drive geometry.

    It's looking more as I look at this, I may be limited to a fixed geometry unless the BIOS supports the LLF routine.


    Leave a comment:

  • Stone
    This controller supports 1024 cyl / 8 heads.

    Leave a comment:

  • jjandersoj
    I know that it will come down to the HD Bios Support for the DEBUG c800:5 LLF ability.

    WD came out with the SuperBIOS option to support this.

    This I am thinking that a HD BIOS upgrade might be required, alas what is even supported?


    Leave a comment:

  • jjandersoj
    started a topic Kaypro 16 10MB Hard Disk Upgrade Thoughts

    Kaypro 16 10MB Hard Disk Upgrade Thoughts

    Hi Guys,

    Before I go down a rat hole on a hard disk upgrade, I'd like some thoughts.

    First, I have had awesome success with the Glitch Works XT-IDE and an IDE Flash Disk Module. I got that working great!

    But, I only have 4 ISA slots, Pout - I want my slot back!

    Ok, so my only avenue is the original built in HD controller. So here goes:

    Kaypro 16

    Stock ROM 81-486 - Phoenix Bios (Card Resident)
    Stock ROM 81-538 - HD Boot ROM (MB Resident)
    WD1002-HD0 - Built In HD Controller (Just like the K10)

    The million dollar question is supported drive geometry?

    Can I configure a larger HD, ie 20/40/60 MB?

    Or will I be locked into a single geometry for 10MB? The controlling factor is the 81-538 HD BIOS.

    I have a few hours of work in front of me just to get there.

    I'd like to know if the "juice is worth the squeeze"?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    In the end, I might just have to suck it up and use Slot #4 with my XT-IDE.

    Clinton MA