DT310 IDE Problems

DT310 IDE Problems

Postby nipash » Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:48 pm

Hello, I bought a DT Research DT310 with Windows XP Embedded off of shopgoodwill recently. It has been working fine for several days and I have been able to boot it up, mess around with XPE and adjust buttons, wireless, etc... Apparently it was used by some medical clinic. Anyway, without me making any modifications or anything, the other day it just decided to freeze when it tried to boot from hard disk. It just hangs at the "booting from a hard disk" message indefinitely. So, I tried messing around with BIOS settings (that didn't work), or using active@killdisk to scan the drives (didn't detect them), or booting into a live cd (looped indefinitely) and opening up the device and checking connections (that also didn't work). And, to further frustrate me, after all this I reset to default bios settings and now it doesn't even detect the drive let alone try to boot from it. For even more frustration, now whenever I try to boot from USB I get: "checking for external IDE controller". So I can't use a usb rescue, or a cd resue or boot from a floppy, so I'm stuck. Obviously there is something wrong with the IDE controller for the Apacer PATA drive, any assistance?

EDIT: Ok, after some experimenting I've been able to get some information about the computer:

Model Number: DT310LX
CPU: AMD Geode LX800
RAM: Generic Xilinix 512mb (6 modules)
HDD: Apacer 1gb IDE SSD model no. AP-FM1024AL0C5G-NJ
ROM: Removable Phoenix Technology ROM Chip
BIOS: Version 1.0.1

The Apacer SSD is set to dual boot with Grub with one partition being Linux for updates and one being Windows XP Embedded with all the drivers, etc... The computer did boot up fine but then after a while started to not detect a boot device, or any external floppies, cd's or flash drives. So, I poked around inside and eventually reasoned that maybe the button cell battery that provided power to hold the BIOS info in memory was out (since I couldn't save changes to the BIOS without them going away next boot up). So, I replaced that and apparently, since I took it out for around 2 seconds now the entire BIOS is wiped, so I just get nothing when it boots up. So, my question is, does anybody know of a way to actually get a replacement BIOS and reflash it? If I could get it working I would gladly provide all of my drivers for the DT310 for anyone in need.

EDIT 2: For some strange reason, it decided to start working this morning, but now I am still having the same problem as before. I was able to get some more information from the BIOS:

Model: Dt Research DT310LX
SSD: Apacer 1gb IDE SSD model no. AP-FM1024AL0C5G-NJ
RAM: Xilinix 512mb (6 modules)
BIOS: Version 1.03.11 built on 02/23/2009

Again, I'm still getting the "cannot find boot device" message when it boots up. I've tried everything, but the computer just does not seem to detect the SSD. However, If I yank the SSD out and plug it back in just as the computer tries to detect it, then it tries to boot from it but fails. Would this be a problem with the on the ssd itself, a problem with the connector, or something else?
Last edited by nipash on Sun May 01, 2011 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DT310 IDE Problems

Postby Dave7341 » Thu May 19, 2011 3:18 pm

Have you resolved this?  If it's broken, I could use the parts to repair another one if you want to get rid of it.

Let me know via PM.

Thanks.  -Dave
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Re: DT310 IDE Problems

Postby quotaholic » Sat May 21, 2011 11:45 am

Foxx is the only member here who has made mention of owning a bios flashing rig. The hard part will be finding a bios for the 310. I may be able to ask around to a few people who are not active here any longer to see if they can be of help. As it is an newer unit than what most of us have I am very curious about your dual booting setup and would like to support getting that thing back on its feet so that we all may be able to learn more. I'll send a pm to Foxx to see if he is still kicking. Its been a while since he has been around here. If he is still around I will try to find the 310 bios too.

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Re: DT310 IDE Problems

Postby Dave7341 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:49 am

Do you have a 1.8" drive installed as DRIVE2?  Is it loose?  Have you checked the BIOS backup battery?  You can get a replacement at Radio Shack or anyplace that sells those little button batteries.  The button battery is a CR1220.  The 310 comes apart easily so it's an easy job to replace the battery.

My 310s has the same 4 partition setup - that's the stock setup from DTRI.  The 366 and 360 also have this 'stock' setup.  I have one 310 with a 1gb flash and it has Win XPe and the other with a 4gb flash drive and it runs Win XP Tablet Edition.  The Linux partition is used to update the OS and to update the BIOS firmware from a USB drive.

-Dave
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Re: DT310 IDE Problems

Postby nipash » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:27 pm

Sorry for the long delay for the reply, I just about had it with this stupid computer and decided to take a break. But just the other day I took it out again and tried some things. It seems that there is a problem with the built-in 1.8" IDE interface since other drives (that I retrofitted with the wierd connector) I try seem to fail in the same fashion. Maybe that's why it was given to goodwill? So I've decided to bypass the issue and just get a Toshiba 1.8-In Mini HDD that plugs into the built in 1.8" 50-pin connector. Anyone who has a DT310 should do this because the built in drive is unreliable and replacements are near-impossible to find. So does anyone have the default image? Mine is lost forever (because the 1.8" IDE DOM SSD has ceased to function) but I do have the button manager software that I managed to back up before it crashed if it is of any use to anyone.
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Re: DT310 IDE Problems

Postby Dave7341 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:22 am

I can recover the data you need for the 1.8" SSD and put it on a SUB drive with Ghost for you to restore on your new drive.

You can either send me the whole thing or just the old drive an tell me exactly what you are doing and all the specifics of your hardware.

Contact me directly if interested. -Dave
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Re: DT310 IDE Problems

Postby hiaber » Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:50 pm

nipash, I'd be grateful to get a copy of the button management drivers! How can we go about doing that?
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