95 Setup for Novices
I cannot sit in front of your system and look at the cabling,
the termination, or the error messages. Out of self-defense, this is a
guide to getting your 95 up. For those of you that have more knowledge
or your machine is operational, don't follow this. Talk to me about the
This page presents a straightforward, simple process to
get a non-working model 95 system (any model) to run. After you get it
running, THEN you can worry about adding things. This is a methodical process
to eliminate multiple problem sources. Believe me, mixed memory installation,
a change in complex type, wrong reference disk, bad termination, and a
drive too big to IML off is NOT very
easy to diagnose over the internet.
Opening the Case
Turn off the computer. Unplug the power cord. Open the
case. A guide to doing so is HERE. You
will need to flip the power supply out.(power cord unplugged?) to look
at the memory. Unplug the drive power cables from the forward edge of the
power supply. Further instructions are HERE.
Don't freak out over the info for installing memory, just look at dropping
the power supply for now.
Clean it NOW!
If this system just came off lease or from regular use,
it may have a helluva collection of dust bunnies in it. DUST=HEAT=DEATH!
If the power supply has a buildup of dust in it, by all means, blow it
out with compressed air or something like "Airjet" by GC Electronics.
If you heard anything rolling around in the case when
you moved it, find that loose object while you have the case open. People
may have dropped screws in the case. (found 'em)
To totally remove the power supply, unscrew the single
screw that holds the grounding strap bracket on at the front edge of the
power supply. Thread the srew back in partway into the PS so you
don't loose it. Rotate the PS out so the bottom side is vertical. Pull
the PS towards the front until it comes off the hinge pins. Place PS to
Replace the Battery!
Sure, your system was only used by a little old lady on the
high holy holidays to print out the recipes for fudge. But the battery
has a finite lifespan, and at the end of that, it starts to leak acid.
Not the good stuff that people put on stamps, but the stuff that can corrode
the contacts on your planar, leaving you in the sorry state of trying to
unsolder the old one and put a new one on.
Remove the battery. Look at the contacts. They should
be shiny. No trace of liquid or greenish corrosion should be on them. To
neutralize acid, blot off any gross contaminant, then wipe the contacts
off with a cloth or paper towel wetted with a near paste of baking soda
and water (just like a car battery). Wipe the contacts off. If you
can still see a greenish patina on the contacts, use fine wet-dry sandpaper,
about 400 grit. (or the manly screwdriver or knife). Careful!
It's SO much easier
just to spend the $3 or so for the widely available CR2032 (varied types
and replace it than get it working and leave it for later.
Identify your Complex!
Now the part people either cannot or do not want to comprehend.
I do not care if you have an 8595 or a 9595. Furthermore, it is pointless
to fantasize about the complex. You can find out what the 95 left the factory
with by looking at the recessed sticker below the power switch. It will
be in the format 8595-OKF.
The example shows a Type-model. The most important part
is the model suffix. The central character is a letter. That letter is
the stock complex type and tells me and others what the planar is. IF the
complex is the original one, then the suffix tells us what it can support
for CPU, memory (max install, parity only or parity and ECC), maximum size
of hard drive supported. So don't blow this off!
Model 95, 1.44MB floppy, the K stands for a Type 1 486DX-33
complex, max of 64MB parity. The planar has a single serial / single parallel
port. It usually supports <1GB drives as a boot drive. Furthermore,
the stock model positively identifies the planar. There are some interesting
incompatibilities between some complex/planar combinations. They will not
result in any damage, but neither will they run, or run well.
So you should now understand WHY we need the type-model.
Positive Complex ID
Now just because it left the factory with a -xMx complex
does NOT mean that it still has one.
People upgrade them OR swap out the newer complex with an older complex.
You will have to look at the complex. Notice the blue
latches at both end of the complex. Pull the inner ends of the latches
up. The complex should pop partway out of the socket. Pull it out and LOOK
But you may snivel that it's too much work. Well, unless you
know which complex type that is in your machine, you may have to try all
four reference disks to find the correct one. Or you may find out that
2.5GB SCSI-2 drive just will not configure. And other little joys...
HINT- reference disks must be used
for the complex type they are for. Otherwise you will get a message that
you have an incorrect reference disk and you must reboot. Each link below
goes to the page of that complex type. There is a link for that type's
reference disk on that page.
Type 1 Complex
(G, J, K and Upgrade)
These are the only ones that have a brown 160 pin socket
for a cache daughtercard parallel to the top of the complex. Some versions
of the Type 1 have only a rectangular pattern of 4x40 solder pads parallel
to the top of the complex.
Type 2 Complex (H
Type 2 complexes have NO cache daughtercard socket or
any provisions for one.
Type 3 Complex
The ONLY complex with the cpu on a daughtercard. Looks like
a double-deck complex. It does NOT have the big brown 4x40 pin socket.
It uses a small black connector, about 1"x2", that is towards the left
top of the complex.
Type 4 Complex
(N, P, Q, and Y)
These have a row of five black square (about 3/4" square!)
SMD cache chips parallel to the top of the complex. (some have a
row of cache chips on the back side of the complex also). They are the
complexes that use the Intel 495/496/497 cache controller chips. These
cache controllers are oftem mistaken as a second CPU.
Create Reference and Diagnostics Disks
Find the correct refdisk and diags disk. (diags are common to
complexes). Extract them to a blank, formatted 1.44MB floppy by running
the self-extracting file and follow the prompts. NOTE:W95
users, do not do a "dir" inside a DOS window to look at the new refdisk,
or you may (read "will") overwrite some special bytes on the refdisk.
Remove or unplug the SCSI cable from all devices EXCEPT the
SCSI adapter and the boot drive (which should be at the very end of the
Remove all adapters except the video and SCSI adapters.
Ensure your IBM SCSI adapter is fully seated. Use Slot
#1, the very top one. Too bad, so sad, but IBM adapters are the ONLY
ones that use the Int4b routines needed for IML. The Future Domain OEM
for IBM (called the SCSI-2 Adapter /A) does NOT
have the Int4b support and will NOT
work as the boot drive controller with the Type 1, 2, and 3 complexes.
Ensure the SCSI cable is correctly attached. On some adapters, it is
possible to put the cable onto the controller backwards.
Set boot hard drive to ID6. Put the boot drive at the very end of the
The boot drive must be terminated, either with a Term enable jumper
on it, use of terminating resistor packs, or use of an in-line terminator
that fits between the cable's drive connector and the drive itself.
DO NOT enable Term Power on the
hard drive! Most SCSI adapters provide term power. All IBM SCSI adapters
provide Term Pwr.
NOTE With the older 95s, (Type 1
and Type 2) the boot drive must be under 1GB in size, or the system cannot
find the IML information from the boot drive.
Install parity (x36) memory in matched pairs of size and speed. Example-
two 8MB, 70nS, installed in memory connectors A1-B1. Use SIMMs that look
alike if you can.
NOTE- The memory connectors are
bass ackward. B bank is the four connectors on the LEFT. The A bank is
the four connectors to the RIGHT. Arabic readers will think this normal
and wonder what the heck our problem is.
Do Not load SIMMs only into one
bank (ex. B1, B2, B3, and B4, with no SIMMs in any of the A connectors)
. The system will not work. Unsupported memory configuration.
IBM used a scheme called "Presence
Detect", where the SIMM could tell the memory controller what size,
speed, and type (ECC or parity) the SIMMs are. You can rework
generic SIMMs so that they have this Presence Detect with a solder
iron and a blob or so of solder.
IF the system came with the memory, AND it had worked, then you can
use ECC. But at this point, I do not want you to throw in a flea circus
and wonder why you get "Memory configuration unsupported".
Replace the Complex
Here is one place where haste is your enemy. Raise the
blue locking levers so they point straight up from the complex. Insert
complex into the case, noting the support braces at both ends of the processor
slot. I recommend you have good lighting Make sure that the edge connector
is lined up with the slot. Now look at the locking levers. They have hooks
at the ends. Notice that the support braces have a "T" that the hook mates
with. The hook will be on both sides of the "T" as you push the locking
lever down towards the complex.
WARNING! If you are in a rush and
don't have the complex lined up with the processor slot, then you MAY
shear off or at least twist one of the support chips at the bottom of the
complex. The complex can hang down below the slot, and when you lock it
in, that pushes the complex down. But to the outside of the socket. Hint-
the chips are SMDs. The chip can be pulled off the complex and left hanging
by circuit traces. NOT PRETTY!
Reseat the Power Supply
Showtime. Pop the PS back in. Slowly rotate it back into the
case on the hinges. (if you removed it, follow the reverse proceedure to
install it). Push the SCSI cable out of the way or you may smash some of
the teeny wires as you swing the PS in. (the "guillotine"!)
the blue knob in and screw it in.
WARNING! Do NOT
crank the blue knob down very hard. After it pulls the PS connector onto
the planar's connector, you will start to feel it "tighten up", like it's
seating. STOP now. The blue knob is
spring loaded. The shaft is held in the power supply with an e-clip on
the other side of the power supply. If you crank on the blue knob real
hard, that e-clip WILL deform, possibly
enough to fall off the next time the power supply is swung out. Now you'll
be sitting there with a blue knob on a shaft in one hand, and the spring
is laying loose in the system
Reconnect the drive power cable to the power supply (very
Plug in the power cable into the system. Place the reference
disk in the floppy. It should power up.Thrash about a bit.You may see a
I9990xx error. That's normal The system should now hit the floppy, thrash
a bit more, and the screen for the system programs will come up.
System Programs are your friend!
Hopefully, the system is happy for all the work you've done.
It may reward you with a request to run automatic configuration. Let it.
It will show cheery messages while you sit there for almost two minutes.
Then it should say autoconfig is complete. Reboot the system (follow the
The Party Isn't Over Yet!
System should be configured at the operational level.
It should be able to access the refdisk without complaint.
Restore System Partition
On older systems (Types 1, 2, and 3) the majority of the
BIOS code is stored on the hard drive in a special partition called the
System Partition, or also the IML Partition. Same thing. This partition
is very well protected, you CANNOT whack it with FDISK or format.
I can't take much more of this.... Later.
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