Re: MFM drive gone nuts

From: MikeS <>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:40:05 -0400
Message-ID: <C1A309FA5F9B46C3BC03D950A815D3C6@310e2>
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "smf" <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 5:32 PM
Subject: Re: MFM drive gone nuts

>>...and reading a given drive with a different controller than the one 
>>originally used was (and is) almost always totally impossible.
> That is like complaining you can't read Amiga disks in your PC floppy 
> drive.
Not quite; we're talking about the same computers, interface and file 
systems. We don't really expect an IBM AT/386/486 to be able to read 
Michal's D900 disk (although it just might be possible), but many people 
were unpleasantly surprised to find that they couldn't even read the drive 
out of another AT/386/486, especially when they upgraded.

There were dozens of different incompatible makes and models of controller 
used, and if your controller died and you couldn't get an exact replacement 
then your hard disk might as well be a doorstop even if it was 100% 
functional; a big problem these days for folks who want to recover old data 
and only have the hard disk itself.

That was probably the best thing about IDE; it combined the controller and 
drive in one package with a common logical interface; especially after 
autodetect came along you could pretty well stick any drive into any 
computer and chances of reading it would be pretty good.

> ST506 was a more effective standard, so at least you could use the drive 
> with a different controller even if you had to reformat it and start 
> again.

Before IDE came along, pretty well all hard disks used the ST506 interface 
so yes, if you didn't need the data you could usually reformat the drive to 
the new controller's specs *if* it and/or the system BIOS supported that 
particular disk.


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Received on 2014-07-22 23:00:31

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