VOGONS


IBM APTIVA MASTER RACE!

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First post, by oeuvre

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Found one, had to pay a bit more than I liked for it but whatever. These machines are really cool. Also, if you ship out desktops DO NOT pack them in broken pieces of styrofoam. It got everywhere inside the machine and the power supply.

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A lovely machine restored to good health.

IBM Aptiva 2176-C73
Intel Pentium 200MHz
64MB 72-pin SIMM RAM (was 16MB)
256K cache via COAST module
3.5" floppy drive
8X Hitachi CDR-7930 5.25" CD-ROM drive
3.5" IBM DAQA-32700 2.5GB 5400RPM hard drive
MS-DOS 6.22 + Windows for Workgroups 3.11
2MB ATI Mach64 GT onboard video
4MB Matrox Mystique 220 PCI video card
YAMAHA YMF-719 OPL3 ISA sound card (replaced an IBM Mwave modem/sound card combo, gross)
Kingston NE2000 clone ISA network card
Replaced internal fan with a larger, quieter one
Not complete yet, just want to add another hard drive for Windows 95.

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Some areas were yellowed more than others, like the floppy drive bezel.

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After a retrobright, good as new!

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the rear

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naked

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the guts

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More guts... this setup makes it annoyingly difficult to clean.

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IBM DAQA-32700 hard drive. Interesting drive placement.

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Matrox Mystique 220 4MB PCI video card. This card actually wouldn't boot but flashing a newer Matrox video BIOS fixed it. Details here Matrox Mystique no video

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Trusty input devices, an IBM Model M and a PS/2 Logitech optical mouse.

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BIOS system info

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NSSI

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MS-DOS 6.22 + QEMM + mem

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defragged!

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Windows for Workgroups 3.11

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The past is ALIVE!

and here's a bonus!

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Reply 1 of 74, by keropi

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First of all there is a kind of mandatory pic missing.
Second I now want some IBM ss7 machine. Thanks for that
Third I also use these Logitech mice they are great.
🤣

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 2 of 74, by oeuvre

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Should practice what I preach...

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Reply 3 of 74, by Intel486dx33

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Nice !
I was going to buy one of those and I am glad I did not.
I really don't care for the IBM Bios.
I prefer something more customizable like the Award or Phoenix bios.

I did purchase a NEWER Aptiva however.

With an AMD K6 333mhz CPU which I replaced with a Pentium 233mhz CPU.
The motherboard has jumpers to select which type of CPU to Choose.
And I did notice an increase in performance right away.
I always preferred Intel CPU. AMD always gave me problems.
I also found an IBM slot 1 motherboard with a Pentium 333 for this computer.
I have not installed it yet.
Runs Win98se very good as is.
This will be he last IBM Aptiva computer I purchase for now. They are just not what I expected.
They are cheap Radio Shack stuff.
I do like the Thinkcenter and Thinkstation and Thinkpads however they are higher quality.

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Reply 4 of 74, by oeuvre

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I've not tried the newer Aptivas like those you pictured. They're always out of my price range. Intellistations are really cool and built well...

HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, RADEON HD7850 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
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Reply 5 of 74, by cxm717

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I really like how the old IBM systems look. I have a few intellistaions. I had one I put in a storage unit for years, I took it out a while ago and some mice had built a nest in it and there was corrosion on it from moisture. It still works fine though. I have a board from an aptiva that I use in my win98 system. Looks like it was made by acer. It still works fine though, haven't had any problems with it.

Reply 6 of 74, by NJRoadfan

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Does the USB port work? This might have been the earliest OEM system released with built-in USB and many systems with the PIIX3 southbridge had problems with working USB.

Reply 8 of 74, by King_Corduroy

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How slow is yours? I had two of these with Windows 95 and they were miserable to use. 🤣

Check me out at Transcendental Airwaves on Youtube! Also wtf, why are whoppers so good?!

Reply 9 of 74, by oeuvre

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The original IBM drive is slow as molasses hence why I've ordered a 2nd drive to put 95 on.

HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, RADEON HD7850 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
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Reply 10 of 74, by oeuvre

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Changed things up a bit. Got that IBM hard drive in the mail and figured it 'd be better to partition it and then use System Commander 7 to dual boot MS-DOS 6.22 + Windows 95. The machine's BIOS can only see 8.4GB of the 20GB IBM Deskstar hard drive so I partitioned 1.2GB for DOS and the rest for 95C as FAT32. Backed up my DAQA-32700 2.5GB drive and installed MSDOS on the Deskstar. Copied the old DOS drive files manually to the Deskstar after installing DOS and I have everything on it exactly the way it was. Then I installed System Commander 7 and used that to partition the rest of the drive for Windows 95. Installed it and dumped program installers + drivers + 95 updates + ISOs for various games and installers via USB to IDE enclosure and it works like a charm. Also switched the YNF719 for a leftoeuvre AWE64 lying around. Dr. Sbaitso told me to.

NJRoadfan wrote:

Does the USB port work? This might have been the earliest OEM system released with built-in USB and many systems with the PIIX3 southbridge had problems with working USB.

So I was finally able to test it out and... yes, it works fine! I included a screenshot in the album of the machine detecting an 8GB flash drive. These Aptivas are probably my favorite OEM designs from the mid-late 90s so I tried my best restoring this thing to glory. Slew of pictures here, some are re-used from before. https://imgur.com/a/VJkTPdB

HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, RADEON HD7850 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
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Reply 11 of 74, by FFXIhealer

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I can chime in on this one. Went out looking for an old ATX case for my Pentium 1, Socket 7, Windows 95 build and ended up being given an entire working PC.

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Inside the chassis:

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AMD K6-2 300MHz installed and working:

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Motherboard has built-in ATI graphics:

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But I just HAD to include this beast in the system...

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Windows 98 First Edition, reinstalled on the hard drive just underneath the CD-ROM drive (which still works, by the way).

System specs:

IBM Aptiva 85
AMD K6-2 @300 MHz
64MB PC-66 SDRAM
ATI 3D Rage II+DVD 2MB
Diamond Monster 3D II 8MB PCI
Crystal Audio sound chip
6GB Quantum Bigfoot 5.25" HDD

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Reply 12 of 74, by oeuvre

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Nice system! How's that Bigfoot, is it slow?

Also I was thinking of getting a 3dfx VooDoo or VooDoo2 but they're so expensive.

HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, RADEON HD7850 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
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Reply 13 of 74, by feipoa

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Love the look of these IBM Aptiva cases. They have the ring of class.

In response to retrobrite, how are you guys getting the UV light onto your yellowed plastic? Are you really all really lathering up the case and letting it sit in your backyard for a few days? That's some serious commitment.

EDIT: I'm not very comfortable leaving my computer bezels outside because I have 3 kids which will probably destroy the merchandise. Has anybody tried grow lights? Like the big ones which require a balast. Seems like there are ranges of bullbs, from more yellowish spectrum, to a blue, and a more expensive full-spectrum bulb. Would the blueish grow bulb put out enough UV for the retrobrite to work?

Last edited by feipoa on 2018-06-08, 07:54. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 14 of 74, by KSHIRZA1

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The original aptivas are the best imo. Love the look and the sliding faceplate. Will be following this for sure! Great pickup.

.: IBM APTIVA 2144-M63 :: IBM G40 800X600 MONITOR :: PENTIUM 166 :: 64MB EDO RAM :: 512KB L2 :: 120GB SSD :: 56X CDROM :: YAMAHA ACT 6631 SOUND :: 3DFX VOODOO 2 12MB VIDEO :.

Reply 15 of 74, by FFXIhealer

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oeuvre wrote:

Nice system! How's that Bigfoot, is it slow?

It's slower than a normal HDD, but since only the OS is on it, it's fast enough. There's a space inside for a regular 3.5" HDD, but I don't want to waste one of the good 40GB drives I have on this system. If I had a decent ~20GB drive, though, I'd probably stick it in there and put some games on it. I mean, 300MHz isn't that bad when it comes to games prior to 2000 and you can't go wrong with a Voodoo2 in there. The ATI 3D is awfully lacking, but it's perfectly fine in 2D performance. And I got the Crystal Audio chip working just fine. In fact, I had to download the drivers from right here on VOGONS. And it took an hour of fiddling to get it working right inside DOS mode, but I got it done.

I'd also like to add that the case itself wasn't in the best shape. The Power Button didn't reach the ACTUAL power button inside and there was no way to eject a floppy without a screwdriver, so I made a few case alterations.

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I used a piece of cork and a round-topped phillips machine screw that JUST BARELY screwed into the plastic nub sticking out of the white power button, so now - when the case is fully assembled - that screw hovers just on top of the actual power button, meaning if you push the white button, it'll actually push the inside red power button properly and I can now turn the computer on and off without having to pull the case half-apart.

For the floppy ejector, it turns out the metal leaf spring was there, but the plastic ejector button was missing. There were two holes, though, so I got a 1/4" wooden dowel rod from Hobby Lobby, cut the end to fit, drilled a very small hole at the back side, and used a paper-clip to run through that hole and through the holes on the leaf spring. Then I bent both ends to hold it in place and trimmed to fit. Works like a charm as an eject button now, though I really should paint it blue to match the rest of the case's front design.

This is how the front looks now:

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Yes, when a floppy is present, that wooden button does stick out enough to use easily. And I sanded the end a bit in order to prevent splinters in the future. The floppy drive works just fine.

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I'd also like to install an intake fan on the front at some point, though the case isn't strictly speaking designed for that. I think a 92mm fan should fit. The problem is finding the power for it - probably a molex with a pass-through.

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Reply 16 of 74, by oeuvre

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feipoa wrote:

Love the look of these IBM Aptiva cases. They have the ring of class.

In response to retrobrite, how are you guys getting the UV light onto your yellowed plastic? Are you really all really lathering up the case and letting it sit in your backyard for a few days? That's some serious commitment.

EDIT: I'm not very comfortable leaving my computer bezels outside because I have 3 kids which will probably destroy the merchandise. Has anybody tried grow lights? Like the big ones which require a balast. Seems like there are ranges of bullbs, from more yellowish spectrum, to a blue, and a more expensive full-spectrum bulb. Would the blueish grow bulb put out enough UV for the retrobrite to work?

Thanks for the compliments. To be honest, that floppy drive bezel came out almost perfect in just oeuvre 3 hours of retrobrighting. I had to bring everything inside since it was looking pretty stormy. Cover up everything in clear plastic wrap so the salon creme doesn't evaporate. It helped it was humid and almost 90F that day.

Generally I just do 6-8 hours of retrobrighting and call it a day. For me that's long enough to get desirable results.

FFXI, you kept the MWave? Those things are horrible. Especially installing the drivers for them. Nice work with the power + floppy eject buttons. Mine wasn't perfect either. I had to fix the door cause the plastic tab where a metal strip that is used to pull it up/down had broken off. I drilled a screw in there instead and it works perfectly.

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Reply 17 of 74, by feipoa

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Oh, interesting. So you don't need to leave it under the sun for days. I guess this depends on where you live and the sun. What percent of hydrogen peroxide does your hair bleacher have?

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Reply 18 of 74, by FFXIhealer

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oeuvre wrote:

FFXI, you kept the MWave? Those things are horrible. Especially installing the drivers for them. Nice work with the power + floppy eject buttons. Mine wasn't perfect either. I had to fix the door cause the plastic tab where a metal strip that is used to pull it up/down had broken off. I drilled a screw in there instead and it works perfectly.

Is that what that P.O.S. modem in there is? It came in the system as the only expansion card and I just left it. In fact, I had to dig pretty deep on the internet to find working drivers for it.

If anything, what I'd like to do is find a couple of old-school PCI ethernet cards, because this system and my Windows 95 system don't have one and it would be nice to get them networked in order to play LAN games like Unreal or Quake, or just having basic file-sharing available. On my Pentium-3 system, it's networked into my home and I can drop files onto a share folder using my 2015 gaming rig with Windows 10. It makes downloading things from the internet extremely convenient instead of having to burn CDs constantly.

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Reply 19 of 74, by KSHIRZA1

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oeuvre wrote:

FFXI, you kept the MWave? Those things are horrible. Especially installing the drivers for them. Nice work with the power + floppy eject buttons. Mine wasn't perfect either. I had to fix the door cause the plastic tab where a metal strip that is used to pull it up/down had broken off. I drilled a screw in there instead and it works perfectly.

I don’t think that’s a Mwave card, it’s just a modem. I think the e85 is the later version of the aptiva made by acer, and not the ibm in house version like yours. Pretty sure they already had a class action against the mwave card by the time the e85 came out.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Aptiva

Not all aptivas are created equal.

.: IBM APTIVA 2144-M63 :: IBM G40 800X600 MONITOR :: PENTIUM 166 :: 64MB EDO RAM :: 512KB L2 :: 120GB SSD :: 56X CDROM :: YAMAHA ACT 6631 SOUND :: 3DFX VOODOO 2 12MB VIDEO :.