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Promise SATA (legacy)

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Old August 1st 19, 04:57 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt
T. Ment
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Posts: 87
Default Promise SATA (legacy)

PDC20318 chip (SATA150 TX4)

PDC20319 chip (FastTrak S150 TX4)

They both have 4 SATA ports. The 20319 FastTrak is RAID only, the 20318
SATA150 is hard drive and ATAPI (cdrom), but no RAID.

I got a FastTrak on Ebay, it works, but the RAID BIOS takes 29k of upper
memory. I load many things high, and 29k is a lot to lose on a secondary
disk BIOS. An ATAPI BIOS will take less memory, but those cards are hard
to find.

I thought of trying a 20318 ATAPI BIOS on my 20319 card. Seems like the
20319 RAID chip would upward compatible. But I can't find any datasheets
to confirm.

Some cards (like mine) have a newer AMIC flash chip and pflash won't
work with it. But the pflashtx supplied with the TX2300 BIOS does work,
even though my card is not listed as supported. I proved that it works
by reflashing the same BIOS.

So then I tried flashing the 20318 ATAPI BIOS. Nope. It said card not
found. Looks like they don't want people cross flashing a 20318 BIOS on
a 20319 chip. But I had to know more. So I heated up the soldering iron,
replaced the AMIC chip with a socket, and reprogrammed the chip with the

During boot it reported the ATAPI BIOS banner, but complained about card
not found. So you still can't cross flash, not even the hard way. But if
it got that far, maybe it will work. But you would have to hack the BIOS
to check for a 20319 chip instead of a 20318.

That could be tedious. Mabye some day.


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