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Startup Help!

By me(who else?)
Apr 19, 2004
  1. This is probably gettign a bit rediculous, but I need some help with an ancient computer. Not the one without a video card, an older one. I'm not sure how old, but the plugs connecting the HD to the "Mobo" aren't even the same. I say "Mobo, because it has 2 cards attached to what seems to be the actual motherboard which take all the connections. I can't find any sign of a Processor or RAM, either of which may be hidden under the monsterous Hard Drive (which is like 640 KB).

    My problem is with turning on the computer. It checks the Hard-Drive (or RAM, if it has 640KB of RAM). This test succeeds, but afterwards, the computer says to press F1, which I do. However, the computer doesn't do anything. I've checked all the connections but still, I can't get it to work.
     
  2. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    Quite possible that this machine doesn't have a hard disk and is looking for a floppy to boot off of.

    640K is the amount of data that the old 5 1/2 inch floppy disks could store. Does this machine have one of these floppy drives?
     
  3. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 387

    Yeah, actually it has a large (very) floppy disk slot. I've tried booting several different disks. One is DOS 6.0, the other is an OS called XTree. A buddy of mine who gave me the computer claims his uncle wrote it, but I'm not sure. The clunking is from the HDD though, cause I unplugged the Hard-Drive's power cable and the noise dissapeared.
     
  4. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 669

    Did your friend give you the computer because s/he couldn't get it to work? If someone's opened it since it was in working condition, it's possible they may have flipped over the cables. Old machines like this usually didn't have any knotched cables, making it easy to install incorrectly. If you can, try and be sure that Pin 1 on the system board is connecting to Pin 1 on the Floppy and hard disk drives. Does the computer try to access the floppy on boot? Have you ever booted a computer off the disks you're trying to use?
     
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Does the computer tell you why you should press F1? Usually F1 means that a keyboard isn't found and it wants you to plug in one.
     
  6. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 387

    Actually, Panic, the connectors have notches that make it difficult to put the connectors in any other way. I will try again tonight.

    Yes, I am booting to a floppy (sometimes I disconnect the HD altogether and boot it). It never gets past "Press F1".

    Yes. The keyboard is firmly connected to the ps/2 port. That's the only port on the computer where I can plug a keyboard in.

    Is it possible that the computer isn't looking for a PS/2 keyboard?

    edit: Yes, my buddy who knows nothing about computers played repairman a few times and switched around some cables ("which made it work").
     
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    It would help a lot if you actually managed to date the computer (no pun intended :p ). The processor family would be nice to know.

    You can check if the keyboard is working by looking at the LEDs on the kb. Also, it should respond to num lock and caps lock.

    When you are booting it, does it actually make it to bootstrapping? It should complain if it can't find a disk.

    Does it have a DIN connector for the keyboard? That would be the most foolproof to use.
     
  8. me(who else?)

    me(who else?) TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 387

    I'll ask how old the comp is. I think it's probably from the 80's. What's a DIN connector look like?
     
  9. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    A DIN connector is about twice as big as the PS2 and it has 5 pins in it. This was The Keyboard Plug in the old days.
     
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