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486 CD-Rom Questions

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First post, by rick12373

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So the saga of my 486 build continues (previous post is here New 486 Build). I have the motherboard, video card and sound card all working thanks to the new AT PSU I got from NewEgg. I have my hard drive running from the Promise EIDE2300 Plus I/O card. I used overlay software to get a new hard drive to work with it. It has been really difficult getting the ATX case to work with this old hardware, the worst part being the height of the cards not being correct so that they do not slot in far enough. But with a bit of brute force and bending of metal they are in and working now.

The problem I am having is that I cannot get the CD-ROM drive to be detected when plugged in to the I/O card or when plugged in to the CD-ROM connector of the CT2770 Soundblaster 16 Value card. I am using Phil's startup files from http://www.philscomputerlab.com/ms-dos-starter-pack.html. Is there a different way to get these old CD-ROMs to work?

Edit ** I just noticed that the Promise card is not the same card as the box it came in. The one on the box has an IDE and CD-ROM connector. The actual card only has an the one marked IDE drive. Does that mean that you can only connect hard drives to this I/O card? I could still use the IDE connector on the SB-16 but I can't get that to work either. Maybe there was specific software to get CD-ROM drives to work when connected to a Soundblaster? The I/O card I actually have is made by Promise and has "DC420" written on it if that means anything.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 1 of 45, by darry

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What brand and model of old CDROM is this ?
AFAIK, the CT2770 only has a port compatible with Matsushita proprietary interface drives, like the CR562B and CR563B. I believe Teac and a company named NSA (no relation to the US agency) made drives compatible with this. This port is definitely NOT ATAPI or ATA/IDE compatible .

The DC420 would only work with ATAPI type optical drives .

Last edited by darry on 2016-08-16, 00:43. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 45, by TheMobRules

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If the sound card does not have an IDE interface, you should be able to plug the CD-ROM drive to the I/O controller along with the hard drive with the same cable. You must remember to set the jumpers in the CD drive to SLAVE, though I don't know if any further jumper configuration would be necessary in the I/O controller.

EDIT: the above is assuming your drive has an IDE interface

Reply 3 of 45, by rick12373

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darry wrote:

What brand and model of old CDROM is this ?
AFAIK, the CT2770 only has a port compatible with Matsushita proprietary interface drives, like the CR562B and CR563B. I believe Teac and a company named NSA (no relation to the US agency) made drives compatible with this. This port is definitely NOT ATAPI or ATA/IDE compatible .

The DC420 would only work with ATAPI type optical drives .

That sound card has Creative/Panasonic written on the IDE connector. One of me CD-ROM drives is a CR-563-B which I think is a creative drive.

So, what type of CD-ROM should I use with the DC420? Does ATAPI mean I can use any newer CD-ROM IDE drive?

@ TheMobRules, I did set it to slave but it did not work. These were older drives though, one is the Creative one I mention above and the other is an 8 speed Mitsumi.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 4 of 45, by CkRtech

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That sound card has Creative/Panasonic written on the IDE connector.

Basically, the fact that the connector says Panasonic makes it a Panasonic/Matsushita connector rather than IDE as darry mentioned. My 1X CD-ROM that I got from Creative in the early 90s used this interface.

If you run the Creative Labs Panasonic/Matsushita interface drive off the SB16 with your CD-563-B, you will need an appropriate driver for the Panasonic interface rather than the generic IDE driver from Phil's site.

If you are using the ATAPI/IDE driver, you should be able to plug a more modern IDE CD-ROM jumpered to slave into the IDE cable from your Promise controller as TheMobRules pointed out.

Displaced Gamers (YouTube) - DOS Gaming Aspect Ratio - 320x200 || The History of 240p || Dithering on the Sega Genesis with Composite Video

Reply 5 of 45, by darry

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That sound card has Creative/Panasonic written on the IDE connector. One of me CD-ROM drives is a CR-563-B which I think is a creative drive.

Those two should work together, but would not be my first choice. The Creative/Panasonic (a.k.a Matsushita a.k.a MKE) 40-pin interface (not IDE) is a CPU hog because it uses software polling (NO IRQ required) to read data from CD-ROM media . Additionally it is not supported by the videcdd.sys driver (the one in the DOS pack) and will require a specific driver (such as sbcd.sys) . Finally, the CR-563-B is is a slow 2X drive (300 KB/second max) that predates recordable CD media (CD-R) availability and will most likely have issues with such media (mine did).

So, what type of CD-ROM should I use with the DC420? Does ATAPI mean I can use any newer CD-ROM IDE drive?

ATAPI is the protocol that allows optical drives such as CD-ROM drives to be connected to an ATA interface . IDE is a common name for parallel ATA (a.k.a PATA or simply ATA) . It is common practice to refer to a parallel ATA ATAPI CD-ROM drive as an IDE CD-ROM . The DC420 and most other ATA interfaces, even old ones, should be able to support IDE CD-ROM drives with a proper driver. videcdd.sys is such a driver .

the other is an 8 speed Mitsumi.

Chances are good that this drive is IDE CD-ROM . Few non-IDE drives, other than SCSI, were faster than 4X . If a drive has a 40 pin male connector (2 rows of 20 pins) and is 8X or faster, it is almost certainly IDE . Assuming the Mitsumi is IDE, in working order and jumpered properly (slave, master or single, as required), it should work on a card such as the DC420 . If you are trying to use it as a slave (sharing a cable with the hard drive), make sure the hard is set as master . Some hard drives have distinct settings for master (with slave) and single mode.

Reply 6 of 45, by rick12373

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I have been unable to get any CD drives to work with the Promise DC-420. I have tried 3 different IDE CD-ROM drives with the driver that comes with Phil's DOS pack. Each of the drives was set to slave. I do not have a manual for the Promise DC420 I/O card. I can see some jumpers on the card. Maybe the jumpers need to be changed so that it can support a CD-ROM? I have the hard drive on the end of the ribbon cable and the CD-ROM on the connector before that in the middle. The BIOS won't detect a CD-ROM right? Because it doesn't when I go to detect drive D. I have been having problems getting cards seated properly due to having to use an ATX case. I was wondering if maybe the I/O card is not seated well, but if that is the case then why is the hard drive and mouse working?

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 7 of 45, by Nipedley

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The DC-420 should support two drives on one cable. It doesn't look like there's any jumpers on the card pertaining to IDE.

The first thing I would do is establish that the drive is working, unplug the hard drive and connect just the CD-ROM to the controller card (set the CD-ROM to primary via the jumper). Use a win95/win98+ boot floppy that comes with a CD driver (MSCDEX) and see if you can access the CD-ROM drive. If you can, then it's something to do with either the jumpers on the devices or the cable. You might want to check the jumper settings for the hard disk in that case (set to primary) or try a different cable.

The only CD-ROM driver I've tried with my 486 is oakcdrom.sys and mscdex.exe (dos/win3.11) which has always worked flawlessly, and I'm using a 48x CD-RW drive from the early 2000's

I'm not able to see my CD-ROM drive from within the BIOS on my 486 (also using a Promise based VLB controller but with 2 IDE channels rather than just 1)

Reply 8 of 45, by rick12373

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Nipedley wrote:
The DC-420 should support two drives on one cable. It doesn't look like there's any jumpers on the card pertaining to IDE. […]
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The DC-420 should support two drives on one cable. It doesn't look like there's any jumpers on the card pertaining to IDE.

The first thing I would do is establish that the drive is working, unplug the hard drive and connect just the CD-ROM to the controller card (set the CD-ROM to primary via the jumper). Use a win95/win98+ boot floppy that comes with a CD driver (MSCDEX) and see if you can access the CD-ROM drive. If you can, then it's something to do with either the jumpers on the devices or the cable. You might want to check the jumper settings for the hard disk in that case (set to primary) or try a different cable.

The only CD-ROM driver I've tried with my 486 is oakcdrom.sys and mscdex.exe (dos/win3.11) which has always worked flawlessly, and I'm using a 48x CD-RW drive from the early 2000's

I'm not able to see my CD-ROM drive from within the BIOS on my 486 (also using a Promise based VLB controller but with 2 IDE channels rather than just 1)

I did this with 5 different CD-ROMs and 2 different IDE cables and nothing. I had the CD-ROMs set to primary. Could it be the I/O card? It is able to detect the hard drive and the serial port works for the mouse.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 9 of 45, by Jo22

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Did you try a USB-IDE converter ? You know, these USB cables with the little box on the other end ?
They are made for hard disks, but they do also work for optical drives.
I sometimes use them to test CD-ROM drives before connecting them to vintage gear..

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 10 of 45, by rick12373

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Jo22 wrote:

Did you try a USB-IDE converter ? You know, these USB cables with the little box on the other end ?
They are made for hard disks, but they do also work for optical drives.
I sometimes use them to test CD-ROM drives before connecting them to vintage gear..

I haven't and I suppose that might be usfeull but I could just attach one of these CD-ROMs to one of my other rigs that still have the flat ribbon IDE connectors. I am sure at least one of the CD-ROMs I have attempted to use actually work. As far as I know all of them do. I am baffled.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 11 of 45, by rick12373

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Still can't get a CD-ROM detected. I have been trying all kinds of combinations of slave/master/cable select, different IDE cables and different CD-ROM drives. One quick question does it matter which end of the IDE cable is master?

* Edit *

Are there any jumper setting on the MB that could be screwing this up? Any setting in the BIOS that need to be change? I have tried everything suggested to me and the bloody thing will not detect the CD-ROM.

There are some options in the BIOS such as "IDE Block Mode", "IDE LBA Mode" and "IDE 32-Bit Transfer". They are all currently disabled. I am not sure if this is anything to do with the problem.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 12 of 45, by Nipedley

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This is rather confusing, I found some info that Promise made cards with 2 interfaces, one 32-bit only supporting hard drives and a second 16-bit interface specifically for CD-ROMs, so I thought maybe your card only has the interface that supports hard disks. I couldn't find any info on the DC-420 but I found this conversation around getting CD-ROM to work on a DC-400 (same driver, presumably similar) https://www.dslreports.com/forum/r1363275-A-Q … ion-of-Antiques

They couldn't get a CD-ROM to work in W95 but eventually got it working in DOS. Did you give oakcdrom.sys a try?

It shouldn't matter which end of the cable you use

I don't believe those BIOS settings would have any bearing on the CD-ROM, Block Mode is for (supposedly) faster transfer speeds, and LBA is for using large disks (up to 2GB on my machine with LBA)

Reply 13 of 45, by rick12373

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Nipedley wrote:
This is rather confusing, I found some info that Promise made cards with 2 interfaces, one 32-bit only supporting hard drives an […]
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This is rather confusing, I found some info that Promise made cards with 2 interfaces, one 32-bit only supporting hard drives and a second 16-bit interface specifically for CD-ROMs, so I thought maybe your card only has the interface that supports hard disks. I couldn't find any info on the DC-420 but I found this conversation around getting CD-ROM to work on a DC-400 (same driver, presumably similar) https://www.dslreports.com/forum/r1363275-A-Q … ion-of-Antiques

They couldn't get a CD-ROM to work in W95 but eventually got it working in DOS. Did you give oakcdrom.sys a try?

It shouldn't matter which end of the cable you use

I don't believe those BIOS settings would have any bearing on the CD-ROM, Block Mode is for (supposedly) faster transfer speeds, and LBA is for using large disks (up to 2GB on my machine with LBA)

I have tried the oakcdrom.sys I think. Is that the on the Win 98 boot floppy? If so, I have. The box that this I/O card came in was not the original box. The box was for a Promise card with 2 interfaces. Maybe whoever put the wrong card back in the box upgraded their computer with the 2 interface one due to not being able to get CD-ROM working.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 14 of 45, by Nipedley

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That would make sense except for the post about the DC-400, I can't find any pictures of it but if he got one working surely you should be able to as well. Did you try out the drivers for the 420? There are DOS and Win3.1 drivers included in the zip file http://files.mpoli.fi/hardware/HDD/PROMISE/

Worth a go having a play with those, though technically I/O card drivers are usually only required for enabling certain modes and the drives should just work (mine do using a Kentech KJD-IDE10 vlb controller)

Reply 15 of 45, by rick12373

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I added the DOS driver for the 420 to my config.sys and it is loaded. I added it under the COMMON section of Phil's DOS config.sys but what else would I need to do? When I select a startup option with CD-ROM from Phil's list should it now pickup up the CD-ROM? If that is supposed to work it didn't.

I do have a SB16 Value CT2770 with a Panasonic / Creative interface for CD-ROM and a Creative CD-ROM model CR-563-B. I could try and use that. Would I need to use Creative's drivers to get that to work?

* I got the Creative drive to work with the SB16. I would rather run a CD-ROM from the I/O card though because I don't think the Creative drive will read CD/Rs.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 16 of 45, by CkRtech

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So do all of the config.sys-based drivers give you an error a la "No CD-ROM found" or something along those lines when you boot? I assume you never get as far as being able to use MSCDEX?

It is possible that the resources your promise controller uses are not typical IDE default resources. I think I ran a Creative Labs IDE interface card at one point a couple of decades ago and had to specify the I/O and IRQ resources the card used as a parameter for the sys file in order to get it to detect it. I had it on the secondary IDE, so I did something like:

device=C:\CDROM\SBIDE.SYS /P:170,15 /D:CDROM

Not all cdrom sys drivers use the same parameters, but you could double check what resources your promise card is set to use (I assume the jumpers on the card include resources used) and then deliberately set those resources on the SYS line in your config sys - making sure to use a driver that supports resource specifications.

Displaced Gamers (YouTube) - DOS Gaming Aspect Ratio - 320x200 || The History of 240p || Dithering on the Sega Genesis with Composite Video

Reply 17 of 45, by rick12373

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CkRtech wrote:
So do all of the config.sys-based drivers give you an error a la "No CD-ROM found" or something along those lines when you boot? […]
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So do all of the config.sys-based drivers give you an error a la "No CD-ROM found" or something along those lines when you boot? I assume you never get as far as being able to use MSCDEX?

It is possible that the resources your promise controller uses are not typical IDE default resources. I think I ran a Creative Labs IDE interface card at one point a couple of decades ago and had to specify the I/O and IRQ resources the card used as a parameter for the sys file in order to get it to detect it. I had it on the secondary IDE, so I did something like:

device=C:\CDROM\SBIDE.SYS /P:170,15 /D:CDROM

Not all cdrom sys drivers use the same parameters, but you could double check what resources your promise card is set to use (I assume the jumpers on the card include resources used) and then deliberately set those resources on the SYS line in your config sys - making sure to use a driver that supports resource specifications.

Yes, all drivers have given me no CD-ROM found apart from when I run the Creative drive from the SB16. There are three jumpers on the Promise DC420, I have no idea what they are used for. I have no idea what resources the promise card uses or how to find out.

* Edit

I just ran SIDIAG.EXE which comes with the software for this I/O card and it tells me that it is using IRQ 14. Would that help to set the resources in config.sys? If so, how should the config.sys line read?

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card

Reply 18 of 45, by CkRtech

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Does the diagnostic utility give you any additional information besides mentioning IRQ 14? I assume it is address 1F0. Does it tell you the address? If you have secondary IDE on it, you probably also have A170 and IRQ 15 as well - provided that the addresses are the same on your card. They may even be selectable via jumpers.

The parameters are going to vary depending on which sys driver you are using.

Displaced Gamers (YouTube) - DOS Gaming Aspect Ratio - 320x200 || The History of 240p || Dithering on the Sega Genesis with Composite Video

Reply 19 of 45, by rick12373

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CkRtech wrote:

Does the diagnostic utility give you any additional information besides mentioning IRQ 14? I assume it is address 1F0. Does it tell you the address? If you have secondary IDE on it, you probably also have A170 and IRQ 15 as well - provided that the addresses are the same on your card. They may even be selectable via jumpers.

The parameters are going to vary depending on which sys driver you are using.

I am using videcdd.sys from Phil's DOS start up files. The diagnostic does not give any other info I'm afraid. It says IRQ 14 (primary), Ext. BIOS DC000H and cache size 1024KB. There is only one IDE connector on the I/O card so I have been trying to add the CD-ROM as slave. There are only three jumpers on the card and I have no way of knowing what they do. I have been unable to find any documentation on the Promise DC420.

486 DX4-100 (overdrive)
16MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (2x8MB)
1MB Diamond Speedstar Pro VLB video card
SB 16 Value CT2770
AOpen VI15G Socket 3 Motherboard
HDD/FDD VLB controller card