Solved

286 computer sees no c:\

Posted on 1997-12-06
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I have a Magitronic 286 computer, with a mfm hard drive and controller card.  When I turn it on, it says incorrect configuration...run setup.  press f1 to continue.  When I insert a dos6 diskett and boot to it, it boots to the diskett, then when I try to go from the a:\ to the c:\, it says there is no c:\ available.  It also says that msdos can't be installed to the c:\, because there is not one.  I tried replacing the mfm harddrive, but it did the same thing.  Would this be the controller card, or the battery?  How could I check it?

Thanks,
Alan
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Question by:wolfmtn
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23 Comments
 
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by:jsouth
ID: 1120729
I would guess that since your are booting from a diskette that you can't excess the c:\ drive because you're not booting from c:\ drive.
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by:magigraf
ID: 1120730
wolfmtn...

With all my respect to the proposed answer, this is absolutely WRONG.  Jsouth, you are WAY off.

I can only suggest to you at this moment, to reject that answer to give the chance to other Tech to answer it.

Regards
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Author Comment

by:wolfmtn
ID: 1120731
Jsouth, what kind of stupid answer was that?  I should be able to boot to the a:\, then change to the c:\.  
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Expert Comment

by:Digital
ID: 1120732
The answer is all in the configuration.
Here is what you can do:
1. check that the "Heads, Sectors, Cylenders" are right, if they are, then check the jumper settings, the manufacturer will mostlikely have the jumpers on their website, and it may be that the jumpers are set wrong. Also...you can get a program like IDEID that tells you the specs on the hd for you so you can double check.
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by:magigraf
ID: 1120733
wolfmtn...

Here it is since I can only post it as a comment:

What Digital said is O.K., but where the problem has started is what COUNTS the most. Like the way it looks is propably a CMOS battery failure???

You would have to check this one first, then find the settings for your hard drive configuration.

Now you could do that by pulling the drive out and post here the Brand and model number of the drive, we have a complete database of all the drives, and I'll post you the settings.

Will wait for your post.
Regards


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by:magigraf
ID: 1120734
wolfmtn...
Could you update what happened??
Regards
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Author Comment

by:wolfmtn
ID: 1120735
I now need to figure out how to check the cmos battery, to see if it is indeed dead, low, etc. What should the voltage be?
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by:magigraf
ID: 1120736
wolfmtn...
Let me save you a trip, how old is your PC??  If over 5 ~ 6 years, please get another battery, don't even waste time to check it.  Just make sure to remove it and take it with you before you start searching for the nearest computer store that might have it.

Did you pull out the drive, as I suggested above for me to get you the proper settings??

Will wait for your post.
Regards

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Expert Comment

by:scrossle
ID: 1120737
I seem to recall MFM drives and controllers having ROM routines that you could jump to with a DEBUG call.  Perhaps the controller needs to be told what kind of a drive it has attached to it?

Also, have you ever had this drive/controller/computer combo working before?  Was it working fine up until a certain point?  Is there anything you can pinpoint that was where the problem started?
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Author Comment

by:wolfmtn
ID: 1120738
I will go get a battery, and pull the drive, so as to get your help with the cylinder head settings, etc.
thanks,
Alan
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Author Comment

by:wolfmtn
ID: 1120739
Magigraf, here is the info on the drive. What are the settings?

The mfm drive says:

Zerbrechlich
ST 212  s/no 201954

Thanks,
Alan
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Accepted Solution

by:
PBMax earned 200 total points
ID: 1120740
Getting a battery is fine but if your time setting isn't going out or your CMOS settings aren't resetting then it probably isn't the problem.  Have you tried doing a Fdisk /status or even a regular fdisk to see if the computer even recognizes the drive being there?  Check your bios settings too.
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Author Comment

by:wolfmtn
ID: 1120741
I now need the settings for the mfm hard drive:
Zerbrechlich   ST 212     s/n 201954
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by:magigraf
ID: 1120742
wolfmtn...

Since you know how to reject an answer, I'll post here as a comment until the question is reopen again.

The unformatted capacity of that drive is:

12.6 Mg  and formated is 10.0 Mg

The drive should be set in your BIOS (CMOS) to:

IBM TYPE 1

this will cause the bios to set it automaticly to the following:

Blending Zone : 319
Cylinder      : 306
Heads         : 1024

This is the information you need.

Now what I want to know now is WHAT are you going to do with that computer??

Will wait for your post.
Regards
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Expert Comment

by:potsy
ID: 1120743
all you need to do is run fdisk and create a dos partition.
If you read your dos manual under the command fdisk it will tell you how.
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by:magigraf
ID: 1120744
Potsy...
Is that it?? so tell me if there is no HARD disk settings in the CMOS at all, would he run fdisk on what then??
wolfmtn, lost his drive settings, please read the question.
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Expert Comment

by:potsy
ID: 1120745
I have a 286 that the batery is dead in and I didn't lose anything on the hard drive but later I found that the drive had bad sectors so I reformated the drive and flaged the bad sectors but after that I couldn't get from the a drive to the c drive so I ran fdisk and made a dos partition and it worked fine.
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Expert Comment

by:magigraf
ID: 1120746
Potsy...

I will not debate your credibilty, but what you are saying does not make any sence.  All hard drives need to be set in the CMOS, and the AUTODETECT feature has been available for a while.  A CMOS that does not see a HARD DRIVE cannot assign one unless asked to perform a detection.

Now FDISK will never autoselect a drive and set it up in the CMOS.  I don't understand how it happen in your case but I have to presume that miracles happens.

Regards
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Expert Comment

by:potsy
ID: 1120747
what I don't understand is why do you think it's not in the CMOS
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Expert Comment

by:magigraf
ID: 1120748
Potsy...
Please read the question
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by:magigraf
ID: 1120749
wolfmtn...
No news from you, can you update me??
Regards
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by:potsy
ID: 1120750
ya the computer I have also says incorrect configuration...run
setup. press f1 to continue. but that is because the batery is dead my harddrive still works on it.
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Expert Comment

by:tvermette
ID: 1120751
My two cents.

Ok, first your bios might be located on your MFM interface and could be loading automatically. If you can use your bios on your computer these ARE the settings:

         Heads=4
     Cylinders=306
       Sectors=17
 Write precomp=128
  Landing zone=Auto or 319
     *Platters=2                     *might need this later.
 IBM Bios type=1 or 23

 Ok, now once you get this in or if this is done automatically (yes this is possible with those old interfaces) type in Fdisk.
Is it there?

 Now you might as well low-level format the thing. Do this:
    Run Debug then enter one of the following:
   
    G=C800:5
    G=CC00:5
    G=C800:CCC
    G=C800:6
    G=D800:5
    G=DC00:5
 
    Or you might be able to low-level format from your bios in    the computer through the bios options.

 Now this is done, Fdisk it. Then high-level format it. This should do.

 Just a note: MFM's can be real picky about the order of how these things happen, just think logically.
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