Motorola Atlas

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Revision as of 20:54, 5 July 2018 by Netfreak (talk | contribs) (Misc Notes)
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Board Layout

J1 - Header for Reset and Abort switches
J11 - Serial port 2
J2 - IDE/SCSI interface LED
J12 - IDE interface
J3 - Speaker
J14 - PS/2 mouse interface
J4 - Chassis fan power
J16 - Serial port 1
J5 - SCSI interface
J17 - Power LED & keylock
J6 - Parallel port
J18 - Cache slot
J7 - 3.3VDC power in
P5-P7 - 32-bit PCI slots 3 through 1
J9 - 3.3VDC power in
S1 - Abort switch
J10 - Floppy drive interface
S2 - Reset switch

Note:S1 and S2 may not be present on all models.

CPU Options

The Atlas motherboard directly supports the MPC603, MPC603e, and MPC604 processors at speeds up to 100 MHz or more, where those speeds are supported by both the installed MPC60x processor and the MPC105 memory controller. The restrictions are that the CPU bus speed may not exceed 66 MHz and the PCI bus speed may not exceed 33 MHz.


The Atlas motherboard uses SIMM (Single In-Line Memory Module) technology for implementing DRAM memory. The motherboard can be populated with either 32-bit or 36-bit (with parity) 72-pin SIMM memory modules. The minimum number of SIMMs required for operation of the Atlas motherboard is two.


If you are using a terminal other than a VGA as your console device, make sure it is configured as follows: 9600 8N1 COM1 serial.

Image Gallery

Windows NT 4.0 Firmware

Motorola Firmware for Windows NT 4.0 Only
Motorola Firmware for Windows NT is for Windows NT 4.0 systems ONLY!!! 
This Firmware will not boot AIX and should not be used on systems that want to boot multiple operating systems.
This firmware should only be used for Windows NT 4.0 systems. The firmware on your Motorola computer can be converted or upgraded to the latest version of Motorola Firmware for Windows NT by using the following instructions.

Converting from PPC1BUG to Motorola Firmware for Windows NT
To convert from PPC1BUG to Motorola Firmware for Windows NT requires a Motorola Firmware for Windows NT bootable floppy and a FAT formatted floppy with fw.img on it. Use the following instructions to create these floppies and to reprogram FLASH with the latest version of Motorola Firmware for Windows NT.

Copy the files mkflop.exe and fw.img to your hard disk. 
Your system must be running Windows NT.
Create a bootable floppy and a FAT formatted floppy.
Insert a floppy and run the following command.
	mkflop /c fw.img
Create a FAT formatted floppy.
Copy fw.img to the FAT formatted floppy.
Boot the Motorola Firmware for Windows NT bootable floppy.
Reset the PPC1BUG system.
If PPC1BUG is configured to auto boot, press ctrl-break to interrupt the boot process.
If PPC1BUG is configured with the field service menu, select "3) Go to System Debugger".
You should now see either a PPC1-Bug> or PPC1-Diag> prompt.
Insert the Motorola Firmware for Windows NT bootable floppy and enter the following command to boot it.
	pboot 1
Click on the Cancel button in the middle of the screen if the system attempts to boot.
Update the FLASH memory.
Insert the FAT formatted floppy containing the latest copy of fw.img.
Select "run Fdos" from the Setup pull down menu.
Execute one of the following commands to program FLASH with the Motorola Firmware for Windows NT. The first command will save a copy of PPC1BUG to the floppy before programming the FLASH.
	flash a:\fw.img a:\ppc1bug.img
	flash /r a:\fw.img
Wait till the command has completed before continuing. The command should return a "reprogram was successful!" message.

Reset the system.

See downloads links for these files. NOTE: the mkflop utility doesn't seem to run in NT 4.0 x86 - potentially must be run on NT 4.0 PPC. The mkflp386 is for x86 based systems but also must be run in Windows NT 4.0 or possibly other versions. Once your firmware is flashed, the following will configure hard disk partitions and run the Windows NT installer.

1) Run the hard disk setup menu option
2) Create a 10mb FAT partition and set it as the system partition and then exit (leave rest of drive space unallocated)
3) Run the eXpress setup menu option with the NT 4.0 CD in the drive.. This should launch the NT installer. Alternatively the run program option and target cd:\ppc\setupldr should work
4) In NT setup, set the install target to be a new partition (create one leaving that existing small one alone)
5) The installer may auto-configure your boot loader depending on the firmware version

Some other install data which may or may not be accurate:

Run the setup hard disk option (ARCINST)
Select Configure Partitions.
Select Create PowerPC Boot Partition. If more than one SCSI bus is available, select the appropriate SCSI bus. You will receive the following message:

Partition successfully created.
Press any key to continue...

The partition will be automatically formatted. Then the following message will be displayed:

Partition formatted successfully.
Press any key to continue
Press a key; the following prompt is shown:

Enter pathname for the PowerPC BootLoader:

Insert the disk with the correct Fw.img file into the floppy disk drive and type:


The following messages will be shown:

Reading ARC from:
Load Image Size = 288000
Press any key to continue...

Boot Software Copied Successfully.
Press any key to continue...

Successfully installed PowerPC Boot Loader.
On the ARCINST menu select Create Partition. If required, select the appropriate SCSI bus.
At the "Enter the size in MB (1-1000):" prompt, type the size for the system partition; this will typically be 10 MB. The following message is displayed:

Partition successfully created.
Press any key to continue...

You will get this prompt:

Do you want to make this the system partition (y/n)?

Type 'y' (without quotation marks) and press ENTER. The partition will be automatically formatted. The "Partition formatted successfully" message will be displayed again. Press any key to continue.
On the firmware menu, select the "Run a program" option and type:

Windows NT Setup will start. Setup can be used to partition the remainder of the drive and install a new copy of Windows NT.



Misc Notes

  • The board seems to expect a Cirrus Logic 54xx type VGA card though additional cards may work. This was the only card I managed to get video on though (this might have just been a PPCBUG 1.5 thing, and having the NT 4.0 firmware might allow for more options).
  • The NT 4.0 driver for the above video card seems to be glitchy at resolutions above 640x480.
  • The RTC holds certain board env details and if the battery is dead you may lose your bootloader settings without system power. You have to go into the system env menu in the firmware and reset the variables, then it should let you re-add the boot options for your OS.

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