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looking for boot disk for old 486

Posted on 2011-03-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
My old 486 computer is requesting a boot disk when I turn it on.  Where do I find a boot disk for this computer?
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Question by:postman-ed
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Expert Comment

by:AriMc
ID: 35152492
Your question isn't quite exact. Did the computer boot properly before and refuses to do so now without you doing anything to it after the previous successfull boot? Does it have a hard disk installed?

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Author Comment

by:postman-ed
ID: 35152534
When turning the computer on, it gives the message:  drive not ready   error      Insert BOOT diskette in A      pressany key when ready


If I can catch the set up after hitting control, alt, delete, I can get it to accept the auto configuration with BIOS defaults and the auto configuration with power-on defaults, but when I go to auto detect hard disk C the message is "not detected"

Hope this helps

postman-ed
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Lee W, MVP earned 167 total points
ID: 35152554
So it sounds like the hard drive failed/got disconnected.
You can get a boot floppy from www.bootdisk.com, but it's not going to do much good unless the hard disk is working (and then you shouldn't need the boot floppy).
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by:AriMc
AriMc earned 167 total points
ID: 35152672
With this information I agree with leew. Sound like your hard drive is either broken or the cables are loose. The first thing to do is to open the case (power off), make sure all cables are firmly in place and the try again.

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Assisted Solution

by:willcomp
willcomp earned 166 total points
ID: 35153122
I agree with leew and AriMc as to the cause. If you do decide to replace the hard disk in that dinosaur, be aware that the maximum hard disk size will probably be either 500MB or 8GB depending on BIOS and controller used. Finding such a drive in good, usable condition may be difficult.
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Author Closing Comment

by:postman-ed
ID: 35153514
Thank you all for your comments and efforts.  I guess my old 486 has finally given it up for good.  May it rest in peace.  I used it only to prepare my  household tax records once a year.  Love my Quicken 6.0 for DOS.  They don't make 'em like that anymore either.
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by:willcomp
ID: 35153537
You probably can install Quicken for DOS in XP, Vista, or Win7 using compatibility mode. I installed and ran DOS apps in XP and Vista. Haven't tried in Win7 yet, but it should be the same as Vista. Or just get a current version of Quicken.
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Author Comment

by:postman-ed
ID: 35153573
I've tried the newer versions of Qucken and just wasn't impressed.   A lot of the reviews I've read said about the same.  The old version did what I needed it to do without a lot of bells and whitles.  Hate to have to retrain my self and most of all, my wife.  Thanks again for your help.
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