SD Card Adapter On an Old 386

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: SD Card Adapter On an Old 386

Postby Jo22 » 2017-12-04 @ 10:18

fsmith2003 wrote:Try to write 0000 to it on the a modern pc and then on the 386 do a fdisk to add the partitions
and then do a fdisk /mbr to replace the mbr.

There's also an utility that's supposed to clear track 0. :)
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Re: SD Card Adapter On an Old 386

Postby iFXBR » 2017-12-05 @ 10:28

iFXBR wrote:
derSammler wrote:Did you try other cards?

This is my next test. I am planning to buy a 256MB SDCARD ant test it.

I've tested 256MB and 128MB SD cards. No success at all. Any tips?
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Re: SD Card Adapter On an Old 386

Postby xjas » 2017-12-05 @ 11:02

I'm using a CF card for storage on my 386, I ended up running IDE-Diag as suggested here to get the CHS parameters and set it up manually using those. It works fine, and seems totally consistent. No data corruption or issues so far.

Boot from a floppy with all hard drives set to "none", then run IDEDIAG off the floppy. It will tell you what to use.

Ampera wrote:It's been debated many times on this forum, but my personal opinion is the same. There is no reason to use a FAT32 partition on DOS. All it does is break programs, and cause issues. If you need more than 2GB, then you shouldn't be using DOS in the first place, you should be using Windows. My 486 has a 2GB WD Caviar and I barely use a quarter of it with a load of games stuffed on there (Like 4 copies of Doom, k?)

Windows breaks programs and causes issues.

I've had zero trouble using FAT32 on my main DOS machine, it's got a 20GB drive with ~11GB used already. I use it for music production (tracking) so I need the space for samples, audio renders, etc. Not to mention a lot of late DOS games can do multiple-hundred MB installs to the HDD so you don't have to mess around with old CDs etc.

I have another DOS system with a 160GB drive and have had no issues with that either. I typically run FreeDOS though.
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Re: SD Card Adapter On an Old 386

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2017-12-05 @ 11:17

I have been using SD2IDE adapters successfully for months now in various 386 systems ranging from 1989 to 1992. They are also mainly used in my two 386 machines at home.

There are two types of adapters, the 3.5inch and the 2.5inch variety. They differ in the fact that the 2.5inch version does not have a jumper setting option, typically not needed on laptops anyways, since the master/slave setting is almost always handled by the proprietary BIOS of these machines. I almost exclusively use the 2.5inch SD2IDE variety (Sintechi "SD to CF version 1") as I mainly work with laptops.

Which also leads to another frequently used workaround: Due to the fact that over 95% of ALL laptops of this era do feature a proprietary (and therefore in most cases heavily neutered) BIOS, you are almost always UNABLE to change drive settings like type, amount of cylinders, heads, sectors, etc. yourself. In addition to this in almost all of the scenarios, even if your CF or SD card is lower in size than the present BIOS HDD size limitation, they will NOT get detected successfully/correctly. This might differ heavily on desktop mainboards, but the success rate when it comes to laptops is pretty much nil.

These two factors - the incorrect detection of type/cyl/head/etc as well as the fact that you normally would like to use higher capacities than the BIOS can handle - almost always lead me to use Drive Overlay software like OnTrack or EZ-BIOS (recommended). Not only does using one of these take away the need to configure the BIOS (remember, with most laptops, you CAN'T), but it also solves the problem of the BIOS HDD maximum capacity barrier.

So yeah, Drive overlay software is my friend when it comes to laptops, because you are pretty much dependent on them (if you want to use these kinds of HDD replacement adapters like CF and SD), since you cannot change drive settings in the BIOS yourself.

So in regards to desktop mainboards, it might as well be helpful for you to try using some overlay software if you cannot get the BIOS to detect the drive correctly, even on a desktop board.. Using this kind of software lets you ignore the settings of the HDD in the BIOS completely, since at every boot, the Drive Overlay software takes over and translates Heads/Cyls/Sectors, etc as well as drive size and type correctly, regardless of what the BIOS settings are set to.

It's just worth giving it a try. I HAVE to use these overlays on laptops, since I cannot change these kinds of settings manually in the BIOS. But ppl fiddling around with desktop mainboards, running Phoenix or Award BIOS let you change these settings at will. Even though it can be difficult to get a certain board to accept certain adapters, so you might as well try using an overlay that "sets these settings" automatically and correctly. Well, it doesnt "set" anything to be precise, it just overrides the BIOS at each system boot, making sure that the aforementioned settings are overridden so the adapters work.

I just realized that I make it sound like these drive overlays were written for these adapters, but for the overlay, these adapters are nothing else than oversized and therefore incompatible HDDs that need "translation".
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