PC110

The IBM PalmTop PC110

If it all goes wrong...

Important

The tips on this page could cause you to get into some real problems if you make a mistake. Be careful - I take no responsibility for the effects of this information. That said, all these tips have worked with my machine when it's had a bad day. Take 'em or leave 'em.
 

Resetting the PC110

Right, you're here because it's all gone pear-shaped. Your PC110 is refusing to boot an operating system, or it's not behaving as logic and everyone else's experiences say it should. What can go wrong?

  1. Software - provided you have a back up - you do have a back up, don't you? - just recover the software to a good state.
  2. CMOS settings - influence the machine's behaviour, sometimes for better, sometimes for poorer.
  3. BIOS - technically just another bit of rewriteable memory - now we're getting serious.
  4. Hardware - when its bust, it's bust. Game over. Send it to Tokyo with a begging note...

Software

So your operating system doesn't boot. Here's a few tips:

CMOS settings

CMOS setings control much of the machine's behaviour - particularly its power management and reactions to power-related controls and events. Resetting the CMOS settings is a common technique for sorting out a cranky machine. There are two ways of doing this:

In both cases, you will be presented with two POST errors - 00173 and 00163 - and then be placed in EasySetup to confirm the date and time when you first power up. This is a normal consequence of a CMOS reset.
 

BIOS

The only definite reason I know of to upgrade the BIOS is when you install more than 12MB of video RAM, and cannot load 256 colour drivers under Windows 95.

Warning: Your BIOS controls what the machine does when you power it on, and how it boots up. Kill the BIOS, and you kill the machine. A failed BIOS update means a replacement system board.

If you choose to update your BIOS, these steps are recommended:

  1. Download the BIOS patch BIOSUP.ZIP from Seamus Waldron's web pages
  2. Find a 720KB diskette, and format it as 720KB, with a full format, several times, and check for errors - dodgy sectors on a BIOS update diskette are BAD news.
  3. Unpack the BIOSUP.ZIP file into a directory.
  4. A copy of LOADDSKF.EXE is provided. Use this to unpack the diskette image file BIOSUP.DSK to the floppy diskette. This will only take a couple of seconds, as the image is small - a patch rather than a replacement BIOS. To unpack the image file to diskette, type

    LOADDSKF BIOSUP.DSK A:
  5. Attach the PC110 to mains power. If you lose power during the BIOS update, you'll be needing a new system board. Make sure it has a full-charged battery installed, in case there is a power cut. Yes - I am serious about that.
  6. Set the boot sequence to include the floppy drive as the first device.
  7. Power off the PC110, insert the BIOS update diskette into the floppy drive, and power it back on.
  8. Watch the messages, and wait for confirmation that the BIOS update operation has finished before you do anything.

Once you have successfully updated your BIOS, you should immediately reset your CMOS settings as mentioned above.

Hardware

If none of the above have got you going, it's probably a hardware problem. Try these tips:

 

Back to index


Written by Daniel Basterfield. Images found on the internet. Enjoy!