Too many hard disks? The smiley face boot crash

smiley face crash
☺on boot

I’d never seen this one before, but attempting to boot up PC-DOS 4.00 or 4.01 on my PS/2 model 60, with 7 virtual disks attached, all I get is a single smiley/happy face, ASCII 1 ‘☺’ on boot.

MS-DOS 5.00 doesn’t care.

all my SCSI virtual disks
too many disks!

While trying the Apricot MS-DOS 4 set I got on eBay, it boots from floppy disks, crashes trying to boot from the hard disk, and trying to run fdisk just causes a divide by zero error.

run-time error R6003
- integer divide by 0
– integer divide by 0
run-time error R6003
- integer divide by 0

I’m a bit reluctant to rip the whole machine apart as SD card extension cables don’t work for me which is even more annoying. Didn’t people buy big machines and put in a LOT of disks to just run MS-DOS? Even a Netware server still requires MS-DOS to boot.

Is my 286 just too weird?!

I’m not sure if it’s worth following up, but it is perplexing. Maybe I need to rename all my disks, and stick with whatever was actually selling in 1987. And sadly that means not fully loading it out.

4 thoughts on “Too many hard disks? The smiley face boot crash

  1. “Even a Netware server still requires MS-DOS to boot.”
    Netware compliant cards had an option in boot rom to enable the boot device to be the only drive discoverable at boot time, with the rest of disks being handled by the OS/manufacturer drivers at later boot stages. That without counting that’s the default and only behavior in many cards where the boot rom built in INT13H extensions can only enumerate the boot device, and you have to load the drivers to see the rest later.
    There were also configurations where the server was “IPLed” from a floppy disk. It wasn’t a problem since “automatic updates which required restarting the OS” weren’t a thing back them. You only needed do this once in a while, and unless you needed some fancy drivers loaded from DOS, any “sys A” type dos boot floppy could be used to kickstart the server (the rest of configurations were in Netware itself).

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