VOGONS


First post, by eesz34

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I got a CF-IDE adapter off eBay and tried it out. My 386 BIOS correctly detects it as does XT-IDE. The problem is I can't even run FDISK.

I wish I'd written down the error because I undid it all and put the HDD back in frustration. As an aside, I looked at FDISK.EXE in Notepad++ thinking I'd recognize the error message it displayed, but then realized for the first time ever that MS-DOS executables are compressed with PKLite? Very surprised....

Anyway, I booted from a DOS 6.22 disk and ran FDISK but it displays an error and kicks me back to the command prompt. The CF card is formatted, yet I can't switch to C:. The CF card is a nearly 20 year old 256MB Kingston that is detected as Hitachi.

I know there's going to be valid questions like did you try another card, and what is the error? I do need to answer those, but I know the card worked just a week ago in a USB CF card reader.

If anyone has suggestions please let me know, but the bigger question is: what is with these CF-IDE adapters? I found a few posts where the OP claimed the CF card was detected yet they couldn't use it, but....replacing the adapter fixed the problem.

Wait, what? In my mind, if it's detected, all signals are connected between the card and IDE port. But then again I don't understand IDE well enough to know. Maybe there's a strobe line or something that doesn't have to function for detection to be successful.

Reply 2 of 5, by eesz34

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aitotat wrote on 2022-03-08, 16:05:

Try "FDISK /MBR" to re-create valid MBR. Reboot, then try FDISK again.

Really? I didn't even think of this. But I would have guessed if FDISK didn't run, it wouldn't do that either.

Reply 3 of 5, by Jo22

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You also can run S0KILL to clear track zero (default) of your HDD..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track0

That way, any information in MBR/PBR is blanked and the drive appears as new.

If Fdisk still crashes, then something else might be the culprit.

The utility is in German and can wipe the complete drive, if you wish.

Re: IDE to Compact Flash as MS-DOS boot drive.

Edit: Link added. Good luck! 😀

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 4 of 5, by jmarsh

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Accessing the card using a CF reader uses different addressing (LBA) than what a 386 BIOS would use (C/H/S).
Without knowing how the drive is configured in the BIOS, what the error message was or even which filesystem the card is formatted with (FAT16/FAT32), there's not a lot to go on here.
DO NOT wipe track 0 unless you are happy to lose everything on the CF drive - it will wipe the parition table and/or the beginning of the filesystem.

Reply 5 of 5, by eesz34

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Finally got back to this. Turns out the card seems to be bad, which surprised me because I thought I tried multiples. Another part of this that I think contributed to the confusion is that I didn't realize the nearly identical motherboard I was trying this on didn't do HDD autodetect like the other I have. Neither have an explicit autodetect option, but the slightly newer board likes to correct the CHS numbers after rebooting and going back into BIOS.

IDEINFO.EXE even read the card's information, but FDISK wouldn't run and even Windows can't read it. The others of the same model seem to work, as do two other different models/capacities.