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XTIDE Universal BIOS

quark

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Sep 30, 2009
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Is the drive information correct when the name is only partially displayed?

The drive information will be recognized correctly in any case, "only" the device name string (D3755) is corrupt. (And of course, the boot functionallity is missing)

Capacity: 99.9 MiB / 100.0 MiB
Addr Bus IRQ PIO SpB
L-CHS 8 - 0 1
 

hargle

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jeeze. something that old and crusty might be at fault itself. It could easily be a signaling/timing issue.
Please try:
1) 80 pin cable
2) a drive made this century. ;)

If the same results, then we can start looking for other things to blame.
 

modem7

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Does anyone know what ports the MM58167 (i have MM58167AN) RTC chip uses?
Because IBM had no RTC card for the PC, designers of cards containing an RTC chip had nothing to follow. So the card designers themselves chose where the ports on the RTC chip mapped to in I/O address space.
AST for example, have published details of the I/O space that they chose for their cards. The information is in TB-0052A at http://www.textfiles.com/computers/ASTRESEARCH/.
 

quark

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jeeze. something that old and crusty might be at fault itself. It could easily be a signaling/timing issue.

I use my Multi-IO/Floppy/RTC Controller always in my XT (just removed for testing with XTIDE), so I am beleave that this card itself works without any problems.

Please try:
1) 80 pin cable
2) a drive made this century

If the same results, then we can start looking for other things to blame.

I will check it.

Thanks to all for you advice and help to find the problem.
 
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quark

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Today I finished the new tests and got the following results:

Used drives:

- NEC D3755 (~100MB capacity)
- QUATNUM Fireball ST2.1 (~2 GB capacity)
- Kingston CF-Card (~1 GB capacity) (bootable)

The following test results are independent of the used drive above.

Original IBM Floppy Controller
floppy boot -> OK
hard disk boot -> OK

This controller works with 40pin and 80pin cable without problems.

Without any Floppy Controller
floppy boot -> not possible, no controller installed
hard disk boot -> still not possible, hang up at boot (Do you have no problems booting only with XTIDE + VGA Adapter without any other controllers?)

No difference between 40pin and 80pin cable.

Multi I/O Card with Floppy Controller and RTC
floppy boot -> OK
hard disk boot with 40 pin cable ->
----> Clone-Board: boot menu displays at cold boot a wrong string, missing first characters. displays "5" or "755" it varied. Next message "no valid boot sector". After a warm boot, the string "D3755" is shown correctly, but still "no valid boot sector".
----> IBM-Board: boot menu displays string "D3755" correctly, next "boot sector found" and then the system hang up. (No message from operating system)

hard disk boot with 80 pin cable -> "starting ms-dos", sometimes get the dos prompt, but very instable with read/write errors.

It could easily be a signaling/timing issue.

Yes, but I don't understand what I make wrong.
 
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aitotat

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So things worked a bit better when using 80 pin cable? This definitely sounds like a hardware issue. Do you have a jumper on any of the XTIDE IRQ select pins? Can you find the multi I/O card from Total Hardware 99? What other cards do you have?

I have used different 40 and 80 pin cables and they have all worked. 80 pin cables should be better but not needed for PIO transfers.

I installed XTIDE on my clone XT and it works. It is not exactly the same kind of system since i have CGA and MFM drive too. I was able to successfully boot to 20MB MFM drive, 210MB Quantum IDE drive and 360kB floppy drive.

I did found a new bug in RC1: boot menu works very slow when no XTIDE controlled drives are present.
 

quark

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So things worked a bit better when using 80 pin cable?
Yes, i make some additional tests which shown more stability with the 80 pin cable while using the multi I/O rtc card.

Can you find the multi I/O card from Total Hardware 99?
Do you need the exact model on TH99 (hard to find) or would be a picture of my multi I/O card also okay?

What other cards do you have?
Especially floppy controllers? I must have one additional floppy controller, but I have to find it first :)
If other cards also interesting (timing relevant?), there are some VGA & monocrom adapters, network, mfm controllers, different io cards (seriell / parallel) available.

Many thanks for your efforts!

PS: I am still interessted, does nobody using the XTIDE have problems to boot without any installed card except of the XTIDE + graphik adapter (if possible VGA)?
 

aitotat

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Picture of your multi I/O card should be okay since i can use it to find the card info from TH99.
I meant what other cards do you have installed in addition to the XTIDE, VGA and multi I/O card.

Have you tried the multi I/O or XTIDE card in differents ISA slots? Try to use XTIDE with IRQ enabled if you have available IRQ channel (IRQ5 should be free if you don't have any other hard disk controller or sound card).
 

aitotat

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I found another bug in RC1, this time a serious bug since data corruption might occur!

Hard disk reset works in RC1 and all previous versions by assuming that master and slave drives would need to be reset separately. This is wrong since both master and slave drives will always reset at the same time.

This didn't matter before block mode transfers were implemented since all drives were used with their initial settings. Resetting the drive will disable block mode so BIOS will re-enable it for the only drive it expected to be reset.

Everything works when there is no slave drive or if master drive does not support block mode. Resetting the slave drive will reset master as well and disable block mode. Block mode will be re-enabled for slave drive only. Worst thing is that BIOS does not know that block mode was disabled for master drive. This will lead to data corruption on master drive since BIOS and the drive expects different block size.

I already fixed this and the boot menu slowdown bug too. RC2 needs more testing so i'll release it later this week.
 

hargle

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good news on the bug fix!

question though:

I have already programmed all the atmel parts with RC1. The rest of the parts will be here today and I am ready to start shipping kits out this week. Do you want me to just ship with RC1, or should I reprogram them all again and ship later/next week?
 

Chromedome45

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I flashed my board with RC1 last night and it gave me failure error can't remember now what it was but anyway now it's dead:( No floppy boot or anything else. Removed XTIDE card and booted from floppy drive. I have the REV 02 board I bought a few month's back. HELP! :confused: Was installed in a 8088 clone motherboard with ISA multi I/O card.
 

hargle

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1) Remove the "bios enable" jumper with the card installed in the machine.
2) Boot to a floppy with the flash utility on it.
3) Re-install the jumper
4) run the flash program

You should always be able to go back this way, even if the flash totally bombs out.
 

TheLazy1

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Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what drive size could the at bios handle?
I have a Promise EIDEmax but that only allows me 8 of 40GB. ( Overkill, I know :D )
 

hargle

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Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what drive size could the at bios handle?
I have a Promise EIDEmax but that only allows me 8 of 40GB. ( Overkill, I know :D )

that 8 gig limit is likely coming from your O/S, not the controller card.
I suspect your controller card could do at least 137G, but you'd need FAT32 in order to support it, which DOS 6.22 and backwards doesn't support.

The XTIDE card can do 137G too, and could easily (possibly already supported?) 48bit LBA, which gives you drives beyond what they are currently making, but without an OS to support it, you'll top out at 8.4G or less no matter what you've got.
 

aitotat

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Sorry if this is a dumb question, but what drive size could the at bios handle?

Total drive capacity should be detected correctly even on drives over 137GB. At the moment the BIOS cannot access more than 8.4GB. This is a limitation of the old BIOS functions that DOS 6 and older operating systems use. Eventually i will add support for EBIOS functions so all capacity can be accessed. It is not high on todo list since computers that are capable of running Windows 95 or later don't need XTIDE.

Before EBIOS support i'll probably do some sort of bios partitioning so large drives can be partitioned to many small logical drives to be used with DOS 6 and older.
 

quark

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Sorry for my late reply, but due to high workload at my job, it was earlier not possible.

Picture of your multi I/O card should be okay since i can use it to find the card info from TH99.
I tried again to find the my card on TH99, but I still can't find exactly the same card, so I will post the picture now.

rtc.jpg


I meant what other cards do you have installed in addition to the XTIDE, VGA and multi I/O card.

I tried some seriell / parallel port cards and different mfm harddisk controllers, but it seems not to influence the stability/instability of XTIDE. If I plug in the IBM floppy controller (with or without other cards - it doesn't matter), it works.

Have you tried the multi I/O or XTIDE card in differents ISA slots?
Yes... i think nearly all combinations. I tested it with the xt turbo clone and the original IBM board - exactly the same!

Try to use XTIDE with IRQ enabled if you have available IRQ channel (IRQ5 should be free if you don't have any other hard disk controller or sound card).
I tried without IRQ (no jumper set) and with jumper at different IRQs (include setting in XTIDE bios). The problems are still the same. Still I have on both boards the situation, that booting from XTIDE is not possibe if I only have the VGA adapter and the XTIDE card pluged in (without any floppy controller). Did your xt board not show this phenomenon?
 
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