View Full Version : Bios in old xt

30-03-2002, 12:20 PM
I am running a 640k 32mg xt [always worked well.....shh ...might hear me..!! ]that had a failed floppy disk drive. Got another but its a newer one [ single sided ] From memory the bios details have to be changed - I have long since forgotten how to do it....is there anyone here who remembers?

30-03-2002, 08:33 PM
I've never used an XT, but anything I have used has not needed any 'setup' for an FDD apart from telling the BIOS that one (or 2) is present and what its capacity is (360, 1.44 etc). This is normally done in the standard BIOS setup - an option at startup. If your new drive is the same capactity as the old one no BIOS changes should be needed.

30-03-2002, 11:05 PM
From memory there were 2 types of floppies. 5 1/4' and 3 1/2'. Both came in 2 sizes - thus 4 variables in total.

I take it you have the 3 1/2'. These came in 1.2Mb and a smaller size (700Kb?).

Sounds like you have the bigger size. Go to the BIOS and change the floppy drive to 1.2Mb.

You will need to press the [Del] key (possibly [F2] key depending on brand) on startup to enter the BIOS, look for the floppy drive and change it.

Make a note of what it is before changing just in case you get it wrong and need to redo it.

30-03-2002, 11:07 PM
The XT's didnt have a CMOS setup. Hardware configuration was set by a switch block on the motherboard. There may be settings printed inside the cover somewhere.
Hard drive and floppy drive types, from memory, were determined by the controller cards.
If the floppy drive is not the same as the old one it may not be recognised.
I cant remember any more :(

31-03-2002, 09:12 AM
Heathers reply jogged my memory a bit more.
Firstly the BIOS was Read Only Memory, ie you cant change it, ie no CMOS setup.
There was support in the BIOS for 5 1/4 inch 360K and 3 1/2 inch 720K floppy drives. You wont be able to use the later 5 1/4 1.2M or 3 1/2 1.44M drives that were fitted in ATs. Up to 4 floppy drives could be set by the switches.

02-04-2002, 10:00 PM
Am I the only one who has used an 8 (8.5?) inch floppy?

From memory it could hold a whole 100Kb (thereabouts).

02-04-2002, 10:12 PM
Just goes to show how long it is since I owned and used an XT. It was my favourite computer - 10 Mb hard drive, ran on DOS and taught me the real basics of computing. Was getting a handle on creating batch files in Edlin when we upgraded and I found Edit.

The number of people who 'lose files' these days because they don't understand paths is incredible. Not to mention not understanding file extensions. A lot can be said for the sheer teaching power of the XT.

02-04-2002, 11:22 PM
Hmm... What I said earlier was not quite true. The XT BIOS only natively supported 360K and 720K drives, and also only 10MB and 20MB hard drives, but it was possible to have up to 32MB? hdd, and also the later floppy drives by using appropriate controller cards which had their own BIOS built in.

Heather mentioned Edlin.. edit-line, a dreadful line by line text editor.

So it's a question of suck it and see, as to which floppy will work, it will depend on the controller card.
Hope I didnt mislead.