View Full Version : Zenith SupersPORT 8088 won't start

August 30th, 2005, 12:05 PM
I was cleaning out my closet and I found a Zenith SuperSport laptop, complete with:

8088 processor
???k RAM
CGA graphics
720k floppy drive
MS-DOS 3.3r
Procomm Plus
Some other games, like the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Jr. Pac-Man, Jeopardy...

It worked for a while, then it developed some problems, one of which I fixed:

The keyboard stopped working correctly, only the m, n, b, l, and p keys worked. (This has been fixed; the cable that goes to the motherboard was loose. It's surprisingly durable.)

However, there's a couple things I'm stumped about:

1. Every so often it will get vertical lines on the bottom half of the screen, and the graphics and text will look garbled in that area.

2. Sometimes when it boots it doesn't open the DOS prompt, it displays "Divide overflow".

3. Now it won't work at all, but when the power switch is thrown the floppy drive makes kind of a constant thumping noise that sounds sort of like a 2-stroke motorcycle running. And when the switch is switched off, a very quick "click" comes out of the speaker.

What could possibly be the problem with it?

(Don't tell me the motherboard is fried, it usually starts after about 20 minutes of fiddling with it.)

I went to this site: http://terminus.tzo.com/zds/index.htm , which has information on it, but the manual would help...)

Any and all help is appreciated.
Thanks! :)

August 30th, 2005, 05:55 PM
I had a similar laptop to the one you mentioned above (Zenith Data Systems SuperSport 286), as far as the garbled screen, it sounds like your video cable to the LCD has a bad connection somewhere, or it's going bad. You may either need to tighten the connection or replace it, but I'd have to see the laptop to know.

As for the speaker thing, my 286 did that every time I turned it off. My guess again is that the video connector does not work.

September 9th, 2005, 12:25 PM
I didn't have that model, but the one earlier, years ago. Their first one I guess. I opened it up several times, like I do everything else :). I'll tell you this though, most of those early laptops used the actual chips you'd find in a desktop XT like. Shouldn't have a hard time finding replacement ic's. Of course, you'll either need a desoldering station or use a desoldering wick. With care and patience, you can get the old chip/s off the board, and they might be bad anyway. Install a socket and just press in a replacement. I knew a guy who would desolder all the chips on his Commodore 64 motherboard...when it was brand new!...so this way he could easily troubleshoot the thing in the event of a problem. Shmart! ;)