First post, by infiniteclouds
Recently, I swapped out the hardcard in my Tandy 1000SX to replace it with a CF storage solution. I purchased a Texelec XT-IDE 8-bit ISA card from Ebay, a 2GB San Disk Ultra II CF, and an IDE/CF adapter from Addonics. My intention was to continue to use the Tandy MS-DOS 3.2 that shipped with the SX to avoid losing some of Tandy specific MODE features as well as issues with 3.5" Double-Density drive formatting. I knew that this meant being limited to 32MB partitions, however, other issues arose making it impossible to get a bootable MS-DOS 3.2 installation on the CF.
With the hardware in place, booting from the DOS 3.2 disks allowed me to use FDISK to create a Primary DOS Partition of 32MB. Attempting to then use SYS C: to copy over the system files gives an error saying that there is not enough space on the drive. FORMAT C: /S copies the files over, states that the format is completed and system files copied but then immediately states that they could not be copied and that the format failed due to a bad partition table. If I went to C: I could see COMMAND.COM there and it was seemingly working fine. I could copy the rest of the disk over to C:\DOS and with PATH use DOS fine. When I would reboot however, the Lo-tech BIOS would hang at Booting C>>C:. If I booted from disk I could then C: and use DOS on the CF drive fine -- it just wouldn't boot.
Time to bring the CF over to my main Windows 7 PC...
I ran CMD I cleaned the CF with DISKPART, tried again and had the same issue. To see if there was an issue with the hardware (the adapter or lo-tech) I tried using the disk images to install DOS 3.2 on the CF through a VM and had the same result -- bad partition table, with it not being bootable. On the VM I installed DOS 7.1 on the CF and it worked fine, was bootable in the VM, but not on the Tandy. I repeated this with DOS 5.0 and had the same issue -- could boot off the CF in VM but not the Tandy. I repeated this again with Tandy DOS 3.3 and unlike 3.2, it would boot off the CF on the VM ... but still not on the Tandy. Finally, I wiped the card again and went back to the Tandy. Trying 3.3 gave me the same issues but when I used DOS 5.0 I was able to format and install a working and bootable OS -- great. After experimenting for a while I found that the issue was the FDISK utilities of the 3.x DOS.
The following steps got me a working, bootable Tandy MS-DOS on the machine itself:
- In Windows, I ran CMD prompt and ...
LIST DISK, found # for my CF.
SELECT DISK #
- On the Tandy, booted from MS-DOS 5.0, backed out of the auto-installer, ran FDISK and created a 32MB Primary DOS Partition.
- Typed FDISK/MBR and then rebooted with the Tandy MS-DOS 3.3 disk.
- Used FORMAT C: /S
- Made my C:\DOS, copied the rest of the files from disk there, restarted and was able to boot from CF.
- Ran 3.3's FDISK and created an extended DOS partition using the all the remaining space of the CF card.
- Creating 24, 32MB logical drives in the extended partition from D: to Z:
- Used a simple FORMAT D:, Format E:, Format F: etc. for each logical drive -- this was important because it wouldn't allow me to do anything with them until this was done.
I ended up not using 3.2 because it would view any partitions created with DOS 5.0's FDISK as "Non-DOS Partitions" while 3.3 did not have this issue. Also, 3.2 doesn't appear to support more than 32MB - period. It has special utilities MLPART and MLFORMAT on there but these create something called DOS2 partitions which don't give any option for creating logical drives, anyway.