No floppy on my NCR 3125

June 26, 2013 at 07:14:40
Specs: Windows 7
I have an old pen point NCR 3125. It did not come with a floppy. It has an enabler for the drive port in BIOS. The port appears to be SCSI 1 and the (F) connector is way inside the case. I would like to do some upgrades and maybe install freedos or 6.22. I have bought an external floppy but not sure about the cabling. I have laplink for pen but how can I upgrade the current DOS 5 that way?
Any ideas such as copying FREEDOS on and using some kind of boot director or subst?
Can anyone think of a way to boot from a system moved onto the disk rather than installed through a floppy?

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#1
June 26, 2013 at 15:56:15
You "might" be able to use a parallel port external floppy drive or move files via the serial port. Frankly, I don't see much hope here but it's worth a try with a relatively modern 386/Sl20 and 4Mb RAM.

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#2
June 26, 2013 at 23:54:36
I guess you could pull the hard drive and connect it to another PC that has a compatible drive type and copy or install 6.22 on it and then move it back.

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#3
June 27, 2013 at 00:55:47
Dave makes a good point. Most of us haven't tried to transfer files over a serial connection in many years and it hard if not impossible to buy a parallel port fdd and get it working.

If some version of DOS is copied onto the 20Mb(?) hdd of that thing and suitable autoexec.bat/config.sys files are written, it should boot.

Do you have access to another pc that runs DOS? How serious are you about making this thing work? The Microsoft Pen for Windows is also nearly impossible to find...believe I no longer have a copy that will do the install. I may have the directory and files on an old 1.8" hdd I saved from an Itronix 6000.

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#4
June 27, 2013 at 01:06:47
I'm not familiar with what OS they're intended to run but I found this:

http://www.osnews.com/story/25163/W...

that says they can run something called penpointOS. Of course that's probably hard to find too.


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#5
June 27, 2013 at 07:37:33
Thanks for chiming in guys, to further this;
I can already use laplink for pen to move files and yes I have an old Compaq compatable with DOS 6.22 and Win 3.11 to move files from, but moving files does not get me upgraded does it? How can I move files and get upgraded to DOS 6.22?
As far as I know you must install from floppies, right? I I get a DOS iso image moved onto C: and edit the sys files, will that work? I don't think so. I can get an ISO image of win 3.11 too from vetusware, Anyone who can send me pen for windows?, that would be great!
I still face the problem of getting a floppy into the system, working on that now as I ordered an old Dell external, but might need cabling, we will see.
I know that if I could get a partition manager moved on and created a logical drive and used subst to get the system to boot from there that might be an answer but need help with that if I try.

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#6
June 27, 2013 at 12:28:28
The dos system files--io.sys and msdos.sys--have to be in a specific place on the hard drive otherwise it won't boot. Normally that's done with the SYS command. But your situation makes running that command difficult. So what you can do is copy new system files over the existing ones. That way they'll be in the right place. Once you get the system files in the right place you can just do a regular copy to move over the rest of the dos files.

You'll have to run the attrib command so they can be copied over:

attrib -s -h -r c:\io.sys and enter. And
attrib -s -h -r c:\msdos.sys and enter.

You should do that on the compaq too because the COPY command won't work with hidden files.

It's probably a good idea to make a copy of the io.sys and msdos.sys on the NCR just in case something goes wrong and you need to revert back to dos 5.

You can't delete io.sys and msdos.sys from the NCR: you have to copy over them so the new ones will be in the right place.

Once you get the system files moved you can run the attrib command again to rehide them:

attrib +s +h +r c:\io.sys
attrib +s +h +r c:\msdos.sys


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#7
June 27, 2013 at 12:56:13
Good advice from Dave. This sort of thing can be done even with an empty hdd but it's never been easy.

Somewhere in the garage, I have a copy of PM 3.0 (?) that came in 3½" floppy and cd. I'd have to fire up the old 755C to see if the floppy still booted and all the partition software works. I can get to it tonight or tomorrow but haven't booted the old laptop for about 3 years. Will let you know...can never have too many tools in your box when working on this old stuff.

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