Divide overflow

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RubyLaser

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Jul 12, 2006
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Please can someone help, I am currently doing a varsity project on a rubylaser and the controller is on an IBM xt computer. It has dos 3.30 on it. And now when i start the computer it says divide overflow after checking for ram. I am really stuck because that PC had all the software on it! On a side note is if i can somehow recover the data can i use a GWbasic emulator in xp to run programs originally designed for that xt?

Thanks
 

JohnWill

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Oct 19, 2002
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106,429
Well, you can obviously remove the drive and read the stuff. Typically, a divide overflow is either bad memory or perhaps corruption on the disk. Before you do anything else with it, I'd try to copy the data off if you don't have any other backup. I'd also ask why you don't have any other backup for a 20 year old machine! :eek:

As far as running it on another machine, we'd have to know more about the software. You could use something like Microsoft Virtual PC or VMWARE if it's just a DOS application that doesn't access the hardware directly.
 

RubyLaser

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Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
4
I was in the process of backing everything up when it all went haywire, i had just been given the project.I am gonna try today to read the drive externally and back it up, if that works I need to set up a new station that will be able to read the software (written in gwbasic) the software basically sends out and receives signals on a serial port that controls the interlock status of a rubylaser. I also need to print from this gwbasic program and I think that will be an issue as it prints directly on lpt1 and if i use a new machine can i print directly on lpt1? Because i am sure even if i use a virtual PC program that xp wont let that happen, therefore If i am to set up a new machine what should I use to try and emulate what was previously running on the xt?

Thanks!
 

JohnWill

Retired Moderator
Joined
Oct 19, 2002
Messages
106,429
You can run MS-DOS on most machines, just find the oldest one you can dig up. :D If you continue to use MS-DOS 3.3, you're limited in the disk size, 32megs comes to mind, since it's FAT12 format. Here's a page about disk support... http://oldfiles.org.uk/powerload/fat32/fat8.htm

If that disk isn't corrupted, after making a backup copy, you may be able to slap it into a machine as the primary boot drive and boot it, MS-DOS isn't that picky about the hardware. :)
 
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