VOGONS


Reply 16980 of 17875, by debs3759

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PTherapist wrote on 2020-10-21, 04:47:
debs3759 wrote on 2020-10-20, 19:27:
PTherapist wrote on 2020-10-20, 18:49:

Personally I wouldn't recommend building a Media Centre PC/HTPC with any kind of stock cooler, it will be much too loud.

Also, is the Blu-Ray drive just for data usage? As I think you'll have problems playing back actual Blu-Ray movie discs on Windows XP, Windows 7 would probably be better for that.

It'll probably be the cheapest option for transferring rips, but I didn't know XP wouldn't offer good BD playback. Unfortunately I have never seen a pre-activated copy of 7, and I'm not sure I want to trust keys off ebay to activate.

Yes, ripping them would probably be the easiest option. The reason XP isn't good for Blu-Ray playback, is that PowerDVD 11 is the latest version that will run on either XP or Vista and PowerDVD 11 will struggle with a lot of newer titles due to updated DRM.

However another issue is if the onboard graphics has HDCP support? Otherwise it won't matter which OS you use as it still wouldn't work without 3rd party tools such as AnyDVD HD.

I found three different Win 7 x64 preactivated versions, so will be setting that up later, now the cooler arrived. Will be installing K-Lite Codec Mega Pack, with Media Player Classic.

I will never use integrated graphics other than for benchmarking prior to adding discrete graphics. I think I have a GT210, otherwise it'll be overkill with a GT630 😀

Reply 16981 of 17875, by newtmonkey

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I got an AT-PS/2 adapter and a PS/2-USB adapter so I could use my Das Keyboard with my DOS machine. It's not period correct, but then again, very little of my DOS machine is period correct 🤣.

I'll keep my AT keyboard as a backup!

Reply 16982 of 17875, by brostenen

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The glue have dried, so I used some time today, to set it up propperly on my vintage computing table. I really like the result of this. It is a nice way to recycle old computer harddrives. And the end result is exactly what I was aiming at.

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Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

My blog: http://to9xct.blogspot.dk
My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/brostenen

001100 010010 011110 100001 101101 110011

Reply 16983 of 17875, by Almoststew1990

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My partner has stolen my "good" LCD monitor that has both DVI and VGA in - i.e. I can use two systems on the one screen. She needs it for "work" pfft. So I am back with my VGA only monitor and with my XP PC downloading The Witcher 2 from GOG on that screen I didn't want to disconnect it when setting up a different PC. I ended up using my 10 year old 32" Samsung LED TV to set up my DOS PC!

The Violet V.... *can't think of a cool name beginning with V* .......Violet Verisimilitude (great word) is still going strong! Now with my DX4-100, STB Lightspeed 128 and SB 2.0 (because of Phil's video the other week).

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Today was a day of firsts because it's the first time on a pure DOS PC I've had enough IDE controllers to set up a CF card and a CD-Drive. So I had to set up Config and Autobat for that for the first time. Usually if I am using a CD drive in DOS its on a Windows 98 build which does it (or Phil does it) all for me. I've also realised that my STB Lightspeed 128 2.25Mb has specific drivers for Windows 3.1 so I should be able to get higher resolution and colour display. You'll be pleased to know it's an AMD DX4 so the sticker is valid this time :p

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The TV had no issues at all with any resolutions that DOS has thrown at it so far. It looks alright too for such as large screen with 320*something display for Ultima6

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Ryzen 3700X | 16GB 3600MHz RAM | Nvidia GeForce 1070ti | 1Tb NVME SSD | Windows 10
Athlon 3200+ @ 3800+ (Venice) | Some Ram | Nvidia GeForce GTX645 / 7950GT
Slot 1 896MHz | 384Mb 112MHz RAM | Nvidia GeForce 3 ti200 | AWE32

Reply 16984 of 17875, by BetaC

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I decided to manage the cables in my main retro system earlier today, now that I have an AG430HX on the way. Might as well make sure I have the room for a semi-modular setup.

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I eliminated an extra PATA cable, managed to use the power cables for the GOTEK and IDE-SD combo I have in the top drive slot to keep the floppy cable out of the way, and managed to pull cables together in a way that didn't try to bugle the back of the case out. I know my combo cable for the CD audio looks nasty, but it'll be useful when I have the Yamaha and AWE64 running side by side.

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Reply 16985 of 17875, by RichardG867

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Revived a PC-Chips M748MR motherboard I was given 10 years ago along with a Pentium II CPU and RAM, all of which I used for a little bit and then stored for all these years. Thought it was dead (my POST card didn't say anything probably because it wasn't making contact with the crusty old PCI slots) but I hooked up my logic analyzer - a poor man's oscilloscope - and saw activity on the BIOS data lines, so it wasn't entirely dead. Gave it new SDRAM and it booted right up.

Immediately noticed two mistakes I made 10 years ago:
1) Assume the CPU is a 233 (66*3.5) because the jumperless BIOS defaulted to that setting. I looked up the sSpec and it turned out to be a 350 (100*3.5).
2) Wire up a USB bracket with shielding to the ATX form card connector, resulting in magic smoke and no USB power. This board has the same stupid design as other PC-Chips boards where the shield pin is wired to 5V, which fries the Vbus circuit and now it's only outputting about 2.5V. I plan on fixing it by cutting the Vbus rail and taking 5V from elsewhere, but for now, jumper wires will do.

The AMI BIOS is quite bad - even on the latest version, it doesn't auto-detect the CPU bus speed (as mentioned above) and just hangs with >32GB hard drives. Just out of curiosity, I looked for other similar boards to try and borrow a BIOS from, and ended up finding a 128GB patched Award BIOS for the Matsonic MS7380SG which works great. (The ECS P6SET-ML BIOS boots once, then after a reboot it emits a distress signal and only works again after reflashing)

The board itself is a bit finicky - the stock BIOS often has trouble detecting hard drives, the Matsonic BIOS sometimes fails to boot after I set the CPU frequency, hardware monitoring reports up to 2.8V on the 2.5V line, and I'm struggling to get Windows XP installed (for some emulation-related research work, long story). The caps look fine but I'll probably end up recapping it anyway. I've already taken a soldering iron to this board for IDE pin 20 removal surgery because all my IDE cables are 39-pin.

Reply 16986 of 17875, by Bruninho

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Almoststew1990 wrote on 2020-10-24, 16:53:

The Violet V.... *can't think of a cool name beginning with V* .......Violet Verisimilitude (great word) is still going strong! Now with my DX4-100, STB Lightspeed 128 and SB 2.0 (because of Phil's video the other week).

I challenge you to paint your keyboard too! =)

"Design isn't just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
JOBS, Steve.

Reply 16987 of 17875, by retrogamerguy1997

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Not exactly today, but on my 98se machine I installed an upgrade copy of office 2000 premium over office 97. But since I didn't want to burn a million CDs to burn 4 iso images, I did it by having one iso image at a time on a 1GB flash drive and mounting the image and installing it that way. disc 1 installed fine, but restarting after disc 2 asked for the CD which I couldn't provide since I couldn't mount the image but clicking cancel didn't seem to hurt anything. Disc 3's setup looked more like office 97's installer than office 2000's installer. disc 4 didn't have an installer and it was just clipart and stuff like that.

Reply 16988 of 17875, by andrea

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After last time's success, today I repaired a Radeon VE that also had bad memory. This time the chip donor was a borked Seagate 7200.12 disk (parts are pretty much the only thing F3 Seagates are good for).
fzKY85P.jpg

And then made some more useful DIMMS, 128 and 256MB from 2 single sided 64 and 128MB modules respectively.
LJSn3tf.jpg

PROTIP: If you are thinking of doing this yourself, don't. If you really want, then Capton the edge connector and use lots of flux. And remember to edit the SPD to suit the new layout.

Reply 16989 of 17875, by pentiumspeed

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Finally decommissioned the mother's friend's C2D E6500 (2.93GHz) with low end chipset motherboard with not activated win 7 (boggles!) which luckily begun to die but I got the data moved to far more newer computer with SSD, much faster and with windows 10 activated.

Means I can recycle the case which I don't care but that good for now, for vintage computing at last.

Cheers!

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 16990 of 17875, by TechieDude

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RichardG867 wrote on 2020-10-25, 04:35:
Revived a PC-Chips M748MR motherboard I was given 10 years ago along with a Pentium II CPU and RAM, all of which I used for a li […]
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Revived a PC-Chips M748MR motherboard I was given 10 years ago along with a Pentium II CPU and RAM, all of which I used for a little bit and then stored for all these years. Thought it was dead (my POST card didn't say anything probably because it wasn't making contact with the crusty old PCI slots) but I hooked up my logic analyzer - a poor man's oscilloscope - and saw activity on the BIOS data lines, so it wasn't entirely dead. Gave it new SDRAM and it booted right up.

Immediately noticed two mistakes I made 10 years ago:
1) Assume the CPU is a 233 (66*3.5) because the jumperless BIOS defaulted to that setting. I looked up the sSpec and it turned out to be a 350 (100*3.5).
2) Wire up a USB bracket with shielding to the ATX form card connector, resulting in magic smoke and no USB power. This board has the same stupid design as other PC-Chips boards where the shield pin is wired to 5V, which fries the Vbus circuit and now it's only outputting about 2.5V. I plan on fixing it by cutting the Vbus rail and taking 5V from elsewhere, but for now, jumper wires will do.

The AMI BIOS is quite bad - even on the latest version, it doesn't auto-detect the CPU bus speed (as mentioned above) and just hangs with >32GB hard drives. Just out of curiosity, I looked for other similar boards to try and borrow a BIOS from, and ended up finding a 128GB patched Award BIOS for the Matsonic MS7380SG which works great. (The ECS P6SET-ML BIOS boots once, then after a reboot it emits a distress signal and only works again after reflashing)

The board itself is a bit finicky - the stock BIOS often has trouble detecting hard drives, the Matsonic BIOS sometimes fails to boot after I set the CPU frequency, hardware monitoring reports up to 2.8V on the 2.5V line, and I'm struggling to get Windows XP installed (for some emulation-related research work, long story). The caps look fine but I'll probably end up recapping it anyway. I've already taken a soldering iron to this board for IDE pin 20 removal surgery because all my IDE cables are 39-pin.

You sir are amazing. You diagnosed a motherboard using an oscilloscope, upgraded it with a different BIOS, and plan on replacing the +5v USB rail. That's just awesome. Please post pics when you actually rework the USB power. I want to see that.

andrea wrote on 2020-10-25, 21:37:
After last time's success, today I repaired a Radeon VE that also had bad memory. This time the chip donor was a borked Seagate […]
Show full quote

After last time's success, today I repaired a Radeon VE that also had bad memory. This time the chip donor was a borked Seagate 7200.12 disk (parts are pretty much the only thing F3 Seagates are good for).
fzKY85P.jpg

And then made some more useful DIMMS, 128 and 256MB from 2 single sided 64 and 128MB modules respectively.
LJSn3tf.jpg

PROTIP: If you are thinking of doing this yourself, don't. If you really want, then Capton the edge connector and use lots of flux. And remember to edit the SPD to suit the new layout.

That's impressive. If you don't mind, what made you want to "build" DIMMs yourself?

Reply 16991 of 17875, by wiretap

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Freaking finally got my Terriblefire TF534 working. It kept just getting a black screen at boot. (building this from scratch) I did some very close inspections with the USB microscope and found that one leg on a single RAM chip was not soldered fully and had like a human hair gap.. Haha. Well, it works now. 😁 Sooo excited.

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Circuit Board Repair Manuals
Turbo Display Project
Dual Socket 8 Project

Reply 16992 of 17875, by andrea

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TechieDude wrote on 2020-10-25, 23:47:
andrea wrote on 2020-10-25, 21:37:
After last time's success, today I repaired a Radeon VE that also had bad memory. This time the chip donor was a borked Seagate […]
Show full quote

After last time's success, today I repaired a Radeon VE that also had bad memory. This time the chip donor was a borked Seagate 7200.12 disk (parts are pretty much the only thing F3 Seagates are good for).
fzKY85P.jpg

And then made some more useful DIMMS, 128 and 256MB from 2 single sided 64 and 128MB modules respectively.
LJSn3tf.jpg

PROTIP: If you are thinking of doing this yourself, don't. If you really want, then Capton the edge connector and use lots of flux. And remember to edit the SPD to suit the new layout.

That's impressive. If you don't mind, what made you want to "build" DIMMs yourself?

I needed a 256MB DIMM and was too cheap to buy one. So I did an experiment with the useless 64MB sticks first to see if my idea worked and, if it did, to have some sort of fallback in case I later borked the 128MB modules.

Reply 16993 of 17875, by Cyrix200+

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andrea wrote on 2020-10-25, 21:37:

<snip>

PROTIP: If you are thinking of doing this yourself, don't. If you really want, then Capton the edge connector and use lots of flux. And remember to edit the SPD to suit the new layout.

You can't show us those nice results and then say _that_... 😉

Where did you pick up these skills? Professionaly? Years of experience? Any guides you might recommend?

1982 to 2001

Reply 16994 of 17875, by andrea

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Cyrix200+ wrote on 2020-10-26, 09:21:
andrea wrote on 2020-10-25, 21:37:

<snip>

PROTIP: If you are thinking of doing this yourself, don't. If you really want, then Capton the edge connector and use lots of flux. And remember to edit the SPD to suit the new layout.

You can't show us those nice results and then say _that_... 😉

Where did you pick up these skills? Professionaly? Years of experience? Any guides you might recommend?

Nowhere 😀.
It all started I want to say around 2008 I guess, where i got for free 3 Athlon XP machines (back then these were old but still usable as dailies, a bit like C2Ds today), that died of bad caps. So I learned to solder out of necessity.
As for guides, on Youtube there is (or at least used to be there) a full Pace videocourse on soldering that's pretty nice.

This job was done with a cheap Yihua 937 solder station and a way too big fake Hakko chisel tip. What I did not say was that i had to reflow the chips like 3 times before I got them to pass memtest.

Reply 16995 of 17875, by gex85

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Over the last few days I did some BIOS modding for my Diamond Micronics C400 motherboard, which is identical to the BCM QS440BX. While Diamond stopped shipping BIOS updates at version 1.06, BCM continued to improve the BIOS for their board - but only for the later revisions with a 2 MBit flash chip. Seems they didn't want to bother with the space constraints on the 1 MBit chip anymore.

Since Diamond used the 1 MBit variant, I could not use the much newer and improved BCM BIOS version 2.10 on my board. So I salvaged a 2 MBit chip from another (dead) Slot 1 board and did a hot-flash, which to my surprise worked on the first attempt.

While I was at it, I modded the BIOS:
- Used the patched BCM QS440BX image from wimsbios with 128 GB HDD support as a base
- Inserted the full-screen logo (Diamond/Micronics) that I had extracted from the original C400 BIOS image
- Created and inserted a Diamond logo to replace the EPA logo
- Added various microcode updates so I can for example run my Tualeron 1400/100 in a modified Slotket
- Modified the BIOS string to show the Diamond C400 name instead of BCM

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 16996 of 17875, by chrismeyer6

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gex85 wrote on 2020-10-26, 12:57:
Over the last few days I did some BIOS modding for my Diamond Micronics C400 motherboard, which is identical to the BCM QS440BX. […]
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Over the last few days I did some BIOS modding for my Diamond Micronics C400 motherboard, which is identical to the BCM QS440BX. While Diamond stopped shipping BIOS updates at version 1.06, BCM continued to improve the BIOS for their board - but only for the later revisions with a 2 MBit flash chip. Seems they didn't want to bother with the space constraints on the 1 MBit chip anymore.

Since Diamond used the 1 MBit variant, I could not use the much newer and improved BCM BIOS version 2.10 on my board. So I salvaged a 2 MBit chip from another (dead) Slot 1 board and did a hot-flash, which to my surprise worked on the first attempt.

While I was at it, I modded the BIOS:
- Used the patched BCM QS440BX image from wimsbios with 128 GB HDD support as a base
- Inserted the full-screen logo (Diamond/Micronics) that I had extracted from the original C400 BIOS image
- Created and inserted a Diamond logo to replace the EPA logo
- Added various microcode updates so I can for example run my Tualeron 1400/100 in a modified Slotket
- Modified the BIOS string to show the Diamond C400 name instead of BCM

That's seriously awesome I wish I had the skills to pull that off.

Reply 16997 of 17875, by gex85

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2020-10-26, 13:00:

That's seriously awesome I wish I had the skills to pull that off.

It's not black black magic 😉

There are a few different tools that you need:
- CBROM (fairly powerful command line tool for editing Award BIOS images, but many tasks are easier with the graphical Award BIOS Editor)
- Award BIOS Editor: http://awdbedit.sourceforge.net/ to extract and insert parts of the image, modify the strings, configure BIOS menu items, etc.
- CTMC microcode utility (to split the extracted microcodes from various BIOS images into separate files that can then be combined into a new file that contains all the updates)
- Pixelformer to create the 4-bit BMP Logo
- EPAcoder v1.50 (to convert regular 4-bit BMP files to the "EPA" format that is used for the BIOS logos)

The process is roughly as follows (no warranty if you brick your board):
1. Obtain latest BIOS from manufacturer or an already patched image that removes HDD size limitations etc. from a site like wimsbios.com
--- Logo modifications ---
2. Extract EPA logo with CBROM or Award BIOS Editor and save as Windows BMP
3. Craft your own EPA logo with Pixelformer or any other tool that can save to 4-bit BMP
4. Convert the logo with EPAcoder
5. Insert the converted file into the BIOS image
6. Repeat steps 2-5 for full-screen logo
--- Microcode updates ---
7. Extract the microcode part from the original BIOS image
8. Obtain a BIOS file for a Tualatin-capable board like the Abit ST6 and extract its microcode part
9. Use CTMC to store the microcode updates in separate files on a per-cpuid-basis
10. Copy all the microcode updates you want to include into a single file
(10a. For Asus boards there seems to be a special header needed in the microcode file, be aware of that if your board is an Asus)
11. Use Award BIOS Editor or CBROM to replace the microcode part with your newly crafted file
--- Other updates ---
12. Edit BIOS menu settings, strings etc. to your liking
--- Flash ---
13. Use AWDFLASH to actually flash your modified image

The real art of BIOS modding however begins with removing the HDD limits etc., this is something far beyond my knowledge...

Last edited by gex85 on 2020-10-26, 13:38. Edited 1 time in total.

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 16998 of 17875, by chrismeyer6

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Thank you for the step by step for the software part. I wish my soldering skills were up to the task and I use the word skills loosely. Most of my soldering is sweating pipes.

Reply 16999 of 17875, by pixel_workbench

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Not exaxtly retro yet, but I modded the bios of my Radeon 7970 to run at the clocks of the 7970 Gigahertz Edition. No change in voltage required.

After replacing the thermal paste, the card runs at basically the same fan speed and temperature as the regular clocked version, and total system power consumption is up by about 20 watts under load. That's a much better result than the reviews from back in the day, making the card look like a loud inefficient power guzzling hog.

Edit: on the other hand, if you download one of the modded bioses available online, they use a higher voltage, and the card truly becomes a loud hot mess, increasing the total system load power consumption by 100 watts!

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