Atari 520 STE memory problem

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athensnet
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Atari 520 STE memory problem

Postby athensnet » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:58 pm

I have for long time this atari 520 ste and from the begining had problems running. It was booting and then was crashing with bombs.
A friend of mine checked and he though that it was the 68000 and we change it with this one MC68HC000FN8.
Now it loads games and running them. But i tried cosmosex and despite the fact that is booting (ppera driver) every time I am trying to load something it says there is not enough memory. By the way the atari ls upgraded to 4 MB memory.
I had enough and wanted to get rid of it but today running SYSInfo the program recognize that the machine has 4 MB but just 276 K free as below : https://www.dropbox.com/s/zoryagnby36w1gt/IMG_20190224_160808.jpg?dl=0
so it is true that there is not enough memory.
I have tried also with 4 simms of 256 K to make it 1 MB but still the same problem.
What might be the problem?

**Edited by mod: Sorry, but I just had to fix that annoying smelling pistake in the subject line... // Greenious**

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby 6BQ5 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:57 pm

That does look very strange!

Have you tried running a memory tester like YAART? It's a small program called "Yet Another RAM Tester" or something cute like that. You may find some of your memory is faulty or perhaps there is poor contact between the SIMMs and the sockets. So, you may have 4 MB of RAM installed but only 1 MB or less is actually usable and available. Be sure to start with a clean boot. No accessories or programs in an AUTO folder.

Don't give up yet! :)

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby evil » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:55 pm

athensnet wrote:Now it loads games and running them. But i tried cosmosex and despite the fact that is booting (ppera driver) every time I am trying to load something it says there is not enough memory. By the way the atari ls upgraded to 4 MB memory.


It looks like a software issue,sysinfo finds 4MB memory but PHYSTOP is set to $80000 which is 512k, on a 4MB machine it should be $400000.

If you run sysinfo from floppydisk with the 'sex disconnected, will it show PHYSTOP as $400000? If it does, look if you run anything from auto or acc on the 'sex. If not, I'd get rid of the ppera driver, which has a bad reputation anyways. Hddriver is worth it's money.

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby athensnet » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:24 pm

Thank you for the info.
Please not that I am running Sysinfo from floppy no cosmos ex connected
will try to make a floppy with YAART

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby 6BQ5 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:06 am

You can download a demo version of the HDDRIVER software to see if your machine behaves differently with it. The demo version still lets you mount the drives. I think advanced functions like partitioning, reformatting, etc are greyed out.

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby spiny » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:31 am

evil wrote:
athensnet wrote:Now it loads games and running them. But i tried cosmosex and despite the fact that is booting (ppera driver) every time I am trying to load something it says there is not enough memory. By the way the atari ls upgraded to 4 MB memory.


It looks like a software issue,sysinfo finds 4MB memory but PHYSTOP is set to $80000 which is 512k, on a 4MB machine it should be $400000.

If you run sysinfo from floppydisk with the 'sex disconnected, will it show PHYSTOP as $400000? If it does, look if you run anything from auto or acc on the 'sex. If not, I'd get rid of the ppera driver, which has a bad reputation anyways. Hddriver is worth it's money.


What evil has spotted might be the cause, how was the RAM upgrade done ? Has the onboard RAM been disabled ?

edit: ignore that ^ it's early and i totally missed that this is an STe :D

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby Arne » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:41 am

spiny wrote:Has the onboard RAM been disabled ?

LOL :mrgreen: YMMD

Have you read the headline?
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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby joska » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:45 am

athensnet wrote:Please not that I am running Sysinfo from floppy no cosmos ex connected


What else is on that floppy?

Your Sysinfo screenshot shows that TOS has detected and enabled 4Mb of RAM, but the amount of RAM available to the OS has been restricted to 512Kb. This is normally done by some AUTO-folder program (I've also seen bootsector-code that does this) to fool badly written software that get confused with more RAM than expected.

Try booting your STE with no floppy inserted and no CosmosEx connected. Insert your Sysinfo floppy when the desktop appears and run Sysinfo again.
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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby athensnet » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:05 am

The floppy has no Auto folder on it it is just the SySInfo program. And yes I have tried to boot with no floppy and then to insert this floppy but still the same problem.
By reading in the forum and outside in the internert people are talking about other subsustems that can be faulty. is this a case to check it out?
I have ordered a Diagnostic cart as well.

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby spiny » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:39 am

Arne wrote:
spiny wrote:Has the onboard RAM been disabled ?

LOL :mrgreen: YMMD

Have you read the headline?



I'm an idiot :D

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby joska » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:44 am

athensnet wrote:The floppy has no Auto folder on it it is just the SySInfo program. And yes I have tried to boot with no floppy and then to insert this floppy but still the same problem.


Strange... Maybe parts of the RAM has failed a RAM-test during boot, but to be honest I don't know if TOS 1.62 does any RAM-checks. It could be something really simple like corrosion on the SIMMs or SIMM sockets. Try to remove and re-insert the SIMMs and see what happens.
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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby athensnet » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:31 pm

Dear Friends I have tested the bloody machine again.
YAART made almost 100 passes and found zero (0) errors.
Obviously is looking only the 500 KB.
Open checked the sims tried to see any damage or corrosion but at least to my eyes nothing.
Is there anything else that can check the psysical memory?

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby Greenious » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:12 am

athensnet wrote:The floppy has no Auto folder on it it is just the SySInfo program. And yes I have tried to boot with no floppy and then to insert this floppy but still the same problem.
By reading in the forum and outside in the internert people are talking about other subsustems that can be faulty. is this a case to check it out?
I have ordered a Diagnostic cart as well.


I doubt that this is a hardware issue, I think evil, joska is correct. TOS do not limit ram use by itself, and TOS 1.x does not do any other ram checks other than checking how much ram there is, and configure the hardware, and itself, accordingly.

TOS ram settings survive a simple reset. you need to coldboot to be sure, did you do that?

Turn on the STE with no floppy or hdd connected. wait for desktop, insert floppy with sysinfo, run sysinfo. I suspect it will show a different result, and you got a bootsector and/or software that is messing with you.
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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby czietz » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:08 am

athensnet wrote:Dear Friends I have tested the bloody machine again.
YAART made almost 100 passes and found zero (0) errors.
Obviously is looking only the 500 KB.
Open checked the sims tried to see any damage or corrosion but at least to my eyes nothing.
Is there anything else that can check the psysical memory?


If you want to see if the upper 512kB (invisible to TOS in your machine) are defective, here's a neat trick. Use YAARTTT.TOS (not YAART.TOS which is normally preferred on a STE). After start, at the prompt that asks for S or T (for ST- or TT-RAM), press M instead to unlock a (semi-)hidden mode. YAARTTT will ask you for the memory range to test. Enter 080000 as start address and 0FFFFF as end address and it'll test the upper 512k bank.

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby joska » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:36 am

Greenious wrote:Turn on the STE with no floppy or hdd connected. wait for desktop, insert floppy with sysinfo, run sysinfo. I suspect it will show a different result, and you got a bootsector and/or software that is messing with you.


He has already tried this, same result.
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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby athensnet » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:00 am

czietz wrote:If you want to see if the upper 512kB (invisible to TOS in your machine) are defective, here's a neat trick. Use YAARTTT.TOS (not YAART.TOS which is normally preferred on a STE). After start, at the prompt that asks for S or T (for ST- or TT-RAM), press M instead to unlock a (semi-)hidden mode. YAARTTT will ask you for the memory range to test. Enter 080000 as start address and 0FFFFF as end address and it'll test the upper 512k bank.

Let me try this. I hope this will reveal something.

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby czietz » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:21 pm

PS: Sorry, for some reason I was thinking that your machine only had 1 MB. In order to test everything above 512k and up to 4 MB, please use 3FFFFF as end address within YAARTTT.TOS.

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby drazencro » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:34 pm

Hi
Solution of your problem can be simple or not..but from start i think replacing MC68000 is something i never did and i cant remember that i ever burned 1...and i molested so many Ataris...
You have strange unfortunate combination ..its crippled STe..french old TOS ..30 year old machine

Try this :i recall that small util after 20 year i think
POOLFIX3

Description: There is a rare bug in Rainbow TOS (1.4) and STe TOS (1.6) involving the way GEMDOS handles its internal memory. You probably have never seen this bug, and if you use this patch program, you never will.

Version: ???
Language: English English
Link: poolfx92.zip
[url][https://sites.google.com/site/stessential/home/all-software/poolfx92.zip?attredirects=0/url]
When you swap processor you need secure it with retainer and be shure all pins are ok..try check with instrument connection
from pins on chip to some distant spot on motherboard..
When you insert new simms..after 30 years theres lots of dust in slots ...+ check your PSU...all old PSU are on edge of
lifetime and need to be replaced
...if this has no results try make more photos and post here...

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby drazencro » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:52 pm

Hi

try this

https://sites.google.com/site/stessential/tos-patches

POOLFIX3

Description: There is a rare bug in Rainbow TOS (1.4) and STe TOS (1.6) involving the way GEMDOS handles its internal memory. You probably have never seen this bug, and if you use this patch program, you never will.

Version: ???
Language: English English
Link: poolfx92.zip [urlhttps://sites.google.com/site/stessential/home/all-software/poolfx92.zip?attredirects=0][/url]

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby Greenious » Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:26 am

Could post pictures of the simms you are using? Are they identical? Mixed types? pairing them correctly?

Pairs go in socket 1&3 and 2&4 respectively.

Can you test all the simms, 2 at a time, inserting them in simm slot 1 & 3, and tell us what sysinfo says?

I suspect that you may be using simms that are of a different size than you think. STE can use 256kb or 1mb simms, using other size simms, or mixing them can cause some unpredictable behaviour, and I suspect that it may be the case here. Contrary to what I said earlier, MMU initialisation and TOS figuring out available ram are 2 different processes. We, and sysinfo, are just assuming that certain MMU values means that we got 2 2mb banks, when in reality, it is a little bit more complicated than that.
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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby Greenious » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:20 pm

MMU initialisation is done by first setting it at 2mb + 2mb ram configuration, and then writing a 512 byte pattern starting at adress $408. However, depending on actually installed memory, this pattern can actually end up at a different memory location. ($208 for 512kb ram, $8 for 128kb ram) After finding out where in ram the pattern ended up, it decides the configuration of the bank, and it then repeats this for the second bank ($200408) and configures the MMU accordingly. (mmu setting is thus more of a "ram width" setting, rather than actual size, even though it's closely related and generally speaking, just semantics)

TOS then figures out actual ram. It does this by testing the memory at intervals, when it fails, it sets phystop accordingly.

The MMU got some quirks, it's designed to handle 2 banks of equal size, or with one bank empty. Although you can actually have 2.5mb RAM, it only works if you put 2mb in the first bank, otherwise you end up with only 512kb, when the second bank shows up at the 2-4mb ram location, leaving the 512kb-2mb area without ram, which TOS is unable to handle, and it will only show 512kb ram.

That's why I am curious about how sysinfo reports your ram, as you test each pair of simms as I asked above. If it always report a 2mb bank regardless of simms, you mmu may be broken, or, more unlikely, 2 adresslines (likely the 2 highest ones) could be shorted together making all simms look like 1mb to the mmu, but then I don't think you STE would work at all, or.... is it possible? anyone else having any thoughts about this possible scenario?
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viewtopic.php?t=5040

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby Greenious » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:34 pm

or one adress line from the mmu is broken or not connected... 9 is needed for 512k to work, 10 for 2mb. But how in a way that the bank is recognised as 2mb, yet with 512kb working?
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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby athensnet » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:50 pm

Thank you guys for your thinking.
I am not home to do all these tests but after Monday I will try all ideas.
I have tried already putting 1,3 only and the STe had black screen if my memory is correct.
On the other side all simms are the same.
Mistake ARE NOT THE SAME
I bought them form here http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?90 ... ari-ST-STE has photos inside

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby drazencro » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:48 pm

Hi

Cant see from picture you posted but whats important is that ram has same speed 60 ns minimum 70 ns ideal...
same manufacturer..
Cant figure why you buy that online..we used to pull that from old 386-486 PCs ..its best if you can find some dump
or army surplus and they should be cheap.
If at end this is software issue i guess it is related with French TOS...at 1990-92 you could easy swap 4 MB RAM for 50 Euros
but if they ( regional ATARI dealer -- probably was 1 for every country ) limited it as original 520 STE they could gain more money as official dealer by swaping-reprogramming TOS and RAM at same time---lots of TOS was in EPROM form at that ages.

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Re: Atrai 520 ste memory problem

Postby Greenious » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:10 am

Keep in mind the simm sockets are numbered from the back, so the socket closest to the back is number one. 1&3 is bank 0.

Pairs should be matching simms, ideally all 4 should be the same, but I have used 4 different simms in the same machine and it worked fine, and I've come across STE's where people mistakenly used socket 1&2 for one pair of simms, and 3&4 for another pair, and that worked fine aswell, so... I would say it's only a problem if it actually is a problem...

Speed needs to be 120ns or faster. It's usually not a problem since slower simms are not very common. Although there's no benefit in having faster simms, it's not something that is known to cause any problems either.

I see on the picture that your simms are 9 chips, which means they got parity. Personally I've never had any problems with parity simms, but some people have claimed that they had problems with them, so it's worth considering. It's easy to just remove the parity chip from the simm though, but please wait with that until we finished testing, since I doubt that that is the problem.

In short, my STEs has worked with just about every (working) 256kb/1mb simm I've thrown at them. It's a very forgiving machine. :)

After you've done some tests using only 2 simms and we can see how sysinfo reports the banksize(s), we'll see how we can move on to solve this problem.

Oh, one thing I would do, if you haven't already, is to comletely remove the motherboard and make sure there are no objects that got between the underside and the shielding that could be causing the problems.
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