Revive a 386
Posted on 2000-03-10
I have an old 386-33 PC based on the G386K motherboard. Recently took this out of storage, where it had been sitting idle for about 2 months, and upon restart was greeted with the following error messages:
Two beeps from the speaker, then the screen says:
fdd controller failure
hdd controller failure
press <F1> to resume
So I press F1 and get the usual system configuration display (main processer is a 386, you have so much memory, etc.) that the AMI bios gives. Then I get:
drive not ready error
insert boot disk in A:
press any key when ready
So I put a DOS 6.22 boot floppy into
drive A: then hit enter and get the same
"drive not ready" error message.
Anyways, this PC should boot off the
hard disk. I assumed that the CMOS
battery had drained during the period of storage, so I ran the PC for some time then tried re-starting with no luck. I thought that maybe the IDE card had died so I tried it in a 486 16-bit ISA slot and it worked ok.
I'm assumming that Y2K is not involved here but I'd appreciate any theorys as to whats going on. In the past when the CMOS battery drained low due to non-use I'd get a "CMOS low" or some other warning message. Running the computer for awhile then re-starting usually solved the problem.
The G386K motherboard uses a Varta
3.6v 60mAh nicad for the CMOS thats soldered to the board. Also on the board are 4 header pins associated with the battery which are positioned close to it. They're labeled:
Pin 1 External battery input
2 On board rechargeable battery
3 Discharge pin
Theres a jumper connecting Pins 1 and 2 (External battery input/On board rechargeable battery).
So thats the story, I'd appreciate any ideas as to whats going on. Like I said, I don't get a "Low CMOS" warning and the IDE card tests ok.