Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby HighTreason » 2015-2-13 @ 18:49

======
UPDATE
======

I have contacted the guy who runs the site linked below and it seems he may be willing to dump the BIOS from revision 003C provided I loan him the tools to do so which seems reasonable to me. So a solution to this may be within reach now.
== End of update ==

Does anybody have BIOS 003C or earlier?

I have 003I and cannot replace the hard drive until I can fix this. I have a dump of 003I if anyone wants to poke that around for some reason, taken right from an EEPROM Programmer as it seems impossible to make dumps work from in the machine itself.

There's a guy with a download but his dump is mislabeled and incomplete.



If somebody has the chip but cannot dump it, I may be willing to either gift them an EEPROM programmer or else pay them to send the chip over my way so I can dump and copy it myself... Pending evidence of ownership.




Here's the dump of 3I
3I-BIOS-DUMP.zip
Dump of the 003I BIOS
(35.74 KiB) Downloaded 41 times



Here's that guys broken dump;
http://omolini.steptail.com/t3200sx/files.php
Try both in a HEX Editor, the first 64K dump in 1024K.ZIP is actually the start of the BIOS ROM.
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby new_castle_j » 2015-3-05 @ 15:06

I have a T3200SXC and was facing the same problem with replacing the hard drive. My solution was to install a network card with an empty ROM socket in one of the ISA slots and then I downloaded and burned an image of the XT-IDE bios. I inserted the newly burned ROM into the empty socket in the NIC and during POST changed the the onboard BIOS setting to "no hard disk". The XT-IDE bios enabled the onboard IDE controller to accept up to an 8GB hard drive. I am now running the system with an 8GB solid state IDE drive.

...now if I can only find some more of those Toshiba proprietary 2MB SIMM modules.
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby HighTreason » 2015-3-05 @ 15:56

We actually fixed it and made a working one. I was waiting for Oliver to host the files himself and I'm meant to be mailing him a chip... As yet my new eraser isn't here though.

I discovered that the start of the EPROM is actually the VGA BIOS... Need to experiment further, but I have a mostly working 3C ROM, which can be located at ftp://mirror3dr.com/BIOS/Toshiba%20T320 ... IOS-RE.BIN until it appears on http://omolini.steptail.com/t3200sx/


Mine runs regular SIMMS apparently, I think they are Parity SIMMs - discovered this when it was falsely reporting memory failure which may be a side-effect of this ROM in some circumstances. Obviously if anyone uses it I can't be held responsible for anything that might stop working...
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby new_castle_j » 2015-3-06 @ 14:55

That's awesome, I stumbled upon Oliver's site as well when I was researching a solution. I'm quite pleased with this machine, mine had a broken color screen that I was able to replace with a modern LED LCD. The case has lots of room inside and the retrofit worked very nicely.
I posted pictures here http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum ... eplacement

Mine came with 2 sticks of the Toshiba 2MB SIMMs and I have been able to successfully add 4 more standard SIMMs with parity. Each of the standard SIMMs are detected as 1MB, no matter what their actual capacity is. I've been able to install Slackware 4 and it runs well, but I will need a little more memory to get up to Slackware 7 which is where I want to be.
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby HighTreason » 2015-3-06 @ 16:10

Much as I won't do it due to my screen working, I did look at whether I would be able to do that should it ever fail... Actually I did that before I bought it as I did not know if the screen was working, I got mine pretty much "as-seen" so it was nice that only the HDD was busted and a screw was rattling around inside that hadn't shorted anything out. Think I remember seeing that thread as I was still logged in there occasionally back then.

I have never been able to get SIMMs larger than 1MB so I wouldn't know about that... Annoying because my 386 desktop (486DLC-40) has slots and I want to upgrade the 8MB that is in there to 16MB... That thing gets really pissy about which simms are in too, if I put the current ones in with the manufacturer of the chips in the wrong order it won't start up.

My T3200 runs DOS 6.22... Or was it 7.10? Think it's 6.22 and WFW311. I use it to annoy people with some of my favorite DOS games when I'm not at home, want to add some wires and replace the internal speaker with a more powerful one, having the internal speaker output going to the SBPro and the SBPro running the speaker... Mono of course, but if I want stereo I can always plug headphones or speakers into the back of the card.


As for the BIOS, next on the agenda is merging the older system BIOS with the newer VGA BIOS... Trivial really, but my eraser isn't here and the people I bought it off are having to send another one.
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2017-12-11 @ 14:31

Resurrecting this thread for future reference regarding the T3200SX.

Since HighTreason is not on this forum anymore apparently I just wanted to update this thread with new (now old) information regarding the BIOS and possible HDD substitutions for their Conner drives. While Conner drives with a capacity of under 1GB are mostly regarded as sturdy and reliable, they won't last forever.

Since HighTreason had successfully combined the most recent BIOS 03I with the HDD restrictions bits broken from version 03C, progress documentation and BIOS dumps are available from here --> http://omolini.steptail.com/t3200sx/files.php

The T3200SX in contrast to other models of this series (T3200 + T3200SXC) suffer from a rather hefty BIOS limitation present in any BIOS after revision 03C. Version 03C was the last BIOS that let you boot from any type of HDD (even if no Conner drive is detected). Later BIOS revisions simply refuse to boot from anything that does not have "CP" (Conner Peripherals) in the first bits of the name string.

Since this limitation was documented, the following solutions surfaced for this rather specific problem.

1] Using a Network bootable ISA card with a modded XT-IDE chip to circumvent the boot restriction and force it to boot from your desired IDE device.

2] Flashing the BIOS chip (which is thankfully socketed) to either the old version 03C or to a combination/hybrid of 03C and 03I that has been created by HighTreason (download on site above) (recommended)

3] You have BIOS 03C or older, you are golden.

4] Stick to original hardware (Conner drives) (if you happen to have one in the veins of CP-3044, don't even look at the eBay prices, I dare yeh)

What the old BIOS / modified hybrid BIOS does what the new BIOS doesn't:

With the old BIOS (up to version 03C) you are able to change the HDD type option in the BIOS regardless of the type of HDD connected. So you are able to "force" the HDD detection even if there is no Conner drive connected (for example a CF-adapter instead). If you connect a genuine HDD, it will result in you being able to use the first 40 MB of said HDD. To use the rest of space, or to make use of Adapter like CF/SD, overlay software then will do the rest for you (C/H/S translation).

With the newer BIOS versions the BIOS will simply lock the setting to "no HDD connected", if there is anything other connected than a Conner drive (either it looks for the specific model in the name string, or - as others have suggested, albeit this is not confirmed yet - it looks for the "CP" at the start of the idetity string).

There have been reports that there are other models from Toshiba of that era that suffer from the same type of limitation when it comes to HDDs. But as for the T3200 series, only the T3200SX seems to be affected.

Dropping this info here for other ppl and their possible future endeavors into these neat bulky plasma machines.
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby OldCat » 2018-1-05 @ 09:42

Thanks for updating this thread for everyone else, jaZz_KCS!

My two cents: I had BIOS 003F in my Toshiba T3200SX and the only option for a hard drive was 931/15/17 (C/H/S) - 120Mb. As jaZz_KCS stated above, it would only accept Conner Peripherals HDD. After using BIOS provided by HighTreason (003C/003I HYBRID BIOS ROM with the improved 3I VGA BIOS) I now have two settings, similarly to 003C: normal (862/2/48) and alternate (695/7/17), both equal to 40Mb. The 120Mb one is gone.

I hope that if anyone comes looking for help in resurrecting these glorious beasts (jaZz_KCS' expression, but absolutely spot on) with modern hardware (SD/CF), they can use the info above.
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-10 @ 11:50

I was wondering whether an ISA I/O card with an IDE header would also be a suitable solution to the "only booting from Conner drives"-limitation. I wonder whether this limitation only applies to the IDE header on the mainboard.

Another model series also suffering from these limitations seems to be the T5200. More info in this thread. -->
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=57883

I am also currently fiddling around with an I/O card trying to get around the proprietary FDD (proprietary connector on FDD as well as cable). It still works, but God knows for how long. So I was wondering whether you could also use/boot from a genuine standard FDD connected to an I/O ISA card. I suspect the FDD to be working, but I want to know whether you would be able to boot from it as well.

If that works, once the original FDD dies I (and everybody else missing the original proprietary FDD drive) would be able to substitute the original FDD with a genuine replacement. (You would even be able to mount it in the same spot as the original drive, but the data connector instead going to your I/O ISA card. The power could be drained from the original proprietary FDD connector..
Last edited by jaZz_KCS on 2018-1-15 @ 12:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-12 @ 10:05

Other models of the Toshiba T-series that seem to be affected by this limitation turn out to be the T2000 as well as the T5200.

Refer to this thread for more information regarding the T5200 --> viewtopic.php?f=46&t=57883
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-15 @ 12:27

So it turns out that IDE over ISA didn't work, but experiments with a normal non-proprietary FDD have actually been successful! :)

I took out the proprietary floppy drive, put in the ISA I/O controller card and attached a normal floppy drive from Mitsumi on the controller's FDD connector. For now I powered it via an external 5V power source.
After booting, it worked. I was immediately able to boot from the floppy drive and use it normally like the proprietary one.

This is good news for anyone out there that has a T3200/5200 series with a broken proprietary floppy drive, as it means you can successfully replace it with a normal drive. The best thing is that there is a spare open space next to where the internal floppy drive sits that leads to the expansion card area in the back, which lets you neatly guide the FDD cable to the controller card in the back, internally (!). You can mount the replacement drive in the exact spot where the original drive was and neatly guide the FDD cable through this hole back to the controller card.

As for power, you only would need to find out which two pins from the proprietary floppy connector on the mainboard next to it give you the 5V power and then you could also power it internally.
All this makes it totally possible and viable to replace the proprietary FDD with a generic one.
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby OldCat » 2018-1-18 @ 07:47

There is a similar thread here on Vogons, but focused on T5200: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=57998

I highly recommend everyone to have a look. Among other things, there is a description of how to connect regular floppy instead of proprietary one, without ISA I/O controller, just rewiring connectors - this can be useful for any Toshiba computer from this family (T3100, T3200, T5100 and T3200SX).
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Re: Toshiba T3200SX BIOS?

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-25 @ 10:09

New discoveries are being made regarding the T5200/T3200SX and T3200SXC which are accumulating in these two additional threads

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=57998

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=57883
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