• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here
  • From now on we will require that a prefix is set for any items in the sales area. We have created regions and locations for this. We also require that you select a delivery option before posting your listing. This will hopefully help us streamline the things that get listed for sales here and help local people better advertise their items, especially for local only sales. New sales rules are also coming, so stay tuned.
  • Exhibitor application for VCF West 2022 is now open! If you are interested in exhibiting, please fill out the form here.

CHICAGO area HELP NEED - DOS Computer

maceffects

Experienced Member
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
67
Location
NW Indiana
I have a 386 PC machine that after adding drives (CD/Zip) refuses to boot up from hard drive, gives controller error.

I am looking for someone who is willing to properly configure the machine and download/install drivers to make sure all drives work. I have several CDs, extra cards, etc.

I'm in Northwest Indiana, if anyone is willing to make at least $100 for helping me I would be happy. Also willing to trade your services for some of my vintage Apple Computer(s)/items.

Please PM if interested.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,071
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
It might save you a bit of money if you would tell the exact configuration of the system. It'd be a shame if someone actually came to help you and discovered that you were missing a critical bit of equipment.
 

Stone

10k Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
12,814
Location
South Jersey, USA
Try removing the drive(s) you just added and see what happens then. A little effort and common sense can go a long way towards resolving the issue.
 

maceffects

Experienced Member
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
67
Location
NW Indiana
I actually worked on the machine for several hours, and removed the drives. I'm a Mac guy, I have no idea what I'm doing. I have more than enough extra parts, I'm going to travel to drop the machine off to anyone who can fix. I'd rather fix it my self, but sometimes you need to know when to call a pro.
 

Caluser2000

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
4,603
Location
New Zealand
Should'nt matter that much. 368 class systems are fairly straight forward to deal with, especially if its ISA.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,071
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
An IDE cable installed "upside down" can easily cause the symptom you describe. Also, if it's an IDE drive, make sure that it's set correctly for "master" or "slave".
 
Last edited:

Stone

10k Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
12,814
Location
South Jersey, USA
What POST message(s) are you getting?

How far does the machine get into the boot cycle, i.e., what's the last message displayed?
 

maceffects

Experienced Member
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
67
Location
NW Indiana
Also, I'd be willing to mail the machine and related items plus pay return shipping to anyone who is vary familiar with these machines.
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
39,071
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
The thing about a "controller failure" message is that it's almost never the motherboard/adapter. That's because the controller's on the drive itself--basically, what's on the motherboard is a simple bus interface.
 

maceffects

Experienced Member
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
67
Location
NW Indiana
20mb, 40mb, 160mb, and 250mb respectively. They work in other machines, so it's unlikely it's something wrong with the drives I have.
 

Caluser2000

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
4,603
Location
New Zealand
So you know the correct c/h/s/lz settings for each of those drives, the cables are correctly connected and you're still having issue in more the one expansion slot? Also the cmos battery is ok?

In the OP you mention the controller error happens only when a cdrom or zip drive is added. If so you don't need to put entries for those in the bios. Leave the entry for anything other than the first IDE hdd blank or set to no drive and the system should boot if they are jumpered correctly.
 
Last edited:

Eudimorphodon

Veteran Member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
4,599
Location
Upper Triassic
So... I'm curious about this "adding CD/ZIP" drive thing; how many IDE ports does this system have? As I recall it was pretty rare for 386 class ISA machines to have more than the single IDE connector, usually on a multi-IO card with the floppy controller and serial/parallel ports. Did you try adding CD and ZIP drives serially as slave devices to the same chain as the hard drive, or did you add a secondary IDE controller card? (And if that's the case, are you *sure* it's jumpered as secondary? If you had two IDE cards fighting over the same address I could see how that might make everything go poof.)

It might be useful, since no one here can see what's going on, to take some closeup pictures of your IDE controller(s), the drives, and how exactly you have them cabled and jumpered.

On the subject of jumpers, I do remember that there were at least a few old drives that had different settings for "Master, only drive" and "Master, slave present" and they wouldn't behave quite right if they were in the latter mode by themselves on a chain.
 
Top