My oldest PC, a 486DX2-66 with 8 MB ram and 256 mb flashdrive refused to recognize the keyboard and lost all it's BIOS infos. I must have bought it in 1993 or 4. So it's nothing saved from the dumping ground, it was my PC.
That the batteries will die was expected, last year I already had to reset the BIOS infos, which is not plug and play... You have to set the Harddisk by hand. Cylinders, Sectors, heads, and so on.
So I needed to plug the Compact flash into another (slightly newer) PC and make an autodetect.
But now the problem was worse. I could not enter the BIOS, one RAM bank had hickups from time to time, no KB 😔😟
Sunday is playtime. I opened the case and allrady saw the cyanish corroded color around the batteries, which are side by side to the keyboard connector (which also was shimmering blue).
Unscrew and unplug everything, get the motherboard out, unsolder the keyboard connector and the akkumulator, rewire the worst lines, add a battery holder, check and clean the RAM chips, build up everything again, and ... . . . . IT'S WORKING AGAIN
Some side infos: The computer is running Linux 2.2. It is using a 10 mbit networking card, a VGA / EGA graphics card and a long multi IO board for serial / hdd / fdd.
The harddrive was replaced for a compact flash card (with a small ide-CF adapter). I compiled a lot of stuff for it, so ssh is actually working.
The sunday is saved. Happy.