how to start dos 3.0 without a prompt

January 17, 2011 at 16:12:51
Specs: dos, 386
The battery went dead in an old IBM computer. The computer only is used for maintenace DOS programs i believe it has dos 3.0 from about 1982. The computer starts up but there is no command prompt. How do I get it.

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#1
January 17, 2011 at 19:16:13
What does show on the screen?

If the hard drive is working and correctly defined in cmos/bios setup it will go to a C:\> dos prompt when you boot up unless you're starting a program in autoexec.bat.

It's likely the hard drive is set to a certain drive type in cmos and when the battery died it 'forgot' that type. You need to figure out what that type is. Post back the drive model number and maybe we can figure it out.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#2
January 18, 2011 at 06:25:57
About all I can tell is it's an IBM type 8580. When it's powered up the display reads
162
163
You hit F1 key twice it brings up the display
ibm personal computer basic version c1.10 copyright ibm corp. 1981
62940 bytes free
ok
on the bottom it displays the F key functions
F1 list F2 run etc..
on the drive its marked type 0667 p/n 90x8528 70mb esdi

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#3
January 18, 2011 at 11:14:16
Yeah, it's not seeing the hard drive and is defaulting to booting from the ROM BASIC chip.

Is it one of those big towers?:

http://members.chello.at/theodor.la...

I used to pick up a lot of those at auction 15-16 years ago.

At the bottom of that page is a link to the reference disk. Download that and run it. It'll create a bootable floppy disk. Use that to boot up the IBM. That should configure everything. It's been so long I can't remember if you need to do anything else. But start there.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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Related Solutions

#4
January 19, 2011 at 02:42:39
"Yeah, it's not seeing the hard drive and is defaulting to booting from the ROM BASIC chip."

Agreed, and likely caused from a failed CMOS battery. This should be of some help if that's the case:

http://mypage.intergate.ca/~fspence...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#5
January 19, 2011 at 09:02:34
I have to be doing something wrong. I replaced the 6v battery, downloaded RF7080A.exe
ran it, installed it on a floppy. Put the disc in and turned on the PS/2. I'm still getting error 161 and 163

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#6
January 19, 2011 at 14:42:26
Is it booting from the reference disk? You may have to hit F1 or some other key to boot it since it's giving the errors.

Oh, and did you replace the battery? I think it's one of those yellow 6 volt ones.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#7
January 20, 2011 at 03:45:26
No, I don't think it's booting from the reference disc. the floppy light only comes on for about 3 seconds during power up. the units both have new 6v batteries. the only thing on the screen is 161 163
F1 will just bring you into the basic menu.both of the old batteries were bad, about 1vdc

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#8
January 20, 2011 at 03:59:29
Sadly, floppy drives in 8580's were also a problem-area. Mine (when it was running) had a drive that (when first I got it) wouldn't read. A simple head-cleaning with alcohol and long cotton swabs was all it needed---and it worked fine for several years. Other (more serious) problems with capacitors could be resolved, but it depends on how desperate you are, and how familiar you are with good soldering techniques:

http://mypage.intergate.ca/~fspence...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#9
January 20, 2011 at 18:08:49
Yeah, it sounds like a drive problem but you may want to create another (or a few more) reference disks just in case the problem is with the disks.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#10
January 20, 2011 at 21:38:58
Hey, just to make sure, on that reference disk, the file you downloaded--rf7080a.exe--is not the disk. Running that file will create the disk. If you just copied rf7080a.exe to a floppy disk it won't work.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#11
January 22, 2011 at 02:44:58
Is it possible the floppy disc should be DD and a HD has been created? I ask this as 1982 is mentioned.

If this is so, any thoughts it should be SS?

Also it may help if the *MAKE* and *MODEL* number of the hard disk were advised.

Load the created floppy disc on another pc and check it contains the required hidden system files used when booting.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#12
January 22, 2011 at 09:53:38
The reference disk file will extract to whatever was intended for that model and I'm sure that's a 1.44. And the hard drive is an old ESDI 70 meg. I think the reference disk will set it up without the need to input any c/h/s info. Good idea about trying the disk in another PC to see if it boots.

Real men don't use AntiVirus; they just reformat


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#13
January 26, 2011 at 15:11:51
found an old 8580 with a floppy that work. inserted the reference disc and the unit went to "conf. system automatically".
thanks for the help the unit works find now.

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#14
January 26, 2011 at 18:13:35
You're welcome. We're glad you got it going.

The mantra of the aging hippie--"Power to the government, right on"


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