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Thread: IBM PS/2 P70 8573 POST 161 163 after replacing battery

  1. #1
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    Default IBM PS/2 P70 8573 POST 161 163 after replacing battery

    I recently came into a wonderful IBM PS/2 P70, which I have always wanted. I knew it had POST errors 161 and 163 on buying, and hoped this could be fixed quickly.

    When I first got it, it does a RAM check up to 8MB, and then shows POST errors 161 (CMOS configuration lost (battery has died)) and 163 (CMOS error; Clock is not updating).

    I opened it up, and found it was quite clean, and there was no CMOS battery installed, so I purchased a new Duracell DL223A, and put it in. It still gives a 161 and 163 error.

    I checked the battery lines with a DVM, and it says a clean 6.4 VDC all the way to the PCB connections (I even checked it when running).

    I created several P70 reference disks on a spare Win98 laptop with a floppy drive, and ran REFSTAMP on those. After getting 161 163, I try the floppy and it sounds good initially, but then just spins forever, and when I eventually eject it, the P70 goes to cassette BASIC. The keyboard works fine, and I can enter in a program, list it, renumber it, and run it without issue.


    It came with modem and network cards, and I removed them. I tried replacing the nasty sounding ESDI hard drive with a working spare, and no difference. I eventually unplugged the hard drive completely, and there's no difference, still 161 and 163 POST errors.

    I also tried removing all the RAM sticks (it has 4 sticks), and tried putting in only 1 stick (and I tried 2 of the original 4 sticks) as the only stick. No difference, except the RAM check only goes to 2MB in those cases.

    So I've done tons of internet searches, and am looking for help.


    My first thought was that somehow there's a power draw making it look like there's no CMOS battery, but checking the board connections shows it is still 6+ volts when running. Shouldn't replacing the battery cause the 161 error to go away, and just leave the 163 error?

    It's also likely my floppy drive needs capacitor replacement, but that just affects its inability to boot from my created reference disks. I keep coming back to thinking that the continued 161 error is the problem.

    Can someone help?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes View Post
    I opened it up, and found it was quite clean, and there was no CMOS battery installed, so I purchased a new Duracell DL223A, and put it in. It still gives a 161 and 163 error.
    Even the IBM AT exhibits that behaviour. With the IBM AT, after a bad battery is replaced with new, the only way to remove the 161 and 163 errors is to follow up by executing the SETUP procedure. Even with the configuration in the CMOS/RTC chip being in an 'unconfigured' state, the IBM AT can still boot from the AT's diagnostic floppy (in order to perform SETUP).

    I am pretty sure that the P70 is 'in the same boat'; need to run the P70's reference diskette.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by modem7 View Post
    Even the IBM AT exhibits that behaviour. With the IBM AT, after a bad battery is replaced with new, the only way to remove the 161 and 163 errors is to follow up by executing the SETUP procedure. Even with the configuration in the CMOS/RTC chip being in an 'unconfigured' state, the IBM AT can still boot from the AT's diagnostic floppy (in order to perform SETUP).

    I am pretty sure that the P70 is 'in the same boat'; need to run the P70's reference diskette.
    OK, I see. Looks like I can't procrastinate working on the floppy drive, then! Nuts.

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes View Post
    It's also likely my floppy drive needs capacitor replacement, but that just affects its inability to boot from my created reference disks.
    The "created reference disks" are also suspect until proven good.

    I have read things like, "It took me four attempts to create a reference diskette that worked."

    Consider trying REFSTAMP against your created reference disks. Detailed at [here].

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by modem7 View Post
    The "created reference disks" are also suspect until proven good.

    I have read things like, "It took me four attempts to create a reference diskette that worked."

    Consider trying REFSTAMP against your created reference disks. Detailed at [here].
    I did run REFSTAMP on my created reference disks. I first ran it in "report" mode, and it said the just-created disks were NOT refstamped. Then I ran it to update the refstamps, and checked with the "report" mode again, and it seemed to work.

    I just attempted to boot using the created reference disks on the win98 machine I used to create them, and it showed an official message "window" on a text screen saying "The Reference Diskette in drive A will not run on this system. Your system is now locked." It seems like the disks work.

    Maybe I can try building them on a different machine, once I unpack them.

    Thanks for the suggestions.

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    So I wanted to post a follow-up.

    It seems like the floppy drive was the problem, as Modem7 said, but I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

    I did more testing, but then the screen went out! I cursed and tested and tested, and then it came back all by itself. I was planning to Deoxit the connections and made a last try before going ahead with it.

    So the screen came back, and I was back at my starting point. I modified a floppy cable based on plans someone laid of for using a non-PS/2 floppy on a P70. I plugged in a spare 5V-only 3.5" floppy drive, and it worked! I was able to boot to the reference disk I made at the beginning.

    So I probably still need to deoxit the display connectors, but I've really got to look at the built-in floppy drive. It's a bear to get out, and I managed to get the cover off and unscrew it, but the cable's holding it in, and it doesn't look like I can get that free unless I take out the power supply.

    I'm going to put it on hold for a moment. Too much life stuff getting in the way!

  7. #7
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    Just to give you the goods on the PS/2 NewsGroup and FaceBook Group(s), we're here:
    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!fo...m.ps2.hardware
    and here:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/393148830747081/
    Louis's actively maintained site is here:
    http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/
    and I try to keep him updated on my doings.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WBST View Post
    Just to give you the goods on the PS/2 NewsGroup and FaceBook Group(s), we're here:
    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!fo...m.ps2.hardware
    and here:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/393148830747081/
    Louis's actively maintained site is here:
    http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/
    and I try to keep him updated on my doings.
    Great, thanks very much!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Holmes View Post
    So I wanted to post a follow-up.

    It seems like the floppy drive was the problem, as Modem7 said, but I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

    I did more testing, but then the screen went out! I cursed and tested and tested, and then it came back all by itself. I was planning to Deoxit the connections and made a last try before going ahead with it.

    So the screen came back, and I was back at my starting point. I modified a floppy cable based on plans someone laid of for using a non-PS/2 floppy on a P70. I plugged in a spare 5V-only 3.5" floppy drive, and it worked! I was able to boot to the reference disk I made at the beginning.

    So I probably still need to deoxit the display connectors, but I've really got to look at the built-in floppy drive. It's a bear to get out, and I managed to get the cover off and unscrew it, but the cable's holding it in, and it doesn't look like I can get that free unless I take out the power supply.

    I'm going to put it on hold for a moment. Too much life stuff getting in the way!
    The P70's have notoriously bad reputation for its floppy drives. To make things worse, these drives are not easily substituted by other general floppy drives without making modifications. However, most of the bad OEM floppy drives only needed a recap. I did it for one of my two P70's and it came back to life right after the recapping. Hope yours can be fixed easily as well.

    IMG_9136.jpg
    IMG_9172.jpg

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by neosunrise View Post
    The P70's have notoriously bad reputation for its floppy drives. To make things worse, these drives are not easily substituted by other general floppy drives without making modifications. However, most of the bad OEM floppy drives only needed a recap. I did it for one of my two P70's and it came back to life right after the recapping. Hope yours can be fixed easily as well.

    IMG_9136.jpg
    IMG_9172.jpg
    Thanks for the pics! That helps.

    I've been procrastinating removing the drive, as it looks like you have to take half the computer apart just to get the floppy cable out.

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