PDA

View Full Version : BT badged "Zenith 248" 286 PC



Malc
April 11th, 2012, 06:51 AM
I have an old "I think" zenith data systems model "248" 286 PC, It is actually badged "British Telecom", i've had it a while and the old 42Mb hard drive "ST 225" seem's to be on it's last legs, getting noisy and gaining more bad sectors, I got the model number MWE-248-F4 from a lable that is stuck to the floor inside the machine.

My question is: Is it possible to use an ide hard drive controller card and ide drive in these Zenith 248 machines ?, I have tried several ide controller cards and drives which i know are working and get the same error message every time "Bad Disk Controller", I even tried my XTIDE card in it and got the same error, Anyone know ?

Thanks
Malc

RJBJR
April 11th, 2012, 10:21 AM
There is a Zenith Z-248 286 computer. You may have to enter the setup program and change the system configuration to use a different HDD/Controller.
The Z-248 manual is located here http://www.mediafire.com/?fizkmlyjnzw thanks to Chuckster_in_Jax for the manuals

DOS lives on!!
April 11th, 2012, 12:57 PM
Well, I never thought I'd find the manual to my ZW-248. Thanks for that.

By the way, the ST-225 is 21.4mb, not 42mb. If there's nothing really important on it, you could try low level formatting the drive and see if that corrects the bad sectors problem. My Zenith has the same problem as your Zenith, ailing HDDs. Interesting.

Malc
April 11th, 2012, 02:08 PM
Many thanks Russ and Chuckster_in_Jax downloading the manual now :-)

I'll pull the drive out again later and double check, i've not tried a low level format certainly worth a try, I'd like to keep the old machine running it's in good nick for it's age, Much too good to scrap :-)

Thanks
Malc

DOS lives on!!
April 11th, 2012, 02:33 PM
Oh definetely don't scrap it. It's a vintage computer for heavens sake!

Not sure if the diagnostic disk has any utilities on it for helping with these errors, or if SpinRite would be better.

twolazy
April 11th, 2012, 02:55 PM
There's a thread somewhere on here that was talking about lubing these old ST225's...

Here it is... its in this thread...
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?28658-ST-225-longevity&highlight=lube

Willing to bet a drop of lube and a low level reformat make that drive happy again ;)

Chuckster_in_Jax
April 11th, 2012, 07:19 PM
My question is: Is it possible to use an ide hard drive controller card and ide drive in these Zenith 248 machines ?, I have tried several ide controller cards and drives which i know are working and get the same error message every time "Bad Disk Controller", I even tried my XTIDE card in it and got the same error, Anyone know ?

I drug mine out today and fired it up. The CMOS battery was dead so I had to manually enter the settings. <CTRL> + <INS> gets you into the monitor program where you can enter "setup" and <return> to get to the CMOS settings.

My unit has a combination IDE+Floppy+I/O card in it and a Seagate ST-157 IDE drive. To get the IDE drive to work, you have to get into CMOS and select parameters that match your drive. You may be limited to only drives that match entries in the CMOS table. I don't think there is a way to enter custom settings. That was a problem with some of the earlier machines. Another option is to use a controller card with it's own BIOS that will allow you to use a wider range of drives. If you use one of those, set the hard drive type in CMOS to "Not Present". When the computer is booting up there should be a key sequence to enter the controller's utility program or maybe a boot disk with the setup utility on it.

These machine can be finicky, but with some persistence you should be able to get an IDE or even a SCSI drive to install.

DOS lives on!!
April 12th, 2012, 07:03 AM
You may be limited to only drives that match entries in the CMOS table. I don't think there is a way to enter custom settings
Give the ANYDRIVE DDO a try (That program is awesome.) Available at,
http://files.chatnfiles.com/Modem-Madness/modem.madness/smmutils/00index.html

Chuckster_in_Jax
April 12th, 2012, 07:58 AM
Give the ANYDRIVE DDO a try (That program is awesome.) Available at,
http://files.chatnfiles.com/Modem-Ma...s/00index.html

Bad link

Try this:

http://files.chatnfiles.com/Modem-Madness/modem.madness/smmutils/00index.html

DOS lives on!!
April 12th, 2012, 08:04 AM
Changed it, don't know what went wrong there. The instructions are very detailed. Just remember to set lower HDD parameter values in the BIOS.

Malc
April 12th, 2012, 09:14 AM
Many Thanks guy's :-) i think i got it sorted now fingers crossed, I made a booboo in my original post, the drive is infact an ST-251 and not a 255, I tried a low level format but didn't make any difference so decided to go searching again and found another card "Silicon Valley ADP 60/70 version 1.61", The machine booted up as far as "Starting MS-DOS" and then kicked out an error "+++ Divide by Zero +++" and a bucket load of letters / numbers after it, So i pulled the card and removed the socketed bios chip and replaced it with my XTIDE Universal bios chip from my xtide card, Connected a maxtor 80Gb HD to the card and voila the machine booted up recognising the 80Gb Maxtor, Fdisk and partition and installed Dos and it worked a treat :-)

I have now removed the maxtor and fitted a CF adapter with a 2 Gb CF card and it's working great, Just got to get the front hd led connected up and hopefully all will be well again.

Thanks again guys and thanks also to the xtide universal bios team, i'm one happy bunny :-)

Regards
Malc

RJBJR
April 12th, 2012, 04:25 PM
Good you got that done before Friday The 13th <G>

Bad thing is now you need another BIOS chip for your XT-IDE card.
Good thing is that The XT-IDE Team has come out with a version 2.xx BIOS that is backward compatible with the original XT-IDE PCB.

Malc
April 13th, 2012, 04:59 AM
I have another 2 XTIDE cards which i haven't built yet for my 5150 and another XT but couldn't remember where i put them so it was easier to pull the one out of my working xt and use that, Found the cards now but still need to replace the chip, I've also got an XT 286 i want to get back in working condition again, never enough hours in a day lately though.

I upgraded the zenith to the version 2 BIOS last night and it's working well, I'm liking this CF hard drive gizmo never tried one in a PC before :-)

Regards
Malc