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Can`t get to C prompt

June 1, 2018 at 14:50:55
Specs: dos
I have a garage system on an old computer from around 1994 called the KiS system which has been used right up until recently.
Now it mostly does not start up, but when it does it gets as far as asking me to insert boot diskette into drive "A" and press any button. I have not got a boot diskette. Where can I get one?
No make or model on unit, just the KiS logo.

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June 1, 2018 at 15:04:14
If it's a system that runs MS-DOS:

From what you describe your symptoms as, likely one of two things has happened:

1. The machine has exhausted the BIOS/CMOS battery and it needs to be replaced. The BIOS parameters (Drive geometry/floppy disks/etc) will need to be corrected before proceeding---a relatively easy fix compared to #2.

2. The hard drive (or controller) itself has failed. Depending on the type of drive it is, it may be able to be replaced, but all data on it is quite likely lost (there are some desperate measures that may be able to recover some of the data). Finding a drive for an old system (depending on how old it is) may be difficult if not impossible.

Without more information about the system itself, there's little more that can be determined...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A

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June 1, 2018 at 15:44:17
Thanks for the fast response, have just downloaded from that website just now,will try that first in the morn.
You`re no 1 answer, is that a physical battery inside the unit?
The BIOS parameters, how are they corrected? (I am an amateur at this) probably my local comp geek could do this.
I will try and get more detail about the unit if I can.
Thanks again.

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June 1, 2018 at 16:10:08
" that a physical battery inside the unit?"

Yes. There generally has to be something inside to keep the parameters of the machine active between usage. It likely looks like a coin-cell or a small battery pack. Hopefully it's not something like a large IC mounted on the motherboard (i.e.---Dallas DS1287...see link below).

"(I am an amateur at this) probably my local comp geek could do this."

Then I strongly recommend you get him involved first. Not trying to insult, but if you're not familiar with doing any of this, you could easily turn your system into a doorstop.

Hopefully your "local geek" is familiar with DOS-based systems. If not, he'll likely recommend you scrap it. That decision is still yours, not his.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A

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June 5, 2018 at 11:32:37
Adding to what T-R-A said, for a non-technical user -- even many techies -- it can be difficult to tell what version of DOS is installed if you're running from a boot disk, which means that a well-meaning "repair" by a tech could bork your system just as easily as if you do it yourself.

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June 14, 2018 at 03:41:45
Hi Dai, expanding on some of the above.

The (hard) drive params tell the pc, details of the hard disc (drive C: etc) installed,
without which it cannot open and read the disc.

The bios is kept 'alive' by a small battery.
Should it fail the bios can reset to factory settings.
The battery is necessary because chips used at the time could not necessarily retain their settings, Generally there is also a software calendar / clock which runs when the pc is off.

When you switch on, an option should appear on the screen,
such as 'Press F4 to enter bios'
You can use this to check and change any relevant bios settings.
(write down what any contain before you change - just in case!)

If loss of bios settings is the cause of your problem, you will be able to reset them and run until you power off, as the settings will then revert back to factory..

Although if the pc has been off for a long time, the battery may simply have discharged and may accept a charge if the pc is left on for a few hours.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

message edited by Mike Newcomb

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June 14, 2018 at 15:35:17
Thanks for the input to my problem. At this point I can`t get anything on the screen, on turning it on the fan is running but nothing else happening. After several attempts of turning on and off it might show some life but freezes before it gets to the point of asking for boot diskette. there is nothing i can do at this point except turn it off and try again.
I will open it up and look for the button battery as has been mentioned earlier, try the simplest things first.
Thanks again to all.

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June 16, 2018 at 04:47:05
Hi Dai,

when the pc is open, make a note of the HDD make and model..

Also its parameters which should be on its Label,
as they may be needed for inputting to the bios.
Good Luck - Keep us posted.

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June 16, 2018 at 09:07:08
You mentioned a "local comp geek" previously. Given your symptoms, it's definitely time to get him involved if you want to save the system. Sounds like there's far more than just a battery-failure involved....

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

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