[rescue] Anybody remember MFM? (Durango Poppy II problem)

Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. rescue at hawkmountain.net
Wed Aug 6 09:22:33 CDT 2003

>From: Dave McGuire <mcguire at neurotica.com>
>On Tuesday, August 5, 2003, at 11:19 PM, Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. wrote:
>> Low level formatting is probably done through some utility, possibly
>> booted off of a diagnostic disc, or since this is PC based, in a BIOS
>> on the controller card.  This would be accessed via booting dos, going
>> into debug, and executing g=dc00:5 or something like that (I think that
>> address works for one of my ESDI cards... or was it c800:5 ??? been
>> a long time).
>   The debug command would be "g=c800:5".  My God why do I remember that.
>>>>> The drive is connected to a board from 'Molecular Systems' which 
>>>>> has 3
>>>>> connectors: 2 for the MFM drive and a 50 pin connector. I am 
>>>>> hesitant
>>>>> to
>>>>> try out if it's SCSI. Were combined MFM/SCSI cards normal in the old
>>>>> days?
>>>> Umm...not that I can recall but it _might_ be SCSI-1.  If it is 
>>>> you'll
>>>> probably not find a drive that will run on that connector.
>>> Why not? SCSI-2 drives should work on a SCSI-1 controller?
>> If it is SCSI... it could be SASI.
>   He said there's an ISA bus in there...SASI predates ISA by a good 
>long time; I'd be pretty surprised if it were SASI.  Most (all?) SASI 
>hard drives were 8".

In the SASI and early SCSI days, the common thing to do was to have
a SASI (or later SCSI) host interface and a bridge controller to MFM,
RLL, or ESDI.  When SASI and early SCSI came through there were little
to no SASI/SCSI devices.... as time went on, the way of the bridge 
controller went away and was replaced with the electronics on the

The key here is to do carefull google searches for the host controller
and the bridgeboard .... it may turn some information up.  There IS a
way to low level format the hard drive.... the big question is how....

>         -Dave
>Dave McGuire                 "You don't have Vaseline in Canada?"
>St. Petersburg, FL                     -Bill Bradford
>rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue

-- Curt

Curtis Wilbar
Hawk Mountain Networks
rescue at hawkmountain.net

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