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Compaq Deskpro 386/20e

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Reply 20 of 28, by chinny22

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Klimanski wrote on 2021-02-12, 15:18:
chinny22 wrote on 2021-02-12, 11:59:

what hard drive do you have installed?
If we are lucky it's gone back to default settings when the battery died.
If we are unlucky the drive is dying, but we can check that once we know its set up correctly

Still believe, that should be lucky option 😀
Hard drive is on the pictures- Conner CP3111. What do you think - what destroys Hard Drive faster - high amount of hours when PC is ON, or long idling ? Last two - three years due to various reasons I have not switched this PC on.

Nice, Conner drives have a nice sound to them 😀
This page shows the cmos settings you'll want to see in setup.
https://www.computerhope.com/hdd/hdd0071.htm

If that's all correct then run scandisk from dos prompt including the surface scan which will take forever.

I think its pure luck with hard drives. I've had drives sit idle for years and still work yet others in the same box have died.
likewise I've had servers go though 2 or 3 drives yet another drive in the array lasts the sever lifetime.

Reply 21 of 28, by Klimanski

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chinny22 wrote on 2021-02-12, 16:47:
Nice, Conner drives have a nice sound to them :) This page shows the cmos settings you'll want to see in setup. https://www.com […]
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Klimanski wrote on 2021-02-12, 15:18:
chinny22 wrote on 2021-02-12, 11:59:

what hard drive do you have installed?
If we are lucky it's gone back to default settings when the battery died.
If we are unlucky the drive is dying, but we can check that once we know its set up correctly

Still believe, that should be lucky option 😀
Hard drive is on the pictures- Conner CP3111. What do you think - what destroys Hard Drive faster - high amount of hours when PC is ON, or long idling ? Last two - three years due to various reasons I have not switched this PC on.

Nice, Conner drives have a nice sound to them 😀
This page shows the cmos settings you'll want to see in setup.
https://www.computerhope.com/hdd/hdd0071.htm

If that's all correct then run scandisk from dos prompt including the surface scan which will take forever.

I think its pure luck with hard drives. I've had drives sit idle for years and still work yet others in the same box have died.
likewise I've had servers go though 2 or 3 drives yet another drive in the array lasts the sever lifetime.

Thank you very much for your reply and for so detailed instruction !! Pity, that now I need to wait until Monday, as I already at home.

Yes, me also , noticed that my Hard 😀 works with specific sound ! Pleasure, that it is normal, as sometimes I was thinking that it is bad sign.

One more question before I start playing with BIOS settings - is it possible to kill HD with wrong CMOS settings ?

Reply 22 of 28, by chinny22

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You wont hurt the drive itself, but you can corrupt the data if you start writing to the disk.

in real basic terms a hard drive looks something like this.

HDD.JPG
Filename
HDD.JPG
File size
105.93 KiB
Views
189 views
File license
Public domain

Your telling the computer how to divide and address layout of the disk.
Lets say you set it to 30 sectors rather then 33
You try to start windows by typing win.com
The computer knows win.com was written to sector 5, bios goes off to read data from sector 5 but will be 3 out causing errors but as no changes have been made no damage has been done.
Now if you start making changes to the disk, modifying a file for example that lives in sectors 10-15, as files can live over multiple sectors, even though we are 3 out it finds the file and opens it BUT when we go to save it'll save in sectors 13-18 overriding what ever was in those sectors.

This is extremely over simplified and not 100% accurate but gives you a rough understanding.

Reply 23 of 28, by Klimanski

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OK, thank you for your help ! Now ( more or less 😀 ) undestand why it is ipportant to setup CMOS correltly, otherwise part of HD becomes unreadable. Hence, If I got you corretly, may be ASPI mistake when booting also happens because of incorect setting of number of cylinders , sectors or tracks. And also it is good news for me, that if wrong number will be typed, it don't damage HD. On Monday will try to get into CMOS settings and will be back with results.

Reply 24 of 28, by pentiumspeed

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Keep in mind your /20e does have intel 385 cache controller and number of cache chips on board. Does your motherboard have 4MB stock or 1MB before adding memory expansion board?

Mine is later one using 386/25e same way but with 2 square chips for 32K cache using 385-25 cache controller.

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 25 of 28, by Klimanski

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pentiumspeed wrote on 2021-02-14, 03:59:

Keep in mind your /20e does have intel 385 cache controller and number of cache chips on board. Does your motherboard have 4MB stock or 1MB before adding memory expansion board?

Mine is later one using 386/25e same way but with 2 square chips for 32K cache using 385-25 cache controller.

Cheers,

Seems that there is 1 MB and 3 MB extended - here is screen of setup where you can see actual configuration.

For regret, I failed to enter HD detailed configuration menu, what I can change in FIXED DISC DRIVES - type of HD only, in my case it is 33 type and it is default setting. My hard disc is of type 33, it is even printed on it's body, so probably here can'te be a mistake.

It seems to me, that actually I nothing have changed in BIOS, but now when I returned back from settings and boot from HD, after memory check I receive 1790 disc 0 error, so situation became even worse.... Sometimes instead I receive 1782 disc controller failure. My story somewhat reminds this one
386 Disk Controller Issue
Any ideas how to solve ?

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Reply 26 of 28, by chinny22

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OK now I'm not sure what's going on either.
I agree your hard drive is setup correct.
Try "set default configuration" give it a reboot then setup the correct settings for Diskette and Fixed Disk drives.
It's a long shot but maybe the config got a bit messed up during the battery swap.
You could make a post on the other thread asking if he ever solved the issue, quick google found a number of other Compaq 386's with the same issue

Reply 27 of 28, by Klimanski

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Yes, I have discribed my situation in another thread here, thank you very much for attempts to help, still hope that not in vain. At the meantime will try to replace dead CMOS battery to original Dallas 1287, it is available on e-bay and very cheap.

Reply 28 of 28, by Klimanski

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For regret, all these kind of errors like 1790 and 1782 have led to sad final - my original hard drive, Conner CP3111 ( 110MB ) became unreadable and when is turning it makes whistle sounds. Seems that 30 years of working hard is really too much for him...

I have replaced it to another one, also Conner, but CFS420A and have configured it in BIOS as type 38, as a result I got 300 MB of usable memory.
Next step is partition. On the picture you see my first attempt to do it through fdisk command.

In my host ITS40 device manual is note, that each disc partition can't exceed 32 MB. But in manual is not mentioned, does it refer also to primary partition ? As you see, my primary partition 1 has 100 % of memory, what is much more then 32MB. Should I reformat disc again with primary partition of 32MB also ?

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