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BishopRealTalk
May 10th, 2017, 03:58 PM
Hey all, I'm not really sure this is the correct section but I'm brand new to the world of computers as anything more than a consumer. After watching a popular YouTube channel I became interested in vintage computers. Fortunately my place of employment had several laying around. I had been wanting and old Dos machine so I picked one, hooked up a glorious orange monochrome monitor and fired it up. To my surprise, Everything seems to work I ran all the diagnostics and nothing failed. It has a Seagate ST-225 hard disc. After configuring Everything, it comes up with a couple of errors. It shows a CMOS CHECKSUM failure. I have no idea what that means but I think it has to do with a battery. It's asking for a boot/system disc. I assume this is asking for the Dos installation discs? If so, where can I buy or get a set? As a bonus a found a brand new in box Word Perfect today. If anyone is wondering, it appears to be an old IMB machine but the BIOS is from a local computer company. It does also have expansion memory. I apologise for asking a bunch of newb stuff but I am literally just learning. 3835238353

kgober
May 11th, 2017, 10:59 AM
It looks like you have a basic AT clone. The case looks like an IBM AT case, but you have TEAC floppy drives rather than the ones IBM used so it's probably not a real IBM PC AT.

To get rid of the CMOS checksum error you will need a Setup & Diagnostics diskette. It will have some kind of setup utility on it that you can use to set your system options (most importantly, that's how you get it to recognize your hard disk so that you can boot from it). Alternatively, you may be able to find a copy of the utility available by itself (usually called something like "SETUP.COM" or "SETUP.EXE") which you can put onto a bootable DOS diskette.

If you have another (working) system that has a 5.25" floppy drive you can probably make any diskettes you need; there are multiple sites on the Internet where you can download diskette image files that you can write to a real diskette, then use in your AT clone.

-ken

krebizfan
May 11th, 2017, 11:22 AM
Open the system and find the battery. Some are easy to replace (like a set of AA batteries); some have those awful Dallas blocks where the battery is hidden inside a big block of plastic.

If the BIOS is late enough, the system can use a 3.5" drive as a boot drive which will make copying software over easier. Any modern system with a USB floppy drive can make bootable 3.5" DOS disks. Important if you have to download a generic setup utility and initial DOS boot disk.

Check the office. Good chance that manuals and original disks are still in a store room.

SomeGuy
May 11th, 2017, 11:26 AM
Nice find. At a glance, it looks to be in good cosmetic condition.

The CMOS settings that describe the systems configuration, and the realtime clock are powered by a battery that is certainly long dead. You will need to open the case and look at the motherboard. Post some more pictures too.

If you are lucky it will use a coin-cell or a separately mounted battery pack.

If it uses a "can" style battery on the motherboard, (most probable for this vintage) it may have leaked and made a mess. Sometimes it damages the keyboard connector.

Hopefully it doesn't use an Odin/Dallas integrated chip/battery. Those can be fixed but usually require de-soldering or otherwise hacking them.

As for booting, you have a couple of options. You should be able to attach a normal 1.44mb floppy drive, and boot from that. You could then use any USB 1.44mb drive to write images. (In fact adding a 1.44mb drive would have been a normal and common upgrade). You could also attach a one of those 5.25" drives (I'm guessing those are 1.2mb), to a newer computer if it has a real motherboard floppy disk controller.

Where about are you located? Perhaps there is someone in your area that can help you out.

Also, just noticed, that looks like an XT style keyboard. Although some clone keyboards had various compatiblity features, XT keyboard usually did not work with AT class computers. (An AT class keyboard would have an F11 and F12 key, among other differences)

Dave Farquhar
May 11th, 2017, 01:47 PM
I agree it's probably a clone. Some early clone cases were nearly bolt for bolt copies of IBM. It is possible it's a real IBM with a replaced BIOS, but more likely a clone.

I agree about checking the storeroom for boot disks. Where there are ancient computers, there often are ancient disks. Keeping extra boot floppies around was a very common practice. Any MS-DOS or PC DOS disk on 5.25 will be adequate for testing purposes.

bobba84
May 11th, 2017, 04:24 PM
Nice looking machine! And it looks to be in real good nick too.

Can we please have some photos of the back and inside of this machine? I'm curious as to what kind of clone it is... The case looks to be an almost exact copy of an AT.

fatwizard
May 11th, 2017, 07:39 PM
Also, just noticed, that looks like an XT style keyboard. Although some clone keyboards had various compatiblity features, XT keyboard usually did not work with AT class computers. (An AT class keyboard would have an F11 and F12 key, among other differences)

My 5170 has a 83 key AT keyboard, F1 thru F10. There were some early ones. The original BIOS in my 5170 didn't even support the "enhanced" 101 key keyboard.

Caluser2000
May 11th, 2017, 07:56 PM
I have a similar looking system housing an XT Turbo mobo (Branded "Redstone Computers"). It has the flip top lid and came with EGA monitor.

If the OP gives his location there might be a member of the forums close by who can help out and provide a boot disk.

gsetup.exe is a generic bios setup utility http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/5170/setup/5170_gsetup.htm

KC9UDX
May 11th, 2017, 08:16 PM
I agree it's probably a clone. Some early clone cases were nearly bolt for bolt copies of IBM. It is possible it's a real IBM with a replaced BIOS, but more likely a clone.

I'd sooner expect a replaced mnotherboard than a replaced BIOS. At least that's what my experience says.

I'm not saying that's what we see here, but I couldn't rule it out.

I've seen some pretty good imitation cases, too. I used to have one that had an LBM tag on the front which otherwise looked exactly like an IBM one.

SomeGuy
May 11th, 2017, 08:18 PM
I'm picking the OPs machine is an XTclass system with two 360k drives and wont be able to boot from 1.44 meg media but will if recognize a 1.44meg drive as a 750k drive and you can boot off that. :p
The first photo shows the machine booting and the text "286-BIOS" along with a memory count of 1024K. Of course, it could be a low density controller and drives although that would be a tad odd. Need moar pics!

Caluser2000
May 11th, 2017, 08:20 PM
The first photo shows the machine booting and the text "286-BIOS" along with a memory count of 1024K. Of course, it could be a low density controller and drives although that would be a tad odd. Need moar pics!
Thanks for correcting me. I'll alter my post.

bobba84
May 12th, 2017, 03:00 AM
I found these in a pc mag issue from 1986 - maybe a match?

38368
38367

Malc
May 12th, 2017, 06:12 AM
Nice looking machine, As other's have said Pics of the inside and rear would be good, I agree that the battery is most likely dead, I have an AMI bios in my 5170 with built in bios setup.

BishopRealTalk
May 12th, 2017, 05:09 PM
I apologize for taking so long to reply but life is busy sometimes. The keyboard does work and is fully functional with the computer. Here are pictures of the guts. Let me know what y'all think. I'm located in the Atlanta Metro so if any members are local, I'd love to meet up and pick brains or borrow a bootable disc.

BishopRealTalk
May 13th, 2017, 12:10 PM
Let me know if y'all want pictures if anything else. My post have to be approved so it takes about a day for them to appear.

kgober
May 13th, 2017, 12:55 PM
The battery holder that holds 4 AA's is probably for your CMOS configuration memory. Having no batteries in there will prevent your CMOS configuration from being saved, so you will want to put some fresh AA batteries in. Once you do that, you can use the SETUP utility to program the date, time, floppy and hard disk types and your settings will be maintained for as long as your batteries hold out.

-ken

bobba84
May 14th, 2017, 04:50 AM
Cool, thanks for the pics! Nice looking machine.

It's definitely not a genuine AT case, no what you have is a (close) AT clone. Start with putting some batteries in there like Ken said, and see what it thinks!

Does it offer any options to run the CMOS setup? ie. "Press DEL to enter Setup" or the like? Once you have batteries, you might need to do that before the CMOS Checksum error disappears. If it doesn't have that option, you may need a setup disk for that motherboard - or a general setup program compatible with it.

By the way, that hard drive is Type 2 in the setup program.

Bobby.

rittwage
May 14th, 2017, 06:41 AM
AHCS meets every second Saturday at the old CompUSA building off Holcomb Bridge road in Roswell/Alpharetta. Anyone there would be glad to help, and you can join the mailing list ahcs@yahoogroups.com.

Meeting was yesterday, but we will be there next month.

https://atlhcs.org/

SomeGuy
May 14th, 2017, 06:49 AM
Hmmm, don't most external CMOS batteries need to be ~3.6 volts? I'd take a closer look at that battery holder and note if it is rigged for only 2 batteries (I used one like that before). But I don't know what this specific motherboard expects. I'd just be a little concerned about putting too much voltage on it. But if it was set up for this originally hopefully it will still work.

Chuck(G)
May 14th, 2017, 07:14 AM
No--standard kit for an external battery (attaching to the 4 pin header) is 4 AA cells. I've got several machines configured this way that have been operating for decades.

Even the original 5170 could be configured to use different batteries (http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/5170/battery/5170_battery.htm)

The dreaded on-board NiCd rechargeable batteries were usually 3.6V.

The MC14688 clock used in the 5170 and clones is actually rated for a maximum supply voltage of about 7 volts--add a couple of bandgap drops for the battery circuitry and you're well under that.

Syclops
May 14th, 2017, 07:57 AM
Motherboard appears to be a ELT-286B-1000, but I'm not finding much information out there about it.

Is there an -SM on the end of that model number that is not visible in the photos? ELT-286B-1000-SM?

There are some for sale around the net though like this one, but this is a -SM. http://hardtechgroup.net/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=12087&gclid=CLa4v83j79MCFQEwaQodn0YFTA

This appears to be pictures of the ELT-286B-1000 without the -SM http://computer-retro.de/Bilder/Mainboards/286er-Chaintech-Mainboard-ELT-286B-1000-CHIPS-P82A205-P82C201-10-P82C202-NEC-D823AC-5-Award-1986.jpg

I found some BIOS Setup Disks here but not sure if any of them will work for you. http://motherboards.mbarron.net/download/

NOTE: I found a reference to using CTRL-ALT-ESC key combination to access early Award BIOS Setup, but not sure if it applies to your motherboard.