VOGONS


First post, by Chupperson

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Hi everyone,
I am trying to use Ontrack 9.57 to utilize my entire 16GB CF card in my 486. It works fine on the machine, but when I put the card in my Windows 10 PC it tells me the card has an unrecognized file system and I need to format it.
What is the secret to being able to just pop the card into my card reader and copy files over as in the video from PhilsComputerLab?

Reply 1 of 17, by Nipedley

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I also had this problem. The dynamic drive overlay software makes it so that the cards can't be read in a modern PC

What you can do is use a DDO software that allows you to remove it without having to reformat the card, I used Maxtor's Maxblast DDO software instead which allows you to install & uninstall without touching any of the data. Maxtor's Maxblast is available on phil's computer lab site also

So you can install DDO, use in your 486, uninstall it and use it in your modern PC etc.

Reply 2 of 17, by derSammler

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That's odd, as all it should do is to install a BIOS extention into the MBR so that the drive (or card in this case) can be accessed using LBA on the target PC. This has no effect on the drive itself. Unless Ontrack works completely different - then I recommend trying EZ-Drive.

Reply 3 of 17, by jaZz_KCS

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Yeah it should have no affect on the rive itself. I use EZ-Drive on all my SD and CF cards and never had any problems plugging them into a modern system for quick file transfer. Can't vouch for OnTrack though, but EZ-Drive is solid.

Reply 4 of 17, by keropi

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OnTrack does that , it's just the way it works.
What I recommend is to ditch the software overlay solutions all together and use the XT-IDE bios instead.

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Reply 5 of 17, by jaZz_KCS

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keropi wrote:

OnTrack does that , it's just the way it works.
What I recommend is to ditch the software overlay solutions all together and use the XT-IDE bios instead.

You can't use an XT-IDE BIOS in all machines, though, whereas overlay software like EZ-Drive is a real alternative in most situations.

XT-IDE requires in most cases the presence of a network controller card, and also depending on how it's configured has a maximum disk size it is compatible with. If you want to break that one without reflashing then you have to use overlay software anyways, or reflash the BIOS with a different config.

Also not everyone has access to eeprom burners, and not always is the BIOS chip reachable, or socketed even.

Reply 6 of 17, by keropi

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I've run XT-IDE in a range of machines from XT to pentium1 ones... it will work just fine.
Sure you need to invest some money/time but in the long run it's a far superior solution than any software overlay and that's why I recommend it.
Anyone is free to use whatever they want though, I can't argue with that.

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Reply 7 of 17, by jaZz_KCS

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keropi wrote:

I've run XT-IDE in a range of machines from XT to pentium1 ones... it will work just fine.
Sure you need to invest some money/time but in the long run it's a far superior solution than any software overlay and that's why I recommend it.
Anyone is free to use whatever they want though, I can't argue with that.

True, there are some undeniable advantages when using XT-IDE BIOSes, like for example additional FDD and HDD capabilities.

But for laptop users (and portables without expansion slots) it might be easier to just use overlay software. (If you don't have access to a person with an epprom burner and/or the neccessary modules to be flashed)

Reply 8 of 17, by PTherapist

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What I've done in the past to get around this is set up the DDO on the drive in a computer that fully recognises it anyway.

Not sure if it will work, it did for me on my 286 recently though, try the following -

Uninstall Ontrack using your 486.
Remove the drive and place it in a modern PC or any that will recognise the full size.
Install Ontrack using the modern PC (you will need to recreate partitions and format the drive).
Place it back in the 486 and all should be good hopefully.

Reply 9 of 17, by Chupperson

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Thanks for all the replies!
I'll give EZ-Drive a try for now.
I am still curious how Phil was able to open his CF card on a new machine after installing Ontrack from a 386.

I do want to switch to XT-IDE. I have a ROM burner so I just need to find an appropriate ISA card to use the ROM with.

Reply 10 of 17, by marvias

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I was able to read CF with ontrack and Win95 in my windows 7 system until I rebooted win95 to DOS mode (using Phil's pif file). Since then, Win7 just doesnt recognize partitions on CF. Also after each return from DOS mode, win95 said that mbr was modified and I should check changes because it might have been caused by malware. So that might be just it?

Reply 11 of 17, by Jo22

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Both DOS 7 and Win95 are LBA aware, but perhaps there's a difference in which way they handle LBA access.
DOS relies on the BIOS information (-which Ontrack fakes to do its magic-), while the GUI (Win9x) has its own, native driver (a VXD),
which retrieves the information dirctly from the hardware (Win95 may also include an Ontrack VXD driver, but perhaps in a different version).
Maybe there's a inequality in how they calculate the actual LBA numbers each (DOS vs. Win95 vs. Win7).

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Reply 12 of 17, by anetanel

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Sorry for resurrecting this post, but I just had the same issue.
32GB sd card installed on a machine with 8GB BIOS limit. Installed Ontrack to utilize the full size, and whil it works on the old machine, My Windows 10 would not detect it.
I watched Phil's video several times until I realized he was using Windows 7!
I booted a Windows 7 vm and attached the USB storage device, and indeed it reads the SD card file system!

Hope it helps the next guy.

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Reply 14 of 17, by mbliss11

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anetanel - thanks for the info! I am attempting to spin up a windows 7 VM for this very reason however I cannot for the life of me get USB support to my VM. Any chance you are using virtualbox and could offer some insight? Need drivers for USB3.0 support in win 7 but none that I have tried will install in the virtual machine. Would love to be able to plug in my "ontracked" sd card and quick transfer files

Reply 15 of 17, by mbliss11

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After some searching around I was able to dig this thread up:

https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=84793

I used the second link in the thread from dell.

Was able to install and all is good. I can officially open the SD card on the virtual machine and copy files from there. Man what lengths we go to get these old machines some love 😀 Was a fun project and glad to have 64gigs of space on my windows 95c installation. Thanks again Anetanel for discovering this and showing us a workaround!

Reply 16 of 17, by darry

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I would guess that a Linux VM or simply a Linux LiveCD or LiveUSB bootable medium would work as well .

If there is room in the mothrrboard BIOS flash memory chip, it may be possible to add the XT-IDE BIOS to it as an ISA option ROM .

Reply 17 of 17, by Tesla

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Hello all,

First post... I had the same problem as the OP with a 486 and 32Gb Compact Flash. Solution is very simple. : use a Windows95SE bootdisk. Win95SE supports FAT32 which is essential. After restarting you'll be in MS-DOS mode. Install On-Track 9.57 just like Phil does and along the way, it will ask if you want to use FAT32. You'll get the full 32Gb that will be readable in Windows 7 (downside is that you'll lose a bit of the preciousss 640Kb when booting in Win98SE/MS-DOS).

When using MS-DOS6.22 as operating system, On-track will make multiple logical drives of each 2Gb max and those won't be readable in Win7.

I have 2 CF-readers with 2x 64Gb... that should be enough for about... anything !