Northgate Systems BIOS won't recognize hd

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Daniel Davis

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Joined
Oct 7, 2001
Messages
100
A friend wants me to get his old dos system running. It has a floppy and no cdrom. It WAS a 386...running only dos and word perfect. His hard disk died.

I've been trying to get a hard drive to run on the system. I have 3 WD Caviar models...all less than 500megs. I had hopes that one would boot the machine..but it won't. When I go into CMOS, it (the AMI BIOS) asks if I want to run setup or diags. Diags will let me punch in the disk parameters..but it won't save them. It will let me punch in the paramters..and then "format" the hard drive. I assume it's "format" is low-level...as in FDISK. Anyway, then when I try to boot from floppy and high level format the drive, the system won't recognize it. Any ideas besides making it a doorstop..or other similar solutions?
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2001
Messages
1,741
Have you tried the old hard drive in another
computer? The HD controller may have died.
If it's a controller card in an ISA slot, you
might try reseating it.

If everything else is OK, you'll probably have
to enter the BIOS setup and set up a custom
hard drive where you enter the size, cylinders,
heads, landing zone info, etc. before it will
recognize it. This info may be on the hard
drive, or you might have to check the
manufacturer's web site to find it.

Check that the drive is jumpered correctly
(master or slave) and is getting power.

And your doorstop idea may still be the best
one... :)
 

Daniel Davis

Thread Starter
Joined
Oct 7, 2001
Messages
100
Been there done that. Thanks for the reply, tho. I set it up as a USER defined drive. Tried each of the drives after keying in the parameters. AFter striking out, I finally gave it to my computer repair guy. He strongly recommended the doorstop option..but I kinda' promised this guy I would get it going again for him..and I kinda' owe him. You oughta' see that thing...it comes up to about my waist...and I'm 6'4". Quite a tower unit...with fold out supports. I'd bet that thing cost 8 grand in its day.

Originally posted by Daniel Davis
A friend wants me to get his old dos system running. It has a floppy and no cdrom. It WAS a 386...running only dos and word perfect. His hard disk died.

I've been trying to get a hard drive to run on the system. I have 3 WD Caviar models...all less than 500megs. I had hopes that one would boot the machine..but it won't. When I go into CMOS, it (the AMI BIOS) asks if I want to run setup or diags. Diags will let me punch in the disk parameters..but it won't save them. It will let me punch in the paramters..and then "format" the hard drive. I assume it's "format" is low-level...as in FDISK. Anyway, then when I try to boot from floppy and high level format the drive, the system won't recognize it. Any ideas besides making it a doorstop..or other similar solutions?
 
Joined
Oct 27, 2001
Messages
2,578
Have you tried clearing the CMOS either with a jumper or unplugging the CMOS battery then enter the HD parameters manually. On some machines the CMOS will not recognize new parameters unless older parameters are erased or cleared first. Just a thought. KW1
 
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