Does expecting the unexpected make the unexpected the expected?

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Q: My computer gives me a configuration error when I turn it on
A: If the CMOS battery is empty, you will be prompted with either of the following errors when you power on the machine.

T3100 series

**** Error in CMOS.  Bad check sum ****
*** Error in CMOS. Bad memory size ***
** Error in CMOS. Bad configuration **
Check system. Then, press [F1] key.....

T3200 series

Invalid configuration information - please run SETUP program
 Strike the F1 key to continue. F2 to run the setup utility

Depending on the model of your Toshiba system, you will want to see one of these articles:

Q: How can I access the built-in BIOS ?
A: To boot your computer into BIOS, do the following:

  • Press CTRL + SHIFT + F10 when the computer powers on.
  • If this doesn't work, but you are able to boot the system from hard disk or floppy disk, you may want to boot the system, then manually run the TEST3.EXE utility, a little program by Toshiba which will open up the BIOS settings from a DOS environment. You might want to include this utility in your computer recovery/boot disk. To download the TEST3 utility, see the Files and Resources section.

Q: I am still unable to access the BIOS.
A: When the computer BIOS battery runs empty, it will clear all BIOS settings and will prompt you to review the system settings on power-up. This may be used to your advantage to get into BIOS. To force this behavior, you need to disassemble the computer and disconnect the clock battery entirely.

To access the clock battery, you need to disassemble the computer. Please see instructions here: The Toshiba T3200SXC and how to disassemble it.

Once disassembled, wait for a few minutes and power up the computer again. The computer will ask the user to review the default settings. Please refer to instructions on how to boot a T3100 or T3200 series computer from the following article:

Q: My computer does not hold settings or time
A: You probably have an empty BIOS battery. The battery holds volatile information in a CMOS chip like information about your BIOS settings and system time. When the battery runs out, the information will be lost. You can still use your computer by going into BIOS settings and accepting the defaults (see above).

Q: How can I replace my BIOS battery?
A: The BIOS battery is located on the system board. You can replace it with an original part, or alternatively, get a CR2032 coin cell battery holder, a CR2032 lithium battery and a diode. The diode is required to avoid charging the battery. Take the old battery connector and its wires, solder the coin cell holder to the wires and solder the diode in series as such:
[PC] - - - - [|<] - - - - [+ BATT -] - - - - [PC]

Q: I can't get a larger/custom hard drive working on my T3200SX(C). My computer won't boot, or it will refuse to detect the drive.
A: First, verify that the peripheral hard disk is working and is set to be a MASTER device from the IDE jumper settings. If this doesn't help, then you may be faced with the following situation:
Newer Toshiba T3200SX BIOSes are restricted to specific CONNER hard-drives of either 40 or 80 megabytes (the T3200SXC accepts 40 or 120 MB). On bootup, the BIOS queries the IDE controller for hard-drives, and will prevent the system from booting when it detects a hard drive with a part number that doesn't start with the matching letters 'CP' (Conner Peripherals).

There are three options:

  1. Buy a BIOS CMOS ROM drop-in replacement. I've started selling programmed ROM chips that have the 003C BIOS with an updated VGA BIOS for the T3200SXC. This will essentially allow you to use any hard disk.
  2. Buy a working CONNER Hard-disk with the part number starting with 'CP', and use ANYDRIVE to circumvent the BIOS hardcoded drive size limitations.
  3. Get an older BIOS chip, or hunt down a spares -computer with an older BIOS version and replace the chip.
  4. Re-flash your BIOS chip with the 003C (3CH) BIOS found in the files-section, and again use ANYDRIVE to circumvent any size limitations. There is a well written BIOS re-flashing guide in the files page in the section labeled Documentation.

On older Toshiba T3200SX(C) machines (BIOS 003C) the computer will boot with any peripheral IDE drive, but you may still need to use ANYDRIVE to circumvent the BIOS hard-disk size limitations, because older BIOSes assume the hard disk is 40 MB. It may boot, but using the computer could cause hard drive corruption. With ANYDRIVE enabled, the program will manually reprogram the BIOS to use whatever size hard disk you want and utilize up to 512 megabytes on the hard drive. The program installs inside the Master Boot Record (MBR), so that it will run every time the computer starts. To download ANYDRIVE, please refer to the following page:

Q: How do I dump the BIOS?
A: To dump the main BIOS, download the following zip file:

Extract the file BIOS.EXE from the above downloaded zip file and copy it to a bootable floppy. Also copy DEBUG.EXE from a standard MSDOS install to the floppy.

Boot the computer using the floppy and at the A:\> command prompt type:


which should create a 64K file called BIOS.BIN on the floppy

You may also dump the BIOS using the following alternative method with DEBUG:

M F000:0 FFFF 8000:0
W 8000:0

To dump the VGA BIOS type the following followed by enter after each line at the A:\ prompt:

M C000:0 FFFF 8000:0
W 8000:0

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toshiba_t-series_support/faq.txt · Last modified: 2024-03-29 04:16 by omolini