HP Kayak XU

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HP Kayak XU

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2018-8-28 @ 05:27

Here is my HP kayak XU computer. I have had several of these back in the day.
Real workhorses. Was HP's top of the like Workstations back in the late 1990's

Specs:
HP Kayak XU workstation
Motherboard - HP BX440 dual slot-1, On board SCSI
CPU - Dual Pentium-3 500mhz. ( 5x100 )
RAM - 512mb ECC SDRAM
Hard-drive - Dual drives, HP SCSI 72,000 rpm.
Ethernet - HP 10/100 AMD PCI / SCSI Combo
Graphics - Matrox G400 Dual head
Audio - Advanced Logic - Onboard audio
Controller - Dual IDE channel PCI card
Backup - DAT 8mm Tape backup
CDROM - Plextor CD burner 32x, and HP 16x CDROM.
ZIP drive - 100mb. IDE.
OS - Win98se / WinNT-4.0 / 2000

I had these setup with Dual 25" Sony Triniton monitors. Running Windows NT 4.0
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Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2018-9-04 @ 18:57, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby Nvm1 » 2018-8-28 @ 10:59

Intel486dx33 wrote:Here is my HP kayak XU computer. I have several of these back in the day.
Real workhorses. Was HP's top of the like Workstations back in the late 1990's

Specs:
...
Hard-drive - Dual HP SCSI 72,000 rpm.


Those are record breaking drives, keep them in good shape! 8-O :roll: :-D
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-8-28 @ 15:11

Also, call Mattis. You can probably power a rail gun with them!
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2018-8-28 @ 17:08

I really liked the multi media keyboard. It had an app and the keyboard had an LED light that would blink notifying you when you received an email. So even if you where locked out of the computer you could see the light blinking. It was very cool and convenient.
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby oeuvre » 2018-8-28 @ 18:41

Heh, I had that same keyboard on an HP Pavilion I used to own. Pretty sweet for the time, one of the earlier hotkey keyboards.
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Re: HP Kayak XU900

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2018-8-28 @ 19:16

gdjacobs wrote:Also, call Mattis. You can probably power a rail gun with them!


Yeah, This HP Kayak is built like a tank. And weighs allot too.
Solid Steel construction case.

It is loud too. The only thing I did not like about it.
This was the era of laud computer fans and hard-drives.

It originally came loaded with WinNT 4.0 workstation.
But Can also run Windows-2000 Pro workstation quite well.

Very solid and stable computer.

You can’t say enough about the reliability of HP workstations.

It’s NOT a Pavillion !

This is a computer for the corporate world.

HP ( Vectra, Z-class, 9000 ).
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby oeuvre » 2018-8-28 @ 21:34

Check to see if you can replace the fans with modern quiet ones.
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Re: HP Kayak XU900

Postby chinny22 » 2018-8-29 @ 08:58

"It’s NOT a Pavillion"

I know what you mean!
Only really ever came across corporate range of HP's in the beginning, nice machines to work on in a office where time is money.
Then one day I had to add some ram to a Pavillion, which you had to remove the CPU heatsink to access, really? wtf HP!

You still using the Kayak? majority of Win9x games will run in 2K if you need an excuse for it.
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Re: HP Kayak XU900

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2018-8-29 @ 19:11

chinny22 wrote:"It’s NOT a Pavillion"

I know what you mean!
Only really ever came across corporate range of HP's in the beginning, nice machines to work on in a office where time is money.
Then one day I had to add some ram to a Pavillion, which you had to remove the CPU heatsink to access, really? wtf HP!

You still using the Kayak? majority of Win9x games will run in 2K if you need an excuse for it.


Yes, I don't know about the NEW HP Pavillion PC's but back in the 1990's they where not very good.
The fans and power supplies did not last long.

If you kept it running for over a month the hardware would start to fail.

There corporate and enterprise class computer are built much better and meant to last.
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby shamino » 2018-9-11 @ 02:31

That is a nice machine.
Back around 2001 or 2002 I bought a big brother version of it (the XW), but it's in rough shape unfortunately.
They're basically the same machines, but the XW has a slot-2 440GX motherboard instead of slot-1 440BX. Ironically, I think your slot-1 model ends up having more CPU upgrade potential. But mine takes 2GB RAM, so :P
IMG_7030_c387x800.jpg

Sometime later I found a 3.5" hard drive tray for the 5.25" bays of these machines on CDW, which really surprised me, so I bought one (don't have a picture of it). Back when this used to be my daily desktop, I had a 3rd hard drive installed down there. Now it's just a place to stick the excess length of a SCSI cable.
My transgressions:
1) I never did figure out how to remove those expansion bay covers. So they broke. I think the top one is still intact, but it might be taped, I'm not sure.
2) I loaned it to someone once and they ripped one of the PSU cables snagging it in the case. I can fix that so not a big deal.
3) I was desperate to figure out what 512MB modules this thing requires. The parts guaranteed by Crucial didn't work. The only part I found that worked was too tall to fit, so I bent the drive cage to get it in. :-/
4) I also cut away some of the CPU shroud for the same reason. :-/ ¬_¬
I was a moron.
I know now what type of RAM these require. It needs the type that has 36 chips but it needs those chips to be stacked double high so the PCB isn't too tall. This 440GX chipset should work with 512MB modules that only have 18 chips on them (32Mx8 type), but HP never bothered to update the BIOS to allow it. This combined with the inability to take tall DIMMs made it pretty confusing to understand what HP intended, but I still wish I hadn't been so over-eager to force in a module that didn't properly fit. At the time, these Kayaks weren't as unique/special as they are now.

IMG_7038_c640.jpg

It always seemed odd to me that there's no "Xeon" badge, it's just a standard "Pentium II" badge instead. I guess Intel didn't make Xeon badges?


IMG_7062_c1280x836.jpg

Originally, this machine had HP branded unbuffered ECC memory. Now there's no HP memory left in it. It's all registered memory I scrounged up elsewhere. I've insulted this machine by installing modules from IBM and Compaq, as well as that stupid extra tall module that you can see is still installed at the bottom. It's already there.. not much point removing it now.

In recent times the machine has sat idle. It has a pair of 450MHz P2 Xeons, it's original ST39102LW 9.1GB Seagate Cheetah drive, and it's original goofy and useless OpenGL accelerator that HP came up with back then. I turn it on once in a while just to make sure everything stays working and so the tantalum caps (which these machines use in abundance) don't explode from sitting too long.
IMG_7093_c1024x557.jpg

This is an HP Visualize FX4+ (I think). Whether it's FX4, FX4+, or FX6 is not clearly indicated anywhere. It's very long and heavy and a support bracket attaches the far end to the case. It's longer than a GTX260.
A variant of these cards was also used in HP's UNIX workstations.
The x86 version is a combination of an AGP Cirrus Logic CL-GD5480 and a PCI daughterboard which has all the HP OpenGL accelerator hardware on it. I think it's supposed to be derived from their PA-RISC CPUs, which were known for good FPU performance.
It's useless for any kind of gaming. It has no texture mapping so OpenGL acceleration only works with flat shaded polygons. Direct3D is not supported. DirectDraw is "supported", but it's a clunky addition that performs terribly. It gets it's ass handed to it by a cheap ATI Rage (I compared them).



You'll never guess where the motherboard was made:
IMG_7088_MadeInFrance_c382x553.jpg

What about the XU board? Did they make that in the same plant?
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby shamino » 2018-9-11 @ 06:06

I have to do some more rambling about these heavy duty but quirky machines :)

I notice in your picture that your front panel display still looks good. Mine is so dim that it's practically invisible even with a flashlight.
The power switch on mine has always been brain dead. It's like somebody at HP didn't understand the purpose of the "4 second delay" on a soft power switch. On any other ATX computer I've used, if you hold the switch for 4 seconds the power shuts off, but if you don't hold it that long then the power stays up. On my Kayak, once you click the power switch you are screwed. You have 4 seconds until the power goes off, and that's it. You don't have to hold it down, it's just "click" and then you say "oh crap!" try to save your work real fast and within 4 seconds it's game over. :exclamation:
My dog used to brush against the button sometimes, causing this to happen. The dog had an excuse, HP doesn't.


Your post on these machines got me thinking about it again, so over the last couple days I bought some CPUs to try to upgrade it. The existing CPUs in mine are a pair of P2 Xeon 450MHz 512KB. I bought some Katmai based P3 Xeon 550MHz 512KB which I'm pretty certain will work.
I also bought a pair of 700MHz 2MB Coppermine (really "Cascades") Xeons which I would *like* to see work, but I expect trouble. From the few comments I've been able to find, I think it will take one of the 700MHz CPUs but not two of them. If I install two of them, what I've read suggests that HP's BIOS might disable the L2 caches out of spite.


If you are interested, it might be possible to get Coppermine P3 CPUs up to 1GHz running in your slot-1 Kayak XU.
A long time ago I was looking for discussions about upgrading to Coppermine-era CPUs on these machines. I saved one of the threads on my hard drive. It involves crossflashing with the BIOS of a different HP model. I think these machines have a soldered Flash ROM, so flashing to a different BIOS sounds really risky, but it might be of interest to read anyways.
I wasn't able to find it on the current internet, so I'm attaching the .htm copy of the page that I had saved.
It might be on Internet Archive but I don't know the original URL.
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2018-9-11 @ 16:23

The system board on my HP Kayak XU and XA's look very similar to yours.
I think the computer was assembled in Mexico and components from other locations.
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby Arctic » 2019-3-02 @ 14:16

Do you still have the CPU fan and shroud for it?
Could you take a picture of them?

Thank you :)
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2019-3-02 @ 19:46

Here is what it looks like.
It’s item 18a and 18b.

Link
https://data2.manualslib.com/pdf2/46/45 ... 4fc54b05f0
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby GordonFreeman » 2019-3-03 @ 06:09

That's a pretty cool looking system. What does the LCD on the front do?
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2019-3-03 @ 06:17

GordonFreeman wrote:That's a pretty cool looking system. What does the LCD on the front do?


You won’t believe this.
When the computer is running fine the LCD displays a happy face :blush:
When the computer is not working correctly it displays a sad face :angry:
And an ERROR code.
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby GordonFreeman » 2019-3-04 @ 08:24

Intel486dx33 wrote:You won’t believe this.
When the computer is running fine the LCD displays a happy face :blush:
When the computer is not working correctly it displays a sad face :angry:
And an ERROR code.


I actually don't believe it. Can you prove it?

I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be a joke, which I guess is kind of funny? I'm still curious to know what it actually displays.
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby Intel486dx33 » 2019-3-04 @ 10:41

GordonFreeman wrote:
Intel486dx33 wrote:You won’t believe this.
When the computer is running fine the LCD displays a happy face :blush:
When the computer is not working correctly it displays a sad face :angry:
And an ERROR code.


I actually don't believe it. Can you prove it?

I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be a joke, which I guess is kind of funny? I'm still curious to know what it actually displays.


It‘s true. And a red led light when the sad face is displayed.
Maybe it was designed to be friendly to people with hearing disabilities. ( deaf ).
Or when in a loud place or a place with allot of noise or when someone has headphones on.
That would make sense since this computer runs loud with all the fans going.
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby GordonFreeman » 2019-3-04 @ 12:26

Intel486dx33 wrote:It‘s true. And a red led light when the sad face is displayed.
Maybe it was designed to be friendly to people with hearing disabilities. ( deaf ).
Or when in a loud place or a place with allot of noise or when someone has headphones on.
That would make sense since this computer runs loud with all the fans going.


Huh... interesting. Could you show a picture of what it looks like normally when the system is running?
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Re: HP Kayak XU

Postby Errius » 2019-3-04 @ 12:44

This looks like a workstation version of the Netserver LC3, though the LC3 lacks an AGP port. (The Netserver E60 has an AGP port, but lacks VRM slots.)
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