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 Post subject: How to let DOM SSD work on 486 motherboard?
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 4:27 am 
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Hi! It's my first post here. I'm not good at English, but I do need your help. I am working on an old steel manufacture, and my job is to maintain the machines. I have to keep a motherboard (INTEL pSBC 486DX33) work properly, but the hard disk (<512MB) breaks frequently. I try to use SSD (256MB) to replace HDD, but it can not boot. According to the SSD menu, it supports PIO mode, so I think it can work. What else should I do?


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 Post subject: Re: How to let DOM SSD work on 486 motherboard?
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 5:54 am 
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This isn't really a general hardware support site, and your question doesn't pertain to OS development.

I would suggest that you post on a more general site (computing.net or Tom's Hardware). Your post should include all relevant details such as make and model of SSD and the operating system that you are trying to boot. You should also include details of exactly what happens when you try to boot from this disk, in particular any messages that are displayed on the console.


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 Post subject: Re: How to let DOM SSD work on 486 motherboard?
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 6:47 am 
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iansjack wrote:
This isn't really a general hardware support site, and your question doesn't pertain to OS development.

I would suggest that you post on a more general site (computing.net or Tom's Hardware). Your post should include all relevant details such as make and model of SSD and the operating system that you are trying to boot. You should also include details of exactly what happens when you try to boot from this disk, in particular any messages that are displayed on the console.



Thank you, I will try these site. By the way, the SSD I used is Transcend PATA PTM520 Flash Module, OS is DOS 6.0. and it seems the BIOS can not find this SSD, because after check memory, the screen shows no disk can be found.


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 Post subject: Re: How to let DOM SSD work on 486 motherboard?
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 8:54 am 
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There are various BIOS limitations (particularly regarding the capacity) that might apply, with various symptoms, depending on the quality and age of the firmware. Here is a brief summary.

From what I managed to find, installing DOM or CompactFlash on older machines is generally a hit or miss. Sometimes re-partitioning/formatting the drive with smaller partition/volume from another (more modern) machine seems to help. Which will depend on weather the cause is indeed a capacity issue for the mobo firmware and I think it also involves the manner in which the drive's controller firmware derives the chs information in the "ata identify" command.


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 Post subject: Re: How to let DOM SSD work on 486 motherboard?
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 9:30 am 
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simeonz wrote:
There are various BIOS limitations (particularly regarding the capacity) that might apply, with various symptoms, depending on the quality and age of the firmware. Here is a brief summary.

From what I managed to find, installing DOM or CompactFlash on older machines is generally a hit or miss. Sometimes re-partitioning/formatting the drive with smaller partition/volume from another (more modern) machine seems to help. Which will depend on weather the cause is indeed a capacity issue for the mobo firmware and I think it also involves the manner in which the drive's controller firmware derives the chs information in the "ata identify" command.


Thank you. I use ghost to restore the image on SSD, and SSD works on another PC (Epson Endeavor 486DX-33). The BIOS of INTEL pSBC 486DX33 did not have any option to choose PIO or DMA Mode, and the maximum HDD capacity in BIOS is 512MB. However, I have tried several second-hand HDD, the capacity less than 2GB HDD can be found on INTEL pSBC 486DX33. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: How to let DOM SSD work on 486 motherboard?
PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 12:14 pm 
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jzyang wrote:
I try to use SSD (256MB) to replace HDD, but it can not boot.
I am an idiot. You explicitly stated that the SSD is small capacity and eventually I totally overlooked that. Which means that the problem is deeper than my shallow understanding. I genuinely would like to help, but I doubt that I could. You should try some of the sites as iansjack more properly suggested earlier.

One last thing... You mentioned earlier that the bios of the sbc fails to detect the drive at all. But if by some chance it just fails to auto-detect the drive's geometry (i.e. the storage geometry is set to auto-detect in the bios settings and this fails), you could use the Epson machine to determine the right CHS parameters and then manually enter them in the Intel sbc's bios, whatever firmware it uses. I am probably just leading you on here, so even if someone else contributes something, you should check some more on-topic sites.


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 Post subject: Re: How to let DOM SSD work on 486 motherboard?
PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 8:50 am 
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2018 8:22 pm
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simeonz wrote:
jzyang wrote:
I try to use SSD (256MB) to replace HDD, but it can not boot.
I am an idiot. You explicitly stated that the SSD is small capacity and eventually I totally overlooked that. Which means that the problem is deeper than my shallow understanding. I genuinely would like to help, but I doubt that I could. You should try some of the sites as iansjack more properly suggested earlier.

One last thing... You mentioned earlier that the bios of the sbc fails to detect the drive at all. But if by some chance it just fails to auto-detect the drive's geometry (i.e. the storage geometry is set to auto-detect in the bios settings and this fails), you could use the Epson machine to determine the right CHS parameters and then manually enter them in the Intel sbc's bios, whatever firmware it uses. I am probably just leading you on here, so even if someone else contributes something, you should check some more on-topic sites.


Thanks for your help. I contact Transcend today, and the engineer promises me to modify the firmware to force the SSD always in PIO mode 0. I already send my SSD to Transcend, but I not sure that will work. After take the SSD back, I will report the result. Thank you.


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