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question about an old 386

By armando_santos ·
I have an old 386 that I use because I am still maintaining some DOS programs....I am getting the error msg, "Hard Drive Controller Failure"..."Hard Drive Read Failure"....is there any hope to resurrect this thing....how can I download a new DOS operating System...it was DOS 5.1....thank you....It may have been exposed to too much heat while turned off.

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question about an old 386

by Lizzy In reply to question about an old 386

I believe that your system is done for. You might try replacing the hard drive, but why not just go to a computer show and buy an old pc for 25 or 50$ and see if you can find DOS diskettes there from one of the vendors. Another great place to looknow would be on e-bay. I wouldn't waste time on the 386--time is money.

Look for a low end pentium or 486.

Microsoft's last version of DOS was 6.22 and comes on 3 diskettes. It used to come with windows 3.1 systems also. It was a great version of DOS.
best wishes.

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question about an old 386

by armando_santos In reply to question about an old 386

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question about an old 386

by TheChas In reply to question about an old 386

If you desire to keep this machine up and running, I would replace both the hard drive, and the controller card.

As DOS is still a licensed commercial program, there is no place to download it legally.

I believe that one of the other (non Microsoft) versions of DOS was available for download. If memory serves me well, the site was listed under dos support on the www.bootdisk.com web site.

I have seen web vendors selling Pentium class PCs for under $10

If you really need it, I have a 386SX-16 AT style motherboard with the 387 co-processor, that is sitting boxed up in my basement.

I just hate to throw away anything that works.

Chas

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question about an old 386

by armando_santos In reply to question about an old 386

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question about an old 386

by Grey_Woolf In reply to question about an old 386

First, A 386 should have been using an IDE drive, if so you would have to find an exact duplicate drive model -> switch out the onboard controller.

Second, If it is utilizing a RLL or god forbid a MFM drive, replace the controller card.

Lastly, replace the hard drive with any readily available drives and purchase the DOS version of your choice at WWW.EGGHEAD.COM they specialize in old and outdated software.

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question about an old 386

by armando_santos In reply to question about an old 386

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question about an old 386

by OTL In reply to question about an old 386

1. You have a viable copy of DOS 5.1 on the hard drive. create a system disk (format/s/v a:) and backup (only copy them directly onto floppies) DOS system files. Do the same with the data and other programs you want to keep. Open it up and verifyall connectors are properly seated, including the ram, ensure you can read the numbers on the chips on the motherboard. Too much heat from dust build up will give this indication.

2. Run Scandisk, have not used it in a while as we only have one PC it still runs on. But scandisk/? will give you the parameters you can use. Can have it automatically fix errors but do # 1 first (back it up), it may erase/traunciate the portion of the disk with problems making programs/data in that area unreadable. If it comes up clean, then it sounds like a software issue or HD controller problem.

3. After trying the above you could reformat the HD, to lock out bad sectors. If there are too many bad sectors it will not re-format, and a message will come up indicating bad cluster count exceeded.

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question about an old 386

by armando_santos In reply to question about an old 386

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question about an old 386

by armando_santos In reply to question about an old 386

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