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IBM PS/2 errors 161, 163

Posted on 1998-03-30
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Hi,
In an attempt to change the boot order in this donated computer I tried to access the bios..
To do so I tried the normal del,f1 etc to attempt to get the bios setup to no avail.
I opened the system and tried to find anything like a button to depress to access the bios... again, no dice.
Next, I decided to just reset  cmos by removing the battery in its entirety, hoping that the errros would allow for bios access. Again, I was wrong, and now I am left with error codes 161 and 163. The computer is an IBM PS/2 type 8570-061. I downloaded the reference disk to see exactly what it did as it came with no documentation. It does't fix the problem. Fi ;know or at least believe that the problem is with the current bios settings. So, any help with this is greatly appreciated.
Thank you
-khemicals
(an a will always be awarded for a correct answer)
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Question by:khemicals
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1133756
You have to have a setup disk in order to re-configure the CMOS on that machine.
I'll try to find it for you on the web.
Regards,
Ralph

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by:rmarotta
ID: 1133757
khemicals,
Heres the link that should get you going:
http://www.pc.ibm.com/cgi-bin/searchftp?bool=all&action=string&str=8570
Let me know if you need anything else,
Ralph

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by:khemicals
ID: 1133758
I should be able to try that at the school in a few days. Thank you for your help
-khem
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by:khemicals
ID: 1133759
I tried you suggestion and got both fo th files at that url. The one is the reference disk which i already had, and the other is a fCMOS update. However, I read the readme that came with the update and it said to use the reference disk to boot... when i have the refrrence disk in the drive it won't boot, says its not a system disk, however it did boot the other 5 ps/2 computers that are identical to it. so, the disk is still good. I still get the same 161 and 163 errors that i received before. and when i put in a dos boot disk it doesn't boot it either. Any suggestions?
Thanks for the past help rmarotta
-khems
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1133760
khemicals,
I'm not familiar with the error codes but it sounds like a bad floppy drive.  Try cleaning it.  Or, can you temporarily swap a drive with a known good one?
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:khemicals
ID: 1133761
I am gonna search out the error codes first

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Expert Comment

by:satto
ID: 1133762
If i remember rigth, press F1 (or F10) when u turn on the power, to enter the bios-setup

Satto
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Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 1133763
The explanation of your error codes are:

161 - Low CMOS battery
163 - Invalid Time and/or date

Pretty much the errors one would expect after reseting the CMOS
(I just *love* how IBM makes their error messages SO descriptive, whats wrong with verbose error messages.)
Your IBM does not have a button you can press to enter into the CMOS setup.  All the setup of the CMOS is done through Setup files that are stored on floppy, or on the hard drive.

<><><><>>><><><>
Side Note:

The IBM CMOS setup utility works the same as the COMPAQ's,  It requires software that is loaded on the Hard Drive, or Floppy in order to configure the CMOS, (this is true even for the new computers).

The software is generally saved on an *invisible* 3mb partition that is placed on the boot sector of your hard drive.  If the software is present, then it will allow you to press F10 to enter the CMOS setup utility.
<><><><><>>><>><><

Anyway.

One thing you *could* try is to swap the floppy drive from one of your other computers.

If that does not work, then I've got some bad news for you, friend...... 8o(

I am going to assume that you are trying to boot from a 1.44mb 3.5" floppy drive? Correct?

Does that machine have a 1.2mb 5.25" floppy installed on it?
I'm sure it did, at one point...

Well,

When you reset the CMOS by removing the battery, it reset the default floppy drive setting,  so your bios is now defaulting to a 1.2 mb 5.25" floppy drive for the A drive and therefore will not recognise the boot sector on your floppy disk.

Your only option would be to attach a 1.2mb 5.25" drive, and try booting from that.
(Have your utilities placed on a 5.25" floppy first)

There's your answer, my friend!

JRHelgeson


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Author Comment

by:khemicals
ID: 1133764
the computer never had a 5.25 drive as there isn't a blanking slot on the front wide enough for a 5.25 drive... all the slots... 2 i believe... are for 3.5 drives
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by:khemicals
ID: 1133765
oh... just in case i am gonna try two things tomorrow assuming i have time to work with that machine.... i will first try to make a 720 K floppy disk and pray that it just defaults to the 720k setting, make sure that all connections between battery and other connections to the battery are proper, and then at last try a known working ibm floppy... i'll let you all know how this goes for now... however i am still open for help
-david
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Expert Comment

by:satto
ID: 1133766
1 thing more u can try, if u no a friend who has a IBM to, and still have the software on his
harddisk, try to swap it, and enter the setup.

Satto
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by:khemicals
ID: 1133767
i will add that to my list... btw.. i have 6 ibm ps/2's that i am working with so i don't need a friend.. even tho i have them :)... this is for volunteer work that i do at my high school and i already have 5 of the 6 up and runnign.... just this darn last one... these are donations from columbia gas in norwalk ohio (plug if they see it.. thx) and they are gonna be used in our keyboarding lab to teach typing.... 386's work good for that
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by:khemicals
ID: 1133768
rmarotta.... post a bogus answer... you were the first to mention a possible bad floppy drive and that was it... i switched drives today and all went well... now if i could only find a dirt cheap replacement.....????
thanks all
-khemicals
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Accepted Solution

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rmarotta earned 100 total points
ID: 1133769
khemicals,
You might try the following site for that drive:
http://www.creativelement.com/swap/
There's all kinds of hardware there.
I hope you find one!
Regards,
Ralph

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Expert Comment

by:wassup
ID: 1133770
What kind of drive can you put into these old PS/2's???  I tried to remove the old drive but I can't even do that!!!

What did IBM do?  Use rivets or something!!!???
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1133771
When IBM came out with the PS/2, they intentionally made it proprietary.
They didn't mean to make it easy for you interchange parts from other vendors.
Today, they make good objects to keep your boat from drifting around in the wind. (If the boat's not too big!)
Regards,
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:wassup
ID: 1133772
Where do I get the floppy for this thing and how do I remove the old one.  I think I bent the front cover trying to wrestle the darn thing out with a screwdriver.

real trouble now since my client needs to do his accounting.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1133773
Check the links I have posted in the above comments.
I can't help with thr drive removal, but it seems that I've seen torx screws used in IBM equipment before........

Ralph

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