The IBM 5170 was a bare-bones machine with 256K of RAM, a 1.2-megabyte floppy drive, and a serial/parallel card. This machine was a relic of IBM’s golden age. But its production was short-lived, and it also marked the start of the end for the company. The following is a breakdown of the most noteworthy features of the 5170.
If you’ve been experiencing problems with the hard drive of your IBM 5170 system unit, you’re not alone. Many IBM users experience problems with their system after a hard drive fails to load and fails to boot. This error usually indicates a faulty hard drive controller card. The first step to solving the problem is to check the hard drive controller card’s jumper settings. Unfortunately, these settings can be difficult to identify without assistance, so you’ll need to perform a little research before you attempt the fix.
The IBM 5170 system unit has two fixed disk drives that can be used on the same computer. One drive is a half-high, dual-sided drive with 320/360Kb capacity. The other is a standard fixed disk and diskette drive adapter. The 80287 drive supports Intel’s 8087 Math Co-Pro processor and is based on IEEE Floating Point Standard. This feature is ideal for applications that require high-performance numeric processing.
To expand the memory, you can install the 128Kb Memory Expansion Option in the IBM 5170 system unit. This upgrade kit contains 18 modules and must be installed on a 5170 Model 68. It allows you to add up to three megabytes of primary storage. The memory in the Model 68 has the same performance characteristics as the RAM in the 5170. Therefore, when the upgrade kit is installed on an IBM 5170, it works like any other memory in the system.
IBM 5170 is a type of personal computer that first came out in 1984. It featured an Intel 80286 processor and was launched in 1984. Its successors were called the PC and the XT. The 5170 added new features, including 16-bit expansion slots. The IBM 5170 was a huge hit among people who wanted to use a personal computer. There is a diskette program designed specifically for this machine called Exploring the IBM 5170, which takes one to two hours to complete.
The IBM 5170’s POST routine asks the hard disk controller card to perform an internal diagnostic. If the hard drive does not respond after about a minute, the system will display the error 1782. The hard disk controller card may not be properly seated, have dirty edge connectors, or be installed in the wrong slot. You should check the motherboard and its components, including the hard drive, to troubleshoot this issue.
The IBM 5170 is equipped with a high-capacity 1.2Mb diskette drive, enhanced keyboard, and ROM-based BASIC language. It also has a fixed 20Mb disk drive, serial (asynchronous)/parallel (printer) adapter, and two option slots. The Model 5170 can support up to 512Kb of memory. It can be further expanded to 3Mb memory by purchasing a Model 68 or Model 99.
The IBM 5170 is compatible with other IBM hardware and software products. Both models include a 1.2Mb High Capacity Diskette Drive, which can read up to three hundred and sixty-five kilobyte diskettes. It can also support up to five prototype adapters in one system unit. Each prototype adapter requires a 16-bit expansion slot. As a result, the IBM 5170 is a highly efficient, reliable computer.
IBM 5170 computers are compatible with IBM Operating System/2 and DOS versions 1.0 to 6.22. IBM PC DOS 3.0 was released by default with the 5170. Later, it was compatible with Novell, Caldera, and DR-DOS 7.0x. However, IBM did not release a 64-bit version of this operating system; therefore, the 5170 had no expansion port. Instead, the IBM 5170 has a built-in printer.
Memory expansion option
IBM’s memory expansion option for the IBM 5170 is a RAM card. This card offers up to two megabytes of extended memory and has four banks of 512 KB RAM. RAM chips are type 41256 and have a 150-ns access time. The RAM cards also include a serial and parallel port and are sold with an information sheet, presentation guide, and foils. In addition, you can use a SIMM with an IBM 5170 to increase its memory capacity.
If you want to use a memory expansion card with your IBM 5170, you’ll have to configure your motherboard to support it. First, make sure the display/video switch SW1 is in the front. Otherwise, the card will be treated as a CGA card. For more information, see John Elliott’s website, and read the technical document and announcement letter from IBM. In addition, some people have reported that CheckIt diagnostic software reports false errors when the VGA display is attached.
Then, IBM rolled out a new expansion slot standard. This way, third-party manufacturers could sell their own expansion cards. IBM rejected existing options such as Multibus, as they didn’t have a DMA channel or 8 IRQ lines. In addition, IBM was unwilling to pay royalties to Intel for reselling its cards. As a result, third-party developers had a wide range of configurable resources available. Third-party cards often had many DIP switches and Jumpers to configure various parameters, such as memory address ranges, I/O ports, and IRQs.
The IBM 5170 had two different versions. The original model was released in 1981, followed by a refresh in 1983. The IBM PC used the Intel 80286 microprocessor. This version of the IBM PC also supported a math co-processor chip called the Intel 80287, which gave it higher floating-point processing speeds. It also supported a video card. Memory expansion was available in many models.
3.5-inch disk drive
The IBM 5170 3.5-inch disk drive supports 1.44M drives, and the floppy controller can read and write 720K diskettes. More information about the drive can be found here. The 5170 is available from 1984 to 1986. The floppy controller is designed to work with IBM’s PC/AT operating systems. Its floppy controller supports the following file systems: NTFS, FAT32, and CP/M.
The IBM 5170 has a motherboard that supports 360K drives, but you can also use a floppy drive of any size. Its BIOS also supports 360K drives. After you have installed the drive, install it in your IBM 5170. Follow the instructions on the diskette holder to connect it to your computer. Be sure to insert the floppy disk into the holder.
The IBM 5170 has a built-in 3.5-inch disk drive, which makes it usable and convenient for multimedia and other tasks. In addition, the machine comes with a VGA video card and a Model M keyboard, which looks similar to the PS/2 version. However, it still lacks the CMOS battery and switches on the motherboard. Because the motherboard lacks power, the IBM 5170 requires an external battery to power its memory and save setup programs.
The ultimate IBM 5170 will feature as many original IBM parts as possible. The earlier ones are less usable than later ones, and parts from different generations may cause compatibility problems. You should avoid combining parts from the first two generations and use a different model if possible. You can also look for a different disk drive model. If you are not sure, consider buying a used one instead.
The IBM 5170 CGA monitor is a comparatively inexpensive CGA display monitor. The monitor was released in 1984 and featured a resolution of 40×25 characters in up to 16 colors, with each character made up of eight dots. The effective resolution of the monitor was 320×200 pixels, though individual pixels could not be addressed independently. The CGA monitor also had a total video memory of 16384 bytes, but its BIOS-initiated video modes did not fully utilize the CGA card’s total video memory. Manual mode setup requires CGA port writes, and the result is a full-screen resolution of 16384 bytes.
The CGA card is backward compatible with CGA monitors. In CGA mode, the monitor has a single D-subminiature connector. The monitor also features a DIP switch for selecting the monitor type. The CGA monitor supports 320×200 or 640×350 resolutions, while EGA displays the same resolution at a lower resolution. Moreover, EGA monitors support a wide range of resolutions, ranging from 16×14 to 640×350.
The IBM 5170 card is not a switch block and thus is not compatible with VGA displays. Instead, the card behaves like a CGA card but has an integrated video chip. The IBM 5170 card also has a technical document and announcement letter on its website. One important thing to note when installing the IBM 5170 card is that its setup program is not always compatible with the latest versions of floppy disks. You can download SETUP for this.
Another popular model of the 5170 was the 5175. This model was priced competitively with CAD workstations. Though clones were produced, the 5175 never gained much software support. The 5175 CGA monitor used a dedicated graphics card. Nevertheless, it could be easily converted to work with VGA. In addition, there were surplus units available through closeout dealers. They were compatible with other IBM monitor models, but it was unlikely to work with an IBM 5170 CGA monitor.