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MFM BIOS setup and format

vladstamate

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
197
Location
Orlando, FL, USA
Hi,

I have a 285 PC (Packard Bell Packmate) with a ST-238R drive in it. The BIOS battery died so it does not remember what type it is. How do I set the C/H/S in the BIOS? Do you do that for an MFM drive?

I've made a bootdisk with DOS 6.00. Can the format.exe there deal with an MFM drive?

Regards,
Vlad.
 

vladstamate

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
197
Location
Orlando, FL, USA
Also where might one find a Packard Bell Packmate 286 setup disk? I searched on Google and could not find anything for a machine that old.

Regards,
Vlad.
 

krebizfan

Veteran Member
Joined
May 23, 2009
Messages
5,338
Location
Connecticut
The ST-238R is an RLL drive. What controller do you have? The drive would have about 32MB with RLL controller but only 20MB with MFM controller.

The BIOS should have a set of drive numbers, one of which would be best for that drive. I don't have a reference to what numbers PB assigned to drives. If you have the PB manual, everything will be simple.

DOS 6 format and fdisk will work with MFM and RLL drives. You may have to also do a low level format which is more complex.

Seagate had the drive information on their FTP site. Seagate changed web site layout so the following is copied from a Google cache duplicate. I would suggest you spend the time to confirm at Seagate's web site.
TRACKS ___________________________________2,460
CYLINDERS ________________________________615
HEADS ____________________________________4
DISCS ____________________________________2
 

vladstamate

Experienced Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2012
Messages
197
Location
Orlando, FL, USA
Seagate had the drive information on their FTP site. Seagate changed web site layout so the following is copied from a Google cache duplicate. I would suggest you spend the time to confirm at Seagate's web site.
TRACKS ___________________________________2,460
CYLINDERS ________________________________615
HEADS ____________________________________4
DISCS ____________________________________2

That worked! Thank you very much. This turned out to be Type 1 in the BIOS and after setting that, the PC booted from the haddisk into DOS 5.00. Thank you again!

Regards,
Vlad.
 
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