Darren wrote:
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 floppy.

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:



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 time advertised.

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 machine.

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 formatted capacity.

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.



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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