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A Sick IBM 5170 AT


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  A Sick IBM 5170 AT by Bill Degnan - 11/15/2010 19:20
The IBM AT Model 5170 front-left

Display when the system was working perfectly, all software running normally.

I removed the battery. Now the system does not recognize the hard drive, and the display mode is in 40-columns. Unlike the IBM PC/XT, the system configuration is stored in memory ROM requiring battery power.

The IMI 5012H is I am told a clone of the Shugart ST-512, which is a type 1 drive.

I verified that the jumpers on the motherboard were OK. I was not able to find the manual for the IMI 5012H.

NEXT: Run the AT diagnostics, guess/assume that the drive type is "1", and see what happens. If it's not a type 1, it could be a type 2. I could also try running Spinrite to extract the drive type if needed. I can't imagine that the hard drive just crashed because I removed the battery. It was probably just about dead, and removing it cleared what charge remained.

I need to replace the internal battery. Until then I will have to re-initialize the system each time I do a cold boot. Let's see if I am correct.


  How to determine IBM Drive Type Number by Bill Degnan - 12/23/2011 16:44
I found a shareware program that will ID an IDE hard drive, so that one can determine the IBM drive type number.

Company: Micro House International Author: Vasu Raman
4900 Pearl E. Circle #101
Boulder, CO 80301
(800) 926-8299 Sales
(303) 443-9957 BBS

Program Title: IDE Indentify v1.40
Compile Date : 12-04-92
Previous Version: 1.20

Category: Utilities, Hard Drives
BBS Name: MH-IDE.ZIP (formerly IDEID.EXE)

Program Description:
IDE Identify v1.40: Returns info on all IDE
hard drives attached to your (286+) system.
Shows head, cylinder, and sector counts for
CMOS setup parameters. Drive only needs to
be hooked-up, does not need to be prepaired.
(Date 12/04/92) Req: 286+CPU.
Freeware from Micro House International. -AV

Download IDE Indentify v1.40

NEXT - With the info obtained from IDE ID, visit the following page to determine the IBM drive type:

This page is very useful for IBM PC/XT/AT class systems.

Hopefully finally I can finish this project.

  IBM AT 5170 update by Bill Degnan - 08/26/2012 17:51
Tried 5 hard drive controllers, none worked. The symptom is strange. I boot the system and it correctly holds the configuration, counts up the RAM, and boots to disk, eventually.

System checks drive A and then drive B. System freezes for about three minutes. Eventually a misc hard drive error (1780 or 1790) is returned by the system, cannot boot from or read hard drive. I tried a few known working drives that I also knew the correct drive number. So after a lengthy bit of research and testing I have given up for now, and set the system as a dual disk drive, no hard drive config. The original hard drive was returned and left disconnected. For a future time I suppose. When I get an AT to compare it to I will try this again.



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