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Discussion Starter #1
there isnt a win 3.1 catagory, so i am posting this here, since it pertains more to hardware and less to the OS.

i have an issue with a machine i have had running for more than 3 years straight, with no rest.

one day it simply powered off. and now it wont do a thing. after three years of holding records, it seems to have a ton of important information on it. i was making backups, but it seems that they are nowhere to be found now. (almost as if someone stole the CD's they were on) now one of the biggest problems is that it was using MFM drives, and i cannot find anything to connect them to to get the data off of them. no one i know still has any old MFM crap laying around. is there a way to connect an MFM drive to an ide system? or is there a place i can call that still stocks parts (even used ones)

before anyone asks, this machine was in place for this task due to its stability. there was no other machine that would reliably do this at the time, so a 12 mhz 286 running windows 3.1 was placed in charge of the job.

now for three years it did fine, untill it died. the power supply has been replaced, and still nothing. its as if the power supply will not even try to turn on. if there is a trick someone knows about how to make all of this work out for me, could ya please tell me.

i am about to lose my job if i dont find the backups. (or get this data off of here onto new discs)

it almost seems i have been framed, since i am being accused of some bad activities that this data could prove i did not do. seems a little funny that the only machine with the power to save me had to die the same week that the backups dissappeared and the same week i was accused of misleading customers who called for support.

please help!

Vikki
 

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you sure they are mfm?

try checking to see if some wires on the mainboard have been jostled loose.

i think i may have a machine they could be thrown into to salvage the data, as you know i have alot of old machines that are in running condition, and i have both mfm and scsi type drive controller cards for them all. give me a call, and i may be of some help. although, it may be faster to have someone here help you and see if you can get it running again.

but its good to see you again my love...

dont get lost again, alright?

~BoB~
 

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I'm not sure they would work in a new computer, but there are MFM controller cards being sold here
 

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I think the first step is to determine what has failed. Be VERY careful moving the drives to a different controller, that's very likely to fail, and may screw up the MFM format on the drive(s). If it's the MB that's failed, there are plenty of ancient machines with ISA slots that will probably support those MFM drives. If the controller has failed, you need to find the same make/model on the used market. If all you want to do is get the data off the system, I suspect that MS-DOS 6.22 will get the job done. If this were my problem, I'd install the MFM drives in an ISA system with an IDE drive, and copy the data to the IDE drive. You can then put that drive in any system and fetch the data.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
alright, i have the mfm controller card and the drives sitting here on my desk, and now i need a machine to put them in.

and bob, it would help if you would answer your phone. :p

in fact, i am about to send these drives to a data recovery service, but they want some ludicrous amount of cash to make it right.

as far as using an ISA type machine, i cannot find one anywhere.

it seems that they are all PCI now.

but is there something someone could have done to it to make it not power up? see i was told it shut off by itself, but i wasnt here when that happened, and i am not sure if i beleive the person that told me it shut off. i almost think they did something to it.
the hardware all looks intact, but when you flip the power switch (not the soft on type, but a real switch) it doesnt do anything, unless i unplug the motherboard, then the power supply fires up just fine. so i am thinking something on the board is keeping it from working. the processor is seated fully, and the ram has been removed and changed, (not that we are sure of any of the ram modules we have being good) and still nothing. this machine will not even start with all the ISA cards pulled. makes no sense to me. but in a day or two, i wont have the chance to do anything, as i am about to be suspended and possibly fired.

and my boss isnt worried about it, he says it was my department, so its my problem. he is however willing to pay for some repairs, but we cant find any shop that will work on this old of a machine, and i am tired of being laughed at for asking. (this one shop i called actually said it couldnt be a 286 because those won't run win 3.1, and another shop didnt know what MFM was.) the one shop that knew all about it said that he didnt have parts for those anymore, and that he could do no more than to send the drives to a recovery service. so, at my boss's expense, it sounds like a recovery service is the way to go, but it would have to be sent to them by the shop i take it to, and included in that same bill for my boss to cover it. and i think it would only be right for him to pay the 3,000$+ that it is supposedly going to take.

is it right for me to twist thing around so he has to pay for the recovery, if the shop i take it to takes it to a recovery service? or would i be robbing him in some way?

(he has already stated that if i take it to a recovery service, that he wont pay for it, but if it is sent there by the shop, then he would have to, right?)


god i hate computers sometimes.

Vikki
 

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As I suggested, look for a used computer with ISA bus. Hell, I still have a couple of P3 machines that have a couple of ISA slots, though my newer machines are indeed all PCI. ISA machines are available if you do a little digging. I sense you haven't looked that hard, I did a Google search on USED COMPUTER ISA and turned up a ton of them, here's just a sample:

http://www.baber.com/used/used_computers.htm

http://www.smartsolutionsonline.com/used_computers_1.htm

http://www.computer-show.com/list.asp

http://www.erpcsales.com/

http://www.stores.ebay.com/id=3085622

In addition, if you do a search on eBay, I'll bet you turn up hundreds of used computers.
 

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if he says you will have to pay if you send it to a data recovery service, that will not matter if you send it to one of his approved shops, and then when they are unable to fix it, if they send it to a recovery service, he will have to pay for it. this is how it works when you put someone in charge of things.

i think he is simply not wanting to send it there based on your opinion, but if the shop he approves of decides it has to be done, then he would have to pay for it, since he already approved of their decisions.

and johnwill,
vikki may not have stated this, but the parts would need to be bought with a check from her boss, and she cannot go to a site and pay that way, since she is not him. however, if there was a local shop that had the parts, she can pay out of the cash account she is allocated for such things.

and ebay is a bunch of crap, and i doubt she wants to pay 200 bucks for an old machine that supposedly works.

many many people i know will not buy things on ebay, as there is no way of making sure you are getting a good item.

i know i wont ever buy things on ebay, and i know people who make money selling junk, and they havent had to refund much if any of it. so i dont trust a place where you dont get to hold the item in hand, and i dont expect anyone else to either.

vikki, is there a way you could take it to a local shop?
or is your boss set on mailing the entire machine to some far away place?

i only sort of run a business, but if you bring it to me, i am more than positive i could get the drives up and running, and i even have an isa machine with a CD burner in it.

and i am sure the bill would be small, if there even was one. (bring the CD's and i would glady do the recovery for free, if it can be done this way)

anyways, good luck vikki, and you tell john that bob said he knows what he did, :p

after he laughs, tell him im kidding. i know john wants you there.
its the other 12 people in your department i am not sure about.

and as far as seeing why the machine died, wasnt that machine living in a locked closet? who all has keys?
and where were you keeping the backups?
if the machine isnt fixed at the end of this story, i want to see it.
i can check each part against known working machines.

i will walk up there my dam self and start some crap if this isnt resolved, so dont panic, you wont get fired, but im sure someone else would.
(alan, is that his name? the short dork with the huge nose? i would look into if it could have been him, as he is the one thats shady.)

oh, and before you do anything else, isnt the old machine that you had to set aside built with at least one isa slot in it?
even if it wont log into chat im pretty sure it would do this task.

wouldnt hurt to open it and see...

anyways, i will answer my phone, but it isnt working right, it would prolly be easier to just bring it to me.

~BoB~
 
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