Floppy problem on 80286 machine

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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby Columbo on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:19 am

I happen to have a Laplink cable but I can't find the Laplink software. Even if I did find it I don't know how I could use it since both computers need a program installed on them in order to work and without the floppies working I don't know how I would do that.
Does anyone have have an idea of how to transfer the files from my Windows 7 machine to the 80286 machine without having to install a program onto the DOS machine, or is that even possible?
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:00 am

If your laplink cable is serial (not the parallel version) you can use it for remote uploads.
I wrote a program to do that, however after I got it running I never cleaned it up, it's a bit 'meh'. Maybe I should tidy it up so I can hand it out.

My official recommendation - http://sewelldirect.com/fastLynx3.aspx
It's a product you can still purchase, and despite running on Windows 7 it does have a DOS client and remote upload. No problem with USB serial converters.

If you have an older PC, maybe in the garage, that's say a Pentium (I use Pentium laptops) you can grab an older copy of FastLynx 2.0 unofficially off the interwebs (or get it free with FastLynx 3.3), and do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDW7z3yCUxs with a cheap null modem serial cable (or LapLink serial). (You can't see it, but laptop in that video is running Windows 98). LapLink 3 or LL3 will do the same job but I find it a much more confusing interface. If you have trouble locating these let me know.

The basis of it is you get DOS to hand over control to the serial port, and then the program uploads it's code and runs it.
LapLink 3 has remote upload, but not sure if the newer versions that might run on Windows 7 offer remote upload.
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby Gibsaw on Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:39 am

Columbo wrote:I happen to have a Laplink cable but I can't find the Laplink software. Even if I did find it I don't know how I could use it since both computers need a program installed on them in order to work and without the floppies working I don't know how I would do that.
Does anyone have have an idea of how to transfer the files from my Windows 7 machine to the 80286 machine without having to install a program onto the DOS machine, or is that even possible?


You don't need laplink. Use intersvr/interlnk. Your 286 has DOS 6.2 installed, so intersvr/interlnk is included. You'll need another DOS machine of some sort. MS requirements say the "server" is the one that needs to be DOS 6.x. It works fine with win 9x as the "client" machine. Or if you have another DOS 6.x machine, you can do it the other way around. (286 as client)

On the "server" (The 286) type
intersvr (You can use /lpt:x or /com:x to set the port accordingly. usually not needed. intersvr /? for help)

On the "client" (another DOS machine) in CONFIG.SYS put.
device=c:\dos\interlnk.exe (You can use /lpt:x or /com:x to set the port accordingly. usually not needed. interlnk /? for help)

...and reboot. You will have new drive letters on your client machine. (Look at the server's screen for details.)

Also, "intersvr /rcopy" will push the interlink files to another computer if you're using serial.
Last edited by Gibsaw on Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:56 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby tezza on Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:49 am

I concur. If you have two machines running MS-DOS 6.2 and already have a comms cable (parallel or serial) then intersvr/interlnk is the way to go. It's part of the OS.
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:05 am

I always forget about intersvr/interlnk! Does mean you can do it without paying money or pirating.
FX has just always been my preference because it doesn't require a CONFIG.SYS entry, and the new version does Windows 7 <--> DOS.

Might be worth investing in a cheap Pentium PC or laptop - a tweener - if one isn't available.

I should finish my free Windows 7 to DOS project. I only put it down because I couldn't compete with FX3.3's speed when using USB-to-serial adaptors.
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby Columbo on Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:58 pm

I checked the DOS folder on the HD and I don't see any intersvr or interlnk listed among the files. I also noticed that the EDIT.COM file is missing as well. I have found and downloaded the intersvr/interlnk files but again, without the floppies working I can't get the file onto the HD. If I could get the floppy drive working, I have DOS 6.22 plus the DOS Tools on three 5.25" floppies.
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby Gibsaw on Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:39 pm

Arrrggghhhhh!!!! Some overenthusiastic person has probably done one of those "you can safely remove these files" lists to save space after the DOS 6.x installation.

Is your laplink cable serial or parallel? (i.e. can you do remote upload)
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:45 pm

.... and is MODE.COM there? (because that is one file that is often needed for remote uploads to work).
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby ZL2AOX on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:30 pm

You should be able to just use the DOS COPY command in binary mode, e.g.
Code: Select all
copy /b com1 /b filename

Yeah, you'll need to use MODE to set the port's comm parameters first though.
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:59 pm

ZL2AOX wrote:You should be able to just use the DOS COPY command in binary mode, e.g.
Code: Select all
copy /b com1 /b filename

Yeah, you'll need to use MODE to set the port's comm parameters first though.


Perfect for ASCII transfers, but if the COM contains a single EOF byte it'll return to the command prompt. It's the only character you can't transfer over a port using this method.
The way remote uploaders work is they split the file by EOF, copy each piece, then use COPY /B file1+file2+file3 file.com to join the files, and because DOS pops an EOF at the end of a file by itself, the EOF characters are restored.

Took me ages to work that out when I wrote my remote uploader. FX3.3 on Windows, and FX2 or LL3 for DOS can do this on your behalf.
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby ZL2AOX on Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:15 pm

So null them first with a hex editor, append one on the end, then patch them back in on the target system using DEBUG ...assuming DEBUG wasn't also deleted.

Here's another suggestion if QBasic is installed: http://jcoppens.com/soft/howto/bootstrap/index.en.php
Actually, since VTEMU.COM has only 4 bytes to patch, the QBasic conversion stuff is unnecessary.
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby SpidersWeb on Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:57 pm

Those are some pretty cool ideas. The debug option is a good plan if you had access to nothing else (I'll try and remember that one myself).
I guess if you were really serious about licensed software and didn't want to pay for a license it'd be some of your only options.

If that method is used, the hex char to replace in EXE/COM is '26' and take note of it's position.

With FX you just go "Remote Upload" and follow the instructions on screen so generally my preference.
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby Columbo on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:54 am

I checked the DOS folder again and it has MODE.COM, XCOPY.EXE, QBASIC.EXE and DEBUG.EXE in there. The Laplink cable is parallel. What would the parameters be for the com port that has to be set up for MODE.COM?

Thanks to everyone for all of your patience and suggestions. Very much appreciated.
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby ZL2AOX on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:09 am

The parameters must be the same at both ends. Also, you will need 8 data bits if you're sending binary data, e.g.
Code: Select all
mode com1:12,n,8,1

I don't know how the Laplink cable is actually wired, but essentially you need to connect the two serial ports with a null modem.

As I mentioned, I personally wouldn't bother with QBasic. It's easy enough to use DEBUG to prepare the file:
Code: Select all
debug vtemu.com
e 157 0
e 388 0
e 3ce 0
e 80f 0
e 1e3b 1a
rcx
1d3c
w 100
q

..and once you've copied it across:
Code: Select all
debug vtemu.com
e 157 1a
e 388 1a
e 3ce 1a
e 80f 1a
w
q
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Re: Floppy problem on 80286 machine

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:51 am

I think he's lacking a serial null modem cable, and a second DOS PC.

Columbo - do you have access to another machine with a serial port? is it USB or motherboard based?
Do you mind ordering a null modem cable or would you prefer to focus on the floppy?
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