3.453 3.5-inch drive installation (47)

Sun, 10 Sep 89 19:47:04 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 453. Sunday, 10 Sep 1989.

From: "Jeutonne P. Brewer" <BREWERJ@UNCG.BITNET>

A ROM BIOS upgrade is sometimes necessary to add a 3.5" drive to a
computer. Because many people are now thinking about adding 3.5" drives to
their computers, it is important to be aware of possible problems.

John Baima stated, "I still think that it is certainly true that a ROM BIOS
upgrade is never necessary for non-bootable devices." I disagree, based on
my own experience. John Hopkins also reported problems. John Baima seems
to have missed one point in my message and in John Hopkins' message. In our
cases we were adding 3.5" drives to AT computers not XT computers. Also we
were adding 1.44 meg drives. John Hopkins was correct in noting that "it is
only starting with DOS 3.3 (not 2.0) that 3.5" drives are fully supported.
With versions below 3.3, there would be difficulty accessing a 3.5" drive,
bootable or not, simply using DOS." The driver.sys program added to DOS 3.2
and 3.3 was a way to provide a program in addition to DOS. For some of us
isn't an adequate solution.

I opted for a ROM BIOS upgrade after
I had tried DOS versions 2.11 through 3.3
I had tried the driver.sys (or equivalent) programs
I had tried two shareware programs that can be used instead of the
driver.sys type programs.
I had tried installing the drive as E, F, etc. as well as drive B
I took out the six boards that I had installed in my computer so
that I was working with the original setup.
I had talked with the technical consultants at the computer
manufacturer three times and tried the installation routines
they suggested.
It was clear by that time that a BIOS upgrade was a reasonable solution in
terms of both cost and effort. That change took care of all problems.

I have never run into any problem like that of adding the 3.5" drive. I
have a FiveStar 286. It has run every program that I have tried to use.
It is good to remember that no clone can be 100% IBM compatible unless it
is an IBM computer. Note, however, that adding a 3.5" drive is not really
a question of IBM compatibility in the sense that IBM PCs, XTs, and ATs
didn't have 3.5" drives.