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Need help repairing and setting up this old computer.


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Hi

I took a gamble and bought this very old desktop computer hoping I could fix it, I found that the backup battery had leaked and corroded away and damaged a few of the very fine tracks, it was quite a fiddly job to repair the tracks.

Well I nearly fell off my chair in amazement when the thing fired up :o, and everything worked perfectly 8) for about half an hour :(, I shut it down and started it up again after installing and old CD-ROM drive, with the plan of trying to install Windows 95 on it, well it did not like it at all something came up on the screen about installing CD-ROM drivers but nothing else was happening, so I thought I'd shut it down again and start over, now one of the problems that I'm having is the light stays on for the floppy disk drive, and the system can't find the floppy disk drive or the CD-ROM.

I've taken the motherboard out again and checked all the track work, and everything seems to be okay,and I've had a play around in the BIOS, and I should mention I got no idea what I'm doing, and I was able to select the correct floppy disk type, but it still came up with an error that it couldn't find it, and there was nowhere to choose a CD ROM drive I guess a CD ROM is a little to modern for this old dinosaur ;D.  Anyway if anyone can help me get this system up and running it would be great, I think I'd better post a few picks soon of this thing, because I don't know what it is, except for the obvious it's a computer.

He is a bit off info on it for a starter,

( AMI BIOS ©1992 Wegatreuds INC, )

( 40-0220-001107-00001111-1111920PT4955X-F )

I am guessing it's a Pentium 386?

This is what's on the BIOS chip ( 1987 AMI 386C BIOS 1499428 )

I'm way out of my depth with this one, I hope I haven't blown my money, this computer cost me a whole $3.00 ;D ;D ;D

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Hi Ante, Edwardm :)

I've been busy doing many things Ante ;), I find that I am more productive when I have many projects on the go at once ;D.  Well C: is set as the primary hard drive, and the BIOS can detect it no worries, but it doesn't detect the CD-ROM, I'm thinking the BIOS doesn't know what a CD-ROM is ???, and I have to select the floppy drive manually. when I first fired this system up after repairing it, it detected the hard drive C: and the floppy drive A: worked but after rebooting the light stayed on the floppy drive and the system couldn't find it, so I guess some think has failed between where I repaired the motherboard and the floppy drive, it seems all the track work is okay, maybe the culprit causing the problem is an IC that I removed,  (TC4069UBP) I have indicated it with an arrow PIC 3, I did have a hard time removing it and it could have been overheated, also in PIC 2 the IC that I have circled gets quite warm. PIC 3, shows the area that was damaged.

I did try connecting the ribbon cable to the floppy drive the other way around, even though it didn't make any sense to do so ;D, because everything was working fine with the exception of the CD-ROM before I rebooted, and after rebooting this problem occurred :(.

Any ideas on what I should be doing next, maybe replace the TC4069UBP that could have been damaged when I removed it, I'm thinking that it is just a 4069 hex inverter ???.
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post-2744-14279142275015_thumb.jpg

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Hi Dazza,

Oh, dear God it’s a 386… what are you going to use it for? Anchor some fishing gear?  ;D  OK, that wasn’t very nice but I was very surprised!! I thourth you where kidding when you wrote Pentium 386!! I don’t know if the CD-Rom was invented back then but if you try to update the bios you might get lucky. How about the jumpers on the back of the HDD and CD-R are they set for master and slave like they suppose to? And does it start again if you disconnect the CD-R?

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Hi Ante, and thanks for your reply :)

Well I'm very close to calling it quits ;D, I'm having no luck with this machine >:(. Yes I've got the jumpers right, and it will fire up just the same with or without the CD-R connected.  I have rebooted it quite a few times and in the end all it would do is beep at me ;D, I think the poor old thing is trying to tell me that it has had its day, and now just wants to be left alone ;D.

I ended up replacing the power supply to see if it would make any difference, and what do you know it did :D, it stopped Beeping at me and fired up, and the floppy drive started working properly, but I still got an error message for the A: driver "floppy drive" it seems for some reason it couldn't read from it properly, and just as I thought I was making some progress, the floppy drive stopped working again :(.

I was hoping this machine would be usable for controlling a milling machine, but maybe it would be best to just take it fishing ;D.

If I could update the BIOS to give me CD-ROM support, I guess I could probably boot the machine from the CD-ROM, but to update the BIOS I would need the floppy drive to work :(, and then comes another problem finding the update, I know very little of the inner workings of a computer, the only computer that I've seen the inside of is the one I'm using now, and surprisingly I managed to successfully installed a DVD driver, CD burner, graphics card and a larger hard drive, and I think it was just luck that I got it right, I have already spent a lot of hours searching the net for a BIOS update for this machine, as well as a manual for the motherboard, it's like trying to find a needle in a hay stack :o , I would much rather be looking for a datasheet for an electronic component, I think it is much easier in comparison ;D.

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Hi Dazza,
Don't feed your computer to the fish. They or someone who catches them might not like the lead in its solder. :(

I was very lucky with my old 486 computer. I called the manufacturer in the USA to get an updated Bios chip so I could add a huge hard drive. They didn't have any for years. So I called their Canadian office who found just one, but no listed price for it and sent it for free. ;D

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Hi audioguru :),

WoW, for free that's cheap ;D.

I'm thinking that some of these BIOS's can't be flashed updated, is that why you needed to get a new chip other then updating the one you had.  If this is the case for a 486, then it's not looking to promising for my  $3.00  386 :( ;D.

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Hi :)

Good news, I'm finally getting a win with this machine :D, I think the problem has been the ribbon cable connecting the floppy drive. I've begun the installation of Win95 via the floppy drive, I'm transferring the files from my Win95 CD to floppy disks, the first disk was easy, but the rest of the disks are not, I have to fit 1.66 MB onto a 1.44 MB disk.  I found instructions on how to transfer Win95 from CD to floppy disks :), it says to use a program called "Maxdisk" to be able to fit 1.66 MB of data onto a 1.44 MB floppy disk, but this program doesn't support xp. I gave it ago but it didn't work :(, does anyone know of another program that support xp that will do the job????

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Hi Dazza,

The floppy cable! That’s what Ed suggested earlier, I thought you checked that one! ;D  I have a vague memory of a help file describing how to make floppy’s from the cd on the W95 cd but it might not work if your XP system has the NTFS file system. 8)

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Dazza, you should install Win 98 on this machine. Do not even bother with Win 95. I have always considered 98 as a bug fix for 95. I did have xp on a 386 for some time but it is very slow since you are so limited for ram. A good place to start to get boot disks and installation utilities is www.bootdisk.com
They have the disk you need to make your CD ROM work as a boot device or to be seen in DOS.

MP

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Hi Ante, MP :)

Ed suggested that, I may of had the ribbon cable rear about face, the problem was the cable was faulty ;D.  I knew that I had the cable connected the right way, because the top of the sockets was covered in dust and it was nice and clean on the bottom ;D.

Well I've got it all sorted now, the machine is up and running with Win95 installed and everything works :D 8).  It certainly is very slow :o, but still it will be useful for some think.

Thanks for the advice MP and I will take it, and install Win98SE ;).  I went with Windows 95 because I thought it would be a safe bet that it would work ok, and it could be installed using the floppy drive.  My only concern is hard drive space there isn't much of it ;D, any idea on how much space win98SE will take up? :-\

I'm very surprised to hear that Windows xp would run on one of these old systems :o, what did you use it for?

Thanks for your replies everyone, I very much appreciate it :).

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I've got this old machine running on our home network...
On the network we have three XP machines and this old beastie...
When we got it (10 years ago) Win 95 was the big thing but we've stuck Win2000 on it for compatibility... It's got a Pentium MMX processor (133 Mhz) and 16 meg of RAM. The CD-ROM doesn't work natively, we had to put an Atapi driver on it for it to work. and now it's got two 200GB hard drives with all our films and stuff sitting on it... We removed the screen, mouse and keyboard and it just sits next to the hub by the bookshelf acting as a big network hard drive...

It also plays music for us as it's plugged into the Stereo and my dad found this app to remotely control the computer through the network so that's haw we use it...

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Hi Ante, Sugardude :)

161MB hard drive ;D ;D.

No I don't think XP would be a good idea ;D, but 98SE would be handy and I have it on CD.

Win95 took up about half the hard drive, which doesn't leave much to play with, ;D maybe it's time to look on eBay for a bargain (hard drive).

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Hi Ante, Alun

I'm not too keen on using MS-DOS on this machine, but I would be very happy if I could install Win98 8).

The first thing I want to use this machine for, is connect my PIC programmer to it and see if I can't get it to work ;D.

I tried installing Win98 but it refused to install :(, it came up with a message saying that Windows 98 can only be installed on a system with a processor greater than a 80486 :-\.

Does anyone know of away around this, so it will install?

MP, did you have this problem?

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Hi Dazza,
I installed Win98 1st edition on my 486. First I had to replace its Bios that limited its hard drive to about only 560MB, then installed a 2G hard drive. Win98 1st ed used nearly 1G of space. :o
When I had AOL dial-up, I found lots of tricks to fool its install program that my 486 was a Pentium, then it worked fine. When I got high-speed cable, I tricked Microsoft too so that I was able to load IE6, which also worked fine. ;D

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Hi audioguru,

1G to install Win98 :o, Ante suggested that you would need 200MB? my hard drive is only 161MB, I was hoping I would get away with a custom install, opting the things that I didn't need then once installed, use something like 98lite to get rid of anything else I don't need.

I can't even try to install it

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