A couple of retros I'm working on.

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A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-10 @ 11:12

Hi all ..
I'm new here but heard only good things about Vogons.
My real interest is mostly 8 bit retro restorations ..Commodore.. Apple etc
..but have now strayed into PC
A recent aquisition is a Toshiba orange gas plasma 5200/100 ...which I have briefly seen working but currently is pieces as I wait for a suitable RTC battery to arrive.
It does have VGA out via Dsub ..and I believe the 100mb Connor full sized hard drive has Win3.1 installed ..but not sure if it is complete or functional at this point.

My other is a dell inspiron 2500 laptop with a working floppy ..
Generally in good order and has a good sized 4:3 screen roughly 14 inches.
Sadly It had no O/S installed but I believe it was aimed at XP
The sticker says it uses a Celeron cpu
Generally this is in fair order...so to my questions regarding this lapop..
I thought this unit would be about the right age to retrofit 98SE ?
But is it really suitable ?
98SE has been installed on 20gb ide hard drive and boots up .
Problem is I have limited connectivity to the outside world as the Network card nor USB ports are useless to me atm ..
Drivers being a major issue..
It may well be drivers were never written to support its chipset under 98SE
I have however managed to get the(now 24bit)colour/resolution up having found a driver for the embedded video card.
But thats as far as I got ..
Items highlighted in Control panel > System > Device manager are ..
PCI Communication Device
PCI Ethernet Controller
PCI Multimedia Audio Device
PCI System Management Bus

So ..as you can see if nothing else I have driver issues.

Am I barking up the wrong tree trying to make this laptop work with 98SE ?
If not ..can anyone help me with suitable drivers ?

advice and comment welcomed.
rgds
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby oerk » 2018-1-10 @ 11:31

I too have a T5200/100 (according to Computer Chronicles, it once hat a list price of $11.000 :lol:)

You can use a CR2032 in a standard holder as replacement for the battery. Some soldering required...

I'm hoping for you that the hard disk is in working order. Mine had a defective platter, and the BIOS won't accept anything else than a Conner of that size from that time (IIRC, the identifier has to start with "CP"). In the end, I had to replace it with an XT-CF and a CF card (in 8 bit mode, fortunately access time of the CF card makes up for it).
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-10 @ 11:34

I would check/get rid of that Conner 100MB drive as soon as possible and replace it with either another HDD or CF/SF alternatives. The 20-120MB range are prone to cease working and even worse, can leak oil all over your motherboard. I'm not kidding. One was doing exactly that when I tested it yesterday..:

"2 hrs ago I attached my oldest Conner HDD (41MB CP-3044 from 1988) to my testing rig, to run some diagnostics to see whether that was still working. After 53% of sector refreshing, it started to give an error in the veins of "sector not found". I stopped the test and restarted from the back of the drive structure. Apparently, from 53% onwards, every single sector is bad (or as the PC puts it, "doesnt exist".) First I expected drive-mold. But was flabbergasted that it basically destroyed half of the drive, but only precisely and thoroughly half. After shutting down the testbench and wanting to remove the drive to put it away for recycling, I realized that it was now sitting in a puddle of OIL on my desk, that portruded through the whole one side of the drive. It seems the drive bearings have burst and the lubricants are tall over the place now, presumably ON the drive platter as well. It seems these can either leak slowly over time or burst in a very short amount of time. Good thing it wasn't running inside the Toshiba at that time. :D Rest in peace." -jaZz_KCS, Jan 9th 2018
Last edited by jaZz_KCS on 2018-1-10 @ 11:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-10 @ 11:38

Thanks for the info buddy ..
Yes this old gas plasma is certainly a lovely bit of kit ..which hopefully will live again..
It is scary how much it would have cost back in the day ...probably the cost of a small house ..or car..
lol
If nothing else it will be my first and only 386 ..but memory expansion is unlikely ..
only fitted with 2 sticks of memory ..even though there are more slots..
presumably proprietory 40 pin sticks which would be rae as hens teeth..
rgds
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-10 @ 11:39

I also wouldnt use non rechargeable Lithiums in this case as RTC replacement becasue the T52xx and T32xx series have oh so slight backcurrents when the computer is turned on. This will damage or at least severely damper the lifetime of your button cell over time. Instead I would use a genuine 3.7 barrel Lithium RTC, or 3x AA or AAA rechargeables as they will not be damaged over time by small backcurrents. Also these will last at least 10 years.

Regarding the memory: It's not proprietary but the machine is VERY picky about the RAM inserted.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-10 @ 11:42

Thanks J K ..you just scared me ..A LOT
How if at all possible would I clone the Conner onto a CF card ..and what hardware/reader would I need ?
Could you describe in detail ..the process for a numpty like me..
I am a novice with old pc hardware ..but eager to learn ..even though I'm 60 now..
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-10 @ 11:44

This is what I ordered for the RTC ..plus a single cell AA holder ..
suitable ? or wrong ?
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EVE-AA-3-6V- ... 2749.l2649
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-10 @ 11:46

oerk wrote:I too have a T5200/100 (according to Computer Chronicles, it once hat a list price of $11.000 :lol:)

You can use a CR2032 in a standard holder as replacement for the battery. Some soldering required...

I'm hoping for you that the hard disk is in working order. Mine had a defective platter, and the BIOS won't accept anything else than a Conner of that size from that time (IIRC, the identifier has to start with "CP"). In the end, I had to replace it with an XT-CF and a CF card (in 8 bit mode, fortunately access time of the CF card makes up for it).


So it seems the T5200 in that regard has the same limitation as the T3200SX (at least in higher BIOS versions). If it has ISA expansion boards next to the XT-CF another solution could be an I/O card with an IDE header, which should let you boot from it as the boot limitations present from the BIOS should only apply to the mainboard IDE header, right?

Anyways, these info's from the same kind of limitations from the T3200SX might be helpful/interesting
--> viewtopic.php?f=46&t=42385#p633902
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-10 @ 11:48

Vipersan wrote:This is what I ordered for the RTC ..plus a single cell AA holder ..
suitable ? or wrong ?
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/EVE-AA-3-6V- ... 2749.l2649


This should be fine. Lithium barrel batteries have protection against being charged built in. It should last at least a decade in that machine.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby oerk » 2018-1-10 @ 12:26

jaZz_KCS wrote:So it seems the T5200 in that regard has the same limitation as the T3200SX (at least in higher BIOS versions). If it has ISA expansion boards next to the XT-CF another solution could be an I/O card with an IDE header, which should let you boot from it as the boot limitations present from the BIOS should only apply to the mainboard IDE header, right?


I didn't test this, but the primary IDE on the I/O card would most likely be sitting at the same address as the internal IDE, no?

I wanted to preserve the 16-bit ISA for a sound card, and therefore was limited to a solution that would fit in an 8-bit slot.

jaZz_KCS wrote:1] Using a Network bootable ISA card with a modded XT-IDE chip to circumvent the boot restriction and force it to boot from your desired IDE device.


Have you tried this? Didn't work for me. I've installed the XT-CF with normal XTIDE BIOS flashed. Still wouldn't recognize the drive on the internal IDE.

Another solution that definitely works is simply installing a SCSI card and drive, but you lose the 16-bit ISA slot...
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-10 @ 12:36

jaZz_KCS wrote:I would check/get rid of that Conner 100MB drive as soon as possible and replace it with either another HDD or CF/SF alternatives. The 20-120MB range are prone to cease working and even worse, can leak oil all over your motherboard. I'm not kidding. One was doing exactly that when I tested it yesterday..:



So ..just dug around in my 'ancient' hard drive drawer ..
and pulled out these 2 seagate drives ..
no idea if they are even functional ?
but I suspect the bios wont be able to use them ?
ST3250A Drive parameters : 1024 CYL-12 HEADS-34 SECT-213.9MB
ST3120A IDE 105mb drive parameters not printed ?
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-10 @ 12:49

oerk wrote:
jaZz_KCS wrote:So it seems the T5200 in that regard has the same limitation as the T3200SX (at least in higher BIOS versions). If it has ISA expansion boards next to the XT-CF another solution could be an I/O card with an IDE header, which should let you boot from it as the boot limitations present from the BIOS should only apply to the mainboard IDE header, right?


I didn't test this, but the primary IDE on the I/O card would most likely be sitting at the same address as the internal IDE, no?

I wanted to preserve the 16-bit ISA for a sound card, and therefore was limited to a solution that would fit in an 8-bit slot.

jaZz_KCS wrote:1] Using a Network bootable ISA card with a modded XT-IDE chip to circumvent the boot restriction and force it to boot from your desired IDE device.


Have you tried this? Didn't work for me. I've installed the XT-CF with normal XTIDE BIOS flashed. Still wouldn't recognize the drive on the internal IDE.

Another solution that definitely works is simply installing a SCSI card and drive, but you lose the 16-bit ISA slot...


I had the same idea regarding the 16 bit ISA slot as I do have an old ISA creative card CT2940 (sadly no driver disks)
The slot is currently occupied by a 3com Etherlink II coax only network card
The 8bit half size slot being empty..
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby oerk » 2018-1-10 @ 13:12

Vipersan wrote:ST3120A IDE 105mb drive parameters not printed ?


I've tried a Seagate 105MB, no chance.

Also, the Creative website has drivers for all Soundblasterds cards.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-10 @ 13:18

oerk wrote:
Vipersan wrote:ST3120A IDE 105mb drive parameters not printed ?


I've tried a Seagate 105MB, no chance.

Also, the Creative website has drivers for all Soundblasterds cards.

..well ..at least you saved me wasting time trying the seagate ..
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-10 @ 13:32

If the BIOS limitation is present, then everything besides a Connor will result in the Toshiba aborting the boot completely, no chance.

I wonder if the BIOS alteration like done by HighTreason for the T3200SX would be possible for this model as well.

I would definitely try out either I/O card booting or Network Card booting first though, as there has been some success on other models of that Toshiba era.

I am also currently fiddling around with an I/O card trying to get around the proprietary FDD (proprietary connector on FDD as well as cable). It still works, but God knows for how long. So I was wondering whether you could also use/boot from a genuine standard FDD connected to an I/O ISA card. I suspect the FDD to be working, but I want to know whether you would be able to boot from it as well.

If that works, once the original FDD dies I (and everybody else missing the original proprietary FDD drive) would be able to substitute the original FDD with a genuine replacement. (You would even be able to mount it in the same spot as the original drive, but the data connector instead going to your I/O ISA card. The power could be drained from either the original proprietary cable or the HDD power cable.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-10 @ 13:42

jaZz_KCS wrote:If the BIOS limitation is present, then everything besides a Connor will result in the Toshiba aborting the boot completely, no chance.

I wonder if the BIOS alteration like done by HighTreason for the T3200SX would be possible for this model as well.

I would definitely try out either I/O card booting or Network Card booting first though, as there has been some success on other models of that Toshiba era.

I am also currently fiddling around with an I/O card trying to get around the proprietary FDD (proprietary connector on FDD as well as cable). It still works, but God knows for how long. So I was wondering whether you could also use/boot from a genuine standard FDD connected to an I/O ISA card. I suspect the FDD to be working, but I want to know whether you would be able to boot from it as well.

If that works, once the original FDD dies I (and everybody else missing the original proprietary FDD drive) would be able to substitute the original FDD with a genuine replacement. (You would even be able to mount it in the same spot as the original drive, but the data connector instead going to your I/O ISA card. The power could be drained from either the original proprietary cable or the HDD power cable.


This is fascinating ..though also frustrating
..
I've just been reading this :-
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.p ... h-CP30174E
I assume you guys already have ?
Not that I have access to the zipped bios file(s)
???
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-10 @ 13:52

Yes. Especially this part..: (taken from http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.p ... post411640)

"I've attached a copy of the 1989 Award bios for the T5200-100 together with a patched version with support for a 528MB drive which is the maximum possible on this BIOS.
If you put any drive larger than 528MB into the machine it will usually work as a 528MB drive and if you compare these two versions, you should be able to work out how to customise it yourself.

I have seen comments that some BIOS versions only work with Conner Peripherals drives, but this BIOS will work with any make of drive.
However, note that the IDC header on the drive end of the 40 way IDE cable may be fitted backwards (it was on all 3 of my T5200s) so you can't plug it into another drive with a shroud around the 40 Way connector unless you file off the keyway bump on the connector or use a different cable. This didn't matter with the Conner drives as their IDE connector was unshrouded.

BTW I found a simple way of securely mounting a compact flash card to IDE adapter so that the card could be swapped by just removing the keyboard instead of fully dismantling the machine. Let me know if you want further details on how to do this. "

-------------------------------

This means someone has created a similar solution in the veins of the patched BIOS done by HighTreason for the T3200SX.

This altered BIOS will accept every make of HDD (up to 528MB), which means the use of CF-/SD-adapters is possible. This means that flashing the BIOS chip with the version found in that thread would be the ultimate solution as the altered BIOS is for the T3200SX.

It should be noted though that - as it is the case with the T3200SX - you still can use the XT-IDE method, as it is reported to be working on this model also by various ppl.

Also keep in mind the two cents above in regard to substituting this with another HDD and the changes that have to be made to the connector itself.

I also want to try out using another HDD or adapter on an I/O controller ISA card first. If this works on the T3200SX, it should also on the T5200. And from the post above it is clear that there are - like with the T3200SX - various revisions of the T5200 BIOS. Some with unlocked HDD bit, some locked to Conner.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-10 @ 14:01

Well ..As a novice ..a lot of this goes over my head .
Nonetheless I shall look forward to reading about any progress you make jaZz.
Please keep trying.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby oerk » 2018-1-10 @ 14:57

No way - the patched BIOS has been created two months after I initially started working on the Toshiba, which explains why I didn't find it earlier.

If this works, the whole XTIDE / XT-CF ordeal won't have been necessary. Oh well.
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Re: A couple of retros I'm working on.

Postby Vipersan » 2018-1-10 @ 15:14

A good find then ?
Is anyone a member of that forum ..maybe they could get the bios ?
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