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Thread: Olivetti M300-05 battery dead and hard drive not recognized

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Olivetti M300-05 battery dead and hard drive not recognized

    Hi,

    I recently bought a nice looking Olivetti M300-05, but some days ago the CMOS battery died and now my hard drive is not recognized anymore.
    I can get into the limited build-in bios settings program, but setting the hard drive to the correct number doesn't seem to work. It's a Quantum LPS 52 AT (at 40 MB) and a sticker in my computer states I should choose drive type 36 in the bios. I also found a document online which states the same. I tried ALL possible drive types (yes, it was very time consuming), but I still didn't get it working.

    The hard drive itself still works. When I connect it to my Windows 98 laptop, I can read its contents. It's also recoginized by some HDD software running on the M300-05 itself via floppy. That software evens displays the correct dos version (6.20) installed on the disk.

    Does anyone have disk images from the Olivetti M300-05 setup disk(s)? I have been looking all around and I can only find a disk image for the original M300, but that doesn't cover all settings from the M300-05.
    Or did someone else have the same issue and knows how to fix this?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Ok, I found the BIOS setup utility for the M380 and after setting my drive to type 36 I got "Fixed Disks: 1 present". But it still won't boot.
    I guess i might have changed some settings from the hard drive with SpeedStor. I'll look further into it after work.

  3. #3
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    A picture with the current startup information:
    Foto 14-09-18 08 58 03.jpg

    Don't mind the cat hairs ...

  4. #4
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    Yiu have used the wromng setup disk. You need for M300. Unfortanetely I haven't it. Can you forward me an image file copy of the M380 disk? I try to collect them.

    Can you show a screenshot of the HDD setting in the onboard BIOS setup of M300? Maybe I remember something when I see it.

  5. #5
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    Well, thanks to the M380 setup utility, the original hard drive was recognized, I couldn't acces the files on it, but the drive was found by FDISK.
    I replaced it by a larger drive which resembles type 33 in the BIOS. After setting the drive with the M380 setup utility, I could access the files (games, dos 6.22, Windows 3.1), but it won't boot from it, even after reinstalling DOS.
    I can run the already installed Windows 3.1 without a problem.
    I replaced the 6v battery by 4 1.5v batteries. The BIOS settings stay saved now.

    setup utility disks I tried:
    M290: hard drive not recognized after setting to the correct type
    M300-30: not compatible, is for 486 computers
    M380: hard drive recognized after setting to the correct type, but doesn't have all M300-05 settings.

    You can find the M380 disks over here, be sure to check the other folders for disk images:
    http://www.retrocomputing.net/parts/olivetti/m380/docs/

  6. #6

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    Fdisk/MBR might be your friend here. Give it a try.
    ☀☀☀ Visit Take Another Step for both computer and non-computer related discussions. ☀☀☀

    If you're looking for DS/DD or DS/HD 3" or 5" floppy disks, PM me. I've got some new, used, and factory over-labeled disks for sale.

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Fdisk/MBR might be your friend here. Give it a try.
    After running "FDISK /MBR" i get the message "Missing operating system" after boot up. Before that, it showed the same message it in Dutch.
    I also tried "SYS C:" and it says the system is transferred, but it still wont boot from C.
    FDISK tells me the C drive is active and PRI DOS. I shows 127MB in the MByte column, but also shows there is a total disk space of 100MB (which is the size shown, when setting type 33 in BIOS). Is it possible this 127MB versus 100MB size prevents it from booting?
    I guess I might need to remove the partition and recreate it to match the 100MB size. Or maybe just do another low level format of the drive.
    Last edited by XDUR; September 15th, 2018 at 03:35 AM.

  8. #8
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    Ok, apparently I was not confirming the settings from the build-in BIOS, but just exiting without saving ...
    After setting al settings, you need to press the enter key another time, instead of using the exit key to exit the BIOS.
    Now the drive get's recognized, without needing a setup utility on a floppy, but ... I still can't boot from the C drive.
    I tried:
    - Reformatting and doing SYS C: to make hard drive bootable, then try FDISK /MBR
    - Using FDISK to remove and add active partition, then doing SYS C: to make drive bootable, then try FDISK /MBR
    - Install DOS 6.22 = NOK

  9. #9
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    did you deleted all partitions, and redo from scratch, fdisk create partiton, format c:, sys c:, fdisk /mbr ???

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1ST1 View Post
    did you deleted all partitions, and redo from scratch, fdisk create partiton, format c:, sys c:, fdisk /mbr ???
    Yes, I had done all these steps with the original hard drive, but Instead of creating a partition of 40MB (as original), I created one using the full 52MB. Maybe that's why I couldn't automatically start from the drive.
    I'll check the manual, I believe it states that you need the floppy disk that came with the PC to initialize a new hard disk. Maybe it does something specific to the drive to make it possible to boot from it.

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