• 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.

Vintage 1995 Pionex 486 DX2 66 Mhz Computer

simplex

Experienced Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
171
I have a dead 386 CPU that was fried from improper insertion - that beeps continuously. But it could be lots of things. That's why I always refer to an ISA POST card and have spare motherboards to test components in.
 

vintageestatefinds

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Simpsonville, SC
I'll probably pick one of those up when I get another old PC. I can't get anything to display on my monitor for this one though.. My monitor goes to sleep as soon as I plug it into the video card whether the computer is on or off. Does that for the one that was installed in it and the known working one I tried in it recently.

Gives the same beep code with only psu, cpu, and motherboard connected, and no RAM installed. From what I've read that it's beeping with no ram is a good sign the motherboard isn't dead. Hopefully replacing the cpu will fix it; this computer has been a difficult one.
 
Last edited:

vintageestatefinds

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Simpsonville, SC
Well got the brand new RTC battery today and after I installed it the continuous beeping stopped. No beeps at all again, with or without RAM installed. Think it's the motherboard at this point, but thanks for the help. I'll pick up a post card later to save time as you suggested Simplex, didn't know about those. Hopefully I'll be able to fix the next computer I pick up.
 

vintageestatefinds

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Simpsonville, SC
Well got a nice turn of events today. I installed the ISA post card I got today and reseated the new CMOS battery as a last resort to try to get this thing to post, and it actually did. Before I reseated the battery I got no beeps, no display as usual. Post code showed the system got hung up on looking for system settings in CMOS battery. The original video card in it works fine, so I have a spare VESA video card now, and the motherboard recognizes the keyboard as well. Upon startup it just gives a single beep. Hooked up the hard drives after this test and got the drive boot error as shown in the second picture once I exited BIOS with the settings as shown. Have tried setting it to boot from C: instead of A: first and disabled seek floppy drive on boot but the error still comes up.

This computer has two hard drives installed. I ran autodetect for them in the BIOS and the system detected both after I took the second picture below. While it shows type 47 for the hard disk in C: and D: it still gets a DRIVE NOT READY ERROR and asks to insert boot diskette in A:. Does this mean the hard drive(s) needs to be setup and formatted? What would need to be done next?

The Caviar 1210 hard drive is set to master and the Seagate ST3660A is set to slave.
 

Attachments

  • BIOS 1.jpg
    BIOS 1.jpg
    85.4 KB · Views: 1
  • BIOS 2.jpg
    BIOS 2.jpg
    92.2 KB · Views: 1
  • BIOS 3.jpg
    BIOS 3.jpg
    93.3 KB · Views: 1
Last edited:

bear

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2006
Messages
619
Location
Seattle, WA
The Caviar drive may simply be toast. The design of an IDE interface means the slave will not respond if the master is not responding, even if the slave is otherwise working correctly.
 

GiGaBiTe

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
2,813
Location
Austin, Texas
I don't remember Caviar drives being particularly reliable. I remember having I think it was a 4 GB caviar drive in the mid 90s that failed spectacularly.

Something went funny with the PCB and the drive lost the ability to control the spindle speed. The normal drive speed was 4200 or 5400 rpm, but the drive steadily ramped up to what sounded like 15k rpm or close to it (sounded like one of my Ultra320 15k RPM SCSI drives) and the platters exploded. I've heard of platter explosions in drives, but that was the first and only time I ever saw such a phenomenon.
 

vintageestatefinds

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Simpsonville, SC
Alright so if I just assume the Caviar drive is dead and get some replacement compatible with the motherboard what else would I need to get it to boot? In BIOS it only shows the options of booting from the C: drive or A: drive even though the system has a CD-ROM installed, so I assume I wouldn't be able to install 95 on it that way. Haven't done this before so figured I'd ask.
 

krebizfan

Veteran Member
Joined
May 23, 2009
Messages
5,547
Location
Connecticut
The best next step would be to setup a boot floppy and try to boot off A:. If that works, move onto finding a working hard drive or selling the now working system without HD and let someone else install their own drive.

To install Win95 on the system, you would need the boot install floppies for Win95 in addition to the CD. Boot off the floppy, insert CD, follow prompts, and setup will be done in under an hour typically. If you don't have the floppies, I think a copy of them is on the CD which can be written to floppy but I would have to check exactly how. It has been a few years since I did it.
 

vintageestatefinds

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Simpsonville, SC
If all I needed was the Win95 CD and to figure out how to copy them to the hard drive that would be great. I read hard drives with corrupt info on them can give this error as well as dead ones so perhaps it can still work with a new OS install. If the one set to master is dead hopefully the slave one would still work.

I presume all I'd need to copy them would be a Windows 95 upgrade CD with COA along with a floppy boot disk. Also a compatible mouse... only have a keyboard for it at the moment.
 
Last edited:

vintageestatefinds

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Simpsonville, SC
Alright well I ordered Windows 95. I want to set up my 3.5'' floppy drive as drive A: before it gets here since that's the size of the boot disc. The 5.25'' drive was set as drive A: so I made the floppy cable with the twist go to the 3.5'' drive and the cable with no twist to the 5.25'' drive since I read to do that. {I then went into BIOS and set Drive A: as the 1.44 MB 3.5'' drive and Drive B: as the 1.2 MB 5.25'' drive. Upon startup now though I get the soft error A: Drive error, then after pressing F1 says to insert diskette in A:. Is there something else I need to do to have the 3.5'' drive work as drive A?
 
Last edited:

Agent Orange

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
6,207
Location
SE MI
Alright well I ordered Windows 95. I want to set up my 3.5'' floppy drive as drive A: before it gets here since that's the size of the boot disc. The 5.25'' drive was set as drive A: so I made the floppy cable with the twist go to the 3.5'' drive and the cable with no twist to the 5.25'' drive since I read to do that. Upon startup now though I get the soft error A: Drive error, then after pressing F1 says to insert diskette in A:. Is there something else I need to do to have the 3.5'' drive work as drive A?

You need to get in the PC's BIOS and tell it that "A" is now the 3.5" drive and "B" is 5.25" drive. It's not enough to simply swap the cable position. Also, some floppies have jumper settings for DS0 and DS1, which indicates their position on the cable. Another scenario is that some BIOS routines let you boot A>B or B>A.
 

vintageestatefinds

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Simpsonville, SC
I did the BIOS switch as noted. I did see jumpers on one floppy drive so that must be it. I presume I should set the 3.5'' drive jumper to DS0. I'll have to check what it's on now.
 
Last edited:

krebizfan

Veteran Member
Joined
May 23, 2009
Messages
5,547
Location
Connecticut
Be careful. Make sure the jumpers are incorrect before switching them. Most floppy drives are preset as DS1 and do not need to change. Nearly all 3.5" HD drives are set that way. The twist of floppy cable tricks the system into using drives set as DS1 in either position.

When it asks for inserting a diskette in Drive A:, is the 3.5" drive light lit?
 

vintageestatefinds

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Simpsonville, SC
No it doesn't light up at the moment. One time before I moved the twist cable from the 5.25'' to the 3.5'' drive I have seen it light up while going to the drive not ready error screen before going dark. Found diagram of the 3.5'' drive jumpers and they are set exactly as the diagram shows they should be, with a jumper on DS1. Haven't found 5.25'' settings yet, have to uninstall it from case since they aren't on the back of it.

The two drives I have are a Chinon 1.2MB FR-506 5.25'' and a Chinon 1.44 MB FZ-357 3.5''.
 
Last edited:

Stone

10k Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
12,814
Location
South Jersey, USA
Take note that you can't install the 5¼" ribbon connector wrong (because it's keyed) but the 3½" connector isn't so you can definitely connect it incorrectly.
 

vintageestatefinds

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Simpsonville, SC
Thanks for the tip Stone. It was in the right way, but I hadn't noticed the bottom half of the cable wasn't fully connected. Fixed that, hooked up both drives and both had lit up, no error besides the disk not ready one I had before. Any time I press a key now after the error the 3.5'' LED lights up looking for a disk so looks like I'm good to go. I'll be sure to post how the next test goes when I get the boot disk and CD.
 

vintageestatefinds

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2014
Messages
118
Location
Simpsonville, SC
Well the copy of Windows 95 I bought says "For distribution with a new Dell PC only" on the front, though the seller didn't take a pic of that side or mention it in the ad. I presume it wouldn't work with this Pionex and I should seek a refund :/.
 

Caluser2000

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
Messages
4,672
Location
New Zealand
It'll work fine if it is a generic OEM bundle and not one of those "Restore" cds. I've used a number of those on generic systems, same goes for NT4, win98, ME and Win2k.
 
Last edited:
Top