PDA

View Full Version : Heathkit HF-241-80?



Tupin
November 8th, 2009, 06:45 PM
I'm going to pick up a Craigslist deal tomorrow, and this is one of the computers included. I can't find anything about it online, does anyone have any info on it?

Chuck(G)
November 8th, 2009, 07:11 PM
I'm going to pick up a Craigslist deal tomorrow, and this is one of the computers included. I can't find anything about it online, does anyone have any info on it?

Well, it looks like this:

http://maben.homeip.net/static/S100/HeathZenith/photos/Heath%20HF241.jpg

http://maben.homeip.net/static/S100/HeathZenith/photos/Heath%20HF-241%20inside.jpg

Looks like an AT clone. Probably the same as a Zenith Z241, which should be easy to find on the web.

Chuckster_in_Jax
November 8th, 2009, 07:19 PM
This was a big seller for Zenith. It's built like a tank and a very reliable machine. Zenith had a contract with the government so a lot of what you see on the market is old Gov surplus. I have 2 of them. I also have the User's manual, PC Diagnostic manual including Diagnostics disks. Intel 286 CPU running at 8Mhz.

Tupin
November 8th, 2009, 07:33 PM
I'll be sure to take pictures when I get it tomorrow, as well as all of the other stuff I'm going to get.

Tupin
November 10th, 2009, 07:24 PM
Wow, this machine is heavy. Seriously, wherever I decide to put this machine, it is staying there. "Never trust a computer you can't lift" is right, this thing could have weighed like 10-15 pounds less had they just used a thinner steel, but I guess that's what made it "professional".

Was CP/M a standard install on this? Because that's what it has. Any idea how to format the drive and install DOS?

Chuckster_in_Jax
November 10th, 2009, 07:56 PM
Was CP/M a standard install on this? Because that's what it has. Any idea how to format the drive and install DOS?

This machine is IBM AT compatible. It came standard with MS-DOS(free). CP/M was optional and you had to pay extra for it.
You format the drive from the operating system command prompt. Install software just like you would any standard PC.

*You may want to keep the CP/M install, add another hard drive with MS-DOS and have a dual boot system*

Tupin
November 15th, 2009, 04:15 PM
Okay, I got a new CMOS battery for it today and I can finally keep data about startup stored. I selected the C drive to be the startup drive, and it started up initially, but it gave me an error. I switched the startup device (by getting back to the menu via taking the battery out) and switched it to the 1.2MB 5.25 inch drive. I also did set up the harddrives, but not as the boot device.

I turned the machine off, insert a DOS disk, and it booted to DOS. I switched from the A: drive to the C: drive successfully. However, when I try to do something with the C: drive, it says the drive isn't ready. Any help?

Chuck(G)
November 15th, 2009, 05:07 PM
The usual--see if the drive is spinning, check the cables, etc.

Tupin
November 15th, 2009, 08:50 PM
The drive is definitely spinning, and all the cables are connected. It says there's an .exe error.

Chuckster_in_Jax
November 15th, 2009, 09:10 PM
I would double check the drive parameters in the CMOS settings. What hard drives are in the computer? Are they MFM with a standard MFM controller or does it have IDE drives and controller? The standard CMOS in those machines will only accept certain MFM drive types.

Tupin
November 16th, 2009, 06:17 PM
Good thing the guy had a sheet saying what the settings should be. It has two harddrives, one 43MB, the other 120MB, both of which are fixed. It only gives me an option to boot from the 43MB one.

I think this did some serious work at McDonnell Douglas back in the early 90's, and work that no one wanted anyone to touch, as evidenced by the big "PLEASE- Do Not Touch" sticker on it. :D

Tupin
November 21st, 2009, 07:07 PM
Odd, when I choose to boot from the main drive, it goes to DOS for like a quarter of a second and then goes straight to a program called Fido10, an email system, at which it asks me to press a button and then I cannot do anything.

Chuck(G)
November 21st, 2009, 08:38 PM
Can you inspect the C: drive for an AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS file? That may hold the clue to what's going on. (Boot from a floppy)

Tupin
November 21st, 2009, 08:49 PM
When I boot from a floppy and select the C: drive, it says it's not ready.

Even then, I'm not sure how to get it back to booting from a floppy, how do I get to a command screen?

Chuckster_in_Jax
November 21st, 2009, 08:57 PM
What version of DOS are you using to boot from floppy? Any version earlier than 4.0 won't see partitions greater that 32 MB.

Chuck(G)
November 21st, 2009, 09:17 PM
Stupid question, but when you boot from hard disk, does it show that it's booting to C: ? Have you tried booting from A: then trying to show other drives, such as D: E: or even B: ?

I'm assuming that you're using a floppy boot of at least DOS 5.0.

Tupin
November 21st, 2009, 09:37 PM
I better use my MS-DOS 5 upgrade disk to boot with. It shows it's booting to C:, but it goes straight to that program. Maybe I should replace it with another drive...

Chuckster_in_Jax
November 22nd, 2009, 11:13 AM
Can you inspect the C: drive for an AUTOEXEC.BAT or CONFIG.SYS file? That may hold the clue to what's going on. (Boot from a floppy)

Follow the advice from Chuck(G). It looks like your computer is working fine.

Boot from your DOS 5 (or a version 6) floppy.
Type in edit c:\autoexec.bat and <return>. Autoexec.bat is a file that runs when the computer boots up. It is used to set parameters and launch programs automatically so you don't have to do it every time you boot.
Look for a line that has a reference to Fido10.
Position the cursor at the beginning of the line and type REM followed by a space.
Exit the edit program and save your changes.
Reboot.

Hopefully you will now get to the command line on bootup.