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My Police Computer

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
What a kewl-looking computer. I love it!

Anyways, the error message indicates that the operating system needs to be re-installed because the hard drie was either wiped or removed by the police dept before they sold the thing, to protect sensitive data that was on it.

--T
 

erik_james

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2005
Messages
22
Hmm I figured it would be something like that. Is it possible to reinstall the operating system? but first of all, I dont even know what the operating system is. Or how I am suposed to reinstall it if I dont have a disk. Can I do it though the serial port?

Any help would be appreciated.

Erik
 

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
You'll have to:

  • -Aquire a bootable disk, they can be bought on eBay or downloaded from numerous websites such as www.bootdisk.com.

    -Test the computer to be sure it boots to a DOS prompt from the floppy and functions correctly.

    -Check for the presense of a hard drive, either physically, by opening it up to look, or possibly by running FDISK. If FDISK sees a drive, okay, but if it doesn't see one, it doesn't mean there isn't one there, and you'll still have to look inside.

    -Having done all of the above, report the results back here, and someone will advise you on how to procede.

--T
 

Lisa

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2005
Messages
21
your police computer sounds like a wintel, it may not have a floppy, your best bet is to crack it open and see the innards...
 

Terry Yager

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Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
erik_james said:
Ok, a bit of an update.

I took the computer down to the computer shop in my area and the guy seemed quite interested in it. He told me that the disk drive on the side is a pcmcia flash drive (only problem is that the computer cannot properly boot without it) so he showed me a flash drive that he had instock but he explaned to me that my computer is not compadible with the newer type flash drives (like the disk fit's inside properly but it has something to do with how many bits are on the flash drive) long story short, I need to find a 16 bit pcmcia flash drive (which he told me would be quite hard to find) I found this one on ebay but I'm not sure if its compadible with my computer or not (and I cannot go back to the computer store becasue he will be closed sunday and monday and the auction ends tommrow)

http://cgi.ebay.ca/NEW-SOHOWARE-16-...ameZWD2VQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

I know the flash card on the link is a 16 bit so it looks like it should be fine.

Here's some info on the computer itself (so maby someone can help me out)

Main Processer : 80386SX Base Memory Size : 640 KB
Numeric Processer : None Ext. Memory Size : 3456 KB
Flopy Drive A: : None Hard Disk C: Type : None
Flopy Drive B: : None Hard Disk D: Type : None
Display Type :VGA/PGA/EGA Serial port(s) : 3F8,2F8
AMIBIOS Date :06/06/92 Parallel Port(s) : None

Erik,

Where to begin? Oh well, let's try this...
There are 3 "Types" of PCMCIA cards, called (surprizingly enough) Type I, Type II, and Type III. There are also two different data widths, 16-bit or 32-bit, which is also known as "Cardbus". The 32-bit is a newer standard, so it probably wasn't invented yet when your '386 was born, so anything that is Cardbus won't fit in your 16-bit slot. Every Flash RAM card I've ever seen is either Type I or Type II, but there are also mechanical hard drives, usually Type III, that will fit a PCMCIA slot.
Flash memory cards also come in several different flavors. The most common, and therefore, most likely to be compatible, is "Linear Flash," aka "Intel Standard" or something similar.
Some PCMCIA Flash cards are ATA cards, which the system sees and treats just as it would an IDE drive, but other cards use "Flash File Systems," which also come in several different (incompatible) "standards," such as "TrueFFS" or some other.
Also, some cards are DRAM and others are SRAM, and they have different uses, so they are not compatible with each other either. If your computer needs DRAM, an SRAM card won't work.

I guess the point I'm making here is that we need more info about your PCMCIA socket(s) before we can advise you any further. Can you tell if the PCMCIA slot is single-height or double-height? The thickness is important in determining the Type of card it will accomodate, as Type III cards are double the thickness of a Type II card. A picture of the slot might be helpful, if you can post one.

--T
 

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
Ok, if the two slots are stacked on top of one another, then you can probably use a Type III drive. These can be purchased on eBay for $5.00 - $25.00, depending on capacity, but most of the same "rules" apply to mechanical hard drives as with Flash drives, however, you can usually get the mechanical drives for less $$$, expressed in bytes-per-dollar. Solid-state drives are still rather expensive.

--T
 

Terry Yager

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Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
erik_james said:
So would this type of card work? (I wont it off ebay) It's designed for an apple computer but im sure it would be easy to reformat.

http://cgi.ebay.ca/4Mb-Fast-Flash-M...5239248456QQcategoryZ3710QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I'll try and get some actual pics of the disk drive within the next few hours so I can show you exactly what im working with.

and yes the 2 shots are stacked on top of each other.

Erik

I dunno, there isn't enough information in the listing or in your description of your computer to tell if they're compatible or not.

If you have Type III slots, then something along these lines will probably do you more good:

http://search.ebay.ca/pcmcia-hard-drive_W0QQfromZR40

--T
 

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
Ok, true enough, you could probably use two SRAM cards, but you're probably better off using a PCMCIA hard drive in those slots, if it'll work. You need to find some documentation on that computer before you can know for sure what will or will not work with it.

--T
 

Lisa

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2005
Messages
21
Erik, some computers require a certain brand or type of card to boot, ie our ricoh requires a type III hard drive of a particular brand. Others will not work, even thought they are the same size.

Same for the IBM 730t tablet that we have, it will mostly only boot from IBM PC card hard drives with out some hacking.

the 4 meg card that you bought probably won't work in anything but a newton (another wonderful piece of tech).
 
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