Setup and Benchmarks of Several ESDI Hard Disks and Controller Cards


Resources

This resource list is intended to provide essential information for user of ESDI hardware, in order to make or keep this hardware in running order. Most of it is free available on the internet. Some of it belongs to companies, which are out of business for at least twenty years. Manufacturers, which are still active have stopped support for ESDI hardware decades ago. Presumably they have forgotten, that they ever produced this hardware.

You need a PDF reader to open the documents. I prefer the Sumatra PDF reader but any other will do too. All software is compressed with 7-Zip which is freeware as well.

The information here is presented on an "as is" basis. In no way I'm responsible for damages, lost of data etc., which may result by using this information, procedures or software.
Be warned: Do not use this stuff if you are not sure what results may emerge out of your action. Ask someone familiar with storage technology instead!

All trademarks and logos belong to their respective owners.

General Information

Maxtor

Adaptec

Micropolis

Control Data (CDC), Imprimis, Magnetic Peripherals

National Computer (NCL)

Compaq

Nippon Electric Company (NEC)

CompuAdd

Perceptive Solutions (PSI)

Data Technology (DTC)

Scientific Micro Systems (SMS)

Distributed Processing Technology (DPT)

Seagate

Emulex

Ultrastor

Everex

Western Digital

Hewlett Packard

Hard Disk Maintenance Software

Hitachi

Hard Disk Preparation Software

International Business Machines (IBM)




General Information

Most important document is the Enhanced Small Device Interface (ESDI) Specification from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), published by Micropolis and rescued by bitsavers.org. In the same locality there is an similar document, published by Control Data.

A source for jumper settings is:
* the MicroHouse Technical Library
* Total Hardware 1999 (reminds me of the MicroHouse Technical Library but essential parts are missing)
* DCI pc-disk
Unfortunately the MicroHouse Techical Library is not complete online available. There is only an excerpt from the MicroHouse PC Hardware Library Volume I: Hard Drives. Look for 'Total Hardware' and 'pc-disk' in your favorite search engine. All three offer a lot of valuable information and they are in many respects the base for the information offered on my site.

A general source for hard- and software manuals is Bitsavers' pdf document archive.


Adaptec

Adaptec - now a subsidiary of PMC-Sierra - is one of the few companies, which give online support for their obsolete products:
ESDI hard disk preparation program for ACB-232x with thorough format
ESDI hard disk preparation program for ACB-232x with standard format
ESDI hard disk preparation program for ACB-2620 (micro channel)
ACB-4525Z/ACB-4525S4000 user's manual
ACB-2320/ACB-2322 user's manual
ACB-2320B installation guide
ACB-2322B installation guide
ACB-2320D/ACB-2322D installation guide
ACB-2600 series OEM manual

Somewhat more detailed information about the tested controller cards can be found on my site:
ACB-2320B/ACB2322B user's manual
ACB-2320D/ACB-2322D user's manual
ACB-4525S4000 setup
ACB-232xx/ACB-2620 disk preparation software (In case Adaptec wants to get rid of that stuff ...)


Control Data (CDC), Imprimis, Magnetic Peripherals

Control Data (CDC) sold it's hard drive division (Imprimis and Magnetic Peripherals) to Seagate. All Seagate ESDI drives are former CDC hard drives.
Seagate provides a conversion table for the CDC drive model numbers to Seagate drive model numbers and the model numbering system for the CDC drives.

Again Bitsavers' pdf document archive is helpful for the voluminous CDC hardware manuals:
CDC model 94156 ESDI disk drive product specification
CDC model 94156 ESDI disk drive OEM manual
CDC model 94156 ESDI disk drive harware maintenance manual
CDC model 94156 ESDI disk drive brochure
CDC model 94166 ESDI disk drive product specification
CDC model 94186 ESDI disk drive product specification
CDC model 94196 ESDI disk drive product specification
CDC model 94216 ESDI disk drive OEM manual
CDC model 94316 ESDI disk drive product specification

Somewhat less detailed information about the tested disk drives can be found on my site:
CDC model 94186-383 (=Seagate ST-4383E) ESDI disk drive quick setup
CDC model 94246-383 (=Seagate ST-2383E) ESDI disk drive quick setup
CDC model 94356-111 (=Seagate ST-1111E) ESDI disk drive quick setup


Compaq

Compaq - now Hewlett Packard - has no online support for the Deskpro 386 and it's ESDI storage. Someone outside HP rescued the Deskpro 386 Maintenance and Service Guide.
For the Deskpro 386 setup disks you will have to dig through the hp ftp server.

Information about the tested controller card can be found on my site:
Compaq 15MHz ESDI controller setup


CompuAdd

CompuAdd went out of business in 1993. A kind soul rescued the HardCache/ESDI Utility Disk and placed it on the VOGONS vintage driver library. Keep up the good work folks!

Information about the HardCache/ESDI can be found on my site:
CompuAdd HardCache/ESDI controller setup
Only in case they may go lost again, here are the HardCache/ESDI Utilities


Data Technology (DTC)

There is no online support for the DTC (now Domex) ESDI product line.

Here is the stuff I've collected over the years:
DTC 6000 series ESDI Troubleshooting Guide
DTC 6280-15T/DTC 6280-15TX quick setup
DTC 6282-24/DTC-6282-15Z quick setup
Disk preparation program and DOS driver for ISA ESDI controller
DTC 6190/DTC 6290 EISA ESDI controller manual
DTC 6195/DTC 6295 EISA ESDI controller manual
Disk preparation program for EISA ESDI controller with drivers for DOS, OS/2, NetWare, ISC Unix and SCO Unix


Distributed Processing Technology (DPT)

Adaptec, which bought DPT in 2002, gives no online support for the DPT ST506 or ESDI controller cards.

On my site you will find the:
PM3011E/75 user's manual and
DPT SmartCache utilities.


Emulex

Emulex offers no online support for it's ESDI to SCSI drive cards.

Someone rescued the MD21/S2 disk controller technical manual through the ages and put it on Bitsavers' pdf document archive.

You will find the Emulex MD21 quick setup on my site.


Everex

Everex is out of business.

You will find the Everex EV-348A quick setup on my site.


Hewlett Packard

Hewlett Packard seems to have forgotten, that it ever produced ESDI devices.

On my site you will find the HP 9754X ESDI disk drive series quick setup.


Hitachi

Long ago and forgotten, Hitachi manufactured high end ESDI hard disks.

You will find the:
Hitachi ESDI 5.25 inch disk drive performance specifications,
Hitachi DK515 specification and
Hitachi DK516 specification
on my site.


International Business Machines (IBM)

IBM sold it's disk storage division to Hitachi in 2003. Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) in turn was bougt by Western Digital in 2011. Nor IBM, neither Hitachi or Western Digital offers online support for the IBM ESDI devices.

If you look for the IBM ESDI fix disk drive adapter/a technical reference you will find it on Peter H. Wendt's MCA Mafia site as well as a description, how to make non-IBM disk drives available to that controller card.
If you follow this procedure, you can use a non-IBM ESDI hard drive in an IBM micro channel PC, but, the primary defect list, stored on the drive media, will be deleted. That, in turn, will make the drive unusable for almost any other ESDI controller card.

A less dangerous way seems to me a Novell utility called 'fmtps2', which claims to restore the primary defect list after a compsurf format. Actually, it low-level-formats the drive leaving the primary defect list intact. You find it on another great source for ancient hardware drivers, the Metropoli BBS

On my site you will find the IBM TYPE 0667-85 quick setup better known as the IBM 70MB ESDI disk drive.


Maxtor

Maxtor, bought by Seagate in 2005, sold it's ESDI product line to a company called Sequel in 1993, which in turn sold it to a company called Reset. Reset doesn't give online support for the ancient Maxtor ESDI drives.

For the XT-4000E series you can find the Product Specification and OEM Manual on bitsavers.org.

On my site you can find the Maxtor XT-8760E quick setup for PCB 1014520.


Micropolis

Micropolis went bankrupt in 1997 after it sold it's hard drive division to an other company, which in turn buried the brand and the drive production as well.

Again Bitsavers' pdf document archive is helpful for the voluminous Micropolis hardware manuals:
Micropolis 1550 series product description
Micropolis 1538 ESDI disk drive product description

Somewhat less detailed information about the tested disk drives can be found on my site:
Micropolis 1650 disk drive specification
Micropolis 1660 disk drive specification
Micropolis 1538 disk drive specification
Micropolis 1558 disk drive specification
Micropolis 1568 disk drive specification


National Computer (NCL)

NCL seems to be out of business.

You will find the NCL 5355 quick setup on my site.


Nippon Electric Company (NEC)

NEC offers limited online support for it's ESDI hard disks:
NEC D3661 hard drive
NEC D5655 hard drive

Somewhat more detailed information about the tested hard disks can be found on my site:
NEC D3661 specification
NEC D5655 specification


Perceptive Solutions (PSI)

PSI seems to be out of business.

You will find the:
hyperSTORE 1600 user's guide
hyperSTORE 816 / hyperSTORE 1600 setup utility
on my site.


Scientific Micro Systems (SMS)

SMS seems to be out of business.

Again Bitsavers' pdf document archive is a source for ancient hardware manuals:
OMTI 8640 technical reference manual
IBM PC AT intelligent data controllers reference manual

Another source is Manx, a catalog of manuals for old computers. Here you find the
OMTI 7X00-3500 reference manual.

Somewhat less detailed information about the tested controller and drive card can be found on my site:
OMTI 7200 ESDI to SCSI drive card quick setup
OMTI 8620 ESDI controller installation guide


Seagate

Seagate offers online support for their ESDI drives (if you know, where to look):
data sheets for all Seagate ESDI hard drives
how to interpret Seagate model numbers
conversion chart for CDC/Imprimis model numbers to Seagate model numbers
SGATFMT4.EXE v4.0 - Seagate Format drive utility
SGATFMT4 may be used together with Seagate ESDI drives, if the controller has no on-board BIOS chip or the BIOS is disabled. Media defects have to be entered manually. As a prerequisite, the system BIOS has to offer a user definable drive type.

For more information about the tested Seagate drives look in the CDC section.


Ultrastor

Ultrastor went bankrupt in 1995. Since then some enthusiasts from the University of California, Irvine host the unauthorized Ultrastor support page.

I can add:
ULTRA 12C caching ESDI controller installation manual
ULTRA 12F ESDI controller installation manual
ULTRA 12F24 ESDI controller installation manual
ULTRA 22C caching EISA ESDI controller quick setup
ULTRA 22CA caching EISA ESDI controller reference manual
ULTRA 22X EISA configuration files, EISA driver for DOS, OS/2, NetWare, SCO UNIX, AT&T UNIX, Interactive UNIX
Ultrastor frequently asked questions and answers


Western Digital

Western Digital ceased online support for the ESDI controller product line.

On my site you can find:
Western Digital WD1005-WAH quick setup
Western Digital WD1007V-SE1/SE2 installation guide
Western Digital WD1009V-SE2 installation guide
WD1009V EISA configuration file, WD1007V-MC1 micro channel adapter definition file, WD1007V-MC1 low-level formatter, and low-level formatter for Western Digital AT-bus controller cards


Hard Disk Maintenance Software

During the operation time of hard drives, additional media defects may emerge. In order to keep the drive in an operational state, it is very comfortable to have a software solution for a nondestructive surface analysis. For that purpose I prefer SpinRite from Steve Gibson. It's possible to revive seemingly defect drives, particularly ESDI or ST506/412. You can find the SpinRite 5 manual on Steve Gibson's web site.


Hard Disk Preparation Software

ESDI hard disks should be low-level formatted with the controller card BIOS program or with the manufacturer's setup software. This leads to the following advantages
* automatic defect management,
* access to the drive geometry translation capability of the controller card,
* access to several advanced controller card features, like head skew and cylinder skew,
* usually the whole drive storage space is accessible for the user.

General hard disk preparation software for a low-level-format is only useful, if the ESDI controller card has no on-board BIOS and the drive's defect list is at hand.

In contrast, the high level format features of the drive preparation software, like e.g. drive partitioning, are very helpful. If you decide for 3rd party software for drive preparation ask you favorite search engine for:
*DiskManager from Ontrack
*DrivePro from MicroHouse
*SpeedStor from Storage Dimensions
Have a look at Ontrack's Questions and Answers on ESDI drives and learn about the hair-raising difficulties a systems integrator may run into if he has to install a NetWare 286 realease on ESDI hardware. For more information about SpeedStore you may consult the SpeedStor software technical reference guide on my site.



If you like, you can move on to the second part, containing the benchmark section with the test setup and the benchmark results.



Table of Content

Setup and Benchmarks of Several ESDI Hard Disks and Controller Cards
Project Introduction

Part 1: ESDI Hardware Setup and System Integration
Tested Hard Drives and General Drive Setup
Tested Controller Cards and General Controller Card Setup
Controller Card and Drive Cabling
System Integration and Manufacturer Specific Setup
Resources, Setup Utilities and Software Driver
ESDI Troubleshooting

Part 2: ESDI Benchmark Tests
Test Setup and Results - 10MHz Systems
Results - 15MHz Systems
Results - 20MHz Systems
Results - 23MHz System
Result - 24MHz System and Conclusions

back to project list

© 2016 Wolfgang Gehl