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Multi I/O card and dual floppies / 5150

c00gr

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Hey all!

I just picked up a multi i/o card (pics attached) and am a bit unsure about using it with dual floppy drives in my 5150. The drives are both functional and work with the standard floppy drive card that came with the pc, but with the multi i/o the drives are recognized and will initialize but are failing to read the disks and give an error. Was curious if anyone has experience with this kind of setup and perhaps it’s a dip switch setting? The docs that came with the card aren’t super user friendly so having trouble parsing out what I’m supposed to do.

Thanks!
 

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jafir

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Does the manual (or PCB silkscreen printing) show which is pin 1 on the cable header on the card, and have you made sure that you’ve installed the floppy cable with the stripe at pin 1?

The reason that I ask is that it’s not always intuitive, if it’s not marked on the card, and sometimes even if it is. I’ve got a floppy/hdd controller that has the floppy ports flipped around from the hdd ports.
 

Ruud

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Assuming that "the drives are recognized" means that the heads move, I think that the cable has been connected in the right way. I think it has to do with the fact that it is an AT card, which is able to support 1.2 and 1.44 MB drives, and therefore the hardware is a little bit different. Cards for XTs that support those big drives have their own ROM onboard. Sergey's XI-8088 supports big drives because its BIOS does.
I have FDC/IDE cards at hand but no access to a XT with a FDC card for the moment due to a renovation. I'll do my best to dig up one because I also need anyway it for my Diagnostic ROM that I promised to modem7.
 

Ruud

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Wow, are we in luck! First, looking for something completely different I stumbled over a XT I was given the evening before we went on holiday (and maybe that was the reason I for got it). Two: it has the same board as discussed in this thread with working 1 MB (OK, only interesting for me) and three: I was able to try two different AT IDE/FDC cards. Result: the XT booted up fine with these. That mine worked doesn't mean that your card should work as well but the chances are slim.

Just flip the cable to be sure, it won't hurt. Good luck!
 

c00gr

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Yeah, I’ll try flipping the cable when I get home after the holidays, and I’ll also scan the manual for good measure. Cheers!
 

c00gr

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Here's a scan of the manual if anyone wants to take a look and help make sense of it! I'm going to open up the PC a bit later and try a few other things...
 

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c00gr

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Ok, tried flipping the cable and that didn't do it. Flipped it back, and when I initialize the A drive and run the A>dir the drive spins, and then I get:

General Failure reading drive A
Abort, Retry, Fail?
 

c00gr

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Realized the PDF I uploaded was impossible to read, so here's a clearer scan of the manual... Also confirmed that the joystick port works via checkit, but still can't get the floppies to read. Could this be a ram issue? I have a 1MB ram extension board in the PC as well, but am unsure if that would be a problem or not.
 

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jafir

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You might try putting dip switches 6 and 7 in the opposite position they are in now. The manual is kind of confusing, since it says to turn the switches on to disable so I’m guessing turning switches 6 and 7 on disables high density for both drives, but I cannot be sure.
 

c00gr

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Ok I think I see what's going on here, totally missed @Ruud saying this was for an AT and then noticed it written on the box. Looks like I might be striking out on this card w/ my 5150. :-(
 

jafir

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The manual mentions XT, AT, and 386, so you should be good with compatibility. I think the card might just default to HD drives, that a 5150 wouldn’t have come with. But it seems like a nice card and could be used to add a 1.44MB drive to make moving files around easier.

Oh I guess it depends on how old the 5150 is. The first two BIOs revisions (only available on the 16KB-64KB board) do not support BIOS extension ROM which this card probably provides, to allow for HD floppy drives.
 

c00gr

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My 5150 is a 64-256kb board w/ the final bios revision... I have this Lo-tech 1MB RAM board installed, as well as this ISA IDE to SD Adapter, a Hercules monochrome graphics card, and the standard floppy controller plus 2 floppy drives that came original w/ the PC (I think).

@jafir tried swapping the dip positions and didn't help...
 

Ruud

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... BIOS extension ROM which this card probably provides, ...
Nope, no EPROM present, see the Picture c00gr provided. An AT doesn't need such a ROM anyway.

For c00gr: I advise you to start with a bare system: just a video card and the standard floppy controller. Should work according your first post. Then replace the standard controller with the AT one and see if that works. If it doesn't, you are out of luck and you have to find (someone with) another system, preferably an AT or better, where you can try the card . But if it does, then the combination with another card is the problem.
 

Ruud

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Oops, I stand corrected. Then you have better eyes than I have, I couldn't read the last numbers after "24". But if it is a BIOS indeed, it isn't an AT card because an AT doesn't need a BIOS. Unless I'm missing something.
 

c00gr

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Hey all, update here… got the card back out and started from scratch. Looks like what was happening was a register conflict with the IDE/SD card and the extended RAM card I have… swapped some dip switches around and voila! All better. :)
 
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