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Promdisk V Disk Emulator 8-Bit ISA

gerrydoire

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Like Chuck said, dump the ROM and send him/us a the dump. We can disassemble it to see what bad instructions it is using that the 8088 in your XT doesn't like.

If you need instructions on how to dump a ROM, search back in the forum for 'ROM' and 'dump' and you should find what you need.

I called the company who sells the card, they said the card was altered by a company that bought it, I assume the firmware was altered in some way, #$%@/$#^%2-*
 

Chuck(G)

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All is not lost, I hope. The manufacturer is still in business and your card has a flash BIOS. Why not drop a line to the good folks at MCSI and see if they can offer you a firmware update:

MCSI Embedded Systems Division
ICP America, Inc.
1070 Joshua Way, Vista, California 92081
TEL : 800-347-6274 FAX : 877-296-2500

From Outside North America:
TEL : 760-598-2177 FAX : 760-598-2450

Sales: mcsi@icpamerica.com
Technical support: support@icpamerica.com
 

gerrydoire

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All is not lost, I hope. The manufacturer is still in business and your card has a flash BIOS. Why not drop a line to the good folks at MCSI and see if they can offer you a firmware update:

MCSI Embedded Systems Division
ICP America, Inc.
1070 Joshua Way, Vista, California 92081
TEL : 800-347-6274 FAX : 877-296-2500

From Outside North America:
TEL : 760-598-2177 FAX : 760-598-2450

Sales: mcsi@icpamerica.com
Technical support: support@icpamerica.com


They said no support, then said would you like to buy a new one.
 

Chuck(G)

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Nice people.:sarcasm:

Hopefully, this will let others who may make buying decisions for such stuff in their day jobs know how this company operates.

Why not dump the ROM and let us take a peek at it? Maybe we can salvage your $50 yet.
 

gerrydoire

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Nice people.:sarcasm:

Hopefully, this will let others who may make buying decisions for such stuff in their day jobs know how this company operates.

Why not dump the ROM and let us take a peek at it? Maybe we can salvage your $50 yet.

I shall do that!!
 
Last edited:

gerrydoire

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Boots ok on a 286-12

Boots ok on a 286-12

Well I tried the card in a 286 motherboard, a clone motherboard 286 12mhz.

The card booted ok..

Ok all you smart people, tell me what to do next, dump the what, how etc. etc...
 

channelmaniac

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Oct 10, 2008
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Dallas, TX Metromess
It's ceramic, it's ugly, and it has been desoldered - but not by me. A friend from Canadastan sent it down to me with a bunch of other chips and I haven't got a testbed to check it out in.

PM me your address and I'll drop it in the mail to you.

RJ
 

gerrydoire

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Promdisk

Promdisk

Something for thought:

Even though I bought the Promdisk and it was "suppose" to work in a PC and XT and it did not, It did however work in a 286 computer, I put the card into storage.

Recently I bought a Orchid 286 card for the same computer, the XT.

Sitting there staring at the XT with this 286 card inside, I wondered,
will that Promdisk work in this computer now?

The answer:



















YES virginia there is a Santa Claus! :mrgreen:


It loads up quick with the 286 on and the dos coming str8 from a flash memory card "Promdisk"
 

Shadow Lord

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Sorry to resurrect this old thread. But I was always very interested in the whole concept of the ROM based DOS. Back in the day the (uneducated non-technical) rumor was that DOS on ROM was super fast w/ instant boot times. Also, they were suppose to make your DOS memory foot print in the 640KB space non-existent. Is this even remotely close to true? I know that now a days the same thing can easily be achieved w/ IDE controller and a CF card w/ an IDE adapter. However, after finding this thread I was curious as to if anyone still uses these form before and if they did really make "instant on", or as close to it, a possibility?

MCSI is still in business and sells 128MB version of the card now. More than enough for DOS, and all the drivers you would ever load. $50 seems like a relatively cheap price and on par w/ buying an IDE controller, CF card, and an adapter.... Thanks!
 

gerrydoire

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Sorry to resurrect this old thread. But I was always very interested in the whole concept of the ROM based DOS. Back in the day the (uneducated non-technical) rumor was that DOS on ROM was super fast w/ instant boot times. Also, they were suppose to make your DOS memory foot print in the 640KB space non-existent. Is this even remotely close to true? I know that now a days the same thing can easily be achieved w/ IDE controller and a CF card w/ an IDE adapter. However, after finding this thread I was curious as to if anyone still uses these form before and if they did really make "instant on", or as close to it, a possibility?

MCSI is still in business and sells 128MB version of the card now. More than enough for DOS, and all the drivers you would ever load. $50 seems like a relatively cheap price and on par w/ buying an IDE controller, CF card, and an adapter.... Thanks!

It comes on pretty quick!

When this card was made, flash memory was mega expensive so it had very little space.

Buy an 8 Bit IDE Card, attached a CF Card and you're smokin!!

My IBM Luggable "XT" has a Acculogic 8 bit IDE Card with a 128meg Kodak CF Card, works like a charm. I tried many cards on the Acculogic and only a 128 Meg Card from Kodak would boot, other cards would not, even smaller memory or larger, no boot.
The second hard drive connector of the IDE card has a 512 Meg CF Card, all of this is far more than any XT Computer could ever need.

:D
 

Shadow Lord

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Well, its just like the PCI-E Flash Drives of today... Just a whole lot slower! :D


How about the whole RAM thing? Do you save on conventional memory because DOS is in ROM or does it simply act like a flash drive and memory consumption is unchanged? Thanks!
 

Shadow Lord

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O.k. I checked into this a bit further and got some prices. Boy are they ugly:

PROMDISK IV (4MB max, can support EPROM, SRAM w/ battery backup):
Boards @ $100.00 each
SRAM, 512Kx8, BSI, ROHS @ $20.00 each Or
FLASH EPROM 512Kx8 @ $20.00 each

The PROMDISK VI w/ a max of 128MB FLASH is as follows:

128MB: $600
64MB: $300
32MB: $200


As a comparison a PCIe 128GB SSD drive sells for ~$280 at Newegg.

So does anyone know of an EISA bus mastering IDE controller? :D
 

hargle

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minneapolis, MN
I'd think virtually any Promise brand ISA 16 bit IDE controllers will do the trick for you. Since you want EISA, you've at least got a full 16 bit bus, so I assume you're not targeting an 8088 type machine. (ie, no need for an 8 bit XTIDE controller card) and that makes your options very open.

You should be able to find something for a couple bucks on ebay.
Attach an IDE->CF adapter and you'd have a swappable media version of this card. There are even IDE->CF adapters that don't need IDE cables and attach directly to the card.

You will find no difference in free memory booting into DOS this way. DOS in ROM is a whole different beast.
 

Shadow Lord

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hargle,

Thank for the info. I was hoping there would be BM EISA controller but guess not. I may go down the ISA route although to be honest I've built the Megacube to be a SCSI only machine and the PROMDISK was more of a novelty then an actual need. I may just keep an eye out on the used market and see what pops up.
 
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