Linux Box + DOS 3.2 box + (1)5.25 floppy drive (okidata 3305BU) = HELP!!!!!!!!

From: Fred Cisin <>
Date: Fri Feb 27 14:30:25 2004

On Thu, 26 Feb 2004, Lyos Norezel wrote:
> Hey y'all... I need some help. I recently acquired a Compaq Portable(ye
> right... at 35LBS no one is crazy enough to carry this machine around)
> II

The II is much lighter and more portable than the original Compaq
"Portable" (aka "luggable") or the "Portable 286", which many of
us WERE/ARE crazy enough to lug around.

... with a hard drive and a 5.25 floppy disk drive. The hard drive
> apparently has MSDOS 3.2 and some Novell application. When booted up it
> first checks the memory then it checks active partions... then it starts
> going in some kinda loop looking for a file server that isn't there. I

If the loop is during AUTOEXEC.BAT, then Ctrl-Break or Ctrl-C
will work (the ap presumably uses Int 21h fn 0 - 0Ch functions)
to stop the attempt and get you to the prompt.

If the loop is during CONFIG.SYS, then the keyboard is not likely
to be any help in stopping it. LATER versions of DOS added
capability of bypassing CONFIG.SYS through keyboard intervention.

The Compaq Portable II will always attempt to boot from floppy
before booting from the hard drive.
THEREFORE, what you need is a boot disk. Any version of DOS
from 2.00 through 7.xx, on either 360K or 1.2M
(the USUAL floppy on a Portable II is a 1.2M)
Or you could open it up and install a 3.5" drive.
The Compaq uses Torx head screws throughout.
If you don't have Torx bits, then LEAVE IT ON THE SHELF UNTIL YOU DO!
(I repaired a Portable on a picnic table in Hawaii using Vise-Grips 5WR,
and do NOT recommend it!)

DOS 3.20 supports 720K, but if you "upgrade" to 3.30, then you
could use a 1.4M. If you go that route, use COMPAQ 3.31, or
COMPAQ 5.00 (MODE.COM is DIFFERENT from the MODE.COM on any
other "brand" of MS-DOS!) 3.31 or higher will also permit you
to use hard drives larger than 32M. If you ignore this advice
and install a non-Compaq DOS on it, at least save a copy of your MODE.COM.

Many people will give you advice about how to transfer files
to it without using the floppy. But EVERY one of those is
assuming that you are able to get to the DOS prompt, and have
terminal software (or at least MODE.COM) available on the
machine. So,... none of that'll do you ANY good until you
get a successful boot.

> don't have any other 5.25 floppy drives so I am unable to create disks
> to transfer files to this box. I was wondering if it was possible to
> connect the floppy drive to my linux box and copy the files to the
> disk(s) from there and retransfer the drive to the compaq to use.
Absolutely. The Compaq uses Torx head screws throughout.
If you don't have Torx bits, then LEAVE IT ON THE SHELF UNTIL YOU DO!

> Problem is that the Linux box is an RH9 platform on a PII (686) system.
> Would RH9 even have the needed drivers for a drive this ancient?
I do not consider a 1.2M drive to be "ancient".
They didn't even come out until 1983.

> Can this be done or am I, for all intensive purposes, screwed?

Grumpy Ol' Fred
Received on Fri Feb 27 2004 - 14:30:25 GMT

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