sorry to hear that my disk tools don't see your sandisk.
The cmos and nvram are two terms for the same thing. In the first generation of IBM compatible computers, it was a dedicated real time clock chip. When the board powers off, the chip gets supply from the small battery on the board, and keeps it's clock running and it's memory contents that way. Those chips usually have 128 bytes of memory. Only some of them are used to store the date and time info. The others are used by the bios, to store the settings that are made in the bios setup. On the IA-1, the real time clock is integrated in the VIA VT82C686 South Bridge chip. It has 256 bytes of memory instead of the 128 bytes on early PC designs.
So, if you alter the cmos or nvram bytes, you can change everything you can change in bios setup. Most programs that manipulate those bytes only save and restore the first 128 bytes. That's the reason I made my own tools to do this.
If my disk programs don't see your Sandisk, than there is a 99% change that the primary ide controller of your IA-1 is not enabled. The sandisk is the master disk connected to the IA-1 primary ide controller. The Compact flash slot is the master disk connected to the secondary ide controller.
Did you experiment already with the moswr.exe to change your bios settings? The files have the following meaning:
The first digit is the amount of memory used as video memory. (2Mb in this case)
After that digit comes a "n" or a "w". The n stands for no usb support, the w for with usb support. This parameter only tells you if the bios will support a usb mouse/keyboard or not.
The last digit can be either 1 or 2. Some bootable Compact Flash cards will only boot if you uploaded the version "1" to the IA-1, others if you upload the version "2". It depends upon the tool you used to make the card bootable.
The mos files that come with my package are extracted from my Blue IA-1's. It is possible that your unit has a different Bios version, that saves it's information in different bytes of the NVRAM (CMOS). In that case, the bios will revert to it's default settings, and will boot from the sandisk.
So, what I might suggest:
Do wathever is necessary to boot from the Compact Flash card, and run the following program.
Reboot the IA-1. There are 2 possibilities:
1. It boots from the Compact Flash card.
2. It boots from the Sandisk or doesn't boot at all (hangs)
If you see issue 2, you should repeat step 1, but this time try the other file:
If the unit boots from the Compact Flash card, you should try to run disktst 0 and see if your sandisk can be seen. If it can, you can reflash it.
Another problem you could have on your unit is a dead battery on the mainboard. If that's the case, your unit will return to the default settings every time you pull the plug. You can reset the IA-1 on 2 other ways without pulling the plug:
1. You can press and hold the power button for 4 - 5 seconds.
2. You can call the reset.exe program from the dos prompt.
Just let me know your findings on your IA-1 on previous issues. I am sure there is a way to get in.