VOGONS


First post, by abasak

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I just got an old SOYO 030H2 486 board, that had some battery damage, that I was able to fix with some isopropyl alcohol, and a patch wire.

However the board is proving a bit of a hassle to boot. It has a HDD limit of around 1.7gb to 2gb, which is a problem since I don’t have any 1-2gb SD cards for my reader, an only two drives which kinda are in use.

However to make matters worse, this board has no FDD connector, which I have never encountered before on a 1995 board.

So can you get a cable from IDE 2 for example to a floppy drive? Or will that not work?

Here’s some info on it:
https://stason.org/TULARC/pc/motherboa ... 30G-H.html

And a picture (not mine) with cache and BIOS pulled out, just to illustrate:

Attachments

Reply 4 of 19, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I believe it's just because of the simplicity of the IDE.
It's just ISA plus a simple address decoder made from discreet parts.
A floppy controller needs a real FDC controller chip, I guess.

Edit: Picture attached. My MTM2183M CD-ROM interface card (IDE/ATAPI) consists
of a PAL16L8ACN, a HD74LS08P and an SN74LS245N.

Attachments

  • ide.jpg
    Filename
    ide.jpg
    File size
    1.88 MiB
    Views
    1608 views
    File license
    Public domain

"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 5 of 19, by Cuttoon

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
abasak wrote on 2022-04-14, 20:17:

Yes of course, how stupid can I be… brain fart. Thanks.

no worries - it's really pretty weird to see a PCI baord with enhanced IDE but no floppy, 1st for me.

I do have the FIC 4386 which might be one of the few somewhat "retail, generic, not necessarily OEM" boards that have only a single IDE channel:
https://computer-retro.de/Bilder/Mainboards/H … d-Bios-1992.jpg
- But even that has a floppy port.
While I'm sure there will be dedicated ISA floppy controllers out there, the most common are multi-I/O cards incorporating HDD, floppy, serial, parallel and oftentimes game port.
None of that hurts but you may have to deactivate some of the redundant functions, maybe in the bios settings, to avoid conflict.
Or at leat, make sure you get all the IRQ etc. business sorted out.
If you were to attach four hard drives to the onboard channels, afaik, one more channel could at least be used for CD-ROM drives 😉

I like jumpers.

Reply 6 of 19, by mkarcher

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
AirIntake wrote on 2022-04-14, 20:35:

It is very weird though to see a motherboard with onboard IDE but not floppy.

It makes sense, though. IDE can profit from being closer to the processor than the ISA bus (i.e. local bus or PCI IDE). All the other components you find on a typical multi I/O card are not limited by the ISA bus but the slowness of those interfaces, so it doesn't hurt to have them on the ISA bus. So the cheapest option for a well-performing PCI mainboard is to just take the IDE controller off the ISA bus, but leave the remaining interfaces to a plug-in card. Later PCI mainboard didn't improve on performance of the parallel port, serial port and floppy controller, but they just put the (then available) single-chip multi-I/O controllers on the mainboard, still connected to the ISA bus.

Reply 7 of 19, by maxtherabbit

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
AirIntake wrote on 2022-04-14, 20:35:

It is very weird though to see a motherboard with onboard IDE but not floppy.

It is unusual yes, but in this case it makes perfect sense. The SiS 496 chipset has an integrated local bus IDE controller, but no other I/O functions. It's generally paired with a winbond or UMC super IO chip for the serial, parallel, and floppy support.

Reply 9 of 19, by BitWrangler

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I'd probably do something like stick a floppy/SCSI card in there... since a third IDE interface is not gonna be that useful (Typically can't set tertiary address on "normal" i/o cards, and even if you can, a lot of programs ignore it's existence.) .... mind you, I've probably got half a dozen weird ways to set it up by digging the pile for various i/o combos on various interfaces.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 11 of 19, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

There was a short period of time when the integrated IDE without floppy or I/O was common. Asus PVI 486AP4 is another example.

I think it was always kind of dumb idea, as you still end up having to waste a slot for a multi I/O card. But I can kind of see the reasoning. With VLB systems, your IDE/FDD and I/O were all on a single expansion card. But when the PCI boards came along you couldn't do that because PCI is missing some of the legacy signals on ISA that let you operate the FDD and I/O. If you didn't have to integrated IDE, then you'd have to use TWO expansion cards if you wanted to keep IDE on the PCI bus.

I remember there was another "solution" around this time. Rather than integrating the IDE controller, the mother board manufacturer bundled this weird multi I/O card for PCI that "integrates" the floppy and I/O sections by using this dingus that leaches of the ISA bus, effectively stealing two lots anyway. I think it was from an OPTi board, which is typically what you expect with OPTi products.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 12 of 19, by rmay635703

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Anonymous Coward wrote on 2022-04-15, 05:29:

There was a short period of time when the integrated IDE without floppy or I/O was common. Asus PVI 486AP4

bundled this weird multi I/O card for PCI that "integrates" the floppy and I/O sections by using this dingus that leaches of the ISA bus, effectively stealing two lots anyway. I think it was from an OPTi board, which is typically what you expect with OPTi products.

You mean it installed to a shared PCI/ISA slot?
(Which normally couldn’t populate at the same time due to the right handed ISA and left handed pci normally using the same cover position?)

Reply 13 of 19, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

You could be right, it may have been a shared one, in which case only one slot would have been used. It was still wonky as hell though.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 14 of 19, by Solo761

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

It seems that it's not rare for 486 PCI boards to be like this. Same story with QDI MP4-P4U885P3 that I have. When I first got it I thought great, it has IDE so I don't have to mess with I/O cards. And then I tried to plug in floppy 🤣

Reply 15 of 19, by AlexZ

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

You should be able to bypass BIOS disk size limits by using a PCI Ultra ATA controller with own BIOS. You could also use SATA controller, but you won't find drivers for Windows 3.1 or 98. The built-in IDE controller should be disabled.

Pentium III 900E, ECS P6BXT-A+, 384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, Voodoo 2 12MB, 80GB HDD, Yamaha SM718 ISA, 19" AOC 9GlrA
Athlon 64 3400+, MSI K8T Neo V, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 512MB, 250GB HDD, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS

Reply 16 of 19, by abasak

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Thanks for all the great replies! I’m trying to find a cheap controller here in EU, but seems like they start at around €50 on eBay.

For a stand alone PCI IDE controller, how do you set the drive size? Is that just automatically detected?

Reply 17 of 19, by AlexZ

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Definitely get a very cheap one. They should cost about €10. There could be incompatibility between PCI spec supported on 486 boards therefore you don't want to spend too much on it. First look whether you are able to disable the internal HDD controller in BIOS so that Hwinfo doesn't detect it (boot from floppy once you have a floppy controller). I just bought three of them and I'm going to test how they work.

Try to look at allegro pl. It's a Polish website (I'm not Polish and I have to use google translate to use it) and prices are very low. E.g Pentium III is much cheaper than on ebay. I have ordered car parts from it before.

If you search for "Kontroler 4xPATA Leadtek WinFast ATA100 do PC " it will show you one item for 40 zł = € 8.6 . It has Silicon Image chip and a BIOS. Another one on sale there is "Kontroler ITE IT8212F ATA 100/133 + RAID" and "Kontroler PCI-IDE CMD 0649".

With PCI Ultra ATA controller you will disable the built-in controller and set hard drives to NONE in motherboard BIOS setup. Ultra ATA controller notification should be shown during BIOS post, either auto-detecting drives or offering its own setup after key press. Ultra ATA controller also needs to install its own Int 13h handler to process hard drive access calls. I'm not sure how it will coexist with floppy controller as Int 13h is meant to handle both.

Last edited by AlexZ on 2022-04-16, 14:22. Edited 2 times in total.

Pentium III 900E, ECS P6BXT-A+, 384MB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 128MB, Voodoo 2 12MB, 80GB HDD, Yamaha SM718 ISA, 19" AOC 9GlrA
Athlon 64 3400+, MSI K8T Neo V, 1GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 512MB, 250GB HDD, Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS