VOGONS


First post, by Mattyice1994

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Hey Vogons,

So, today I decided to try to install a CD-Rom drive into my 486. I have a VLB controller card (Winbond chipset) with 2 IDE, 1 floppy, com, etc.

Plugged in an identical ribbon cable to the second IDE pins open on the controller card, plugged it into CD ROM with Molex.

Booted, and it never saw the HDD.

Realized I may have had the ribbon cable the wrong way on the CD-ROM end, switched it. Nothing.

CD-ROM flashes and opens etc. so power works.

I'm using a CF to IDE adapter for my main disk (plugged into the primary IDE pins on the controller card). Still gets power.

Nothing has changed besides attempting to add the CD-ROM.

Did I fry my controller card inadvertantly?? Any ideas on what happened? I can't get the HDD (4gb compact flash) to recognize in BIOS now...

Thank you for any help!!
Matt

Reply 1 of 7, by darry

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Mattyice1994 wrote on 2020-09-26, 03:55:
Hey Vogons, […]
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Hey Vogons,

So, today I decided to try to install a CD-Rom drive into my 486. I have a VLB controller card (Winbond chipset) with 2 IDE, 1 floppy, com, etc.

Plugged in an identical ribbon cable to the second IDE pins open on the controller card, plugged it into CD ROM with Molex.

Booted, and it never saw the HDD.

Realized I may have had the ribbon cable the wrong way on the CD-ROM end, switched it. Nothing.

CD-ROM flashes and opens etc. so power works.

I'm using a CF to IDE adapter for my main disk (plugged into the primary IDE pins on the controller card). Still gets power.

Nothing has changed besides attempting to add the CD-ROM.

Did I fry my controller card inadvertantly?? Any ideas on what happened? I can't get the HDD (4gb compact flash) to recognize in BIOS now...

Thank you for any help!!
Matt

What brand model is the CD-ROM ? Are you sure is is IDE (ATAPI) ?

Does the CF card still work in a USB card reader on another PC ?

Reply 2 of 7, by SodaSuccubus

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Check if the CDROM jump'd for slave. Youl want it as Master if it's alone on a cable.

It could also possibly just be your VLB IDE. They can be a bit finnicky and iv personally had issues with too many devices attached to them.

Reply 3 of 7, by Warlord

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You should 1st undo everything you did, then next before u proceed plugging IDE cables look for pin 1 on the contoller card and pin 1 on the CF and IDE. Red wire on the ribbon cable goes into pin 1 both sides.

Go into your bios and set all the HDD settings to default.

Ignore the CD rom right now. Just try to get the CF working.

make sure that if you have onboard IDE motherboard that its disabled.

IDE on old computers like that want to use IRQ 14 and 15 for channel 1 and 2.

whatever IRQs your card is set for need to be free irq for use and no conflict.

Reply 4 of 7, by Mattyice1994

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darry wrote on 2020-09-26, 04:02:

What brand model is the CD-ROM ? Are you sure is is IDE (ATAPI) ?
Does the CF card still work in a USB card reader on another PC ?

I'm not sure what brand this CD-Rom is.. I'll have to look a bit more closely, but it is a pretty generic drive. Nothing stands out at all as far as a brand. I'll check the lable on it more closely in a bit.
The CF card does still work in my PC too, just as normal. It's strange, I used it last night. I will say, Win 3.11 had some sort of issue with writing / saving the program groups. Not sure what the issue was, but it seemed like just a glitch within Windows. The CF card does sometimes have write errors, but usually when I "retry" it has worked fine.
It is a 4gb Transcend for reference. Actually the same that LGR used with his 486 haha.

SodaSuccubus wrote on 2020-09-26, 04:10:

Check if the CDROM jump'd for slave. Youl want it as Master if it's alone on a cable.

It could also possibly just be your VLB IDE. They can be a bit finnicky and iv personally had issues with too many devices attached to them.

It was actually set as slave, but even after setting it to Master, no change.

I was unfortunately thinking it might be the VLB controller as well.. but honestly, that specific IDE port I haven't messed with in weeks. And, I was just testing, the floppy still boots fine...

Could part of the card be fried? The floppy works, the IDE (1 and 2) do not...

Also, just checked another CF to IDE adapter I had on hand, no change. So I know that the adapter itself is fine.

Warlord wrote on 2020-09-26, 04:13:
You should 1st undo everything you did, then next before u proceed plugging IDE cables look for pin 1 on the contoller card and […]
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You should 1st undo everything you did, then next before u proceed plugging IDE cables look for pin 1 on the contoller card and pin 1 on the CF and IDE. Red wire on the ribbon cable goes into pin 1 both sides.

Go into your bios and set all the HDD settings to default.

Ignore the CD rom right now. Just try to get the CF working.

make sure that if you have onboard IDE motherboard that its disabled.

IDE on old computers like that want to use IRQ 14 and 15 for channel 1 and 2.

whatever IRQs your card is set for need to be free irq for use and no conflict.

I like this idea, I went and undid everything, and I tried to have the BIOS auto-detect the "HDD" (CF card), but to no avail. Is this what you meant? I'm not sure what the defaults would be otherwise.
Also, I was careful about the red wire, and I replicated it how it was when it was working, and I double checked it was on the pins marked as 1.
No onboard Mobo IDE.

Not sure if there is an IRQ conflict, possibly? I didn't really have any hardware changes save for trying the cd rom.

Could it have bumped something and now there is a conflict?

At this point guys, I feel like I either:
A) ruined my controller card somehow (is this possible? did I short it potentially??)
B) there's some setting I am missing that got changed in BIOS ? This would be an ideal scenario I imagine. I didn't try hard resetting the CMOS yet..

Thank you all for the help so far. Love these forums.

Reply 5 of 7, by TheMobRules

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I don't think plugging the IDE cable in the wrong way would have caused any serious damage. Do you have a regular IDE hard drive you can use to test instead of the CF card? Reason: in the past I've experienced many strange issues when using CF cards on old (<=486) computers with ISA/VLB IDE adapters. Sometimes I would get FDD controller errors, other times no IDE devices would be detected when I added a CD drive and in some cases it did detect the CF fine but I would get random "drive not ready" errors in C: when using DOS.

This led me to mark some IDE adapters as faulty, but after removing the CF-IDE from the equation and testing with actual hard drives all the problems were over. So... I don't know if I've been unlucky with CF card quality or dodgy CF-IDE adapters, but I've been wary of using those and moved back to regular HDDs when possible. I know most people here had good experiences with CF, but it's not been my case unfortunately.

Reply 6 of 7, by digistorm

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Maybe you already did this at this point, but just wanted to share my experience with a stubborn 486: I had quite similar experience with my VLB 486 when I tried to add a second hdd to the second IDE port. Sometimes the hdd disappeared, sometimes the floppy drive or the COM or LPT ports. I had to remove and put back the controller card and clear the CMOS with the jumper to get it to recognize all the devices on the card again. In the end I just gave up, my BIOS does not support a second IDE controller and even the drivers that should fix that don’t work. I think the BIOS gets in the way.

Reply 7 of 7, by Mattyice1994

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TheMobRules wrote on 2020-09-26, 07:41:

I don't think plugging the IDE cable in the wrong way would have caused any serious damage. Do you have a regular IDE hard drive you can use to test instead of the CF card? Reason: in the past I've experienced many strange issues when using CF cards on old (<=486) computers with ISA/VLB IDE adapters. Sometimes I would get FDD controller errors, other times no IDE devices would be detected when I added a CD drive and in some cases it did detect the CF fine but I would get random "drive not ready" errors in C: when using DOS.

This led me to mark some IDE adapters as faulty, but after removing the CF-IDE from the equation and testing with actual hard drives all the problems were over. So... I don't know if I've been unlucky with CF card quality or dodgy CF-IDE adapters, but I've been wary of using those and moved back to regular HDDs when possible. I know most people here had good experiences with CF, but it's not been my case unfortunately.

That's good to hear! I was getting bummed out that I might have ruined something. The controller card was basically NOS, so I like it haha.

I do have an IDE I think I can try.. but not sure if it functions. It's from the 90s and I've never got it plugged in yet haha.

Side question: Is it possible to find new old stock era-correct hard drives? Or, do you buy used? Or, do you use newer IDE drives?

digistorm wrote on 2020-09-26, 08:31:

Maybe you already did this at this point, but just wanted to share my experience with a stubborn 486: I had quite similar experience with my VLB 486 when I tried to add a second hdd to the second IDE port. Sometimes the hdd disappeared, sometimes the floppy drive or the COM or LPT ports. I had to remove and put back the controller card and clear the CMOS with the jumper to get it to recognize all the devices on the card again. In the end I just gave up, my BIOS does not support a second IDE controller and even the drivers that should fix that don’t work. I think the BIOS gets in the way.

I actually haven't done this yet! And this honestly seems like the next thing to do. I think I'll try it later today and report back. Makes sense that at least "starting fresh" would be a good idea to see if it recognizes it again.

It is a bummer that BIOS gets in the way of the second IDE, might be the same for me honestly.

Can I slave the CD-ROM to my CF card? (assuming that the CF card gets recognized again)