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Cheers from IgorsLab?


ragnargd
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The machine in question only had one IDE channel on the main board, which was detected by the OS as the primary channel. The IDE on the sound card was not detected by the BIOS but only by the OS (and designated as secondary channel), so one could not boot the machine from a HDD connected to that channel. I don't recall if there was any jumper on the sound card that would specifically choose which channel should the IDE be assigned to. If your main board already had two IDE channels then the OS would indeed have had trouble with a third one on the sound card, since only with the advent of SATA did the Windows OS start to acknowledge and configure more than two IDE channels - something the Win9x line doesn't do AFAIK.

To mount an additional HDD to that particular machine it would need an extra IDE channel, either built into a soundcard or separate as an ISA card. The machine only has ISA slots and a VESA slot - no PCI. Any IDE2SATA adapters should be compatible with the old IDE/ATA standard employed by such ISA card. I vaguely remember having a few "newer" (at the time) HDDs that wouldn't be detected by the BIOS at all due to certain differences between the board IDE controller's standard and the standard used in the HDDs, so an adapter may face the same problem.

BIOS hot swapping works but one must be extremely careful with every aspect of the operation. It's crucial that the chips are the exact same model or pin to pin compatible if they come from different brands/manufacturers. Sometimes they may be pin to pin compatible but operate with different voltage (i.e. 3.3V vs 5V, or 5V vs 12V), so that should also be taken into account. Two apparently identical main boards may use completely different chips so don't take board ID for granted. Accurate chip datasheets are mandatory.

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On 7/17/2021 at 11:46 PM, Drugwash said:

ESS1869 ISA

I can not find an ESS6869 with IDE but have found ESS6868F https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/164957316021?epid=4030735549&hash=item266838e3b5:g:jv0AAOSwekdg7XMr There are also a few Creative Sound blaster 16 with IDE selling. The price of ISA parts has shot up but I don't think most are that rare.

I have a Syncomp V466D that has 3 VESA slots only. I can theoretically use up to 30Gb on the single IDE port. It has not much driving power though and most of my drives that I have create IO errors for the machine. I have a 250MB (original); a 2GB; 4 x 4.3GB and a 10GB drive that work on the Syncomp machine connected straight to the IDE port. It has an IDE detection BIOS function which sets up the HDD to work if it is OK. Otherwise I can go to User and Normal mode for the drive and type in the CHS settings manually then switch to LBA and the settings will still be OK for the drive to boot if LBA is correct for the drive. The size reported in BIOS will not be correct over about 3GB I think but will not matter to functionality. The HDD's have to have sectors that are not hard to write too as the IDE interface has not much power as mentioned. The maximum number of cylinders is 65535; 255 heads and 255 sectors per cluster.

I have tested my Creative SB16 on Syncomp and it works though slower than the main board IDE so best to use the sound card IDE port for a CD ROM probably. I used WinME for the test but the onboard TRIO64 graphics reported error 23 which says, 'correct main display and then it will work' but there was no other display hardware. The SB16 creates its own Creative IDE port. It is a bit stronger than the IDE port on the Syncomp main board but not much so some more drives can work on the Creative port. l also have tested SB16 on AB-PX5 which has 2 x IDE main board ports and the Creative port is installed separate and there then are 3 controllers but the SB16 is only a single channel. If the hard drive attached to the SB16 is undetectable because of IO faults then the C: drive is mirrored to the SB drive letter. I had a 2.5GB attached and was E: drive and I copied to E: some data which went to C: as the 2.5GB was not detected properly and was mirroring C:. Placing the 2.5GB on main board IDE on the AB-PX5 machine had an undetectable result. The access speed from the Creative port is much the same as it was on Syncomp and is very slow compared to the AB-PX5 main board IDE. I have manually set PIO mode to 0. UDMA cannot be changed from auto for main board IDE and has the same BIOS interface as the Syncomp for setting up HDDs. Have to say, very week PCI bus for this board.

Edited by Goodmaneuver
I think it is cluster not cylinder
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Unfortunately this discussion will remain academic to me because I'm literally starving to death and the electricity bill was due three weeks ago so no way I could buy that card - or anything else for that matter.

Original Creative cards may be of better quality than others but there may be problems with driver compatibility and also certain models may not be correctly detected by some software (games etc). A friend of mine had such cards and he did complain quite a few times. I also stumbled once into a card pulled from a Dell machine (it had a Dell subsys ID) and just couldn't find a matching driver.

That machine of mine had/has a custom IBM BIOS that does not allow one to change HDD parameters, it handles them automatically. Actually there's not much one can change there, it's mostly for viewing information. Regardless of the HDD capacity it will only report 528MB, which used to be a strange common limitation back then. Windows 95 could run just fine off that HDD but there was not enough free space for applications and storage. With the help of the IDE controller on the ESS card I could hook up a 1.2GB Quantum HDD and was a happy camper until that fatal "plug" day.

Can't remember how transfer speed was, for a 486 DX66 operation was quite slow generally (originally was an SX25, had to replace the 50MHz quartz oscillator with a 66MHz one after upgrade because it wouldn't go higher than 50MHz).

The three IDE controllers may have been the problem in your case, not a faulty HDD. The OS only allocates IRQ14 and IRQ15 for IDE if I recall correctly, and there may be other "fixed" things such as memory addresses, DMA etc that cannot be handled properly by Win9x when more than two IDE controllers are installed.

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1 hour ago, Drugwash said:

The three IDE controllers may have been the problem in your case

No everything is OK with 3 controllers I defragged a 20GB drive from the Creative controller. The old secondhand drives especially with DOS OSs do not get the end of the drive written to that much and possibly never. That destroys the drive eventually. The AB-PX5 is not that strong. The 2.5GB was working on the Syncomp it could have stopped spinning but I think it was spinning. Sometimes they stop spinning if not spun enough after storage. Its just one of those things but I believe I can access it on another machine. Often dual processor boards have a strong IDE port. I will send you over a sound card and drive if you want. 95 OS may have been a problem and a little more difficult to correct an installation that has caused a kernel fault. 95 has Creative Sound Blaster 16 AWE driver supplied with the OS. I am sure 98 and know ME is OK. I will check and report back in a few days. Your machine has a strange BIOS for ISA that can have non plug a play devices. I hope your money situation gets better.

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8 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

everything is OK with 3 controllers

Have you checked with the Device Manager to see precisely which memory addresses, IRQs and DMAs are used by the three controllers? I suspect there may be an overlap.

Generic drivers may exist but they may not always provide any extra settings that the card may offer, at least not in a graphical interface. DOS drivers may be more flexible in that regard. Even now I remember the autoexec.bat settings for that ESS1869: A220 I5 D1 T4. The T bit stands for Type and T4 is for SoundBlaster Pro-compatible.
Regular SoundBlaster cards use IRQ7 but that one worked better/natively on IRQ5. Dunno where I found the details, Internet was merely a dream for us back then at the end of the '90s.

8 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

Your machine has a strange BIOS for ISA that can have non plug n play devices.

Well, many cards back then used to have physical jumpers or dip switches for various settings, others used well established values for memory/IRQ/DMA/etc that wouldn't overlap so maybe IBM thought they shouldn't bother with software settings that may not need changed in the first place. No idea what the truth was but I know the BIOS as a whole was overly simplistic.
And another weirdness of that BIOS is that one enters it by tapping the Insert key, not Delete or any of the Function keys, but only upon cold boot or hard reset - upon a warm reboot there's no way to access the BIOS. Unfortunately they chose not to provide a Reset button on the case despite such socket existed on the main board, so I just dismantled the hardware case lock and put together a small board with a touch button instead. Worked as a charm! :D

8 hours ago, Goodmaneuver said:

I will send you over a sound card and drive if you want. [...] I hope your money situation gets better.

Thank you kindly but unless some miracle happens I won't live that long. My situation has always been unfortunate due to various factors, and it now seems to have come to the end. Well, better luck in next life... maybe. :)

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11 hours ago, Drugwash said:

My situation has always been unfortunate due to various factors, and it now seems to have come to the end.

If are under 65 years of age and have no friend or relative to help you then you did the right thing talking here. Do not die starving, accept help if you can get it. You may not be allowed to ask for charity but you can accept gifts. A bank account only need a lew to set up then PayPal can send money to it. It will not cost you any money except to open a bank account.

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Ah, should've spoken sooner - it's just been my birthday the other day (on the 19th), could've gotten a lot of nice presents. :rolleyes:
Just kiddin'. Fact is the utopia in my head clashes hard with the dystopia of the real world, and I just can't take any more of it. So everything is aligning perfectly.
Please let's not make a big deal out of this, after all it's completely off-topic. ;)

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@Drugwash
I echo what @Goodmaneuver said, please find help.
I've been to your country many times, and while I know very well that it's hard for many people in Romania, it's not a third world country, and nobody should be "starving" there in the 21st century.
If there is anything we can do to help, even just helping you to pay your electricity bill, please don't be afraid to say.
This is a community of friends, even though we will never physically meet,
and to find a fellow member in such a position is very saddening.
Cheers,
Dave.
:)

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Drugwash said: 'Fact is the utopia in my head clashes hard with the dystopia of the real world, and I just can't take any more of it.'

This hits me hard every day too, more bad news, more dysfunction and problems. Hang in there Drugwash. If you have the strength, keep digging, ride things out day by day and have hope for tomorrow. I was going to state the obvious, like try to find help (friend, neighbour, agencies, landlord, etc) but i'm sure you've been down this path. You have been a blessing to the Windows 9x community, sure would be nice to have you around longer so we can all get old and cranky together.
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It is a big deal DrugWash; of all the people dying in this world it does not have to be you at this time in your life if you get some food into you as soon as possible. You are talented with your writings and present your self nobly without error and are are favorite MSFN member of mine. You have achieved much in the world of computing look at your programing the crystal update and the case switch. How far away is the nearest bank? Please seek out a bank on-line that requires a non deposit to set up a bank account. If none, a money order to the nearest post office how does that sound to get you started. You have not created the worlds dystopia so do not hold yourself in low esteem. The world has made it harder for people to get a job or welfare but it would have been a better place if trickle down politics were not in place. I do not want to accept charity either and but I would if I needed it. Cheer up DrugWash do not lose the will to live.

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10 hours ago, Dave-H said:

[...] it's not a third world country, and nobody should be "starving" there in the 21st century.

Nobody should be starving anywhere in the world, actually. But things are way much complicated when greed takes over. Such discussion would soon become political and touch many other fundamental aspects of human society - something that would be out of place here in this forum. Never thought a simple fact of life would get so much momentum.
As mentioned to someone in a PM it would take the whole story of my life plus my way of thinking and understanding of the world, of the universe, for others to understand why things are as they are - something I just don't have the time and strength for, and then it wouldn't help with anything other than your understanding and, maybe, acceptance. I've already died once back when I was three years old, and it wasn't a big deal. Doctors brought me back to life and I believe they shouldn't have; everything that happened backwards in my life since was due to that apparently good deed. Every decision I've ever taken for myself was wrong, even if there were nine good alternatives and a single bad one I would inevitably choose the bad one everytime. It's like I was sucked in a parallel, mirror universe where left is right, good is bad, and so on (anybody here watched the 1969 Doppelgänger movie?) Imagine living a life like that. Or maybe I'm just plain crazy (oh, not a politically correct word at all - as if I cared! :whistle:)

Anyway, I really feel ashamed for stirring you all up with my problems, didn't want that to happen at all - I'm just too blunt and honest, a manufacturing defect. :lol:
Let's wait and see what happens next, maybe my ex will manage to sell my grandparents' wedding rings which may gain me about an extra month or two of existence (couldn't call it living by any standard). Otherwise it's been an honor for me to be part of this kind and knowledgeable community here. :worship:

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HI there; @Drugwash..

I know we've never spoken and I'm relatively new here compare to many long time member of this great forum.

Please know, we are reading and replying because we (do, truly) care.

You seem to have been through the wringer, and while life dealt you a *tough* hand, you've made it thus far despite the odds being against you and nobody can (ever) take that away from you. You seem to have a strong will and I (vaguely) recall other people here were happy when you returned after a long time away; and even though you said you've lost the energy, I really feel you still have the will to survive through this journey. We never know as all our time is limited here.

Honestly, I've learned to take life day-by-day now and that gets me through my rough times, and every day above ground, somehow, we can hold our heads up high. While our spirit is often weakened and we are brought to our knees, we owe it to ourselves to crawl until our last breath and never give up.

Quote

Let's wait and see what happens next

While I (fully) realize you are at possibly the lowest point in your life, just know, you deserve to be on this planet as much as anybody else - regardless of any poor decisions you've made in the past. Nobody is without sin but we can't go back and do it over (and likely wouldn't want to either) but life is precious and you are special, so please remember that.

and please, don't take this posting as any form of pity as I also don't like that and detect your are starting to feel like asking for support is doing such.

I truly wish you well and hope somehow you'll find a way to get through this terrible time.

Sincerely,

~Sal

PS - and please don't feel any need to reply or respond to this posting and I only wrote it because your posting touched me.

Edited by XPerceniol
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DrugWash. have you tried bringing in a house guest. There might be some young people starting work who looking for a residence. I might be reading into your last post too much but in case I am not:- There is a scientist's idea of a parallel universe but I bet they are not all in agreeance. If everything was truly backwards - it would be just like forwards and would be a mirror to what we have. If one dies in one universe it is mirrored in the other. Partial backwards as you are implying would not be the same as the the scientific idea I believe. For example walking backwards when your eyes are at the front. The doctor would not have been able to revive you if you were really dead. It depends if you were left disabled and by how much is how grievous you might be, but I can not remember before 3 yrs and you are not mentally impaired nor physically as far as I know. The backwards idea does not compute real well unless you are referring to a twin brought forward from the parallel universe idea. Doppel 2020. I would not think that way, simply put, you did not die. Things may have changed but you have developed very well and have good skills. I like to get answers but sensible ones are not obtainable without enough information or the wrong information. Thinking too much hurts our brains and we need time to repair after.

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My house is almost uninhabitable for a normal human. Last year there were 42 cats confined in the hallway and not enough litterboxes - imagine how it looks and smells like, because I couldn't clean up anything. On top of that there's all the stuff brought in from my aunt's former flat, some didn't even fit and had to leave them outside in the rain, and now they're destroyed. There's no gas, electricity will be cut pretty soon, no connection to the city sewage so no daily showers or doing the laundry once every week, extremely poor heating in the winter... Oh, did I mention the hundreds or thousands of fleas every summer for about three years already, that drive one (that is, me) crazy because none of the available "solutions" on the market works? Or the mosquitos out in the garden, if one would think going out to breathe some fresh air would be a good idea? Who in their right mind would live here?
Told you there would be much much more to say for a true and complete understanding of the situation, and that wouldn't help anyway because there is no solution.

As for parallel universes and all that stuff, I was mostly joking - although I know about various theories in quantum physics and whatnot - but even it it was true and I got dragged from another universe and swapped with the real me that pertained to this universe, things are as they are, the past - in this timeline - happened as it happened, just like whatever happened to the other me in the other universe is their reality and their past now in their timeline. The future? Dunno, maybe I'll go back "home" and get buried with honors as in my home universe I may have been the president of the Earth Federation. :buehehe:

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