View Full Version : Downgrade Kaypro 10 to boot / work on floppy?

December 2nd, 2016, 02:36 AM
I have this Kaypro 10 (couple of years or so) which has a problem booting up from the HD. I tried all the things to get it running ( format, reload the OS,etc.) but with no success. One time, I thought I can get a Fre-Hdd for it but when it came to source it, everything fell in the cracks. So It was put on storage for 2years now.

So tonight, thinking about going to try working on it, I thought I 'd ask some help here. Is there a way I'll just use the floppy drive and boot it from floppy. Is there a kaypro bootable disk? and if so, where can I source it.

I still want to work on the hdd but is stuck at the moment.


December 2nd, 2016, 02:59 AM
Here, I think:

December 2nd, 2016, 03:02 AM
When you boot from the floppy is the HD accessable?

December 2nd, 2016, 04:22 AM
The OP may also need a means to transfer the image file to a physical floppy. That (for me at least) was a major excursion!

@RizThomas, where are you located? Could be (if you have no PC with a 5.35" floppy drive) you will need someone to send you a boot disk? I think we can assume that a Kaypro 10's boot ROM will look for a boot track on the floppy first, then fallback to the hard disk, so it's a good bet that it will boot from a valid floppy with no modifications. Do you see a drive activity light come on for Disk A? Post boot, there will be no HDD access unless you booted from a disk that supports the hard drive (you may also be able to configure this after boot - at least, that is how it works on my CP/M hard drive machines). Choose one of the "k10" files.

The good news is that, looking at the link KC9UDX posted, you are well and truly covered. I mean, even the Kaypro 10 BIOS source code is there. :)

And that reminds me. Did you know there is a Kaypro on the ISS? At least, according to the 2011 Sci Fi movie "Love" there is.. http://img.veehd.com/4698094_l1.jpg Bottom left, under the console, with the Kaypro keyboard on top. You can't see it from this picture, but it even has the enormous Kaypro logo showing on the side of the case. Random!

December 2nd, 2016, 05:55 AM
Thank you for the replies. Apologies, I should bring up my Kaypro and power it up before asking you these questions. Anyhow, when I was trying to fix it, I spent also a great deal browsing the internet for tips (here at VFD mostly on Kaypro threads).

From what I remember doing before I gave up...
1. I have downloaded the K10 files and was able to make floppies (using the tips in creating them using PC /5.25 floppy). Thanks to the Maslin archive for this.
2. When booting 'without' the floppy, the HD / system boots up with error ( can't remember the errors).
3. These is when i used the K10 files and booted from floppy. From here, I tried to format (using the files I see from the directories) the HDD but failed with errors too. I may have been doing it wrong but there were also discussions here about several FORMAT commands and how to implement it. Being new in this, I still doubt myself if I am doing it right.
4. Then, there was FRE-HDD way of using it on the K10. I tried to source (buy) the board but it never materialized to the point it being sold to me. I believe it is available but the price is way out of my budget o consider.

So my desire (like my other retros), I'd like to display it as 'working partially' system by maybe disabling the HDD and just boot it with a system disk and be able to load some programs using floppies. Basically, use it like the early Kaypro (no HDD), swapping floppy disks (it being only having 1 floppy drive).


December 2nd, 2016, 06:02 AM
I just finished browsing the link (thanks KC9DUX), there are additional files thay may help me try to format the HD again. Today, I will fish it from the crawl space and try working on it again. I will update status...

Any tips / help is much appreciated. Thanks!

I re-read your reply. So with Kaypro 10, I need to come up with a system disk that boots first (contains the HD support files?). The HDD - being corrupt will not finish booting for a proper system..

December 2nd, 2016, 10:32 AM
Correct, Riz.

Specifically, the BIOS must support the hard drive for you to be able to use it in CP/M, but usually the formatter can work without a special BIOS.

If your hard drive is broken, there are options other than KayFreeHD, but they will be less easy to set up. Heh, watch this space.


Bungo Pony
December 3rd, 2016, 05:35 AM
If you decide to ditch the HD & controller from your Kaypro 10, I'll be happy to take it off your hands since mine is missing.