IDE to Compact Flash as MS-DOS boot drive.

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Re: IDE to Compact Flash as MS-DOS boot drive.

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-10-12 @ 19:33

goldeng wrote:As @Jo22 has mentioned @Ozzuneoj, DOS is a read-only operating system and what I as well like very much about it. Unlike Windows that changes/updates files according to the hardware you're using. In my opinion there's a possibility that there are parameters in your 440BX BIOS that need to be changed in order to 'eat' the CF card and boot normally. You may also want to try to disassemble your CF adapter from the computer that it works on and to assemble it temporarily in your 440BX in order to verify whether the card is tied to a specific CF adapter model or not, which may cause it to not boot correctly on a different system that it wasn't installed on in advanced.

By the way, now that I think of it, you mentioned that you aren't able to boot from the CF card on a 440BX motherboard. Are you by any chance using the same motherboard (Intel SE440BX-2) that I'm having the same issue with?


I guess I wasn't real clear on what I'm doing.

I'm using an internal CF card reader front panel on my main system (i5 2500k, P67, Windows 10), and that's where I'm moving all the data around. The card worked in an old Gateway 2000 430TX+K6 233Mhz system using a basic CF->IDE adapter. When I move the whole cable+adapter+card over to my Wintec W6BXA 440BX system, it hangs at Verifying DMI Pool Data. I've tried changing all sorts of settings and nothing has fixed the problem. Any idea what specific BIOS settings might cause this? There are hardly any settings on the 430TX system (since it is an OEM board), and it just works. This 440BX board has a TON of settings though.

I did try doing a full disk copy from the Maxell 400x card I was using over to a Sandisk Ultra 333x card and it does the same thing on the 440BX system.

One thing I did discover in Windows 10 though, is that right clicking the removable drive in "This PC" and choosing Eject (or doing it through Disk Management) seems to actually let you reinsert another card in the removable drive almost immediately, where as using the "Safely Remove" taskbar icon seems to disable\remove the entire removable drive, which requires a system restart for it to read another card. This should make playing with CF cards MUCH easier.

EDIT: Also just tried using an 80-wire IDE cable, just in case that was an issue with the newer board (not likely since it is still very old) and it made no difference. Every one of the 80-wire cables I own has a blocked pin and of course this board HAS that pin, so I just poked a hole in the blocked cable end with a thumb tack. :) Tricky, but made no difference...

EDIT2: Of all the weird things... I've been playing with it more and when I change the type of drive for the CF card to "NORMAL" rather than LARGE or LBA, it gets stuck in the same place except it prints a lower case "j" on the line before hanging there. Strangely, I'm able to CRTL-ALT-DEL to reboot when it does this, where as I have to use the power button to shut the system down when its set to Large or LBA. Maybe I'm on to something... I just don't know what.
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Re: IDE to Compact Flash as MS-DOS boot drive.

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-10-12 @ 20:47

Okay, I just tried booting plain DOS from my 440BX board using an old laptop hard drive and it does the SAME THING. So apparently this isn't a CF card or CF adapter issue.

Anyone ever experience a problem like this with a 440BX and plain DOS?
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Re: IDE to Compact Flash as MS-DOS boot drive.

Postby Jo22 » 2017-10-12 @ 20:51

EDIT2: Of all the weird things... I've been playing with it more and when I change the type of drive for the CF card to "NORMAL"
rather than LARGE or LBA, it gets stuck in the same place except it prints a lower case "j" on the line before hanging there.
Strangely, I'm able to CRTL-ALT-DEL to reboot when it does this, where as I have to use the power button to shut the system down when
its set to Large or LBA. Maybe I'm on to something... I just don't know what.

Hi, I really don't mean to bother you, but did you clear the first 63 sectors of the card before (before installing DOS with another setting) ?
The drive geometry will be mixed-up, if you change these settings to something new after the card got formatted/partitioned with the old setting.
Not that this will cause any instant damage in terms of data loss, but a previously bootable copy of DOS would nolonger boot (until you change back).
CCleaner on Windows has an easy to use disk wipe feature, too (but wears off the card quite more). Or You could use the tool I mentioned. Or Linux.
- Things like FDISK /MBR, for example, won't necessarily fix or clear the Partition Table.

Legend: "NORMAL" is CHS (~500MB max), "LARGE" is E-CHS (~8GB max), "LBA" is ..well LBA. :D
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Re: IDE to Compact Flash as MS-DOS boot drive.

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-10-12 @ 20:57

Jo22 wrote:
EDIT2: Of all the weird things... I've been playing with it more and when I change the type of drive for the CF card to "NORMAL"
rather than LARGE or LBA, it gets stuck in the same place except it prints a lower case "j" on the line before hanging there.
Strangely, I'm able to CRTL-ALT-DEL to reboot when it does this, where as I have to use the power button to shut the system down when
its set to Large or LBA. Maybe I'm on to something... I just don't know what.

Hi, I really don't mean to bother you, but did you clear the first 63 sectors of the card before (before installing DOS with another setting) ?
The drive geometry will be mixed-up, if you change these settings to something new after the card got formatted/partitioned with the old setting.
Not that this will cause any instant damage in terms of data loss, but a previously bootable copy of DOS would nolonger boot (until you change back).
CCleaner on Windows has an easy to use disk wipe feature, too (but wears off the card quite more). Or You could use the tool I mentioned. Or Linux.
- Things like FDISK /MBR, for example, won't necessarily fix or clear the Partition Table.

Legend: "NORMAL" is CHS (~500MB max), "LARGE" is E-CHS (~8GB max), "LBA" is ..well LBA. :D

As mentioned earlier, this card had DOS put on it by cloning a VHD on a newer computer. It works on a 430TX but not on a 440BX. There were no settings like this involved in the setup process since it was done in Windows 10.
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Re: IDE to Compact Flash as MS-DOS boot drive.

Postby Jo22 » 2017-10-12 @ 21:17

As mentioned earlier, this card had DOS put on it by cloning a VHD on a newer computer. It works on a 430TX but not on a 440BX.
There were no settings like this involved in the setup process since it was done in Windows 10.

Ah, I see. Sorry then. Does that 440BX have got a CD-ROM drive, at least ?
It seems I'd be way easier if you did the partitioning/formatting on the actual hardware first.
Once this is done, you can throw the card into the CF reader on your Windows X machine and transfer files.
Both MS-DOS 6.22 and DOS 7.x (as part of Win9X) were once also available in CD-ROM flavors, I believe.
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Re: IDE to Compact Flash as MS-DOS boot drive.

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-10-13 @ 02:26

Jo22 wrote:
As mentioned earlier, this card had DOS put on it by cloning a VHD on a newer computer. It works on a 430TX but not on a 440BX.
There were no settings like this involved in the setup process since it was done in Windows 10.

Ah, I see. Sorry then. Does that 440BX have got a CD-ROM drive, at least ?
It seems I'd be way easier if you did the partitioning/formatting on the actual hardware first.
Once this is done, you can throw the card into the CF reader on your Windows X machine and transfer files.
Both MS-DOS 6.22 and DOS 7.x (as part of Win9X) were once also available in CD-ROM flavors, I believe.

Shouldn't really be necessary since it works on other boards. DOS's MBR and formatting aren't system specific are they? I can't imagine they would be.

Like I said, the reason I'm trying to do this is to have a portable DOS installation, so having to partition and install DOS on it wouldn't work for that use case. So far, I can't get this board to load DOS at all.
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Re: IDE to Compact Flash as MS-DOS boot drive.

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-10-13 @ 04:02

Okay, I gave up.

I just downloaded Rufus and used it to install Freedos to my CF card and it booted instantaneously on the 440BX system on the first attempt. I'm running benchmarks and programs right now.

I tried for a couple hours to get MSDOS 6.22 onto a CF card but all of the tutorials that show up in Google searches are WRONG... none of the methods work, and none of the programs said to do this actually function properly. Unetbootin is useless for some reason. It doesn't show any drives other than my C: drive!? And all the different versions of Rufus refuse to use any ISO disk images I've tried to load (all downloaded from allbootdisks.com).

Anyway...

Hopefully Freedos is good enough for my needs as a portable DOS tester that doesn't care what system it is attached to.

I'm thinking this may be the next thing I'll try:
http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=33592

I can install Windows 98... I've done that a million times and I own several licenses. I really really wish I'd seen this post before I spent all day messing with this. I only want MSDOS for compatibility... having the latest version with FAT32 support would be fantastic.

EDIT: I did the Windows 98SE converted to straight DOS 7.1 method in the thread above and it works perfectly on this 440BX system, using the same CF cards as before. I think I'll stick with this, as I'm much more familiar with the quirks and inner workings of MSDOS than Freedos.
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