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View Full Version : Restoring a 1984 IBM AT 5170, need IBM BASIC help...



Super-Slasher
June 20th, 2003, 11:51 PM
Hello to everyone. I'm sorry if this post belongs in another section of this forum, just this is my first time posting here and I wasn't sure where it should go. Forgive me? hehe :)

Anyways, I have recently obtained a literal truck-load of vintage computer parts, dates ranging from 1980 to 1990-ish. Amoung the rubble were two 1984 IBM AT's, both working condition, one with dual 30MB HDD's, original color monitor and keyboard, and 14.4k external modem (which has since mysteriously dissapeared, darnit!).

Aside from a few errors on startup, mainly concerning memory, it'll proceed to the IBM BASIC menu screen (version C1.10 September 1981) - wether or not hard disks are working/connected to the machine. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to do anything in the BASIC menu/prompt. I have tried some basic BASIC commands (aside from HTML I have no actual programming language skills) like PRINT, but I cannot seem to access hard drives or floppy drives, either because I don't know the proper commands or something isn't working right.

The machines came to me totally dissasembled, so I find it a miracle in itself that they even work when I cleaned them up and put them together, and aside from the slight hernia on lifting the dual hard drive model (hehe) I find both systems to be nifty and I really hope I can get them fully functioning again.

Can anyone help me in this perticular area? I have been searching on the net for information for the past week and so far have come up bust. On startup, past the few errors before it continues to BASIC, it'll read both my 3.5" and 5.25" floppy drives installed and even the hard disk, so that tells me that the controller must still be functioning properly (original from 1983). I'm almost tempted to buy the programming/manual from the IBM store for this very machine, which they still do sell for some odd reason after nearly two decades, but I'd like to try other online resources first, including this forum, which I hope to become a part of as it grows. :)

Thank you... and PLEASE help me! hehe

*has to clear a path from his up-to-date PC to his door, bed, and other PC's through the computer parts, ribbons, cables and drives that litter his linoleum bedroom floor*

Note to self... must clean room...

Erik
June 21st, 2003, 07:43 AM
If you're IBM (PC/XT/AT) boots to BASIC that means it could not boot any other way. If it's an AT then there is no cassette port (if I remember correctly) and, therefore, no persistent storage available to it at all.

If the machine has hard drives and floppy drives that are working it will try to boot from those (floppy, then hard drive) and will dump into ROM BASIC if nothing works.

You should check to make sure that you have the proper hard drive and floppy drive controllers and that everything is cabled and powered up right. The boot messages and error beeps (anything beyond one beep at startup is an error) should direct you towards the problem(s).

Once you can boot off of some media, you can use the rest of the capabilities of the machine.

Feel free to add detail to this thread such as specific boot errors and beep codes, etc.

Good luck!

Erik

BTW: I moved this thread for you. . . :)

Super-Slasher
June 21st, 2003, 10:01 AM
Well, let me start with something I basically need to do. With all of the errors it gives me at startup, it appears remedying them involves going into SETUP... but how do I do that?

Also, I have tried installing MS-DOS 6.22 through my 3.5" floppy during startup, and it'll read the disk and even display "Starting MS-DOS..." on the screen, but it'll either freeze or won't proceed right after. Would this version of DOS be too 'advanced' for this machine?

Any ideas or input greatly appreciated.

Erik
June 21st, 2003, 01:15 PM
For the IBM AT, I'm pretty sure you need a setup disk to access the BIOS settings unlike later machines which had the BIOS software in ROM. Unfortunately I don't have one of these. . .

DOS 6.22 should be fine for AT class machines so there's something else causing the boot failure.

Erik

CP/M User
June 21st, 2003, 02:47 PM
"Super-Slasher" wrote in message:

> Well, let me start with something I basically
> need to do. With all of the errors it gives
> me at startup, it appears remedying them
> involves going into SETUP... but how do I
> do that?

I was under the impression that ATs didn't
have SETUP programs. Is this a genuine
IBM AT or a clone machine? Maybe
http://www.ibm.com could help if it is. Once
you get there they have a Downloads &
Support section. So if there is a setup
program you need then they might be able
to supply one (you'll probably have to give
details of your IBM AT like serial numbers).
That's if you have an genuine IBM AT.

> Also, I have tried installing MS-DOS 6.22
> through my 3.5" floppy during startup,
> and it'll read the disk and even display
> "Starting MS-DOS..." on the screen, but
> it'll either freeze or won't proceed right
> after. Would this version of DOS be too
> 'advanced' for this machine?

Sorry, I cannot really help with this.

Cheers.

Super-Slasher
June 21st, 2003, 02:50 PM
It is a genuine IBM. I doubt IBM clones would have "IBM" printed all over them, hehe.

It does appear to have some sort of a setup program because it seems that the error codes all give referance to being able to be remedied in "SETUP", before it goes to BASIC.

Erik
June 21st, 2003, 03:37 PM
Yeah, there is going to be an AT setup program on a 5.25 disk in the IBM PC AT Guide to Operations. Copies of it should be available from some of the abandonware download sites, I would think (I may have time to look later but I'm about to receive company now).

I doubt that IBM still carries these items in their support section.

As a worst case scenario I know I've seen complete AT documentation packages available on eBay several times in and around $50. That would have both the manual and the setup disk plus a few other goodies.

Erik

Erik
June 21st, 2003, 08:09 PM
According to a post at uncreative labs you can get the AT setup stuff at:

ftp://ftp.pc.ibm.com/pub/pccbbs/refdisks/atdg207.exe

ftp://ftp.pc.ibm.com/pub/pccbbs/


Erik[/url]

Super-Slasher
June 21st, 2003, 09:15 PM
Those perticular links are dead to me for some odd reason, but I found that EXE along with many other XT/AT diagnostic programs and files by searching with Google. Hopefully after I get some low-density 5.25"'s from a friend, I can try them out on my IBM.

It's amazing how much easier it is to find stuff once you know exactly what you're looking for... :)

Thanks. Will keep posted of my progress.

Peter Holowaty
June 23rd, 2003, 10:41 AM
Strange. The links seem to work for me. Also, if you you can't get a copy of the original IBM setup utilities, I recommend a generic program called "GSETUP". Just make sure you are running 80 column text mode first. I highly recommend that you install a 1.2meg floppy drive into another machine, because it will make tranfering files to you AT a lot easier. Once you get the basic files on your machine, you can then explore alternative methods of file tranfer, such as parallel/serial link, network, SCSI, and CD-ROM drives. I'm sorry I don't have a link to GSETUP for you, but you should be able to find it on the internet without too much trouble. Also, make sure you are using DSHD 1.2meg disks and not DSDD 360k disks with your 1.2meg high density drive. 1.2meg drives can read 360k disks, but they cannot write to them. The 360k disks usually have a plastic ring on the hole at the centre of the disk.

If you need to know anything else about this particular machine, I would definetly be one of the people to talk to. I have been working with AT restorations for a couple of years now. You can give me an e-mail at peter@uncreativelabs.org, or visit me in my webforum at www.uncreativelabs.org/phpBB2. Those are the two places I am most likely to look for a message.

Good luck!

Super-Slasher
June 23rd, 2003, 12:53 PM
Strange. The links seem to work for me. Also, if you you can't get a copy of the original IBM setup utilities, I recommend a generic program called "GSETUP". Just make sure you are running 80 column text mode first. I highly recommend that you install a 1.2meg floppy drive into another machine, because it will make tranfering files to you AT a lot easier. Once you get the basic files on your machine, you can then explore alternative methods of file tranfer, such as parallel/serial link, network, SCSI, and CD-ROM drives. I'm sorry I don't have a link to GSETUP for you, but you should be able to find it on the internet without too much trouble. Also, make sure you are using DSHD 1.2meg disks and not DSDD 360k disks with your 1.2meg high density drive. 1.2meg drives can read 360k disks, but they cannot write to them. The 360k disks usually have a plastic ring on the hole at the centre of the disk.

If you need to know anything else about this particular machine, I would definetly be one of the people to talk to. I have been working with AT restorations for a couple of years now. You can give me an e-mail at peter@uncreativelabs.org, or visit me in my webforum at www.uncreativelabs.org/phpBB2. Those are the two places I am most likely to look for a message.

Good luck!

Unfortunately all I have acess to is the 360KB DD 5.25" floppies, but my 1.2MB drive on my other old PC seems to write and read from them without any problems - when formatting the disks I use the /4 option on the format command in MS-DOS, which enables 360KB disks to be used without error in 1.2MB drives.

I think I have GSETUP somewhere, but it doesn't make the disk I put it on bootable, so thus I can't use it on my IBM just yet, due to that infernal IBM BASIC.

I would love to try setting up an ethernet network between the two computers (got two ISA slot networking cards) to transfer files, but I wouldn't have the first idea how to set it up in an IBM who'se OS is defunct. In DOS on my other PC it wouldn't be too hard I imagine (DOS drivers).

Plus lets assume I actually set up a network between the two PC's, how would I operate the network in DOS? What would the commands be?

mbbrutman
July 8th, 2003, 08:00 PM
Super ...

Read this page:

http://mail.magnaspeed.net/~mbbrutman/PCjr/diskette_handling.html

There is a section in there about using double density 5.25" diskettes in a high density drive.

The problem is the track width. What you are doing is fine if you work with fresh diskettes that have been through the bulk eraser. But if you try to run those diskettes in a PC or XT or Jr with a double density drive, the data will appear to be garbled. The PC AT drive has much narrower heads to accomodate 80 tracks on a diskette, while the PC, XT and Jr have wider heads.

Classicsat
July 17th, 2003, 08:03 AM
I would love to try setting up an ethernet network between the two computers (got two ISA slot networking cards) to transfer files, but I wouldn't have the first idea how to set it up in an IBM who'se OS is defunct. In DOS on my other PC it wouldn't be too hard I imagine (DOS drivers).

Plus lets assume I actually set up a network between the two PC's, how would I operate the network in DOS? What would the commands be?


Two Words: MS Networking.

There is an MSDOS package that allows (at least on ethernet), you to connect to
Win95+ machines to transfer files. The setup files fit on one floppy, and you used to be able to download it from Microsoft's site. I have had it running on as low as MSDOS 5
(the OEM Philips version on a Magnavox 386).

The setup is just about automatic, you just have to set the workgroup names,
and the card I/O parameters.

They are available at the links below.
I think the first one is the only one you need though, for just dos, the other has
bits for Windows.

tp://ftp.microsoft.com/bussys/clients/MSCLIENT/DSK3-1.EXE">DSK3-1.EXE
tp://ftp.microsoft.com/bussys/clients/MSCLIENT/DSK3-1.EXE">DSK3-2.EXE

Old PC Man
July 23rd, 2003, 09:32 PM
The DRIVER.SYS should work and enable full access to your 3.5" 1.44MB floppy drive. If my memoy serves me. the CONFIG.SYS file on your hard drive should contain the following entry to accomodate a 1.44MB floppy drive.

DEVICE=C:\DOS\DRIVER.SYS /D:0 /C /F:7

You may want to confirm the above entry in a DOS User's Manual if you have one.

Be aware this will only give full access to a 1.44MB diskette after booting from drive C: If you want to boot from Drive A:, you will still need to use a 720KB diskette.

An alternative is to setup the 3.5" 1.44MB floppy drive as a 5.25" 1.2MB floppy with the setup program. The 1.44MB drive will function as a 1.2MB drive eventhough it is a 1.44MB drive. The drive will format, read, and write as a 1.2MB drive.

I tried the several years ago and it worked. The downside is the diskettes will not work on another PC with a 3.5" 1.44MB drive. The upside is more storage capacity per diskette and the ability to boot from the drive with a diskette prepared by the drive.

Hope this helps