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XTIDE Universal BIOS

Krille

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
998
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Sweden
You can put it in any ROM socket as long as;

1) the CPU can access the ROM (in other words, the ROM is decoded into the PCs address space) and

2) it's not conflicting with another ROM (two ROMs in the same address range) and

3) the entire BIOS is available without any special handling (ie ROM paging).

So, using an extra graphics card just to hold the BIOS won't work due to rule number 2. (I'm guessing this is what you had in mind.)

Most people use NICs with ROM sockets (intended for PXE booting) or harddrive controllers with the original ROM replaced with XTIDE Universal BIOS. If you plan on using a "large" build of the BIOS then be mindful of rule number 3 as some NICs use paging to access code above 8 KB.

Other options might be unused ROM sockets on the motherboard or something like the Lo-tech ISA ROM board.

Yet another option is to find free space in the system BIOS ROMs (or any option ROM you might have in the machine) and stick XUB in there.
 

Sir_Fartalot

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
67
Location
Finland
You can put it in any ROM socket as long as;

1) the CPU can access the ROM (in other words, the ROM is decoded into the PCs address space) and

2) it's not conflicting with another ROM (two ROMs in the same address range) and

3) the entire BIOS is available without any special handling (ie ROM paging).

So, using an extra graphics card just to hold the BIOS won't work due to rule number 2. (I'm guessing this is what you had in mind.)

Most people use NICs with ROM sockets (intended for PXE booting) or harddrive controllers with the original ROM replaced with XTIDE Universal BIOS. If you plan on using a "large" build of the BIOS then be mindful of rule number 3 as some NICs use paging to access code above 8 KB.

Other options might be unused ROM sockets on the motherboard or something like the Lo-tech ISA ROM board.

Yet another option is to find free space in the system BIOS ROMs (or any option ROM you might have in the machine) and stick XUB in there.

Thank you very much kind sir.

Regarding the use of a graphics card: I wasn't meaning to use an extra graphics card, just one with a free ROM socket. But regardless, I can see how that wouldn't work and I would better use a network card.

Or, which I find most intriguing, replacing the ROM on the disk controller!? I have not dealt with XT-class hard disk controllers (MFM, RLL and that odd XT IDE stuff), I have no experience, and very little knowledge, about them. Which hard disk controllers allow for the replacement of a ROM? I guess a RLL or MFM controllers would be right out of consideration, as I really want to interface with IDE drives and CF cards. But WOW, is that exciting, if it could be done!!
 

Krille

Veteran Member
Joined
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Messages
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Regarding the use of a graphics card: I wasn't meaning to use an extra graphics card, just one with a free ROM socket. But regardless, I can see how that wouldn't work and I would better use a network card.
AFAIK, there is no reason to provide an extra ROM socket on a graphics card so an unused/free ROM socket most likely means that someone pulled the ROM for use elsewhere. And this would mean that the card no longer works of course.

Or, which I find most intriguing, replacing the ROM on the disk controller!? I have not dealt with XT-class hard disk controllers (MFM, RLL and that odd XT IDE stuff), I have no experience, and very little knowledge, about them. Which hard disk controllers allow for the replacement of a ROM? I guess a RLL or MFM controllers would be right out of consideration, as I really want to interface with IDE drives and CF cards. But WOW, is that exciting, if it could be done!!

When I wrote that I had regular 16-bit IDE controllers in mind since that is usually the type of controller people intend to use anyway in this scenario. Note that you can use just about any old controller to hold the XUB ROM but you won't be able to use the harddrive interface on it because XTIDE Universal BIOS does not support these old types of interfaces (MFM/RLL/XTA).
 

Sir_Fartalot

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
67
Location
Finland
Thanks again. I have half a dozen multi-I/O 16-bit ISA cards and neither (is "neither" the correct word to use in this scenario? English is a foreign language to me.) has a ROM or a ROM socket.
 

Malc

Veteran Member
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Jul 16, 2009
Messages
2,033
Location
UK
16-bit IDE / Floppy controllers with their own bios in a socket seem to be getting harder to find these days, I've got 2 such cards i use and are very handy, Otherwise like many others i use a NIC with a free boot rom socket or a ROM board. Another option for the IBM 5160 with the 11/08/82 bios is U19 has 24k free space which can be used for ie: the XUB.
 

Sir_Fartalot

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
67
Location
Finland
Yes. Though I would use a NIC with a ROM socket instead if I were you (since you already have several IDE controllers). Do you have any such NICs?

Yes I do have 16 bit ISA network cards which I will use to host a XUB BIOS. I am trying to figure out how this business with extending BIOS works, that's why I am asking if replacing the BIOS on the IDE controller card with XUB would work. Why do these IDE controllers even have a BIOS? I understand why a SCSI card would have a BIOS, but am unclear about these 16 bit ISA IDE controller cards.
 

pevalcas

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
48
Location
Italy
Dear All,

please be aware the last Beta 3 version has a trojan on the file XTIDECFG.COM. My antivirus blocks it and deletes it from the ZIP file when I download it on my computer. Please fix that and take care next version will not have a trojan anymore.

Regards, Vincenzo.
 

offensive_Jerk

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Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
1,040
Location
Wisconsin
Dear All,

please be aware the last Beta 3 version has a trojan on the file XTIDECFG.COM. My antivirus blocks it and deletes it from the ZIP file when I download it on my computer. Please fix that and take care next version will not have a trojan anymore.

Regards, Vincenzo.

Is it a false positive?
 

Krille

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
998
Location
Sweden
Dear All,

please be aware the last Beta 3 version has a trojan on the file XTIDECFG.COM. My antivirus blocks it and deletes it from the ZIP file when I download it on my computer. Please fix that and take care next version will not have a trojan anymore.

Regards, Vincenzo.

It's a false positive. XTIDECFG.COM is compressed with UPX and that's what triggers your antivirus program. Yes, your AV program will flag any program compressed with UPX, a legitimate exe-compressor, as a trojan. That should tell you something about the quality of your particular antivirus program as well as the quality of the antivirus software industry in general. Basically, if you pay for AV software then you're one of the proverbial suckers born every minute.

FWIW, this is the result from scanning the UPX-compressed XTIDECFG.COM on VirusTotal and this is the result from scanning the uncompressed version.
 

3pcedev

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Joined
Jun 8, 2014
Messages
730
Location
Australia
Just tried out the XT-IDE bios for AT class systems today and I have run into a snag. The system in question is a 486DX-33 and the hard drive controller is a regular 16 bit (not VESA) IDE controller

I burnt the bios onto a 27C256 eeprom and placed it into the network adaptor in the machine. This worked perfectly and it detected the two hard drives in the system and booted from the master.

At this point I decided to switch to a compact flash card (the whole idea behind the project). I installed a CF card to IDE adaptor which I previously had in my XT machine (working fine with a lo-tech CF card) into the 486 along with a 64MB CF card (exact same card was also used in the XT machine successfully). When powering up the XTIDE bios does not detect the CF drive. I tried a few other CF drives but had no luck at all.

At this point I thought it might be the IDE adaptor in the machine so I reconfigured the sound blaster card (which has a fully fledged IDE port, not a CDROM interface) to be a secondary IDE interface. Tried the CF card on there as a master and slave however I got the same result; nothing is detected.

Any troubleshooting tips/steps/advice would be appreciated.
 

Krille

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
998
Location
Sweden
I would guess that you're using an old version of the BIOS, perhaps beta 3? If so, use a newer version.
 

3pcedev

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Joined
Jun 8, 2014
Messages
730
Location
Australia
I would guess that you're using an old version of the BIOS, perhaps beta 3? If so, use a newer version.

Yes I am running 2.0.0 beta 3 from your Google code repository https://code.google.com/archive/p/xtideuniversalbios/downloads

Forgive me but where is the newer version available from? I have Google searched high and low and the only places I can find it are in the Google code repository; and the lo-tech website (which is down, so I cannot confirm if it is available there!)

EDIT: I should also add the Soundblaster IDE port works brilliantly with a real HDD. Great way to get a secondary IDE controller into an older machine without taking up an extra ISA slot. The only note of caution is that most Soundblasters of the era only have a CDROM interface; only the more expensive / later ones have a proper IDE interface. Check TH99 if your in doubt.
 
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Malc

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Joined
Jul 16, 2009
Messages
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Location
UK
Forgive me but where is the newer version available from? I have Google searched high and low and the only places I can find it are in the Google code repository; and the lo-tech website (which is down, so I cannot confirm if it is available there!)

James is currently in the process of moving his server, You can download the last available R588 from [ Here ].
 
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