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Thread: IBM PS/2 Troubleshooting

  1. #1

    Default IBM PS/2 Troubleshooting

    Well guys/gals,

    I got a PS/2 Model 70 a while back and am looking to get it up and running.

    I've done a lot of reading about what it takes to get one of these things working, but am now stuck.

    Where I've gotten:

    Computer plugged in starts up fine and gets to the 161, 163 error screen.

    Using diskwrite, I burnt the iso for the rf7080a reference disk to a 1.44mb 3.5inch floppy and popped it into my PS/2.

    This is where I've gotten stuck. Starting up the PS/2 with the reference disk inserted runs the memory check, I get 00896 KB OK.
    Then I get the same 161, 163 errors that I've always gotten when trying to boot. Then the floppy drive does a read (at least I assume this is a read, it's the sound that I associate with a floppy read coming from the drive), and nothing else happens while the floppy drive activity light stays lit, no more noise from the floppy drive.

    Any help or ideas would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default

    Try changing the battery.

  3. #3

    Default

    I thought I'd put this in my original post but it appears I forgot to. The CMOS battery has already been swapped for a new one.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    184

    Default

    Make sure that after you create a reference disk, you donít look at it/read it. Immediately eject it and try to boot from it in the Model 70. Reading the disk under certain operating systems corrupts the checksum that the model 70 looks for in order to boot. Also, have you verified that the drive works at all?

  5. #5

    Default

    I had read that reading the disk on a more modern computer would mess it up, so I have been ejecting it immediately after diskwrite is done and trying it in the model 70, so I don't think that is it.

    I guess I don't know for sure that the drive works. I had read that they are likely to have failed on these machines and was kind of hoping I would get some other ideas before looking to buy a new floppy drive. Is there a simple way to check if my floppy drive is working?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    184

    Default

    In that case, the machine probably has a bad floppy drive. I have two dead ones in both my Model 60 and Model 80. You'll need to replace the electrolytic capacitors. However, I wouldn't attempt to do it unless you have a bit of soldering experience. I have a moderate amount of soldering experience, but was still able to accidentally break one of the traces while de-soldering the surface mount electrolytics. It was a huge pain to fix. Also, as far as I know, the BIOS only does a seek test to see if the drive can move the head freely, and doesn't test if the drive can read/write anything. What you just did is pretty much the only test you can use to see if a floppy drive works. Also, did it boot to basic after trying to read the disk or just hang?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Shrewsbury, MA
    Posts
    731

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    A bad floppy drive is very likely. I think a lot of them have Alps drives and out of about 20 Alps drives I've had I think 2 or 3 actually worked. I think it should boot from a dos disk without the setup disk if I'm not mistaken. At least my Models 30 and 85 will. Definitely take the drive out and clean the heads and grease the rails if you haven't. Easy to do and it usually brings "dead" drives back to life.

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