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Thread: IBM PC 5150 Powers on, but does not boot DOS 2.1

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old_hitech View Post
    Well, I checked the 5150 motherboard switches and they were correct for the 2 drive, CGA setup (although I could not tell if my combo CGA/printer card was 40 column or 80 column - MB switch was set for 80 column). I lubricated both drive rails and cleaned the small 5-6 pin connectors that on the top PCB. I put the computer back together and tried to boot the DOS 2.1 diskette. It did not boot. I hauled my 5160 out of the garage and it booted DOS 3.2 from the hard drive. I inserted the DOS 2.1 diskette into the half-height drive on the 5160 and was able to view the directory of the diskette. I was also able to launch BASICA from the diskette. So the DOS 2.1 disk is good. I checked my second DOS 2.1 disk and it read okay as well. I then proceeded to power down the 5160 (could not remember if there was a particular command to park the hard drive on the 5160 so I just switched the power switch to off). I inserted the first DOS 2.1 disk into the 5160 half height drive and it booted up just fine. So the DOS 2.1 disk is bootable. I removed the disk shut down the 5160. After waiting a few seconds I powered the 5160 back up and was greeted with a Disk Boot Failure from the hard drive. Powered down and tried it again - same Disk Boot Failure ( I am spending more time trying to fix these IBM PCs than enjoying their operation and the "good ol' days" of computing). Anyway. I went back to the 5150 and looked over the Floppy Disk controller card and am thinking I should try a new card. I am open to suggestions.
    -Gil
    Just a huntch, but your troubles begun after you tried to add second drive to your 5150.
    After that you have been unplugging the drives. What if some cable is not connected right ?

    if you have not yet read this, it is good reading for you:
    http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/5150...floppy_adapter

    Double check that all your cables are corretly inserted. I tend to believe, that there is no
    mechanical failure, since you were originally able to boot from the disc.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by VintageVic View Post
    I tend to believe, that there is no mechanical failure, since you were originally able to boot from the disc.
    Being able to read a disk once and then not being able to access it again thereafter is a not-too-uncommon occurrence with a failing disk. I've had it happen many times. Not only does the disk become unreadable but it can also foul the drive's heads making it impossible to read other, good disks until those fouled heads have been cleaned.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  3. #13
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Being able to read a disk once and then not being able to access it again thereafter is a not-too-uncommon occurrence with a failing disk. I've had it happen many times. Not only does the disk become unreadable but it can also foul the drive's heads making it impossible to read other, good disks until those fouled heads have been cleaned.
    A useful tip, the old Central Point PC Tools (probably from v6 onwards, I stopped after v9, as it became incorporated [nee bought out by IBM] into PC-DOS V6.1 and above) has a "Revitalise Disk" utility which will recover/re-write a marginal diskette by reading multiple times with error-correction off and re-writing (a number of times?) if multiple reads are consistent. A truly worthwhile utility.

    N.B. Clean/re-cap your diskette drive first, there's no point doing this with an iffy drive.
    Last edited by WBST; January 6th, 2020 at 11:13 PM. Reason: Added "good drive" note.

  4. #14

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    Stone had a good point - dirty discs or dirty drive head has caused a lot of trouble
    for me with commodore floppies. Drive may read the disc well after cleaning the drive head,
    but cannot read the disc at all, if the head is dirty.

    I have less experience with IBM floppy, but it is reasonable to assume, that this applies to them as well.

    That is really curious about the hard drive starting same issues with boot. It should not become dirty.
    Stone suggested a possibility of a boot sector virus, it does sound possible, but why would a virus corrupted disc not
    start 5150 and then would start (at least once) 5160 computer ?

    I hope your hard drive is not broken. Sometimes old hardware can be frustrating, but on the other hand,
    if you can find solution to correct it, it can be very gratifying also.

    Do you have any other computer with a 5.25" floppy drive ?
    I would make completely new bood disc and try with it to rule out virus infection. Different versions
    of DOS bootable images are easily available on the internet.

  5. #15

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    Well, I found another floppy drive controller in my older parts donor IBM PC XT. I checked that the disk drive harness connections and termination was as described at minuszerodegrees.net. I installed it in my 5150 and tried to boot from my DOS 2.1 floppy. Still did not boot and the computer went to Cassette Basic screen. I powered down the computer and reseated the floppy controller and powered on. After the usual wait for memory check I heard some different disk head movement sounds and was greeted to Your PC has been Stoned!!!. I could not believe it. I powered down the computer and I removed the disk and was ready to toss it across the room. That Stoned virus was back. I did not mess around with my other diskettes and went straight to my original DOS 3.2 diskette with write protection. I powered on the computer, but I could not get it boot DOS 3.2. I just end up every time to the Cassette Basic screen. My 5150 does not have a hard drive. I can't believe that I cannot get it to boot. Is it possible that the Stoned virus damaged the floppy controller or some other part of my 5150? I thought it would only affect diskettes and hard drive boot sectors. I think my next approach will try my donor IBM PC XT motherboard with a single disk drive and see if I can get that working.

  6. #16

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    The virus did not affect the hardware.

    Try cleaning the connector on the controller. I use a soft pencil eraser. Make the gold shine. Then use the card to clean the ISA slot by inserting and removing it several times. In and out... in and out again. Wiggle it around. Back and forth. Up and down. Forward and backward. Every which way. If some of you are thinking this sounds like sex..... well, that's your issue.

    Once you've cleaned the card and slot try it again. Maybe even try the card in another slot.

    And don't forget to SCAN all your floppies. (That should be obvious.)
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  7. #17

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    I worked on my 5150 no boot to DOS problem yesterday. I followed some suggestions to remove my Stoned virus from my diskettes with McAfee antivirus. That was done. I next removed my FDD controller board and cleaned the contacts with an eraser and made the gold contact shine and reinserted it into the slot a few times. I inserted the original DOS 3.2 diskette in the A drive and powered on the computer. The computer seemed that it started to boot to DOS, but hung without getting the A>. Subsequent power ons ended up with Cassette BASIC screen (no indication of trying to boot to DOS). I tried the FDD controller in different slots, but no improvement. I went to my parts donor IBM XT and removed the half height 5.25 drive from it and installed it into the 5150. I cleaned the heads with a 5.25 diskette head cleaner and isopropyl alcohol. I cleaned the heads for the recommended 30 seconds. I powered down the computer. I installed the original DOS 3.2 diskette and powered on the computer. The A: drive seemed to spin kind of slow and it did not boot to DOS. I ended up with the Cassette BASIC screen. I powered down and tried a couple of more times, but got the same results. I removed the half height drive and re-installed the full height Tandon drive. Tried to boot one more time, but still got the Cassette BASIC screen. I am thinking that I have some warmup problem as the computer tries to boot the first time, but does not boot after that. Defeated, I put away the 5150 computer.

    I had ordered a XTIDE card from eBay and decided that while I had the monitor and keyboard out I would try it in my IBM XT PC 5160. I was not able to get the XTIDE card to boot to DOS. The XTIDE card did not come with instructions, but I reviewed the XTIDE info on minuszerodegreeqs.net website. I am hoping someone can point out what I doing wrong.
    Here are my results:
    Before I installed the XTIDE card I verified that my IBM XT with 10 MB hard drive with DOS 3.2 would boot properly. It did.

    I installed the XTIDE card and powered on the computer. It did not boot to DOS and C prompt. Instead I got the following:

    A>>FDD [A] C>>HDD [C]. F2 Boot Menu F6 ComDtct F8 RomBoot

    -= XTIDE Universal BIOS (XT) =- @ D000h
    V2.0.0b3 (2013-03-02)
    Released under GNU GPL v2
    Master at 280h: CF Card
    Slave at 280h: not found
    Booting C>>C

    The first time powered on this screen text showed momentarily then the original 10MB hard disk tried to boot DOS 3.2 but hung. I powered down the computer

    The second power on showed the screen text shown above and hung (original 10MB hard disk did not try to boot).
    I pressed A key, C key, F2 key and did not get any response.
    I removed the XTIDE card and checked to see if my 10 MB hard disk would boot to DOS 3.2. When powered on the computer just hangs with an underscore prompt (_).
    I, next, powered on the computer a DOS 3.2 diskette in A drive and that booted fine. I also checked the C drive and the files are all there, but the Command.com file appears to be corrupted and I think that is why the 10 MB hard disk will not boot on its own.
    I think I can fixed the bad Command.com file, but what should I do to get the XTIDE card too boot to DOS?
    Also, if I can get the XTIDE card working in my 5160 I would like to try it in my 5150 computer.

    -Gil

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by WBST View Post
    A useful tip, the old Central Point PC Tools ... has a "Revitalise Disk" utility which will recover/re-write a marginal diskette by reading multiple times with error-correction off and re-writing (a number of times?) if multiple reads are consistent. A truly worthwhile utility.
    This is actually incorporated in the disktest.exe program.

    It's quite similar to the 'Revive a Defective Diskette' in Norton Disk Doctor.

    These are basically SpinRite for floppies programs, i.e., reformat a diskette without losing the data on it. They read the data off the track, format the track, and then write that data back to the newly reformatted track. Gibson calls it a non-destructive LLF and this is pretty much the same thing only for floppies.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  9. #19

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    I worked on my 5150 today and was finally able to get it to boot to DOS 2.1 (and other disks). I noticed again today that the first time I turned on the computer with DOS 2.1 diskette in drive A: it would almost boot. Today I got some weird error message - could not find valid command.com - or something like that (did not end up at Cassette BASIC screen). Subsequent power ons would end up at Cassette BASIC screen. I decide to remove the Tandon full height drive A: and put in a different Tandon full height drive from my donor 5150. That did the trick. I was able to boot the DOS 2.1 diskette several times. I launched BASICA and entered a short program and exited BASICA with no issues. I next booted the DOS 3.2 diskette with no issues. I even ran the Exploring the IBM PC diskette with no issues. Thanks to everyone for their help.

  10. #20

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    didn't you already try swapping out the A: drive with a half height unit before?

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