Author Topic: PC2286/40 won't boot  (Read 775 times)

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Offline AlCastorne

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PC2286/40 won't boot
« on: 11:09, 07 July 21 »
Last week I got an Amstrad PC2286/40 from my uncle who insisted that it would still function. So I took it with me, plugged it in and for my surprise it booted. The PC had an MSDOS 4.01 floppy inside and I was able to boot it, set the time and date and some options. The machine and some text on the screen can be seen here
https://imgur.com/a/TDUZUls


The problem started the day after. I tried to boot it up again, now wanting to enable the driver for the hard drive, and the machine just refuses to boot. Sometimes it will just show Please wait and other times it will do nothing at all. An example of such a faulty boot can be seen here https://youtube.com/shorts/fLX1MLiGsPk
I opened the case to check if something was badly connected but everything looks fine. On boot the machine seems to try to read the disk as in the video it can be seen that it makes noise and the led is on for some time, then it goes off and nothing else happens. At random moments (like 5% of the times) the machine will be able to move past the Please wait screen but it gets stuck when editing the user options trying to enable the disk. And they are at random times like it doesn’t boot several times, the I unplug the keyboard or replug the screen or sth and it suddenly boots.


Any thoughts on how should I proceed? Does this look like a software or a hardware error? I would like to be able to operate the hard drive and maybe read some 5¼ floppys that my uncle gave me (I also have a device for reading those)


I can provide more photos/videos or try things on it,.

Any help is appreciated, thanks!  ;D
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Offline SkulleateR

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Re: PC2286/40 won't boot
« Reply #1 on: 18:02, 07 July 21 »
First of all, measure the PSU if all the needed voltages are there, then unplug every internal card/drive/etc and test again ...


Oh an pictures of the mainboard would be nice :)
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Offline AlCastorne

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Re: PC2286/40 won't boot
« Reply #2 on: 12:06, 20 July 21 »
Thanks for your response and sorry for my delayed reply.
I noticed there was dust on part of the motherboard and precisely in the power supply for the 5 1/4 board. After cleaning those, the computer boots up nicely.

https://imgur.com/a/2lQtV0M
I'm now dubious about one thing. The hard drive seems to have a version of DOS installed but the machine is always booting from the floppy disk. I suspect it has to do with setting a wrong "hard drive type number" on the CMOS, but I am unable to find what value I have to choose. The option accepts from 1 to 49. Using 2 seems to allow the system to access the disk and execute things there. Any idea where I can find more information? I think it has to do with the number of cylinders and sectors etc, but I'm not familiar with those concepts.
PS. The machine is right now dissassembled and I'm treating the case with retr0bright, so it will be some time until I can try any solution you can propose.
Again, many thanks for taking the time for reading my post and sorry for the late response
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Offline SkulleateR

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Re: PC2286/40 won't boot
« Reply #3 on: 12:48, 20 July 21 »
Depends on the harddrive in there, maybe it's a SRD 3040C-50 ? That was the one I had in an old Amstrad PC but I don't have that anymore ....


That would be 822 Cyliners, 2 Heads and 51 Sectors ... maybe just post the ID/Name of the drive here ....
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Offline AlCastorne

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Re: PC2286/40 won't boot
« Reply #4 on: 14:50, 20 July 21 »
I can provide this image, not sure if it is sufficient.
https://imgur.com/a/2V4JKPz
If needed I can disassemble it this evening.
Thanks for your help!!
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Offline SkulleateR

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Re: PC2286/40 won't boot
« Reply #5 on: 15:24, 20 July 21 »
Yea, that's only the internal part numbers, please disassemble it, if you're lucky the drive parameters are printed on top ...
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Offline AlCastorne

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Re: PC2286/40 won't boot
« Reply #6 on: 19:07, 20 July 21 »
I disassembled it. Does this photo ring any bells?



https://imgur.com/a/jYTdDPv
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Offline SkulleateR

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Re: PC2286/40 won't boot
« Reply #7 on: 20:22, 20 July 21 »
   Model    Cap    Cyl   WPC     Hd     LZone   Access   spt     Total Sectors
 WD 384R    40.0   782   783     4       783      85     26       N/A   
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Offline AlCastorne

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Re: PC2286/40 won't boot
« Reply #8 on: 20:53, 20 July 21 »
So I should use type 4 then?
May I ask which black magic you used to find that? Searching for WD384R doesn't give me any useful results in Google, just portals that sell this HD refurbished  ;D

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Offline SkulleateR

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Re: PC2286/40 won't boot
« Reply #9 on: 21:49, 20 July 21 »
You can't do harm when choosing the wrong drive specs ... Only thing that could happen is that hdd will not be found/not start/has read errors :)

No black magic ... I somehwere found an old IBM pdf which has various hdd drives listed from that time, also found this specs on a repair site ;)
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Offline AlCastorne

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Re: PC2286/40 won't boot
« Reply #10 on: 10:15, 21 July 21 »
Awesome!
From your message I guess I was right and should use the type 4 for the drive. Many thanks!

https://imgur.com/a/U2KNybE
The computer is almost ready (just need a couple more passes on the back of the monitor) but it will be assembled soon. I will let you know how it turns out.
Thanks for your help!!
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