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Just got a Mega STE...now what?

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I bought a big lot of vintage computer software and hardware today with the crown jewel being this Mega STE. I've used STs and 400/800s before but never this fellow. I haven't even turned it on yet.

 

The owner said it runs TOS 2.05 and should be working.

 

It looks like there are a couple of external hard drives but those may be for the ST, yeah?

 

Assuming the Mega STE works, is there an easy way I can make a backup of the entire hard drive image? I have old SCSI cards and what not...some way perhaps to make a "dumb" sector-by-sector copy of it in case the HW fails?

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First thing I would do is purchase TOS 2.06 for it! I have a set for sale. ;)

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Doh! I got it turn on today but it does not show a hard disk icon. The hard disk does make some initial noise two or three times while flashing its light, but after a couple of minutes on a white screen, the system asks for a floppy. I cancel that request and see the desktop with two floppy icons, but no HDD icon. ;(

 

The original owner said the HDD was filled with software so I'm guessing that if the system is not starting from HDD, I have a problem. It is hard to believe he would have only been starting it from floppies, right?

 

Any suggestions for the next course of actions?

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Hi, I also have a Mega STe but the hard drive does boot on mine. You might need to boot from a floppy drive which contains the ICD hard drive boot driver, and then the hard drive could be recognized. If I recall correctly, the Mega STe will by default boot off of floppy disk if it detects a disk in the drive; otherwise after something like 5 seconds or so it will instead boot off of the hard drive (but it can't boot off the hard drive if the drive is not bootable - if it hasn't been configured with a boot sector, then the hard drive requires a driver to be loaded off of floppy).

 

Or maybe you need to press and hold down <shift> while the computer boots up in order to cause it to look at the floppy drive first and bypass the hard drive, I don't quite remember. I'm pretty sure it's in the owner's manual though. You may want to check here: http://dev-docs.atariforge.org/files/Mega_STE_Owners_Manual.pdf I hope that helps a bit.

 

I'm not sure where you could get the ICD driver. Maybe a Google search could locate it? Or maybe your collection came with a boot disk too?

 

[EDIT] Sorry, I just saw in your photo that it looks like you already have the user's manual there. That looks like a nice collection and in good condition! Congratulations on your find!

Edited by gamer1867

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Mega STE (or any ST(E) ) will boot from floppy only if it has bootable bootsector - what is mostly case with games (not all) .

If there is some regular floppy with user files it will autoboot from hard disk.

 

Rebooter: you need to run hard disk driver from floppy to see is it working at all. Get Hddriver demo here: http://hddriver.seimet.de/en/downloads.html

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I booted the MSTE hard drive system disk from http://www.atari.org/services/systemdisks.php and put the hard disk PRG in the auto folder as the manual instructed, then rebooted. Still no hard disk icon (but there is a more constant HDD light) and now with the hard disk driver the A: drive loads up folders with gibberish titles [see attachment]. Also discovered that the ESC key on the keyboard seems not to work.

 

It may sound like I'm tapping out early, but I lack the workspace and time for a project of this scope. Anyone in Southern California want to come by and take this over for a fair price?

post-35444-0-88178600-1377477729_thumb.jpg

Edited by rebooter

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The jibberish on floppy looks like it could be a Sony drive with the SMT capacitor issue - easily solved if it is. The key stuck, probably just needs the keyboard taking apart and re-assembling, might need a new spring or rubber plunger (depending on model).

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Since I was heading to San Diego for the weekend, I stopped by and picked up the Mega STe (thanks again Rebooter!!). Got the STe hooked up last night. Tried booting with HDDriver, Atari's AHDI and ICD Pro Tools. The ICD Drivers recognized the SCSI interface and something sitting at SCSI ID 0 but the device would not respond. So.....bad HDD. I haven't had a chance to check the termination or parity but if it was working before, chances are it is set properly. It has a Seagate ST-157n. I think I have an extra HDD in my never ending boxes of 'stuff' but if not, Best sells replacements for $50. I may see about the availability of an IDE conversion for the MSTe and put a laptop drive or a CF (or SD) Card adapter in it. Does anyone off hand know of a quick IDE conversion??

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....of course, being in I.T., I should just look at the boxes of surplus we have at work. Just found 8 IBM WDS-380S 80mb drives in a box. Should last me a while!!

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Update on the MSTe. After some prodding and a few choice words, she is up and running. I think the HDD needed a little aggressive handling. When trying to install another HDD (which didn't go so well), I started being a little less careful with the original drive. I eventually put the original drive back in and it started working. I'm thinking that the heads or platters may have been stuck and bouncing it around a bit got it going again. I installed my TT030's Geneva and NeoDesk software and have that running.

 

As Rebooter stated, there is an issue with the keyboard. Not just the ESC key but all the functional keys down the left side are bad (shift, esc, control, etc.). So next I will tear down the keyboard and see what's up. Luckily I have extra ones from my TT's and other MSTe.

 

Thanks again to Rebooter.

 

Another Atari saved and lives on!!!

 

Here are some screen shots.

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post-6701-0-75552800-1378318746_thumb.jpg post-6701-0-01367600-1378318751_thumb.jpg post-6701-0-24029300-1378318752_thumb.jpg

post-6701-0-43787000-1378318753_thumb.jpg post-6701-0-74427700-1378318754_thumb.jpg post-6701-0-06486300-1378318756_thumb.jpg

post-6701-0-42303500-1378318757_thumb.jpg

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Nice find on both of your parts. Have experienced in the past some drives, or controllers will or won't work unless they are in the middle or last in the chain. If the ICD DMA controller unit is in the the drive case, it may not be supplying term power to the bus, or power parity. Heck, even when termination is necessary, at times would cause the drive to not boot. Maybe i'm just prone to the strange and unusual.... The scrambled icons brought back the thought. Never found an answer, after fustration like you say, started swapping stuff around. Also, both ICD and AHDI must have the driver configured to see attached devices. ICD utils makes it easy for their driver, AHDI must be configured with another prg to make a reliable boot sector. A questionable floppy disk or disk drive can make it difficult to install a driver. A recently purchasef MSTE had a half inch of thick dust all over inside, blew a coffee cup full of fine silt out the powersupply using an air compressor too. It's all good, right? :)

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My next 'repairs' are going to be 2 Falcons, one with a flakey HDD and the other keeps loosing it's NVRam config. The one with the flakey drive I got about a year ago but it wouldn't boot, so I shelved it 'til I had time to mess with it. The other I have had for a few years and work flawlessly with the exception of the system config dropping after a power-down, and it's intermittent. I thought that maybe the battery in the NVRam chip was dead but I replaced it with a new one and it still did it. So I think I may have a short in that one somewhere.

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Guitarman,

 

I believe I have a ST-157n you can have if you want it. I've had it in a box from a long dead Mega STe for years and I highly doubt I'll ever do a thing with it.

 

If you want it just send me a PM with your address and I'll send it to you.

 

Fletch

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So, the keyboard issue turns out to be a couple of open traces on the mylar. It looks to have been previously repaired as it had trace repair tape over the 2 open traces. I think the trace tape just aged and started lifting. Couldn't find my circuit pen last night so going to the electronics shop to get a new one today. I will probably also order a new mylar from Best. They are only $30 and it would be good to have one on hand if one of the MSTe or TT keyboards goes out in the future.

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Well, found my circuit pen!! So I redrew the 2 traces and put the keyboard back together. Now I have all keys working with the exception of the Esc key. I think the Esc key was the only key on one of the traces so I must not have got a good retrace on that one. One more time!!

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Keyboard fixed!!! There was actually a third open trace that was barely visible. Now the full keyboard is working flawlessly. Time to hook up the UltraSatan and get a backup of the drive.

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Sweet! Glad to hear this baby is alive and kicking again. I never would have had the time/room/equipment to resurrect it so I'm glad it got into the right hands.

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Last upgrade completed!! I burned TOS 2.06 to a set of 29C010's, installed and presto!! It is amazingly nice using 29C010's instead of 27C010's. They erase in my programmer in about 5 seconds!!! I burned 2 sets just in case my other MegaSTe is 2.05. I'll have to break out my normal STe's and see what's in them.

 

Also got my UltraSatan connected and did a backup of the drive. I created 10 80mb partitions on a 2gb SD card. Each partition will be a backup from my various HDD's.

 

Also ordered the keyboard mylar. That, I will just put away for if/when the current one flakes out again.

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