PDA

View Full Version : IBM PC Serial Numbers



Ken Vaughn
March 14th, 2010, 02:38 PM
Is there an online database of IBM PC serial numbers which would identify the manufacturing date? I have two vintage PC's -- one has a serial number of 0116140 and I am pretty sure that I bought it in late 1981, but I would like to confirm that.

vwestlife
March 14th, 2010, 02:56 PM
Judging by the ROM version (http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?9692-IBM-PC-5150-BIOS-Versions) you can get a rough idea of how old it is. The oldest PCs have the 16/64KB motherboard and only two screws holding the case cover on.

Older PCs also often use wide black expansion card backplates, instead of the narrower silver ones that will fit into the XT. Also look for a black-painted power supply, rated at 63.5 or 65 watts, with a very quiet AC fan. Newer PCs used the same power supply as the XT: silver, rated at 130 or 135 watts, and with a louder DC fan.

Sometimes there will be a production date stamped on the back of the case, or on a cloth tag attached to the speaker.

Also look for date codes on the integrated circuit chips. For example "8348" would be the 48th week of 1983, and "8216" would be the 16th week of 1982. The oldest PCs also came with an Intel 8088 processor with only a revision date of '78 on it. Later Intel fixed some bugs, so newer 8088s are marked " '78 '81 ", and eventually IBM also began using 8088s made by AMD and NEC.

billdeg
March 15th, 2010, 06:18 PM
Yes, that's a S/N from a early 16-64K system chassis, the ROMs could have been upgraded so you might get misleading results if you use that as your basis for dating a system. In my opinion (IMO) without the orignal chassis and black power supply you don't have an orginal IBM PC. The ROMs can be downgraded, you can remove the drives and put in original low density drives, etc.
bd

Ken Vaughn
March 17th, 2010, 10:53 AM
Yes, that's a S/N from a early 16-64K system chassis, the ROMs could have been upgraded so you might get misleading results if you use that as your basis for dating a system. In my opinion (IMO) without the orignal chassis and black power supply you don't have an orginal IBM PC. The ROMs can be downgraded, you can remove the drives and put in original low density drives, etc.
bd

Yes it has the black power supply, black edge connectors (5), 16-64 system motherboard, 2 screws holding cover on case. The ROMs are all marked IBM 1981. I have both a monochrome/printer display adapter and a CGA display adapter -- I put the original IBM monochrome card back in in the system and adjusted the dip switch (1). I appear to have upgraded the floppy drives at some point in time. I have two original IBM keyboards -- they look the same except one has a silver sleeve on the connector which you plug into the back of the system, the other connector is all black. Any idea which is the older of the two keyboards.

I have original IBM 5.25" DOS/Diagnostics disks for DOS 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.1, 3.3, 4.0, and later versions on 3.5" disks.

billdeg
March 17th, 2010, 11:25 AM
very nice original system.
there is a post at the top os the IBM forum that has the ROM silkscreen numbers, so you can determine the ROM version. The black-edges indicate that they're original, so they're the oldest. This is a system that could be in a museum, or you could get a lot for it on Ebay if marketed correctly with lots of pictures and a screen shot of the DOS directory.

Do you have IBM CP/M-86 by chance?

Bill

Ken Vaughn
March 17th, 2010, 12:50 PM
Do you have IBM CP/M-86 by chance?


No, not IBM CP/M-86. I do have Digital Research CP/M-86 Ver 1.1 however, including the DR C Compiler. This totals 16 disks.

This begs another question. I dumped most of my 5.25" work disks years ago, but I kept all the original install diskettes with their original vendor printed sleeves. I have around 500 of these 5.25" diskettes, and probably another 500 original 3.5" disks. Should I consider creating disk images of some of the older disks? What is the best way to do this? I have a 486DX system which will run DOS and it has both a 5.25" and a 3.5" disk drive plus a CDROM drive. I don't remember right now if the CDROM drive will write CD's or just read them. I also have a laptop with a 3.5" drive and USB flash drive capability. It is old enough that it will boot to DOS if I choose to.

I archived 50 or so disk images from my "old" pc -- an IMSAI PCS-80/30 with Northstar disk drives. I bought this system in 1977. There are pictures of this system in the S-100 forum. I wrote a program on the IMSAI to output disk images (over a serial port) compatible with Dave Dunfield's NST/NSI programs. I can mount and execute these images on one of my DOS machines using Dave Dunfield's Northstar Horizon emulation software. I can also run this software on my Vista desktop system using "DOSBox" which runs just fine. I ran Northstar DOS, CP/M 1.4, and the UCSD Pascal system on that system.

per
March 17th, 2010, 01:45 PM
Unless writeprotection is present, the best format in my opinion is raw images. That way it is way easy to examine the disk contnent without actually burning it back to a disk, and the support for this format is quite widespread.

Ken Vaughn
March 19th, 2010, 05:35 AM
Unless writeprotection is present, the best format in my opinion is raw images.

Can someone recommend a utility to create raw images? I would prefer something which runs under DOS; my Windows based machines don't have a 5.25" drive in them.

Can these raw image files be "mounted" and examined under DOS (or Windows), or do you have to copy them back to physical media?

per
March 19th, 2010, 03:35 PM
Can someone recommend a utility to create raw images? I would prefer something which runs under DOS; my Windows based machines don't have a 5.25" drive in them.

Can these raw image files be "mounted" and examined under DOS (or Windows), or do you have to copy them back to physical media?
I prefere DskImage:
http://www.brutman.com/PCjr/downloads/DskImage.zip

It runs under most versions of DOS, I think (I'm unsure if DOS 1.x is supported), and it uses the BIOS to do the disk access. The nice thing with it is that it can write a disk of one format to a disk originally meant for another format. You can even make bootable 1.44MB disks with DOS 1.0 using this program, however, a lot of software will think that the disk actually is 160KB instead of 1.44MB then.

Raw images can be mounted on a Windoes NT machine, as a virtual drive using VFD (http://chitchat.at.infoseek.co.jp/vmware/vfd.html), or in DosBox. DosBox doesn't autodetect the head/cylinder/sector settings, so therse must be included in the mounting command line, however, VFD does as best as it can to autodetect what media is being used (based on filesize).