8-bit IDE hard drives, controllers

From: Herb Johnson - null account <noone_at_retrotechnology.com>
Date: Sun Feb 20 11:21:31 2005

Roger Merchberger posted some days ago (I get the digest which is always
late) in the thread "Wowzers... The things I found... Long!"

> In other news, I found an 8-bit IBM PC compatible hard drive
interface > not sure if it's MFM or RLL (they used the same cable set)
> number is WD1002A-WX1 up for grabs. It'll run 2 drives, but I only
> have a cableset for 1.

That reminds me of recent posts about other 8-bit ISA (IBM PC bus) hard
drive controllers. Some of the EARLIEST IDE (not MFM) hard drives used
an 8-bit data bus, not the 16-bit which became standard subsequently. So
some of the earliest 8-bit ISA IDE controllers and drives are not
compatible with subsequent drives and controllers. I don't know or
remember an easy way to determine this, beyond checking the specs of
drive or controller. There is no difference in the connector.

The conflict might cause damage, so "try and see" is not the best idea.
Fortunately there were not a lot of those drives produced, but it's
something to consider when restoring systems of the era around the first
IDE hard drives.

Herb Johnson
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Received on Sun Feb 20 2005 - 11:21:31 GMT

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