Jeff Lowenthal wrote:
Yes, indeed. I used to own one many years ago.
It was/is a beautifully-made hard drive on a card, made by the Plus
Development Corp. The 20 meg version sold for about $ 600 USD! It was
the first of a series of Hardcards, copied by other manufacturers.
thanks Jeff. can you boot from one or would it require a driver on a
To be honest, I don't remember. I don't see why not, if you formatted
and installed the OS on it.
I just found this in a quick Google search:
PLUS HARDCARD II
The thin size and "unibody" construction of the Plus Hardcard II XL50
don't really give you an indication of the truly awesome performance
this unit delivers. Admittedly, I was skeptical about whether this
hard-drive-on-a-card supplied by Bulldog Computer Products would install
as painlessly as advertised and also perform at the 9-millisecond access
As well as the Hardcard was designed, though, during the installation
process a few problems did arise. The one-piece drive and card unit,
filling a full-length expansion slot, wouldn't work on an old IBM AT (6
MHz) running MS-DOS 3.3. However, a quick five-dollar flat-fee phone
call to Plus technical support revealed that the problem stems from a
quirk in the IBM processor itself. This peculiarity makes MS-DOS
unusable with the Hardcard on my machine. (PC-DOS, however, functions
just fine with the software patch program provided with the drive.) The
quirk has something to do with one high bit that IBM changed in the old
AT BIOS since my machine was released (January 10, 1984). Tech support
suggested that I switch over to PC-DOS and run the patch program to
alleviate this incompatibility problem. Since I didn't have a copy of
PC-DOS available, I decided to do the installation and review on another
I then installed the Hardcard on a 386SX under MS-DOS 3.3 and found the
rapid automatic installation a remarkably painless procedure that could
be followed to a T with one small exception. The installation was
complete in a couple of minutes. However, I then realized that my
existing C and D drives had become C and E, and the Hardcard had
interjected itself as a 32MB D drive. What had happened to the other
18MB of Hardcard space? It was, after all, supposed to have a 50MB
Since MS-DOS 3.3 can recognize partitions only up to 32MB, the solution
was simply a matter of returning to Plus's installation software,
selecting manual partitioning, and creating an 18MB F drive. The
excellent Plus user's manual provides lucid, detailed instructions on
how to do this.
The drive is a superquick star performer, exceeding even its published
specs. And it's quiet, too--completely inaudible over the hum of the
system's cooling fan. Only during intense datawrite testing could I hear
any sound at all.
Since the Hardcard mounts internally in an expansion slot, you don't
have the benefit of a drive access light commonly found on standard hard
drives. The Plus engineers have thoughtfully provided a utility that
generates a flicering plus sign in the upper corner of the video display
whenever the Hardcard is accessed. (You can optionally disable this
feature if you so desire.)
The Plus Hardcard II XL50 proved to be a well-engineered piece of
equipment. It's an excellent choice for the novice user who wishes to
install a mass storage device that's also easily removable. I give the
Plus Hardcard my highest recommendation for ease of installation and for
the best telephone technical support that I received.
PLUS HARDCARD II
This hard-drive-on-a-card is a screamer! Not only does it provide
excellent capacity, but it's lightning fast and a breeze to install. But
I'm getting ahead of myself; let's start at the beginning.
If available expansion slots are at a premium in your computer, the fact
that Plus's Hardcard requires a full-length slot might pose a problem.
However, if all of the available bays on your system are already
occupied with a couple of floppy drives and a hard disk and you still
need more storage, then you should definitely take a look at the Plus
Hardcard II XL105. This drive could be your ticket.
After successfully installing the Hardcard II in just a few minutes
without incident, I could tell that Plus Development had spent lots of
time designing the hardware, installation software, and user's manual.
Inserting and using this device is extraodinarily easy, even if you've
never installed any hardware before. To aid the installation process,
there's a totally automatic mode that makes all of the decisions about
partitioning and other pertinent aspects of the technology for you. In
most cases, the automatic selections work just fine, but there's also a
manual mode should you decide to override these computer-chosen defaults.
After completing the installation in less than 15 minutes, I had three
32MB partitions and one 7MB partition (a total of 103MB formatted
capacity) running under MS-DOS 3.3. The trim unit is less than an inch
wide, allowing it to fit comfortably in a single card slot.
While the Plus Hardcard doesn't have a drive access LED like those on
conventional hard drives, a light utility is provided in the setup
software which provides a plus symbol in the upper right-hand corner of
the monitor whenever the drive is being read from or written to. This is
a nifty feature which, like everything else about the Hardcard, is well
covered in the user's manual.
Bulldog didn't offer me tech support on this drive but did refer me to
the manufacturer's tech support service. While no telephone tech support
was really required during this installation, I know from experience
that the tech support department at Plus Development is thorough,
helpful, patient, and conscientious. At a flat $5 fee for a tech support
call, it may well be one of computerdom's great bargains. If you have an
open card slot and would like your computer to have additional hard
drive space, the Plus Hardcard II XL 105 is definitely worth looking into.
Hope this helps....and you could continue with Google..
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