[SATLUG] A challenge for all seasoned experts :-)

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Thu Jan 30 13:29:44 CST 2014


On Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 10:47:11PM -0600, Alan Lesmerises wrote:
> I remember there was a standard that came out called "RLL" that
> effectively increased hard-drive capacity by about 50% over MFM.  I
> believe the IDE and Enhanced IDE (EIDE) formats came next and
> pre-dated the modern ATA interface standards.  In fact, it looks
> like even the EIDE format didn't come out until a few years after
> your system was manufactured.
> 
> I also seem to recall DOS having trouble dealing with primary
> hard-drive partitions over 2 GB & needed the rest to be designated
> as an "extended" partition (or something like that).  I think it had
> to do with the maximum number of sectors the DOS formatting could
> keep track of in the FAT.  There were some aftermarket drivers that
> would allow accessing more capacity, but I don't think they were
> standardized.  I don't know if it applies to your computer, but I
> also recall that older BIOS needed to have specifics for number of
> cylinders, heads, tracks, etc. entered in manually (i.e., there was
> no auto-detect capability).

You are spot on, Al. I have one of those BIOSes. You have to enter the 
tracks, sectors, etc. (My drive is type 40, I think 20 MB (wow!).
So I think I have an IDE, but not yet EIDE drive.
I think there were some ISA (16 bit) controllers that could do EIDE
drives up to 2 GB, but maybe not without BIOS upgrade. Anyway, I probably
won't be able to find replacement drives. If someone has a 16 bit ISA
controller for an EIDE drive that would work with my BIOS that I am sure
would be helpful.

> Someone else mentioned that networking required using a Novell
> driver, and I seem to recall the same.

Perhaps Win3.11 will work too. I have a copy of that. I seem to recall it
came with TCP/IP stack. 

Thanks! -Borries


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