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HDD low level format in PS/2 Model 30

Marrr

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So I've got an IBM Personal System/2 Model 30, with the following HDD:

MODEL: WDI-325Q
Part No. 72X7568

I'm going to reformat the HDD and install everything from scratch, and I thought this would be a good opportunity for low-level format as well, so the question is:
Is it possible to low-level format this drive? If so, what tool should I use?
Also, I could use some more info on this HDD, eg. if it requires parking its heads. Google doesn't find any details...
 

matty

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Perth, WA
you can always try and use debug to invoke the low level format utility from the supplier.. depending on the make - try these commands

I'm assuming your running debug here and you have the hypen (-) prompt... You should only need to type one of these and it should bring up the screen to lowlevel format (with the first one being the most likely one as thats the WD one)

g=c800:5
g=ca00:5
g=cc00:5
g=ce00:5


Theres more info here

Cheers :)

edit - should add that these only work in msdos 3.1 and higher
 

IBMMuseum

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I don't know about the Model 30, but upper-level PS/2s have BIOS support (Int 13, Function 1A) for LL format...

Yes, invoked by Ctrl-A from the Reference Diskette. I don´t think the Model 30 (since it was an ISA model, it is a ¨Starter¨ diskette rather than a ¨Reference¨ diskette) had that functionality though. There also probably isn´t the hard drive BIOS extention routines either.
 

Chuck(G)

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Yes, invoked by Ctrl-A from the Reference Diskette. I don´t think the Model 30 (since it was an ISA model, it is a ¨Starter¨ diskette rather than a ¨Reference¨ diskette) had that functionality though. There also probably isn´t the hard drive BIOS extention routines either.

Given that it's an ISA box, WDFMT probably will do the job, as it doesn't need BIOS functionality.
 

Marrr

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Well, I've tried everything - no luck...

- wdfmt.exe just hangs, and I'm not surprised: "WDFMT can be used on any Western DIgital AT Disk Controller..."

- there's nothing between C0000h and EFFFFh, so there's nowhere to go from debug, a glance over the ROM at F0000h..FFFFFh doesn't reveal any trace of a formatter, either

- Ctrl-A in the menu of the Starter or Advanced Diagnostics diskettes doesn't do anything interesting

Any other ideas?

The only success seems to be I've found answer to my question about parking the HDD heads - yes, apparently it is necesssary, there are "PREPARE SYSTEM FOR MOVING" options on the mentioned above diskettes.
 

Marrr

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You could try SpeedStor.
SpeedStor is available from http://members.dodo.com.au/~slappanel555/software.htm
On running SpeedStor, choose 'ManualSetup', specify your hard drive (if not already shown), then 'Initialize' then 'StandardInit'.
Just tried both 6.03 and 6.5, and results are the same:

** ERROR (0x1) ** Bad command to disk bios

Giving up for now, only zeroed the disk, then fdisk, format...
 

Chuck(G)

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I did some web searching on the subject and found several other requests for information about doing a PS/2 LL format. I couldn't find one working answer. I'm beginniing to suspect that the PS/2 Model 30 hard drive controller firmware lacks formatting support. It is an RLL ST-412 interface controller, but apparently no one seems to know if the drive can be LL formatted on a stock PS/2 30.

About the only other thing I could suggest is SpinRite.

If it's true that the Model 30 lacks the firmware wherewithal to do a LL formatgh, you could try formatting the disk with a third-party RLL controller, but there's no guarantee of success.
 

Marrr

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OK, but I've already set up everything, and not going to experiment farther anytime soon.
Also, trying with a different controller would be difficult, as this drive uses one cable for everything - data, control, and power.
 

IBMMuseum

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I did some web searching on the subject and found several other requests for information about doing a PS/2 LL format. I couldn't find one working answer. I'm beginniing to suspect that the PS/2 Model 30 hard drive controller firmware lacks formatting support. It is an RLL ST-412 interface controller, but apparently no one seems to know if the drive can be LL formatted on a stock PS/2 30.

About the only other thing I could suggest is SpinRite.

If it's true that the Model 30 lacks the firmware wherewithal to do a LL formatgh, you could try formatting the disk with a third-party RLL controller, but there's no guarantee of success.

I´m not really surprised; Many of the 8086 versions of the Model 30 were submodels without harddrives. The 286 version was defined to always have one. Those units may have more towards that functionality, they were also able to have the slightly higher capacity 30Mb drives.
 

kishy

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I´m not really surprised; Many of the 8086 versions of the Model 30 were submodels without harddrives. The 286 version was defined to always have one. Those units may have more towards that functionality, they were also able to have the slightly higher capacity 30Mb drives.

Let me correct you on that; one variant of the 30-286 didn't come with a hard drive. Mine, to be specific. 8530-E01. One 1.44mb floppy drive and no hard drive is the original spec I read in an IBM announcement letter; can't seem to find it now...

Edit: found it. http://ibmmuseum.com/OhlandL/8530/188-146.txt

What a USELESS hardware configuration though, one floppy and nothing else?
 

bluethunder

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Marr, I finally found how to LLF the drive.. Best of luck. Get the advanced diag disk from http://www.walshcomptech.com/selectpccbbs/

what I typed was in the < >

1: Boot off of the adv disk
2: Option <0>
3: Installed devices...blah blah.. <Y>
4: 0: Run tests one time <0>
5: Select option numbers to test... 17 - One fixed disk drive(s) <17>
6: Fixed disk diagnostic menu.. 7 - Format menu <7>

And from there, conditional format, unconditional, and surface analysis..

So, for me it was <2,C> unconditional, drive C..
 

Marrr

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So I just tried, and... it worked!
before: 61440 bytes in bad sectors
after: no bad sectors at all, all tests in CheckIt passed
Thank's a lot!
 

bluethunder

Experienced Member
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Glad I could help..

My Model 30 lasted just long enough to rescue the files off of the hard drive. The PS was dead when I got it, the floppy crapped out, then the HD piled up..

On the hunt for parts now..
 
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