Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Back in my mis-spent youth my family used to have a BBC model B. Recently, I bought my fatherr a secondhand RISC PC and shipped it to New Zealand. It worked on arrival, but he's done something to damage the install on the hard disk, and now it will only boot up to the '*' (supervisor?) prompt.

At this prompt, the keyboard auto repeat rate is impossibly fast, so he can't do anything to install the system. As the computer is now on the other side of the world, I can't really go and investigate in person. Does anyone know why this might be the case and what can be done to slow it down so the prompt is useable?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Hold down the Delete key at power-on time to reset the CMOS RAM settings to defaults. Probably the battery has gone flat and caused the CMOS to drop out, you may need to replace it.

The commands to change CMOS key repeat settings from the * prompt are:

*Configure Delay 32
*Configure Repeat 4

and to set them immediately:

*FX 11, 32
*FX 12, 4

(Same as on a BBC!)


will get you to a bare desktop; to restore booting from hard disc it would I think be:

*Configure FileSystem ADFS
*Configure Drive 4
*Configure Boot
share|improve this answer
dare we ask how you knew that so quickly? :) – warren Oct 1 '10 at 13:12
Coming from a RISC OS background is no shame! er... oh... I've just checked and it's a little bit of shame. – bobince Oct 2 '10 at 0:18
he has a misspent youth? ;p – Journeyman Geek May 4 '11 at 0:52
@Journeyman Geek: We are all Acorn RISC Machine users these days, several times over. – paradroid May 4 '11 at 2:17
true, but no one ever gives ARM a fair shake ;p – Journeyman Geek May 4 '11 at 2:19

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.