Solved What kind of PC is this?

March 8, 2015 at 22:11:52
Specs: Windows 7, i7, 4GB RAM
I have recently found an OLD pc in my attic. I decided to bring it down and bring it back to life. Hard drive was messed up so I formatted it using the BIOS and then hoped to install MS-DOS 3.1, seems simple enough. Only thing is... The computer keeps giving me a boot error message. I think It's because I need system specific boot disks to boot it then install software. Only problem is... all markings have been removed from the case. If you know what kind of PC this is or what software I need to make it functioning again. PLS HELP!

Heres a link to the pictures of the machine**

https://drive.google.com/folderview...


See More: What kind of PC is this?

Report •

✔ Best Answer
March 9, 2015 at 13:17:51
Hi Chatham, it was unwise to format the hard disk, without asking for help first.
How do you know it was messed up?

Am not sure how you can format from the bios - so maybe you did not and the hdd is still ok. I suspect the cmos battery had died, causing the bios to reset to default values and then the hdd would not have been able to open

According to photo 1, the pc is a 386. This is probably an IBM Compatible, where makers other than IBM created clones using parts from wherever, hence no markings on the case.

Try booting from either floppy drive to see if one works. (maybe you have been using the wrong one)

Also a dos boot disk, needs hidden files and is not created from a simple copy command - I think the /s option (to copy system files) has to be included when creating.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

message edited by Mike Newcomb



#1
March 9, 2015 at 00:03:11
Just put the MS-DOS install floppies in, starting with Disk1, and boot the computer. You may then need to use fdisk to partition and format the hard disk but otherwise the installation should be fairly automatic.

Report •

#2
March 9, 2015 at 00:29:30
Thanks for the reply! And I have tried that several times and I just keep getting the "BOOT DISKETTE ERROR" message. Everything in the BIOS is set right and I'm using good MS-DOS disks... But still won't work.

Report •

#3
March 9, 2015 at 02:08:08
Either your floppy drive is shot, the disks are corrupted, or they are not genuine Microsoft install disks. Really, any version of DOS is now so ancient that it is not surprising if the floppies have become corrupted.

Any computer (with a working floppy drive) should be able to boot from good floppy disks.


Report •

Related Solutions

#4
March 9, 2015 at 13:17:51
✔ Best Answer
Hi Chatham, it was unwise to format the hard disk, without asking for help first.
How do you know it was messed up?

Am not sure how you can format from the bios - so maybe you did not and the hdd is still ok. I suspect the cmos battery had died, causing the bios to reset to default values and then the hdd would not have been able to open

According to photo 1, the pc is a 386. This is probably an IBM Compatible, where makers other than IBM created clones using parts from wherever, hence no markings on the case.

Try booting from either floppy drive to see if one works. (maybe you have been using the wrong one)

Also a dos boot disk, needs hidden files and is not created from a simple copy command - I think the /s option (to copy system files) has to be included when creating.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

message edited by Mike Newcomb


Report •

#5
March 9, 2015 at 20:19:09
And you're sure the floppy drive is properly identified in bios setup?

If so and if you're sure you're using a good bootdisk then the drive is bad. But after replacing it you may need new disks too as a bad drive can run a good disk after a single use.


Report •

#6
March 10, 2015 at 00:39:10
Thanks everyone. I'll poke around with it a bit tomorrow and let you all know!

Report •

#7
March 10, 2015 at 17:30:11
Two more things:

1. Likely a machine this old has a dead CMOS battery. Replace that first before going any further.

2. The "A" drive could also be set for the wrong capacity (720K vs. 1.44MB). If it is indeed a 720K, and your disks are 1.44MB, then you'd get the same message, even with good disks. You'll need to open up the case, identify the floppy drive(s) (the "B" drive could also be 360K instead of a 1.2MB), and Google the info (also the info for the HDD) to identify the correct capacities.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


Report •

#8
March 15, 2015 at 15:57:07
Hi Dave and T-R-A, I missed that the floppy drives are different, thinking both were the same, as the first photo shows the bios settings for this.

Thus the bios is incorrect as far as the floppy drives are concerned.

I felt being a 386 (from the same bios photo) the floppy drives would both be HD. Proving it is a 386, can be checked by looking at the processor chip on the mobo.

However, which is drive A: needs now be clarified. This can be determined by which plug on the interface cable is used to connect. Google 'floppy drive interface cable' for a picture.

As you advise, the make and model numbers of the drives should be used to determine they are HD (or not).

Regards - Mike

message edited by Mike Newcomb


Report •

Ask Question