Solved SD to IDE adapter acting erratically in MS-DOS

Digital equipment corpora... / Decpc lpv+
July 14, 2017 at 11:38:31
Specs: MS-DOS 6.22, 486sx-25/16 MB
This issue has been driving me to my wits end. A few months back I purchased an SD to IDE adapter to use instead of a hard disk on my DECpc lpv+ 486sx-25 pc I've formatted the drive and I can copy and delete files, but when I try to execute programs I get a flashing cursor and "Not ready reading drive C:". I'm unable to boot from the drive even though I ran fdisk and format /s. The SD card itself is 256mb and well below the LBA limit, and the geometry is detected by the BIOS without issue.The adapter is verified to work on my pentium machine with no issues. Any ideas? This is driving me crazy.

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✔ Best Answer
July 19, 2017 at 21:06:11
The cf adapter might work or you might have the same problems. The best thing would be to find a drive with a capacity of around 500 meg or less. For larger drives your bios won't recognize you can install drive overlay software.

--Yes but it's a dry heat.



#1
July 14, 2017 at 23:48:41
Since you can't boot from the drive, are you booting from a floppy disk? That might be why you're having problems running programs from the SD.

In FDISK is the partition you want to boot from set 'active'?

--Yes but it's a dry heat.


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#2
July 15, 2017 at 13:00:13
It is the only and active partition when I ran fdisk. I boot to an MS-DOS floppy and I tried copying a batch file and it ran from the C: drive, but other exe programs which I copied to C don't run

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#3
July 15, 2017 at 20:18:30
Was it partitioned on that 486 or did you do it on another computer? It's always best to partition and format a drive on the computer it's to be used with, especially older ones.

If you let it attempt to boot from the SD what happens/what error messages do you get?

I think if you can get it to boot correctly the programs-not-running problem will go away.

--Yes but it's a dry heat.


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#4
July 16, 2017 at 14:25:29
The drive was formatted using the same computer. When I attempt to boot to the drive without the aid of floppy, it says "read error accessing drive". On another note, I noticed in the BIOS that there are two types of user definable drives. type 2 and 3, and type 48 and 49. I'm on type 49 right now.

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#5
July 16, 2017 at 17:53:01
Several of the adapters (especially early ones) stated that they would work with any OS from DOS to Win9x. I've purchased a couple that simply wouldn't work as a bootable drive no matter what. Never bothered to find out whether it was a BIOS issue or whatever once I found a card-reader that worked.

Another thing, as DAVE mentions, was the drive formatted (and FDISK'ed) on that machine. A complete installation of DOS would have to be done to be able to run executables on it.

You state that it works on a Pentium machine; are the drive parameters (Cylinders/Heads/Sectors per Track) identical on the 486 as they are on the Pentium?

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


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#6
July 17, 2017 at 17:47:41
I haven't installed DOS fully, When I try to install to C everything goes well then it fails to copy COMMAND.COM, So I manually copied it and I still had the same symptoms

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#7
July 17, 2017 at 22:51:31
Are you using the regular dos installation floppies? You can try running the SYS command separately to install msdos.sys, io.sys and command.com.

We're still not clear if it was partitioned on the 486. The user definable drive type number really wouldn't matter. Those bios' had two in case you had two drives. Most of the time there's alos a 'auto detect hard drive'. Did you try that?

--Yes but it's a dry heat.


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#8
July 18, 2017 at 12:49:00
The drive was partitioned using the same 486 machine. Unfortunately I am unable to check the geometry with the pentium machine because one of the SIMM slots has broken pins (I was an idiot removing memory). The geometry successfully detects in BIOS. I ran some software called whatIDE to see if it reported different geometry but I got the same results. I've tried using DOS floppies and sys C:, still not bootable. The BIOS boot order however, is configured properly to boot C: if it was functioning properly

message edited by cnrmsn


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#9
July 19, 2017 at 00:51:06
Seems like it ought to be working then but it's acting like the bios has the wrong geometry. It may just be a problem with an older bios. Well, could it be a bad cable or connection?

You may just have to break down and buy an IDE drive to get it working.

--Yes but it's a dry heat.


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#10
July 19, 2017 at 09:08:06
Can you make any recommendations for a drive? I have the 504MB lba limit. I was thinking about a CF card adapter because they can easily interface with IDE.

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#11
July 19, 2017 at 21:06:11
✔ Best Answer
The cf adapter might work or you might have the same problems. The best thing would be to find a drive with a capacity of around 500 meg or less. For larger drives your bios won't recognize you can install drive overlay software.

--Yes but it's a dry heat.


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#12
July 21, 2017 at 17:37:27
"...best thing would be to find a drive with a capacity of around 500 meg or less."

And a 512MB CF drive would fit the bill, but they're starting to get a little harder to find and comparatively pricey (due to the lack of capacity)...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


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