Well, I've got a taker for the Dell now.
Meanwhile, de-comming the Dell 4600 allowed me to get some of my drives back in action. One of which was an actual WORKING 80GB drive, which I just put on my 486 and have made some discoveries about Windows 2000 Professional and the DDO compatible with the WD800 drive....
First off, apparently a 486 CAN indeed boot from CD-ROM even if it's not availible in the BIOS. Apparently On-Track has a function where you just press the "C" key on startup (version 9.88) and pretty much anything AT-Class can boot off a CD-ROM. Did not have to use my Win2k boot floppies once, just booted off of CD - installed from CD, right now am reinstalling due to a corrupt login file....but at least this go through I have a mouse.
I also learned NTFS does not play happily with DDO - and I also found out that FAT-32 is faster than NTFS is anyway for Disk Access - which is kind of important since I plan to tweak/whittle this Win2K install down to it's core (ie, only what I'm using) to save memory). When I tried installing with NTFS, for some reason it decided to write over the MBR.....uh, no. Also, I don't need fast folder access as much as fast file access anyway, expecially when the sick and twisted DAW experiments start (because I love seeing how close old hardware can get to my modern PC - this DX4 in an XT case has been the best 486 I've built yet, it even did a 3 track rock demo in n-track under Windows 95).
Which leads me to the NEXT part of Windows 2000. Serial mice.
For years, I've shied away from using Win2K with generic AT class systems because most of the serial mice (ie my faves, which includes a Microspeed PC-TRAC Serial trackball as my #1). Well...I've found a mouse that works - the old Microsoft "Dove Bar" serial mouse - of which I have 2 luckily.
So this go around on the install - I plugged in the Dove Bar and of course, hallaluja, it came up, and it's nice and smooth. Could not find my PC-TRAC at all, but oh well, the PC-TRAC has been sticking on some turns so maybe it's good to let the other mice play for awhile and give ol Microspeed a rest while I clean the ball and the rollers inside again.
In other interesting notes, seems ALL of my hardware is supported. Boot time is about a minute - which I expect, but while once up, a lot snappier than I remembered. Full sound, NIC, no device conflicts. Seems pretty happy for a PC running such a "heavy" O/S - if I keep having this luck - just might have to try throwing some actually "sick" stuff on there.
My DOS Boxen
85' Tandy 1000(a)- 8088/4.77, 640K, 8gb XT-IDE, TGA, 3-voice
89' GEM 286 - 286/12 w/287, 6MB, 1GB SCSI, 2XCD-ROM, ET-4000 1MB, SB Pro2
Creeping Net 486 - 486DX4100 WB, 128MB, 512K L2, 15GB+40GB, S3 809 2MB VLB SVGA, SBAWE64