Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

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Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby Chupperson » 2018-1-27 @ 07:07

Hi everyone,
I am trying to use Ontrack 9.57 to utilize my entire 16GB CF card in my 486. It works fine on the machine, but when I put the card in my Windows 10 PC it tells me the card has an unrecognized file system and I need to format it.
What is the secret to being able to just pop the card into my card reader and copy files over as in the video from PhilsComputerLab?
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby Nipedley » 2018-1-27 @ 08:14

I also had this problem. The dynamic drive overlay software makes it so that the cards can't be read in a modern PC

What you can do is use a DDO software that allows you to remove it without having to reformat the card, I used Maxtor's Maxblast DDO software instead which allows you to install & uninstall without touching any of the data. Maxtor's Maxblast is available on phil's computer lab site also

So you can install DDO, use in your 486, uninstall it and use it in your modern PC etc.
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby derSammler » 2018-1-27 @ 09:31

That's odd, as all it should do is to install a BIOS extention into the MBR so that the drive (or card in this case) can be accessed using LBA on the target PC. This has no effect on the drive itself. Unless Ontrack works completely different - then I recommend trying EZ-Drive.
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-27 @ 09:58

Yeah it should have no affect on the rive itself. I use EZ-Drive on all my SD and CF cards and never had any problems plugging them into a modern system for quick file transfer. Can't vouch for OnTrack though, but EZ-Drive is solid.
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby keropi » 2018-1-27 @ 11:09

OnTrack does that , it's just the way it works.
What I recommend is to ditch the software overlay solutions all together and use the XT-IDE bios instead.
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-27 @ 11:21

keropi wrote:OnTrack does that , it's just the way it works.
What I recommend is to ditch the software overlay solutions all together and use the XT-IDE bios instead.

You can't use an XT-IDE BIOS in all machines, though, whereas overlay software like EZ-Drive is a real alternative in most situations.

XT-IDE requires in most cases the presence of a network controller card, and also depending on how it's configured has a maximum disk size it is compatible with. If you want to break that one without reflashing then you have to use overlay software anyways, or reflash the BIOS with a different config.

Also not everyone has access to eeprom burners, and not always is the BIOS chip reachable, or socketed even.
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby keropi » 2018-1-27 @ 11:29

I've run XT-IDE in a range of machines from XT to pentium1 ones... it will work just fine.
Sure you need to invest some money/time but in the long run it's a far superior solution than any software overlay and that's why I recommend it.
Anyone is free to use whatever they want though, I can't argue with that.
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-27 @ 11:48

keropi wrote:I've run XT-IDE in a range of machines from XT to pentium1 ones... it will work just fine.
Sure you need to invest some money/time but in the long run it's a far superior solution than any software overlay and that's why I recommend it.
Anyone is free to use whatever they want though, I can't argue with that.


True, there are some undeniable advantages when using XT-IDE BIOSes, like for example additional FDD and HDD capabilities.

But for laptop users (and portables without expansion slots) it might be easier to just use overlay software. (If you don't have access to a person with an epprom burner and/or the neccessary modules to be flashed)
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby PTherapist » 2018-1-27 @ 12:34

What I've done in the past to get around this is set up the DDO on the drive in a computer that fully recognises it anyway.

Not sure if it will work, it did for me on my 286 recently though, try the following -

Uninstall Ontrack using your 486.
Remove the drive and place it in a modern PC or any that will recognise the full size.
Install Ontrack using the modern PC (you will need to recreate partitions and format the drive).
Place it back in the 486 and all should be good hopefully.
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby Chupperson » 2018-1-27 @ 18:14

Thanks for all the replies!
I'll give EZ-Drive a try for now.
I am still curious how Phil was able to open his CF card on a new machine after installing Ontrack from a 386.

I do want to switch to XT-IDE. I have a ROM burner so I just need to find an appropriate ISA card to use the ROM with.
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby marvias » 2018-2-04 @ 14:03

I was able to read CF with ontrack and Win95 in my windows 7 system until I rebooted win95 to DOS mode (using Phil's pif file). Since then, Win7 just doesnt recognize partitions on CF. Also after each return from DOS mode, win95 said that mbr was modified and I should check changes because it might have been caused by malware. So that might be just it?
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Re: Ontrack 9.57 on CF card - can't view on modern PC

Postby Jo22 » 2018-2-04 @ 18:51

Both DOS 7 and Win95 are LBA aware, but perhaps there's a difference in which way they handle LBA access.
DOS relies on the BIOS information (-which Ontrack fakes to do its magic-), while the GUI (Win9x) has its own, native driver (a VXD),
which retrieves the information dirctly from the hardware (Win95 may also include an Ontrack VXD driver, but perhaps in a different version).
Maybe there's a inequality in how they calculate the actual LBA numbers each (DOS vs. Win95 vs. Win7).
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