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thehumi

Restoring a WorkmasterII

8 posts in this topic

Hi There,

I had an irresistible chance to purchase a GE WorkmasterII. I booted it up and had a look. It has LM6PC and LM5PC on the hard drive and GE parallel ISA card installed.

After taking it apart to get an idea of how i'm going to fix the old plastic latches and to clean the interior, the BIOS battery accidently became unplugged. This is the battery pack towards the top of the interior of the case. I know I've got to replace the capacitors in the floppy drive. It pops the 601 error for it on boot. I wont be able to flash the BIOS until that is complete...So while I wait for them to arrive I've got to ask... Does anyone have a list of ADF files from the Reference Disks I will need to flash the BIOS, or perhaps have a copy of them?

I am familiar with reloading a PS/2 system, but it seems the Workmaster series number (Type 7187-510) doesn't fall into any standard PS/2 BIOS system that has been investigated by the fine folks on the internet.

 

I'll keep everyone updated with how this restoration goes.

-Humi

Edited by thehumi

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Try here:

http://www.mcamafia.de/mcapage0/mcaindex.htm

I'll also look around for an old system disk with the file(s) for the WSI card. I had an old laptop that had a copy of the WMII system disk, but its hard drive died several months ago.

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Steve,

Thanks for such a quick reply. I did scroll through that pretty comprehensive list before I started this post, but it didn't look like anything there applies to the WMII.

PS/2 POST error codes: http://ps-2.kev009.com/pcpartnerinfo/ctstips/49fe.htm

System Reference Disks: http://www.walshcomptech.com/selectpccbbs/

They have a "Model 70" Reference Disk, but not sure if that will work.

Shame about the timing with the hard drive crash. I'll post some pictures tomorrow when the lighting is better. We're expecting snow; there wont be much else to do.

Edited by thehumi

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 Try the model P70 v1.04. But it probably won't have the file for the WSI card. There is also a "discovery " program called IDMCA which will scan the Micro Channel bus for installed cards and report what it finds. A couple of years ago I helped a customer with Series Six PLCs in two different facilities put together a pair of functional Workmaster II computers from model P70s he picked up on ebay. I found a pair of 3.5" floppies, one llabeled "WMII System Config", the other "IDMCA". I'll try to make copies of them. I still have an old NT machine with a working 3.5" drive. The laptop with the hard drive that crashed (Windows XP) also had a 3.5" drive but it could not always read from the floppies after the NT laptop wrote to them. Email me at stephen dot bailey2 at verizon dot net with an address to send the floppies to.

Where are you located? I'm expecting snow tomorrow also.

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The IBM PS/2 Model P70 sure does look an awful lot like the WMII... inside and out.

It appears the 3.5" floppy drive installed in my WMII is not original, and not a correct replacement. I tried my known working 3.5" floppy drive, it too doesn't boot. There is no molex power cable from the power supply to power the floppy. The drive gets its 5V power through the ribbon cable. This video does a good job explaining a work-around how to use a standard floppy drive with this setup. This is not my video, and do not attempt this if you are uncomfortable doing so! I'll post my results.

https://www.youtube.com watch?v=vRU7U1i2hCU ( a space in the address so it doesn't show the video here.)

 

 

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Steve, Thank you for sending me the disks!! I will post my progress.

The Video above worked for me.  From the Power Supply connector: Pin 5 is +5V and Pin 8 is Ground. I connected these to the floppy drive with a Molex connector. Then, on the PCB solder pads on the interface connector on the Floppy Drive I used a small wire and jumped Pin 4 and 13 (instead of 13, you can use any ground pin that is ground) and removed Pin 6. The Floppy drive now powers on and tries to boot the system. 

Reference pinout for Floppy Drive interface connector: https://ardent-tool.com/floppy/Floppy_Pinouts.html

Reference pinout for Power Supply connector: http://www.walshcomptech.com/ohlandl/8573/8573.html

Replacement CMOS Battery Reference: http://www.tavi.co.uk/ps2pages/battery.html#72X8498 Duracell DL223A or equivalent. 

 

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Steve, The diskette you mailed me arrived on Friday. I'm a little perplex with what is going on... let me explain.

The floppy drive that came in the WMII when I bought it was advertised as "not working". I found this drive is not original to the system. I tested it in another working computer, and it works. I wrote disks on a 2nd floppy drive, and the WMII floppy drive was able to read them, and vise-versa. I performed the modification mentioned above to power the floppy drive in the WMII. Plugged into the WMII and the covers of the floppy drive open, I see the read heads move, and disk spins-up during POST. 

I create a Reference Disk for the P70, and set it as a PS/2 bootable disk with the RefStamp utility. During POST after the system errors are shown, the disk drive starts to read, but for some reason pauses and stops reading the disk and just sits there. This also happens with Steve's disk. If I insert a disk that is not set as a bootable disk, it does not attempt to boot from it. For this reason, it appears the floppy drive is at the least reading the boot reference stamp.

The only thing I can determine is one of two things...

1.) The floppy disk controller on the main board of the WMII has malfunctioned,

2,) The floppy drive interface connector pinout on the main board on the WMII is different from the original P70... I will investigate this. From what I have seen, using a newer floppy drive is possible using the original cable on a P70 system. 

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I purchased a rebuilt floppy drive for the WMII / P70. Mitsubishi MF355C-599MQ1 Manufactured 1994. I plugged it in and works perfectly.

The standard Reference Disk for the P70 allows the system to boot up. Unfortunately, the WMII Reference Disk Steve sent me was corrupted, became corrupted through the mail, or became corrupted attempting to use it in the original floppy drive. I believe the only thing it contains different from the standard P70 reference disk is the ADF file for the WSI card. I will try and recover the information contained on it.

Sometime soon I'll be designing some replacement parts to be made in a 3D printer so the Screen hinges work once more. I'll get some pictures uploaded of the condition I received the WMII in.

Installed on the WMII is LM6 Version 4.06 Parallel and LM5 Version 2.02. Are these the latest versions?

 

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