Anyone using an Intel AboveBoard MC on a Model 80?
lproven at gmail.com
Wed Apr 9 08:14:53 CDT 2008
On 09/04/2008, Josh Dersch <derschjo at msu.edu> wrote:
> Title says it all... I picked up a "new" (still in shrink-wrap) AboveBoard
> MC with the intent of using it in my PS/2 model 80 and I'm having serious
> issues getting it to function properly.
> The Model 80 has 4mb of planar memory installed, and I've been running it
> with no issues with an Orchid Ramquest 8/32 stocked with 8mb of memory (so
> 12mb total). In an attempt to get a little more memory, I've tried running
> with the Orchid replaced by the AboveBoard...
> The AboveBoard came with 4mb installed (4 1mb simms) which I initially
> replaced with 32mb (8 4mb simms, known good). I've since tried running with
> the original RAM, as well as other RAM I have lying around, without any
> success. I've tried running in different slots (both 32 and 16 bit) with no
> change. I've also adjusted the ram speed in the configuration page (options
> are 100ns or 80/85ns) with no change, though it seems slightly happier with
> 80/85ns selected.
> The behavior is very random -- sometimes the startup memory count (which is
> separate from the memory count in the PS/2's BIOS) fails to count all the
> memory -- on these occasions you can see it "pause" slightly during the
> count as if it's hitting bad memory and skipping over it. Sometimes it
> counts all the memory just fine. Regardless, the OS crashes or panics
> (tried NT & Debian Linux, haven't tried OS/2 yet) eventually. I've run
> memtest86 on it and what I find is that if the memory count is successful,
> memtest reports no errors, but attempts to run actual OSes crash after
> I've read that the Model 80 has trouble (not sure precisely /what/ trouble)
> with more than 16mb of memory, but even limiting the AboveBoard to 4mb is
> Anyone have any ideas? Similar/different experiences?
I have an IBM expansion in my Model 80. Can't remember what model
offhand, I'm afraid - I fitted it >10y ago. It has, from memory, 4 x
2MB parity SIMMs in it. I also have 8MB on the planar for 16MB total,
and you can spot the difference during the POST text very easily -
when it trips over from planar RAM to MCA-slot RAM, the speed of the
RAM test drops by something like 25-33%. It's very noticeable.
At the time, I was wondering if I could find a 2nd expansion board or
even a 3rd, populate 'em with cheap 1MB SIMMs and get 32MB or so. I
had slots to spare. However, on doing some reading at that time, I
found, as I recall, that there was only 1 specific board that could
extend a Model 80 past 16MB and it needed to be the sole RAM
expansion. I /think/ that you needed to max out the planar first, too.
A distant memory suggests that it was a Kingston RAM expansion that
could do it. I think multiple boards adding <=4MB each to an 8MB
machine could take you to 16MB, but getting above 16MB was very
difficult and even 11-12y ago, getting hold of those special boards
for >16MB was expensive.
So my '80 rests at 16MB, no more, even though I did have more suitable
SIMMs. :¬( However, in 16MB, it ran NT Server 3.51SP5 really rather
nicely and was a responsive fileserver on my network, driving 3 or 4
SCSI disks across 2 controllers (1 internal, 1 external), a SCSI
CD-ROM and a SCSI Exabyte 8mm tape drive. Not bad for a machine that
was ~10y old when it was pressed into service, running an OS that
wasn't released until 7y after the H/W was discontinued.
It's still sitting in my garage. Not powered it on this century. :¬(
Hope it still works.
Liam Proven • Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/liamproven
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