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IDE - devices in 486?

Posted on 1999-01-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I'm compiling an old 486/33dx for my little brother and I've run into a problem. The machine now has a hard disk (129mb) and a 4xCD-rom. I'm planning on including another hard disk,  but how should I do it? It also has a sound card (ESS - something) with a secondary IDE. Would that work? Or will I have to use 4 - plug - IDE - cable? Thanks!
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Question by:iceman_ai
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by:rosefire
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Iceman,  You can't use a 4-pug IDE cable on a single channel IDE controller.  The newer "Dual EIDE" controllers used nowdays generally have two channels, each capable of handling two IDE devices and having its own cable.  Each channel usually requires an IRQ, usually IRQ14 and IRQ15.  

To  hande 3 IDE devices you will need to configure the sound card to handle the CD-ROM if it is capable (this is probably not the case if the CD-ROM didn't come with the sound card) or you will need to get a Dual EIDE contoller card to upgrade your single channel controller (I assume this is the problem with a 486).  In this case the older IDE controller will need to be disabled in your system BIOS.  

It is possible, actually likely, that your CD-ROM is not IDE if it is from the 486-33 time period, but is instead a SCSI device. Are you certain it is IDE?

You also have the option of just replacing the old hard drive rather than using both.

Hope this is what you wanted to know.  If you have any more questions, just ask.

RoseFire
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by:iceman_ai
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I can't except the answer, sorry. I need to find a way...

The CD-ROM is not SCSI, it's definetly IDE, and it works fine, when just one HD is connected. The soundcard IDE has been configured to IRQ 9 and to some address. The ESS (soundcard) installation program says everything is fine, but the secondary IDE doesn't work.
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by:Jason_S
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How many IDE connections (40 pin) do you have on the IDE controller/Motherboard?  If only one, you either have to move the CD-ROM to the sound card (if that will even work), purchase another IDE controller to replace this one (unless on the system board), or replace the current hard drive with the new one.

Do let us know the answer to my first question, and we will continue.

Another thing to consider is if the drive is larger than 515Meg, then the motherobard must support LBA mode in the CMOS.
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by:rosefire
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I assume you are referring to the sound card IDE as the "secondary" IDE and not a secondary controller on the motherboard.  This is likely because 486-33s mostly predate the EIDE dual controllers.  I also assume you are attempting to use an older sound card manufacturer's on-board IDE interface to interface to an older IDE CD-ROM drive that did not come with the card.  

First, the IDE interface on the sound card will probably work fine with windows.  Windows will load the drivers and happily tell you that all is fine with the IDE controller.  That side of the connection is standardized and any special drivers would come with the sound card will set up everything fine.  Other than that however, you have a lot of issues to overcome with the IDE interface working with devices that the sound card manufacturer doesn't support.

Based on the 4x speed, it is almost certain you are using an old IDE CD-ROM drive that predates that ATAPI standards the current CD-ROM drives use.   The CD-ROM was probably sold with its own 16-bit drivers intended to be loaded in autoexec.bat and config.sys.  The sound card drivers are probably  specifically designed to work with the sound card's packaged CD-ROM drive.

About all you can try is loading the  DOS CD-ROM driver that came with the sound card (which may or may not use a separate driver for the CD-ROM ) in config.sys and then try to load the device driver MSCDEX.EXE in autoexec.bat.  You will have to find out what the sound card driver names the cd-rom driver.  Typically this is MSCD001 but the sound card driver in config.sys could use anything.  You will have to load the driver and see what the names of the drivers that appear in memory are.  Use the MEM command to look at these.  The one you want probably has "CD" in the name somewhere.  If you can find the name of the driver, then the autoexec.bat command line would be something like:

C:\DOS\MSCDEX /D:MSCD001  

if the driver is named MSCD001.

There are other switches on MSCDEX but they provide optional functionality.

Your problem is that the sound card manufacturers of that time had no intention of supporting all CD-ROMS, they only want to support the one they sell with the sound card and the standardization of the CD-ROM device drivers was almost totally absent.

If my stated assumptions are correct about your setup, then the above has a slight chance of working to get your CD-ROM working on the sound card IDE controller.  If not, you will need to finb a CD-ROM drive supported by the sound card or buy a newer IDE controller as mentioned previously.

It may be that "You have to get this to work", but you are probably trying to get devices to work together that were probably not intended to.  There are some things that you just can't do.

I should also comment that if you get the sound card drivers and the 16-bit cd-rom drivers to load in config.sys and autoexec.bat, and the CD-ROM is recognized, you still may find that these old 16-bit drivers wreck havoc in windows and cause any sorts of flakey behavior: crashes, hangs, and blue screens of death.  Windows works better with the native drivers for ATAPI devices and a few mainstream CD-ROM drives that have popular support.

Hope this helps.

RoseFire.
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by:RoadWarrior
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Just a tip, the soundblaster CD drivers work well with pretty well any ide cd rom and are quite small, I use them on all my systems, which have drives ranging from 1994 2 speed to 1998 24speed.
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by:iceman_ai
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Jason_S: I only have one IDE on the motherboard, the other one is on the soundcard.

RoseFire: The soundcard is a Plug'n'Pray - type of a card that is equipped with Win 3.1 drivers, too (Win 3.11 is the one used on the 486). The drivers that it uses are loaded in DOS, in config.sys (CD-ROM) and in autoexec.bat (the rest; keyboard volume controls and the sound drivers). Soundcard's drivers are, if I'm right only to enable or disableing the secondary IDE (that's what the IDE on the soundcard is called, according to the card...). I have the drivers for the CD-ROM and it works fine with just one HD. Should I try to load both, the soundcard IDE - driver and the CD-ROM drivers + MSCDEX? I think I tried that at one point, but the CD-ROM driver did not find the CD-ROM. And the thing I'm trying to do, like you told, is to connect the CD to the "secondary IDE". Sorry for my English (except ... what was I thinking.... ;-), I'm European.... ;-) )

RoadWarrior: Thanks, but I already have the drivers for the CD. ;-)

Iceman
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by:Jason_S
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Most likely, the only CD-ROM that will work on the sound card IDE controller is a proprietary drive.  I think short of attempting to install another IDE controller, your only other option is to replace the current hard drive with the new one.
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by:rosefire
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Iceman_ai, yes, if this is to work at all, you must install the following.  The stack up looks something like this.  Each layer has to have a software driver layer to see the next.

WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM
                 V
SOUND CARD IDE DRIVER (TO ALLOW WINDOWS TO SEE IDE CONTROLLER)
                 V
SOUND CARD IDE CONTROLLER (SOUND CARD HARDWARE)
                 V
WINDOWS/DOS STANDARD CD-ROM INTERFACE (MSCDEX.EXE or WINDOWS eqiv.)
                  V
CD-ROM DRIVER (SPECIFIC DRIVER  TO ALLOW CD ROM TO BE VISIBLE TO MSCDEX)
                 V
CD-ROM DRIVE (HARDWARE)

There are other way to look at this, but this is the basic idea.  If you are really lucky, you just might get the devices to work together but this would more than likely be that you just happen to have a CD-ROM drive that is compatible with the sound card drivers.  Roadwarrior also points out that you just might be able to use soundblaster compatible drivers or drivers from other card manufacturers and get them to work.  The only way to find out would be trial and error.  With the older equipment you are using, the likelyhood is much lower than it would be with newer equipment.  With todays ATAPI CD-ROM drives and a dual EIDE controller this would not be a hard problem.

RoseFire
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Tinkerer earned 50 total points
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Just add another IDE controller card $5.. you can have up to two single channel controllers in one system.... Most Ess sound cards have ide connectors made to work only with certain hardware, the controller should not conflict.. most of my computers use Ess soundcards and after a lot of trouble I would not recommend even worring about the controllers on them...
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by:Tinkerer
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BTW, do you know which ESS card it is? I might have mor info on it for you... also, some mishubish CD-ROM drives will work on them.. fyi...
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by:iceman_ai
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OK, I'll accept Tinker's answer, but thanks to all of you. It seems I have to buy another IDE controller, even though the sound card has the "secondary IDE". None of the other ways worked, so I guess I'm forced to spend my little brothers money... ;-)

Tinker: ESS = Ensoniq Sound System, right? Anything else I should know about it? I bought it for 30$ or something, so it wasn't the best choice, but it works...

Thanks guys!
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by:rosefire
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This is why I am losing interest in this exchange.  Sheesh.  Tinkerer's answer was virtually identical to the one I gave you that you rejected: get another controller you can't use the ESS one.

RoseFire
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by:rosefire
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And Tinkerer, you should have given credit where credit was due.  You said just about nothing new in your post aside from costs.  Why can't people here stop competing and work cooperatively?

RoseFire
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by:Tinkerer
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Rosefire,

Sorry... I was simply trying to emphasize the best choice...
I have no problem with you getting the credit, I only summarized the issue..
Sorry for the trouble....

Tinkerer
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by:rosefire
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Sorry for complaining.  I was in a bad mood and the credit really doesn't matter that much.  It is just frustrating sometimes when this sort of thing happens.  I have been on the recieving end of it (getting credit when someone else said it first)  too, it all balances out in the end.  Sometime the clarity of the message matters.

RoseFire
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