Solved start of 486 pc

February 1, 2013 at 15:44:26
Specs: Windows XP
My 486 PC won't start so what can i do to make it startup? Usually when switched on it goes through a startup procedure but now it gets stuck and demands a disk i do not have

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✔ Best Answer
February 3, 2013 at 06:00:13
Hi Dgb, Daveincaps' advice immediately above is good.

If you have a dos boot floppy it will boot of this, but, you will not be able to read the hard disk, without first inputting its parameters.

However you need to ascertain the disk parameters. If they are not on the disks label, you can find out using its make and model.

Possibly the battery is a coin type.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.



#1
February 1, 2013 at 16:26:56
What is the exact message? If it's something like "invalid boot media" or "unable to find drive" then either your hard disk may have died (possible) or the CMOS battery has expired (more likely---especially in an old machine like that). How long ago was it that you used it?

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#2
February 2, 2013 at 03:11:38
Hi Dgb, expanding on T-R-A's reply.

If the cmos battery has failed, the bios may revert to its default settings, which include the hard disk parameters. Thus the hard disk can no longer be accessed.

To test this, on starting the pc, enter the bios setup, and input the parameters.

Hopefully the pc should then be able to access the hard disk and load.

Sometimes, there is more than one set of parameters available for a disk, and
you may need to experiment

Generally the parameters are given are on the hard disk label.

As a matter of interest, where are you based? I am in Hammersmith, West London.

Good luck - Keep us posted.


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#3
February 2, 2013 at 09:38:26
Hi Mike,
Thanks. I've looked again at what the screen says before "Insert system diskette and press(enter) key to reboot" and apart from setting out the bits the thing has it says (inter alia) "Memory cache off" and "CMOS Battery Bad. Equipment Error. Real Time Clock Error. RAM BIOS Disabled. Video Rom BIOS" and then "Press F1 key to continue or Ctrl_Alt_Esc to enter setup"...Neither works. Your idea about the battery seems right but how would I access it to replace? I haven't used this pc for ages as you rightly surmised as I have another more modern version than the 1997 version I got 2nd hand from the office. You asked for my location - North London. Any ideas as to what I can do to get at the stuff on the old pc? I do have some of it on disks but not all updates. I was planning to review its content & then junk it.
Regards, DGB


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#4
February 2, 2013 at 10:17:02
Hi & thanks for your message - yes it does look as if the battery has failed. I just wrote a reply to Mike another respndent setting out what the screen says - I got mixed up about who said what as my current pc was playing up with frozen screen etc.
Regards,
DGB

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#5
February 2, 2013 at 12:11:52
You need to open the case and locate the battery. It'll probably be either a battery pak stuck to the inside of the case with velcro with 2 wires going to the motherboard OR a small barrel-shaped rechargeable battery near the keyboard connector OR it'll look somewhat like an IC chip and either be soldered to the motherboard or in a socket on the motherboard. The most common type of those was a brand named DALLAS.

Then find a replacement locally or on ebay.

Once you get the new battery installed you need to go into cmos/bios setup and set the date and time and configure the hard drive. There probably will be an AUTO DETECT HARD DRIVE option. Try that first. Save cmos settings and exit and reboot. See if it boots to dos from the hard drive. If not, you'll probably need to go back into cmos/bios setup and choose a drive type compatible with the hard drive model number.

When governments outlaw guns only outlaw governments will have guns


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#6
February 2, 2013 at 15:26:01
"Any ideas as to what I can do to get at the stuff on the old pc?"

"I was planning to review its content & then junk it."

If you're not concerned about the ultimate fate of the machine and if it's an IDE drive (quite likely), the best bet would be to install as a 2nd drive to another machine (also with IDE support) or find an IDE-to-USB cable to try and read it on a newer machine:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#7
February 2, 2013 at 19:11:04
Oh, I missed that.

You don't actually need the battery to set up the drive in cmos/bios setup. As long as the PC is running it will hold the cmos settings. So you can start it up, go into bios setup and configure the drive. Then save and exit cmos and it will reboot without you shutting it off. Of course, every time you do shut it off you'll have to do all that again.

When governments outlaw guns only outlaw governments will have guns


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#8
February 3, 2013 at 06:00:13
✔ Best Answer
Hi Dgb, Daveincaps' advice immediately above is good.

If you have a dos boot floppy it will boot of this, but, you will not be able to read the hard disk, without first inputting its parameters.

However you need to ascertain the disk parameters. If they are not on the disks label, you can find out using its make and model.

Possibly the battery is a coin type.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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