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Zenith ZFL-181 booting problems

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    Zenith ZFL-181 booting problems

    Hi all, been a while since I posted here.

    I went scrounging around the local university's surplus sale and hidden in with all the printers, past the overpriced Pentium 4 Dell desktops, hid this gem. I know they are not particularly desirable, but the thing is in pristine condition and I got it for a song. I think it was maybe used once or twice, then put away. It still has the new electronics smell, has no yellowing, and the battery even holds a good 2 hour charge!

    Anyways, I have been having problems getting it to boot. It, of course, only has 720K drives but unfortunately I only had 1 true 720K floppy. It has been in my floppy caddy since before I was born. I tried writing a Zenith OEM DOS 3.21 boot disk to it, but it only comes up with the "Non-System disk" error. So I go to goodwill and find a 30 pack of brand new 1.44MB disks for $2 and the computer gods must have been shining on me that day, because there was a 31st disk that got stuck in there somehow, and it was a brand new Sony 720K disk. So I tried writing the same 3.21 boot disk to that, and I am still presented with the same error. Wondering if it is maybe the drive on the computer or something special that needs to be done to get it to boot?

    #2
    I now tried a DOS 3.30 Zenith OEM boot disk, and now I can hear disk activity from the drive and it doesn't come up with the non-system disk error, but It does seem to just lock up and not do anything at all.

    Comment


      #3
      Does that require that the drive is closed by pushing it back down in the case before the floppy will try to read?

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by RJBJR View Post
        Does that require that the drive is closed by pushing it back down in the case before the floppy will try to read?
        Yes. Makes a very satisfying click too when closing.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by l.neidlinger View Post
          Yes. Makes a very satisfying click too when closing.
          Maybe the 720k disk is bad, I have nothing but trouble with the old 3.5" diskettes.

          You can try to format the 1.44MB disks to 720k by covering the hole with tape and then write the disk image. Are you using a real 720k drive to make the boot disk?

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