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XT-IDE/ other hard drive solutions issues on Zenith Z-150/160

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    XT-IDE/ other hard drive solutions issues on Zenith Z-150/160

    Yesterday I got the Zenith Z-160 I've been trying to find for years now. It's the dual floppy model with no hard drive and I'm having trouble getting anything I have on the shelf working in it. The XT-IDE rev 4 I have detects the known good 120mb ide hard drive I'm using but every time I try to boot DOS I get a divide by zero error. My known good 20mb Hardcard throws a 1701 or 1702 error (I forget which but it's saying it's the controller), and my Juko IDE card seems to just be completely incompatible or dead. Any ideas? Ideally I'd like to run the XT-IDE with either an early hard drive or a cf card, or one of those mfm controllers with the special bracket to attach a drive to it.

    #2
    Update: I've tried with several version of DOS with the XT-IDE and none seem to work. I would suspect the XT-IDE bios is interfering with the Zenith bios somehow. I'm not very familiar with the XT-IDE so I'm not really sure what to try next

    Also, I just tried again and I got it to recognize a cf card (bad card so I couldn't install DOS but it seemed to work fine). It also recognizes but doesn't work with mechanical hard drives. I have a ~100mb Maxtor which was confirmed working but when I try to install Zenith OEM DOS 3.30 it throws the divide by zero error. And when I try to boot from the drive it says "starting ms-dos" and freezes. A ctrl+alt+del doesn't work at this point
    Last edited by RadRacer203; June 25, 2020, 11:25 AM.

    Comment


      #3
      The first rule of XT-IDE Fight Club is "Always partition and FDISK /MBR in the system it will run in." Did you do that, or set it up in another system? If the latter, boot from a DOS floppy with FORMAT and FDISK and set it up from scratch in the Zenith.
      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)

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Trixter View Post
        The first rule of XT-IDE Fight Club is "Always partition and FDISK /MBR in the system it will run in." Did you do that, or set it up in another system? If the latter, boot from a DOS floppy with FORMAT and FDISK and set it up from scratch in the Zenith.
        The CF card I have was in another similar machine before (Panasonic Executive Partner). I know the card is failing because I would format it and it would work perfectly for about a week before having to start fresh but formatting would always work.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by RadRacer203 View Post
          The CF card I have was in another similar machine before (Panasonic Executive Partner). I know the card is failing because I would format it and it would work perfectly for about a week before having to start fresh but formatting would always work.
          Have you tried running "disktest mediatest"?

          https://www.lo-tech.co.uk/wiki/DOS_Disk_Tester

          I have a pile of CF cards lying around that'll take a format and pretend to work in an XT-CF card, but will gradually (but still relatively quickly all things considered) suffer enough file corruption they quit working. They will reliably fail "mediatest", however. So far as I can tell it's a compatibility issue, not the card actually being bad.
          My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

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            #6
            Originally posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
            Have you tried running "disktest mediatest"?

            https://www.lo-tech.co.uk/wiki/DOS_Disk_Tester

            I have a pile of CF cards lying around that'll take a format and pretend to work in an XT-CF card, but will gradually (but still relatively quickly all things considered) suffer enough file corruption they quit working. They will reliably fail "mediatest", however. So far as I can tell it's a compatibility issue, not the card actually being bad.
            I'll try that out, I would think this is compatible though because it's a 16mb and a pretty early one at that. The weird thing is it won't even format in this machine when it formatted fine in the Panasonic
            Last edited by RadRacer203; June 25, 2020, 03:46 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              16MB? That's somehow smaller than the typical disk of the time (20MB). Surely you've got something else to test with?

              I've had perfect success with Transcend 4GB CF cards, never one failure with 5 different types of XT-IDE cards. (Plus, 2 x 2G partitions on an 8088, how cool is that
              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)

              Comment


                #8
                Just got in my 256mb DOM unit and I'm having problems with it in this Zenith. I'm trying to install Zenith OEM dos 3.3 but it fails every time it tries to format the drive and then it doesn't recognize the drive until I reformat it in another computer. It is a step in the right direction in that it actually recognizes the drive.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Ok I'm having a ton of trouble with this. I've tried hard drives, zip drives, DOM's, cf cards, everything. Nothing works with this Zenith. Maybe if I was installing MS-DOS but I want the Zenith OEM version of it, and that seems to complicate things.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Not sure what to tell you, other than to pour over the information at ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/drivers/Z...-160%20series/ and see if something shakes loose.
                    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)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yeah, Ill look over the documentation but I have a hunch that the bios just doesn't want to work with it, because Zeniths have a fairly strange bios. Very cool and I like it a lot, but I don't think it likes to play nicely... on my z-200 I had to try out a whole bunch of different combinations of period controllers and drives before I found a combo it didn't protest at. I also swapped in boards from a Z-150 with the turbo cpu board but that likely shouldn't make a difference unless the rom is significantly different

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Yesterday I got my Z-160 working with an XT-IDE using a 64MB CF card after struggling with similar issues, so it is possible. The floppy controller in my Z-161 is having issues so I had to do the installation from another system. The Zenith version of MS-DOS uses 'part' instead of 'fdisk' for partitioning. The 'part' command doesn't have an option to rewrite the MBR, so I first booted into MS-DOS 6.22 and ran 'fdisk /mbr'. I then booted up Zenith MS-DOS 3.3, created a partition using the 'part' command on disk 2 and ran the installation routine. I moved the XT-IDE back to the Z-161 and everything booted successfully. Rewriting the MBR with fdisk from MS-DOS 6.22 seems to have been the key. I do still have one issue. The Z-161 will cold boot from the XT-IDE successfully but fails when doing a soft reboot such as Ctrl-Alt-Del.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by tssva View Post
                          I do still have one issue. The Z-161 will cold boot from the XT-IDE successfully but fails when doing a soft reboot such as Ctrl-Alt-Del.
                          I'm guessing something similar to Twospruces problem as described here?
                          Looking for a cache card for the "ICL ErgoPRO C4/66d V"

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Krille View Post

                            I'm guessing something similar to Twospruces problem as described here?
                            Thanks for the pointer. I applied the patch Twospruces developed for his Z-171 and it fixed my issue.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Twospruces
                              RadRacer203
                              tssva

                              I would like to have system BIOS dumps from all the different models of Zenith machines afflicted by this problem. The idea is to add detection of these machines in the Auto Configure option in XTIDECFG.COM so that this problem can be fixed without having to do custom builds of the BIOS. Can you guys help me with this?

                              I'm hoping that there aren't that many different BIOS versions but there seems to be quite a few different models? Are they all XT class machines or do AT class machines exist as well?
                              Looking for a cache card for the "ICL ErgoPRO C4/66d V"

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