Legacy PS/2 FAQ

Important: This FAQ is not necessarily up-to-date. Please refer to the respective sections of the Ardent Tool website or check the CSIPH newsgroup when in doubt.

Version: 5.6+ (based on Alkemyst's version 5.5, updated and integrated with the Ardent Tool)

   Christopher Feeny <Alkemyst>
   Louis Ohland <The God Emperor of Micro Channel>
   Tomáš Slavotínek <Major Tom>

Table of Contents

S) 1.0: Introduction
Q) 1.1What does this FAQ cover and how do I use this FAQ?
Q) 1.2What are the different PS/2s and their features?
Q) 1.2aWhat are the different Processor Complexes and their features?
Q) 1.3What are the IBM brand MCA cards?
Q) 1.4Where do I get a Reference Disk for my PS/2?
Q) 1.4aWhere can I get a Reference Disk for my non-IBM MCA System?
Q) 1.5Which file does what on my Reference Disk?
Q) 1.6What does the Reference Disk do?
Q) 1.7Accessing the Advanced Diagnostics
Q) 1.8Why can't I copy my Reference Disk, I want to make a backup?
Q) 1.9I got the Reference Disk, but now it is saying I need an Option
Diskette/or giving me a 165 error at POST...What are Option
Diskettes and Where do I get them?
Q) 1.10I got the Option Diskette, but the Refdisk is telling me no option files can be found, What am I doing wrong?
Q) 1.10aI copied the option's ADF to the refdisk, but Setup can't find it!
Q) 1.11I bought my PS/2 second hand who can I get tech support from?
Q) 1.12IBM tech. support says they do not know my answer now what?
Q) 1.13Where can I find support on the internet?
Q) 1.14How do I tell what an IBM MCA card with no labeling is?
S) 2.0: Motherboards (Planars)
Q) 2.1Where can I find a PS/2 motherboard?
Q) 2.2Instead of a 'stock', can I get a more advanced board?
Q) 2.3Will a standard motherboard work in a PS/2?
Q) 2.4What planars come with cache and are more recent.
Q) 2.5 Which planars allow/prohibit additional on-board memory?
Q) 2.6Can I use normal 72-pin SIMMs?  30-pin SIMMs?
Q) 2.7How do I tell the speed of the SIMMs I have on my planar?
Q) 2.8What speed SIMMs do I need?
Q) 2.9How good is MCA and what does it offer?
Q) 2.10Which is better, ISA/EISA/VLB/PCI/etc?
Q) 2.11Will an ISA card work in an MCA (PS/2) machine?
Q) 2.12How do I enter the CMOS configuration menu?
Q) 2.13What is bus mastering anyway?
S) 3.0: IO controllers/interfaces
Q) 3.1How do IDE/MFM/RLL/ESDI/SCSI interfaces work?
Q) 3.2How can I tell if I have MFM/RLL/ESDI/IDE/SCSI?
Q) 3.3Why won't my two hard drives work together?
Q) 3.4How do I install a second controller?
Q) 3.4aSecond IBM controller dumps W9x into MS-DOS mode!
Q) 3.5Which is better, SCSI or IDE or ESDI?
Q) 3.6Can MFM/RLL/ESDI/IDE and SCSI coexist?
Q) 3.6aCan I use an IDE controller in my 85 / 90 / 95?
Q) 3.7Difference between SCSI and SCSI-2.
Q) 3.7aCommon transfer rates of MCA SCSI Controllers
Q) 3.8Can I use a non-IBM ESDI in a PS/2?
Q) 3.8aCan I use an AS/400 drive?
Q) 3.9Do I need a reference disk for my SCSI drive?
Q) 3.10What is a 16550UART and do I need one?
Q) 3.11Should I buy an internal or external modem?
Q) 3.12What kinds of sound cards are available?
Q) 3.13Can I run both a SoundBlaster and the Audiovation/A?
Q) 3.14Can I fake a keyboard so my computer will boot without it?
S) 4.0: Upgrading Processor/Coprocessor/Disks/Video/CDROM
Q) 4.1Don't have money for a new computer or planar, what can  I do?
Q) 4.2What are the Benchmarks for the Processor Upgrades?
Q) 4.3Which Math Co-Processor do I use?
Q) 4.4Can I replace my slow stock HD with a faster and larger one?
Q) 4.5Can I add a second FD and what type will work with my PS/2?
Q) 4.5aWhat is the Third floppy connector for?
Q) 4.5bWill the * floppy drives damage my floppy controller?
Q) 4.6Is there an SVGA option for PS/2s?
Q) 4.7How can I add a CD-ROM to my PS/2?
Q) 4.7aJumper Settings for a CD Rom
Q) 4.7bInstalling DOS/W9x on a CD Rom w/IBM SCSI Controller
Q) 4.8How can I build a Multimedia PS/2?
Q) 4.9How can I get sound effects in DOOM?
Q) 4.10Upgrading a Model 90/95 to Pentium 180/200MMX.
S) 5.0: Adding System and Cache memory
Q) 5.1How do I add memory to my PS/2 off the motherboard?
Q) 5.2How do I add cache memory to my PS/2?
Q) 5.2aAdd up to 2MB of cace to the SCSI w/cache Adapter /A?
Q) 5.2bI added 1MB SIMMs to the SCSI w/cache, now it shows 0KB!
Q) 5.3Can I use 4MB SIMMs when 1 or 2MB SIMMs are listed?
Q) 5.4 Who has memory the cheapest?
Q) 5.5Is there a way to identify a PS/2 RAM card or SIMM?
Q) 5.6What is the ECC memory options on some of the newer PS/2s?
Q) 5.6aWhat is this setting for ECC-P for on my 9585 (all models)?
Q) 5.7What cache size do I have/can upgrade to?
S) 6.0: Diagnostics
Q) 6.1What do the POST beeps mean?
Q) 6.2What do the POST codes mean?
Q) 6.2aWhat do the CP codes mean?
Q) 6.3How can a system boot OK , but the refdisk reports errors?
Q) 6.4How can I *REALLY* find out if these errors are just bogus?
Q) 6.5OK I got a problem, who can I get to fix it?
Q) 6.6What are the wrap plugs the refdisk sometimes refers too?
S) 7.0: Misc
Q) 7.1What is the pin out for ...?
Q) 7.2What is the special SCSI connector by IBM?
Q) 7.2aMaking a SCSI Cable for an IBM 50 pin edgecard internal port
Q) 7.2bMaking a Fast/Wide SCSI Cable for the IBM F/W SCSI Adapter
Q) 7.3Where are benchmark programs located. What do they mean?
S) 8.0: Operating Systems (OS)
Q) 8.1Can I run UNIX on my PS/2? Which UNIX variety works?
Q) 8.2Why won't certain UNIXs run on my PS/2?
Q) 8.3What is better for the PS/2, MSDOS or PCDOS?
Q) 8.4Can I run Windows?  What would I need?
Q) 8.5Can I run Win95/98? What would I need?
Q) 8.5a(1)Can I run Win98? What would I need?
Q) 8.5aBlank Screen Under MS-DOS Mode
Q) 8.5bCan't See >16MB or >64MB  Under W95
Q) 8.5cW95 Does Not See IDE Controller on MCA System
Q) 8.6Can I run Linux now?
S) 9.0 References
Q) 9.1 Who makes upgrades for a PS/2 computer (company phone #'s)
Q) 9.2 Is there automated FAX help available?
Appendix A: MCA Brand Card and Part Listing
Appendix B: IBM Reference Diskette Listing
App B.1Starter/Reference Disks
App B.2Diagnostic Disks
App B.3Microcode Update Disks
App B.4Option Disks
App B.5Driver Disks
App B.6ADF Files
Appendix C: ADF Modification for dual SB and Audiovation/A use
Appendix D: Error Codes
Appendix E: Pinouts
Appendix F: PS/2 Sound Cards

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis F. Ohland, Peter H. Wendt, David L. Beem, William R. Walsh, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Tomáš Slavotínek, Jim Shorney, Tim N. Clarke, Kevin Bowling, and many others.

Ardent Tool of Capitalism is maintained by Tomáš Slavotínek.
Last update: 08 May 2024 - Changelog | About | Legal & Contact