Legacy computer problem

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Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2002 8:03 pm

Im stuck after trying to get one of our old production machines running again. The computer hangs after it displays the cache and speed of the processor. I know so far that it is not the HD causing it because the bios detects and POST displays the name of it just fine. The HD, cdrom, serial, and parallel port are run off an old ISA card.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what I can try? Ive already tried swapping out that expansion card for another but couldnt even get the PC to boot then.

Thanks
Coldfirex
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Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2002 9:35 pm

Can the machine boot from a floppy? If so, can you see the data on the HD at all? How old a machine are we talking here? Pentium? 486? 386? 286? 8088? Is it a name brand PC or a mom 'n pop job? (I guess what I'm getting at is we need more info. :wink:)
Steel
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Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2002 9:46 pm

no, it wont let you boot from a floppy.

sorry its a compudyne 486...well it seems now that the power comes on but no video or booting and the keyboard lights stay on. Ive tried reseting the mobo and reseating/taking-out cards but that didnt help.
Looks like a long night.
Coldfirex
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Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2002 10:51 pm

Sounds bad. Looks like you may have to find another PC to copy the data off the hard drive. I don't know how standard the case for that is but you may be able to get a second hand 486 board from a place like http://www.hitechcafe.com/

I'm trying to think of what I've done to resurrect near dead machines before... maybe another keyboard? I've had bad keyboards wreak havok with systems. It could be the power supply, have you got another one you can try? There's also the old pencil eraser trick - use an eraser to clean the contacts on all your cards, especially the video and IDE cards. Actually, try that first. I've had it work wonders for me in the past.
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Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2002 11:16 am

I was going to suggest that your master boot record on your HDD is seriously messed up, but if you can't boot from floppy....hmmm... What kind of kernel do you have on the floppy disk? Try another boot disk.

If you can't even clear the POST, maybe you could tweak your BIOS a bit?
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Postposted on Fri Jan 25, 2002 11:23 am

Just a wild shot in the dark, but I had a POS Cyrix 80 that I worked on for a guy with an AMI bios about 2 years ago. Same thing you described happened. What I discovered was that the Floppy Cable was bad, and the bios was such so that the computer wouldn't boot without a floppy drive installed.

Alot of bios still do this, but nowadays at least you get the "floppy drive fail" message.
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