Content by William R. Walsh
Referring to these systems as though they were related to the PS/2 Model 25
is technically incorrect. However, it's quite obvious that at least
some of the same designers worked on both (Ed. or they shared some of the
design documentation). EduQuest systems are much bigger
in size than your average Model 25.
Models 30 and 40 come with DOS 5.0 in ROM. A Setup
utility is built in, there is no reference or starter disk I know of.
As with the other models, the only way I've found to get into the BIOS
setup utility is to cause an error during the power on self test
(POST). Holding down a key on the keyboard is quite effective for this.
All EduQuest models that I've worked with produce a distinctly unhappy
"beep boop" sound when a self test failure occurs, so you'll know when
you've managed to trigger an error.
I have found that use of a disk manager (those based on Ontrack
software) requires a "cooked" diskette as the EduQuest Models 30 and 40
(and possibly all other EduQuest models) cannot boot the DR-DOS used
with Ontrack's solution. Why I don't know. Replacing the DR-DOS system
with MS (or possibly even PC) DOS might work. Whether these machines
can boot FreeDOS or not is unknown.
528MB disks are the maximum supported by the on-board IDE. Higher
capacity is possible if you use a disk manager program. However, there
is also a hardware solution to using larger disks or CompactFlash
cards in the form of the XT-IDE board.
XT-IDE and the EduQuest
(This is primarily relevant to the EduQuest Models 30, 40 and others
that have DOS-in-ROM present on the motherboard. By the time of the
EduQuest 55, this seems to have been dropped.)
It is reported that when used normally, an XT-IDE adapter is not
compatible with the EduQuest as its option ROM is not allowed to load.
Chris Esch discovered
that there is a solution in the form of removing the expansion ROM that
contains the EduQuest's DOS-in-ROM functionality. From that point, the
XT-IDE adapter's ROM can be placed into the socket from which the
original DOS-in-ROM chip was removed. Be careful that you insert the
chip correctly. Otherwise you may burn it or your EduQuest system out.
I noticed at times of changing load, that the power supply in all of my
EduQuest systems would sometimes behave in an unstable manner. The
screen image would shrink or "vibrate" noticeably if something like an
internal CD-ROM drive were to spin up. None of them ever failed as
a result of this, and I never got so far as to diagnose it. My best
guess would be faulty or dried-out electrolytic capacitors that had
changed in value, particularly any that were being used as power
There are some special option cards for use in the EduQuest systems.
While they are in fact normal ISA cards, the component side and
connectors on the card are flipped from their normal orientation to fit
special "EduQuest slots" in the EduQuest machines. The EduQuest
machines that supported these cards also had standard ISA connectors
for use with conventional ISA expansion cards.
I'm sure there are more of these around, but all I have run into so far
is the EduQuest sound card and the Token Ring network interface card.
The following pages cover these cards and any related components in more detail: