Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 27th Oct 2015 23:09 UTC, submitted by uridium
Hardware, Embedded Systems

There are various Commodore 80286 PCs. The ones I know: the PC30-III, PC35-III, PC40-III and PC45-III. All these systems use the PC40-III motherboard. [...]

What they have in common is the fact that all these PCs only support HDDs up to 512 MB. This was a quite normal limit for those days and only servers were equipped with HDDs larger than 100 MB. The problem however is that HDDs smaller than 512 MB hardly can be found and HDDs larger than 512 MB won't be recognised.

The solution is a piece of software to enable the PC to handle these larger HDDs: XTIDE Universal BIOS. It was originally meant to enable XTs to handle 16-bits IDE HDDs on their 8-bits ISA bus. But is has been expanded in such a way that ATs and larger PCs could benefit from its features as well.

Obscure solution for an obscure problem. I love it.

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Use 512 MB cf card
by muffenme on Wed 28th Oct 2015 02:23 UTC
Member since:

there are ide to cf. this might help.

Reply Score: 1

by uridium on Wed 28th Oct 2015 20:34 UTC
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Yeah maybe. CF is essentially 98% of an old 16bit PATA IDE interface, so often on systems this is an easy fix.

The down-side is that there is a much earlier PATA IDE interface kicking around the 286 era that used 8bit transfers. This isn't supported by most "modern" CF cards unfortunately.

I've actually got one of these beasties and a few days of holidays coming up and an eeprom burner. Looking forward to testing it. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Seek Time
by Earl Colby pottinger on Fri 30th Oct 2015 03:03 UTC
Earl Colby pottinger
Member since:

I remember adding CF cards to my A-Bit desktop and Dell laptops. While the early CF cards did not allow me to run the disk buss at 33 MHz the lack of seek time had them running faster than using real hard drives.

Plus even a 32 MB CF card was large enough to run the software back then.

Edited 2015-10-30 03:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2