VOGONS


First post, by Repo Man11

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I bought one of these on Ebay, not realizing it was a Dell OEM card. The BIOS is different and the Windows 98 drivers from Promise don't work properly as a result. Even worse, the Promise Pflash won't allow you to flash the promise BIOS on this card. I'm looking for a way to force the Promise BIOS on to the card. It can be risky - I don't really care too much if I end up with a dead card, it's useless to me as it is.

https://www.amazon.ca/Promise-FastTrak-S150-T … r/dp/B073GXHS27

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"Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects." - Will Rogers

Reply 1 of 9, by AmiSapphire

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I've done so way back in 2011, actually, but I will have to track down my notes for this. 😶
Since this was 2011, they will need to be rewritten again.

It was when I was running an actual web server box at the time and wanted to use the (empty!) EIDE port on the card. Got the card for cheap and didn't care much then, either.

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Edit: Found my notes, but I am trying to track down Dell's version of PFLASH, which is version 2.00.0.10, rather than Promise's own version 2.00.0.8. "v10" allows you to back up the flash contents to disk (just in case) whereas "v8" does not. (IIRC, "v10" may seem to flash the Promise BIOS onto that card, somehow.) Also Dell's own packed firmware requires a machine with a floppy disk and drive, and I'm not near either right now. Part of my 2011 notes:

Create a DOS-bootable floppy disk. Then locate PFLASH 2.00.0.10 and run this command:

pflash /s 371bkp.bin

The last retail BIOS version is located on Promise's website as of this writing. The original filename is 371.bin. To flash the new BIOS to the card, simply run this command:

pflash /f 371.bin

Reboot the system. It should properly detect your IDE hard drives along with your SATA hard drives.

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Edit 2: Did find other later PFLASH versions from other similar Promise cards, 13 and 17; didn't find 10 in Dell's stuff, probably misremembering. (It does exist, however.) Since I just found my own jank TX2"plus" card, I will test these versions at least. Meanwhile, I am archiving their *very* legacy BIOS section. 😏

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Edit 3: Both work on my card, but 17 is functionally similar to 10, so that will be attached. (13 spits out more detailed info during use.)

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Edit 4: Found PFLASH v2.00.0.10 in one of Promise's BIOS update packages! I was misremembering. Leaving v2.00.0.17 here for posterity, however.

Attachments

  • Filename
    PFLASH10.zip
    File size
    12.27 KiB
    Downloads
    13 downloads
    File comment
    Flash utility retrieved from later Promise SX and TX card series' BIOS releases. Version 2.00.0.10.
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • Filename
    PFLASH17.zip
    File size
    12.58 KiB
    Downloads
    13 downloads
    File comment
    Flash utility retrieved from later Promise SX and TX card series' BIOS releases. Version 2.00.0.17.
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Computer in my collection that had too much work done is... Compaq Armada 1573DM!

- Original DSTN panel replaced with an HPA panel (now gone)
- Left hinge repaired twice
- Front panel replaced thrice
- Replaced busted inverter
- Chassis replacement

Reply 2 of 9, by Repo Man11

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Nothing is working. The Promise utilities give me either "Controller not found" or "This BIOS is not for hardware ID 3375". I found the last Dell update for this card but it apparently won't reflash the same BIOS (it already has the last Dell 10.00.20.54 BIOS), so my idea of renaming the Promise 375bios.bin to the Dell 371B2054.bin wasn't going to work, but I tried it anyway. Dell never used this card with Windows 98, so they never wrote a driver, and the Promise driver doesn't work properly. I appreciate the effort AmiSapphire, but they seem to have made sure that you're not going to put the standard Promise BIOS on this OEM card. Or maybe this one is faulty somehow.

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"Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects." - Will Rogers

Reply 3 of 9, by AmiSapphire

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...I actually ran into that flash failure error message once, which may have prompted me to make my own boot disk and flash the card manually, which may have been dumb luck on my part. Looking back, I was also testing that card in different boards at that time, so it may have been a possible conflict or even a BIOS bug with one of the boards. Since this was 2011, I don't even recall which board prompted that message during that flash attempt, nor is it recorded in my notes. Some searching brought up an issue with an ASUS board with a later board BIOS version not playing nice with a Promise FastTrak card: https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/secon … problem.700732/

However, if the card still cannot be flashed on any board after this, then the card's flash did go in some way, though that itself is rare.

For interest, an example of a successful TX2plus mod from fall 2011. My Intel SAI2 board was used for the flash process.
P1000463.JPG
Filename
P1000463.JPG
File size
1.43 MiB
Views
250 views
File comment
Original card with Dell BIOS v1.00.20.54 (before) - 2011
File license
Public domain
P1000475.JPG
Filename
P1000475.JPG
File size
1.96 MiB
Views
250 views
File comment
Recreation of internal FastTrak S150 TX2plus mod - flashing part - 2011
File license
Public domain
P1000481.JPG
Filename
P1000481.JPG
File size
1.76 MiB
Views
250 views
File comment
Original card with Promise BIOS v1.00.0.37 (after) - 2011
File license
Public domain
P1000490.JPG
Filename
P1000490.JPG
File size
1.23 MiB
Views
250 views
File comment
Original internal FastTrak S150 TX2plus mod, complete with jank 2011 soldering - top view
File license
Public domain
P1000491.JPG
Filename
P1000491.JPG
File size
1.21 MiB
Views
250 views
File comment
Original internal FastTrak S150 TX2plus mod, complete with jank 2011 soldering - bottom view
File license
Public domain

This thread at least brings a bit more insight to improve my internal notes so they can finally become public at some point.

Computer in my collection that had too much work done is... Compaq Armada 1573DM!

- Original DSTN panel replaced with an HPA panel (now gone)
- Left hinge repaired twice
- Front panel replaced thrice
- Replaced busted inverter
- Chassis replacement

Reply 6 of 9, by Repo Man11

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dionb wrote on 2021-01-30, 10:57:

Maybe worth giving Uniflash a try...

I appreciate this (and all) suggestions, but Uniflash didn't detect it.

The good news is that I realized I do have a computer that it could work in. I'm running Windows XP with my 8KRA2+, and I've been using a SATA to IDE converter since the Via SATA on this board won't work with SATA 3.0 or faster drives. Dell does have a driver package for windows 2000 and XP that works with this card, so I've installed it in that machine. Combined with an inexpensive Team group SSD it works fine, but is only a bit faster than the onboard ATA133 with the converter. But it will allow me to get rid of one of the IDE cables which is nice.

Anyone shopping for one of these cards should make a note of this - the seller didn't specify that it was a Dell OEM, so I had no idea that it wouldn't work with Win98. It looks like the giveaway is the missing IDE port on the card.

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"Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects." - Will Rogers

Reply 7 of 9, by mockingbird

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I dumped the BIOS of a Maxtor re-brand of an S150, but I can't decide which BIOS is newer. Here are the relevant text strings from the firmwares:

ATA150 TX2plus(tm) BIOS Version 1.00.0.33
(c) 2002-2005 Promise Technology, Inc. All rights reserved
Maxtor SATA/150 PCI Card BIOS 1.00.0050.3
(c) 2002-2005 Promise Technology, Inc. All rights reserved

Here is a dump of my Maxtor BIOS:

Filename
10000503.zip
File size
9.44 KiB
Downloads
6 downloads
File license
Public domain

Anyone?

jw0vu3.png
(Decommissioned:)
7ivtic.png

Reply 8 of 9, by Repo Man11

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I revisited this again this evening, and I noticed something that had escaped me before; what I first tried this evening (and had tried last time I fooled with it) was having both the version of Pflash from the Dell BIOS update and Pflash17, which AmiSapphire was kind enough to upload here, on the same floppy disk. For some bizarre reason, when you have both on the disk it defaults to the version 2.00.0.8 (the bundled version) even when you type "Pflash17" rather than just "Pflash" and you get the "Plash memory utility V2.00.0.8" and the"Flash memory cannot be erased" error. I didn't notice that last time I tried this, but I did this time. Only after I deleted the Pflash version included in the Dell update from the floppy disk (and the same version is included with the BIOS update from Promise) and had only Pflash17 on the update floppy was I able to flash this card to the Promise RAID BIOS. And now that I've done so, it works with Windows98!

I compared it to a trusty old Ultra 100 TX2 using the same Intel SSD on a Soyo 5EMA+, and there is definitely a difference. More importantly, I can now use it with the OS I intended to.

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"Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects." - Will Rogers

Reply 9 of 9, by Repo Man11

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The two cards are very similar, but the IDE port is missing and the flash chip is different. Luckily, the chip seems to work the same because now that they have the same BIOS they are functionally identical when all else is equal.

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"Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects." - Will Rogers