Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

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Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby elianda » 2016-7-09 @ 20:59

Hello,

I was testing a few Adaptec ISA SCSI cards and noticed that my Adaptec 1542B does not seem to work with CD-ROMs.
The card is an Adaptec 1542B with Adaptec AT BIOS 3.10 with max. HDD size of 1 GB.
When the BIOS scans the bus I see the drive initialize, but it does not shows on screen. It just waits and continues after a while with no device found.
I thought I can simply load ASPI4DOS 3.36S but it always say installation failed. As if the driver is incompatible with this card.
However when I run SCSIFRMT which is actually for formatting HDDs it scans the bus and lists the attached CD-ROM fine.

Does anyone knows something regarding this issue?
Is the 3.10 BIOS not capable of CDROMs?
Is the BIOS too old to work with ASPI4DOS or do I need an old version of ASPI4DOS?

As ID 0,1,2 is reserved for bootable devices the CD-ROM is set to ID3 and terminates the bus. It works also fine with other SCSI controllers in the same setup.
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby akula65 » 2016-7-09 @ 23:38

I was looking at the EZ-SCSI Deluxe Edition User's Guide (Version 5, I think), and in the aspi4dos.sys section, it mentions the following concerning the port address command line option:

/p<port address>
This option lets you change the aspi4dos.sys default I/O address from the default (330h) to another valid address (130h, 134h, 230h, 234h or 334h). For example,

device=c:\scsi\aspi4dos.sys /d /p130

If you use /p<port address>, you may need to change jumper and switch settings. Some host adapter models require disabling the host adapter BIOS if you change the I/O port address, because the BIOS only works at the default address. Please read your host adapter documentation for more information.


Are you using the default 330h port address?

Also, one other thing that might be worth checking (if you are using a motherboard with PCI support) is whether the motherboard's enumeration for IRQs matches whatever you have the Adaptec jumper settings set to. In other words, it may be that you need to match the Adaptec IRQ jumper settings with the IRQ/slot that the motherboard BIOS setup program reports for the Adaptec host adapter in order for it to work properly on that particular motherboard.
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby elianda » 2016-7-10 @ 00:13

I use the standard configuration with adapter at 330h and BIOS working at 330h.
I also checked vs. PCI graphics cards using IRQ 11 and onboard floppy controllers interfering and went for an old 386 board for testing. (just ISA graphics card without IRQ as second card)

It also appears that ASPI4DOS checks the non-default I/O addresses itself for a present controller, so it found e.g. a 1542CF at port 334 without giving an extra /p334.
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby ViDiV » 2017-1-29 @ 17:41

I have the same issue with Adaptec AHA-1542B and ASPI4DOS v3.36. Tested with BIOS v3.10 and 3.20 (latest). Jumpers in default settings.

Fortunately, older ASPI4DOS v3.00 si working. Tested with BIOS v3.10 and 3.20 (latest). Jumpers in default settings.

ASPI4_30.ZIP - 106.2 kb - 07-31-96
ftp://ftp.mpoli.fi/pub/hardware/HDD/ADA ... PI4_30.ZIP
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby ViDiV » 2017-1-29 @ 17:58

ASPI4DOS v3.35 (1997) is also working. Tested with BIOS 3.20 (latest) and jumpers in default settings.
ftp://ftp.brain.it/public/driver/Adapte ... ompattati/
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby maxtherabbit » 2019-5-15 @ 20:44

Please forgive me necrobumping this thread but I'm going through the exact same thing. I have a 286 system with the AHA-1542B controller, BIOS version 3.10 with no extended translation support.

I initially tried the newest ASPI4DOS.SYS driver on adaptec's website, which just said "Initialization Failed" every time just like the OP. So I then tried both the older versions posted by ViDiV. Both of them initialize the ASPI4DOS driver successfully but I'm having issues after that.

Scenario 1 (Original):
Controller BIOS enabled, single FAT16 partition, 1GB in size, made with FDISK - every thing works

Scenario 2:
Controller BIOS enabled AND ASPI4DOS driver loaded (but not ASPIDISK), partition detail the same - I can change to the drive letter and do a DIR, the file list appears correct but it hangs before showing the used/free space for a very long time (substantially more than the normal hang there) and then reports "general error reading drive D"

Scenario 3:
Controller BIOS DISABLED, ASPI4DOS and ASPIDISK drivers loaded, partitions the same - same issue as scenario 2.

Scenario 4:
Controller BIOS DISABLED, ASPI4DOS and ASPIDISK drivers loaded, used AFDISK to delete the existing partition and create a new one (2GB with extended translation enabled) - same issue
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby eisapc » 2019-5-16 @ 06:50

For what I remember you need ASPICD.SYS loaded in CONFIG.SYS as well to get CDROM support with the adaptec ASPI stack.
And of course MSCDEX.EXE in AUTOEXEC.BAT
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby luckybob » 2019-5-16 @ 09:07

I just setup a 486 recently with a 1542CF.

here is the config and autoexec that I was used in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=46&t=66924&start=20#p756595
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby maxtherabbit » 2019-5-16 @ 15:36

eisapc wrote:For what I remember you need ASPICD.SYS loaded in CONFIG.SYS as well to get CDROM support with the adaptec ASPI stack.
And of course MSCDEX.EXE in AUTOEXEC.BAT
eisapc

that is correct but I'm trying to use it to access a hard disk not a CDROM - thus my use of ASPIDISK.SYS
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby luckybob » 2019-5-16 @ 17:05

Well you necroed a thread about a cd issue. Next time make a new thread, and include a link to a relevant thread. Less confusing for the rest of us.

Aspidisk is for things like zip drives, tapes, or multiple hard drives.

It's not for single drive setups. If you look at the config.sys I referred to, you can see I don't use Aspidisk. But it do use cd, but that should be obvious why. Honestly even aspi4dos' usefulness is questionable on single drive setups.
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby maxtherabbit » 2019-5-17 @ 00:41

Out of curiosity, I hooked up a Conner 320MB SCSI drive and tried the ASPI driver. It works perfectly with ASPI4DOS.SYS loaded and the BIOS enabled, as well as with ASPI4DOS+ASPIDISK.SYS loaded and the BIOS disabled using files from the "dosdrvr 1997.exe" package attached to this thread.

The reason I was attempting to use ASPIDISK.SYS with a single drive was to transcend the 1GB BIOS translation limitation. The problems I was having with the other drive (a 74GB Atlas 10KII) must be related to capacity and/or different translations being used by the ASPI driver vs. the BIOS. The Atlas works perfectly when controlled by the BIOS, just with only 1GB available capacity.
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby luckybob » 2019-5-17 @ 00:42

That's a bios limit, but there's an updated bios for that. Do you have a eeprom programmer?
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby maxtherabbit » 2019-5-17 @ 02:14

luckybob wrote:That's a bios limit, but there's an updated bios for that. Do you have a eeprom programmer?

Not yet. I got the updated BIOS files, my next move is to find and purchase an appropriate programmer.
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby eisapc » 2019-5-17 @ 07:11

As long as you try to use only one or two HDDs there is no need for the ASPIDISK.SYS driver. PC BIOS hast support for two HDDs allready. For what I remember ASPIDISK is needed for 3+ drives or removable drives like ZIP, Jazz, Bernoulli or Syquest drives.
If you use the adaptec EZ-SCSI driver suite the setup automatically installs all the needed drivers to your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT files. The DOS version of EZ-SCSI comes on 3 FDDs.
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby luckybob » 2019-5-17 @ 08:20

if you don't want to invest $150-$200 in a proper eeprom kit, then there are many people here (and locally too) that would be willing to help. I know I've done it a few times for others. $200 is a lot of cash upfront, but i subscribe to the "buy once; cry once" school of thought.

look up your local area for a "maker lab" or something to that effect. All large metro areas should have one and a eeprom programming kit is kinda a requirement, because they are infinitely useful.
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby maxtherabbit » 2019-5-17 @ 13:58

I actually did find (much to my surprise) 2 maker labs within a mile of my house, but it seems both of them require a monthly subscription to use the facilities, and neither specify on the website whether they have have programmers.

If anyone on here has some 27(or 28)C128s and wants to program them for me, I'd be happy to pay for the cost of the ICs and shipping to get this over with, but that being said I really want a programmer anyway.

After 25+ years in this hobby I'm pretty sick of not having one
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby elianda » 2019-5-17 @ 14:20

The ST27C256B may work as well if you leave A14 pin floating as seen here:
http://retronn.de/imports/hwgal/hw_cont ... front.html

This effectivly halves capacity.

http://ecee.colorado.edu/~mcclurel/STMi ... M_2384.pdf
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby maxtherabbit » 2019-5-17 @ 18:46

elianda wrote:The ST27C256B may work as well if you leave A14 pin floating as seen here:
http://retronn.de/imports/hwgal/hw_cont ... front.html

This effectivly halves capacity.

http://ecee.colorado.edu/~mcclurel/STMi ... M_2384.pdf

uh leaving it floating seems like a bad idea, it would be much better to just burn 2 copies of the ROM file to the chip and let the card tie A14 high
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby elianda » 2019-5-17 @ 19:49

Well, all I can say is that I tried it this way with a ST M27C256B and it works reliably. Though burning it in two subsequent copies and putting the pin on a defined potential is the non implementation dependent way.
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Re: Adaptec 1542B not working with ASPI4DOS

Postby maxtherabbit » 2019-5-23 @ 23:01

I purchased a TL866II programmer (only $47 shipped!) and upgraded the BIOS and microcode on the AHA-1542B to version 3.2. This adds support for extended translation and also netted me a nice speed boost on the Atlas 10K II. Also got a $10 toothbrush sanitizer for erasure purposes which worked a treat.

Sadly, even with the new BIOS the controller is still limited to 2 total hard disks in the PC. Still getting an error with trying to use ASPIDISK.SYS to add a 3rd drive. The drive is detected and assigned a drive letter with no issue, but it's still giving me a "general failure" when trying to calculate the free space after a directory listing on the HDD handled by the ASPIDISK driver.
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