Getting started on 5160 / PC XT (Solved!)

HxC Floppy Emulator on IBM PC and compatible support
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Quadko
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Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:57 pm

Getting started on 5160 / PC XT (Solved!)

Post by Quadko » Thu Aug 20, 2015 12:18 am

Hello, everyone!

I've got my HxC hooked up to a basic PC XT 5160, and while it gives me a "reading disk" tracks and noises during boot up, I can't get any floppies recognized after booting.

What details do I need to report to you to get help troubleshooting this? How do I help you help me? :)

Current behaviors:
When I try to access the A: drive in dos, I get an Abort, Retry, Fail error. If I attempt B drive, it does the "put B disk in A drive and press key..." so I might have dip switches set incorrectly. Floppy drive was defective in this machine, so I can't prove I've got the machine correct.

Basic setup (From memory):
* I've used the DOS 720 setup zip download to start.
* I've created 300 rpm 360k disks using the HxC 'create disk' tools.
* The HxC is attached after the twist in my floppy cable. (Only way I could get card edge connector -> header.)

I've tried ID1A & ID2A, ID1B & ID2B dip switch settings.

I'm happy to provide pictures and details! I've got an XT-IDE I'm booting from, and I think it's currently booting FreeDos. We can check, but I'm not sure if the floppy controller is the original or a 3rd party replacement. The floppy drive worked before I moved, but after moving and some tinkering it no longer works. I'm not sure if it was the moving or the tinkering that killed it.

Thanks for any direction to get me on the right path. I also haven't tried putting this in an available Pentium dos machine, but I have one of those available as well. Fun project, cool device!

Goal is 360k DD disk in PC XT. (Unless it's 320k? But no, pretty sure the standard was 360k. Feel free to correct me! 360K 5.25-inch, 2-sided, 9-sector vs. 320K 5.25-inch, 2-sided, 8-sector)
Last edited by Quadko on Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Quadko
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:57 pm

Re: Getting started on 5160 / PC XT

Post by Quadko » Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:29 pm

I was able to confirm a few things last night and do some research, and hopefully more testing tonight:
  • I do have the "later" IBM 5160 XT original floppy controler per http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/5150/ea ... dapter.htm
  • Dip switches were set to one floppy, I'll try two tonight
  • I see you can safely reverse a floppy cable, so I can go from B: drive card edge connector to 'controller' header and get rid of the twist. (Currently going from B: card edge connector through twist to A: header on "universal" cable that assumes header at controller/motherboard.)

Quadko
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:57 pm

Re: Getting started on 5160 / PC XT (Solved!)

Post by Quadko » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:30 pm

Success!

Major two blocking issues I changed to fix my problems were:
1) a defective floppy controller card
2) choosing 360k not 320k disk images in the HxC software (due to my confusion over 5.25" & 8" references together in UI, oops!)

So, final state for anyone else starting and knowing as little as I did, here's what worked to start with:

On an IBM 5160 PC XT using no physical floppy drives and the the HxC to emulate both A & B:

1. Using a working floppy controller (my computer was giving 601 error on boot, so I should have clued in sooner)
2. Using an untwisted cable (connected to first "B:" drive connector)
3. Set XT's motherboard jumpers to have 2 floppy drives
4. Set HxC jumpers to ID2A & ID1B per HxC manual
5. Created 2 new 360k 300rpm disk images (marked as 5.25" 8" in the list), and put files on them, used for A & B drive.
. ImageImage
6. Used 'Auto' drive type sensing (same as Dos 720k zip file, I think)
7. Selected the disks into drive A & B using HxC front panel (hold center button down to select drive w/ left & right buttons, also click center button and use left & right & click again to select image)

Then I could get directory of both disks and run Rogue off the A: drive!

Now I have a working base, I can play with different image types and so forth.
It's such a cool device!

edit:
* 3.5" 720KB images are working fine with no other configuration, happy day!
* 5.25" 320KB 300RPM images are working fine.
So, XT's rock!

Nice and flexible. Next job is how to access hard drive from dos 3.3, or should I run dos 6.22 on an XT? Currently I'm running XTIDE w/ FreeDos from Dec 2003. Decisions and tests and projects, oh my! :)

Jeff
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Re: Getting started on 5160 / PC XT (Solved!)

Post by Jeff » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:23 am

Nice ! Have fun with your HxC Floppy Emulator ! :D

Quadko
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Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:57 pm

Re: Getting started on 5160 / PC XT (Solved!)

Post by Quadko » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:16 pm

Thanks!

And setting it up obviously would have been simple if not for my defective controller card confusing the issue.

I got the XTIDE w/ a fresh CF card working in DOS 3.3 now that I can boot floppy images - my FreeDos card has larger partitions than Dos 3.3 can handle, looks like, so it just doesn't see it. But fresh card, FDisk-ed many 32MB partitions on it (ouch! 4GB card, 640MB max usable), but of course Windows only can seem to access the first partition. I tried putting files on the first partition and copying them to other drives via the XT, but that's just painful - but works in worst case, I guess.

This weekend I hope to:
* Get the CF card in a more modern computer's IDE port via CF-IDE converter so I can easily copy files to it
* Get some of the old PC Booter game images converted for HxC and give them a play

Quadko
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:57 pm

Re: Getting started on 5160 / PC XT (Solved!)

Post by Quadko » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:10 am

  • The PC Booters are booting beautifully, such nerdy pleasure!
  • The USB CF card reader didn't work quite as expected, because I can only access partition 1 (Dos 3.3, so 32 MB partitions). Google says it's a common problem. Best solution seems to be to stick it in a CF|IDE in a more modern computer's IDE port. Hopefully trying that soon.
This rocks! Is an HxC that directly reads PC IMG/IMZ without converting to .hfe in the roadmap, or is that currently unlikely? HFE works, of course, just curious.

bjt
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Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:38 am

Re: Getting started on 5160 / PC XT (Solved!)

Post by bjt » Thu Aug 27, 2015 12:31 pm

Cool! I'm running IBM DOS 5 on my 5160, no problems with partitions >32MB and it has a few more mod-cons.
I'm planning to replace the floppy controller with one on a 16-bit multi I/O controller so I can use 1.44MB disk images.

Quadko
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:57 pm

Re: Getting started on 5160 / PC XT (Solved!)

Post by Quadko » Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:35 am

Very cool! I know Dos 6.22 will run larger drives, but wanted to stick with 3.3 for this CGA computer - for now, at least. Was thinking of an EGA setup in future, probably with 6.22.

I'd love to hear how the other floppy controller goes.

bjt
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:38 am

Re: Getting started on 5160 / PC XT (Solved!)

Post by bjt » Thu Sep 10, 2015 11:21 am

OK, new floppy controller is installed in the XT. It's a common-or-garden 16-bit ISA multi I/O card and also provides parallel and a couple of extra serial ports, these work on the XT too.

After flashing both the XT-IDE BIOS and a high-density floppy controller BIOS to the Lo-tech Compactflash card, I was able to access 1.44MB images from DOS. Booting from 1.44MB works too.

More details here if you're interested. http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=2 ... 1&start=80

Quadko
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 10:57 pm

Re: Getting started on 5160 / PC XT (Solved!)

Post by Quadko » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:34 am

Very nice! What update did you have to flash to the XTIDE? Or maybe when I read your link you've already explained it, no need to do it twice.

I'm in process (a bit stalled at the moment) of taking the unnecessary hardware out of my XT and screwing it all together to be a fixed and finished computer project. Meanwhile I'm having fun playing a few games on the system while it's scattered and unscrewed - what are the keys for Airball - I can't get off the first position! Heh. Haven't tried a joystick yet.

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