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Ancient Hardware on XP


saturndude
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Today I got my old 1991 Northgate OmniKey 101 back from a refurbishment (it had been in storage since 1999 or so). XP won't start with it.

Any tweaks, advice, other resources, anything?

I really like this "clicky" keyboard. It is right "up there" with the IBM Model M. Clicky, and VERY durable.

I tried to create a boot log, but this has never been very reliable (Win 3.1, 98, and now XP). I can FORCE linux to mount the NTFS partition, but I did not find any "bootlog.txt" (improper Windows shutdown probably creates a flag that linux sees, maybe the same flag that brings Windows up with "safe mode" and the other choices). Bootlog.txt was not in the root directory, not in WINDOWS, and not in WINDOWS\system. All I found with the correct date/time was \WINDOWS\bootstat.dat, which consists of:

^L^@^@^@^A^@^@^@^A^^^@^A^@^@^@^@^

(the rest of the file is "@^@^@^@^" repeated to the end of the file. So it is a compiled file or a binary file or something. I can use a hex editor if you like.)

I'll try to see if I can boot in safe mode next.

My first linux (Caldera 1.2, July 1998) mentioned that linux sometimes had a problem with this keyboard's timing. Hardware detection has greatly improved in *nix. And now Windows is having a problem with hardware?

(not recognizing ISA stuff in XP doesn't count, it is not a bug.)

Have we officially come full circle now? The irony is delicious.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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1991? Is it possible that this keyboard has an XT interface? AFAIK Linux supports XT keyboards, but Windows (at least the 32 bit versions, the 16 bit versions use BIOS functions, I think) don't. When it has an XT interface I would expect you can't access the BIOS with it either. Maybe it has an XT/AT switch on the bottom, or maybe you can find an XT/AT convertor like this. Else you'll have to write your own keyboarddriver, I'm afraid.

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Thanks!

AFAIK, I still have the booklet that describes the DIP switches. Somewhere. I'll look around for it.

EDIT: Found the booklet. Keyboard is, and always has been, set for AT. My KT600 board (Athlon 2900) will howl with beeping complaints if I even TRY an XT keyboard. End of edit.

But now, XP won't start. In safe mode, or any mode. Even when I go back to the modern keyboard. After XP tries to load system32\drivers\mup.sys, the BIOS reboot routine is triggered.

Can I use linux to edit win.ini in Control Panel without booting XP? If so, what is the name of the layout? Do I need to extract a file?

I need XP to search for a job. (OpenOffice docs aren't laid out quite the same as in Word 97, though OO can turn my resume into a PDF, then I know stuff will look right.....)

I guess I'll need to do a trial install of XP on another machine (or get a boot floppy) to have access to the right version of scandisk. My Norton Utilities 6.01 CD can normally see my NTFS partitions, but can only see FAT because of the current trouble.

Any thoughts?

Edited by saturndude
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Okay, got it fixed. I googled the file name. Over at hardwareanalysis.com, much advice and many hints are given for this problem.

Some say the problem was mup.sys, others say the problem is the thing that loads after mup.sys.

One person said that resetting the ESCD data (load BIOS defaults) forces Windows and ACPI to reset hardware IRQ allocation. I suspect this was correct, since resetting the BIOS fixed it.

If anyone wants the "clicky" keyboard, a company called Unicomp still makes them, on the same equipment IBM used, probably in the same plant, 90 miles down the highway from me in Lexington.

It really is a treat. Thanks!!!

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I'm using a circa-1990 keyboard from an IBM PS/2 Model 70. Young 'uns don't know how great these old and durable "clickety-clack" keyboards are!

As for drivers, the generic 101-key PS/2 keyboard driver was installed and it works just fine. Since the keyboard obviously doesn't have a Windows key, I used the following registry hack to give it one:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;Map Scroll Lock key to Windows key (IBM PS/2 Keyboard)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Keyboard Layout]
"Scancode Map"=hex:00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,02,00,00,00,5B,E0,46,00,00,00,00,00

Edited by mhc
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