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IBM XT - HDD problem

Lorne

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I've got a 5160 XT that I purchased from the original owner about nine months ago.
It worked fine when I received it, and by the looks of it, and from what I was told, it has had very little use.
I started it up today, and the HDD won't work.

I'm getting a 1701 error during POST, which is a "fixed disk post error".
The drive is a "MiniScribe Perfect-20-IBM/XT" (although it's not quite perfect at the moment).
While I'm using the two floppy drives the rest of the XT works fine, but while I'm doing that, the in-use LED on the HDD constantly flashes as follows:
1 long flash, followed by 4 short flashes, followed by 4 more short flashes, followed by a 1 second pause, followed by 4 short flashes. Then the series repeats itself.

Way back in my memory bank, I seem to remember that some HDD LED flashes meant something (for troubleshooting). Am I dreaming, or are these flashes really telling me something?
 

modem7

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Way back in my memory bank, I seem to remember that some HDD LED flashes meant something (for troubleshooting). Am I dreaming, or are these flashes really telling me something?
Yes, at least some Miniscribe drives blink a pattern to indicate a particular type of failure.
For example, read the final page (where it starts 'Error codes may be generated ...') of http://hardware.spikboll.net/h/txt/2712.txt
You should be able to find the corresponding document for your model of Miniscribe drive on the Internet.
 

Lorne

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Thanks for the link.
As mine is a Model 3425, I've managed (through the link you provided) to figure out that it is having an "index pulse not detected during spinup" problem" (0100 code).
As these things are not as repairable as floppy disk drives, I assume it's toast.
Are there any preferences for replacement? (IE: Microscribe, Seagate, ?)
Thanks,
Lorne.
 

modem7

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As mine is a Model 3425, I've managed (through the link you provided) to figure out that it is having an "index pulse not detected during spinup" problem" (0100 code).
Do you hear/feel the platter spinning? If the platter isn't spinning, no index pulse will be produced.
 

modem7

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ZOBEX

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I've got a 5160 XT that I purchased from the original owner about nine months ago.
It worked fine when I received it, and by the looks of it, and from what I was told, it has had very little use.
I started it up today, and the HDD won't work.

I'm getting a 1701 error during POST, which is a "fixed disk post error".
The drive is a "MiniScribe Perfect-20-IBM/XT" (although it's not quite perfect at the moment).
While I'm using the two floppy drives the rest of the XT works fine, but while I'm doing that, the in-use LED on the HDD constantly flashes as follows:
1 long flash, followed by 4 short flashes, followed by 4 more short flashes, followed by a 1 second pause, followed by 4 short flashes. Then the series repeats itself.

Way back in my memory bank, I seem to remember that some HDD LED flashes meant something (for troubleshooting). Am I dreaming, or are these flashes really telling me something?

I had to work on exactly the same hard drive this week. Came out of a 5160 XT

Here is the code information::

Error Messages
--------------
The microprocessor performs wake up diagnostics on power up.
Additionally, some operations are monitored during normal operations.
If an error is detected, the microprocessor will flash a warning by
blinking the activity LED.

Error codes may be generated by the microprocessor to indicate hard-
ware failures or warnings that are detected during power-on
diagnostics, burn-in mode, or normal operation. Error codes are
diaplayed in a "morse-code" type manner. Bits may be interpreted
and converted into hexadecimal error codes. "Zeros" are indicated by
a short (1/2 second) flashingn mode. "Ones" are indicated by a short
(1/2 second) continuous ON mode. Error "Words" are separated by a one
second LED off time.

Zero = 0.5 second flashing mode
One = 0.5 second continuous ON mode
Between Bits = 0.5 second Off
Between Repeat Cycles = 1.0 second Off

Listed Below are the binary to hexadecimal conversion values:

0 = 0000 4 = 0100 8 = 1000 C = 1100
1 = 0001 5 = 0101 9 = 1001 D = 1101
2 = 0010 6 = 0110 A = 1010 E = 1110
3 = 0011 7 = 0111 B = 1011 F = 1111


Message Definitions
-------------------
Code 0 - Microprocessor RAM error
Code 1 - Microprocessor ROM checksum error
Code 2 - Interface chip diagnostic failure
Code 3 - Write Fault latch will not reset
Code 4 - Index pulse not detected during spinup
Code 5 - Unable to reach 3600 rpm in 30 seconds
Code 6 - Unable to stabilize spin speed in 10 seconds
Code 7 - Unable to maintain spin speed to 0.5%
Code 8 - Unable to uncover Track Zero sensor
Code 9 - Unable to cover Track Zero sensor
Code A - Track Zero interrupter misadjusted
Code B - Shipping zone error, crash stop misadjusted
Code C - Carriage stuck during recal error
Code D - Seek errror during burn-in or recal
Code E - Unused
Code F - Unexpected interrupt from processor
 

Lorne

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Do you hear/feel the platter spinning? If the platter isn't spinning, no index pulse will be produced.

The platter doesn't appear to be spinning (no noise, no vibration). All I'm getting is the flashing LED.
Repairing a hard drive is probably beyond my ability, so I guess I'll get another HDD, and open up the old one for inspection, once I get the new one installed and working.

Kind of weird how it was an all of a sudden failure. It worked fine last time I fired it up (no weird noises or anything), then it was just a plain old 'no go' this time.

Thanks for the diagnostic help.

Any preferences on HDDs?
IE: do I replace it with a Miniscribe, or were there other HDDs out there that were considered more reliable?
 

Lord Moz

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The platter doesn't appear to be spinning (no noise, no vibration). All I'm getting is the flashing LED.
Repairing a hard drive is probably beyond my ability, so I guess I'll get another HDD, and open up the old one for inspection, once I get the new one installed and working.

Kind of weird how it was an all of a sudden failure. It worked fine last time I fired it up (no weird noises or anything), then it was just a plain old 'no go' this time.

Thanks for the diagnostic help.

Any preferences on HDDs?
IE: do I replace it with a Miniscribe, or were there other HDDs out there that were considered more reliable?

If the platters are not spinning, try to remove the drive and (carefully!) violently (vigorously?) twist it horizontally. You might be able to "unstick" the platters. If that does not work, try to listen to the drive carefully at power-up. If it seems to be trying to spin-up but can't manage, you can try to rapidly toggle the power on and off. This isn't really good for the drive or PS, but if it's dead already, what's the harm, eh? :D I've used this rapid power cycling method to unstick a number of drives that had froze due to disuse.

Since you said this was a sudden failure, I might look through the PCBs looking for any burnt or loose connections. Try to see if the platter motor is still getting power too. The platter not spinning seems like it would be one of the simpler fixes in an HD.

Best of luck,
__
Trevor
 

dongfeng

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Do I replace it with a Miniscribe, or were there other HDDs out there that were considered more reliable?

I've never seen or heard of a MiniScribe drive being fitted into an IBM XT from the factory, but they were very popular in clones. Chances are your original drive was an original 10MB Seagate ST-412.

A nice replacement drive would be a Seagate ST-225, 20MB and pretty robust!

One on eBay: http://search.ebay.com/180453737429
 

Lorne

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I've never seen or heard of a MiniScribe drive being fitted into an IBM XT from the factory, but they were very popular in clones. Chances are your original drive was an original 10MB Seagate ST-412.

I think the XT's were sort of put together by the resellers.
Whatever was available that you wanted, they put into the machine.
I got this XT from the original owner with his original receipts and packaging (including the IBM thank you for purchasing an IBM Personal Computer letter).
His receipt (indicating the Miniscribe drive is below).

Miniscribe.jpg

Thanks for the link to the Seagate on Ebay - I've just ordered one.
(I seem to remember that they were pretty good drives).
 

MikeS

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There have been several threads about the notorious 'stiction' problem; it was much more common with certain Seagate drives, but I suppose it's a possibility with a Miniscribe (they usually had different problems -;) )

Can you get at the drive spindle at all to try to give it a little twist? Nothing to lose...

Is the Seagate compatible with your controller?
 

Lorne

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Is the Seagate compatible with your controller?

Oh, great.
Where were you yesterday when I was placing the order? :)
(So I take it, that it's not just a case of removing one HDD and replacing it with another).
Short answer: it's already shipped, so I hope so.
How do I find out if the drive is compatible with the controller?

As for getting at the spindle and trying to revive the drive, I'll try that, but if this is liable to keep happening to the drive, I'd just as soon replace it (with one that is compatible with my controller) so I don't have the same problem every couple of months.
 

dongfeng

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That receipt is VERY cool!

It looks like the store ordered a basic XT then added a (cheaper and larger) hard drive.

The ST-225s are very robust, and sound great too :D

Both drives are 615/4/17 (and the ST-225 was pretty common) so you should be okay. What controller card is in the machine?
 

Lorne

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I pulled the Miniscribe out, and I could just see and get at a piece of some sort of round metal disk under the PCB on the bottom.
I moved it very slightly with a screwdriver, and now the drive spins fine, so something was stuck somewhere.
It's not the quietest drive in the world though.
As I don't want to have to remove that drive every couple of months, I'm going to replace it.

The HDD controller card is an "XEBEC".

Thanks guys.
 

dongfeng

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Probably best to low-level it.

Is your controller card the original IBM XEBEC one or not? A picture of it will be able to tell!
 

Lorne

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Is your controller card the original IBM XEBEC one or not? A picture of it will be able to tell!

Because the Xebec's sold by Xebec have the LLF built into the BIOS, and the IBMs don't, right?
I'm crossing my fingers.

Good thing you said photos would sort it out. I pulled the board out, and the first thing I noticed was an Eprom with no tape on it - just old tape residue. I fixed that quick !
Here's the photos - please tell me some good news.

Xebec left side.JPG

Xebec right side.JPG
 

Chuck(G)

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Lorne, yours is the Xebec (3rd party) version. The IBM ones didn't have the "Option" jumpers on the right side of the board. (There are other differences, too).

It's also pretty easy to edit the BIOS ROM on the board to add extra drive types.
 

dongfeng

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Lorne, yours is the Xebec (3rd party) version. The IBM ones didn't have the "Option" jumpers on the right side of the board. (There are other differences, too).

The late XT's with the 20MB drives had an option switch enabling you to select four different drive types.

But Lorne's looks to be an Xebec one, and no the IBM rebrand. Is there a part or version number on it?
 
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