VOGONS


First post, by Robhalfordfan

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hello all

i been working on 486 build (using a different motherboard for now, till i can get old one working again)

i have noticed there is bottle neck somewhere (not within dos itself but in windows 3.11)

the hdd that came with pc is old seagate 3000rpm -ish ide hdd and it does work but i was wondering if there a faster and better alternative

i seen people use cf cards, sd cards etc wondering is which better for a 486-100 machine

i heard about odd read/write issues

i do have scsi pci card and try getting an old scsi hdd working in it and it does (once the drivers are laoded) but the hdd is too big (18gb)

which is better to choose from

ide to cf card
ide to sd card
scsi to sd card

if there nay with bracket already there to mount in back to pc

Reply 2 of 46, by darry

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Robhalfordfan wrote on 2020-11-24, 20:05:
hello all […]
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hello all

i been working on 486 build (using a different motherboard for now, till i can get old one working again)

i have noticed there is bottle neck somewhere (not within dos itself but in windows 3.11)

the hdd that came with pc is old seagate 3000rpm -ish ide hdd and it does work but i was wondering if there a faster and better alternative

i seen people use cf cards, sd cards etc wondering is which better for a 486-100 machine

i heard about odd read/write issues

i do have scsi pci card and try getting an old scsi hdd working in it and it does (once the drivers are laoded) but the hdd is too big (18gb)

which is better to choose from

ide to cf card
ide to sd card
scsi to sd card

if there nay with bracket already there to mount in back to pc

All are valid options, IMHO . If you choose ide to sd, your adapter will likely be based on the FC1307 chip. With that chip, make sure that the first partition on the card is FAT32 or NTFS, otherwise you will almost certainly have issues. That first partition does not need to be big or usable by DOS,or even set to active . If the first partition is FAT12 or FAT16, all the FC1307 based adapters that I have tested will see the disk as blank on power up .

Last edited by darry on 2020-11-24, 20:12. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 3 of 46, by konc

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From the options offered you seem to have decided some xx card, if I may offer some alternative I'd say a good Disk-On-Module (DOM). It's about a 486 so I won't go the SATA->IDE adapter + modern SSD route, a good DOM should be more than enough.

Reply 4 of 46, by red-ray

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darry wrote on 2020-11-24, 20:12:

make sure that the first partition on the card is FAT32 or NTFS, otherwise you will almost certainly have issues. That first partition does not need to be big or usable by DOS,or even set to active . If the first partition is FAT12 or FAT16, all the FC1307 based adapters that I have tested will see the disk as blank on power up .

My controller uses an FC1307A and having the first partition as FAT-16 is fine, maybe this is down to it being the A

I have Windows 98SE installed on the first partition and WXP + W2003 on the NTFS partitions

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Reply 5 of 46, by skideric

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Same here red-ray !

Unisys PW2 3256 386 DX25 & Co-Proc (x4) 16mb,SCSI) Dimension XPS R400 PII 400mz 384mb Voodoo 3 2000,16gb MSD) Towers with Intel D850EMV2 P4 2.4gz 256mb PC800 250mb Zip) ECS UC-4913 486 DX-2 66

Reply 6 of 46, by darry

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red-ray wrote on 2020-11-24, 20:45:
My controller uses an FC1307A and having the first partition as FAT-16 is fine, maybe this is down to it being the A […]
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darry wrote on 2020-11-24, 20:12:

make sure that the first partition on the card is FAT32 or NTFS, otherwise you will almost certainly have issues. That first partition does not need to be big or usable by DOS,or even set to active . If the first partition is FAT12 or FAT16, all the FC1307 based adapters that I have tested will see the disk as blank on power up .

My controller uses an FC1307A and having the first partition as FAT-16 is fine, maybe this is down to it being the A

I have Windows 98SE installed on the first partition and WXP + W2003 on the NTFS partitions

file.php?id=96945

That could definitely be the case. My FC1307A adapters identify as FC1307 in their BIOS . Another possibility is that there are multiple BIOS versions circulating for these and not all of them have the issue .

If anybody can post a BIOS dump from an FC1307 or FC1307A that does not have an issue with a FAT16 or FAT32 partition being first on the disk, it might help explain why some people, like jmarsh and myself, have the issue, but others do not .

EDIT: Are those all partitions on an MBR disk or are some of them volumes in an extended partition ?

Last edited by darry on 2020-11-24, 23:14. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 7 of 46, by debs3759

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CF cards use the ATA interface, and are directly compatible with the onboard IDE. SD requires translation as it is not directly compatible. As such, CF is, IMO, a better choice.

Reply 8 of 46, by creepingnet

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All I use myself are used ATA-133 drives and SATA drives with various converters on them....this is my experiences...

The most reliable experiences are with PATA drives, ATA-133, on a fast VLB controller like a PTI-255W, with the chipset driver enabled on startup to put it in PIO4. My 486 DX4-100 desktop has a boot time of 34 seconds on such a setup. I also find these drives run happily with standard 16-bnit controllers as well.

I've had SATA to PATA work on some devices and not others. The Kingwin ADP-06 I had works great if you are doing a CD-ROM on one channel and the HDD on the other as it has no Master/Slave configuration. SOme other adapters do have that, YMMV.

I've used PATA and SATA SSDs with some success. I got a Samsung 2.5" SATA SSD to work with the above adapter in my 486 DX4-100 desktop. I also got a mSATA drive in a 44pin 2.5" IDE adapter casing with a 44 to 40 pin adapter in the same 486, but it would not work in my NEC Versa laptops (40EC 486 DX2-40, M75 486 DX4-75, P75 Pentium 75).

I have the most success with the VLB controller, that thing let me put as big as a 128GB mSATA SSD in there at one point. FreeDOS - full install - only took about 10 minutes.....boot times were insane fast. I also put 95 on it, installed in about 25 min fully and boots in about 32sec - on a 486 DX4-100 with 64mb of RAM.

That's what my experiences are. YMMV

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Reply 9 of 46, by darry

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darry wrote on 2020-11-24, 23:05:
That could definitely be the case. My FC1307A adapters identify as FC1307 in their BIOS . Another possibility is that there are […]
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red-ray wrote on 2020-11-24, 20:45:
My controller uses an FC1307A and having the first partition as FAT-16 is fine, maybe this is down to it being the A […]
Show full quote
darry wrote on 2020-11-24, 20:12:

make sure that the first partition on the card is FAT32 or NTFS, otherwise you will almost certainly have issues. That first partition does not need to be big or usable by DOS,or even set to active . If the first partition is FAT12 or FAT16, all the FC1307 based adapters that I have tested will see the disk as blank on power up .

My controller uses an FC1307A and having the first partition as FAT-16 is fine, maybe this is down to it being the A

I have Windows 98SE installed on the first partition and WXP + W2003 on the NTFS partitions

file.php?id=96945

That could definitely be the case. My FC1307A adapters identify as FC1307 in their BIOS . Another possibility is that there are multiple BIOS versions circulating for these and not all of them have the issue .

If anybody can post a BIOS dump from an FC1307 or FC1307A that does not have an issue with a FAT16 or FAT32 partition being first on the disk, it might help explain why some people, like jmarsh and myself, have the issue, but others do not .

EDIT: Are those all partitions on an MBR disk or are some of them volumes in an extended partition ?

I have found a way to create a FAT16 partition in a way that the FC1307A likes . See Re: Using a vintage multi-track recorder as a mixer, namely the Roland VS-880EX - might apply to other Roland VS- units

There must be some slight difference between different partitioning/formatting tools that the FC1307A either likes or does not like . Offset from beginning of disk may be one of them or not .

Reply 11 of 46, by darry

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-11-25, 01:30:

A retro PC without spinning rust is an abomination unto the machine god. Keep your Seagate, keep it hunnid

🤣 . To each his own. In my defense, I do have one retro machine with spinning rust, but it's recent, quiet and reliable (hopefully) SATA spinning rust .

Reply 12 of 46, by schlomoe99

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I've become a believer in SCSI after 25 years of IDE and its ilk. The turning point was my latest 486 build on a PC Chips M919. IDE wouldn't boot if the drive was over 504MB.; not even a 2GB CF card would boot, it would just hang. SCSI laughs at it and boots any reasonably sized drive since it provides a BIOS extension on my Adaptec controller card. No more floppies to nurse my too-big IDE devices along!

Reply 13 of 46, by Horun

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Yes a good 486 without a true mechanical HD is like throwing a new crate motor in a 1970 Chevelle. Some things are better with closer to original equipment than some new tech stuff.
I will never replace the mechanical HD or floppies in my Laser Turbo XT/3 with SD card HD/Gotek floppy but that is just my opinion.......

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 14 of 46, by debs3759

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-11-25, 01:30:

A retro PC without spinning rust is an abomination unto the machine god. Keep your Seagate, keep it hunnid

I'm switching to SSD and CF for all my retro systems, and SSD only for later systems. I am primarily a collector of graphics cards and CPUs, as well as a range of motherboards to cover all x86 systems. I'll be gaming soon, but primarily to test overclocking and help me benchmark systems. Spinning discs are too expensive for my requirements and the size of my collection (enough to fill a medium van) 😀

Reply 15 of 46, by Horun

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debs3759 wrote on 2020-11-25, 03:17:
maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-11-25, 01:30:

A retro PC without spinning rust is an abomination unto the machine god. Keep your Seagate, keep it hunnid

I'm switching to SSD and CF for all my retro systems, and SSD only for later systems. I am primarily a collector of graphics cards and CPUs, as well as a range of motherboards to cover all x86 systems. I'll be gaming soon, but primarily to test overclocking and help me benchmark systems. Spinning discs are too expensive for my requirements and the size of my collection (enough to fill a medium van) 😀

You do know that the experience of an individual vintage machine is not anywhere close to what that original machine was when all the drives are replaced with new SSD/CF stuff ? AND having an original (or as close as possible) XT or 286 is not worth 1/2 when SSD and CF floppies are swapped in compared to having similar with close to original equipment even if not exact. I would not give a dime per dollar of resale value for a XT with all digital drives. But that is just my opinion 😀

Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 16 of 46, by debs3759

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I would happily use original discs if selling retro systems (and I have drives for when that time arrives), but I am building systems to test the hardware I collect 😀 We all have our own reasons for why we build or collect what interests us.

Reply 17 of 46, by darry

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Horun wrote on 2020-11-25, 03:28:
debs3759 wrote on 2020-11-25, 03:17:
maxtherabbit wrote on 2020-11-25, 01:30:

A retro PC without spinning rust is an abomination unto the machine god. Keep your Seagate, keep it hunnid

I'm switching to SSD and CF for all my retro systems, and SSD only for later systems. I am primarily a collector of graphics cards and CPUs, as well as a range of motherboards to cover all x86 systems. I'll be gaming soon, but primarily to test overclocking and help me benchmark systems. Spinning discs are too expensive for my requirements and the size of my collection (enough to fill a medium van) 😀

You do know that the experience of an individual vintage machine is not anywhere close to what that original machine was when all the drives are replaced with new SSD/CF stuff ? AND having an original (or as close as possible) XT or 286 is not worth 1/2 when SSD and CF floppies are swapped in compared to having similar with close to original equipment even if not exact. I would not give a dime per dollar of resale value for a XT with all digital drives. But that is just my opinion 😀

I understand what you mean . I did not say did not have older hard drives . I just said that that I do not use them . I would be put off by, for example, a Lisa computer with Gotek drives instead of the original drives, if I was for the market for one. Conversely, if I had a machine to sell, I would probably want to have all retro parts in it, to maximize perceived value . Then again, I am not really interested in OEM built machines or selling machines .

That said, for my own use, I use modern parts for
a) monitors/scalers and HDMI switches (space constraints and practicality)
b) power supplies and fans (reliability and safety concerns)
c) Hard drives/SSDs and IDE/SATA converters (noise and reliability concerns and practicality)

All other computer hardware is fifteen to thirty odd years old . I am not a believer in period correctness and prefer the jack of all trades approach for my builds (I have one actual gaming build and one testbed, not counting an old dP3 Deskpro in storage) due to both space constraints and the added challenge of getting everything to work in a single machine .

Finally, I understand people (and obviously museums) who like their setups as museum-grade as possible and I firmly believe that irreversible hardware mods should be avoided whenever possible, but I see myself as a something of a practical pragmatist who likes to seek out and combine the best of things both old and new (where fitting, according to my own criteria).

EDIT : In other words, some might say that I live in my own retro-like fantasy world peppered with wonderful anachronisms . 😉

Reply 18 of 46, by Jo22

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I agree, each to his own. 😀
I also still have an old, large HDD in my XT..
It must be something between 5,25 inches and 8 inches in size.
It's heavy and has 20MB capacity, I think. But due to DoubleSpace, it appears much bigger in DOS.

What I like is the squeeky sound when it moves the heads.
However, it is old and sometimes doesn't correctly spin up. Especially, if it was parked before.

Switching the PSU off when it moves the actuator and switching it on again (1-2 sec pause) solves the issue.
However, this is not the most gentle way.

- I've often thought of putting the HDD to rest and use a CF card, a DOM or an old school SSD made of a Chip2000 Disc on a chip (DOC) that sits on a DIY made ISA card.

This would not be very "authentic" perhaps, but reasonable. It would spare the power supply a lot (no more power surge due to spin up).
Ideally, a Hard Card/File Card would be a fine substitute for the ancient HDD, also.
But these are hard to come by.

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 19 of 46, by jmarsh

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darry wrote on 2020-11-25, 00:33:

There must be some slight difference between different partitioning/formatting tools that the FC1307A either likes or does not like . Offset from beginning of disk may be one of them or not .

FAT16 has several possible partition table IDs:
04: FAT16, < 32MB
06: FAT16, >= 32MB
0E: FAT16, >= 32MB, using INT13 extensions (CHS beyond 1023/16/63 limits).

I would guess "FAT-16 Huge" would be the last one.