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First post, by feipoa

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Has anyone been able to find a BIOS or hack a BIOS which allows the onboard IDE controller on the MB-8433UUD to use more than 8 GB of hard drive space in DOS?

If unable to create or source a BIOS hack in this regard, will this workaround work: Set 4 GB partition to NT4, set 4 GB partition to Win95 (these first two partitions on the first stretch of HDD real-estate), then set 100 GB as partition 3 from within NT4 to use for storage space, then set 100 GB as partition 4 from within Win95 to use for storage space ?

To reduce the latency with the onboard IDE in PIO4 mode, I was considering giving up my Promise IDE controller on my setup to add a second Voodoo2 card for SLI operation. Has anyone tried running a Samsung SSD SATA drive with a SATA to IDE adapter on the MB-8433UUD's internal IDE controller?

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Reply 1 of 37, by debs3759

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Will XT-IDE not do what you want?

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Reply 2 of 37, by feipoa

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debs3759 wrote on 2021-06-10, 00:13:

Will XT-IDE not do what you want?

I suppose if I would be content running the HDD off 8-bit ISA, but I wouldn't be content with that on this system.

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Reply 3 of 37, by maxtherabbit

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-10, 01:52:
debs3759 wrote on 2021-06-10, 00:13:

Will XT-IDE not do what you want?

I suppose if I would be content running the HDD off 8-bit ISA, but I wouldn't be content with that on this system.

He means using just the XTIDE universal BIOS, which is an option ROM that can be used with any IDE hardware

Reply 4 of 37, by feipoa

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I thought he meant using something like this: https://www.glitchwrks.com/images/xtide/xt_id … /rev4_front.jpg

So I leave the SATA drive connected to the motherboard's IDE port (via adapter) then plug the XTIDE BIOS into an ISA ethernet card and voila, DOS sees the full 250 GB and everything works just fine?

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Reply 5 of 37, by maxtherabbit

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-10, 02:09:

So I leave the SATA drive connected to the motherboard's IDE port (via adapter) then plug the XTIDE BIOS into an ISA ethernet card and voila, DOS sees the full 250 GB and everything works just fine?

More or less, yeah. You've got to configure the ROM using the supplied tool to use the 32bit IDE controller but it should just work after that

Reply 6 of 37, by feipoa

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Anyone try this on a PCI 486 with the onboard IDE controller? If so, which ISA cards did you use to host the ROM? Was there any loss of HDD performance? Did you need to format the HDD once using the XTIDE to use some other translation scheme?

EDIT: it looks rather involved! http://www.xtideuniversalbios.org/

Last edited by feipoa on 2021-06-10, 03:11. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 7 of 37, by debs3759

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Yeah, I meant just the BIOS.

BTW, I'm a she, not a he 😀

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Reply 8 of 37, by maxtherabbit

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-10, 02:46:

Anyone try this on a PCI 486 with the onboard IDE controller? If so, which ISA cards did you use to host the ROM? Was there any loss of HDD performance? Did you need to format the HDD once using the XTIDE to use some other translation scheme?

EDIT: it looks rather involved! http://www.xtideuniversalbios.org/

Any 486 system is going to have the ability to shadow the ROM in main memory, so it really doesn't matter what card you use to host it. Even like a lo tech 8 bit ROM card would do fine.

Reply 9 of 37, by feipoa

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Just so happens that my system of interest for this work has an Intel EtherExpress Pro 10/100 ISA card with an empty ROM socket. Will using the XTIDE BIOS in this ROM socket won't render the ethernet card non-functional?

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Reply 10 of 37, by maxtherabbit

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No not at all. ROM sockets on expansion cards basically operate independently of the rest of the card, they share only address decoding logic (sometimes).

You may have to enable the ROM socket on the NIC using OEM configuration tool though

Reply 11 of 37, by jakethompson1

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-09, 20:02:

To reduce the latency with the onboard IDE in PIO4 mode, I was considering giving up my Promise IDE controller on my setup to add a second Voodoo2 card for SLI operation. Has anyone tried running a Samsung SSD SATA drive with a SATA to IDE adapter on the MB-8433UUD's internal IDE controller?

Hey
I know we've talked about this before.
How are you expecting to get the onboard UM8886B/UM8673 into PIO4 mode? I know you ran into issues with the UMC drivers only working on Windows 95a and not with OSR2--possibly related to FAT32 support?

I was working on a utility to set the mode to stick into autoexec.bat (not a TSR) a while back on that MB-8433UUC-A (I still haven't found an MB-8443UUD). I can't remember how much luck I was having with performance, so I'll have to come back to it. As I remember it, the UM8763 does not have speed settings corresponding exactly to PIO modes, but instead has a 1 to 15 counter or so forth and once you set it too high you start getting corruption.

Reply 12 of 37, by feipoa

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There is a BIOS option for PIO-4. I wouldn't be using the UMC-provided DMA driver, but relying on the Win95 OSR2 driver, which doesn't do DMA. It is a pretty big trade-off for Voodoo2 SLI. The XTIDE BIOS reading literature is another hindrance. I was going to skim the material this evening to determine if I have the patience for this.

EDIT: I already have an LS-120 drive and the CD-ROM drive on the motherboard's built-in IDE controller. I assume these will still work as expected if I use the XTIDE ROM?

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Reply 13 of 37, by megatron-uk

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feipoa wrote on 2021-06-10, 07:01:

There is a BIOS option for PIO-4. I wouldn't be using the UMC-provided DMA driver, but relying on the Win95 OSR2 driver, which doesn't do DMA. It is a pretty big trade-off for Voodoo2 SLI. The XTIDE BIOS reading literature is another hindrance. I was going to skim the material this evening to determine if I have the patience for this.

EDIT: I already have an LS-120 drive and the CD-ROM drive on the motherboard's built-in IDE controller. I assume these will still work as expected if I use the XTIDE ROM?

Non HDD devices will continue to operate as normal.

Your network card will continue to operate as normal - except if you are using any existing network boot ROM that is fitted (the XTIDE BIOS fits in its place).

As long as you have the ability to shadow the ROM space that the XTIDE BIOS takes up, there should be no loss of performance.

Unless you have the HDD devices pre-formatted in some weird scheme (a DDO, some manufacturers LBA-faking scheme, etc) then existing drives (whichever IDE port they are connected to - even a tertiary or quaternary interface on a sound card) should just work.

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Reply 14 of 37, by feipoa

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If it is one of these, there is a BIOS option to enabled/disable the shadow.

C8000-CBFFF Shadow - Enabled/Disabled
CC000-CFFFF Shadow - Enabled/Disabled
D0000-D3FFF Shadow - Enabled/Disabled
D4000-D7FFF Shadow - Enabled/Disabled
D8000-DBFFF Shadow - Enabled/Disabled
DC000-DFFFF Shadow - Enabled/Disabled

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Reply 15 of 37, by megatron-uk

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I'm not sure about the Intel Pro 10/100, but on 3Com cards the configuration utility can be used to set the address that the NIC boot ROM appears at (and thus the XTIDE ROM if you fit one). I'd be surprised if the Intel card didn't have a similar utility.

Also check what size ROM the network card supports; again, on 3Com cards the ROM size is configurable and its wise to set it to the smallest size possible to contain the XTIDE BIOS - which can fit in a 16KByte eprom in every single case. A 32KB eprom would just end up using extra space in shadow RAM that you don't really need to use.

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Reply 16 of 37, by feipoa

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The only DIP-28 EEPROMs I have in my bitnare 32 Kbyte, which are supported XTIDE BIOS. I grabbed ide_386l.bin from their website and programmed a Winbond W27E257-12 EEPROM in an external programmer. I plugged the EEPROM into the DIP-28 socket on the Intel EtherExpress Pro100 ISA LAN adapter card. There was no notch on the DIP socket to indicate orientation, so I looked for GND and VCC on the socket using a DMM. Pins 14 and 15 measure to be GND, however the datasheet shows Pin14 as GND and Pin 15 as Q3, which is a data input/output. Hmm... Also, Pin 28, which is supposed to be Vcc, has only 28 ohms of resistance before heading to the 5V rail. Hmm...

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Nonetheless, I turned the computer on. Screens stayed blank. I put my finger on the EEPROM and my skin was burned. There's a small welt on my finger now (24 hours after the burn). It was VERY hot, as if I put my finger on my wood stove's glass door. I turned the system off and removed the EEPROM. System still works.

Were there non-standard pinouts on these Intel/IBM ethernet adapters? Or did I need to have blanked the EEPROM before I could turn on the system?

According to the XTIDE website, I am supposed to program the EEPROM while in the computer, but I didn't think I'd get a short if I didn't.

All BIOS binaries available here must be properly configured with the configuration tool XTIDECFG.COM before flashing/programming to ROM. In addition to configuring the BIOS file for use with your specific hardware you must also make sure the file is checksummed by saving the file to disk as that will create the padding and checksum required for installation in a computer.

I am reluctant to try it again with the EEPROM blanked. Should I? Also, it doesn't appear as if the boot ROM can be enabled by force. The DOS setup utility needs to detect the presence of a boot ROM before the option gets un-greyed. See here:

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Where to go from here? Is there an ISA card that just hosts the EEPROM for the purpose of XTIDE BIOS for use with my motherboard's onboard IDE controller?

I couldn't find a list of supported hardware to ensure that XTIDE BIOS will even work with my onboard IDE controller, which I think is in the southbridge, UM8886BF.

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Reply 17 of 37, by megatron-uk

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Sorry, I don't have any experience of the early Pro/100 cards - all of my Intel NIC's are PCI 10/100 or 10/100/1000 - so I can't really contribute much on that particular issue.

The chipset of the board shouldn't matter - remember that Dos, unless you're doing something really odd, only uses standard interrupt routines to interact with the disk, and these are the only things that get patched over by the XTIDE BIOS (calls like reading sectors, returning ATA geometry information, etc). There is some support for more advanced controllers (cache controllers and 32bit bus mastering DMA, but I have no experience of that - all the systems I've used it on were ISA based).

Strange that the W27E257 didn't work. It appears to have the same pinout as the W27C257, which in turn is pin compatible with the old fashioned 27C256 uv eprom that most NIC's use. I'd definitely try to find the technical specs of the Pro/100 to verify, but most of the rest of us hosting XTIDE on NIC's use 27C128 which share the same pins as the larger 256kbit chip you used. Certainly 3Com cards work fine with 27C128 or 27C256 eproms.

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Reply 18 of 37, by megatron-uk

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This image seems to indicate the notch/cutout is closest to the ISA connector:

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No physical cutout on the DIP socket, but the chip alignment 'notch' is present on the silk screen printed below the socket.

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Reply 19 of 37, by megatron-uk

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Also, yes, you can just buy a ROM hosting card, if that's what you want to do:

https://www.lo-tech.co.uk/product/isa-rom-board-pcb/

It can host the XTIDE BIOS, or any other 32/64KByte ROM extension that you want to use.

(no affiliation and I've never used one myself)

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