VOGONS


10GB drive + Award BIOS problems

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Reply 20 of 29, by GuillermoXT

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Have you thought about getting a ide controller like the Fasttrack Ultra? It works very good....just as idea

GA-586TX-3 Mainboard
K6-2 400 CPU AFQ (6x66mhz)
128MB Ram
Matrox Mystique 4MB + Voodoo 1 4MB
4x USB 2.0 hub PCI
Fastrack Ultra 100 PCI
80gb HDD
Sound Blaster Pro 2 ISA

Reply 21 of 29, by aha2940

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Roman555 wrote on 2020-07-01, 05:15:
aha2940 wrote on 2020-07-01, 04:53:

...
Thanks for the tips, I do have a recovery option (several EPROMs and an EPROM writer) so recovery is not an issue at all.
...

So you can make a patched bios yourself. It's easy.
http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=871&menustate=0

Thanks for the suggestion, however I already tried a patched BIOS (not by me, found it googling) and it did not work, so maybe this BIOS does not allow patching or something, i don't know. I can try though.

GuillermoXT wrote on 2020-07-01, 05:44:

Have you thought about getting a ide controller like the Fasttrack Ultra? It works very good....just as idea

It's a good idea, however since specific hardware is difficult to get around here, I do not live in the US, and shipping things from there to here is expensive, I'd like to try the options that are cheaper for me right now since I already have the EPROMs, the programmer and using software is free, so that's what I'd like to try first before deciding on getting more hardware.

Reply 22 of 29, by Roman555

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aha2940 wrote on 2020-07-01, 06:05:
Roman555 wrote on 2020-07-01, 05:15:
aha2940 wrote on 2020-07-01, 04:53:

...
Thanks for the tips, I do have a recovery option (several EPROMs and an EPROM writer) so recovery is not an issue at all.
...

So you can make a patched bios yourself. It's easy.
http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=871&menustate=0

Thanks for the suggestion, however I already tried a patched BIOS (not by me, found it googling) and it did not work, so maybe this BIOS does not allow patching or something, i don't know. I can try though.

Some necessary utilities for the rom.by_patcher and its previous version 4.23 in the attachment. Maybe you'll patch better than someone did 😀

Attachments

  • Filename
    rom.by_patcher.zip
    File size
    112.57 KiB
    Downloads
    12 downloads
    File comment
    rom.by Bios Patcher (v4.23 v4.51beta) Kit for Award
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 23 of 29, by aha2940

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So, I just tried again to add XT-IDE to the original BIOS file of the motherboard. I used XTIDECFG to configure XT-BIOS automatically on the computer where I'd use it, then downloaded the configured XT-IDE file again to my laptop, added it to the BIOS file as an ISA extension using AWDBEDIT, burned it to an EPROM and what do you know! it did not work. The PC posts and boots as usual, however no trace at all of XT-IDE. This is getting tiresome, mainly because to do every test, i have to erase an EPROM (20 mins usually), then unsolder some cables from the EPROM (the ones I use are not 100% pin compatible with the original EEPROM used by the motherboard), burn the file to the EPROM, resolder the cables and try again. It takes like an hour to do a single test. I'll try to buy a couple EEPROMs just like the original one (winbond W29EE011-15) so I can test faster.

Roman555 wrote on 2020-07-01, 07:46:
aha2940 wrote on 2020-07-01, 06:05:
Roman555 wrote on 2020-07-01, 05:15:

So you can make a patched bios yourself. It's easy.
http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=871&menustate=0

Thanks for the suggestion, however I already tried a patched BIOS (not by me, found it googling) and it did not work, so maybe this BIOS does not allow patching or something, i don't know. I can try though.

Some necessary utilities for the rom.by_patcher and its previous version 4.23 in the attachment. Maybe you'll patch better than someone did 😀

Thanks for the tools, I'll look into this option and try it when I get the new EEPROMs.

Reply 24 of 29, by aha2940

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Roman555 wrote on 2020-07-01, 07:46:

Some necessary utilities for the rom.by_patcher and its previous version 4.23 in the attachment. Maybe you'll patch better than someone did 😀

Hi! I tried patching the original BIOS of the board using these tools, but the patched version does not even POST. The video card starts, the BIOS logo appears, but that's it. No memory count, no "press DEL to enter BIOS", nothing. So it does seem this BIOS is different somehow and the patching tools do not work with it.

Reply 25 of 29, by aha2940

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Well, pretty disappointed with the results I got with joining XT-IDE with the original BIOS, I tried another path: I got a couple of 27C256 EPROMs, wrote a configured XT-IDE file and put it on the 3Com 3C509B card. It worked...kind of. The PC POSTed, XT-IDE correctly detected the primary master (hard drive), but it hanged a long time on the secondary master (the CDROM). I reconfigured XT-IDE with a single IDE channel, wrote it again on the EPROM and tried again. Now it boots faster, however I had to reinstall the operating systems because of some issues when booting. I reinstalled DOS 6.22 without any problems, however when trying to reinstall Win98SE, I noticed the "boot order" I set on the BIOS is no longer relevant: XT-IDE always starts on the first hard drive (or optionally the floppy) and that's it. Now the question:

- Is there any way to boot from the CDROM while using XT-IDE?

Reply 26 of 29, by jakethompson1

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aha2940 wrote on 2020-07-09, 04:05:

Well, pretty disappointed with the results I got with joining XT-IDE with the original BIOS, I tried another path: I got a couple of 27C256 EPROMs, wrote a configured XT-IDE file and put it on the 3Com 3C509B card. It worked...kind of. The PC POSTed, XT-IDE correctly detected the primary master (hard drive), but it hanged a long time on the secondary master (the CDROM). I reconfigured XT-IDE with a single IDE channel, wrote it again on the EPROM and tried again. Now it boots faster, however I had to reinstall the operating systems because of some issues when booting. I reinstalled DOS 6.22 without any problems, however when trying to reinstall Win98SE, I noticed the "boot order" I set on the BIOS is no longer relevant: XT-IDE always starts on the first hard drive (or optionally the floppy) and that's it. Now the question:

- Is there any way to boot from the CDROM while using XT-IDE?

The reason your boot order isn't relevant is because XT-IDE is "SCSI" from your BIOS's perspective.
Booting from CD-ROM is code named El Torito. I don't see that anywhere on the XT-IDE website. I'm not sure if there is a way the XT-IDE can pass control back to your normal BIOS so that it can turn around and boot from CD-ROM though.
There is a program called Smart Boot Manager you can write to your hard drive's boot sector that you may have luck with as it generates a boot menu and one option is boot from CD-ROM.

Reply 27 of 29, by jaZz_KCS

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aha2940 wrote on 2020-07-09, 04:05:

Well, pretty disappointed with the results I got with joining XT-IDE with the original BIOS, I tried another path: I got a couple of 27C256 EPROMs, wrote a configured XT-IDE file and put it on the 3Com 3C509B card. It worked...kind of. The PC POSTed, XT-IDE correctly detected the primary master (hard drive), but it hanged a long time on the secondary master (the CDROM). I reconfigured XT-IDE with a single IDE channel, wrote it again on the EPROM and tried again. Now it boots faster, however I had to reinstall the operating systems because of some issues when booting. I reinstalled DOS 6.22 without any problems, however when trying to reinstall Win98SE, I noticed the "boot order" I set on the BIOS is no longer relevant: XT-IDE always starts on the first hard drive (or optionally the floppy) and that's it. Now the question:

- Is there any way to boot from the CDROM while using XT-IDE?

Why don't you copy over your W98 setup folder onto the hard disk (another DATA partition would be better) to omit having to boot from CD, and install from there? This is the recommend method as it not only goes much faster but also will never nag you afterwards when installing Windows software as it will always automatically "finds the CD" when it needs setup files.

Reply 28 of 29, by aha2940

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Well, now that I installed windows 98 while using XT-IDE (see below), I'm not sure if this will work for me. I am getting very slow hard drive access. Windows 98 SE install took almost an hour, and this PC is not that slow (Pentium MMX 233, 64 MB RAM, intel 430TX chipset). DOS seems to work fine, though. I think I misconfigured something on the XT-IDE file, or maybe the intel chipset is not correctly supported by the XT-IDE BIOS. Something interesting that I noticed is that the hard drive is nowhere to be found on the Windows 98 device manager. It usually is on "Disk drives" category, showing as Type 47 hard drive, but now using XT-IDE it's nowhere. Maybe a driver is needed? Any ideas guys?

jakethompson1 wrote on 2020-07-09, 04:25:

The reason your boot order isn't relevant is because XT-IDE is "SCSI" from your BIOS's perspective.
Booting from CD-ROM is code named El Torito. I don't see that anywhere on the XT-IDE website. I'm not sure if there is a way the XT-IDE can pass control back to your normal BIOS so that it can turn around and boot from CD-ROM though.
There is a program called Smart Boot Manager you can write to your hard drive's boot sector that you may have luck with as it generates a boot menu and one option is boot from CD-ROM.

Thanks for the suggestion about Smart Boot Manager. I got the latest version (which is almost 20 yers old!) and installed successfully, however the boot from CDROM would not work. It tries, the CDROM spins, but then some garbled characters appear on screen and nothing else happens.

jaZz_KCS wrote on 2020-07-09, 07:22:

Why don't you copy over your W98 setup folder onto the hard disk (another DATA partition would be better) to omit having to boot from CD, and install from there? This is the recommend method as it not only goes much faster but also will never nag you afterwards when installing Windows software as it will always automatically "finds the CD" when it needs setup files.

I managed to do this, and Windows 98 installed fine, thanks!

Thanks!

Reply 29 of 29, by aha2940

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Hi! In the end, I removed the XT-IDE chip from the NIC, installed Ontrack Disk Manager 9.57 (downloaded from Phil's site) and now everything works as it should. Performance in Win98 and DOS is correct and both see the full 10GB drive (well, DOS sees only 8.4 GB, but that's its limit, so it's OK). I'm kind of ashamed for not having done this from the beginning, but it was interesting experimenting with the other options even if they were not what I was hoping for.

Thanks!