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Atari PC4 and ISA cards / conflicts?

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So, for those of you who are unaware, Atari released a series of x86 based computers ranging from an 8088 to a 386, the last being not really designed by them, but labeled as the PC5.  I have the PC4, which is a  286, but weirdly has CGA, EGA, VGA, Hercules and MDA(I think) output.

The stock system as I got it was an 8mhz 286 (turbo to 12) with 1mb of ram, and a 30mb RLL hard drive, with a 1.2mb 5.25" floppy drive, and it came with a keyboard and manuals and disks.

 

First thing I noticed when reading through the manuals, was that there was some confusion on the BIOS setup.  Granted this is my first Pre-Pentium PC, as I didn't switch from my beloved Atari Mega STe until '95 when the Pentiums first came out, and Windows 95, though even at the time I had used DOS a bit, so am familiar with it.  Seems earlier BIOS had a software program to make sense of the settings, I think I found an amibios program that works well enough, and sort of figured out how to change things in the built in bios through the various addresses.  But that brings me to this question...

 

Certain cards I've attempted to put into the ISA slots have just basically ended up giving me a fart noise, even closer than that of the one you get on an Atari 8bit before the 'READY' appears.

 

The current setup I have in there is an Sound Blaster Awe64 (model CT4380, tracked one down with an IDE on there for the CD-ROM), an XT-IDE with a Compact Flash card (I removed the RLL drive and controller), swapped out the 5.25" floppy drive with a HxC Floppy Emulator.

 

Now I've managed to get everything working right (including outputting through the SB Awe64 to a Roland MT-32 for some Monkey Island awesomeness), but I'm really curious about my quest to getting other ISA cards I bought to work in the machine.

The two cards that cause the 'fart' are a Super Multi-IO board made by Digital Research.  I got it before I realized I could get an Awe64 with an ATAPI controller on board, and that the XT-IDE for some unknown reason doesn't support ATAPI...

 

I even tried pulling out the other two ISA boards, only turning it on with that board.  I even set all the jumpers on the board to disable parallel port, serial, ide, etc.  Basically everything, and it still acted like I was stepping on a stink beetle.  The other card I have that it disagrees with, is a NE2000 based Novell Network card.  I picked that one on the advice it'd actually work in DOS.

 

Any and all help appreciated.  I was going to work on scanning in the English manuals as well, once I get some time.

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I'm a little confused.   You got the ATAPI CD-ROM working through the SB AWE64?   Why do you still need the I/O card to work?

 

Could it be conflicting with built-in IDE? Or is the existing IDE on a card you removed?

 

I believe older PCs weren't always 100% compatible with the ISA standard. 

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On 10/2/2020 at 7:57 AM, zzip said:

I'm a little confused.   You got the ATAPI CD-ROM working through the SB AWE64?   Why do you still need the I/O card to work?

 

Could it be conflicting with built-in IDE? Or is the existing IDE on a card you removed?

 

I believe older PCs weren't always 100% compatible with the ISA standard. 

You're right, now that I got it working on the AWE64, I don't really NEED the I/O card to work, I'm just more curious as to why most of the cards I've tried in it cause the start up to crash.  Pretty sure it's memory allocation / IRQ conflicts.  Still need to work out networking. 

 

It's kind of more of a quest thing to get it to work.

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Is it that the drivers don't detect the NE2000 card, or does it cause the buzzing sound as well?    Apparently if you have the drivers from the wrong manufacturer with an NE2000 card, it may not detect properly. 

 

I had this issue with an ATAPI cdrom in a 486 recently.   Would not detect.   You'd think any ATAPI driver would work, but nope!   Tried a different driver and worked fine.   So you may want to try different drivers.

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2 hours ago, zzip said:

Is it that the drivers don't detect the NE2000 card, or does it cause the buzzing sound as well?    Apparently if you have the drivers from the wrong manufacturer with an NE2000 card, it may not detect properly. 

 

I had this issue with an ATAPI cdrom in a 486 recently.   Would not detect.   You'd think any ATAPI driver would work, but nope!   Tried a different driver and worked fine.   So you may want to try different drivers.

The NE2000 causes my XT-IDE to not recognize a card is inserted.  My only guess is that since it also has an empty spot for a boot ROM that it is trying to assign it to the same address space. 

I tried several ways of getting a CF card to play nice with DR-DOS (6 and 7) to install.

 

Ah DOS... where a game won't run because it needs 600kb of conventional memory, and getting things to load into extendend memory is a pain... not to mention the whole difference of XMS vs EMS...

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