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Booting thru LS120 only "hangs"

Posted on 1998-04-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I recently bought an LS120 "floptical" drive. It installed okay, although I at first I didn't know whether or not the deivce would be treated in the BIOS as a "Floppy A:", or just another IDE device. I put it as a Secondary Master (no problem), then Win OSR2 recognized (no problem) and I could use the drive to my heart's content--HOWEVER--when I tried to reformat with a system disk, booting up using the LS120 gives me the message: "Loading Boot Record from Floptical.....OK" then NOTHING happens. I later learned that the LS120 can only be a bootable device if EITHER 1/ there is a "Floppy Max Controller Card" installed, OR, 2/ the mother board supports ATAPI devices (which it does). Everything seems to point towards the LS120 being a bootable floppy drive, and it almost works, by why does it hang while booting?
Thanks to all in advance!
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Question by:Challin
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1124080
You need to have support for the LS120 drive under your bios in order to have your drive be bootable.

What type is your motherboard?

JR
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by:Challin
ID: 1124081
The BIOS seems to support the LS120 by calling it a "Floptical" IDE device. My motherboard is a generic brand Pine 7515 143 PTX running a P100 CPU with 24MG of ram.
The LS120 came with a disk of drivers, but they don't seem to make any difference to it's performance whatsoever.
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by:JBURGHARDT
ID: 1124082
Did you try to upgrade your bios also did you set you LS120 as IDE device? Did you remove your floppy drive? Did you choos to boot from LS120 as boot device.
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1124083
YES, I know the bios recognises it at startup.  BUT--
In order for it to be BOOTABLE, your bios MUST support it as a BOOTABLE device.

You know the place in your bios where you set up your boot sequence?
Depending on your motherboard, you can set the boot order up as:
[A,C]
[C,A]
[CDROM,A,C]
[A,CDROM,C]
[SCSI,C,A]    etc....

WELL, If your bios supports it, it will have the an LS120 option in the boot order.  ie..

[LS120,C]

SO, you MUST, MUST, MUST have a bios update in order to be able to boot from that drive with a 120 MB Disk!
-- You should still be able to boot from a 3.5" disk using that drive.

To completely resolve this issue, we will need to know your motherboard Model# and manufacturer.  Then we will need to check to see if there is a bios update for your board

JUST FOR YOUR REFERENCE--

If you had an ASUS TX97-X motherboard, you would need bios version 1.04 or higher just to suopport the LS120 Drive.

--Go to the following site and read the bios update information for version 1.04, and all the newer ones.

http://www.asus.com/downloads/Bios/Jbios.asp?Motherboard=TX97-X

as you can see, you will need a bios update in order to make the LS120 disks bootable.
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by:Challin
ID: 1124084
Oh I see what you're getting at, jrhelgeson! Thanks.  I did have the BIOS set to run the boot sequence as:

Floptical, C:

which it seemed to do just fine. Sorry, I guess I wasn't specific about this, but I was NOT trying to boot from the LS120 Super disk (the 120MB diskettes) per se, but a regular 1.44 3.25 floppy diskette USING the LS120 drive. Does that change anything? (Thought for sure that'd work...)
Does the BIOS have say specifically that the bootable devise is an LS120? I thought a "floptical" device (set as an IDE Secondary Master) was identification enough for the BIOS.
Also, I did, in fact, remove the regular 1.44 floppy drive. It just seems to me that the LS120 has a hankering to completely take over the duties of the "Floppy A:" drive (whatever that state might be). One last point that may or may not be relevant, when I tried to click on the "Create Disk" in the Startup tab inside "Add/Remove programs" I get an error saying Nothing has been mapped to network Drive A:. Any help?
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1124085
What is your motherboard model#, and manufacturer?
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by:Challin
ID: 1124086
Motherboard is a Pine 7515 143PTX, which is all I know. Sorry, I feel like an idiot. It was sort of an emergency buy cause my previous mobo fried itself....
Here's an update to this problem, leading me to believe it's now software vs. hardware....
I unistalled the LS120 drive and reinstalled my old NEC floppy drive. I physically removed the LS120 from the computer entirely, and reset the BIOS to understand there is no longer any "floptical" drive to found. Then, I tried to test a startup disk in the floppy drive.....
.....and I get the SAME hanging problem!! erggh...help!
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1124087
Download this from PINE, it contains what I believe  is your updated bios and other applicable drivers.  It is 2.5 MB.
ftp://ftp.pinegroup.com/pub/pine/MBOARD/PT7515/WIN95.ZIP

The Pine site is not very helpful, you can almost tell that it was created by a 2nd year english student.

Download it, and lets take it from there!

Have Fun!

JR
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124088
I downloaded the Win95.zip from the ftp site you mentioned, jrhelgeson, thanks! (Wherever did you find this site?? Wow...) but these extracted files are only a new "soundpro" cd player and stuff for the CD Rom.....call me ignorant, but how does that help my BIOS problem?
Is one of the files within this zip the file I need? How do I install the right one? And where?

thanks for your help thus far!

Michael
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1124089
>>.....call me ignorant, but how does that help my BIOS problem?

I have no clue!
I just found out their website to try and find any information, search for any bios updates, and rather than download the file myself I figured you could benefit anyway from whatever it might contain.

HOWEVER

Look what I found!

ftp://ftp.pinegroup.com/pub/pine/FLOPPY/

Download the file LS120.ZIP, and see what that does for us...

Have Fun!    8o)

JR
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124090
Further update....well, sorry JR, but it seems my mobo is a Pine >>7511<< after all. I found the "txwin95.exe" on the disk that came with it. I ran the setup and it said that it changed three files (MSCHDC.inf, MACHINE.inf and USB.inf -- changing the older versions to ".in0" files)

So far, it hasn't changed a thing....any ideas?

thanks!
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124091
later update....okay jr, this is what happened....
I downloaded the LS120 drivers from the site you mentioned. It was nearly identical to the driver disk I was given when I bought the device. At any rate, thinking perhaps it was a later version, I downloaded them and installed BOTH the Windows and the DOS versions in their respective places. The LS120 is reinstalled, and it works. It "bumped" the CD Rom to E: drive, where now the configuration is:
A: 3.25 Floppy A: (1.44mb)
B: (doesn't exist)
C: OS
D: 3.25 Floppy D: (120MB---mercifully, ONLY the LS120 responds here!)
E: CD Rom

The remaining problem is that I tested BOTH the A: and D: drives by booting with a system startup disk inside. Still, neither of them work. The BIOS is set (in order) as follows:
Boot sequence: Floppy A:
                             Floptical D: (I determined here that the BIOS insists on calling the LS120 a 'Floptical'--I think it's correct.)
                             IDE 0 (ie: the HDD)

Any further thoughts? Mine are thoroughly befuddled and bewildered........  :)

Michael

PS As a side note--right now BOTH the floppy A: drive AND the LS120 D: drive are working together for the first time. Every other attempt had the Floppy drive crash the system and the LS120 take over when I removed it entirely.    Ciao!
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1124092
OKAY!!

If you have the 7511 board, then TA DA!!!
HERE IS YOUR BIOS UPDATE!

http://www.ping.be/bios/files/biosfiles/75110630.zip

I trust you know how to perform a bios update?  -- Pretty simple & straitforward...

Have Fun!   8·)

JR
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124093
Um, just to be on the safe side -- BEFORE I screw anything else up -- maybe you'd better explain how to update the BIOS for me.

Sorry if it's a hassle, but I'm sort of at my wits end here. Explain to me like I was 4 years old  ;)

thanks!

Michael
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Expert Comment

by:BigMadDrongo
ID: 1124094
Before you attempt to blitz your Bios, what type of disk are you booting from.  Is the LS120 disk a bootable disk, or is it a Win95/WinNT startup/Emergency repair disk.  If it is, then it will NOT boot.  For a startup disk, you MUST use a 1.44 MB disk.  If it's a plain system disk then it should work OK.

BigMadDrongo
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124095
Hi BigMadDrongo, yes, I know that you can't boot from the LS120 diskette. I was trying to boot from a 1.44 floppy and it still "hangs" -- now in both the Floppy drive, AND the LS120 Drive....fast question though, how will upgrading the BIOS "blitz" it?
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by:Challin
ID: 1124096
Adjusted points to 100
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1124097
OK, what files did that bios update come with?
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by:Challin
ID: 1124098
The BIOS update only came with one ".bin" file (the name was a bunch of numbers that didn't mean much.
Okay, I'm REALLY confused now. Is that what a BIOS upgarde is supposed to look like? I get the impression I'm missing something from this file. HELP!
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124099
Sorry, one more thing.

Just to be aware, despite the problems I've had booting or running things off the "Floptical" LS120 drive, I cannot even boot a system disk from the regular NEC 1.44mb Floppy Drive either! I get the exact same "hanging" problem that I do with LS120. I have not, nor will I try to boot of one of the LS120's "Superdiskettes"--they're only for mass storage. But using a 1.44mb disk doesn't work!

thanks
Michael
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124100
Me again! (groan...) I just learned some disturbing news that may point towards an answer to my question. jrhelgeson? You still with me, pal?
I learned that if a HDD that STILL contains data on it is added to a new mobo, and the BIOS is changed in the LBA settings--some of the files on the HDD could be corrupted, which is what it says my "himem.sys" file is -- corrupted.
Can anyone tell me if himem.sys files are universal? Upgrading my mobo hasn't produced anything different while booting. I'm also reluctant to believe the LS120 is the root cause of these problems anymore (Gee, should I switch catagories?).
Regardless, I still have no idea what's wrong here.
Please help!
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1124101
Do you have an award or an AMI bios?

Don't worry about bringing your problems here.  That is what I am here for...
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124102
I have the "American Megatrends" (Is that AMI BIOS? I think so...) something or other. Sometime after work I'll return and check the actual number. About 2hrs after this comment posting.
I've been doing a little researching and I think it is something wrong with the BIOS and not the hardware inside my system at all. (NOW do I switch catagories??) It seems the big problem is that the BIOS might have been corrupted or something, and will only allow the HD to boot, not the floppy drive (1.44 OR the LS120)
In any event, how do I upgrade or "flash" my BIOS to see what it's supposed to see? I read somewhere that a ruined BIOS can corrupt files on a HD that has been added later. Something to do with "LBA", as I mentioned earlier...
Also, several BIOS FAQs have described the floppy not booting problem almost exactly, but offer very detailed and confusing instructions. I'm just as lost as I was before, but I'm pleased to be learning so much!
I'm eagerly awaiting your next post there, jrhelgeson! Thanks so far!
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124103
Gee, for the first time a definitive answer!

I am using AMI BIOS # BL89148

...at least that's what the BIOS Chip says on the sticker! Does this help?
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124104
JR HELGESON!!
My friend, you'll never guess. I wound up trying to make a new autoexec.bat and config.sys with later versions of the MSCDEX.exe drivers for the CD ROM. That was only a slight problem, but when I finally got them working reliably, I made a new startup disk from scratch. I booted up and lo and behold!!!.....the system booted up perfectly! I'm still not entirely sure whether it was the new BIOS upgrades you pointed me to or not, but please post a "proposed answer" so I can accept it! Fair enough? I'm quite sure I couldn't have done this without you pointing me in the directions you did. I think I learned more about BIOS in the last few days than I ever did....
I've tested this twice and it worked both times. The CD Rom drivers load properly through a system disk bootup, and now I can reformat my drive which was my original intention!

thanks for all your help!

Michael
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jrhelgeson earned 100 total points
ID: 1124105
Sure, but did you ever get to install the bios update?

You would need to download and install the AMIFlash utility in order to flash the bios.  All you need to do is run:

amiflash %filename%.bin

Then it will ask you if you want to save your old bios, just name it old.bin or something, then flash your bios... .

Glad I could be of some assistance.

Joel R. Helgeson
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Author Comment

by:Challin
ID: 1124106
I'll be sure to do that, Joel. I just logged back in here after reformatting the HD. Everything's working perfectly now! Thanks for all your help!

Michael
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