Previous Q & A

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These are questions and answers that were previously posted to the Q & A page but have been archived here to keep the latest Q & A shorter and more manageable for download.

PC1640 Using colour monitor
Integra Upgrading / Beeping
CPC Converting Protext files
Integra Beeping at start up
PC1512 Changing motherboard
NC100 Making serial port work
PC1386 Fixing SIMM clips
PC2286 Getting hard disk going
PPC Trying to use LCD display
PC2286 Getting hard disk going
PC2386 Upgrading memory
General Satellite repairs
Printers Windows 95 drivers
PDA600 Looking for Windows software
PDA600 Looking for software update
PC9486 Colour only shows mono
General Account master software
ALT DIP switch settings?
PC20 DIP switch settings
PC2086 Need system disk
PC9486 Restoring standard software
Integra Beeping at switch on
PPC Looking for system disk
PC9486 Upgrading memory
PC3386 Looking for mouse driver
PC2086 Creating system floppy
NC100 Fixing keyboard
ALT386 Changing floppy drive
PCW Trying to get it started
Year2000 Compliance questions
PC9486 Won't boot from hard disk
NC100 Common failure reasons
PC3086 Changing floppy drives
General Speed of these pages
Monitor Using on other PC
PC3086 Accessing the BIOS
General Speed of these pages
PC1512 Looking for schematic
Integra Restart failure after games
ALT386 Upgrading processor
PCW Transfer data to PC
PPC Need system disc
PPC Need programs
Modems Looking for Win drivers
General Explanation of share split
General Asking about business strategy
PCW Year 2000 compliant?
Modem Getting MC2400 working
PC2286 Upgrading memory
ALT386 Getting beyond 4MB
PC2386 Enabling hard disk
PC2086 Bypass key lock
PCW Finding reapirers

James Clark in SK22 2JJ - FAX: 01663 746 909 at 14:19:34 Monday October 27 97
Can you tell me whether there is someone in the Stockport / Manchester area who can repair AMSTRAD PCW 8512s? We have just replaced worn out drive belt (following instructions) but now that the PCW has beem re-assembled, we find it no longer accepts Start of Day disk. Help needed urgently!
Amstrad answers: Fraid I don't have a list of repairers but in your situation I'd have a look through the local Yellow Pages for "Computer Dealers/Repairers" and just phone a few to see if any can handle old Amstrad equipment.
Are you sure it isn't just that the cable hasn't been correctly replaced on the drive or something simple like that? The thing I always forget is to reconnect the power when I've had something to pieces.

Ian Collins in TORQUAY, Devon at 23:7:48 Thursday October 23 97
I am trying to get a 2086 going. When I power up the monitor shows "Amstrad PC2086 640k (V1.5) 03.39 on 01 January 1980. (c)1989 Amstrad plc.Last used at 00.02 on 01 January 1980. Check keylock switch,keyboard and mouse." (Booting up again gives the times as 04.02 and 03.52.) The green LED on the Num Lock key flashes and sound beeps about every second. I do not have a key for the keylock. I have a 720k Amstrad MS-DOS 3.3 System Disk ref 30010-3/UK and an MS-DOS 3.2 disk - same result with both.The mouse has no external markings but is marked Amstrad on the internal circuit board. What should be my next move ?
Amstrad answers: Time to disassemble the unit methinks. Locate the keyswitch and just solder a wire across it (OK, who said it was particularly secure?!). I guess this operation is not unlike hot wiring a car! (not that I know anything about such things you understand!)

Trish in Surrey at 22:26:10 Wednesday October 22 97
To Peter Warr in Sevenoaks who seems to use this site a lot recently...I have an Amstrad 2386 which has died quite suddenly. It no longer knows where its C drive is or even that it exists. You evidently know about Amstrads and I work in Sevenoaks. Can you help ?
Amstrad answers: Shucks, I'm all hurt now cos you didn't think I could answer. Sorry for not being here for a few days!
When PC's such as the 2386 "no longer know" about their hard disks it is just because their CMOS memory has lost it's contents (did the batteries die perhaps?) and the MOST important thing stored in the CMOS memory is the, so called, hard disk type number, if that isn't set correctly the the BIOS simply won't be able to "see" the hard disk. What you need to do is start MS-DOS from a floppy disk and then insert a disk containing a copy of Setup.Exe (available for download from these very pages if you haven't already got a copy).
At the A:\> prompt type Setup and then use the program to set the hard disk type number to 1. You probably also want to set the Extended Memory to 3456
. Exit the program choosing to save settings and restart - the hard disk should now be visible. If it isn't repeat the process but try type 10. If that still doesn't work then try 4. One of those should do it!!

Jonathan Blankley in Midlands, UK at 10:52:15 Tuesday October 21 97
I have an Amstrad ALT-386-SX portable with 4MB of RAM in it. I realise that the RAM slots are hardwired not to accept any more than 4MB of SIMMS, but, by using a Kingston or similar ISA memory board in the expansion socket, would that increase the RAM, or will the BIOS prevent this?
Amstrad answers: Well the actual limitation is that the C&T gate array doesn't map higher address lines to the SIMM sockets so I'll stick my neck out and say that I'm 90% certain that you probably can get past 4MB in the ISA bus but I'd get the memory board on sale or return just in case I'm wrong! It's not a BIOS limitation (I don't think) and I have a feeling the BIOS would "see" memory above 4MB.

David Cefai in Malta at 21:2:23 Monday October 20 97
I'm trying to increase RAM on a PC2286. Step 1, replace the original chips by 4x256K SIMMS salvaged from an old Epson PCAX3 - 80ns, 3 chips,2 large one small, worked OK. Step 2, I tried 4x1MB non parity checked SIMMS - no go! Parity error. Step 3, bought 2x1MB parity checked SIMMS (3 chips all same size) - the PC wouldn't boot. Jumpers were definitely set as per the manual. Question: (1) What type SIMMs will work? (2) can I turn off Parity checking?
Amstrad answers: Err you didn't mention about having removed the 12 socketed chips on the 2286 board that provided the original 1MB. They MUST be removed before you start adding SIMMs or you'd get exactly the sort of problems you describe. 3 chip SIMMs may well work but the 2xxx machines were designed in the days of 9chip SIMMs so only they can be guaranteed to work. They MUST be parity checked as there is NO way to switch off parity checking in the PC design.

Nick Hopkinson at 17:6:22 Sunday October 19 97
I'm trying to held a friend get on the Internet but am having some problems. The machine is operating under Windows 3.1 (not 3.11) and has an Amstrad MC2400 PC Modem Card installed. The machine was bought second hand but the modem was only ever used with DOS utilities. This means that Windows does not acknowledge the card. I cannot get anything to happen, even on 'Terminal', as it tells me that it cannot detect a device on that port. Can anyone help? Thanks.
Amstrad answers: In the words of the song from Bat Out of Hell "STOP RIGHT THERE!" - are you serious about trying to get someone on the Internet using a 2400 baud modem? Let's face it that even at 28,800 baud (more than 10 times faster!) the speed of the internet is still total crap. Can you imagine what it's going to be like at 2,400?!?
Anyway, if you're still serious about using the modem the fact is it has got absolutely NOTHING to do with Windows whatsoever. When you get a program such as AOL, Compuserve or one of the Winsocks that does the connecting to the Internet it is THAT proram that has knowledge of specific modems, not the generic Windows system itself. And don't worry that the "Amstrad MC2400" doesn't appear in such a list (though I think you'll find it maybe does in quite a few!) just select something like "generic AT commands" or "Hayes 2400 compatible" and that'll do it.
But like I say, please please forget about trying to use a 2,400 modem for the internet. Consider downloading a 1MB file. It will take about 5-10minutes on a 28,800 modem. It will take more than an hour on a 2,400 baud modem. Now phone charges may be dropping but you still pay 60p/hour at weekends and it won't take that many megabytes before a V34 modem would pay for itself. (About 100MB I'd say and that really isn't very much data)

David Clarke at 16:15:2 Saturday October 18 97
Will my PCW 8512 crash in the year 2000
Amstrad answers: [faceitous mode=on]If you mean "will it break down in 2000?" then who can say!?! It's very difficult to predict how long a piece of equipment will last.[faceitous mode=off]
If on the other hand you mean "will the software be able to cope with the transition from 31/12/99 to 01/01/00?" then I'd be totally astonished if something happened on that date because it may have escaped your notice but the PCW does NOT include a clock circuit of any description so it doesn't measure the passage of time and it won't "know" that infamous Saturday morning from Adam. Course the question of whether a piece of electronics can actually "know" anything is a hugely philosophical one. Perhaps, in it's own way, the PCW does consider the concept of time but as it's date of inception was 1985 my guess is that it might only think(?!?) it had reached the age of 15 in the year 2000. Very deep innit?

Paul Lakin in Manchester at 13:50:26 Saturday October 18 97
What is Amstrad's current Marketing strategy and orientation. Could you please deliver some details in order that they can be absorbed within UK company's marketing thesis I am at present formulating. Your prompt response would be appreciated.
Amstrad answers: As noted below, apologies for delay in answering this. However now that I'm back I'm not sure that I can help you very much anyway. Apart from the fact that I'm a design engineer rather than a marketeer the fact is that Amstrad don't go in for any of that sort of "strategy and orientation" bullshit, twaddle, nonsense. The way our company runs is at the whim of Alan Sugar and what he decides from one day to another is the way we go. We don't have great banks of paper pushers and bean counters being paid huge bucks to achieve bugger all. Amstrad (or Betacom as it is at present) is a very slick company with only really one person in any sort of control and he dicates the "strategy" of the rest of us.


Apologies to anyone who posted a question between 18th and 27th. I've been tied up with something else which meant I didn't have time to post answers here - sorry about that!


Stish Sarna in B'ham, England at 14:31:31 Wednesday October 15 97
I held 10,000 Amstrad shares before the company was split. Does anyone no what this split was? Can anyone explain what is meant by Loan Notes? .. I appreciate this is not the appropriate form, but I am desperate
Amstrad answers: I'd be happy to explain as I was a (modest) holder of Amstrad plc shares as well. Basically on 31st July 97 Amstrad plc shares were trading at about 280p (so your shares were worth about £28,000). On that Friday Amstrad plc shares ceased to trade and on Moday 4th August a new company called Viglen Technology plc was floated on the stock market with shares at about 60p and you were given one Viglen share for each Amstrad one you held. (So that's where £6,000 of your money has gone). Because Viglen recently announced that they were to make "Microsoft" branded PCs their share price went up from 63p to 83p so you now have £8,300 there :-)
Also, because Amstrad owned 69% of Betacom plc you got 0.43 of a Betacom plc share for each Amstrad share you held so I predict you will have been given 4,300 Betacom plc shares and they currently trade around about 48p each (so that's another £2064 in the bank!).
The third part of the allocation you will have been given is a loan note for £1.63 for each Amstrad share you held so you should have a single note for £16,300 - that loan note is real, hard currency so that piece of paper is effectively a £16,300 pound note!. The reason you got a "loan note" and not just a straight cheque for £16,300 is for your own income/capital gains tax purposes. If you'd received a cheque for £16,300 that would show up immediately as earned income in 97-98 and might take you over tax thresholds into bands you don't want to be in. By giving it as a loan note payable over the next 5 years you can choose to either cash it all immediately or spread it over the next few years in small chunks so that in no one year do you exceed CGT thresholds etc. This "jiggery pokery" doesn't bother someone like me with only a few shares and it may not even bother you but if you were Alan Sugar who got a loan note for £40,800,000 then it's maybe fairly crucial to be able to split it over the next few years!! If you want the money immediately just fill in the note and send it back and you should receive a cheque for £16,300.
The fourth piece of paper you will have is a "letter of entitlement" which gives you a share of any proceeds from the litigation that is ongoing between Amstrad and Seagate and Amstrad and Western Digital. The first case has already been heard and Amstrad have been awarded £85m of damages from Seagate of which you should get 16,300/120,000,000 which is £11,546 but Seagate are appealing (not very! :-) and it may take several years before you see any of that money. Similarly the WD case isn't due to be heard in California until next Spring and no one can guess what way that might go or what the award might be from it.
Adding up what you've got at the moment: Viglen=£8,300 + Betacom=£2064 + £1.63 loan notes=£16,300 that comes to £26,664 which is a bit under the £28,000 that the original Amstrad shares were trading at but then you may be due another £11,546 from the Seagate case and an as yet undecided amount from the WD case so it looks like the split was quite a good move (mainly because of that Viglen/Microsoft announcement).

Brian Junor in Victoria Point. Queensland. Australia at 12:55:7 Monday October 13 97
I'm after the drivers for an Amstrad Modem MC 2400. Does anyone know where I can get them.
Amstrad answers: There are no "drivers" for the MC2400 (you forgot to say what software they were needed for anyway) but the fact is that in any software where you get to choose a modem type just pick Hayes 2400 Compatible or Generic.

Luke Kiser in Lebanon, VA at 2:40:33 Monday October 13 97
Its me again. I am in DOS on the ppc640 but i just cant find any programs. Could you list me some catalogs to find stuff in. Also I need a modem for it. The other one is dead or something. Please help me. All I have is the computer, the manual, and an AC Adaptor. Please send me email for anything to help me out with. Just anything you can send me about it will help me. Thank you for your help and sorry for the inconvienence! :-)(-:
Amstrad answers: Well that's just another IBM PC clone so any of the software you can get for the IBM should also work on the PPC but the problem is that everything written these days is for Win95/NT and all the old stuff that you could use on the PPC would have to be DOS based. Because a lot of that stuff was written before the internet was in widespread use it may be tricky to find it on the web (though I think I heard there is a however a lot of old BBS that existed before the net have archives full of the old stuff. Two places that do hold such old things are Compuserve and AOL in their extensive file libraries. So if you're a member you should find plenty of old stuff there. As for a modem any external modem up to 14K4 could be used by just plugging it onto the 25 pin Serial port (COM1).

Luke in Lebanon, VA at 2:17:8 Monday October 13 97
I have an Amstrad PPC 512/640 and have nothing for it. When it says please put the system disk in, I dont have one. Please help me. I am in desperate need. I know nothing of this computer
Amstrad answers: Answer above.

bob orr in colorado springs co. usa at 16:57:9 Sunday October 12 97
A good friend has brought me an Amstrad PCW 9512 to try to fix are there any emulator to get her data to a big blue box?colo
Amstrad answers: Suggest you read my PCW bits here on this web site which tell you how to transfer PCW data to IBM PC.

David Rix in Sydney Australia at 3:2:54 Saturday October 11 97
Hi.. First I think your pages are very clear and well set out ! Now, I have a ALT 386 laptop with the orig bio plus 80386 ver s 1.10. orig 40 HD and 4 meg ram. My question is what can I do to upgrade it in ANY WAY. It is a great machine but I want 95 on it but can't and even 3.11 for workgroups seems slow. The old si test gives itba speed rate relative to XT's of 16 or 17 depending on the day. I leave for India and Hong Kong for a month on Monday (it's Sat noon here in Sydney Aus) so if you don't get back before I go and do while I'm away, my return thanks won't be forthcoming until I return. David
Amstrad answers: Unfortunately you cannot upgrade the processor in an ALT because there just isn't rooom inside to plug an upgrade processor adapter on top of the existing 386SX. Also the gate array in the ALT limits the maximum amount of RAM to 4MB and there is absolutely no way round this restriction (which was considered "plenty" all those years ago when the ALT ws designed!!). As you've found, even Win 3 is slow on it so you've no real hope of getting Win95 going at a sensible speed so I'm afraid the best advice is probably to consider trading it in for a newer model.

Andrew Peters in Preston at 16:3:33 Friday October 10 97
Hi, I have recently brought a Amstrad Integra P75 and l play a CD-ROM game on the computer after l have finish playing, the computer restarts and after that the system fails to reload. Why has this happened?
Amstrad answers: You didn't give enough detail for me to diagnose the problem, which game is it that has the problem - the "Descent" I guess (or is it the "Links"?). I think the Descent IS set to run a DOS prompt in stand alone mode so it is normal for Windows to have to reload after playing it but I don't understand why "the system fails to reload" and unfortunately you didn't give specific details of exactly how it fails.

GARY at 10:39:39 Friday October 10 97
Amstrad answers: The service manual may still be available from CPC but I don't know of any "stock faults" except to say that the monitor is 10 years old so maybe it is just reaching the natural end of it's life?

Peter Warr in Sevenoaks at 3:22:52 Friday October 3 97
Dear Cliff and All, I've just recently found, when attempting to access Web pages which appear to take more than 4 or 5 seconds to respond to the 'waiting for reply...' status (at least from Netscape 2.01) that if you hit STOP in the browser and then repeat the hyperlink/send/submit request you get connected very quickly. It just worked for me - try it! No reply needed. Peter
Amstrad answers: So good he said it twice! Actually I think that's a common thing and not just for Netscape users. It's because the machine you connect to can usually support quite a number of concurrent connections and is supposed to service the GET requests on an even basis but if you get slow repsonse and break it then immediately reconnect you effectively "go in on another line" and there's a chance it may be more repsonsive.

Peter Warr in Sevenoaks at 3:12:20 Friday October 3 97
Dear Cliff, Re-newing 5.25” FDDs in double-5.25” FDD Amstrad PC3086s (no HDD or 3.5”FDD)
Many thanks for your reply. I had concluded that the 3086 is an XT system (short sockets for expander cards) so how do I access the BIOS? I have tried CTRL+ALT+S and many other combinations but the system seems to interpret almost any keyboard input as a prompt to try to read the drive again. On initial power-up the one-and-a-half line message says something like ‘Amstrad computer....1989...’ before asking for the system disk and it is extremely simple compared with the normal power-up screen on an AT system.
The systems (there are at least 6 of them) show no signs of re-configuration or previous fiddling - all apparently original dust and fluff inside! The FDD cable does not have any 3.5” FDD sockets - it’s just straight from the controller board to the 5.25” FDDs and its length and the positions of the sockets on it look manufactured for the purpose: the two 5.25” FDD sockets in the cable are exactly the right spacing (about an inch and a half - unusual in my experience) for the drives as fitted one above the other and with no funny ‘AT twists’. If these systems once had any 3.5” FDDs I’d be very surprised especially as there are no previously used empty or filled 3.5” FDD blanks in the front panel. (We are talking 3086 here and not ‘...386’!!)
Thanks for your info but I’m still confused - any further suggestions? (I returned the new FDDs so no urgency on reply.)
Amstrad answers: Indeed the 3086 is an XT and not an AT computer and as such you can try every key combination uder the Sun but you will never "access the BIOS" (which I take to mean "access the BIOS setup program") for the simple reason that there isn't one (a setup program I mean - 'course there's a BIOS!!). Having said that, that machine is a bit of a half way house between a true IBM XT and an AT / PS/2 in that it does make use of bytes in it's CMOS memory to hold some system information (but NOT hard disk type numbers!). One of the things it stores there is what it's understanding of the type of drive A: and drive B: are. In order for the end user to set those details there is an external program (DEVICE.COM) that is used to program the right value into the CMOS.
A command such as DEVICE SETFD /D:0 /T:1 would tell it that drive A: (D:0) is a 720K 3.5" drive (0=360K, 1=720K and, I was wrong, it will take 2=1.44M). You will find DEVICE.COM on the set of 3.5" MS-DOS 3.30A disks that were supplied with the machine.
As well as DEVICE letting you set those things it will also display what is currently held in the BIOS. Like I said before my guess is that the BIOS has reverted to default values of believing that A: is 720K, not 360K.

Chris in Chatham Kent at 0:55:39 Friday October 3 97
Thanks for the last answer.Same problem with a different monitor This Time I have two Amstrad monitors. One colour with a round plug and one Mono with a 9 pin D plug. I would like to fit the colour monitor to the 1640 base unit so I need to change the plug or make an adapter. Is this possible if so could you tell me what the pins are used for on both plugs.My technical manual was borrowed by a brother who no longer talks to me.
Amstrad answers: A colour monitor with a round plug eh? That sounds remarkably like it may be a PC-CM which was the colour monitor for the 1512. If that's the case then because the 1512 used rather weird and wonderful video electronics - unlike the 1640 which was pretty standard EGA - then there is no way in the world that the monitor could be adapted for use on a 1640.

Peter Warr in Sevenoaks at 0:56:24 Wednesday October 1 97
Cliff, fyi this Questions page is sometimes inaccessible (while other pages are)- simply no response when (Netscape 2.0) browser says "...contacted. Waiting for reply" Also, when the CRs are stripped out so are paragraph breaks perhaps rendering the enquiry less easy to read - but maybe you already know this? No reply needed. Peter Warr
Amstrad answers: I think the failure to access the page is just because UKOnline is so popular that it's servers are swamped. I have the luxury of accessing during daylight hours and never get a problem but I have had email from others saying that certain pages/files didn't seem to be accessible.
As for the stripping of carriage returns. That's exactly why my preamble at the top of this page says:
It seems that even if you press [Return] in the following they just get stripped out when the question is submitted so the bottom line would seem to be - don't bother. I think this is a problem in the form processing script at UKOnline and is something outside my control. I had the same problem on a different "Web board" while other users could insert [CR]s and I think we determined that it was because I was using MS IE so maybe it's a fault in it's FORM processing code.

Peter Warr in Sevenoaks at 18:16:57 Monday September 29 97
Re-newing 5.25” FDDs in double-5.25” FDD Amstrad PC3086s (no HDD or 3.5”FDD) (I have also sent a previous & less informed query through the Compuserve UKIT Forum - if you get this before that please ignore that one - apologies if not.) I am trying to renew the previously working and probably original FDDs with new ‘standard’ dual-mode 360KB/1.2MB Panasonic versions (the old drives are suspected to be drifting out of alignment). I believe I have sussed the ‘Drive Select’ jumper (DS1 for A: and DS2 for B:). When trying to boot from A: the drive is selected ok and spins and the head appears to search all tracks about 5 times before the screen message ‘Insert SYSTEM disk and press any key’ is simply repeated - no actual error message. The DS, DD disk boots ok in both the original Amstrad drive and in the new drive when installed in an AT PC clone with BIOS set to 1.2MB - although not with BIOS set to 360KB (‘Diskette boot failure’).

CPC have suggested that Amstrad 5.25” FDDs have data lines swapped around so are incompatible with ‘standard’ ones (and that Amstrad types are no longer obtainable). However they recommended me to John Craven (very helpful on 01772 701248) who is not sure if this is true. Nevertheless he believes there were two incompatible types of Amstrad 5.25” FDD at least one of which was not ‘standard’.

Might the problem be Mode and/or Density selection? From Panasonic I have a long list of ‘jumper’ options but on the drive all but the Drive Select are soldered and I want to retain the money-back option on the new drives if unusable (deadline Wed 1st October!).

These old PC3086s suit their purpose fine and I’m trying to keep them going. Is it possible to renew the FDDs (if so, how?) or are 3086s’ doomed?
Amstrad answers: This is awfuly strange as we never actually made 3086s that only had 5.25" drives. The boot drive was always a 720K 3.5" I think so those drives are something that someone else has fitted at a later stage. I believe that the BIOS in the 3086 CAN support booting from something other than a 720K drive but I think the DEVICE command has to be used to tell it that A: is something other than a 720K. Course that requires you to be able to boot DOS to update the CMOS using DEVICE!! I wonder if it has reverted to it's default which I assume will be the assumption that A: is 720K. If I were you I'd try putting a 720K in place of the current A: and see if you can boot from a 3.5" floppy then set the CMOS then replace drive A:. Course, if the CMOS is ever lost/corrupted you'll have to go through all this rigmarole again! It might be easier to leave A: as 720K.

Nicholas Haines in UK at 18:5:35 Saturday September 27 97
My amstrad NC100 has recently stopped working. I know that is kind of general but what are the common reasons of failure. It was bought in 1995 and I was wondering if it may be the lithium battery? It is not working from either mains or battery. Thanx
Amstrad answers: The common failure for NC100s is that their internal fuse has blown (usually because someone tried to connect the wrong PSU). Spare fuses may be available from CPC but I think most people just locate the fuse and solder a link across it (though this does have the downside that the machine is no longer fuse protected). There are two different fuses that may be found in an NC100. In some units it's a small black cylinder about 1cm high with the word "Fuse" written on it. In other units it's more tricky to find cos it's just an anonymous looking black cube about 1cm^3.

Mark Savage in Pinner,Middlesex. at 20:13:46 Wednesday September 24 97
Cliff, I am currently trying to fix aproblem on a friends 9486i DX2/66. The problem is that the machine no longer boots from the Hard Disk, I feel sure that one or more files may have been deleted accidentally ! My friend is on holiday and I cannot ask them if they have any restore disks for this machine, so over to you please. The machine boot perfectly OK from a system disk in the floppy, but I still cannot find out what is preventing it from booting, it does not reach the config.sys files, it does seeem to load the Bios and then briefly access the Hard Disk and then hang ! The last message I get on screen is "IDE Drive 1 support PIO mode 3 data transfer" I would be grateful for any thoughts/suggestions you might have. I would really like to fix this before she returns.
Amstrad answers: Is this a case of next door's goldfish dying while they're away? :-) Do you have bootable floppies with the same operating system as on the HD (presumably DOS 6.2 or Win95?). If so then there's a pretty strong chance that if you boot from floppies and give the command SYS C: then it will be fixed (that's worked for me a number of times). What that does is to re-write the io.sys, msdos.sys and files to the drive in case they've been corrupted. Before doing that you might want to fire up FDISK and see what option 4 has to say for itself just in case the problem is at a lower level with a corrupted boot sector/partition table. If that's the case then it might be wise to back up everything you can see on the HD and then re-FDISK and re-FORMAT it. I seem to remember that either FORMAT or FDISK has a /MBR parameter that will make it only re-write a corrupted master boot record (sector) that you may be able to use.

Diana Wright in Northampton at 18:50:1 Monday September 22 97
Year 2000 compliance - I purchased an Amstard 286 in 1993. I'm sure it is not Year 2000 compliant. How do I go about making my Amstrad 286 Y2K compliant? Please accept my apologies, this question is re-submitted due to incorrect email address in the original question.
Amstrad answers: I guess you didn't look through the previous questions then. This one is a bit of a hoary old chestnut and is a subject that generally makes my blood boil in the way that huge amounts of mis-information have been disseminated by the press and TV in order to make a "good story". In a nutshell there are two independent potential problems that might strike on that fateful Saturday morning.
Firstly it is just vaguely possible that the realtime clock hardware or BIOS in your PC is not properly engineered to cope with the transition form 23:59 31/12/99 to 00:00 1/1/00. This is no big deal. It may well mean that when you get back on Monday after the boozy weekend you have to spend 2 minutes setting your PC's clock right but that's unlikely to affect the price of rice in China is it?
The second problem is the "biggy" and it has got nothing to do with the hardware of your computer (and therefore nothing to do with Amstrad/Betacom). It's the fact that some older software was designed in the days when people couldn't even begin to contemplate the end of the millenium - it was so far off (I remember as a kid of 4-5 working out that I'd be 37 at the turn of the millenium and figuring that was a lifetime away!!). In such old software they thought it was safe to store the year as just two digits so 1963 was 63 etc. What's more if the software wanted to work out a time difference between two dates it could happily subtract one from the other so 1963 to 1979 becomes the sum 79-63 = 16 years. This is all well and good until it has to do a sum such as the difference from 1997 to 2005 which becomes 05 - 97 = -92. That's MINUS 92.
A classic example of this is the Marks and Spencer's stock control system which rejected a consignment of corned beef in early 1997 because it had a use by date of 2003 and it worked out that it was actually 94 years PAST it's sell by date (3 - 97 = -94)!! However while this nasty trick of holding years in just two digits was used in software written in the 60's, 70's and perhaps early 80's it doesn't really affect anything written in the last 15 years (say) and this is why I think the whole thing is being blown out of all proportion. It's true that something like the M&S stock control software may be based on code written for IBM mainframes in the 60's but most of what we run on our PCs is relatively modern software (remember the IBM PC was only launched in 1984). So there really isn't much of a problem.
Here endeth today's lesson.

Steven Drummond in Glasgow at 1:10:1 Monday September 22 97
A friend reciently was given a PCW 8000 series word processor. When it boots, the screen is completely green. Is it fit only for the skip or can it be salvaged?
Amstrad answers: Nope it's working exactly as planned. A PCW has virtually no software built in and usually loads the OS from floppy (bit like a PC only more so!!). When it shows that green screen it is waiting for a floppy to be inserted containing either a copy of Locoscript, the dedicated word processing software or CP/M, the general purpose operating system (and forerunner to MS-DOS but for 8080/Z80 rather than x86). If you don't have a "start of day disc" I suggest you contact Locomotive Software who will be more than happy to sell you one.

John Powles in Hereford UK at 21:30:20 Sunday September 21 97
I have an ALT-386SX with it's failed 1.44MB floppy drive removed. It appears that the old drive was powered through the ribbon cable, can you tell me how to set the jumpers on the new floppy to make it work?
Amstrad answers: I'm not sure what you mean - is the new drive you've got one with separate power connections then? In that case you'll have to make up a cable to solder onto the power tracks on the ALT PCB and then plug into power connector on the drive. Wouldn't it be easier to contact CPC and get an ALT specific drive?

Frank Rueffert in Berlin / Germany at 2:40:37 Sunday September 21 97
Hello ! Sorry for this Question, but i need a new Foil for the keyboard of a NC100 an the Software for Windows95. I get the Notebook from my Sister, but the Keyboard are destroyed. Sorry for my english, but I'm from Germany and i had it not learnt so good. Can you tell me where i get this ? Greets Frank
Amstrad answers: Rest assured that your English is about 1,000 times better than my German!! To get a keyboard membrane for an NC100 (or any Amstrad spare part for that matter) you should contact a company in the UK called CPC. They have a web site at

Robin Tate in Belfast, Northern Ireland. at 18:13:17 Saturday September 20 97
OK, I understand that I need to use a version of DOS to reboot my 2086/30 but I do not understand where or how to create a 720K floppy. I have tried from the W95 Explorer to format a 3.5" floppy in 720k format but it will not let me. Can you help me once again? Thanks.
Amstrad answers: I'm a bit of an old luddite and don't know much about this ere "Explorer" but the way I'd format a 720K bootable floppy disk is to start an MS-DOS prompt then at the C:\> prompt type the command FORMAT A: /s /F:720. The /S will make it "system" format - i.e. bootable, and the /F:720 will force it to be a 720K rather than 1440K disk. If FORMAT gives you any grief try adding a /U switch in there to make it do an Unconditional format. I'm not sure if this is all going to work using Win95(DOS7) anyway, you might be better off digging out an older copy of DOS 6 or DOS 5 if you have one.

Alfredo De Giorgi in Milan Italy at 16:26:33 Wednesday September 17 97
Hello ! Someone of you can give to me the mouse driver of an old Amstrad 386/25, I don't have the model now, but I think it's 3. Year 1990. I have lost it, and the new ones don't work with this PC. Many tanks !
Amstrad answers: I assume that's a 3386SX? In that case use the mouse driver that comes with Windows. The Micrsoft MOUSE.COM (version 7.04 usually) should work fine with the 3386SX mouse.

Roger Green in Rutland, England at 21:47:4 Monday September 15 97
I need to upgrade the RAM in a PC9486 SX-33. Currently it has 1 x 8MB 72 pin SIMM and 4 x 1MB SIMMs. Can I just replace the 1MB SIMMs with 4MB SIMMs and take it up to a total of 24MB? I read somewhere I would need to change jumper settings to do this but I don't have manuals etc available. Are the 3 chip SIMMs what I need?
Amstrad answers: Sorry but I don't have a manual for that machine in our library (only 9486i, not 9486). Could I ask that you email and ask them to fax a photocopy of the relevant pages to you.

Dominic Herbert in UK at 19:47:24 Monday September 15 97
Pleace could you send me a system Disk in my e-mail for a Amstrad ppc640.
Amstrad answers: I don't have a system disk for that machine so suggest you just use any version of MS-DOS, PC-DOS or DR-DOS. The only thing to watch out for is that it MUST be on 720K, not 1.44MB, otherwise it should work fine.

Sue in London at 15:22:18 Monday September 15 97
I seem to be having trouble getting through to you by email. I took your advice about my beeping Integra and REM-ed the command you suggested, but it turned out to be the picture control for the TV function so I have now restored it. I have checked my start up files, and there is nothing unusual. In any case the beeping starts as soon as the machine is switched on, before Windows is running. It is a system beep rather than a multimedia sound. If you have any other suggestions I would be very grateful to hear from you. Thanks
Amstrad answers: I've been receiving your emails but guess that my repies to you are getting lost. Do your email messages have a valid "Reply-To:" header in them? Maybe worth checking your email program setup as I send/receive 2-300 emails per day and don't have problems with others. As I said in the last email to you, the fact it starts from the moment of switch on suggests it is a hardware fault that can only be repaired by an engineer so you must contact the company from whom you bought the machine.

Simon Spalding in UK Sheffield at 15:29:53 Sunday September 14 97
Im trying to restore an amstrad pc9486 but have no restore disk for desk top and operating systems disk 1 is corrupt. Please advise Thnkyou.
Amstrad answers: Fraid I don't have system disks for the latest Amstrad machines. Our PC business is now handled by Viglen so I suggest you email and ask that the message be passed on to their Amstrad Direct support department.

Robin Tate in Belfast, Northern Ireland. at 13:39:4 Sunday September 14 97
RE: PC2086/30 I need a system disk to reboot the system. Can you help? Ta.
Amstrad answers: Yup, just use any version of MS-DOS, PC-DOS or DR-DOS. Only thing to watch for is that it MUST be 720K, not 1.44MB.

Frank Gilliland at 7:23:12 Sunday September 14 97
I have a PC-20 and would like the dip-switch settings for it. Also, it has a 36-pin Centronics connector on the back for an external drive. Were there any drives made for this machine?
Amstrad answers: Ok, the switches are as follows:
        Sw1     Swap internal/external floppy as drive A:
        Sw2     On=CGA, Off=MDA
        Sw3     On=TV, Off=CRT
        Sw4/5   On/Off=80 Col, Off/On=40 Col, On/On=MDA 80 Col
        Sw6     Not connected

colin in lincolnshire in the uk at 20:34:23 Saturday September 13 97
i have an amstrad alt386 , i wnat to know what the 2 sets of dip switches on the back of the machine do and also all the individual settings please of the same. thanks from colin.
Amstrad answers: I'm surprised you didn't spot the complete details on this very web site on my page dealing with portables.

grant vaughan in Hoylake Wirral UK at 12:55:50 Friday September 12 97
Amstrad Accountmaster 1991Software on PC.1512/1640. Can anyone supply or suggest a source for fixing the Journal Entries interger error in Transfers and Journals in the reporting function on the journal list. Fault is: that at approx 32500 system starts going backwards ie: numbers are going in reverse -32499 route to fault is 1 to accounts general ledger then 4 for reports then 1 for journal list. System locked in from to entry.
Amstrad answers: I'm afraid that Amstrad are no longer in contact with the company that wrote Accounts Master and I'm not even sure if they are still in business. They are the only ones who could answer that question.

Alfredo De Giorgi in Milan Italy at 11:23:50 Friday September 12 97
Hello !! I use an amstrad PC from many years, it's a PC9486 50mhz. It has a big problem, from many years, and the assistence have not help me. I have the monitor svga color, but it wotk only with windows, infact under dos programs it was BW immany and many cases. I think it's the video interface dont perfect, but the computer made this problem only sometime, so assistence have not help me. How can I solve this problem, it's possible a soft problem only or a problem of compatibilty with the new soft or the new dos 6.22 ? I have also AMBIIOS on 1992 it's possible to find a more recent one ? Manu tanks.
Amstrad answers: I have a feeling I answered this via email but the bottom line is that the pins in a colour monitor cable that identify it as being a colour rather than mono monitor to the VGA card sound like they are not working in your monitor - it would explain exactly the symptoms you've seen.

Boris Labudovic in Yugoslavia at 15:34:57 Thursday September 11 97
I have Amstrad Pen Pad PDA 600 (with the special cable), but I can not connect it with my PC (AMD K6, Windows 95 OSR 2). Do you have any upgrade for Eden Organiser for Windows ver. 1.1?
Amstrad answers: Nope, 1.1 was the last version issued but note that there are actually two programs in the package that can do the serial transfer. One is Winorg.Exe and the other is MergePDA.Exe. It is the latter that has the much more robust serial transfer routine and should always be used for reading/writing to the PDA. Do not use Winorg.Exe for this purpose. I think you should then find it works fine.

Ale Battaglia at 10:45:44 Tuesday September 9 97
I'm looking for the Windows program for the pda 600 please help me
Amstrad answers: Contact me via email and I'll see what I can do for you (but do you have the special cable??)

dirk wink at 11:10:7 Sunday September 7 97
i am looking for a printerdriver for amstrad LQ 1500 thanks
Amstrad answers: See my page about printers. Bottom line is - use Epson.

Jack Adelman in swirzerland at 6:26:31 Friday September 5 97
I have an amstrad satellite receiver. The remote control is broken. Universal remotes do not seem to work. Is there a location I can order a new amstrad remote from?
Amstrad answers: As you probably read elsewhere on these pages, all Amstrad spares are available from CPC. If you read this you may have seen the link to a satellite repairer who may also be able to help.

John Maxwell in Belfast at 15:15:44 Thursday September 4 97
I wish to upgrade the Ram in a 2386. The slots are presently populated with 4 x 1MB 9 chip SIMMs. I intend to replace thes with 4 x 4MB SIMMs. Do the new SIMMs need to be 9 chip or will the much cheaper 3 chip SIMMs work? Further, what is the optimum speed for new memory?
Amstrad answers: If my memory serves me I am 99.9 certain that there was some problem with the 2386 which meant that it would not correctly support 16MB fitted as four 4MB SIMMs. In any case I think you are safer with 9 chip rather than 3 chip SIMMs but I'd see if you could get them on a "sale or return" basis so that if they don't work in the 2386 you can get a refund. The way you definitely CAN extend the 2386 memory is to fit an extended memory card into one of the ISA expansion slots. For example, I had a "Tecmar Captain" card in my 2386 for several years and this is a card with SIMM sockets on it. Because the revolutionary design of the 2386 meant that the expansion bus memory was cached the actual performance of memory fitted this way rather than in the SIMM sockets was almost the same.

Chris Brayne in Stoke UK at 22:6:8 Tuesday September 2 97
Thanks for the advice and the background. I think this time I really am sunk I tried fdisk which went OK but format would not go. Taking all my courage I did a low level format and put in the error list. That appeared to go well but FDISK now refuses to work. I have tried to contact the company you suggest for a hard disk but they said they were no longer available. Surely any old drive would do? Please correct me if I am wrong.
Amstrad answers: Don't give up hope just yet. There is one last thing you can try with that hard disk and that is to write all zeros to the boot sector as a corrupt boot sector often confuses FDISK. If you still have the original DOS floppies for the machine locate a program called HDWIPE and run it - it will take ages but that's because it is writing 00d sectors to every sector on the disk. As the boot sector is up the front you can start the program then almost immediately [Esc] out and the boot sector will already have been zeroed. IF you don't have HDWIPE try the following but don't ever do this on a hard disk that has data you value (same goes for HDWIPE).
 MOV AX,0301
 MOV BX,1000
 MOV DX,80
 INT 13
 INT 3
{a blank return}
 F 1000 2000 00
At this point in the register display you see on the screen you should see NC (no carry). If you see CY (Carry) then do that G=100 again. Finally type Q to quit from Debug. This will have written a sector full of 00s over the master boot record/partition table. Now try FDISK again.
As for using a different HD, there's absolutely no problem there. Start by reading my
AT PC pages for the pitfalls but basically you just want to remove the existing HD AND controller then fit an IDE card and IDE drive and off you go but as noted in my AT notes that'll probably want to be an "intelligent" IDE card.

Jonathan Powell in Windsor at 15:11:42 Tuesday September 2 97
I have a few PPC640, I have dismantled one to use the LCD Display. It has a fifteen way connector, of which pin one would appear to be ground. Any body fill in the other 14 for me:?
Amstrad answers: I don't have data on that particular panel (except to note that it is a 640x200 resolution) but that fact is that almost all LCD panels have 15 lines to them. If you have a look at this or this you'll find a whole lot of LCD panel data that may help. I guess the actual pin out for the PPC panel may be in the PPC service manual which might be available from CPC

Chris Brayne in stoke, UK at 17:31:6 Monday September 1 97
I have been given a 2286/40 with what seems like a dead hard disk. I have run setup and given 17 as HD type. One concern is that under the Option link settings area hard disk controller is listed as disabled. I cant seem to change this. On reboot from floppy c:\ is kind of accessable, showing autoexec.bat then nothing just a flashing cursur and no prompt. The drive light continues to flash at infinitum. A format c: command results in an invalid media...disk unusable message. Is the drive shot? Can I enable the drive controller manually?
Amstrad answers: Don't worry about it saying that the hard disk controller is disabled, it really does mean it! The fact is that when the 2286/2386 were first designed they were to have an Amstrad designed hard disk controller on the motherboard but we found problems with the hard disks and, at the time, wrongly blamed the onboard controller so we disabled them and, instead, fitted all machines with a WD1006 controller in one of the expansion slots (subsequently it has been proven in court that it was actually Seagate disks that were at fault and Amstrad was awarded £85m damages as a result!). So that setup program really is telling the truth and it's not a situation that you'd want to change as the motherboard will not be fitted with the Amstrad controller components. It does, therefore, sound as if the HD is shot but don't give up just yet. For one thing you only tried FORMAT C:, there are actually two more fierce levels of disk preparation you could try. First boot DOS and then use the DOS command FDISK to examine and delete any boot sector/partition info on the drive, then create a new active partition and finally follow up with a FORMAT C: /S. If even this fails to get it going you could try a low level format which involves going into DEBUG and searching the segments at C000:0, C400:0, etc. to find the disk rom then, say it was at C800:0, give the command G=C800:5 to start the program in the hard disk BIOS that will allow you to low level format the disk (but read the bad track table from the label on the disk first!!). After formatting, enter the bad track info, finally FDISK then FORMAT.

John M Hicks in Christchurch, New Zealand. at 15:59:47 Sunday August 31 97
I have an amstrad 1386. On a couple of occasions while removing simm modules for various reasons, I accidentally broke the clips that hold each simm module in place. By "clips" I mean the parts that go into the hole on either side of each module. Only two clips are broken, one each on two different sockets. When I boot the machine, it comes up with a message, "faulty memory". The modules are 4 x 256k totalling 1 Mb and are 3 chip design from different manufacturers. I originally had 1 x 4Mb in there and only recently put 256k chips in there from an old motherboard I had lying around. I sold the 4Mb a few years ago having built up a standard 486 and then selling it a short time later due to a cash flow crisis. So it is only recently I tried it with 256k chips. Is it the sockets that is causing the problem with the broken clips or would it be the ram at fault. The simms have been firmly placed in each socket and all are upright. Is it possible to desolder each pair of sockets and replace them with ones with metal clips? Thank you.
Amstrad answers: More than likely it is the faulty clips causing the problem (I don't believe in coincidence!). It would be possible to desolder the sockets (but only just!) if you have a vacuum assisted desoldering machine but even then the likelihood is that you are likely to pull off at least one of the pads in trying this so I'd recommend more of a "Blue Peter" solution (plenty sticky tape and sticky backed plastic etc.). I had an old PS/2 that suffered from something similar but managed to keep it going for quite a while with some packing foam and carboard to wedge the SIMMs in place followed up with lashings of insulating tape.
I suppose it is just vaguely possible that because the 3 chip SIMMs have a different capacitance to 9 chip that may be the source of the problem (this certainly affects our ALT386SX) but I've never heard of this being a problem on 1386 so I'm pretty convinced it's those dodgy clips.

Andy Stehrenberger at 16:48:38 Thursday August 28 97
I have an NC100 and I'm trying to transfer text files from it to my PC. I note what you say:
Brief instructions are given in the manual. You can either by the LapCat parallel port system, or buy a "Null Modem Cable" from your local computer store and use a terminal program on the PC (Telix supports the XModem file transfers as well, but standard Windows Terminal/HyperTerminal works OK for text). Set both ends to 9600bps, 8 data bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit, RTS/CTS handshaking on, and experiment until it works...
But that's a little advanced for a plodder like me.
Can I use cable from the NC100's Serial port to my PC's parrallel port and then use Windows 95 Hyperterminal?
Or is there anywhere I can buy a kit (who/where are Lapcat?) get someone to set it up for me?
I thought a null modem cable ends in a BT socket plug - where would I stick that into my NC100??
Amstrad answers: The instructions I wrote in the manual go into far more detail than I can possibly include in this limited space and they really DO tell you everything you need to know. I thought I explained what a "Null Modem Cable" was but perhaps it wasn't clear enough? An NMC is simply a serial cable that allows two computer that both transmit (or receive) on the same pin (2 usually) to "talk" by connecting one end's transmit to the the other's receive and vicky verky. There is no "standard NMC" and it certainly doesn't imply termintation in a BT phone plug (unless you have a Sinclair Spectrum!). Some NMCs do 9pin to 9pin, some 9 to 25 or 25 to 9 and some 25 to 25 pins, what's worse is that all those combinations can then have either male or female plugs at one or other or both ends. However if you go into a decent PC store (even PC World!) you will find they sell pre-wired NMCs. For the NC100 end you definitely need a female 9 pin but for the PC end it might be either female 9 or 25 pin (or even male if it's really odd!).
After almost 20 years working with computers I'd say that serial communications is probably the most complicated subject there is in computing so unfortunately it IS going to be complicated and there's no getting round that. Perhaps if you could find a friend who knows more or visit a local computer store or club they could help more. As for LapCat, it was an attempt to make things easier as it really was a "plug in and go" solution where it was very easy to set up. Unfortunately the company who produced it, Arnor, went into receivership several years ago so it's no longer available.

Quickshot in Arizona, USA at 19:33:58 Wednesday August 27 97
Can the motherboard in the PC1512 be changed? Are there any ones which fit into the PC1512? I read a book which told that the microsolution's (CompatiCard I) would allow the use of 1.44 meg drives in the PC1512. Does anyone know where to get this particular card? It said the card could coexist with the one that was built into the motherboard.
Amstrad answers: I'm not aware of any motherboard that would fit in the 1512 case but even if there were one what would be the point? You cannot re-use the mouse, keyboard, monitor or power supply from the machine as they are a "strange" Amstrad-only design so about the only component in the whole thing that you could make use of would be the 360K 5.25" disk and why would anyone want to use the nasty plastic cabinet anyway when you can get a modern metal cabinet for only a few dollars these days?
As for adding a 1.44MB disk: I personally would have said that it was totally impossible because while on most PCs you can plug in an FDC or multi-IO card and disable the on-board FDC with a jumper/link, the 1512 didn't have this facility, there's no way to disable it's own FDC short of breaking the track to the FDC ChipEnable pin and tying it high. If the onboard FDC isn't disabled then it would have an IO, IRQ, DMA clash with any new FDC you added, even this "Compaticard".
Even if you did disable the FDC, the BIOS only has support for the bootable drive (A:) being a 360K 5.25". You can add a 3.5" drive B: and use DRIVPARM/Driver.Sys in Config.Sys to over-ride the BIOS' default assumption that it is a 360K. However the data separator in the FDC is a slow speed variety that can only handle the data rate from a 720K, not a 1.44MB 3.5" disk. As the 1512 is virtually worthless (about $20-$30) I'd just junk it and start again rather than pouring money in to make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

Sue in London at 10:37:31 Thursday August 21 97
My Integra beeps regularly (every minute or so) for the whole time that it is switched on, regardless of what I am doing. As you can probably appreciate, this gets really annoying after a while, especially when using multimedia functions (the beeping interupts any other sounds). Am I the only user with this problem? Please help!
Amstrad answers: Unfortunately, yes, I think you are the only one with the problem and I can't for the life of me think what might be causing it. I think, assuming you have the capability, that it would be easier to try and interactively diagnose this if we switch to email. The first thing I need to see are copies of the files config.sys and autoexec.bat from your machine. Can you email them to me by clicking

J D Wade in Nr Dorchester, Dorset at 22:0:55 Tuesday August 19 97
How to convert Protext WP files on an Amstrad CPC6128 to something readable on a PC (not worried about retaining deatailed formating, only the basic text.
Amstrad answers: I guess the stumbling block for you is reading the data from those 3" disks? If so have a look at the PCW page here and follow the same advice I give for PCW owners who want to get 3" stuff to PC based 3.5" disks. Your best bet is probably to get someone like "Dave's Disk Doctor Service" or Mapej to transfer the data for you. It'll cost about a tenner a disk. Alternatively have a look at the newsgroup where you'll also find people who can offer various transfer options.

Sue in London at 12:16:40 Monday August 18 97
Two questions about the Integra:
1. Is it possible to upgrade the memory ob this model (if so, how)?
2. Is it possible to turn off the annoying beeping which occurs regularly whilst the machine is on?
Amstrad answers: Yup memory can be upgraded as shown in the manual. I'm not sure what the limit is as I don't have a manual to hand but I know that I added 16MB to my parent's Integra that already had 8MB so it now has a fairly healthy 24MB in it which has halved the time it takes for Interet Explorer to load. As for the beeping I really don't know what you are referring to. Is it really a regular beep (like once a minute or whatever) or does it only occur when you are performing some particular operation? Certainly my parent's machine doesn't beep in any way that is unexpected.

Chris in Chatham,Kent at 3:54:3 Wednesday August 13 97
I have a PC1640 base unit with a Mono monitor fitted with a 9 pin D type plug. I have just aquired a Colour monitor with a DIN type plug. Is this compatible with the base unit and are the connections a standard EGA/CGA pin out.If not can you help with the pin out's.
Amstrad answers: As long as that colour monitor has a 9 pin D plug (not 15 pin!) then it is an EGA Enhanced Colour Display (ECD) and can be used with the 1640 by setting the DIP switches as shown in my XT pages here. If it's 15 pin thenit's VGA and cannot be used with 1640. WHatever it is you'll also need to keep the mono monitor connected to supply the base unit with power because the PSU is inside that monitor.

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