• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here

Problem with Zenith SupersPort 286

Marty C

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Messages
28
Location
NE Kansas, USA
[edit] Oops...posted this to the wrong forum. Should be in Handhelds/Portables.

I got this Zenith SupersPort 286 off eBay a few weeks ago, and after a new internal battery and BIOS setup, it was working fine. I was installing an app (Band in a Box) that involved unzipping and copying lots of files from a floppy disk to the hard drive, and it stopped mid-installation. I turned it off, and now when I turn it on, it does not boot nor can I get to the BIOS setup screen.

When I turn it on, here’s what happens:

-Screen lights up, but I see no characters
-Caps/Num/Pad/Scroll lock lights flash twice
-Power light flashes twice
-Hard drive light flashes once
-Hard drive spins (noisy)

I tried disconnecting the hard and floppy drives, both singly and together, but nothing changed. I did a quick inspection of the power supply and didn’t see any capacitor leaks, but I didn’t take things apart to get a closer look. It has what appears to be the original Conner CP-3023 20 Mb hard drive and PC DOS 6.3. No battery, but the power adapter is good.

Any suggestions on next steps? For some reason, I’m drawn to these old Zenith laptops. I have a Z181 that works great, but I haven’t had much luck with the few 286s I’ve tried to keep running.

Thanks!

Marty
 
Last edited:

Marty C

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Messages
28
Location
NE Kansas, USA
Have you tried booting from a floppy?

Yes, I should have mentioned I've tried booting from a DOS 3.3 floppy. When I insert the floppy, I hear a whirring sound for less than a second (is this the head moving into position?), but the lights on the drive and the keyboard don't come on, and I can't get it to boot.
 

Marty C

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2010
Messages
28
Location
NE Kansas, USA
If it has memory sticks, try removing and inserting them a few times.

I don't have the computer opened up at the moment, but I think the memory (640K) is soldered to the mother board. But, I'll check when I open it up again.

If the screen is lighting up and power is getting to the hard and floppy drives, can I assume that the power supply section of the computer is ok?

Thanks,

Marty
 

silence012

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
32
Location
Austria
I know it is very old post but I have the same problem with my Zenith Zupersport 286.

Marty C did you solve this problem?

Thanks,
Branko
 

thenzero

Experienced Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
425
Location
Perry, GA
A common failure in these machines is the electroluminescent sheet used for the backlight. Is there a noticeable hum that gets loud when you adjust the backlight brightness slider? If you look at the screen with a flashlight, are there any characters there?
 

silence012

Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2020
Messages
32
Location
Austria
Hi thenzero

There is a hum/buzz when adjusting brightness but I don't think this is the issue. I will double check anyway.

I also don't hear any beep from bios nor FDD starts any operation.

Will need to find some working one, and will play with it. I just invest too much time cleaning it up without first fix it :)
 
Top