Instructions followed. E.D.
From: Kevin O'Connor <kevin(a)koconnor.net>
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2019 5:36 PM
To: Eli Duttman
Subject: Re: Can SeaBIOS Work for Me?
FYI, you'll need to send this to: seabios(a)seabios.org
On Tue, Oct 29, 2019 at 08:43:02PM +0000, Eli Duttman wrote:
Folks, please be very gentle with me. I'm a
retired IBM mainframe system programmer and, other than a few lines of COBOL and assembler
written YEARS ago, know essentially nada about 8x86 programming.
I want to reactivate an "ancient" ISA bus PC. The machine uses a VTI
"Topcat" chipset, in the 386DX version. The chipset reference PDF is at
The CPU is currently a 486DX-33, but will be upgraded to an already on hand 3X clock
multiplying 586. The installed BIOS suffers from a Y2K defect and, no surprise,
doesn't begin to support high capacity HDDs. I recall a 1/2 GB PATA drive giving me
What I'd like to do is have SeaBIOS burned into an appropriate set of (E)PROM chips
and modernize things. PATA support could be pared back to only work with optical drives,
including the boot possibility or (for that matter) totally. HDD BIOS support will come
from an on hand Adaptec AHA1540 bus mastering SCSI controller, which (IIRC) at 10 MB/S. is
about as fast as ISA can get. Floppy disk capability, in both the 3.5 & 5.25 inch
sizes, is available.
Can my scheming be brought to fruition? Can minimal PNP support be provided, given ISA
BTW, Win-95 has previously run on the machine populated with 20 MB of RAM. RAM can
definitely be increased to 32 MB and, if I read the chipset documentation correctly, 64 MB
may be possible.
TIA for your replies.