Hi, I must admit I feel a tad dumb in here, but I need help.
I am making a retro computer, 386SX-40 (Cyrix), 2 Mb Ram (motherboard Forcom M396F), multi io, with floppy and hd controller, separate standard VGA card, one 1.44 floppy drive, and one Seagate ST3144A (130 Mb). Tried MS-Dos 5.0 and 6.22, same result.
So, here is what happen: Boot with disk in A:, then Fdisk, then Format C: /s. It startsAt the end of the format it says: Format Complete, Unable to Write BOOT, Format Terminated. And get the A: prompt. At the prompt I type C: and Enter, it goes to C:, and I type dir, and it can not find anything as if the disk was only partitioned but not formatted.
The label on the hdd says: cyl. 1001, heads, 15, sect. 17. So it says in the bios too. Started fdisk again, and chose option 4, to see what it looked like. 116.5 Mb, 94% used.
Then I used Norton Diskedit, and it says in the partition table, 935 cylinders. Then, I go to Physical Sector, and see that it is possible to type in cylinder 0 to 999. So, 1000 cylinders. Where is number 1001 ?
I go to cylinder 0, head 0, sect. 1 to look at the MBR. It is garbled up. In the end of the MBR it is supposed to be some text telling about Invalid partition and missing operating system. Not readable English there. At the end of the sector is 55 AA as it is supposed to be.
I found a MBR online, for Dos versions from 3.30 I think and up to past 6.22. Some fellow, Starman has written it. Write it in, manually in hex code, writes it to the disk, and Quit Diskedit, then open it again, and the MBR is messed up again. I found "Zerofill" online, and set it to fill the disk, but first I manually wrote 00 hex from cyl. 0, head 0, sect. 1, and until so far that it was past any files that format had put in. Then zerofill put in the rest, up to cylinder 935. Not past it. So, I manually used Norton diskedit til fill in up to cyl. 999, which means 1000 cylinders counting cyl. 0. I suspected something was odd with cylinder 1001, but could not access it. Went back to bios, and typed in 1002 cylinders, and used fdisk again to make the disk accessible to Norton Diskedit, and now it had used 936 cylinders, 1 more than before. I went all the way up to 1105 cylinders in bios, and could then access the missing cylinder 1001, and it was code there. No clue for what, but it was some code in the beginning, and then it continued with 6C 2C 6C 2C until the end. I cleared it, and went back to bios and put in 1001 cylinders. fdisk use 935 cyl. again, but let me access it up to cyl. 999. Back to bios, typed in 1002 cylinders, and now I can access 1001 cylinders, but fdisk will still only use 936 during partitioning. If I type in 1003 cylinders in bios, the computer does not boot but tells me something is wrong with the hdd, and to hit F1, which I does, and then I can fdisk the drive and access it. But have to hit F1 each time. Back to 1002 cylinders, and no error message comes up, even if the drive is supposed to have only 1001 cylinders. FAT is also garbled up, the file names gets ridiculous. If I remove 80 hex from 1BE, things gets a little more stable, but not a whole lot. It means I can move more around in Diskedit without changes taking place, but once I put 80 back, it garbles up the disk after every move in the menus.
I am not able to run Seatools for DOS, too little memory for that so far.
Now I have gotten a new hard drive, more memory, and will soon get "new" sealed MS-Dos 6.22 diskettes, but I am afraid to put it in, afraid I will ruin it, like the two ST3144A drives I have already and acts up the same and does not work. Any advice ?