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CRASHED! A topic for SEVERE and immediate Hardware and Operating System FAILURES. We will try to get you up again. NOT for Optimization questions!


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 3rd August, 2005, 09:25 AM
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resurrecting a 386 IBM-PC compatible.... woes

I have a 386 16MHz IBM-PC compatible (lol remember that jargon).

Due to the me not being able to upgrade my Windows 3.1 & DOS 6.2 to Windows XP I decided to install linux.

At first I did a format on the 40MB harddrive. However I went through the BIOS and selected this thing called "low-level format". After a very long time the PC seem to have hanged. So I did a forced/hard reboot. Now the harddrive doesn't work.

Does anyone know whether an interrupt during low-level format damaged the harddrive? Should I perform the low-level format again and leave it over night?

Otherwise, where can one get a 40MB or 80MB harddrive for a 386? I do want to install a larger hard drive but the BIOS/motherboard can't support harddrives greater than approx. 200MB or something.

Help!
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Old 3rd August, 2005, 09:34 AM
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I believe the low level format would return it to its original manufacturers condition, it will take a long time on a 386 based machine as I would imaging it supports ata33 at most depending how old it it.
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Old 3rd August, 2005, 12:02 PM
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If the drive is an early IDE drive, then a low level format might have erased the marks that the hard disk used to keep track of where the head was.

Drive manufacturers soon picked up on the fact that some users didn't read instructions, and adjusted the firmware on the drives to only pretend to do a low level format when the drive was asked to.

What's the model of the drive?
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Old 3rd August, 2005, 12:04 PM
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So I won't be able to get the bios to auto detect my hd? c h s values? damn.
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Old 3rd August, 2005, 12:39 PM
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meTHINKS you go and buy for little money a sh PIII 500 Mhz and do your stuff with that ! Just my opinion :O
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 3rd August, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevingpo
So I won't be able to get the bios to auto detect my hd? c h s values?
If the BIOS supports the autodetect, it should be able to. However, I don't know what features your BIOS has! Do you know what make/model of hard disk it is? It should be printed on the hard disk itself.
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Old 3rd August, 2005, 03:55 PM
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Low level formatting is best left to the drive's manufacturer. If there are second-hand PC retailers in your area you might be able to replace your HDD.
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Old 3rd August, 2005, 06:40 PM
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Does the drive have the number of cylinders, heads and sectors printed on a label?

Back then, I'm sure I would normally just set the drive up manually in the BIOS.

As far as I can remember, a low level format would usually be an overnight job.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 7th August, 2005, 06:51 PM
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I've taken pictures of my 386 insides (using mobile phone camera).

My 386 can't boot up. The message I get during bootup is "CMOS battery dead. Please replace or something".

I look inside and a label says "WARNING Replace battery chip with Dallas Semiconductor, model DS1287 only. Use of another battery may present a risk of fire or explosion. See owner's manual for safety instructions."

Damn, I don't have the manual.

The PC is a Zenith Data Systems, Z-386 SX.

If anyone has details on the motherboard spec. where I can get a new battery, or any upgrades for this 386 then I would be very grateful.

(PS: I think I need a new floppy as this one is busted :S Can I use any floppy disk drive?)
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Old 7th August, 2005, 10:06 PM
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You can use any brand as long as the battery voltage and size is the same.

I suggest taking the battery out and taking it into a shop.

You will need to setup the HDD manually in BIOS, you should be able to read off the cylinders, heads and sectors off the outside of the HDD.

A low level format will typically take about 8-12 hrs. I have a 4GB samsung uses ATA100 and that takes about 2Hrs, and thats on a AMD k6 350MHz
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Old 8th August, 2005, 07:00 AM
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Low-level formatting will not do any damage to the hard disc, providing that the proper utility is used. If you set the parameters in the bios exactly as they appear on the hard drive label, the BIOS utility will work just fine although it may take an extremely long time to complete.
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Old 8th August, 2005, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevingpo
I look inside and a label says "WARNING Replace battery chip with Dallas Semiconductor, model DS1287 only. Use of another battery may present a risk of fire or explosion. See owner's manual for safety instructions."
The DS1287 isn't a battery. It's actually a rather large lump consisting of the realtime clock, CMOS RAM and a battery all encapsulated in some resin. See the picture attached to see what it looks like.

According to Maxim (Dallas Semiconductor merged with Maxim), they no longer manufacture the DS1287 module. However, you may be able to replace it with a DS12887 instead, dependent on how well written the BIOS is. View this page for more details. You can order the DS12887 directly from Maxim - view the linked page for more info.

Image taken from Maxim's web pages and is copyright 2005 by Maxim Integrated Products
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resurrecting a 386 IBM-PC compatible.... woes-timekeeping.jpg  
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Old 8th August, 2005, 10:08 AM
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http://www.topmicrousa.com/ds1287.html this site says it has stock currently available, 39.99 though, you could buy a better pc from a second hand store for that
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 8th August, 2005, 01:32 PM
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I live in UK. So I've googled for +Zenith +386 +Dallas +DS1287:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en...2BDS1287&meta=

I'll try and find one in UK as it'll be much easier to buy and ship. If not, then I'll look for one in US. Cheapest so far is $19.99.

Now I also need is a good working 3 1/4 " floppy disk drive. It doesn't even have PCI slots. But yeah getting a bigger harddrive would be next.
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Old 8th August, 2005, 05:08 PM
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A search on google.co.uk for "DS1287" would work too. It's not a component specific to Zenith machines at all. As far as actually obtaining a DS1287 that works, be aware that the battery lifetime is specified as 5 years, and that Dallas Semiconductors haven't made the DS1287 for over 5 years. (End of life was May 1999)

You have several possibilities here.

One of which is to try the DS12887. This is known NOT to work if you have an Award BIOS 4.50G or 4.51PG.

Another is to try to obtain DS1287 with an unknown remaining lifetime. This is because the battery in the DS1287 is used when the device itself is not connected to power. Vendors selling it have either replaced the battery, or are hoping it's not gone flat yet.

Thirdly, you could attempt to augment the battery inside the DS1287. However, if you get this wrong, the device will definately need replacing, and it's not such an easy task. There's details on how to do this here. Search for "(18) Computer Internals". The Atari Falcon uses exactly the same realtime clock, so the instructions are applicable. Note that the replacement modules suggested may not work however.

Lastly, you could simply just find another 386.


My personal preferences (If I were in your situation) would be to attempt to augment the battery first. If that failed and I had one of the BIOSes known not to work, I'd get another 386. If I had a BIOS that was presumed to work, I might either pick up another 386, or buy the DS12887, depending which was cheaper.
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Old 9th August, 2005, 09:36 PM
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Do you have to have a 386? A 486 mainboard might fit in the same case, maybe.
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Old 9th August, 2005, 10:08 PM
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Yeah, think I'll try that refuse day.... might be fun.. though only have to stay up all night or wake up early...
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