Hey oldcomputerfreak (or others who know old comps) I'm callin ya out!
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Thread: Hey oldcomputerfreak (or others who know old comps) I'm callin ya out!

  1. #1
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    Hey oldcomputerfreak (or others who know old comps) I'm callin ya out!

    I just got a laptop to play with (free) and it's an ancient Zenith Quattro Pro. What is it? 386? 286? Where can I find info on it? It wont do anything but say "Bad or missing Command Interpreter" and has no other markings to speak of but serial numbers, model ZWL-183-93, and FCC ID:EDI9YA-557CPP15. Any clue on what it is and what to do? boot disk doesn't do anything (win 95 though I didn't expect it to), and I cannot figure how to enter setup. Thanks

    ------------------
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  2. #2
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    If it's a *really* old laptop, you might try running Dos and Windows 3.0 or 3.1.

    The error message sounds like a DOS one, ie it can'd find command.com.

    Cheers, R.D.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, it's the missing DOS.

    CMOS set-up, try:
    ALT+Delete, F4 or try all function keys

    I know only Quattro Pro--the best worksheet apps. made by Borland that knocked the infamous Lotus 123
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  4. #4
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    Butchsor is right, no Dos. You need a dos bootable floppy. Once you boot from floppy check that it can see the c: drive. If it can try "sys c:", if it can't then use "fdisk" to recreate a primary partition followed by "format /s /u"

  5. #5
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    You Command.com is defunct, follow uart's lead for replacing it, but be carefull of your DOS Version. REALLY old machines (talking 286) might be running DOS 4 or earlier, which is bad. it will run DOS 6, so find a copy and try it, it's worth it for the extra base mem from Himem
    AHHH, I think my computer's got a Virus!

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  6. #6
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    what do you think is better to load on a ZWL-184-97 dos or win 3.1 or win 95

  7. #7
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    Hard to say without knowing the specs, but it needs to have either a pretty fast 486 or a Pentium CPU to run Win95.
    Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

  8. #8
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    One site i see lists memory below a meg, so DOS is most likely all you can manage.

    Floppy Disk Drive- 1.44MB "3.5 disk"
    Hercules LCD
    16MB Hardrive
    640k ram

    Win95 is a loooooooong time away son.
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  9. #9
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    I'm guessing it's probably a 286 4 or 386 8 Mhz chip.

    640k RAM! I think that's one step up from a PC Junior. I don't think Windows 3.1 will operate with less than 2MB - and performance is terrible even with 3MB.

    But you would want Himem. Without it DOS only uses 64K (16-bit), I think.
    We all Think Different too.

  10. #10
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    But you would want Himem. Without it DOS only uses 64K (16-bit), I think.
    Dos could address 16 64kBytes segments (1mB of address space). You needed himem on a 286 and above if you wanted to use the wrap around kludge, giving you an extra 64kBytes of address space, that could be used to store resident programs such as drivers or even command.com. Himem was also required on 808x and above if you wanted to access ems memory using and ems driver that would let you access several megs of ram via a windows usually at segment D000.
    Gilles Lussier

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  11. #11
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    its a Pentium with not event a gig on it

  12. #12
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    Gig of what? Hard disk space? Even so, you should still be able to run Windows 95 or 98. At least then you could run some apps. Anything older than that and you're going to have a tough time finding software.
    Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

  13. #13
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    Yup. It is a dinosaur:

    http://www.zenithdatasystems.de/english.htm



    4.77 or 8Mhz 80C88 (186 I think), optional 10 or 20MB hard drive, 720K floppy, 512-640K memory. The modem was a 1200 or 2400 baud external modem. Man this is a door stop. DOS is about all you will get running on this.
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  14. #14
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    Dos could address 16 64kBytes segments (1mB of address space). You needed himem on a 286 and above if you wanted to use the wrap around kludge, giving you an extra 64kBytes of address space, that could be used to store resident programs such as drivers or even command.com. Himem was also required on 808x and above if you wanted to access ems memory using and ems driver that would let you access several megs of ram via a windows usually at segment D000.
    Didn't know that, thanks Gluss.

    4.77 or 8Mhz 80C88 (186 I think), optional 10 or 20MB hard drive, 720K floppy, 512-640K memory. The modem was a 1200 or 2400 baud external modem. Man this is a door stop. DOS is about all you will get running on this.
    No such thing as a 186, Todd, although the 80(C)88 WOULD have been a 80(C)186, had Intel switched to the newer naming convention (80(C)286, 80(C)386, etc.) sooner. Instead, there was the original 1802, then the legendary 80(C)86 and finally the 80(C)88.
    We all Think Different too.

  15. #15
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    Well I know that, but I thought it was the IBM PC, 286 (my oldest brother had both of these), 386, 486. I call the IBM PC a 186. I think my old TRS-80 Color Computer used a 2Mhz 80C86 or something like that. Old... reary old indeed. My first computer was a 286 SX 25Mhz with 2MB on board. This is WAY beyond this Zenith system.

    I mean come on... this is the chip they show as the CPU:

    Last edited by Todd a; October 11th, 2005 at 10:29 PM.
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