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Author Topic: Old 486 Computer will not boot completely  (Read 823 times)

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Lake Trader

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    Old 486 Computer will not boot completely
    « on: August 26, 2019, 05:00:17 PM »
    I have an old 486 computer and accidentally messed up the autoexec.bat. Now the computer will not get  past a "positioner" screen from a company called Wegoma. I can get get the computer to boot to "A" prompt from a floppy drive with DOS 3.2 but it will not recognize the "C" drive.
    Am I out of luck ever getting this HDD to work again?

    DaveLembke



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    Re: Old 486 Computer will not boot completely
    « Reply #1 on: August 27, 2019, 08:51:51 AM »
    What size hard drive does it have and depending on the 486's bios you may need to set how many heads and sector and cylinder settings to get it to work. DOS 3.2 also has partition size limitations.

    Can you share the contents of the autoexec.bat file here for us to see as well since you modified it to see what you have going on. Also if you have a config.sys file the contents of that as well.

    Lake Trader

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      Re: Old 486 Computer will not boot completely
      « Reply #2 on: August 27, 2019, 10:57:22 AM »
      The drive was working until I started messing with autoexec. Now the screen freezes as I previously described. I can access the the CMOS setup and the proper HDD settings are there.

      When I boot from the floppy and select C:\ I get the message "invalid drive specification".

      I greatly appreciate any help you can give me.....................Jim

      patio

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      Re: Old 486 Computer will not boot completely
      « Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019, 03:56:56 PM »
      Power down...disconnect the HDD...do a cold boot without it...power back down and re-connect.
      See what happens.
      Unfortunately it's likely the drive has failed.
      To test this DLoad and make a bootable floppy with the HDD diags Free from the manuf. site...

      PS i would also put in a new CMOS battery since it's an older PC...Part # CR2032...available anywhere...3 Bucks. Remove all power when doin so.

      PSS...if the C: drive does come back to life you have an autoexec.bak and config.sys.bak file to use for replacements for what you modified...
      " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

      Lake Trader

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        Re: Old 486 Computer will not boot completely
        « Reply #4 on: August 27, 2019, 05:48:29 PM »
        I did try your suggestion re powering down but no help. This drive is very old made by a company called Areal, which I am sure is out of business.
        From what you say I assume I do not have a bootable floppy even though I can get to the"A:" prompt. I think I verified this by trying the floppy on a working machine with same result of not being to reach the "C:" drive.

        I did replace the CMOS battery.

        Do you have other suggestions as to how I can access this PATA drive. The computer has no USB or other port.

        patio

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        Re: Old 486 Computer will not boot completely
        « Reply #5 on: August 27, 2019, 05:59:53 PM »
        You could pull the drive and connect it in a working desktop PC as a slave to see if it'll do anything but i have no hope for it judgin by what you stated...
        " Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined. "

        BC_Programmer


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        Re: Old 486 Computer will not boot completely
        « Reply #6 on: August 27, 2019, 06:06:23 PM »
        You should be able to skip config.sys and autoexec.bat by pressing F5 while it shows "Starting MS-DOS ..." and is booting from the HDD.

        Or get a later version of MS-DOS onto a Floppy Diskette- DOS 3.2 cannot work with partitions larger than 32MB. That should allow you to access the C: drive when booting from the floppy.
        I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

        Lisa_maree



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        Re: Old 486 Computer will not boot completely
        « Reply #7 on: August 27, 2019, 06:09:17 PM »
        Hi
        The computer seems to be from an Industrial machine perhaps a wood working router. The error  "positioner" screen error is  it has had the lines removed from the Autoexec.bat file to  configure the controller card or the card is missing or faulty  .
        When doing changes to these files it is a good idea to use the rem command to stop the computer from running the lines instead of deleting lines . You can also add a comment after the rem commend to help later.
        As an example " rem (removed to check boots with this line missing 30/8/19) " , just remove the rem and the bracketed info if you want to re enable the line.


        PSS...if the C: drive does come back to life you have an autoexec.bak and config.sys.bak file to use for replacements for what you modified...

        If the above from Patio doesn't find a copy of the files, you can start Dos without running config.sys and autoexec.bat by pressing ctrl C when you see starting MSDOS on the screen.

        If you can get to a command prompt booting from the c drive. Then do DIR autoex*.* /s  this will list all files on the drive starting with  autoex . Normally the manufacture of the machine will put a backup of the files somewhere on the drive cross fingers.
        Also if you do what Dave said someone may be able to get enough info to recreate the missing lines.

        Can you share the contents of the autoexec.bat file here for us to see as well since you modified it to see what you have going on. Also if you have a config.sys file the contents of that as well.


         

        Lake Trader

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          Re: Old 486 Computer will not boot completely
          « Reply #8 on: August 28, 2019, 09:21:38 PM »
          I do not see my last reply but here goes again. I went to the website and down loaded a boot program for DOS 6.0 on a floppy and that booted the computer.

          I was also was having a problem with another machine  and the suggestion to hit cntrl C at the msdos prompt solved that problem.

          I am very much indebted for all the help. I will sleep better at night too!.....................Jim