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Seagate 5.25 "vaporware" drives ST206 and ST278

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  • Al Kossow
    replied
    Originally posted by chris_nh View Post
    https://ibm.retropc.se/manuals/Seaga...tion_Guide.pdf

    I believe these controllers will do dynamic config and will go up 1024 cylinders. I'm wondering if perhaps your PC has a configurable BIOS and might be the 615 cyl limit?
    I think it is something weird with just the Seagate boards and the built-in hard disk utility in the AMI bios I'm using. None of the other controllers I've been testing have the 615cyl
    limit. I'll try bringing up DOS and running the real Seagate formatting utility to see if I can find the root cause. This happens with the last eproms I know of for the controller (1.5/1.7)

    Leave a comment:


  • krebizfan
    replied
    Originally posted by vwestlife View Post
    Were there any other 5.25" IDE drives besides the Quantum Bigfoot series?
    There were a small number of drives made by Gigastorage (aka Belfort Memory International), a startup that purchased what was developed by Priam. Using 1997 Disk Trends as a reference, there were almost 5 million Bigfoot drives made but only about 27,000 5.25" drives made by manufacturers other than Quantum in the capacity range of 1 to 5 GB. Gigastorage would be a subset of that.

    Leave a comment:


  • vwestlife
    replied
    Were there any other 5.25" IDE drives besides the Quantum Bigfoot series?

    Leave a comment:


  • chris_nh
    replied
    Very interesting and rare find with that ST-278R drive, and probably one of the best guarantee stickers ever!

    The ST277 and ST251 are basically the same drive and the ST-251 will work OK as RLL, but it might have a higher error rate and it is likely the data won't be as reliable for long term storage as a legit ST-277. The boards between these models can generally be swapped as/if needed. The ST-251 control boards tend to have a higher failure rate than other models, but they're still awesome drives. Auto park heads yeah!

    https://ibm.retropc.se/manuals/Seaga...tion_Guide.pdf

    I believe these controllers will do dynamic config and will go up 1024 cylinders. I'm wondering if perhaps your PC has a configurable BIOS and might be the 615 cyl limit? Is it by chance limited to 32MB partition because of DOS version or formatting utility limitation?

    Do you have any more pics of the ST-278R to show the control board side? Thanks for sharing the info about the drive.

    Leave a comment:


  • Al Kossow
    replied
    Originally posted by compaqportableplus View Post
    That’s insane! I guess they actually exist.

    Definitely don’t junk that drive, even if it doesn’t work!
    It works. I also found an ST277R in my pile of drives but that one seems to have a head positioner problem.
    Need to take pictures of them. I also wonder how the 277R differs from the 251, which was a common drive that is also 820cyl 6hd
    A project for today is trying to format and test the 251 with RLL controllers.

    I don't understand what is going on with the ST21M or R boards that I have. None of them work past 615 cyl and I've tested the drives
    with a bunch of other controllers now that all work to 820 on the 278R and 251

    Leave a comment:


  • compaqportableplus
    replied
    Originally posted by vwestlife View Post
    I wonder if anyone saved any of the MiniScribe bricks.
    That would really be something!

    Leave a comment:


  • vwestlife
    replied
    I wonder if anyone saved any of the MiniScribe bricks.

    Leave a comment:


  • compaqportableplus
    replied
    That’s insane! I guess they actually exist.

    Definitely don’t junk that drive, even if it doesn’t work!

    Leave a comment:


  • Al Kossow
    replied
    rll.jpg
    Originally posted by chris_nh View Post
    Forking this thread from the for sale forum: http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthrea...d-drive-boards



    So yeah, the ST206 was apparently one of the early models they worked on and it appears to not have made it out to the market.

    I found the same with the ST278 ... the Seagate ST11R tech document describe this model drive, but it does not appear to have ever made it out to market.

    | ST277R| 65.5 | 6 | 820 | 26 | Yes |
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    | ST278R| 65.5 | 6 | 820 | 26 | Yes |
    -------------------------------------------------------------


    Anyway, I'd love to find an ST206 or ST278 ... I would like to imagine that a few examples do exist, if Seagate built them at all. Anyone ever come across these?
    I have a drive labeled ST278R that I just put on the bench. It has 615 cyl and 6 heads. Pretty weird, actualy 'literally weird' I bought it at Weird Stuff in 2014 marked as not working.
    I'll document it and put pictures up on bitsavers. Makes me think the 820 cyl stepper positioner drives never made it out.

    Well, looking at the defect list, it goes up to cyl 729. Now I'm wondering if someone stuck a different head positioner microcontroller on the board at some point.

    --

    It looks like the cylinder problem may be the rev of firmware in my ST21R. I just was able to format the drive out to 820 cyls with a DTC controller. I have a later rev of firmware on another card, I'll have to try formatting it with that version.
    Last edited by Al Kossow; May 18, 2021, 08:29 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • chris_nh
    replied
    The ST-280A is listed as a WREN drive, so it is definitely different, agreed. The ST-290A, I've discovered, was not actually produced ... according to: http://bk0010.narod.ru/DRIVESPECS/SEAGATE/4051.txt

    So... yeah, no IDE interface for these drives, BUT we did discover another model of vaporware The ST-290A was likely to have been a WREN as well, but no confirmation of that. I guess we need to find the product announcement to find out more.

    Leave a comment:


  • compaqportableplus
    replied
    Originally posted by chris_nh View Post
    ST-290A 5.25 half-height w/ IDE interface (81mb) ... quite possibly the only drive of this lineage with IDE interface? Would love to find one of these, wow!
    Thatís likely a totally different designed drive than the ST-251-style units (like the 296N), as itís listed as having 1023 cylinders, which means itís likely voice coil and not stepper actuated. Iíve certainly never seen a stepper drive 1023 cylinders.

    Probably similar in design to the ST-280A.

    Iím loving this thread so far though!

    Leave a comment:


  • chris_nh
    replied
    Browsing some other lists, I uncovered a few more oddball models ... anyone heard of these?

    ST-290A 5.25 half-height w/ IDE interface (81mb) ... quite possibly the only drive of this lineage with IDE interface? Would love to find one of these, wow!

    ST-224N 5.25 half-height SCSI

    Leave a comment:


  • chris_nh
    replied
    The ST225R is different, but the ST-225 MFM is basically the same drive as an ST-238R ... they do have different control boards, but I've formatted an ST-225 as an ST-238 before and it works OK. There are some differences in the platters, so data reliability is an issue if you have the lower density platter type of the MFM. The ST-225R/ST-250R are 3000 RPM drives ... normally 3600 on the better known models.

    I don't know a lot about the Adaptec controllers, but I do know that every controller is basically unique and could be outfitted with different drive tables. Some cards are stuck with fixed parameters and others can be dynamic. I find that Speedstor command line "sstor /romlist" will usually output the drive table from the controller to show you what drives it can handle.


    I think the ST-238R is the best and most reliable in my experience ... ST-238R had nice bearings and good platters, and is the model I find with the least failures. Even if you want to use it downsized as a regular MFM ST-225 equivalent, the extra margin will give you good reliability.

    Leave a comment:


  • Casey
    replied
    Originally posted by chris_nh View Post
    Also oddballs, the ST225R and ST250R are 3000rpm versions, either needing a 16-bit controller or ST11R as the only 8-bit controller I know of that can properly run these drives.
    Isn't the ST225R the same as an ST238? As for 8 bit adapters, what about the Adaptec 2070a? It was (so I've been told) it was designed for the 238, and it's good enough to act as a reference controller.

    Leave a comment:


  • chris_nh
    replied
    that german one looks really nice too, way better than some of my rust buckets haha

    Leave a comment:

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