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XTIDE Universal BIOS

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    XTIDE Universal BIOS

    XTIDE Universal BIOS is now available at google code. Most up to date binaries, sources and wiki pages can be found there. XTIDE Universal BIOS discussion thread will remain here and i will always post here when new release is out.
    Last edited by aitotat; July 19, 2010, 09:43 AM. Reason: XTIDE Universal BIOS is now available at google code.

    #2
    Most excellent work!

    I will probably have a chance to give this a shot tonight.

    I'll be *extremely* impressed if you manage to squeeze CDROM boot and HD FDD support and everything else you've listed into an 8k image.

    Comment


      #3
      Is this the one that was mentioned somewhere in the big XTIDE thread as being suitable for putting in a spare ROM socket (like a network card) and providing for large drives on old systems with BIOSes that wouldn't otherwise support them?

      Comment


        #4
        yes, you could do that, provided you had a way of disabling the BIOS that the motherboard or plug-in card may be executing to support your hard drives.
        You don't want 2 hunks of software trying to talk to the same piece of hardware.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by hargle View Post
          I'll be *extremely* impressed if you manage to squeeze CDROM boot and HD FDD support and everything else you've listed into an 8k image.
          At the moment about 4kB is used. HD FDD support must be kept minimal since FDD controller is far more complex than IDE controller. Minimal support would mean PIO transfers only and no support for 2.88MB drives or any other features that later controllers support. Even then i'm not sure that there will be enough space left. I'll try once the most important IDE features are implemented and tested to work.

          I have no idea what CD-ROM boot would require. BIOS build-in setup is another thing that might never happen. 8kB should be enough for all the other features that i listed.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by FishFinger View Post
            Is this the one that was mentioned somewhere in the big XTIDE thread as being suitable for putting in a spare ROM socket
            That is possible. At the moment there is no support for 16-bit transfers. I should be able to support them soon and after that XTIDE won't be required (but it is still useful as an EEPROM programmer even when no drives are connected to it).

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by hargle View Post
              Most excellent work!

              I will probably have a chance to give this a shot tonight.

              I'll be *extremely* impressed if you manage to squeeze CDROM boot and HD FDD support and everything else you've listed into an 8k image.
              Is there any reason why a bigger rom could not be used, though of course you'd need to patch in another address line and possibly modify the decoder slightly.

              aitotat, are you going to release the source ?

              Cheers.

              Phill.

              Comment


                #8
                Some people on this forum are so talented they probably could design a bank switching daughterboard that goes into the BIOS ROM socket and through some I/O location (?) switches in another block of 4-8K.
                Anders Carlsson

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by prime View Post
                  aitotat, are you going to release the source ?
                  I can send sources to anyone that wants it as long as any modifications will be send back to me. XTIDE Universal BIOS is written in 100% Assembly using Nasm syntax. It compiles with Nasm and Yasm (i recommend Nasm since Yasm has a buggy CPU directive).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Beta2 now available. Information can be found on first message of this thread.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I've finally completed configuration program for XTIDE Universal BIOS. It has build-in flash utility so flash.com will no longer be needed. I'll release configuration program with XTIDE Univeral BIOS beta3. That should take maybe two weeks.

                      I have found some bugs on beta2:
                      • Slave drives are not detected without Master
                      • XTIDE Univeral BIOS does not work when system has hard disks controlled by some other BIOSes

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Excellent work, aitotat!

                        I'm particularly happy about the improved XT+ version for V20/V30 systems. It's so awesome to see the additional abilities of these CPUs being put to good use for improved disk I/O performance.

                        I have a suggestion, though: with all these releases, beta versions, special hardware-specific versions, and so on, wouldn't it be easier both for you and for us if you checked the code into an SCM repository (such as Subversion or Git), perhaps in a public repository such as SourceForge or Google Code?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I think that i'm going to release few beta versions before publicly releasing sources. I'll release sources on SourceForge or Google Code when BIOS has been tested to be stable enough. What open source license would be the best for this kind of project?

                          I was ready to release beta3 since it works nicely on my 286 (no more conflicts with other HD bioses). I decided to do a quick test with Tandy 1000 SX and it froze during drive detection.

                          I changed timeouts to use system timer and probably Tandy BIOS hasn't initialized system timer when it starts to search ROMs. It seems that ROM initialization routines just can't rely any hardware to be initialized or BIOS functions to be usable.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I changed timeouts to use system timer and probably Tandy BIOS hasn't initialized system timer when it starts to search ROMs. It seems that ROM initialization routines just can't rely any hardware to be initialized or BIOS functions to be usable.
                            yep, there's all kinds of hurdles like that, and it's different from machine to machine. I found that my z8088 was able to accept keyboard input during rom scan/init, but not my XT machine. Lots of junk like this will come up, but we'll get through it and this BIOS will be spectacular.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              very cool. something i was thinking about earlier tonight involving the XT IDE BIOS was to hijack the ROM's BIOS briefly when the PC's BIOS runs it to jump to a small bit of code i'd place after all the normal XTIDE BIOS code that fills in the BIOS data area in RAM with the parameters of a 1.44 MB floppy drive. then it would return back to the normal code for execution.

                              that way, it would be possible to load MS-DOS on something other than a 360 KB disk in an XT. DR-DOS works anyway because it manually probes the controller hardware (the code is all fit into the boot sector) instead of assuming it's 360 KB.

                              the same procedure as what i described in the first paragraph is actually implemented in the boot procedure of a MINIX root floppy in an XT. they have a tiny program that fills out the parameter info into BIOS data RAM that runs from the first sector of a separate floppy. you boot that floppy, then pull it out and insert the regular MINIX boot disk which then works normally.

                              you need a 1.44 MB disk controller card obviously, but it gets around the BIOS being ignorant of it. that'd be a pretty useful feature imo.
                              sigpic

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