9556 / 9557 SLC2 & SLC3 Planar

rf955657.exe 9556/9557 Reference Disk v1.10 (zipped image)
rd955657.exe 9556/9557 Diagnostic Disk v2.04 (or v1.10?) (zipped image)

192-222 PS/2 56, 57 486SLC2 (0B6,0BA); Ultimedia M57 (1BA), DV M57 486SLC2 (2BA)
194-032 PS/2 56, 57 (DEx) 56, 57LS (xEX), M57 PCDOS (SEx) Win (7Ex) 486SLC3 Units

XGA-2 Information and Drivers (W9x) By Unal Z
SPOCK driver for W9x By Unal Z
Short uncached SCSI/A

SLC2/3 Planar
System Firmware
   ROM Images
Parallel Port Trivia (DMA Arbitration)
Power Trivia
Background speaker noise
Misleading error-Code 0002 11CZ

486SLC2 Planar 39G6410 (-xBx), SLC3 Planar 65G9714 (-xEx)

J1 Mouse
J3 Parallel
J4,5 DB9 Serial ports
J6 HDD15 Video
J9,11,12 72 pin SIMMs
J13 Bus Riser
J16 50 pin SCSI
J18 Power-supply connector P1
J19 Control-panel connector
J20 Power-supply connector P2
J21 44 Pin floppy header
J22 Unpopulated. Leads to 8032B
JMP1 Override-jumper connector
JMP2 Privileged-access password
JMP3 LogicLock header
L11 Toroid for video?
OS1 40.0000 MHz osc MCA Bus
OS2 22.1184 MHz osc
OS3 14.3181 MHz osc
OS4 50.0000 MHz osc CPU clk
OS5 24.0000 MHz osc FDC clk
R14 KB/Mouse PTC Fuse
R224,228 PTCs for what???
ST1,2 Termpacks for SCSI
U13 Dallas DS1285Q
U16 Sony CXK58257AM-10L
U21 33G0329
U22 39G6419
U24 10G4672
U28 91F9906
U33 02G1397
U34 Dallas DS1210S
U35 121-pin upgrade/387SX socket
U36 50G6950 486SLC2
U37-44 TC524256BZ-10
U52 Sony CXK58257AM-10L
U59 Siemens 8032B-20-N
U64 39G2151 SLC2 / 65G8608 SLC3
U71 96F7690
U72 82077AA SLC2 / 82077SL SLC3
VR1 LT1084CT Voltage Regulator
Y1 32.768 KHz xtal
Y2 4.0 MHz xtal

U35 The 121-pin PGA socket can be used to install either a CPU upgrade module or 68-pin PLCC socket for 387SX or compatible math coprocessor.

System Firmware (POST & BIOS)

Firmware stored in EPROM.

ROM Images

39G2151 - unknown date/revision, SLC2?, 1x Am27C2048-150JC (U64)
65G8608 - 29 Jul 1993, rev. 4, SLC3 only?, 1x Am27C2048-150JC (U64)

50/25 MHz 486SLC2, 16 KB L1, three SIMM sockets 70 ns parity checked 2, 4 and 8 MB SIMMs supported.

> How should I fill the memory? One 8 and two 4MB or 2 8MB SIMMs?
8MB, so you can use interleaved memory access. Use MEM1 and MEM2.
Ed. Aron Eisenpress reported this really applies to the 8556/57 models, he tried the 9556/57, and saw no improvement.

Bordshtles asks:
   Does anyone know of a card to increase the memory on a 9556, I know its a 386 based machine with a 486 upgrade, Will the 386 memory boards (from Kingston or IBM) work in these machines

Peter fields it:
   Yes. Highly recommended is the Kingston KTM-609 II - since it supports XMS memory - what the IBM 1-2 and the 0-8 XMA don't.


SCSI drive limits: Max size for SLC2 IML drive is 3.94GB. SLC3 is SurePath, supports drive to 8GB.

NEC CDR-222 and IBM model 9556

Andrew Acton wrote:
   Installing CD-ROM Drive Support under DOS running on a PS/2 MicroChannel Machine with NEC SCSI CD-ROM Drives.

I recently installed CD-ROM support with the following configuration:
Machine : IBM PS/2 Model 9556 (MicroChannel/SCSI)
CD-ROM  : NEC MultiSpin 6X (External Drive)
O/S     : IBM PC-DOS 7.0

1) Obtain a copy of the following file from NEC tech support.  I obtained the following file from my local NEC BBS service in Sydney Australia:
   PS2.ZIP   101,052   22/09/93 | DOS Drivers for PS/2 SCSI machines

2) Unzip the file, run the install program (creates a directory on the dos boot drive called scsi), reboot and you now have CD-ROM access!

3) The installation program updates (in my case):
  CONFIG.SYS    -> Device=c:\scsi\neccdr.sys /d:NECCD  -> Lastdrive=E
  AUTOEXEC.BAT  -> C:\scsi\mscdex /d:NECCD /m:10

The PS2.ZIP package is great because it supplies the the device driver (neccdr.sys), the Microsoft CD-ROM extensions (mscdex) and installs the lot without and problems.

Floppy Support

   The SLC2 uses a 82077AA FDC, which supports the 2.88MB floppy. The SLC3 uses the 82077SL, which supports the Electronic Eject floppy.

Parallel Port DMA Arbitration Trivia

Peter said:
   The PS/2 machines use a slightly different implementation of the parallel port that is neither ECP nor EPP but "Arbitrated DMA". This is a (antique) method to boost up parallel data throughput up to 1MB/s - with the disadvantage of an non-contiguous data stream (Ed. the IEEE 1284 standard is only 1.2MB/s!). The data is always transported with DMA transfers. Therefore many EPP / ECP port drivers cannot handle that and choke - the IOMEGA is one of these, most parallel-port CD-drives as well and some HP bidirectional printer drivers cannot handle this too.

Workaround: enter machines configuration and set the Parallel port DMA to "Disabled". This causes the parallel port to work in "compatible bidirectional" mode - and the ZIP works fine. A little slower maybe, but works. I run a ZIP on all of my PS/2 with the PP-DMA disabled.

Ian Brown chimes in with:
   Good tip that one Peter. It is also relevant to Ditto drives, certain versions of Lap Link, and just about anything that is connected to the parallel port for bi-directional data transfer.

George Jefferson
   Funny thing, i use a parallel zip on my ps2 77 with no problem at all. Matter of fact it is far and away faster than any other machine, including ones that clam to be EPP.

Peter cuts in with:
   Depends on. IBM changed the specification a little -or the BIOS-support on that respectively- on the 95xx-machines as it seems. The 9556 / 9557 still suffer some problems with the DMA enabled, the later 9576 / 9577 (all planars) seem to be a lot better. The *85*90 / 95 are known for having problems with various parallel devices (even printers) when leaving the PP-DMA enabled. My 8595-AKD refuses to handle the Iomega ZIP-drive properly until I switched the parallel port DMA to "disabled".
   Basically it is a good idea to disable the DMA if one might experience problems with parallel CD-drives or scanners on all PS/2 (which use DMA printer port) to test whether the device is working at all or if there is a cabling problem at all. 

  *SHRUG* My Iomega Ditto2Gb didn't get along with my 9556 slc3-75's parallel port, so I found a Boca Research MCA Parallel adapter...it worked for awhile, then went belly-up, too.

Peter finishes up with:
A: try the Ditto directly on the parallel-port with the DMA disabled B: there is a lot trouble reported with BOCA cards (Hi Allen !)  which I can sort only under "strange incidents". I had some Boca cards installed in various servers and *none* of them caused any trouble - unlike to similar AMS-cards, which scrambled the arrangement of LPT-ports (LPT1 becomes 2, LPT3 becomes 1 and LPT2 becomes inactive ... or such). This "sudden death" of Boca PP-cards is more than myterious. I probably could understand if that happened on very fast PS/2 (like "Lacuna"-77i, Server 95A, 8595 with Type 3 DX-50 or all Type 4 platforms)... but not with a Mod. 80 or a 9556... !

Power Trivia

Dave Johnson observed:
   I noticed that a 9556 with its' case removed, plugged in, power switch off (no fan or drives whirring),  felt very warm to touch on top of the power supply.

Peter has a flashback and says:
   You had just experienced the "standby power warming effect" :-)  The power supplies on various PS/2 (33, 35/40, all 56/57, all 76/77, 85, all 90/95) do not really "switch off" - a part of the PSU is always active and the frontside power button in fact switches only a "sense voltage" from the standby part of the PSU against GND... which starts up the main power supply.

   Especially the PS/2 Mod. 9556 PSUs are known for a high failure rate. Once having opened the PSU you will find parts of the PCB having gotten dark-brown from the heat emitted by components. Particularly know for "sudden death by aging" are the Italian Magnetek PSUs for the 56. They cannot be repaired ! I have tried that various times. They use a sort of "hybrid circuit" for the PSU-internal failure detection, which seemed to be fried after some components died by thermal overstress. I have replaced various diodes, resistors and the main switching hi-voltage VMOS transistor (all were defective) - and the PSU did not work but fried some larger resistor I'd replaced some minutes before.
   Recommendation: try to get some spare PSUs. The IBM models 35, 56 and 76 small desktops use the same PSU (and Mod. 40, 57 and 77 large desktops use the same larger PSU as well) And: use a common line breaker to fully separate the machine from the AC-power when not in use for a longer period of time.
   The machine itself is a nice little thing with reasonable performance. The case might be a little tight and does not offer much room for expansions, but you could replace the harddisk against a more modern and much faster 2.16GB DCAS-32160 from IBM (or anything up to 3.94GB), install a CD-ROM drive and expand the memory up to 16MB ... XGA-2 video comes standard and gives acceptable results even with Win95.

Btw, the machine might not run with the cover removed. There's a little blue security switch at the front side, which shuts down the PSU when released (= when the cover is removed). You need to push the security switch inside/up to start the machine with the cover removed. Just for completeness.

Background speaker noise

> My Model 57 ps/2 SLC3 75 MHz emits a loud groan when I shut it down! It never use to do this. Is an impending power supply failure?

Peter has another flashback:
   It's not a PSU failure. It's simply a serial manufacturing issue that occurred during the assembly of the speaker/front panel cable. The "cold" speaker wire is tied to +5V (of the HD-LED AFAIK) instead of being tied to GND. There was (once) an "adapter cable kit" available that was plugged between the board and the cable plug and fixes this misbehaviour. There was an ECA on IBM about it:

   Some 8556/57 and 9556/57 systems may exhibit low volume background speaker noise that alters during screen refresh or mouse movement.

Problem Isolation Aids:
   Problem is specific to 85xx and 95xx 56/57 models. Symptoms will probably be most noticeable when switching from one application session to another.

   Two cable jumpers have been released to modify the speaker cable wiring. The jumper should be plugged between the speaker cable socket on the planar and the speaker cable connector.

Details are as follows:
FRU P/N 8130978 (8 pin jumper for i386 8556/8557 systems)
FRU P/N 8130979 (12 pin jumper for i486 9556/9557 systems)

To fix it by yourself:
   You could unsolder the speaker wires and measure the voltages on the wires against GND (power supply case) with the machine running. Use the one which has *not* +5V for the speaker and another wire directly attached to GND.
   I fixed my 9556 with that trick. If I find the time I try checking out the wiring on my machine and make a diagram of the proper wiring then... but that will take time.

Misleading error-Code 0002 11CZ

From Peter Wendt:
   Sometimes problems are reported with the appearance of the Error code 0002 11CZ on the PS/2 Models 9556 and 9557. The 2xx-codes basically point in the direction of defective memory. In fact this failure is mostly caused by a missing / invalid memory module installed in the machine.
   Remind that this machines accept Parity memory only (suffix -P- or -36- on the module sticker), which must match the IBM Presence Detection scheme and should have 70 ns access-speed. In case there is a memory module installed, which does not supply presence detection the error 0002 11CZ shows up - like as if there were no module installed at all.

The 211-error (0002 11xx is only the extended 8-digit output on the later Premium Line machines) means basically:

211 Check Memory, with the device path to track:

  1. processor board (Model 90 / 95)
  2. planar memory
  3. memory riser cards (Model 90 only)
  4. system board

SurePath - 486SLC3 System

This product also features IBM SurePath* BIOS that serves as the interface and ensures compatibility between hardware and the operating system and applications. (Ed. Is this another IBM goof?)

56 Model Summary Matrix

Model CPU   Memory   Disk  Floppy  Software
 DBA  SLC2  8-16MB   208   2.88MB  OS/2 or  DOS/Win
 DB6  SLC2  8-16MB   104   2.88MB  OS/2 or  DOS/Win
 DE9  SLC3  8-16MB   170   2.88MB  Choice
 DEB  SLC3  8-16MB   245   2.88MB  Choice
 DED  SLC3  8-16MB   340   2.88MB  Choice
 KBA  SLC2  8-16MB   208   2.88MB  OS/2 2.1
 KB6  SLC2  8-16MB   104   2.88MB  OS/2 2.1
 QBA  SLC2  8-16MB   208   2.88MB  DOS/Windows
 QB6  SLC2  8-16MB   104   2.88MB  DOS/Windows
 0BA  SLC2  8-16MB   208   2.88MB  OS/2 2.0
 0B6  SLC2  8-16MB   104   2.88MB  OS/2 2.0
 1EX  SLC3  4-16MB   None    None  N/A(Ethernet)
 2EX  SLC3  4-16MB   None    None  N/A(TokenRng)

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis Ohland, Peter Wendt, William Walsh, David Beem, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Jim Shorney, Tim Clarke, Kevin Bowling, Tomáš Slavotínek, and many others.

Ardent Tool of Capitalism - MAD Edition! is maintained by Tomáš Slavotínek.
Last update: 19 Nov 2021 - Changes & Credits | Legal Info & Contact