95 Setup for Novices

Basic Configuration
   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 lone problem.

   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 the side.

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 HERE) 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!

EXAMPLE- 8595-OKF
  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. Buyer beware.
   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 at it.
  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 and L)
   Type 2 complexes have NO cache daughtercard socket or any provisions for one.

Type 3 Complex (M)
  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 ONLY 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 ALL 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.



Simplifying Matters
  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 SCSI cable)

Remove all adapters except the video and SCSI adapters. 

SCSI Tips
   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 SCSI cable.

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.



Memory Tips
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.

Presence Detect
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"!)
   Push 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 important!)

Showtime!
   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 prompts!)

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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