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First post, by omgfoz

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A quick introduction:

I've been a PC enthusiast for around 30 years now (well as much an enthusiast as possible back when I was 5) and my first build was an AMD K6-2 450 with a Voodoo 3 3000 PCI on Windows 98. I was about 13 at the time of that build. I had that computer for a while and did some small upgrades over the following several years before switching to a modern laptop around the Windows Vista timeframe.

In 2010 I purchased a pre-built HP Slimline and upgraded that as far as it would go over the next several years resulting in an I5-760 and a 750ti. I then put together a Ryzen 7 1700x system, then last year upgraded my my current Ryzen 7 3700X/5700XT rig. I have some PC experience, but not a ton. I'm certainly no IT specialist.

Anyway, I got an itch recently to visit my Windows 98 gaming days and finally made a purchase. Here are the specs I know:

Asus A7V rev 1.02
Athlon Thunderbird 1000mhz
512MB RAM (2x 256MB Kingman PC133)
Radeon AIW 32MB AGP
Sound Blaster SB0060 W/ Front Panel
CD-RW
DVD-ROM
3.5 Floppy
76.8GB Deskstar HDD 7200RPM
Sharp SH-300ATX PSU
Windows XP currently installed

Thoughts? Opinions? Advice? I really only have two big questions:

Should I risk keeping the PSU seeing as it's quite old?

XP is locked due to no password, is it worth saving the install? I have a Windows ME install disk but most of my games are from the Win98/98SE era. Should I save the XP install? Should I install ME? Or should I go with my goal of running 98SE?

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Attached are pics for interest. I'm currently in the process of disassembling and cleaning it thoroughly. I may transfer it into a new case as this one affords no cable management and is also missing the top cover.

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Last edited by omgfoz on 2020-12-21, 05:02. Edited 3 times in total.

--Rob, Certified AMD Fanboy

Main: Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Prime X570-p / 32GB DDR4-3600 / Radeon 5700XT / Win 10

Alt 1 (WIP): Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz / Asus A7V / 512MB SDRAM / ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32m / Win XP

Reply 1 of 22, by omgfoz

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The last few pics...

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--Rob, Certified AMD Fanboy

Main: Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Prime X570-p / 32GB DDR4-3600 / Radeon 5700XT / Win 10

Alt 1 (WIP): Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz / Asus A7V / 512MB SDRAM / ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32m / Win XP

Reply 2 of 22, by Warlord

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go with your goal becasue XP will be so slow on this system, and games of the XP era will be too slow.

idk anything about that power supply. Suppose you could open it up and check for damage, and leaking caps.

It looks like a nice enough motherboard, I don't want to comment much. As long as it plays the games you want to play, than it works fine for you.

Reply 3 of 22, by omgfoz

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Here is a picture of the Athlon 1000 Thunderbird Slot A CPU for future reference.

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--Rob, Certified AMD Fanboy

Main: Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Prime X570-p / 32GB DDR4-3600 / Radeon 5700XT / Win 10

Alt 1 (WIP): Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz / Asus A7V / 512MB SDRAM / ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32m / Win XP

Reply 4 of 22, by omgfoz

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Warlord wrote on 2020-12-20, 22:20:

go with your goal becasue XP will be so slow on this system, and games of the XP era will be too slow.

idk anything about that power supply. Suppose you could open it up and check for damage, and leaking caps.

It looks like a nice enough motherboard, I don't want to comment much. As long as it plays the games you want to play, than it works fine for you.

Thanks for the advice. I think I will try to get this XP install cracked open then downgrade the OS. Do you think I should use ME or should I hunt down a copy of 98SE (and where best to find a copy?)

--Rob, Certified AMD Fanboy

Main: Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Prime X570-p / 32GB DDR4-3600 / Radeon 5700XT / Win 10

Alt 1 (WIP): Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz / Asus A7V / 512MB SDRAM / ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32m / Win XP

Reply 5 of 22, by Srandista

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I would also go for 98SE. XP is too much for that HW in my opinion, and as for Me... Well, if you don't have some nostalgic memories for it, I don't see any reason to go with it.

As for place, where to find 98SE, if you're fine with just ISO image, you can find it on WinWorld. Use OEM CD, since it's bootable.

Socket 775 - ASRock 4CoreDual-VSTA, Pentium E6500K, 4GB RAM, Radeon 9500@9700, ESS Solo-1, Win 98/XP
Socket A - ASRock K7S41GX, AMD Athlon XP 3000+, 512MB RAM, GeForce4 Ti4200, SB Live, Win 98

Reply 6 of 22, by ODwilly

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I second opening that PSU up, Iv seen a few of those SH powersupplies with really bad caps before. They are pretty decent other than the cap selection iirc, the couple Iv ran across worked perfectly after replacing a couple blown secondaries. That AIW card should make a great card, it looks identical to the 3 I have which are 32mb DDR Radeon 7200's.

Main pc: AsRock x370 Killer SLI a/c, Ryzen 5 2600, 1tb WD black nvme ssd, 24g ddr4 2400 @2933mhz, rx 480 8gb reference card, 2tb Hitachi Deskstar.
Retro PC: Soyo P4S Dragon, 3gb ddr 266, 120gb Maxtor, Geforce Fx 5950 Ultra, SB Live! 5.1

Reply 7 of 22, by foil_fresh

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I was running XP on a celeron 366 back in '01 and cant remember any problems... if you like it, keep it.

go with W98 if you are looking at dos gaming, but yeh, XP isnt dramatically slow.

as for the locked logon account, there are a zillion ways around it. search on youtube on how to reset the administrator password in windows xp. a linux based bootable OS called backtrack used to help me back in the day which is probably one of the easiest methods. you download the ISO, use Rufus to mount the ISO to a USB and then boot from it. it has a million "security" tools included.

Reply 8 of 22, by omgfoz

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Thanks for all of the awesome replies! I'm happy I found this place.

The bulk of my older games I played on 98SE and ME. I only have a few games from the XP days as I really got out of PC gaming in the PS2/PS3 era. I intend to build an XP machine some day in the future but for now this is my project.

--Rob, Certified AMD Fanboy

Main: Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Prime X570-p / 32GB DDR4-3600 / Radeon 5700XT / Win 10

Alt 1 (WIP): Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz / Asus A7V / 512MB SDRAM / ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32m / Win XP

Reply 9 of 22, by gex85

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Seems like a well-balanced build to me, good choice of components. Don't know anything about the power supply though. Personally I'd probably keep my eyes open for a Seasonic, Delta or Enermax.

OS-wise I prefer Windows 2000 for a build like this as long as you don't want to play DOS games. Fast and stable and a bit more hassle-free than 98SE. It's available for download on WinWorld as well, make sure to get the image with SP4 already included.

1992 - i486DX2-66 // 1997 - P1-233 MMX // 1998 - P2-350 // 2000 - P3-650 // 2001 - Athlon 1400 // 2003 - Athlon XP 3200+ // 2008 - Xeon E5450 // 2015 - Xeon E3-1240v5

Reply 10 of 22, by omgfoz

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gex85 wrote on 2020-12-23, 12:57:

Seems like a well-balanced build to me, good choice of components. Don't know anything about the power supply though. Personally I'd probably keep my eyes open for a Seasonic, Delta or Enermax.

OS-wise I prefer Windows 2000 for a build like this as long as you don't want to play DOS games. Fast and stable and a bit more hassle-free than 98SE. It's available for download on WinWorld as well, make sure to get the image with SP4 already included.

From what I remember, Windows 2000 was a business based OS, was it not? Granted I was in my early teens during that time so I wasn't extremely knowledgeable. Would performance and compatibility be better running 2000?

Also, is this an ATX PSU? Or are these older PSUs a different specification?

--Rob, Certified AMD Fanboy

Main: Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Prime X570-p / 32GB DDR4-3600 / Radeon 5700XT / Win 10

Alt 1 (WIP): Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz / Asus A7V / 512MB SDRAM / ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32m / Win XP

Reply 11 of 22, by brt02

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omgfoz wrote on 2020-12-23, 21:42:
gex85 wrote on 2020-12-23, 12:57:

Seems like a well-balanced build to me, good choice of components. Don't know anything about the power supply though. Personally I'd probably keep my eyes open for a Seasonic, Delta or Enermax.

OS-wise I prefer Windows 2000 for a build like this as long as you don't want to play DOS games. Fast and stable and a bit more hassle-free than 98SE. It's available for download on WinWorld as well, make sure to get the image with SP4 already included.

From what I remember, Windows 2000 was a business based OS, was it not? Granted I was in my early teens during that time so I wasn't extremely knowledgeable. Would performance and compatibility be better running 2000?

Also, is this an ATX PSU? Or are these older PSUs a different specification?

Windows 2000 was marketed towards workstations etc..., but can still work with a lot of Win 9x stuff and is generally more stable. But you should stick to whatever is best for you.

It looks like an ATX PSU, might be 20 pin ATX as opposed to 20+4 pin on modern PSUs. But either would work fine. I have an old PSU for testing purposes, but all my permanent builds use new PSUs.

Intel OR840 | Dual P3 1GHz - 1GB PC800 RDRAM - ATI Radeon 9800 Pro - Creative Audigy 2ZS - Lian Li PC-65 - W98/W2K

Reply 12 of 22, by comp_ed82

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One note should be made regarding ATX power supplies:
Earlier ATX specifications have higher amperage +5V rails than newer ATX power supplies, which are usually designed to provide most of their power through the +12V rails.
Be sure to check the +5V output of any new power supply you're thinking of buying for this computer to ensure it can supply enough current from its 5V rail to power your motherboard.

Reply 13 of 22, by omgfoz

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Thank you for the PSU info!

--Rob, Certified AMD Fanboy

Main: Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Prime X570-p / 32GB DDR4-3600 / Radeon 5700XT / Win 10

Alt 1 (WIP): Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz / Asus A7V / 512MB SDRAM / ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32m / Win XP

Reply 14 of 22, by omgfoz

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So this thing i think has a major problem.

Boot up is very inconsistent. Sometimes it won't POST. Sometimes it will freeze after detecting the HDD through the promise controller. Sometimes it will freeze while showing the PCI devices. And I've even had it freeze while in the BIOS screen. Any troubleshooting tips?

--Rob, Certified AMD Fanboy

Main: Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Prime X570-p / 32GB DDR4-3600 / Radeon 5700XT / Win 10

Alt 1 (WIP): Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz / Asus A7V / 512MB SDRAM / ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32m / Win XP

Reply 15 of 22, by Repo Man11

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I would: remove the motherboard from the case, strip it down to one stick of RAM and the video card (use a PCI video card if you have one) and begin there. Try Memtest 86. http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

Reply 16 of 22, by omgfoz

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2020-12-26, 22:41:

I would: remove the motherboard from the case, strip it down to one stick of RAM and the video card (use a PCI video card if you have one) and begin there. Try Memtest 86. http://www.memtest.org/#downiso

I believe one of the sticks of RAM is bad. It booted immediately upon removing it. Now to see if it's consistent...

--Rob, Certified AMD Fanboy

Main: Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Prime X570-p / 32GB DDR4-3600 / Radeon 5700XT / Win 10

Alt 1 (WIP): Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz / Asus A7V / 512MB SDRAM / ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32m / Win XP

Reply 17 of 22, by matze79

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Warlord wrote on 2020-12-20, 22:20:

go with your goal becasue XP will be so slow on this system, and games of the XP era will be too slow.

idk anything about that power supply. Suppose you could open it up and check for damage, and leaking caps.

It looks like a nice enough motherboard, I don't want to comment much. As long as it plays the games you want to play, than it works fine for you.

Really 🤣
Sorry but XP already runs very well with a PII CPU and 256Mb (Optimal 512Mb for SP3)

RTM ran on 64Mb and Pentium MMX CPU...

Specially for gaming I wouldn’t consider 2000.
Also software compatibility is not so good.

I would go for windows 98 for maximum performance just my 2 cents
With a Radeon 7000 you wonˋt anyway not get in a performance class where you need 2k or XP

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
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Reply 18 of 22, by Tetrium

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Ah, the Asus A7V. In a way it's A7V133's little brother 😜
I worked with these boards as well, though to a bit lesser extent than the A7V133, mostly because the max 100MHz FSB makes it much more limited but otherwise these boards seemed to work perfectly fine once we got the odd quirks ironed out.

Personally I wouldn't install XP on this machine. Sure it will work, but something like ME will probably work much better.

I would definitely check the condition of that PSU (but remember that it's not totally risk free if you have no idea what you are doing).
These boards are made for use with PSUs with beefier 5v lines, but the Thunderbird 1000MHz consumes less power than a 1400MHz one. Still more powerhungry than a Tualatin 1400. Btw, the part number (A1000AMT3B) denotes this is a 100MHz FSB part. 133MHz FSB parts would end with a C instead of the B. These CPUs can be unlocked using the pencil trick (google it if you're interested) but had some issues with multipliers above 12x or something (I don't remember the details anymore but I do remember that the pencil trick worked for me during testing). If you really wanted to, you could use the freed up multiplier to lower the multiplier to, say, 8x, netting 800MHz and reducing power consumption even further that way.

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My retro rigs (old topic)
Interesting Vogons threads (links to Vogonswiki)
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Reply 19 of 22, by omgfoz

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Tetrium wrote on 2021-02-18, 07:33:
Ah, the Asus A7V. In a way it's A7V133's little brother :P I worked with these boards as well, though to a bit lesser extent tha […]
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Ah, the Asus A7V. In a way it's A7V133's little brother 😜
I worked with these boards as well, though to a bit lesser extent than the A7V133, mostly because the max 100MHz FSB makes it much more limited but otherwise these boards seemed to work perfectly fine once we got the odd quirks ironed out.

Personally I wouldn't install XP on this machine. Sure it will work, but something like ME will probably work much better.

I would definitely check the condition of that PSU (but remember that it's not totally risk free if you have no idea what you are doing).
These boards are made for use with PSUs with beefier 5v lines, but the Thunderbird 1000MHz consumes less power than a 1400MHz one. Still more powerhungry than a Tualatin 1400. Btw, the part number (A1000AMT3B) denotes this is a 100MHz FSB part. 133MHz FSB parts would end with a C instead of the B. These CPUs can be unlocked using the pencil trick (google it if you're interested) but had some issues with multipliers above 12x or something (I don't remember the details anymore but I do remember that the pencil trick worked for me during testing). If you really wanted to, you could use the freed up multiplier to lower the multiplier to, say, 8x, netting 800MHz and reducing power consumption even further that way.

Thank you for the information! In the last two months I've collected almost everything I need to properly set up this rig. The only thing I'm missing is a desk to set it up on. Once I have it all set up I'll post new pics and the updated specs (a few small upgrades were made).

--Rob, Certified AMD Fanboy

Main: Ryzen 7 3700X / Asus Prime X570-p / 32GB DDR4-3600 / Radeon 5700XT / Win 10

Alt 1 (WIP): Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz / Asus A7V / 512MB SDRAM / ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32m / Win XP