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Kalok Model KL 320 - Copy Data

Jeff2016

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Jan 3, 2016
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Indianapolis, Indiana
Gentlemen,

A little progress thanks to you all (and possibly a setback).

I followed modem7's advice and disconnected the hard drive from the controller card. At start-up with no disk in the floppy and the disconnected hard drive the monitor flashed 701 before going into BASIC.

I did some more searching and found that I had a DOS 2.11 boot disk. I booted from that disk; but, there was a read error on one sector. (I was able to ignore it with no apparent consequences.)

I also found an old boot disk for the Quadram ram upgrade. I stuck it in the floppy drive and powered the system on. The system booted into DOS... the version is 3.1. Not 3.3, but, hopefully good enough to accomplish my goals.

Now for the bad news.

While at the A prompt I attempt to access the hard drive by typing "C:". I get the message "Invalid drive specification". Not really sure if there's still some hope for the data on this drive, or if this is the end of the road. Any advice would be appreciated. (I don't know what's of value on the drive, so I don't think I can justify having it professionally restored (if even possible).)

Thanks,

Jeff
 

modem7

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I followed modem7's advice and disconnected the hard drive from the controller card. At start-up with no disk in the floppy and the disconnected hard drive the monitor flashed 701 before going into BASIC.
So, 1701 with hard drive disconnected, and no 1701 with it connected. Putting those two facts together, with hard drive connected, the lack of 1701 suggests that the BIOS expansion ROM is 'happy' with the situation. Because the WDXT-GEN is a 'dynamic' controller, I expect that the BIOS expansion ROM is successfully reading the track on the drive that it reserves for itself (where it stores the drive geometry on).

If that's the case, then I would expect you to see a 1701 if only the data cable was disconnected.

Note that we are taking about low-level stuff here; the ability of the controller to read/write sectors on the hard drive (irrespective of sector contents).
 

3pcedev

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Have you got any partition utilities available (i.e. FDISK)? If you do I would run one and see if it detects any fixed disks. If it does not the program will give an error and then quit immediately. If it is successful in finding a drive it load up to a menu.

Note: Don't make any changes in these utiliites unless you know exactly what you are doing. Just running FDISK and seeing if it gives any errors will not destroy anything, just don't make any changes.
 

Jeff2016

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3pcedev,

Have you got any partition utilities available (i.e. FDISK)? If you do I would run one and see if it detects any fixed disks. If it does not the program will give an error and then quit immediately. If it is successful in finding a drive it load up to a menu.

Note: Don't make any changes in these utiliites unless you know exactly what you are doing. Just running FDISK and seeing if it gives any errors will not destroy anything, just don't make any changes.

I booted up using the Quadram working disk. That disk did not contain a copy of Fdisk, so I removed the Quadram disk and inserted the original DOS 3.1 disk. It did have the Fdisk file. I ran Fdisk from the a: prompt. At the menu that came up I selected 4- Display partition data. The next message I received was "Error reading fixed disk". I then had to escape to go back to DOS at the A prompt.

Does Fdisk look for the hard drive via the controller card? Let me know if there's something I'm missing.

Thanks,

Jeff
 

modem7

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That point is now clear. What is not clear is what other options (short of professional drive rebuilding) are available.
It is just a case of further diagnosis, to get a clearer picture of what the state of everything is. About now, I would be running SpeedStor 6.03, selecting at first the seek test, followed by a read test. That may reveal a specific issue (such as damaged head 0, such as damaged track 0, etc.)

Something that you may not know: In the IBM 5150, it is possible to connect a 1.44M diskette drive, and use 720K sized diskettes. See [here]. That may give you the ability to run software sourced from the Internet.
 

Jeff2016

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Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
Hi modem7

It is just a case of further diagnosis, to get a clearer picture of what the state of everything is. About now, I would be running SpeedStor 6.03, selecting at first the seek test, followed by a read test. That may reveal a specific issue (such as damaged head 0, such as damaged track 0, etc.)

Something that you may not know: In the IBM 5150, it is possible to connect a 1.44M diskette drive, and use 720K sized diskettes. See [here]. That may give you the ability to run software sourced from the Internet.

Thanks for the follow-up.

This may be another stupid question; but, how will a program such as SpeedStor be able to diagnose the drive if the drive isn't recognized by the system?

Your information about the diskette drive is helpful, too. Not sure I will pull one from another system (or perhaps the USB external drive). I'd like to make sure I have a good understanding, though, of how any additional diagnosis may work regarding the hard drive before I start down this road.

Thanks again.

Jeff
 

Stone

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This may be another stupid question; but, how will a program such as SpeedStor be able to diagnose the drive if the drive isn't recognized by the system?
SpeedStor can LLF a new (or any) drive which certainly is not able to be recognized by the system. It can diagnose the controller functions as well. It accesses the hardware at the 'down'n dirty level which is below where the system operates.
 

modem7

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This may be another stupid question; but, how will a program such as SpeedStor be able to diagnose the drive if the drive isn't recognized by the system?
We know from your experimentation that the BIOS expansion ROM on the WDXT-GEN is good (over 90% probability) and that the initialisation code within it is being executed during the 5150 POST at power-on. And it is executing without error. Typically, such initialisation code will perform a crude check of the controller itself (what it can check) followed by a read of one or more tracks on the hard drive. In the case of a 'dynamic' controller, such as the WDXT-GEN, at the least, one track that will get read will be the one that the WDXT-GEN earlier (during LLF time) reserved for itself (where it stores drive geometry info).

However, understandably, such initialisation does not include a test read of all tracks on the drive. So the lack of the WDXT-GEN displaying 1701 at power-on only indicates a certain level of confidence in the hard drive system.

You then ran FDISK. FDISK reads the very first sector (the MBR) on the drive, and presents on screen the partition table stored within. In my experience, if FDISK displays "Error reading fixed disk", it means that when FDISK requested the BIOS to read the first sector from the drive, the BIOS returned a failure code.

So, at this stage, it appears that certain parts of the drive can be read by the controller, but certainly not the very first sector.

Note my use of "appears". I do not have access to the source code of the WDXT-GEN's BIOS exapansion ROM, and I do not have access to the source code of FDISK. So, based on experience and general knowledge, I can only hypothesis what those two are doing,

I think your situation is kind of like, "Doctor. Before you amputate my arm, how about we run some more tests to booster our confidence level that my arm does indeed need to come off."
 

Jeff2016

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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the additional information.

I will follow your suggestion (and links) for working with a 3.5" floppy. I need to tear into another system. I hope to get one removed this weekend.

I'll report back.

Thanks,

Jeff
 

modem7

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So, we get Speedstor to do a read of the entire drive and look at the results.

If Speedstor (via controller) can read many sectors, and the first sector (the MBR) is NOT one of those, then we can theorise that the drive has deteriorated over the years, and that unfortunately, a critical area (track 0) is included in the deterioration. Advanced data recovery would be required.

If Speedstor (via controller) cannot read any sector at all, we have to ask ourselves why. It wouldn't make sense that the controller can read its reserved track but no other track. Further investigation required (e.g. is our hypothesis wrong?)

If it turns out that Speedstor can read the first sector, then we have to work out why FDISK is displaying "Error reading fixed disk".
 

Jeff2016

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Hi Modem7,

It is just a case of further diagnosis, to get a clearer picture of what the state of everything is. About now, I would be running SpeedStor 6.03, selecting at first the seek test, followed by a read test. That may reveal a specific issue (such as damaged head 0, such as damaged track 0, etc.)

Something that you may not know: In the IBM 5150, it is possible to connect a 1.44M diskette drive, and use 720K sized diskettes. See [here]. That may give you the ability to run software sourced from the Internet.

I am making a little progress tonight. I have a USB 3.5" floppy connected to a backup system that I use here in the office. It took a while; but, I found a 720K diskette. I am ready to download Winimage as specified in the link you provided. There are a number of download options... before I download something that isn't right I thought I would ask here. The machine that I have the 3.5" drive hooked up to is a XP box. Any recommendations on the version that will work best in this situation?

Once I get the disk created I'll work on removing the 3.5" internal floppy from another system. (Will the interface be the same for the 5-1/2 and the 3-1/2 drives?)

I hope it doesn't get old having me say this.... Thanks for the continued advice.

Take Care,

Jeff
 

modem7

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I am ready to download Winimage as specified in the link you provided. There are a number of download options... before I download something that isn't right I thought I would ask here. The machine that I have the 3.5" drive hooked up to is a XP box. Any recommendations on the version that will work best in this situation?
I presume that you are running the 32-bit version of XP (few would run 64-bit XP). The top download option, "winima90.exe", indicates suitability.

Once I get the disk created I'll work on removing the 3.5" internal floppy from another system. (Will the interface be the same for the 5-1/2 and the 3-1/2 drives?)
The physical connector is different, but the workaround is explained in the web page that I pointed you to.
 

Jeff2016

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Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
Good Morning,

I've run into a little snag. Not sure if I have made a mistake, or if my setup is slightly different.

I installed Winimage. I then opened Winimage. When I click on "Disk" there are a number of items listed. "Use Floppy A" is checked. If I then highlight "Format disk..." on the same pulldown another menu comes up. Under "Standard Format" it lists various options, including 720 KB, 1.44 MB. There is another option for"Non-standard format". There is another grouping titled "Imported". (Under Imported there are items for "Imported format from image file.)

I thought I would try the 720 KB option. I received an error message "Disk error on track 1, head 0. Floppies do not match"

I then tried the 1.44 MB option and received the error message "Current image format is not selected by the disk drive"

Based on the requirement for using a 720 KB floppy (although it is being used in a 1.44 MB drive), I believe the 720 KB option is correct. Not sure about the error message.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Jeff
 

Jeff2016

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Jan 3, 2016
Messages
66
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
Hi,

As follow-up to my last post, I'm wondering if there might be a general problem with a 720 KB disk in the extermal 3-1/2" floppy drive.

If I insert the 720 KB disk into the drive attempt to format it through Windows explorer there is no information in the displayed window. (There is nothing about capacity, format or other details.)

I can see the files on the disk, however.

If I insert a 1.44 MB diskette into the drive and begin the format process, all of the information is populated in the window that opens.

Any thoughts?

Jeff
 
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