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can you save my 386

Posted on 1998-11-20
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-27
need to configuer c and d drives anyone know the settings
Question by:chuckster2000
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Expert Comment

ID: 1012809
I need more information than that. WHat kind of drives are we talking about (brand names, and model numbers). Check out the documentation on your computer to get that information, but you may also have to open up your machine to get it. Also, how big is the hard drives.

From this information, we can figure out how many heads, cylinders, etc. are in your drive.

Let me know.

Accepted Solution

fredom earned 600 total points
ID: 1012810
If you have got it working from a boot disk and entered the wrong CMOS settings you will need to re-format it and re-install everything from scratch.
I have done this and it wasn't fun.....

If they are not working it is likely that the machine has no idea what the specs are and I'm guessing that you don't have any manuals for it. Open the machine and look at the drives, if you can't see them clearly take the drives out (DO NOT UN-PLUG ANYTHING) and read the labels, should show the characteristics of the drive.
If it doesn't, find the phone number or web site of the manufacturer and give them the model number, they should be able to send or just tell you what the specs are....
(Phone the manufacturer then the local distributor and ask for the technical dept.)
Once you have them, write them down somewhere, preferably on the machine so you can find them if it crashes again.
Also, consider replacing the battery on you motherboard, my 386's 240MB Maxtor disk has crashed before because power has been lost on the CMOS settings, AT LEAST LOOK AND SEE IF IT IS LEAKING WHILE YOU HAVE THE MACHINE APART, if it is it is possible that the acid has killed your mother board. If it is not leaking and you get it working, leave the machine on for a day or so to re-charge it.
Some OLD machines have separate AA cells for this , you may be lucky and you can just replace them.

For the D:\ drive, if it's a HARD DISK see above, if it's a CD ROM, don't worry about the re-formatting stuff.

If this does not help, re-ask the question after you get ALL the info. you can from the labels on the drives. You should see something like:

Brand name, model name, model number....., Serial number.....
248MB, cyl=967, hd=16, pre=0, lz=966, sec=31

You may find that you have lost some data from the drives and need to re-format them as noted, in this case take the machine in for service and get it all fixed at the same time, consider having the batt. changed also as they do not last forever and 386's are now quite old.......

Expert Comment

ID: 1012811
If you do not know how to change the CMOS settings, look for a message that says 'To configure the system with SETUP, press CTRL-ALT-S now' or something along those lines when you boot up the machine. There will be instructions here to help you, if you are in doubt about what to do, hit 'exit without saving'.

Sorry, I have no idea how much you know about this......
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Author Comment

ID: 1012812
I had a feeling I might have to take it apart, Here I go, Thanks!

Expert Comment

ID: 1012813
Wait a minute. You only had one part of your question answered.

Yes, some hard drives DO give information on the labels, but there are others that don't.

I hope that you can get the information off the drives like that, but a lot of older HD's do not have that information there. And you said that your drive is in a 386. Your drive may be outdated, and cannot get info.

Finally, I do not mean to sound childish, but I suggested opening the computer first. I do not care too much about the points,but it is only fair to award the question to the person that answered your query first.

At any rate, good luck configuring the drives.


Author Comment

ID: 1012814
Well, I didnt relaize how this scoring worked sorry j_powers!
I took it apart and this is what I found SN 72522023
model ST 4096 a hand written sticker that said Type 35, 3rd, 223961 Also, couldn't locate battery. Any suggestion?


Expert Comment

ID: 1012815
Good call about the labels j_powers !!!!, sorry, if you were confident that you're answer would help then you should select Answer instead of Comment. I don't really know how the points work either.......... fre'dom

Go into CMOS settup, scroll through disk selection until you get to type 35, save settings and exit. sounds like a standard disk and someone has had this problem before you, this should get it going for you, if not, get the yellow pages and pick a dealer, keep calling their technical departments until you find someone that recognises it (try the longer established companies first) this may sound like a long way to do it but it has worked for me in the past......
The other and probably quicker alternative is to ask another question......

Can anyone identify a (SEAGATE 224MB?) hard disk ST4096, need to know configuration settings............

Is this the C:\ or D:\ drive or are they both the same?????

If you cant find the battery it's likely that it's OK.....
Like I said, leave the machine on to re-charge it....
For later ref. they take a few different formats thes are the two that I have seen most often.
1. Small ridged cylindrical object, laying flat on board with a terminal soldered to each end. Will have writing on it that states voltage and a + or - sign on one end (sometimes both)
Don't confuse this with capacitors which will have a 'micro-farad' rating, a small 'u' with a tail and an 'F'
2. Might be a wide flat disk, sitting upright on board, looks like a watch battery. Will probably have a plastic shield on it, look for similar writing on one side......

Author Comment

ID: 1012816
Hello again, I did try type 35 and this setting did not work, since I am doing this for a friend I think I am going to suggest to them to take it in if they want to. Thanks for all your help!!

Expert Comment

ID: 1012817
Could be the easiest way, let someone else deal with it!!!!


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