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Basic Questions: Toshiba T5200

Bojo

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Nov 28, 2013
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Toronto, Canada
Let me start off by saying: I know nothing about vintage computers. Nothing.

Recently while cleaning out a storage room, I found a Toshiba T5200/100 in an old leather bag. I plugged it in and I booted it up and was forced to set the date and time and all that jazz. The next part is what confused me: It told me insert the system disk. Now, I have no clue where this computer came from or what a system disk is, so I've got a few questions I really hope you lot can answer:

1) Is this computer valuable at all? Should I keep it around, sell it, or is it just junk to throw away?
2) What is a system disk and how can I get one?

I hope you guys can give me some good news because I really wanna boot this up properly and be able to tinker about with it.

Thanks!
 

krebizfan

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May 23, 2009
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1) It is nice 386 laptop. Since the screen still works, please don't throw it away. Depending on the rest of condition, you might get about $100 when selling it. Making sure it can boot and whether the hard drive still works should increase value.

2) You would need a bootable floppy disk. Maybe the store room has a box of floppies which includes the DOS diskette that goes with the laptop. Otherwise, you need a different computer with a floppy drive and a downloaded disk image or someone else to send you a correct floppy.

System disk simply means a disk that can start the computer. With that message, the hard drive has either been removed, cleared of data, infected by a virus or simply failed from age.
 

Bojo

New Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2013
Messages
2
Location
Toronto, Canada
1) It is nice 386 laptop. Since the screen still works, please don't throw it away. Depending on the rest of condition, you might get about $100 when selling it. Making sure it can boot and whether the hard drive still works should increase value.

2) You would need a bootable floppy disk. Maybe the store room has a box of floppies which includes the DOS diskette that goes with the laptop. Otherwise, you need a different computer with a floppy drive and a downloaded disk image or someone else to send you a correct floppy.

System disk simply means a disk that can start the computer. With that message, the hard drive has either been removed, cleared of data, infected by a virus or simply failed from age.

I've definitely got access to floppy disks and drives, do you know which image I'd have to download and install?
 

RWallmow

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Anoka, MN USA
...With that message, the hard drive has either been removed, cleared of data, infected by a virus or simply failed from age.
Not necessarily removed, failed, or wiped; the BIOS could have lost settings for hard drive parameters so it might just not know how to "talk to" its hard drive. Not sure how BIOS is accessed on this laptop, if in doubt GSETUP works on most AT compatible systems from a DOS boot disk.

I've definitely got access to floppy disks and drives, do you know which image I'd have to download and install?
Any DOS boot disk should do the trick, being a 386 it should boot ANY version of DOS, including Windows 95/98 DOS.
 

modem7

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May 29, 2006
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Not necessarily removed, failed, or wiped; the BIOS could have lost settings for hard drive parameters so it might just not know how to "talk to" its hard drive.
A photo of the T5200 SETUP screen is shown at: http://loreoutlet.dyndns.org/collsi.../gallery_files/toshibat5200_front_1_large.jpg

At first, I thought, the screen simply reports the capacity of the drive it found, but then I found the following in an ealier T5200 related thread:
"After a few tries, it comes up with 'ERROR INITIALIZING HARD DISK CONTROLLER' (this can be skipped by selecting "no HDD" in the BIOS) and then says 'Insert system disk in drive, Press any key when ready'."

Looking at the Toshiba web site, the early offerings were a 40 MB drive in the T5200, and a 100 MB drive in the T5200/100.
Another thread contains, "My T5200C BIOS only has 4 settings for drive type: None, Type 6 & 7 - 40Mb and Type 9 - 100Mb."

So, yes, the OP may have set "no HDD" (no hard disk drive) in the BIOS setup, instead of 'Type 9 - 100Mb' (the OP has the T5200/100 version).
 

SpidersWeb

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Feb 16, 2012
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For an enthusiast who wants a 386 portable they can play with, THIS is one you want.
First off, it's the easiest thing to service since the dawn of man, and secondly it's 1988 and you have a 386DX-20 with extended memory, VGA, ISA expansion, combination lock, and 100 megs of storage etc. Pretty sweet!

There is a built in CMOS program, that's where the OP set the time/date I'm guessing :) He'll be going to it every power up, if the CMOS battery is dead.
Hopefully it's just set wrong or it's a blank hard drive.
 
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