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IBM PC Server 300 how to boot form floppy

Posted on 2000-02-27
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I just inherrited a IBM PC Server 300 from a coworker and i'm trying to reinstall NT on it.  But I can't see how to get into the BIOS setup.  I've tried DEL, i've tried F2, i've tried everything i can think of.  During the POST theres no message which says "Press [x] for setup".

Because its a server, its not configured to boot from the floppy by default.

Any ideas?
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Question by:EDStech
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2562989
does it show in the rectangle
~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~
~ ~ ~
in the right top part of screen when booting ?
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by:EDStech
ID: 2562997
Not sure what you mean, but during the POST it only shows the IBM ega logo screen when you power it on, then it shows PHOENIX BOIS ETC and goes to the memory check.  After the memory check, it goes to the Adaptec scsi bios on the card and goes from there.
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2563056
I mean exactly this picture from that symbols....
did you try F1, Ctrl-S, Ctrl-Alt-Enter ?
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by:EDStech
ID: 2563064
Yeah, tried all of those.
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2563065
well you can also pull out a keyboard, then reboot, system will say 'no keyboard' and some key to enter setup (stupid, huh ? "no keyboard found, press F1" ;-))


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by:EDStech
ID: 2563070
Nope, tried that too.  ;)

Its a server so its designed to work without a keyboard or mouse or any of that stuff.  
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2563100
and no manuals as usually ? ;-)
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2563105
hmm... but I think it is not designed to work w/o HDD ;-)
try to disconnect HDD (?).... you need someone who has this IBM thing....

ps. we call it woodoo repair ;-)
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by:EDStech
ID: 2563112
Of course not.  This is probably as old as I am.  IBM has no information on this thing on thier website, and searches around the net show nothing.
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2563113
you can also try TweakUI program which access to BIOS settings from OS
http://www.miro.pair.com/tweakbios/download.html
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by:EDStech
ID: 2563116
The HD's are scsi so removing them will do nothing to the PC bios itself, the SCSI is handled by the SCSI BIos on the Adaptec PCI card.

And tweakui won't do any good since I don't have an OS installed on this thing yet.
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2563119
you can also reset all BIOS settings to defaults by this trick (have to be in DOS)

DEBUG
-O 70 FF
-O 71 17
Q

maybe some "press [x] for setup" will appear
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2563123
so it is not booting at all ?? ;-((
well you can pull out HDD, put it somewhere, install plain DOS, copy tweak ui there, put it back, boot, run tweakui ;-))

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by:EDStech
ID: 2563124
I can't boot to dos to run this because I can't boot from the floppy.
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by:EDStech
ID: 2563125
TweakUI is a windows thing.  I don't think its necessary to install windows on this machine just to run tweakUI.  TweakUI doesn't change bios settings either, for that matter, it changes registry settings on windows machines.

And yeah, the OS on the server used to be NT but i managed to mess it up by playing around with it expecting that i'd reinstall NT fresh today.
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2563145
by the way, have you read this (from Phoneix):

How do I run Setup?

One way of running Setup is to press a special function key or key
combination during POST, before the operating system is loaded. During
POST, the BIOS usually displays a prompt such as:

Press F2 to enter Setup

If your computer does not display such a prompt, consult your owner's
manual or contact the manufacturer for instructions. Your computer
manufacturer may have selected a different keystroke sequence; the following sequences are commonly used:

Ctrl+Alt+S or Ctrl+Alt+Esc or Ctrl+Alt+Ins

If you press the keys too early, the BIOS may display an error message.
For information on running Setup, see your computer manual for directions,
contact the maker of your computer, and/or review the BIOS reference
documents available on this site. Be sure to run Setup before you make any
changes to your system hardware, or if you see an error displayed during POST.

Not every BIOS has a built-in Setup program. Some computers, such as 286
and early 386 models, require running the setup program from a floppy disk
(supplied with the system when purchased). If you have such a system, you
should be able to obtain a replacement diskette from your computer
manufacturer, a local computer repair shop, or from Micro Firmware (for
Phoenix BIOS) or Unicore (for Award BIOS). Phoenix does not sell or
distribute Setup disks.
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by:EDStech
ID: 2563157
Tried the three combinations, nothing.

It can't be a setip disk thing since the server defaults to not boot form floppy.  If thats the case, the machine is now toast and useless, which IBM Just wouldn't do.
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by:Alisher_N
ID: 2563182
well, I would get extra IDE HDD with DOS boot + tewakui and inserted it instead of SCSI HDD
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oldgreyguy earned 85 total points
ID: 2563226
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by:EDStech
ID: 2563235
Thanks!  I tried C-A-S before, but apparently the timing is the big issue.  Thats a strange way to handle the bios, but IBM can do what IBM wants to do.

Thanks for the try Alisher.

For the official record, the trick is to his Ctrl-Alt-S right after the beep.  Which differs from normal systems because after the beep, the system boots up.  But thats when you hit CAS and enter the bios... Go figure.
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