Sord M68 timeout error

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arjoll
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Sord M68 timeout error

Post by arjoll »

Hi - I purchased a rev C several years ago, and with a combination of lockdown an a push from a guy in Germany who was wanting to get boot disks for an M68 have finally started the process of getting this working.

My intention was to use it to image disks for a Sord M23 with unusual "Mk III" drives (5.25", SSQD, 100 TPI), but the M68 was set up in the office to make the boot disks so I've decided to use it first. The M68 is an 8/16 bit machine with Z80 and 68000, and uses what Sord called "Mk 41" drives, which are 5.25" DSHD drives formatted with 77 tracks to give around 1 MB storage. They use a YE-Data YD-380 1710 drive. Everything I've found indicates that these use the same format as the older "Mk V" 8 inch drives - the capacity is the same, my dad remembers talk of them being based on an IBM 8" format when he programmed these in the 1980s, sections in the Sord CP/M-68K manual refer to format commands for "Mk V/41" and a thread here from 2011 for a Sord Future32 (the successor to the M68) also implies they're the same.

I've created an HFE file based on the published specifications (from the M23 hardware manual) of the Mk V 8 inch drive - 77 tracks, 2 sides, 26 sectors, 256 bytes per sector, 500 kbps, 360 rpm and an interleave of 2.

I've left physical drive 0 in place, and the HxC in the place of "drive 1," with ID 1 selected for A, nothing selected for B. The configuration is for single drive.

Booting up with a Sord FDOS disk in the physical physical drive 0 (their 8 bit OS, I'll try CP/M-68K later), I see the side indicator on the HxC flip between 0 and 1 a couple of times during boot. When issuing a disk formatting command (INIT/1) the display shows RA at the start, then after a couple of seconds changes to WA, then shows WES0, and the Sord shows a timeout.

Are there any thoughts as to what I can try here to see what's going on?

Jeff
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by Jeff »

Can you share the HFE file after the format attempt ?

arjoll
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by arjoll »

Jeff wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:01 am
Can you share the HFE file after the format attempt ?
Well, frustratingly enough I decided to create a fresh HFE file to do the format in case there was some less-than-useful rubbish - and of course now I'm getting a different error message! I'm getting "Rotation Error" which as far as I can tell means that the M68 is choking on the data rate - I had it initially when trying different ones, and finally got rid of it.

So not sure how much use it is, but I've attached the HFE file after a format attempt.

I'll have a bit more of a look at this tomorrow afternoon (NZ time) and see if I can at least get back to the timeout error and WES0 message!
Attachments
Sord M68 Empty Floppy.zip
After format attempt
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Jeff
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by Jeff »

Please retry with an image initially set with 0 sector. Here i can't tell what was formatted or not by the machine.
Untitled.jpg
Untitled.jpg (190.42 KiB) Viewed 583 times
I see something at the side 0 last track. is the sord starting to format from the last track ?

arjoll
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by arjoll »

I've created an image with no sectors defined, and tried a format in both Sord's FDOS and CP/M-68K - FDOS does count down from 76 to 0 while formatting, so I suspect they do start the format at the last track for some reason.
Attachments
M68-FDOS-CPM.zip
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Jeff
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by Jeff »

arjoll wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:46 am
I've created an image with no sectors defined, and tried a format in both Sord's FDOS and CP/M-68K - FDOS does count down from 76 to 0 while formatting, so I suspect they do start the format at the last track for some reason.
ok i see now.
i think that the sdcard is just too slow. Which sdcard are you using ? (which class?)

arjoll
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by arjoll »

Jeff wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:59 am
ok i see now.
i think that the sdcard is just too slow. Which sdcard are you using ? (which class?)
It's a Verbatim Class 10 8GB - but quite a few years old. Shouldn't have had too much use though. Unfortunately I don't have the full SKU or specs, only the distributor's code on invoices from 2014.

I do have stock of brand new HPE 8GB Class 10 UHS-I (726116-B21, local HPE distributors do them with bundles of enterprise drives) and Adata 16GB Class 10 UHC-I microSD cards if you think it'd be worth trying with those.

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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by Jeff »

arjoll wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:54 am
Jeff wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:59 am
ok i see now.
i think that the sdcard is just too slow. Which sdcard are you using ? (which class?)
It's a Verbatim Class 10 8GB - but quite a few years old. Shouldn't have had too much use though. Unfortunately I don't have the full SKU or specs, only the distributor's code on invoices from 2014.

I do have stock of brand new HPE 8GB Class 10 UHS-I (726116-B21, local HPE distributors do them with bundles of enterprise drives) and Adata 16GB Class 10 UHC-I microSD cards if you think it'd be worth trying with those.
yes try the others cards. If still doesn't work i will provide you another firmware to test.

arjoll
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by arjoll »

Jeff wrote:
Sun Jun 07, 2020 12:49 pm
yes try the others cards. If still doesn't work i will provide you another firmware to test.
It's the weekend, so back on to this! I've tried with two Class 10 UHS-I micro SD cards - an HPE 726116-B21 8 GB, and Adata AUSDH16GUICL10-RA1 16 GB card, and getting the same message - "rotation error" in Sord FDOS.

I've attached the images from both cards after attempting the format.
Attachments
Sord-M68.zip
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Jeff
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by Jeff »

ok try the firmware with the test.hfe present in the zip file.
hxcfe.zip
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arjoll
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by arjoll »

Jeff wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:47 pm
ok try the firmware with the test.hfe present in the zip file.
Thanks Jeff - sorry about the wait, was out of town for much of last week.

I've tried this now - same issue unfortunately, "rotation error" when trying to format. I've attached the image after attempting the format.

I can only assume - from my more limited knowledge of these things - that there's some kind of strobe signal normally generated from the index hole on the disk that the Sord's software just doesn't like.

Just wondering - would it be worth trying to image a freshly formatted disk using "floppy disk dump" in the HxC software and seeing if I can write to that? I do have a couple of PCs that support 5.25" drives (a P233MMX with 98 and PII450 with Win2k), so if the software runs on an older OS it might be worth trying, in case formatting is the only issue. At least then, if it turns out it is I'll be able to create some blank images for FDOS and CP/M and go from those.
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sordm68-test.zip
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Jeff
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by Jeff »

Yes you can dump some disks with ImageDisk to make some IMD disk images under ms dos.
Then convert these IMD files with the hxc tool. (Btw maybe there is already some TD0/IMD/IMG/DSK images available for this machine ?)

btw Is there a way to initialize the file system on the floppy disk without formatting it ? The sectors are already on the image and you can write them.

ImageDisk under DOS :
http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm
I recommend it over any others floppy dump software on PC.

arjoll
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by arjoll »

After a weekend away to catch up on a wedding anniversary which happened under lockdown, I'm back on to this and making progress!

The Win2k install on my old PII got into a reboot loop, so I grabbed an old Core 2 motherboard with floppy interface I had lying around and set it up on the workbench with "gold" XP to try to maximise my chances of it working. I had a couple of 5.25" HD drives - one of unknown origin was seriously flaky, the other I've owned since new - in 1993 - would read the directory on some old MSDOS floppies fine so I used that one.

I managed to read the first 30 or so tracks of a freshly formatted Sord FDOS floppy, before it started generating a lot of read errors - I suspect the drive is the issue, but hoped it would be enough to test. And it was - I could run do a directory of the disk successfully - no files, no blocks used - and then copied the FDOS BASIC-II disk I had, which started out sucesfully, failing part way through with DISK FAIL - I'm guessing about where the read errors from my old drive kicked in.

I've attached a copy of the image of a freshly formatted disk, and the disk once I'd tried copying data onto it - and really hoping that they tell you enough about the format to identify where things are going wrong - although if I have to source a known good 5.25" drive simply to image blank FDOS and CP/M-68K disks for this machine to use as master images I'll still be happy :)

(edit) I can't attach a 316k zip file of an image of the partially copied disk, so have uploaded it here: https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ajyp8sRoAWZanpxBU9- ... Q?e=yAwhsB
Attachments
FDOS image.zip
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Jeff
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by Jeff »

Ok this sound good.

Attached a fixed HFE image.
And the SORD M68 XML description, to be used to load / convert raw/img files with the hxc file (will be built-in into the next hxc software build/release).
SORD_M68.zip
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arjoll
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Re: Sord M68 timeout error

Post by arjoll »

Thanks - I'll have a play tonight :)

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