Tandy 100HD start up problems

December 12, 2010 at 20:11:23
Specs: Tandy 1000 HD, Intel Core2 Quad CPU

I am hoping someone can give me some dumbed down guidance on this one. My parent's own a Tandy 1000HD computer that has been collecting dust in their basement for years. It only has a 5.25" floppy drive and originally utilized MS-DOS 2.1 but was upgraded at some point to MS-DOS 5.0. My dad tried to start it up a while ago to retrieve some old files from it, but it failed to boot so he asked me to take a look at it. I've tried some basic things, but honestly I have no idea what I am doing with a system this old (I can fix basic problems on Windows, but this is out of my league!). Here is what is happening and what I have tried in as much detail as possible:

When I press the power button the first screen comes on as I remember it boasting its 640K memory (my, how times have changed) and then goes to a second screen also as I remember it (though that may not be worth much since that was 25 years ago and I was 6 at the time!). Regardless of whether the lock on the floppy drive is open or closed I then get the message "Insert system diskette and strike any key when ready". I don't remember having to insert a disk to start-up but given that I kept getting this message I tried to follow the computer's manual's instructions for starting-up under floppy disk control but didn't have success with that either. Then, not really having any idea of what to do next I just put in any disk that seemed like it might have a remote chance of helping me out. But I got the following messages when I did:

-MS-DOS BASIC (Version 2.11): "Boot failure"
-These 3 disks all returned the same message: MS-DOS 5.0 UPGRADE Disk 1, DeskMate (Version 1.0), and Start Up Disk (looks like some kind of back up disk my parents made for the computer, not sure whether its related to the original 2.11 MS-DOS or the Upgrade--or whether that even matters!): "Non-system disk or disk error. Replace and strike any key when ready."
-Hard Disk Utilities: "Insert system disk and strike any key when ready."

I'm hoping someone can give me some suggestions on what to do next because I'm at a loss! Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.


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December 12, 2010 at 20:21:01
Sorry, won't let me edit the title, Tandy 1000HD and I'm not sure where the Intel Core2 came from, but obviously not from the Tandy!

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December 14, 2010 at 00:10:33
It's apparently not seeing the hard drive. You may want to open the case and check that its cables are in good condition and tightly connected.

It should boot from a good floppy disk. It's hard to say if what you have is still good after all these years and I'm not sure which are bootable. But the manual might give some info on which of them are supposed to be bootable. The 2.11 disk that gives 'boot failure' is probably bootable and is bad. Or perhaps the drive is bad

With most 5.25 drives you put the disk in, label side up and then turn the lock handle down. Some 5.25 were push-button like 3.5's but yours probably isn't.

There is no cmos/bios setup on those so if someone suggests you need to go that route just ignore them.

5.25 bootable dos disks are going to be hard to come by or create as you will need a working 5.25 drive in another pc in order to create them. At this point I'd suggest you open it up and check the cables and clean it out. You can probably get to the floppy drive heads and clean them with a q-tip and windex or alcohol.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat

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