A couple of retros I'm working on.

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-14 @ 11:21

So ..by way of experiment and to try and remember how to (yes the memory fogs with age)
I built up a copy of Zenith win 3.1 and DOS 6.2 on a Quantum trailblazer 850S scsi drive (2 partitions made with Fdisk at 50% each)..using an old mobo with 2 x ISA slots
..and an Adaptec AHA-1540 card.
I did this outside the 5200/100 so has to have access to a floppy drive ..PS2 mouse and keyboard ..
Hopefully I can just transfer the Quantum and Adaptec into the Toshiba and test it there..
What should I watch out for ? ..will this work ?
Advice and comment welcomed.
Experiment is what sundays R 4
rgds
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-14 @ 11:27

The Adaptec card has a standard floppy port ..which could be useful..
As yet untested..
This is not a final solution .
I'd much prefer to fit a standard floppy in the Toshiba and use an IDE drive ..as I hate wasting an ISA ..
but still ..the experiment should stir up the old grey matter.
;)
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-14 @ 12:43

Put the Adaptec and quantum in the Toshiba ..but it fails to boot ..hanging (cursor flashing) after memory check.
Perhaps I need to disable the Connor in bios rather than just pulling the ide connector ?
How do I enter bios on the Toshiba ?
Can anyone advise ?
rgds
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-14 @ 14:29

..
Trying to work out why the floppy drive isn't working ..and have concluded the stepper motor bearings have failed ..
I have removed it complete with worm drive for the heads ..
I'm conviced this is repairable with a suitable motor.
Made by TEAC there are 2 sections to it ..and 4 wires ..
Red/White to the rear motor section and blue.yellow to the front section..
The worm drive does not turn freely at all ..it grates ...
Label on it says TEAC SPS-20HF-009
I wonder if this same motor was used in other floppy drives ????
rgds
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-15 @ 12:15

Vipersan wrote:Put the Adaptec and quantum in the Toshiba ..but it fails to boot ..hanging (cursor flashing) after memory check.
Perhaps I need to disable the Connor in bios rather than just pulling the ide connector ?
How do I enter bios on the Toshiba ?
Can anyone advise ?



I have had the same experience in regards to hanging after the memory check. This seems to happen if you have a hard drive set in the BIOS but there is actually no hard drive connected on the primary IDE. Then it stalls. If you have a drive connected, it continues. If you set the BIOS option to "No Drive", then it will continue to boot if there is no drive connected.

This is a problem however, because if you disable the HDD option in the BIOS in order to continue booting without an internal IDE, the BIOS seems to disable hard disk support altogether... I cannot get the I/O controller ISA card to detect any HDD, whatever address settings I try.

And to make things even worse and more confusing: Even if I use the patched BIOS chip (flashed BIOS that lets me boot from something else than a Conner), enable Hard Disk in BIOS and attach a HDD to the main IDE, it STILL doesn't detect any HDDs connected to the controller card. This could be different when using SCSI, but it seems the Toshiba simply ignores/overrides/disables ANY hard disk support other than the main IDE channel. This could be because the Toshiba disables any further IDE entries... but maybe SCSI will work? You have the unaltered BIOS chip, that means it should set it to NO DRIVE regardless of what you plug into the main IDE anyways, and let you boot. The question is whether you can then still boot from a SCSI. I cant boot from an IDE on controller card at all it seems, with both BIOS chips and with both - Hard Disk set and NO DRIVE set.

If it doesn't, then there is sadly no way around ordering a flashed BIOS chip with the hybrid BIOS 03I+03C.
It will enable you to use any IDE drive of your choosing in the main IDE slot. It seems that these computer don't let you boot form or use the secondary interface for storage media.

On a brighter note..: 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.

I am still not quite done with the IDE experiemtns, but as for now it seems IDE over I/O ISA card is out of the question. Maybe you have better luck with SCSI... But if not, there is always the possibility to order a preflashed patched BIOS on a chip for 10-20 bucks to simply use any IDE replacement drive of you choice.

PS: You can enter the BIOS on these Toshiba machines in three different ways.

1] Disconnecting the BIOS/RTC battery and reattaching it after 30 secs. The next time you start, it should tell you that the CMOS data is invalid, and offer you to enter the BIOS to set things right. (Recommended if you replace/change any hardware)
2] By holding LCTRL-LSHIFT-ESC (or was it F1?) when starting the machine.
3] putting the TESTx.EXE diagnostic program from Toshiba on a bootdisk and running it manually.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-15 @ 17:11

..

Thanks for the info JZ ..
I have an unrelated question you may be able to answer ..
I also have a Toshiba CT4900 notebook I want to get going ..
Unfortunately ..it too has a dead floppy drive ..
..and having no usb (designed for win95) ..this makes life difficult to build a new O/S
Was there ever an external floppy drive made that would connect via serial or parallel port ..and bootable ?
I am limited to I/O options on this unit also.
can you offer advice ?
rgds
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-15 @ 22:37

I looked up the 4900CT as I am not familiar with this model and it seems like the installed floppy drive is a super slim-line (1/3rds height) drive, which was already standard at that time.
The slim-line models (2/3rds height) introduced in 1990 were quickly superceded by the 1/3rds super-slim. It depends on the connector on the back of the floppy drive itself.
If it has the standard ribbon cable connector that these super slim-line drives usually have, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to swap this drive with any super slim-line you can get your hands on. Working super-slims aren't rare or expensive.

Maybe you can make a photo of the connector at the back of the defect floppy drive? I bet it's not proprietary and could be swapped with another one.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-15 @ 23:24

It does indeed use a ribbon connection ..and one end is fixed in place ..
and yes ..it is super slim by comparison to conventional floppies..
I would have to strip it down to get photos ..and is not an easy disassembly..
I'm attaching a photo of the laptop ..
rgds
VS
from memory the attached image I found on the web is correct ..
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-16 @ 11:01

Tried everthing I can think of ..and although the 3.1 OS on the scsi was set bootable when built on the other mobo ...it will not boot in the 5200 with the NO HD option set in the bios ..so I guess ..no way to boot from scsi either ..
Oerk ?
Did you try the scsi card method ?
I guess I will have to order that hybrid BIOS 03I+03C JZ ..
Where do I order from ..and at what cost ?
This is a very frustrating piece of retro tech.
even the rtc wraps round ..
you can step to 2018 ...but on reboot shows 1918..lol
rgds
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby IanB » 2018-1-16 @ 14:59

jaZz_KCS wrote: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.

It's fairly straightforward to make up an adapter cable to connect an ordinary floppy drive to the proprietary connector on the T5200 and I had to do it on mine.
Here's the adapter cable I made which doesn't require any soldering. You will need to take floppy power from the HD power supply using a molex splitter cable.
(The unused cable ends on the ribbon cable should be insulated to avoid them touching anything and causing a short)

Edit:
I made some changes and posted full instructions here:

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=57998#p642629

Vipersan wrote:Tried everthing I can think of ..and although the 3.1 OS on the scsi was set bootable when built on the other mobo ...it will not boot in the 5200 with the NO HD option set in the bios ..so I guess ..no way to boot from scsi either ..

If anyone manages to get a floppy drive working and wants to post a dump of their existing BIOS I can determine if it will work with any drive or is drive locked.
My BIOS wasn't drive locked (I posted it and the patched one for 528MB in the other forum linked earlier in this thread)
You can dump your BIOS using debug by typing in the following commands from a DOS prompt:
DEBUG
N BIOS.BIN
R BX
0001
R CX
0000
W F000:0

That should result in a 64K file BIOS.BIN

I also posted some details of the mods I've done to my three T5200s here:
viewtopic.php?f=46&t=57998

I can post more detailed instructions on any of the above if you need them.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-16 @ 15:57

Thanks Ian ..
Floppy drive cable is my first priority..
I think..as I need some way to get a bios dump out of the 5200 ..
I have no I/O at all atm
rgds
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-16 @ 17:22

Ordered a couple of 26 pin IDC ..and found an old standard floppy ribbon ..so hopefully I wil soon have a working floppy drive..
fingers crossed
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby IanB » 2018-1-16 @ 17:49

Vipersan wrote:Ordered a couple of 26 pin IDC ..and found an old standard floppy ribbon ..so hopefully I wil soon have a working floppy drive..
fingers crossed


Dont forget to make sure the switch on the left hand side of the T5200 is in the "PRT" position when testing your floppy drive. If it's in the "A" position the internal floppy becomes the "B:" drive. I think you can see where the wires need to go from the photos but I'll post the actual pin to pin details for both internal and external floppy connections in my T5200 thread.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-16 @ 18:50

Well Ian ..
already started when I read your post ..
so please take a look at the floppy drive end of my lead ?
does it look right ?
if not I'll start again ..
rgds
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-16 @ 19:15

IanB wrote:
Vipersan wrote:Ordered a couple of 26 pin IDC ..and found an old standard floppy ribbon ..so hopefully I wil soon have a working floppy drive..
fingers crossed


Dont forget to make sure the switch on the left hand side of the T5200 is in the "PRT" position when testing your floppy drive. If it's in the "A" position the internal floppy becomes the "B:" drive. I think you can see where the wires need to go from the photos but I'll post the actual pin to pin details for both internal and external floppy connections in my T5200 thread.


I wonder if the T3200SX used the same drive. Maybe this adapter cable would help me out as well? As I plan to put a SoundBlaster into the 16bit slot, and since the machine only has one, I would rather not have to fall back to an ISA controller card later when the time arises and the proprietary drive dies.
The connector I see you have on the planar side is at least the same...
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-16 @ 19:20

I do hope it will be useful for you as well JZ ..
Like you I want to fit a soundblaster in the 16 bit ISA of the 5200 ..
..and if I can unlock the bios and fit a different HD ..
..a whole world of possibilities opens..
;)
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-16 @ 19:44

I really hope you can get past your HDD BIOS barrier on your T5200. I was able to luckily skip this step as a fellow vogoner sent me a spare BIOS chip with the altered T3200SX BIOS that will accept any HDD.

From what I can gather, I think the T3200SX used the same floppy drive and connector as the T5200, but I am still not 100% sure. Do you have some information on the pinout regarding the drive, Ian, or even some info whether the T3200Sx used the same drive? Info on floppy drive models used and their pinouts regarding the T series is really scarce on the internet :(

Also regarding the power..: Since the proprietary floppy was powered over the data cable, shouldn't we be able to use it for our drive as well? As in: Don't two of your unused cables on the connector not carry 5V/GND?
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-16 @ 19:53

jaZz_KCS wrote:I really hope you can get past your HDD BIOS barrier on your T5200. I was able to luckily skip this step as a fellow vogoner sent me a spare BIOS chip with the altered T3200SX BIOS that will accept any HDD.

From what I can gather, I think the T3200SX used the same floppy drive and connector as the T5200, but I am still not 100% sure. Do you have some information on the pinout regarding the drive, Ian, or even some info whether the T3200Sx used the same drive? Info on floppy drive models used and their pinouts regarding the T series is really scarce on the internet :(


I'm sort of hoping someone can do the same for me re..the bios ..
I don't think I have anything that can program those 40 pin chips near the RTC battery plug ..
I'm assuming one of them carries the bios ?
IC35 or IC36 ????

Closer inspection shows one of them to be a 27C1024 with a paper sticker over the 'window' labelled 006A
I figure that might be the one (IC36)
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-16 @ 20:20

Just checked if my TL866 programmer supports an Atmel 27C1024 ...and it IS in the list ..so maybe ..just maybe..
rgds
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Formulator » 2018-1-16 @ 20:25

Another verified method of using a standard 34-pin floppy drive is as follows, thanks to T-Squared on VCF.

Use this 34 pin to 26 pin adapter:

Image

Tie pin 8 (READY) to ground, also tie pin 9 to ground otherwise you will only be able to format 720K diskettes, not 1.44M. The image below shows the proper modification of the adapter.

Image

I had to bend the battery tray slightly to fit the adapter card in but it works well.
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