formatting MFM drives on a IBM PC

Warner Losh imp at
Fri Sep 29 21:04:10 CDT 2017

On Sep 29, 2017 6:49 AM, "Peter Corlett via cctalk" <cctalk at>

On Thu, Sep 28, 2017 at 05:36:40PM -0700, Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:
> What I find perplexing is the acronym "SATA" for "Serial ATA". The name
> imply that a drive can be connected to a 5170, but I'm not aware of any
> adapters for the 5170 PC/AT.

SATA has a different electrical interface, but otherwise speaks the same
protocol as the older (P)ATA protocol. Converters are cheap and readily

So yes, you could stick a SATA disk in your old 5170, assuming that the BIOS
doesn't immediately faint when presented with a very large disk.

I think there are two barriers to that. No sata is a cards. And BIOS of
that era still required you to tell it the chs for the drive...


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