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Sirius 250 not responding

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Hi,

 

Hope you can help, we have a second (or more) hand sirius 250 desk. On powerup some hard drive noise is heard briefly, then the main LCD says:

 

PC if Card BIOS C004

© Zero 88 21/05/97

-------------------------

Zero 88 lighting ltd

 

 

the lcd above the rotary encodors is showing all black solid characters & all the displays above the page selectors show --

 

Other than this the desk will not respond at all.

 

Is there some way to flatline the desk & upload/install software again or an even easier fix ?

 

Cheers for your help

 

Chris

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Is anything appearing on the monitor output when the desk boots or is this remaining blank as if it has no signal.

If not then it sounds as if the PC main board is not correctly booting. This may be down to the video card not seated correctly or has failed.

If the monitor does show something like C:/desk demo then the problem is with the front panel hardware not being detected.

This could again be seating this time of the ISA bus interface card, it could also be something like a flat battery on either the FLASH/RAM card or PC motherboard

 

It will be easier to make any replies to the e-mail address shown below.

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The Sirius 500 of my employer wasn't used for some years. Now I think about learning this light controller and using it for an event this summer, but it seemst not to start normally.

When I'm turning the power on, the internal screens show the already described messages (black characters and

PC IF Card BIOS C107
(C) Zero 88 20/10/97
--------------------
Zero 88 Lighting Ltd

). The external display shows

Detecting OD Primary Master  ... ST3850A
Floppy Disk(s) Fail (C0)



Press F1 to continue, DEL to enter SETUP

After pressing F1 you can read lines like

Verifying DMI pool data
Starting MS DOS...

see two graphics by zero88 and finally read just

C:\DESKDEMO>

After a while the internal screen shows

PC IF Card BIOS C107
(C) Zero 88 20/10/97
--------------------
Waiting for commands

---

 

After searching for a launcher inside MS DOS without result I found this forum.

 

The problem described duckher up seems to be nearly the same, but in addition to this maybe my floppy drive should be changed. For this a short instruction how to open the Sirius without destroying anything would be nice.

I would like to try changing the CR2032 battery at the mainboard and the floppy drive this week. This should help, don't?

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This time the floppy drive problem wasn't shown. Instead I get this screen after "Starting MS DOS..." and the two graphics:

Exception 0D at 0x70013010.
Error Code : 0x00000000.
 EAX : 0x3918CAD3   EBX : 0x00AF35E0   ECX : 0x0004E364   EDX : 0x0004E364
 ESO : 0x00000F1E   EDI : 0x00001000    DS : 0x0000019F    ES : 0x0000019F
Function Stack is :
   0x00000001.
   0x0000001A.
   0xFFFF2002.
   0xF0061030.
   0x10001064.

DPMI: Unexpected error 8003 at 0197 E360

Not ready reading drive C
Invalid COMMAND.COM

Cannot load COMMAND, system halted

The internal screens show the described lines (ending with "Zero 88 Lighting Ltd").

I will wait for an answer before trying some steps. What does this page mean?

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The "Not ready reading drive C" message is a familiar DOS message when the hard disk is unreadable - either through corruption or physical damage.

 

If the desk hasn't been used for quite a while (or perhaps has been dropped) then one of two things could have happened....

 

A. The Hard drive might be suffering 'stiction' where the lubricant for the platters goes all sticky and prevents them spinning. Allegedly - it can be cured by removing the drive from its mountings, power it up then flick the drive in the horizontal plane to force the platters to move. However - this was a fairly random technique from the 80's when PC hard disks were expensive - no guarantee that it will work.

 

B. The desk might have been dropped causing the read/write head to come unlocked and contact the platters - the drive isn't recoverable from that.

 

In theory - if you can find a small hard disk (the bios on the mainboard may not be able to read a drive larger than 32Mb) Zero88 might have a copy of the utility disk for the desk that allows you to install the software afresh. It shouldn't be too hard to find a copy of MSDOS to put on the drive - it might only be DOS 3.3 (I never had to reinstall software on a 250 or 500 so I don't know to be honest)...

 

It might well be that the desk is at the end of its life - a shame but it does happen.

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The "Not ready reading drive C" message is a familiar DOS message when the hard disk is unreadable - either through corruption or physical damage.

 

Thank You for your answer. I will save the disks content to another disk these days.

 

Today the hard disk seems to run again, MS DOS is starting. I now just have the first two problems:

The internal screens is

Waiting for commands

and

Floppy Disk(s) Fail (C0)

Hopely I can fix it by changing the battery and the desk is not at the end of its life.

 

---

Until know I just found four screws that could help me opening the desk a little bit.

 

Does anyone know how to remove the bottom metal plate? Or am I able to remove the left and/or right part of the frame?

 

---

EDIT:

You can remove the bottom metal plate: Remove two of four screws and then just pull... :doh:

 

After changing the floppy drive I got "Floppy Disk(s) Fail (40)" the first time and "Floppy Disk(s) Fail (C0)" the second.

Maybe the second floppy drive is defect, too.

 

The CR2032 battery (mainboard) has normal voltage. At the Varta battery (PC IF Card) the voltmeter just showed 0,0V.

 

Directly before showing the line "C:\DESKDEMO>" the internal screen shows other text a moment. It includes "0123456789ABCD". Then it switches to the second described lines ("Waiting for commands").

 

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As mentioned in one of my earlier posts you need to make sure the battery on the PCIF interface card is not flat, from your posting you have said this was reading 0v. that will need to be change to all the interface card to run correctly.

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The batteries on PCIF Card and mainboard are changed.

 

At first boot, the bios displayed a message the PCIF Card data are restored to default. There is no more floppy disk error.

 

Now it stops after showing the two pictures on external display with

Exception 0E at 0x00000009.
Error Code : 0x00000006.
 EAX : 0x00000000   EBX : 0x00000003   ECX : 0x004830C0   EDX : 0x0000001B
 ESI : 0x0000002A   EDI : 0x00000163    DS : 0x0000019F    ES : 0x0000019F
Functuin Stack is:

DPMI: Unexpected error 8003 at 0197 E360
C:\DESKDEMO>_

The internal displays show

  Sirius 500 11:42  
07/05/98 (C) Zero 88
--------------------
   Please Wait ...   

("Please Wait ..." is blinking)

Sirius 500 4 Wheel Drive
 11:42 07/05/98 (C) Z88 

and " 0" at the other ones.

 

 

 

What does the error mean and what can I do?

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Ok, replacing the battery on the mother board would have cause the bios setting to have reset.

We need to check some of these as there are a couple of critical to allow the desk to boot.

 

this could also be a corrupt OS on the drive as well so may need to re-install the OS.

 

Please pm on the address below and I will send you some information.

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Thank You KWR88 álias Mr. Rogers.

Your information via pm helped to bring the Sirius 500 alive :) .

 

The main problems were:

 

- flat battery on PCIF card

-> changed (more information)

 

- deleted BIOS because of changing the baterry at the mainboard (wasn't necessary at my cause)

-> settings restored (information via pm by Mr. Rogers)

 

- sometimes DOS problems (old HDD will die in near future)

-> I will clone the hard disk to another HDD (HDD is still running)
-> even possible: install the OS and software to an empty HDD by using the pm information by Mr. Rogers (and floppy disks)

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Glad to hear you bought it back to life - I always liked using the 250/500 for moving heads.

 

It was a lovely desk for vamping shows too - I guess most folks would say "Use a frog..."

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