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Unknown_K
March 2nd, 2010, 07:05 PM
I have a 286 AT clone I can't figure out how to get into the BIOS setup.

Information:

Motherboard : DTK PTM 1200A V2, ZERO 286 V2

BIOS: Phoenix 80286 V 3.10 00

Computer comes up with the above BIOS info, then AUTOCOMPUTER then invalid configuration info RUN Setup F1 to continue.

If I hit F1 it boots from floppy A.

I tried hitting F2 , ESC, CONT+ALT+ESC, CONT+ALT+S and nothing seems to get into BIOS.

The battery has been removed with a little leaking that cleaned up ok. The keyboard works fine and that was in the battery area. Currently no battery installed. It had an old Winchester + floppy controller I removed and installed a newer IDE+IO+Floppy card, only difference now is RTC has stopped error.

Any ideas?

vwestlife
March 2nd, 2010, 07:37 PM
Many 286s, and some early 386s, do not have Setup in ROM. You are supposed to load the manufacturer's setup program from a boot disk. Of course this disk often goes missing over the years, but you can create a makeshift one yourself by formatting a DOS boot disk (preferably with something small and simple like DOS 3.3) and copying GSETUP onto it. GSETUP is a generic CMOS setup program that will work for any PC which is fully compatible with the IBM AT. If your clone deviates from the IBM AT standard in certain areas, such as by having on-board video, then certain options in GSETUP may not work correctly, but usually it works at least well enough to let you set your date, time, and floppy and hard drive types.

Here's a link to download GSETUP:
ftp://ftp.simtel.net/pub/simtelnet/msdos/sysutl/gsetup31.zip

Unknown_K
March 2nd, 2010, 08:30 PM
Ok, thanks. I will try it out tomorrow.

vwestlife
March 2nd, 2010, 09:27 PM
Just in case this system actually does have built-in CMOS Setup, here are pretty much all of the key combinations I've encountered:

Esc
F1
F2
F10
F12
Ctrl+F1
Ctrl+F2
Ctrl+Alt+F10
Ctrl+Alt+F12
Ctrl+S
Alt+S
Ctrl+Alt+S
Ins
Del
Ctrl+Alt+Ins
Ctrl+Alt+Esc
Ctrl+Alt+Enter
SysRq (a.k.a. Alt+PrtSc)

Or, just continuously hold down a key during start-up until it produces a keyboard error, and then hopefully you will get a message indicating the key combination for Setup (such as "Keyboard Error... Press F1 to continue, F2 for Setup").

Unknown_K
March 3rd, 2010, 06:30 AM
Well I tried the software and it seemed to work. Only issue now is the software will not allow me to enter HD data to use a drive that is not listed by type (1-47). Is there a way to enter HD data into that software, or do I need to find one of those software HD managers and run that (don't have one)?

vwestlife
March 3rd, 2010, 09:43 AM
Well I tried the software and it seemed to work. Only issue now is the software will not allow me to enter HD data to use a drive that is not listed by type (1-47). Is there a way to enter HD data into that software, or do I need to find one of those software HD managers and run that (don't have one)?
Many 286s do not have user-definable hard drive types built into ROM. If you have a smaller IDE drive (about 120 megs or less) you can usually get away with choosing one of the pre-defined drive types that is roughly close to the drive's size, even if the parameters (cylinders, heads, etc.) are wrong. Otherwise you'll need to use a disk manager type driver, or a controller card with its own onboard ROM which lets you custom define the drive types.

modem7
March 3rd, 2010, 10:58 PM
If you run the following DOS program on your 286, the program will list the drive types that your motherboard's BIOS supports.
http://members.dodo.com.au/~slappanel555/software/AT_FDPT.zip

modem7
March 3rd, 2010, 11:12 PM
If your 286 motherboard is relatively primitive (doesn't have chip sets, or has chip sets that don't need to be initialised via BIOS initialisation code), then replacing your BIOS with the AMI BIOS shown at http://members.dodo.com.au/~slappanel555/bios.htm will give you user-defined type 47 capability.

Captain Midnight
March 4th, 2010, 04:01 PM
One other suggestion would be to scrounge around E-bay for an older SCSI card and finding a hard drive that way, either by itself or even from say an older Mac. Then, you don't really have to worry about the built in BIOS at all.

Unknown_K
March 4th, 2010, 04:58 PM
I tried an old 16 bit ISA Adaptec SCSI but got timeout errors (will have to check it in another machine), so I stuck an 8 bit MFM card and drive in the unit and it works. Putting in a newer ROM would make it easy to use an IDE drive, but since I have 286 machines with built in BIOS I think I will just keep this one as is.

The machine itself is a huge AT case that I installed dual 1.2MB 5.25" drives into, looks massive with a 15" Sony monitor on top (has the power switch on the side like an old AT). Luckily the leaking battery didn't hurt anything (got it cheaper because of that too expecting the MB to be dead) and cleaned off nicely.

Now I need to solder on a coin battery holder and diode to finish it off.

vwestlife
March 4th, 2010, 05:35 PM
One other suggestion would be to scrounge around E-bay for an older SCSI card and finding a hard drive that way, either by itself or even from say an older Mac. Then, you don't really have to worry about the built in BIOS at all.

Just be careful: Not all SCSI controllers contain a boot ROM, since many were made for use with SCSI CD-ROM drives.

Captain Midnight
March 4th, 2010, 05:45 PM
True; my other suggestion was going to be using the MFM/RLL combination, which it looks like you used anyway. Slow? Yes, but depending on the 286 you have, a newer hard drive setup might actually outpace the machine, reducing the overall performance gain you would receive from doing that. Besides, what's a 286 without a hard drive that doesn't loudly clang or beeps?

vwestlife
March 4th, 2010, 06:25 PM
True; my other suggestion was going to be using the MFM/RLL combination, which it looks like you used anyway. Slow? Yes, but depending on the 286 you have, a newer hard drive setup might actually outpace the machine, reducing the overall performance gain you would receive from doing that. Besides, what's a 286 without a hard drive that doesn't loudly clang or beeps?
Yes, and on a 286, a fast RLL drive and a 16-bit 1:1 interleave RLL controller would likely get you to the point where performance is more limited by CPU power than by disk speed. There were even some caching MFM/RLL controllers made with DRAM or SIMM sockets to add onboard RAM, but given enough main system RAM you could likely achieve the same effect just by using SmartDrive in DOS.

In fact, I just got a Seagate ST-277R-1 myself -- the fast-seek RLL version of the well known MFM ST-251, whose start-up seek test and regenerative auto-park made it one of the most aurally interesting and unmistakable hard drives ever made:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh6sd-kdFFg

Now I just need to get a period-correct 286 (or even early 386) clone to put it in, although even in my Packard Bell Turbo XT it feels quite peppy compared to the old groany ST-225 it came with.

Unknown_K
March 4th, 2010, 09:54 PM
Installed the coin battery, its finished (unless I want to change some DRAM to get it to 1MB instead of 640K). It has 4 banks of DRAM 2 are 256K and 2 are 64K (100NS I think). I have a somewhat dead 286 board with 4 banks of 256K DRAM I could swap around. 640K is good enough for a 286 anyway.

One thing I didn't get correct is the LED light for the MFM controller. It has 5 pins in that area 2:1:2 and I can't get a combo that works with the 2 pin HD LED in the case, any ideas?

Captain Midnight
March 5th, 2010, 04:48 PM
640K is probably fine for basic DOS apps on a 286, but you might think about throwing an AST RAMPage in there if you can find it (or a similar EMS board). I've seen a few lately on EBay that look tempting, if I were working a desktop 286 now. And for drivers, if you can't find them anywhere else, REMM.SYS is included with Windows/286 along with a nice readme file to set the switches correctly.

And for reference on my prior post:

Beeping hard drive = ST-225
Clanging hard drive = ST-251

k2x4b524[
March 5th, 2010, 09:48 PM
Beeping hard drive = ST-225
Clanging hard drive = ST-251
Sliding hard drive = Magnetic Peripherals 9415-513
And the finale
Chirping hard drive = Kalok Octagon KL 330 *has to be the last known working one in existance*