Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-04 @ 16:05

Hercules 3D PROPHET II GTS PRO 64 - nVIDIA Geforce 2 /Geforce2 GTS

This awesome beauty really is something to BEHOLD. The combination of the deep blue PCB, the vivid blue of the heatsinks coupled with the black fan and the chromed bracket make the card to stand out from the crowd.

Even the name of the card is kind of special: HERCULES 3D PROPHET II GTS PRO 64.

I wasnt successful on my first attempt to buy this card from the previous owner but in the end I bought it together with the PowerColor EvilKing IV VooDoo4 / VooDoo 4 4500 when the seller agreed to adjust the price for me. Good times!

Arrival state

When I received the card, it looked kind of clean but I knew that after all these years, it couldnt be so. You'll see the pictures in the cleaning section and I'm sure you'll agree with me.

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/17fiqp0za/

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Restoration & Cleaning

I cleaned well the bracket. As usual it came out shining. :D The screws also took a bath in a rust remover solution to remove some discoloration.

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When I removed the four black screws that hold the fan I saw the tell tale marks of water contact. The thread was rusted on at least two screws. I put the screws in a rust remover solution but that made the black paint to be also removed, so I took the decision to paint them gloss black. I was very pleased with the results. To paint the heads I threaded the screws in a piece of cardboard and to paint the threads I fixed them on a piece of paper tape placed upside down. When I assembled the fan and the heatsink I took the precaution to use a microfiber cloth to not damage the painted screws. Attention to detail is everything!

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The cleaning of the fan wasnt very difficult. By luck, the glue of the black sticker remained on the backside of the fan so I was able to reuse the sticker. The fan has a ball bearing and a sleeve bearing combo. When I received the card, the fan wasnt turning freely. After I did my magic it spins effortlessly. I also protected the little label when I washed the fan with isopropyl alcohol 99%. I also changed the tired full plastic push-pins with a new pair from a DeepCool V50 cooler. I used Arctic MX-4 on the graphic chip.

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gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/1948r2iik/

The cleaning of the PCB took some work and several cleaning cycles but I was rewarded with a glass like surface. This made all the time spent well worth it. The graphic chip had some kind of thermal pad. At first I didnt want to remove the heatsink as it wasnt moving at all. Later I took the decision to remove it no matter what. I was determined to avoid any damage so I put the card upside down and with a syringe full of isopropyl alcohol I soaked the underside of the heatsink. I left it for about 15 minutes. Afterwards I took a small hair dryer and I heated up the heatsink for 20-30 seconds checking from 10 seconds to 10 seconds the temperature of the metal. A gentle twist and the heatsink was free. The cleanup of the thermal compound took some elbow grease and isopropyl alcohol 99%.


gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/ep3ek664/

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Final results

He He He - business as usual... I have a reputation to uphold :D

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/q4pltqv0/

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More later. :D
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-05 @ 07:54

Leadtek WinFast A6600GT TDH

This card came as a bonus with the purchase of the 3dfx V4 and Hercules Geforce 2 GTS. Revision F1 is the working one and revision H1 is my dead card from 2005.

Having already cleaned the H1, the F1 didnt pose any difficulty. This functional replacement came just in time. Now I can put to rest one of my many demons...:D

Arrival state

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/26atagjlo/

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Cleaning

Business as usual, again. This time I bought a CD marker to restore two stamped ink markings. I was too excited and my hand wasnt so steady as it should've been. Next time I'll use a small piece from a credit card to help me trace the lines :D. The sticker from the back of the fan has lost some of its glue when I took it off but in the end I placed it back for the sake of "originality" It wont come off as it sits in the small round depression in the heatsink.

The fan wasnt turning as freely as it should've had to. See the DIRT BOMB like dust around the heatsink :D This card has a few miles under its belt :D

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/17yi3k112/

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Final results

Squeaky clean!

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/jyuc3h2u/

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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-05 @ 07:58

I hope you have enjoyed the last episode of my HW adventures.

Here they are, the last three beautiful cards to enter my collection.

Next I'll test the V4 and the GF 2 GTS.

More later. :D

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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-21 @ 18:06

My fellow comrades and old HW enthusiasts, I have very SAD news to give to you. The V4 is DEAD and the BLUE WONDER Hercules has given me some troubles too. Thankfully in the case of the GTS it was a curious case of VooDoo spells....

Here's the latest episode in my HW ADVENTURE!!! The things I've seen until now and the things I've seen over the horizon are out of this world :D I wish I had more money to indulge myself. So many temptations...I cant even begin to tell you about them...Abit BX6, BH6, Epox KX133, Pentium PRO's....sheeshh I need more minerals, ahem $$$$,.....so many missed opportunities....I should be gratefull for what I have gathered until now but I cant change human nature....the questin IS when will it be ENOUGH!?...a very good question indeed...

Let's get on with the SHOW!!!

The UNKNOWN CONDITION and THE BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. (This sounds about right...how's that for a TITLE?)

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The UNKNOWN CONDITION

A few days after I have cleaned the 6600GT, the GTS and the V4 I was feeling pretty fine, the sky was blue, the birds were singing, the weather was superb, you get the idea...I wanted to test the cards and I wasnt forseeing any troubles ahead. The cleaning process went without a hitch.

Said and done. I quickly took out the Good Ol' PIII 550 build and I inserted the mighty HERCULES 3D Prophet GF2 in the AGP slot FTW!!!

Power ON! All the beeps are OK but I quickly realize that the fan wasnt working as it should. DAMN!!! It spinned for several seconds then it stoped. Sheeeshhh I dont want to stick an aftermarket fan on the pristine blue heatsink I WANT THE ORIGINAL!!!

VooDOO SPELL ON THE FAN - JINX jinx JINX IT BABY!!! Sure enough the spell had effect and I WANT to know WHO CAST IT!!!

When the fan was mounted on the heatsink it only spinned for about 5 seconds then it would stop and it wouldnt spin even if I tried to move it by hand. Each restart would have the exact result! %#@&^%%#$^@%^&#!!!

I removed the fan while I was talking to myself and at the same time I was very careful not to scratch the freshly painted black screws. I took it apart again but I saw nothing wrong with it. Just my rotten luck!

I took a pointed bamboo stick and I tried to gently move an IC on the PCB of the fan.I was very carefull not to touch or damage the fine copper wires of the winding. I assembled the fan back and I did another test. Now the fan would run for 10 seconds and then it would stop.

VooDoo people MAGIC people....Prodigy...all right...

Maybe the IC was damaged or a solder joint went bad?

I proceeded to remove the motor from the plastic frame of the fan. VERY RISKY BUSINESS! One wrong move and the fan was toast.

First I tried to move the motor by hand. NO DICE! Then I took a bamboo stick and I started from one side then from the other side to try and separate the motor. Small steps and very careful moves. I could break or damage the copper winding in a matter of nanoseconds.

After a few tense moments the motor was free. NO SIGNS of damage. Just some white deposits from the leftover flux. I'll clean this mess later.

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I checked the solder joints of the IC but all was OK. I checked the copper winding and again all was OK. I saw that one solder joint of the fine copper wires of the winding was not up to spec so I took my small soldering iron and I had redone the three solder joints of the copper wires just for a test.

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I assembled the fan and I made a test again using an AT PSU. STILL THE SAME SYMPTOMS. !!!!!!#@#$^@*&=^$@!!!!!

At this point I inserted the card back in the PC and I took a reading of the voltage put out by the fan header. YEP 12V ... just what I was expecting!

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As I was left without options I put the entire motor in an isopropyl alcohol 99% bath.

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After 15 minutes I dried the motor and assembled the fan without the plastic frame and I did a quick test. I put the fan on the metal case of the PSU - the metal center of the motor on which the copper winding is wraped up was touching the metal. BEHOLD THE FAN WORKED!!!YAY!!!

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Feeling good I went to put back the entire fan. I gently set the motor on the plastic frame of the fan and I powered it. AGAIN THE FAN WORKED for 5 seconds then it stoped. &$@*(^@$^*(%!!!!!!!

I took out the motor from the plastic frame and I placed it onto the metal case of the PSU. The fan worked. GOD DAMN IT!!! )&$*@#($&@!!!!!!$$$####

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THIS IS CURIOUS AF! AF! AF!!!!!!!!!!!!

I took a sheet of paper and while the fan was working I it put under the motor. Sure enough after 5 seconds the fan stopped...TSK TSK TSK...a HARD to remove VooDoo spell...DISPEL wont cut it here...

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Damn SON I'M DISAPPOINT! :D

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During all the above tests I tried to gently move the fine copper wires of the winding thinking that I changed their position during cleaning but to no avail. I used a very fine needle and it was a very tense experience. I was 100% sure I DIDNT MOVED them during cleaning as I was VERY CAREFUL but I still did it as I was left without options.

I even took a metal coin and I did a test to see if the fan was working. YEP it worked all right. GO FIGURE....

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If I placed the motor on the sticker of the PSU it worked if I put a sheet of paper under it it wouldnt work....

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Hmmm is there anything to be said??? :D

I've redone the solder joints of the IC but I saw no changes. I took out an old fan and I thought to use the IC on it on the Hercules fan. By mistake the PCB of the old fan broke and bye bye replacement IC...GG!!!

I took the decision to properly redo the solder joints of the copper wires and I checked again the puzzling fan.

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I had a small 40mm Scythe Mini Kaze fan and I thought to replace the motor of the Hercules fan with the Scythe one. I did the swap as all the specs were the same but after a test revealed that the copper winding on the Scythe fan was to weak and the Hercules fan spinned very slow I really was LEFT WITHOUT OPTIONS!

By now I was fed up with the F..KED Hercules fan and I thought to use a DeepCool V50 cooler instead and throw the "ORIGINALITY" the WINDOW!

One more try said my inner demon. One more try....I took the old damaged fan and I inspected the bits. I saw two tiny metal bars which hold the beginning of the fine copper wires of the winding.

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I paused for a moment and I said to myself. If the fan only works when the metal cylinder of the winding is placed on a metal surface maybe one of the wires isnt making proper contact with the tiny metal poles. The fan works for 5 seconds then is stops. You can feel it is magnetically locked.

Then it hit me. If I try to rotate the winding while I hold the PCB maybe something will be changed. I took the motor and I gently moved clockwise the winding holding it by the metal top while at the same time holding the PCB fixed. I felt a tiny move and I stopped. If I tried to move it more the fine coper wires could break.

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I assembled the motor and propeller. I did a test and all was OK.

I solved the problem?

I placed the motor onto the plastic frame and I did a test. THE FAN WORKED!!!!

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UNBELIEVABLE! PROBLEM SOLVED!

Backtracking all this experience I remembered that I tried to remove the motor form the frame the first time I clened the fan but I am 100% sure it never moved at all. If it moved then, the only parts that ever moved were the entire metal cylinder of the motor. My solution to move the winding+metal cylinder while holding the PCB is an entirely different thing. I dont think I was to blame here. The card was tested by the seller before it left. Something happened during shipping as we'll that the V4 also arrived with problems...

What an adventure! The ordeal took many hours spanned across several days but I was relentless and I was sure I could solve the problem!

When I put back the fan I saw that the thicker oil I used wasnt up to spec so I used a thinner grease and a small amount of oil. I took this measure as I saw that a new Fractal fan had the same grease inside.

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I put the card in the PC and I was feeling OK that the card was complete. Sadly the ball bearing it is not so young anymore. The fans spins well and in the future I'll open up the ball bearing to grease it or I'll repalce the motor from a proper fan. Regardless, I can rest now that the card is as it should.

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As a conclusion I think that the gorgeous Hercules card is kind of kinky and wanted to me to enter were I wasnt supposed to. If she wants me to look into her headers or IC's I might not come back to tell the story...

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/1e2nvvauu/

With the V4 the situation was hopeless...

More later.
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby amadeus777999 » 2017-8-22 @ 11:50

Great looking card!
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-22 @ 18:20

THE BIG DISAPPOINTMENT

When I first tested the Hercules 3D PROPHET II GTS PRO 64 on the PIII-550 build, I also tested the PowerColor EvilKing IV VooDoo 4 / VooDoo4 4500 - L shaped - 210-0908-01 / 210-0435-001 on the same configuration. Even from the start the V4 would not give signal and the PC Speaker would return the dreaded code BAD VGA...bad vga...BAD VGA...At first I thought it was just a bad case of incompatibility and I wasnt worried.While the Hercules was in the system I changed the AGP setting in BIOS from 2x to 1x and I tried the V4 again. To my disbelief nothing changed. THIS IS NOT GOOD I said to myself.

The L shaped V4 is known to be an AGP 2x 3.3V card despite the double notches on the AGP connector. The Luckystar 6VABX2 from the PIII build is an AGP 2x 3.3V motherboard. The UNISEM US1150 CM spec sheet indicated that it is a 3.3V component. I wasnt planing to use or test the V4 in an AGP 4x slot as I was afraid I might damage something.

When I received the V4 together with the Hercules and the Leadtek cards, the PowerColor came with the fan shroud damaged. I knew that the seller made a test before sending it, so I knew that the fan didnt leave like that. The card was working when it was shipped so something must have happened during transport. The three cards were wraped in bubble wrap but the box with which they came was very thin. Also when I went to take the package from the courier, the small fragile box was on the floor of a van with other few big packages around. A very stupid thing if you ask me. A small shoe box should've been transported in the drivers cabin at least, not moving arround on a metal floor surrounded by other big packages which for sure moved all over the place.I'm sure the courier drivers are the most gentle on the planet...white van drivers.....I'm so pissed I cant even say anything more.

I saw the condition of the V4 before it was sent to me so I knew I had some work to do. You can see the cleaning process a few posts before.

I'm 100% sure it wasnt damaged during the cleaning process. There's no way such a thing could've happened.

Too bad I didnt follow the seller advice and test the card as soon as I received it not after I cleaned it. I, for one, dont power up dirty cards with signs of liquid contamination or hard to spin fans...too bad for me.

Now I'm pissed that my V4 is KAPUT!!!

I still dont know what could've happened during transport...as the box, albeit thin, didnt came with signs of damage. Maybe it was compressed by a larger box or something....

TESTING testing t-E-s-T-i-N-g teeesssstinnnnggg......the V4....

Yep the V4 is DEAD alright...I cant even be angry right now. This situation is like those in which you cant do a thing. THAT's IT!!! TAKE IT LIKE A MAN! BACK TO THE PIT!!!

Let's see what made draw such a conclusion.

I tested the V4 on SIX motherboards and on five of them the POST beep code was the same: 1 long beep and 3 short beeps - Video card not detected (reseat video card) or bad video card - this code was also mentioned in the manual of the motherboards. On one motherboard I didnt receive any beep code as I think it was pissed I gave it such a crappy card :D I tried to wiggle the card in the AGP slot but nothing changed. The AGP slot of the PC CHIPS slot A motherboard is so tight that a bad connection of the card with the slot was excluded from the start.

When I tested the V4 on the PIII 550 build, in one instance, I didnt receive a beep code and I could hear the PC starting to load Win98 but soon it restarted. Unlike the Hercules fan the V4 fan ran smoothly.

V4 + Lucky Star 6VABX2 + PIII 550MHz - AGP 2x, AGP1x - NO DICE!

V4 + Gigabyte 6BXC + PII 500MHz - AGP 2x - NO DICE!

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V4 + EPOX EP-58MVP3C-M + K6-2 400MHz - AGP 2x - NO DICE!

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V4 + Asus K7M + Athlon 700MHz - AGP 2x- NO DICE!

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V4 + PC CHIPS M800LMR + Athlon 700MHz - AGP 2x - NO DICE!

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V4 + ECS K7VTA3 KT333 + Athlon XP1900+ - Universal AGP - NO DICE!

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Conclusion: The V4 is gone. It's hard for me to think it might be a case of a mysterious incompatibility. The V4 was tested on the K6-2 build where a V3 3000 is running well. In every instance where the V4 wasnt working, the Hercules card worked flawlessly. I had motherboards with AMI and AWARD BIOS chips. I tried many RAM sticks and CLEAR CMOS and everything I could think of. NO DICE!!! The next thing would be holy water or something.

A few days after this blow, my mind was still searching for an answer. Then it came to me the ideea to submerge the card in isopropyl alcohol 99%. Somebody asked if it was a practical measure so I wanted to try it.

I was hoping that maybe a fine piece of solder or other contaminant got caught somewhere and the card went in a safe mode or something. Most of the cards I have come from recycling centers.

SUBMERGE! DIVE! DIVE!!!

I took a small plastic container with a lid. I had a black plastic case from an auto medical kit which fit the bill.

I put the stripped card in the container then I poured 300ml of isopropyl alcohol 99% until it was almost all covered.

I left the card in alcohol for 30 minutes, while from 10 to 10 minutes I checked to see what was happening.

During the 30 minutes in which the card stood in alcohol nothing unusual happened. After 30 minutes I took out the card and all I could see in the alcohol was a small piece form the silver sticker on the back and some fine impurities. The card was already clean so there wasnt anything else to be seen.

After the operation I tried to salvage as much alcohol as I could but I used a too fine cloth sieve and about 30-40 ml of alcohol went on the floor...The alcohol was pretty clean as the card was already very clean. I'll reuse the alcohol for other preliminary washes.

I dried the V4 and I put it back together.

I held my breath and I did another test. NOTHING CHANGED. The same beeps and black screen. Not even a trace of artifacts or anything else.

The thermal glue from the heatsink wasnt damaged by the isopropyl alcohol 99%. It was like a ROCK!

After this experience I suggest that if you want to try this, use a transparent container - so that you can see what's going on inside and to reduce evaporation of the alcohol the container must have a tight lid.

Now all my demons were put to rest...

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/3589h1hno/

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Enough with this sob story.

When the Athlon XP platform was used to test the V4 I also tested the Leadtek 6600GT and it worked nicely.

Leadtek 6600GT worked THANK GOD!

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Hercules GF2 3D Prophet II GTS PRO 64 also worked well.

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While I used the Athlon XP 1900+ / ECS K7VTA3 KT 333 platform I hit a snag and if I didnt pay attention I could've chipped the Athlon XP die. It would've been a first for me.

Usually I use a TItan CU5TB when I work with the above mentioned platform, but in this instance I used a beefier and quieter Spire FalconRock II. When I tried to mount the Spire cooler I noticed that I had to use a lot more force to clamp it down. Before hooking the clamp I stopped to see what was wrong. Talk about muscle memory :D If you check the pictures you can see the small gap / clearance between the small step in the bottom of the heatsink and the corresponding space in the socket 462. The first time I tried to clamp the Spire cooler I didnt use my hand to hold the cooler in place so when I applied force on the other side of the clamp, the base shifted back and it was over the ridge of the socket.The heatsink was resting on the socket itself on one side and on the corners of the CPU die on the other side. If I would've continued, for sure I would've chipped the die. I'm sure it happened a lot in back in the day.

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After this story of an UNKNOWN CONDITION and a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT I moved on and I bought something to keep me busy :D

...

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More later.
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-23 @ 15:14

Flex Cop - Thing Or Two Ft. Stee Downes (Sunset Euphoria Mix)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCkMFxZoRvY

Another thing I can take off from my TO DO LIST! :D

Full story later...

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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Kamerat » 2017-8-23 @ 19:40

For your Voodoo 4: Perhaps the flash chip on your board got corrupted, have you tried booting with a PCI graphic card while still having the Voodoo 4 in the system to see if it shows up in device manager or under PCI devices in your BIOS post screen?
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-23 @ 20:20

WOW! It never crossed my mind! :) Thanks a lot for the idea! I keep my fingers crossed.

I'll try it tomorrow as I already took out the PIII build for a CPU upgrade from 550 to 800. I'll report ASAP.
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-24 @ 05:25

@Kamerat I BOW TO YOU FOR GIVING ME HOPE!!! :)

The V4 is recognized by Windows and for sure will be recognizedin DOS.

Now the BIG PROBLEM is to find a suitable video BIOS IMAGE to flash. Easier said than done as this L shaped card is hard to find.

PowerColor EvilKing IV VooDoo 4 / VooDoo4 4500 - L shaped - 210-0908-01 / 210-0435-001

My model DOESNT HAVE a TV header.

The seller had two so I hope he can track the other buyer and ask for a video BIOS image.

I just started to read and on http://www.3dfxzone.it I found some tools and how to do it.

If someone has some advice it will be greatly appreciated.

I start to ask myself is the seller didnt send it like this as on the first test on my PC the card never worked. Maybe he did a test, it worked and then something happened.

I'm starting to think this mess isn't transport related...I still dont think this situation is caused by the cleaning process. If it is my mistake I'll recognize my guilt but right now the cause is still unknown to me...as the card never worked from the start in my system.

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Here's the BOOT screen and the information that was presented to me before it was shipped.

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PCI.EXE in DOS.

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Last edited by Robert B on 2017-8-24 @ 16:21, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Kamerat » 2017-8-24 @ 06:43

Nice, now there's hope. :D
Maybe you should start a new thread in the Video part of Marvin to ask for help about the BIOS.
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-24 @ 07:04

I just did. Thank YOU :D :) - Let's hope this adventure will have a HAPPY END!

I'm going to try and make a copy of the corrupted video BIOS file and try to find some more info about the card.
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby TOBOR » 2017-8-24 @ 07:11

Why not ask the seller for a refund of the dead VooDoo4 card?
If the truth hurts, tough shit.
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-24 @ 07:51

I buy all the time from that person and I didnt want to lose the "connection". In the past he offered to give my money back but not this time and a part of me didnt want to give it back. The price I paid was around 50 USD. If this was a bad move or not I cant say. I have no regrets right now. I received a 50% discount on three PIII CPU's and a QUAD CD-ROM.

He can't track the other buyer or owner of the other L shaped V4. Damn...

Looks like I'm stuck with it :D
Last edited by Robert B on 2017-8-27 @ 16:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby TOBOR » 2017-8-24 @ 14:10

did you buy the card using eBay? 50 bucks is a lot of money to just throw away. I dont know about you but I am not rich enough to throw money away like that. Any seller that would not give me a refund on broken stuff would not be a seller I would ever come back to.
If the truth hurts, tough shit.
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-24 @ 15:09

It was not bought from ebay. In this case I had to take the good with the bad. It happens. I dont want to stay and calculate how much I've spent until now as I might come to a hefty sum of money, not to mention time. The satisfaction though is priceless. This entire experience is like a drug and I'm really trying not to lose control :D Without a doubt I'm addicted.

That was the biggest sum I ever paid for an old HW component so YES I feel I was somewhat cheated but in life there isnt only black and white. I cant put my finger on the factor that made this card not to work. If I take in consideration that more than half of what I have came from that guy I think I made the right choice. Regardless, with this semi-dead card, it became obvious that I stretched myself too far and I dont want to pay big sums of money for other components, unless they are something I'll really want. The problems appeared only when I started to buy more frequently from that guy. If I'll look better and I'll have more patience I'm sure I can find old components way cheaper. There is another facet here as not only that I pay for these components but I must clean them. MY OCD kicks in and I cant stand to look at them all rusted, dirty or banged up.

Speaking of patience I'll give an example. The last few days I spoke with a big 3dfx collector and as usual he doesnt SELL ANYTHING! But he was searching for slot A motherboards. One seller duped him but another sent him a ASUS K7V with a 600 MHz CPU.I'm sure the price was not too high. I was telling him that he will need a GoldFinger device to really make the slot A fly but he said he doesnt want to OC. He didnt have a GF device and I told him that someone searched 10 years for one. BEHOLD THE 600MHz CPU came with a GOD DAMN INNOVATEK TWEEKING DEVICE. Talk about luck. AS USUAL it was not for sale...

In my country the refund policy still is in its infancy so in this case of a transaction between two individuals it doesnt even matter. In general you either have to find a amiable solution or have a BIG MOUTH. Over the course of the last two years I had only two cases in which I didnt get my money's worth. That's not a bad percentage.

I'm not a wealthy person but I'm not your average person either.

The only BIG goal I have fixed for the remainder of the year is to OWN a V5 5500 AGP. That's about it. Preferably I'll have to find one locally as I wont buy it from online auction sites.

I'm still searching for that damned video BIOS file for my PowerColor EvilKing IV VooDoo 4 / VooDoo4 4500 - L shaped - 210-0908-01 / 210-0435-001

http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?p=607932#p607932
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Robert B
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Fusion » 2017-8-25 @ 03:50

Good luck with your Voodoo4, I've always wanted to get my hands on one of those. Even if it isn't much more then a Voodoo3 with 32MB of VRAM. It would be a blast to overclock one and run some benchmarks of course. :cool:
P3V3_ME: P3 800 | 512MB | PCI V3 3000 16MB @ 195/195 | SB Live! | WinME
P3TNT2_DOS: P3 450 | 128MB | AGP TNT2 Pro 32MB | ISA SB16 | DOS710
I7G960_10: I7 2600 3.4 | 16GB | GTX 960 2GB | Win10
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-25 @ 05:33

:D I might get my hands on an original BIOS but I'll have to wait some time. I'll report ASAP and I'll distribute the file if it is going to be the real deal. I keep my fingers crossed.
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Robert B
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-8-29 @ 16:27

V4 v4 V4 why do you V4 me so much???

The news arent good. There simply wasnt a way for the V4 saga to end so soon....

First I booted with the PCI VGA and I tried to install the drivers for the V4. As expected there was nothing new to report. The naming in Device Manager changed from Standard PCI Graphics Adapter (VGA) to 3dfx VooDoo Series.

ImageImageImageImage

Next I took the 3dfx flash V2.17 program and the regular VGA BIOS 1.15 from this site https://3dfxbios.cl-rahden.de/index.php?title=Voodoo4

I followed the flashing procedure but I received ane error message saying that the EPROM chip is not supported by the flash program...DAMN.

1. I put in a folder on the HDD, C:\V4\ , the 3dfx flash 2.17 kit composed from the following files flash.exe, dos4gw.exe and readme.txt
2. In the same folder I also put the stock VGA BIOS V1.15 from the site above which I renamed to V115.rom
3. I booted into DOS and from the folder I launched flash.exe v115.rom
4. I selected from the list the V4 card: 1
5. The flash procedure couldn't continue because the EPROM chip wasnt supported....Error: Unknown flash EEPROM manufacturer. (Man. ID: FFh, Dev. ID: FFh)

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The README.TXT from the 3dfx flash, versions V2.13, V2.14 si V2.17 clearly states: "The following flash parts are supported: AMD 29010, ATMEL 29010, ATMEL 49F010, SST 29EE010, SST 39SF010 and Atmel AT49BV512." I only tried the V2.17 and because the README.TXT listed the same supported chips I didnt bother to try another version. Only V2.XX are for the V4 and V5.

My card has the EEPROM CHIP: SST 39VF512 / SST39VF512 / SST MPF 39VF512 90-3C-NH 0014159-D UU002

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It seems that the EvilKing is all bark and no bite...aka KAPUT.

I tried to do a copy of the bad VGA BIOS with the dumpbios.exe/dumpbios64.zip program but I couldnt select the card PCI or AGP and the program made only a copy of the S3 VGA BIOS.
http://3dfxbios.stantoworld.co.uk/

I found two sites from 2007 in which a guy with a v5 5500 PCI with the same EEPROM BIOS chip had the same problem. Even back then it couldn't be solved, so my hopes of recovering my card have gone up in smoke...
http://www.modlabs.net/forum/topic/10947/
http://www.david-baum.de/board/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=13324

I might remove the BIOS chip and try to reprogram it using a BIOS programmer but I'm not going to do this anytime soon. I need a good soldering/hot air station and a BIOS programmer. At the moment I dont have any of these. Another solution would be to use a EEPROM chip with better support. Good luck finding that... After this experience I think it is obvious that a stock V4 VGA BIOS file wouldnt run on this card. I would need a PowerColor EvilKing IV VGA BIOS file which is hard to find. This card is a rarity from other points of view and not just for its looks. DAMN!!! Bye bye MONEY money MONEY :D I wish I had a regular V4 :D

In all the 3dfx flash kits I searched I found files that had the same date, size, MD5 / CRC32. I dont think that I'll find a flash program to support my chip SST 39VF512 . All the README.TXT files list the supported EEPROM chips as: AMD 29010, ATMEL 29010, ATMEL 49F010, SST 29EE010, SST 39SF010 and Atmel AT49BV512.

Conclusion? Fugetaboutit! ... at least for a while.

I consider the V4 95% GONE...RIP

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/1etgb450m/
**********************************************************************************************

I have finished all the steps needed to post the next TWO episodes :D

The protagonists are:

1. CPU Intel Pentium III Coppermine Slot 1 - 600E - 600MHz/256KB/100MHz bus - SL3H6
2. CPU Intel Pentium III Coppermine Slot 1 - 700 - 700MHz/256KB/100MHz bus - SL3XM
3. CPU Intel Pentium III Coppermine Slot 1 - 800 - 800MHz/256KB/100MHz bus - SL457
4. CD-ROM - Mitsumi Quad Speed (4x)- CRCM-FX400E

These two episodes are a premiere for me from two points of view: I have successfully removed the retaining clips from a PIII SECC cartridge without damaging them (first try) and I have restored my first ancient 4X CD-ROM unit which by the way doesnt have a rubber belt. The laser lens is HUGE in comparison to the newer models and the mecanism is simple and elegant :D All of these will be presented in full detail, as usual :D

A teaser for you :D

Image Image Image

More later.
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Robert B
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Re: Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :)

Postby Robert B » 2017-9-01 @ 20:39

THE PENTIUM III TrIuMvIrAtE

This trip down memory lane is filled with a heavy smell like that from corpses on the Facing Worlds aka CTF-Face map from UT99. Two competitors trading blows, one a GIANT the other being David :D Slot 1 VS Slot A. Back in the day Slot A systems were the stuff I read in magazines. Slot 1 systems were more common though. After I cleaned a number of Slot A and PII CPUs now was the time to clean a few PIII CPUs just to keep my skills on a high level :D

Lets get back to the matter at hand: THREE Slot 1 PIII 100MHz bus CPUs. I went all out and bought the group as soon as I saw the add. I knew the seller so it was a matter place the order receive the goods :D Just how I like it!

1. CPU Intel Pentium III Coppermine Slot 1 - 600E - 600MHz/256KB/100MHz bus - SL3H6
2. CPU Intel Pentium III Coppermine Slot 1 - 700 - 700MHz/256KB/100MHz bus - SL3XM
3. CPU Intel Pentium III Coppermine Slot 1 - 800 - 800MHz/256KB/100MHz bus - SL457

These puppies were just what I needed. 100MHz bus and no fiddling with slotkets and additional headaches. In fact the PIII 800MHz CPU has a higher frequency than my fastest slot A CPU which is a 700MHz. I'll have to restore the balance and find faster Slot A CPUs. Easier said than done. The PIII build received a healthy boost from 550MHz to 800MHz. NICE!

The 600MHz PIII had a Cooler Master cooler and the dismantling procedure was easy as PIE. The 700MHz PIII also had and aftermarket cooler and dismantling was also easy. The 800MHz PIII was another matter. It had a boxed cooler which is notorius for beeing hard to dismantle without damaging the retaining clips. Because I saw that the thermal paste was brittle and I also saw cracks in it I knew I will have to take it apart. See bellow my solution :D In general I preffer the Intel Boxed Coolers as the Nidec Fans are long lasting an relatively quiet.

Arrival state

Intel Pentium III Coppermine Slot 1 - 600E - 600MHz/256KB/100MHz bus - SL3H6

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Intel Pentium III Coppermine Slot 1 - 700 - 700MHz/256KB/100MHz bus - SL3XM

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Intel Pentium III Coppermine Slot 1 - 800 - 800MHz/256KB/100MHz bus - SL457

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/v2fwywdi/

Intel BOXED COOLER / SECC / SECC 2 cartridge dismantling / removal / teardown procedure

Before I came with my solution of dismantling an Intel SECC cartridge I searched the internet and found some methods but they were not to my liking as they involved a pair of pliers and lots of pulling. I didnt want to damage the plastic retaining clips of the boxed cooler as I wanted to reuse them.

My method needs two pair of hands aka two people.

1. Remove the fan shroud from the cooler.
2. Take a block of wood which must fit between the two pairs of retaining clips.
3. One man holds in place the upper part of the CPU - backplate and PCB by holding in place the middle part right where the CPU die is located. This is necessary because damage can be done to the exposed CPU die. All this time the heatsink touches the wood. This person just holds the plastic backplate and the PCB while the other person hammers out the retaining clips. Common sense is your friend here.Use it wisely.
4. The other man carefully uses a tool similar to the one in the pictures to hammer out the retaining clips. Some force is requiired. My tool was made from a long screw which had its tip grinded to the correct size.
5. After a few tense moments the retaining clips should pop out and the job is done. Try not to hammer out at once one side of the retaining clips. You hammer out a little one side then the other so that when the clips comes out there is less tension on the other side. Because I used a slightly thicker block of wood the only damage I did was to break the collar of one o the retaining clips. The damage is just cosmetic.

The retaining clips were reused and as they were in good shape. When I put them back I pressed them in an X pattern an in small steps. The final touch was to use a coin the press the clips all the way in. Artic MX-4 thermal paste was used.

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image


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gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/e25u9ena/

Cleaning

Cleaning of the CPUs was carried in two stages:

1. Initial cleaning with isopropyl alcohol 99% and brushes.
2. Isopropyl alcohol 99% bath and cotton sticks. Great attention to detail was the order of the day. The PCBs have some spots and some minor scratches, the result of being in contact with water and being thrown around.

All of the CPU dies have some marks: discoloration, chips and scratches. All the damage is not terminal as we will see they work very well.

The plastic bits took a bath in soapy water and they came out as new.

I recovered some isopropyl alcohol 99% as the parts were relatively clean after the initial cleaning.

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/20u4nqkbq/

Results:

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

galllery: https://postimg.org/gallery/10nslh0ti/

Cleaning of the fans was just another matter of dirt, grime and dust. In the case of the 800MHz PIII the fan had some rust on the metal part. Even if they look great, the fans of the 600MHz and 700Mhz PIIIs are past their glory days. I cleaned them just for the sake of originality.

Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/2e9x0acti/

Final results

Bliss BLISS Bling BLING!!! :D

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gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/1lqpnmaue/

Testing

A resounding SUCCESS!!! :D

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gallery: https://postimg.org/gallery/2qgmymova/

Nothing more to add :D

More later.
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Robert B
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