After lots of testing and lots of help from Jack Ellis and Eric, I was able
more or less to overcome the roadblocks:

a) Gibberish after boot: use only JEMMEX, and/or replace HIMEMX with XMGR
/T0 (or /B /T0 and then /T0 per documentation)

b)Freedos 1.2 pre22 not booting after installation, requiring sys c: from
2031 bootdisks (sys 2.6) to workaround
see next point

c) Lack of BIOS support for secondary IDE
I installed EZ-BIOS using the hard drive manufacturer's tools found at
Though aimed to address BIOS drive size limitations, in my cases it added
support for the secondary IDE, and removed the need for workaround after
freedos installation failed to boot

c)rawrite3/hard drive manufacturer's tools complaining about crossing 64K
DMA barrier while wring to floppy:

workaround 1 (only for rawrite3, fails for larger programs such as hard
drive tools): load lowdma.sys early on in config.sys, then lh rawrite3
workaround 2 (for both): patched lowdma.sys from Eric that removed the
requirement to use lh (also slow)
workaround 3: boot from windows 98 bootdisk (considerably faster)

d)after rawrite3/hard drive tools writing to disk, dir a: still slows the
old files/directories

this caused some confusion if the tools did the job right with the
workarounds, but reboot proved they work. Windows 98 bootdisk does not
suffer from this issue

e)SB16 IDE CDROMs not being detected by UIDE/UDVD2

Probably I did something wrong the card jumpers or the cabling, as I failed
to replicate the problem. Once it is configured to use the tertiary IDE
channel, it worked fine. This is with a CT 2290 "plug-n-play" card that
needs to be configured from software for sound related settings with the
diagnose.exe tool - IDE IRQ and channel still need jumpers. I failed to get
it to work with a similar CT2910 according to PCB, CT2291 according to the
sticker SB16 card with a very similar but not identical layout, and with
jumpers for everything. Perhaps the card IDE is problematic as sound works
- I did not have time to test if Linux performs better (Windows bootdisk
and creative IDE drivers also fail).

f)UMC8672 dos driver support

I found dos drivers for my VLB controller (PM-67B, UMC8672 based) at
http://driverzone.com/drivers/umc/control/um8672.htm. Unfortunately they do
not work - complain about UM8672 not being detected. Supposedly they would
enable the secondary IDE channel. Perhaps they need the BIOS chip add on on
the card judging from README talking about pressing F10 during boot and a
BIOS style menu which I do not have. In any case, EZ-BIOS removed the need
for such a driver.

Thanks everyone for the help!



On Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 10:51 PM, TJ Edmister <damag...@hyakushiki.net>

> On Tue, 09 Aug 2016 13:57:35 -0400, Dimitris Zilaskos
> <dimitr...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > The issue I am facing now is that the mechanical drives I connected to
> > the
> > secondary IDE channel of my Vesa Local Bus controller are not detected.
> > Windows 98 SE bootdisk does not detect them either, The BIOS of my system
> > only supports 2 hard drives.
> IIRC, if your motherboard BIOS only supports two drives, you could use a
> controller card with its own onboard ROM for additional drives to be
> recognized under DOS (or Win9x). Depending on what chipset the card uses,
> there might also be a driver which can enable the second channel.
> Not sure if the various DMA DOS drivers would detect and add drives on the
> second channel (in fact, I don't know if they work on ISA/VL IDE
> controllers or if PCI is required)
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