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Strange U1MB issue


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#1 Timothy Kline OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:56 AM

Separate from my SIDE/2 cart problem, I also have encountered a problem with an 800XL that has the U1MB installed.

 

I've been using this particular system for not quite a year, and it's been a solid performer for my needs. However, about 2 weeks ago, the U1MB started developing this strange problem of no longer seeing attached floppy drives or SIO2PC/USB/APE. I swapped the SIO cable, of course, to no avail.

 

Now this is the "strange" part: if I boot into the BIOS (FJC's), and change absolutely nothing-- just "B" my way back out, the Atari recognizes the attached floppy drive, etc., again on the boot up.

 

Any ideas or suggestions would be most welcome!

 

--Tim



#2 brenski OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:35 AM

update/reflash original firmware?



#3 rdea6 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:44 AM

A fat16 partition could be in the way..  Make sure the SIO page is enabled for D1: and D2:  Also as Brenski suggests reflash BIOS, PBI, Loader.

Run FDISK and make sure your partitions are all ok...



#4 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:43 AM

Before flashing anything, it would be useful to know what error is reported when querying the missing drive.

#5 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:50 AM

Any chance the battery is getting weak?

It seems that there is something wrong with the settings.

The fact the B key fixes the issue is making me think of the battery.

#6 gargoyle OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:08 PM

Separate from my SIDE/2 cart problem, I also have encountered a problem with an 800XL that has the U1MB installed.

 

Enhanced Ultimate 1MB BIOS also have problems with high speed SIO especially when a MegaSpeedy upgrade is used. Write operations to the enhanced drive fail.  The problem does not exist with the hi-speed patch from HIAS so i presume the problem is with the BIOS implementation.


Edited by gargoyle, Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:10 PM.


#7 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:19 PM

Enhanced Ultimate 1MB BIOS also have problems with high speed SIO especially when a MegaSpeedy upgrade is used. Write operations to the enhanced drive fail.  The problem does not exist with the hi-speed patch from HIAS so i presume the problem is with the BIOS implementation.


That's interesting. I heard of this before but got a third party to test the BIOS with Megaspeedy and no problem was found. What further information can you provide?

#8 gargoyle OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:24 PM

I will try it again and describe the exact sequence of events leading to the write errors.



#9 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:15 PM

Thanks in advance. I checked through old messages and TheMontezuma and (IIRC) Larry conducted tests on PAL and NTSC machines respectively in October 2016 after 138 errors were reported by an ex-forum member and both reported no issues, so I'm really interested to know what problems actually persist.


Edited by flashjazzcat, Sat Mar 25, 2017 1:16 PM.


#10 gargoyle OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:37 PM

Yes it is 138 errors on the megaspeedy upgraded drive. Here's the scenario in which i get the errors:

Hardware:  Atari 800XL with Ultimate 1mb flashed with the enhanced bios + megaspeedy enhanced 1050 drive (D1:) + stock 1050 drive (D2:)

 

Software: Atari DOS 2.5

 

Ultimate 1mb configured as follows:

Extended Ram: 1088K
System: XL OS
Basic Slot: Atari Basic
SpartaDOSX: Disabled

 

PBI BIOS: Enabled

PBI Device ID: 0

Hard Disk: Disabled

SIO driver: HSIO

SIO Devices: D1-D4
SIO driver D1: Enabled
                 D2 - D4: Disabled

 

Boot the Atari from D1: with above configuration active. Go to DOS menu, select "C" (Copy file) and copy a file from D2: to D1:. The copy fails with error 138 (Device timeout)

 

Change ultimate 1mb configuration to:

System: Hi-Speed OS

PBI BIOS: Disabled

 

reboot and repeat above steps, file copy works fine without errors.

One thing i noticed though, writes to the megaspeedy enhanced drive is slower than writes to a virtual drive at the same baud rate (for example one emulated by a SIO2PC device). Is this normal?


Edited by gargoyle, Sat Mar 25, 2017 4:40 PM.


#11 Timothy Kline OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:55 PM

Thank yous to everyone with their helpful suggestions.

 

@FJC, I wasn't getting any error, per se. Simply the bzzt raspberry of the 800XL attempting to access a drive that's off (it wasn't, of course). By booting to the BIOS and then [B]ooting, the drive became recognized until the next power down of the 800XL.

 

I opted to flash the ROM set, and it appears to have fixed the issue. I will test again tomorrow morning to be sure, though.

 

That leaves the SIDE/2 issue and I'll focus on that topic tomorrow, as well.

 

Again, thank you!!

--Tim



#12 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:10 PM

Did you save a backup of your ROM for us to examine?

#13 Timothy Kline OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:26 AM

Did you save a backup of your ROM for us to examine?

 

In my case, I didn't think to backup the ROM. My only thought was that the system had been working fine for nearly a year with no problems, and then suddenly had this strange bug develop which I wanted to remedy if I could.

 

I'll be back at the system this morning to verify that the bug is now gone, but I suspect that this may have been of my own making since I tried updating the SpartaDOS around that timeframe that the issue developed. I'll know this morning if that was a coincidence or a cause.

 

--Tim



#14 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:10 AM



Thank yous to everyone with their helpful suggestions.

 

@FJC, I wasn't getting any error, per se. Simply the bzzt raspberry of the 800XL attempting to access a drive that's off (it wasn't, of course). By booting to the BIOS and then [B]ooting, the drive became recognized until the next power down of the 800XL.

 

I opted to flash the ROM set, and it appears to have fixed the issue. I will test again tomorrow morning to be sure, though.

 

That leaves the SIDE/2 issue and I'll focus on that topic tomorrow, as well.

 

Again, thank you!!

--Tim

 

Did you read my suggestion and did you try it?

 

You state that your system worked perfect for a year and suddenly stopped working like you was used to.

There are not so many things that change when you do not change things yourself. Yes there can be some kind of defect, but if you can rule that out, one of the things that is left is the battery. Replace it, and see if that fixes the issue...



#15 Timothy Kline OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:27 AM

 

Did you read my suggestion and did you try it?

 

You state that your system worked perfect for a year and suddenly stopped working like you was used to.

There are not so many things that change when you do not change things yourself. Yes there can be some kind of defect, but if you can rule that out, one of the things that is left is the battery. Replace it, and see if that fixes the issue...

 

I haven't taken the system apart yet to change out the battery, ProWizard, but it is on my ASTD list, for sure. (A.tari S.tuff T.o D.o)

 

As I mentioned previous, I'm inclined to think that I did it to myself when I had tried updating SpartaDOS on the U1MB (I thought I used an ATR-based update method, because I know I didn't use UFlash like I did last night to re-flash the U1MB), and that would've been around the same time I began mucking around with the Side/2 that refuses to keep time (see other post) for me.

 

I forgot to mention that the system also refused to boot to BASIC, even though it was enabled in the U1MB BIOS. That, too, has resolved itself with the re-flash.

 

I still intend to update the battery, as well and for good measure; but at this point, the issue appears to be resolved and I'll be checking into the Side/2 RTC issue on a separate system as someone recommended in that topic (although the original one I bought works fine in this system, oddly).

 

Thank you again, everyone!!

--Tim



#16 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:48 AM

Yes it is 138 errors on the megaspeedy upgraded drive.


I think we deduced at the time that the 138 error as reported was caused by changing modes from Stock 1050 to Speedy or vice versa without resetting the OS, but obviously from your description the OS is in fact being reset.

The reason an OS reset is important is that it clears the high speed index table, causing all drives to be speed-polled again. So if the baud rate changes, it will be picked up. This behaviour is the same in the High-Speed OS and the PBI BIOS. The only differences - aside from SIO2BT handling - is the fact that the SIO code in the PBI BIOS has a slightly different calling path than the same code in the custom OS, but this should make no difference to the timing of sector transfers. I have no MegaSpeedy drive here (nor a working 1050, in fact), so I can't really do any troubleshooting on my own. I'd be glad to make any fixes prior to the next update, but for now I have absolutely no clue what could be wrong.

One thing i noticed though, writes to the megaspeedy enhanced drive is slower than writes to a virtual drive at the same baud rate (for example one emulated by a SIO2PC device). Is this normal?


I guess so, given disk access times, etc. As said: I have no way of testing here.

I haven't taken the system apart yet to change out the battery, ProWizard, but it is on my ASTD list, for sure. (A.tari S.tuff T.o D.o)
 
As I mentioned previous, I'm inclined to think that I did it to myself when I had tried updating SpartaDOS on the U1MB (I thought I used an ATR-based update method, because I know I didn't use UFlash like I did last night to re-flash the U1MB), and that would've been around the same time I began mucking around with the Side/2 that refuses to keep time (see other post) for me.
 
I forgot to mention that the system also refused to boot to BASIC, even though it was enabled in the U1MB BIOS. That, too, has resolved itself with the re-flash.
 
I still intend to update the battery, as well and for good measure; but at this point, the issue appears to be resolved and I'll be checking into the Side/2 RTC issue on a separate system as someone recommended in that topic (although the original one I bought works fine in this system, oddly).


The most common problem, I would venture, is a mis-match of main BIOS and PBI BIOS. It's possible to do this if you don't sync updates of all components, or perhaps used some AIO image which possibly had mismatched components in the first place. All the official firmware updates on my site are not only synced, but (for U1MB) include a 64KB binary comprising matching main BIOS, PBI BIOS and XEX loader, and you can't go wrong with that. I suppose corruption of the BIOS parts is possible via a bad SDX flash, but really, if you're getting rogue writes to the flash ROM during an update, it suggests that there's some hardware gremlin at work. And as ProWizard said: software tends not to just "go bad" over time unless something changed or the hardware developed some issue.

Anyway: as I wrote elsewhere today, I'd rather investigate false positive bug reports (especially when the reports are detailed, as here) than miss something that's wrong. It seems the only mystery is the MegaSpeedy issue, which I'd like to figure out before the next firmware revision comes out.

#17 ProWizard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:42 AM

-snap-

The most common problem, I would venture, -snap-

 

Is it a coincidence that you use the word 'problem' and 'venture' in one line?



#18 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 26, 2017 2:05 PM

Is it a coincidence that you use the word 'problem' and 'venture' in one line?


Perhaps subconsciously I realise that most ventures end up as problems. :)

#19 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:18 AM

Might Altirra provide useful results regarding MegaSpeedy issues? I have set up the emulator with accurate 1050 Speedy emulation using the MegaSpeedy firmware and things appear to work. Can problems perhaps be replicated in emulation?

#20 gargoyle OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:03 AM

How do I emulate a megaspeedy with Altirra? The only option i see under disk drives is a Speedy Emulation, and when I choose that option + enable HSIO under SIO Settings in the Ultimate 1mb setup menu, the drive operates only in regular speed and the copy operation works as intended. 



#21 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:44 AM

How do I emulate a megaspeedy with Altirra? The only option i see under disk drives is a Speedy Emulation, and when I choose that option + enable HSIO under SIO Settings in the Ultimate 1mb setup menu, the drive operates only in regular speed and the copy operation works as intended. 

 

You also need to go into System->Firmware and assign some Speedy ROMs, having already downloaded them (there are links of Steve Carden's website, IIRC). Honestly, I've no idea how close to an actual MegaSpeedy drive this emulated Speedy 1050 ends up being, but it will run at high speed once you install the drive firmware.

 

Meanwhile, TheMontezuma kindly conducted some more tests for me using a real stock and MegaSpeedy 1050 drive and encountered no issues. So: while I'm not the kind of person who discredits an issue report or test finding just because I can't replicate it myself, the fact it works for some and not others is starting to suggest "hardware issue" - whether with U1MB itself or MegaSpeedy or the combination of the two, who knows. If a software issue can be identified, I will happily fix it. :)



#22 gargoyle OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:35 PM

Ok, will try that.  Also, I've changed the OS roms of Ultimate to my liking before i flashed it to the device, maybe i should use the exact same ROM image with Altirra and see what happens.

Thanks



#23 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:35 PM

Yeah. Also be sure that the OS ROM in use actually supports PBI devices. EDIT: Although I note you were using a stock OS, so there should be no problem with that.


Edited by flashjazzcat, Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:36 PM.


#24 _The Doctor__ OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:39 PM

driver hsio available to d1-d4, d1: enabled d2-d4 disabled... does that mean fall back to os sio or does that imply sio d2 - d4 are off?  that being said if the desire is fallback then clearing the table will force things and if it doesn't already exist maybe a change can be made.



#25 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 12, 2017 3:55 PM

It means a fallback to the OS SIO (or another PBI SIO handler if present on a different PBI ID).




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