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Thread: 80386DX-33 rebuild

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
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    Default 80386DX-33 rebuild

    I bought this 292205359760 off of eBay because my curiosity got the better of me. I have a DTK DATA1000 XT turbo machine and this looks just like it.

    I was fairly sure there was no video card in it so I also bought a Video Seven ISA VGA adapter. It arrived the day after the computer. Installing it let me boot to the setup screen. That was a relief.

    I think this is an XT Turbo that had a motherboard swap. Indications of this are: 1) all of the adapters are 8 bit. And 2) some of the wires from the front panel aren't connected.

    It wouldn't boot on the ST-225 even with the BIOS set to type 2. It also wouldn't boot from the floppy. All of the setting had been lost. I need to change the battery. It had a mini/micro2 floppy controller in it. You have to set jumpers for drive type. I decided to remove it and us a Matrox 16 bit IDE/floppy controller I had laying around. I set the IDE interface to secondary. It turned out the floppy is a 1.2 mb and now it could boot from floppy.

    I could now read the directory on C: but trying to load things usually gave errors. The BIOS has a utility to test the drive, destructive of the data unfortunately. I stopped it when it became obvious that there were a lot of errors. All of them seemed to be on head 3, so I wonder if it would work if you set the BIOS to 3 instead of 4 heads? I removed the controller and set the other one back to primary. I installed a 256 MB DOM on it. FDISK and then FORMAT /s and it works. That is where I called it quits for the night. I am satisfied with my progress so far.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2016
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    More progress today. The battery is out and two wires soldered in. I plan to use a 3.6 volt cordless phone battery to replace it and put it far away from the motherboard. Funny thing is that the BIOS setting are holding longer now that the. Battery is gone. I'm guessing due to,a capacitor in the circuit. Cleaned up the light damage from leakage. It looks like the last ISA slot may be shot. Not a problem as there are 7 more.

    Turns out I was wrong about there being no video card. There was an old IBM MDA with parallel port card in it. Very weird. Once I find one at a reasonable price, I will put a multifunction card in. I want at least 2 RS-232 and one parallel port.

    While I had it apart, I removed the ST-225. It wasn't installed right anyhow. It looks like someone lacking in computer experience worked on this computer, but I haven't found anything I can't fix yet.

  3. #3

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    Cool. These projects are lots of fun.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2016
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    Yes and, since I have learned so much from other's posts, I like to share. I haven't seen any mention of using a 3.6 volt mobile phone battery, but it seems like it should work. Cheap enough to try it.

  5. #5
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    Oct 2016
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    Installed the cordless phone battery today. It seems to be working fine. The battery I removed was a 60 mah. This one is 600 MHz. It should hold setting a long time between uses once fully charged. I installed it outside the case and used Scotch adhesive to fasten it to the back of the computer.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2016
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    I made a little more progress. Sunday I swapped the 1.2 mb 5.25 drive for a 1.44 mb 3.5. I only have room for two externally accessible drives and I want a CD-ROM. I plan to build a 286 system and I figure 1.2 and 1.44 mb floppies and no CD-ROM would be good for that. If I remember correctly, CDs just started being used on 386s and were still rather expensive. They didn't become prevalent until later.

    I wanted to upgrade to DOS 6.22 so I bought a set of floppies on eBay. They turned out to be copies and weren't bootable. I downloaded an image of a boot disk and used my PCjr to create the boot disk. I booted the 386 with it and then executed the autoexec file from Disk 1 of the disks I bought. Got a message that I had a previous version of DOS and it wouldn't install. Grrrr.

    Tonight I created a DOS directory on the C: drive and copied the floppies to it. I didn't want to expand all of the files manually, so I copied packing.lst to expands.bat and edited it using good old PC-Write. Deleted all of the lines where the file didn't end in an underscore, added "expand " to the beginning of each line, and then used find " " and replace " " repeatedly until there was only one space between the name of the file to expand and the name for the expanded file. Saved and ran it. Worked perfectly. Del *.??_ cleaned up the DOS directory.

    I lot of work, but I now have it working with DOS 6.22. Next will be to install Windows 3.1 for the few games of that era that run under Windows.

  7. #7
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    Good to see you are making progress.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  8. #8
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    Oct 2016
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    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
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    Got in 4 x 1MB 30- pins Simms. Installed them. Now up to 8 MB of RAM. I just need to install a CD-ROM drive and it will be done.
    PCjr, PC-XT Turbo, 386DX 33, 486 laptop, Pentium 120, Pentium III 400, various old laptops

  9. #9

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    Another DTK DATA1000 Turbo user here - went a bit beyond restoration. I chose it precisely for the all-ISA bus slots. I added two CF drives - one (C) for boot and one for data using an XT-IDE adapter - talk about making the machine FAST! Right now I am using a Mach8 Video card (1024x768x256) and a VGA LCD screen off of it. I do have a pair of ISA Intel ActionMedia II video digitizer/playback cards I've been planning to install - this was the first IBM-compatible card that could digitize video (DVI) back in the day - I had a set for the MCA bus for a PS/2 when I was testing it before it became commercially available.I opted for an external backpack CD so that I could support an internal 3.5" floppy drive in addition to a 5.25" floppy drive. Here's the current state of my DTK DATA1000 Turbo:

    CPU: 40MHz
    RAM: 16MB
    Main Drive: 1GB CF
    Slave Drive 1GB CF
    3.5 1.44MB Floppy
    5.25 1.2MB Floppy
    ZIP100 Parallel
    CD Drive
    Mach8 Video 1024x768x256
    US Robotics 56K Modem
    SoundBlaster 16
    Intel PRO100B NIC
    Display: LCD

    Good luck!
    Mike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio USA
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    Default

    That's quite a machine. I use a 1 GB DOM as the primary drive and a Datafab parallel port CF reader to transfer files from modern computers.

    Quote Originally Posted by nc_mike View Post
    Another DTK DATA1000 Turbo user here - went a bit beyond restoration. I chose it precisely for the all-ISA bus slots. I added two CF drives - one (C) for boot and one for data using an XT-IDE adapter - talk about making the machine FAST! Right now I am using a Mach8 Video card (1024x768x256) and a VGA LCD screen off of it. I do have a pair of ISA Intel ActionMedia II video digitizer/playback cards I've been planning to install - this was the first IBM-compatible card that could digitize video (DVI) back in the day - I had a set for the MCA bus for a PS/2 when I was testing it before it became commercially available.I opted for an external backpack CD so that I could support an internal 3.5" floppy drive in addition to a 5.25" floppy drive. Here's the current state of my DTK DATA1000 Turbo:

    CPU: 40MHz
    RAM: 16MB
    Main Drive: 1GB CF
    Slave Drive 1GB CF
    3.5” 1.44MB Floppy
    5.25” 1.2MB Floppy
    ZIP100 Parallel
    CD Drive
    Mach8 Video 1024x768x256
    US Robotics 56K Modem
    SoundBlaster 16
    Intel PRO100B NIC
    Display: LCD

    Good luck!
    Mike
    PCjr, PC-XT Turbo, 386DX 33, 486 laptop, Pentium 120, Pentium III 400, various old laptops

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