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486 mobo boots but no A or C prompt

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Setup and Configuration » All the Rest » 486 mobo boots but no A or C prompt « Previous Next »

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Posted on Sunday, October 14, 2001 - 11:25 pm:   

486 mobo Gigabyte GA-5486AL using either DX-66-S or Cyrix 586 -100. Award bios v4.50 PG Jan 17/1996. Rev 1.06. Chip is ALI-1487/89-2A4KDG09C-00. System will boot but will not go to "C" or "A" prompt. Reads my 6 gig HD and "A" floppy and CD-Rom. But will not boot fm "A" or fm HD. With everything disconnected other than floppy and a DOS5 boot disk still no prompt. All suggestions are appreciated as I am trying to build this for a grandson.
V (Vera)
Posted on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 6:17 am:   

by boot ,you mean it's posting?
by reads ,do you mean you see the led lights flash or do you mean you actually can see the contents of the disks? i'm not sure i'm clear on whats going on.
are you getting any error msgs. if so what are they?

what version windows are you installing?
try booting with another boot floppy. yours may not be a good disk. you can download one from here
did you fdisk and format the harddrive?
the harddrive may be to large for bios to recognize in which case you may need a utility(ex. ez-drive) to get it recognized. you don't say what brand harddrive but you can check their website to see what utilities they have.

if you disconnect the hardrive will the floppy then go to the A: prompt?
are the cables on correctly? try reversing them. on the drives make sure the pink edge is lined up with pin 1 on both ends.
in bios make sure the correct type of floppydrive is selected and auto detect the harddrive.

some ideas
hope they help
V (Vera)
Posted on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 6:25 am:   

sorry here's a working link
V (Vera)
Posted on Monday, October 15, 2001 - 1:39 pm:   

so all can follow along and possibly contribute.
in an e-mail to vera
russhemm writes:

to answer yr ?? booting I mean the monitor shows all the pertinent info ie: the bios, what size of HD, the A floppy and RAM size and then on normal boot it should go to a A or C prompt depending on if I am booting fm floppy of HD. but this one ends the bootup sequence with a flashing cursor.
2.Using W98SE.
3.HardDrive is a Western Digital.
4. I can't get the 486 to acknowledge the A drive(floppy) so I cannot use the E-Z that I have to ensure the bios reads the 6Gig HD. Also have a DOS 5.0 212 MB harddrive and if bios set on Auto, the bios will read the harddrive but still no C prompt (or DOSSHELL)
5.I have disconnected the HD and the floppy still will not go to A prompt.
6. No error msg's. Except when I have reversed the cables then I get the Error msg "Floppy drive fail" but other than that I get no error msg's. And I only get the normal beeps for booting up. No error beeps.
7. I have downloaded the two Main DOS boot disks for 5.0 and 6.0 and will try them later today. I have lots of boot disks for W98SE and they all work in this(the system for this email) when I tested them.
8. Yes I used Fdisk and formated the HD before I loaded win 98se.
Tks Russ

are the jumpers for your wd drive set correctly for the configuration your trying to achieve? is it set for single drive while your trying to slave the small drive. or is it set as master. what position is it set on the ribbon.
is the 212 drive also hooked up along with the wd drive. check the jumper settings for that also.
i hooked up a small drive as slave at one time and the system hung similar to what you are descibing.turned out the small drive was no good.i removed the small drive and that solved the problem.are they known working drives?
are the cables known to be good?
if you could swap the pieces out to another system you could narrow things down

some more thoughts
V (Vera)
Posted on Tuesday, October 16, 2001 - 8:29 am:   

you have win 98 loaded already.(for some reason i was overlooking that) it is sounding like a driver issue
can you get into safemode?
press f5 while it's posting see if it will get you into safemode
did you install windows with soundcard or netcard?
V (Vera)
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2001 - 6:56 am:   

from russhemm
email to vera 10/16

of all things that is one thing I haven't tried ,,,,is to f5 to safe mode,,,but I do not think it will work...will be back

email from russhemm to vera 10/19
I cannot get to safe mode. I had loaded Win98se on my system which has everything in it.


it occured to me that while some 486 boards have built-in ide and floppy controllers, others do not. they need to use a controller card which have the floppy and ide controllers on it instead. i was wondering, if your motherboard is using a controller card, have you tried moving it to another slot and are the jumpers configured correctly? if you have any other cards such as a sound card , modem , or network card they should be removed till you can at least get it to boot from a floppy or to windows then add them back in one at a time till you find where it's hanging.

but then in your last e-mail you say that you loaded win98 on your system.

does this mean that you put the harddrive from the 486 into your own pc to load windows? did you disconnect your harddrive, put the 486's harddrive in it's place and proceed to install windows from your cd-drive ? then took the 486's harddrive and put it back into the 486 pc. whatever the reason was.

if this is the case then i feel this alone is a problem because
the new installation on the 486's harddrive is trying to boot up looking for all the devices and drivers that are on your pc where the install took place
but that still leaves the problem that while the 486's harddrive is disconnected from the 486 pc, it still won't boot from the floppy which takes me back to the beginning of this message. the controller card issue.

if your using a controller card, is it a known working card? maybe the floppy controller on the card is no good or maybe the card is not configured correctly.

check back to say whether ANY of this applies. and if so once the floppy issue is corrected there are other ways to go about getting win98 installed

i wish i had a definitive answer for you,but there are so many potentials and you see how the trouble shooting and proccess of elimination route goes.

some more ideas

good luck

anybody else have some ideas?
Posted on Sunday, October 21, 2001 - 9:31 pm:   

Make sure your floppy drive is on the connector of the ribbon cable AFTER the twist, or it will not be recognized as an A: drive. If it's an older floppy drive, be sure it is jumpered as an A: drive as well. Try swapping out with a known good floppy drive. If you don't have a data cable with a twist in it, get one. Many 286 and some older 386 machines used cables with no twist and the drives had jumpers on them to set to A: or B:. You may have inherited one of these legacy components.

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