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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 7:24 
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Bill1962 wrote:
Replaced the hdd cable. No change, soldered up all the pins on the hdd connector on the controller card in case the solder on one pin could be cracked. No change, replaced the controller card with a different type, no change.

Bad memory? Bad card?

Try testing your RAM with Memtest86+
http://www.memtest.org/

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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 12:10 
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As for the memtest, I am not able to create such a disk to run that program. I have tried so many ways now that I am not going to try anymore. The memory might be bad, I realize that, both the 2 Mb I had in and the brand new 16 Mb I have now installed on the motherboard.

What bad card are you refering to ?

Is it possible that a glitch in a bit earlier has made some kind of change on the hard disk itself, I mean in the information about it, like model number, serial number so that the drives now are destroyed beyond repair ?

Why would I put 2 disks in the machine and try to detect them. 2 drives is twice the trouble of one ?

The link to the file, I am not able to make a link that works. So, the only other option is to send it in an e-mail.


Bill


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 14:52 
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Can the Motherboard be faulty ? It has some peculiarities, for example this that it sets landing zone to cylinder 1001, and Norton can not deal with cylinder 1001 except when I am really bugging it. Then it has two another oddities. It has a Turbo button feature, but it run at 40 MHz no matter what position the button is in, or the two pins strapped or open. And then it has this thing that if I want to boot from the floppy drive, it has to be set at a: then c: If it is set at c: then a: it does not even attempt to try the floppy drive. Maybe the Forcom M396F is not a very good motherboard, even if I have read somewhere that it at the time it was new was a very popular motherboard.


Bill


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 19:20 
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About memtest, download the image and create a floppy in the computer you are using to create dos floppies and other.

Bad multiio cards are also a possibility. You say you tested with two, but were them different models ?

The two disks thing was more for information, I suppose.

You should attach the ata file to your posts. Same as for pictures. Using an external host is cumbersome and brings the added problem of files being deleted or disappearing.

Have you tried with another disk ?

The motherboard could be faulty, but I don´t think so. Looks more of a problem with the disk , cable or controller card.

The landing zone thing, normal. I remember boards using strange numbers that wouldn´t add up at those times.

The order for A: C: situation is right. We had to change the order to boot from floppies and install the OS, then change it again so that people wouldn´t inadvertently boot from their floppies.


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 20:12 
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Bill1962 wrote:
It has a Turbo button feature, but it run at 40 MHz no matter what position the button is in, or the two pins strapped or open.

Some designs do not alter the system clock in "turbo" mode. Instead they enable/disable the cache memory. I notice that "Cyrix cache" is disabled in your Advanced CMOS setup.

A great program for testing your L1 and L2 cache is the Celem Cache Test.

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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 20:45 
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Ah, one little thing I just remembered :

Is the power supply of that computer set to the correct voltage in your place ? I say that because once we kept trying to format the (new) hdd in one computer and it would fail in random places. After much tinkering one of the guys paid attention to the voltage switch in the back of the computer and it was in the wrong position ( 220V, while we use 127V here ) . Just something to be sure of.


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 22:08 
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Let me see. The 2 IO cards I have tried is different ones. The one I have used is RT-1201, and the other one I think is CA8392F.

No, I have not tried with the ST3391A disk I got Friday last week. I am scared of hooking it up to any cable at all after all this mess, if the computer is destroying the disks beyond repair.

About this a: then c: or c: then a: Here is how I thought it would work. But I am rusty from not working with old Dos machines, but anyway I thought in a: then c:, when booting, the system look for an operating system in a: first, and if it finds one there, it boot from that. If not, it goes to C: to look for one. And the option c: then a:, I thought did the opposite. But, this one does not do that. It is like this, a: then c: does not exist, it is like it is only a:, or the opposite, if I set it to c: then a:, and it does not find the operating system in c: it does not go to a: to look. The system stops and is just standing there for ever. So, what you call the order, a: then c:, there is now order. Just a:, or the other option in bios I can choose, c: not c: then a:

Powersupply set at 115 volt. 5 volt comes out at 5,1 volt and 12 volt comes out at about 11,9 volts.

As for the memtest, I tried to do it in the "trouble computer", the only one I have to write safe bootable disks, unless it is a special for example .exe file with Dos 5.0 that makes it's own bootable disk. The Windows 8.1 computer does not make bootable disks.

No idea how to add files directly here, or pics for that matter, only URL's.


Bill


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 22:24 
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Maybe this will work. But, ATA files are not allowed here, so I had to rename the file .txt, so I guess you have to download it to your computer and rename it back to ATA before trying to access it.

Sorry, I thought I have looked everywhere how to add files, and then I saw it, just after embarrassing myself. :D So typical me...


Bill


Attachments:
File comment: Seagate ST3144A info file.
ST3144A.txt [512 Bytes]
Downloaded 71 times
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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 22:29 
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You will need to test with it or another disk sometime, to rule out the hdd being bad.

Or find something not so old ( say, a 486, Pentium,K6, P3, AMD duron machine ) to connect and test the hdd.

Here, the older versions ( down the page ) allow to create a bootable floppy :

https://www.memtest86.com/download.htm

To the right of the button for Submit, there is one for "Attach a picture or file".


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 22:37 
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In one of your posts, you mention a virus in the bios. Not possible ( well, not probable scientifically speaking ) . But a virus in the boot disks could be a possibility. Are you creating these floppies from some trusted source ?

Also, you say you wrote 00´s to the whole drive. In which machine ? can you use that to partition the disk and them try it in the 386 ?

The different bytes are consistently differing by 0x40 . That would still point to some failure in one of the bits in the interface. You have changed cable and touched the solder in the controller connector, but have you done the same in the hdd connector ?


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 23:03 
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Yes, I wondered about a virus in the bios. I had one set of MS-Dos 5.0 upgrade, original disks, but used. As you know, when they boot they starts up the setup. And found no previous version so it stopped. I put a tape over the hole, and edited autoexec.bat so it does not start setup. So, tecnically it could be infected. Then I have made several versions from the net, downloaded and made disks. That was done in the Win 8.1 computer. Today, not gotten to mention that before, I got a brand new MS-Dos 6.22, in the plastic bag, sealed manual. This is a full version. I wrote 00 hex on the disk again, and tried it. Can not format the drive it says. So, unless Microsoft put a virus on them, we can be sure they were clean.

Then, another thing as we are talking about these things, about the bytes being altered. How come I can write 00 hex on the entire disk, and that never change. I mean if there is something wrong with a cable or soldering or whatever, then it should alter the 00 too, right ?

And, I am writing 00 hex in the "trouble computer". I have no other computer to hook up the hard drive. The USB to IDE adapters does not work, they want only DMA, and the ST3144A is a PIO drive.
No, I have not soldered on the hard drive, I have not have the courage to do that. :D But, isn't it odd that the other ST3144A drive I had did the same thing ? Two drives with the same problem on the same interface pin ?

And I was thinking, maybe it is something in the slots in the motherboard so one card edge connector does not get contact. So, I have tried it in 4 different slots. No difference.


Bill


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 28th, 2018, 23:54 
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Bill1962 wrote:
How come I can write 00 hex on the entire disk, and that never change. I mean if there is something wrong with a cable or soldering or whatever, then it should alter the 00 too, right ?

No. A "stuck" bit can be either "hot" or "cold". That is, it can be always 1 or always 0.

Code:
Offset(d) 00   02   04   06   08   10   12   14   16   18

00000000  5A0A E903 0000 0F00 4026 4002 1100 1400 0B00 0000  Z.é.....@&@.........
00000020  3030 5703 3534 3839 3235 3030 3030 3030 3030 3030  00W.5489250000000000
00000040  0300 4000 0400 4512 3116 3738 302E 7433 3133 3434  ..@...E.1.780.t31344
00000060  5401 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020  T.                 
00000080  2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 2020 0000 0000 0000

In your case bit #14 is always 0 so it won't show up when writing all zeros. Instead you need to write all ones, ie 0xFF. Then you'll see 0xFFBF instead of 0xFFFF.

BTW, you can ZIP your BIN files before attaching them.

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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 29th, 2018, 0:54 
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F hex is 16 bits, so, since it writes FF BF, does this mean that all the data lines, like in the 40 wire cable, wire 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 are all high for writing F and then an F, but then for the third time, data lines 17, 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3, 4, 6, is high, but wire 8 is low, and then wire, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 is high, and then the 4th time all the wires are high again ? Do I understand this correctly, or am I far out in the countryside here ?

By the way, I had to try it, and it writes FF BF FF BF all over the disk as long as I wants it.



Bill


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 29th, 2018, 1:10 
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sorry, it should have been FF FF is 16 bits.

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 29th, 2018, 1:46 
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ISTM that the problem could be with bit #14 in the motherboard chipset.

The floppy controller, LPT, COM and game ports are all 8-bit devices, so they would be using Data Bits 0-7 of the ISA slot. The HDD controller is 16-bit, so it would be using all 16 data bits. This would explain why only the HDD is giving problems.

http://old.pinouts.ru/Slots/ISA_pinout.shtml

Is your VGA card an 8-bit type?

What is the motherboard chipset, eg Chips & Tech, VLSI?

Can you measure the Data Bit voltages at the ISA slot? Is there anything different about Data Bit 14 (SD14)?

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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 29th, 2018, 9:55 
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That post above I made, that is just bogus, I have no idea what planet I was on.

But, on the other hand, I can not figure out where you guys come up with bit #14 for the FF BF problem. In my world the least significant bit is to the right, and the most significant bit is to the left. Like any other figure system. So, if I have 1101 1111 1111 1111, that is to me DF FF. While 1111 1111 1011 1111 is FF BF.
If the least significant bit was to the left, and the most was to the right, it would be different, but that would be FF FB, and not FF BF. So, help me out here. :)


Bill


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 29th, 2018, 10:06 
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Fzabkar. I can not answer for the serial and parallel ports, and not the game port either. The floppy works fine it seems. The Chipset I think it Sarc.

The VGA card is a 16 bit card.

Yes, I will take the computer downstairs and lay it out on my workbench in the garage and measure the voltages.


Bill


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 29th, 2018, 12:06 
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There isn´t a virus in the bios.


What are you using ( which program ) to write the 00´s to the disk ?

I did not find where you state you tried with another st3144.

Just to sum up, you tried with two different controllers, and two different hard disks ? Also two different cables ?

Create the memtest floppy, and test ram.

Reload defaults to the bios, detect the hard disk by the Auto function, boot from the msdos floppy and try to partition it.

My computers here recognize any ide drives, I think. Am searching for a small one ( the smaller I found till now is a 540Mb Quantum ... )


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 29th, 2018, 13:07 
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The 00 hex to the disk I use Norton Diskeditor, I wonder if I downloaded Norton Utilities version 5 or something. I feel I have full control with that program, even if it looks like I have no control at all :D

I have asked for help another place too, so I might have ended up thinking I told about the first ST3144. I bought one first, it did not work, same issues as with this one. Then I bought another ST3144A, which acted up like the first one, and then I broke the power connector off the first one, so it is currently off duty until I get it fixed.
And then the third disk ST3391A I bought now recently and I have hidden so no cables is getting too close to it.

So, two different controllers, two different hard disks, 3-4 cables, lost count. But more than two. Both 80 wire cables, and 40 wire cables.

I have maybe 3 times reloaded defaults to the bios, both versions, auto detected the drive, booted, partitioned it, formatted it... and every time I have made sure the drive has only 00 hex in it, from sector 0 to the last one. And every time Fdisk partition it with 935 cylinders, unless I set landing zone to cylinder 1002 instead of 1001, then Fdisk partition it to 936 cylinders. And every time the disk gets garbled up.

From what I understand, older USB to IDE adapters tend to accept older IDE drives, but I have yet to see one that goes all the way back to PIO 0. The disk motor does not spin up. Take out the adapter plug, and the drive spins up, put it back in, and it stops.

The memtest, I downloaded it two times, the older version, and my Win 8.1 computer says the file is damaged. Is there another memtest ?


Bill


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 Post subject: Re: ST3144A, format complete, unable to write BOOT, format t
PostPosted: March 29th, 2018, 13:46 
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Here, download this ( was on the page linked before )

https://www.memtest86.com/downloads/mem ... py.img.zip

Then read the directions in readme.txt ( inside the zip ) on how to write it to a floppy.
If you can boot from a linux livecd , you can download the corresponding version through that too, and follow the adequate instructions.

Ok for the part about the two similar hard disks.

Forcing numbers just to add one cylinder will not help you. First it needs to work with whatever the bios detects, so that you know that your parts and procedures are correct. Later you can see about this issue with the cylinder number.

The usb adapter would not know about the dma/pio mode before starting the disk motor. What I believe could be happening is that, as those old disks used to eat a good number of Amperes, these modern usb adapters without an external power supply, or with weak ones, would not be able to feed the disks. I use the motherboard controllers to connect disks, so not encounter that much problem with recognizing ide disks.

Can you borrow from someone a smaller disk ? I do not believe it to be the case, as I remember we running 386 DX´s with 80 and 120MB hard disks ( and windows NT 3.5 ), but just to rule out some motherboard limit with bigger than 100-ish megabytes disks.


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