Compaq Portable II - Restoration Problem, Help requested
thomas.gardner at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jan 1 19:08:29 CST 2010
I have 2 Portable IIs in fairly good shape, except that both of them, one an
HDD model and one with two FDs. Both run Memory Check and POST but fail to
During POST they both give a
"162 System Options Not Set - Run Setup" message
but when I continue I get a
"Non-system disk or disk error" message
with several known good original disks (Compaq Setup Disk, PCDOS 3.3 StartUp
disk, MSDOS 2.0 disk)
Sometimes I get the message, "Disk Boot Failure"
I tried replacing the 1987 battery in the HDD Portable II with a fresh
battery purchased recently at Frys and had no change in the failure mode.
I have two HDD/FDD controller cards and tried both in the HDD Portable II
with no change in the failure mode.
If I listen to the boot process, it sounds like it cannot read the boot
sector. That is, I can hear one seek (or maybe a rezero) to a single
location and then no more. As I recall during a DOS boot, you can hear
multiple seeks as, first the boot sector loads and then the boot loader (in
the boot sector) loads MSDOS.SYS, IO.SYS and the FAT. Since I never hear
any seeking I suspect the boot sector cannot be read.
I find it surprising that two machines having very different histories will
fail in the same way. BTW, they are not even the same type FDDs, one is a
"push button" type and the other is a "lidded" type.
I am hoping that I am making some sort of operator error which can easily be
Thanks and Happy New Years.
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