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Thread: IBM PS/2 Model 30 - 101 System Board Error message

  1. #1

    Question IBM PS/2 Model 30 - 101 System Board Error message

    Hi everyone! I'm really excited that tonight, years after I picked up this complete IBM PS/2 Model 30 off the curb, that I was able to at least get it to show something on the screen (before this it would do nothing except flash a small LED on the hard drive once.) I knew the PSU was fine, so I did some research and worked by process of elimination back until I found out this expansion card was preventing the computer from booting for some reason. Was great hearing this dinosaur roar back into life! Even if I just got an error message out of it haha

    Anyhow I've came here to ask what exactly this message could mean, and how can I go about fixing it? I'm pretty new to vintage computing but pick them up whenever I find them, I hope I can find a old printer to go with this IBM and get it back into action!

    Thanks everyone!
    I took these pics showing the error message, the expansion card I removed, and a aerial view of the board with the port where the card was removed outlined in pink.
    000_0021[1].jpg
    000_0023[1].jpg
    000_0024[1].jpg

  2. #2

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    Hey guys just an update, Turning the computer off then on again a few hours later (aka oldest trick in the disk) will make the computer load a prompt with 3 errors codes-

    205-Memory Error
    161-Set Date and Time
    302-System Unit Keylock is Locked (How is that an error....Unless this controls the computer instead of locking the case as a safety mechanism like i originally thought....Hang on I got some investigating to do! )

    OK I checked that, Key lock has no effect on the computer, will still give the system board error. I'll try again in a few hours and see what happens.

    Also quick question, does it matter which PS/2 port I plug the keyboard into? Both seems to only light up the NUM LOCK key and would not let me hit F1 to continue, as the prompt will tell me to after sitting for a few hours. Any advice?
    Thanks guys!

  3. #3
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    The two PS/2 ports are not interchangeable. Attach the keyboard to the port with the picture of the keyboard on it.

    It is possible that someone inserted a keyboard after turning on the computer which can short the planar board.

  4. #4

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    Hey krebizfan thanks for the reply! My PS/2 is missing the labels for which port does which, but I found out the one closet to the VGA port is for keyboard. After that I could press F1, set the time and date, and booted into IBM PC DOS 3.30 perfectly! So excited! Amazing a computer I saved off the curb years ago could boot right up like that. There's some files saved to the disk that indicated the computer was in use up until 1998, and some programs called "AUTOEXEC" and "XTALK" and stuff, I'm not sure what those do or how to load them, I'm gonna try to find some old manuals on PC DOS 3.30. I'm looking forward to using this thing for school work!

    However my issue with the System Board Error still persists, after running DOS perfectly I flipped it off then on and got the same error. Any ideas on what I can do with that, or is that what you meant by a possibly shorted planar board? Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Check http://www.ibmfiles.com/ps2disketteimages.htm for two Model 30 specific disks. Starter disk does setup; diagnostics are self-explanatory.

    http://www.computer-engineering.org/ps2protocol/ explains how hot plugging can damage components on a motherboard. Early IBM models lack the fuses described there so make sure the computer is off before attaching any PS/2 device.

    Some of your symptoms match with what happens with a depleted battery. http://www.mcamafia.de/mcapage0/battery1.htm explains where to look for it and a possible method for replacement. Other components may have failed but unless the battery is working checking them is an exercise in futility.

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