What retro activity did you get up to today?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Srandista » 2018-11-06 @ 15:39

Updating BIOS on my IBM ThinkPad 390X. I thought that it would be painless procedure, but it wasn't quite that easy. The thing is, my battery is dead, and for whatever reason, BIOS updater require charged battery even with laptop plugged in.

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Fortunately small trick with bootable floppy and "FLASH2.EXE /U" command did the trick :)

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My overkill "retro" PC - Pentium E6500K, 512MB/2GB RAM, Radeon 9500@9700 (Softmod), 80GB HDD, Win 98/XP
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2018-11-06 @ 16:47

This isn't exactly retro, but does pertain to VOGONS.

With the help of two of the moderators here on VOGONS, I have officially updated every single image and video I posted here on this forum that I was hosting on Flickr to instead be hosted on Imgur + YouTube. That was 180 images and 5 videos worth of content that I meticulously updated across all of the threads I have posted to here on VOGONS. And that was just VOGONS. There were at least 42 images and 1 or 2 videos on other forums and platforms that I also moved to Imgur and YouTube. In total, it has taken me 2-3 days to complete this task.

The reason why I did this was because Flickr is updating their terms of service for free users (I included), which removes the 1TB limit and instead replaces it with a 1000-uploads limit. >:P

I will say, though, this migration sure did help me clean up and organize my "collection" of content. I (sadly) though found a dead link to a video that I had hosted in my Google Drive that I have since deleted.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby cyclone3d » 2018-11-06 @ 17:27

I was busy organizing sound cards the other day and discovered that besides Aztech and Creative ISA sound cards, I have very few sound cards without onboard wavetable. I have somewhat an obsession for sound cards with onboard wavetable. The ones I have without it are pretty much just ones that came in lots with other stuff.

I've also got stuff set up so that I can build my website once I have a chance and start doing reviews and posting pics, drivers, setup guides, etc.

Lots of stuff coming down the line which should be pretty sweet as far as vintage/retro computing goes.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Malvineous » 2018-11-06 @ 22:45

@the_ultra_code: Nice job on keeping all your links current! I host most of my own stuff for exactly the reasons you mention, but it's always a bit of a challenge to keep the URLs working as you reorganise stuff.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2018-11-07 @ 01:50

Malvineous wrote:@the_ultra_code: Nice job on keeping all your links current! I host most of my own stuff for exactly the reasons you mention, but it's always a bit of a challenge to keep the URLs working as you reorganise stuff.


Thanks! Yeah, I just felt like, "Well, if I don't plan on using Flickr anymore, why not just move everything over to the new platform (Imgur + YouTube)?". I really don't like how unintuitive and lacking in features when compared to Flickr that Imgur is, but it's not too hard to use, and at least I get unlimited photo storage. YouTube is way better than Flickr when it comes to videos - hands down.

Any who, with that whole migration out of the way, I thought I try to tackle a self-made troubleshooting nightmare of mine. Some you might remember this thing, right?
Image

Well, I thought I would go ahead and take it apart, and reassemble it a little differently to see what's wrong (replacing the Adaptec PCI SATA adapter card + Seagate SATA HDD I had in it with the original Quantum IDE HDD that came with the machine, removing the SB AWE64 Value I threw in it, and using a different yet known-to-work-fine-albeit-noisily Lite-on IDE optical drive I had lying around, since I didn't want to pull out the optical drive mounted in the machine).
Image

Turns out that I can't use a modern, regular PSU with this motherboard to test to see if it is the PSU that's causing the problems I created (which I doubt it is), since one of the connections is on the opposite row with the included PSU.
Image

Things were going smoothly, until the final stages of the Win98SE installation, where I got a BSOD. :/
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I also noticed before I got to the BSOD, and also many times when I tried to diagnose the issues previously, was that I would experience PS/2 keyboard layout corruption, where all of the sudden where the "keys" of the keyboard are laid out to the computer and where the keys are physically laid out do not correlate.

At this point, I think I'm just going to abandon this board, since i have somehow on a very basic level have damaged the board (by trying to upgrade the CPU and forgetting to adjust the jumpers on the motherboard accordingly), and get a newer replacement board, preferably with a newer Pentium II chipset and something that isn't expensive. I don't have the expertise or the tools to properly diagnose and fix the problem. Or, if I can't find a board for a reasonable price, I think I might just disassemble the system and either keep, sell, or recycle some of the parts; I'm A) getting tired of having to pay for and to make up for my mistakes and B) don't want to have a system in my small apartment that I would have no use for. It would be a shame in a way to disassemble and get rid of this system, but it would be the easiest way to deal with the situation and move onto more useful and impacting projects.

Edit: I forgot to ask. What would you call these type of motherboard standoffs that "clip" into a PC case? I have to replace at least one of them if I intend to "keep" the system.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-11-07 @ 06:03

Further on the motherboard battery "dead" issue, dummy me forgot to see if there was a jumper on the battery header after putting in the new battery holder (spare part), put the jumper on there, and it's now retaining the settings. Now my floppy drive needs to get a proper lubrication (the motor tries to spin, but, it felt like it was stuck), but, after issuing the DIR A: and DIR B: commands, the floppy drive is functioning again.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2018-11-07 @ 06:29

the_ultra_code wrote:Any who, with that whole migration out of the way, I thought I try to tackle a self-made troubleshooting nightmare of mine. Some you might remember this thing, right?

Well, I thought I would go ahead and take it apart, and reassemble it a little differently to see what's wrong (replacing the Adaptec PCI SATA adapter card + Seagate SATA HDD I had in it with the original Quantum IDE HDD that came with the machine, removing the SB AWE64 Value I threw in it, and using a different yet known-to-work-fine-albeit-noisily Lite-on IDE optical drive I had lying around, since I didn't want to pull out the optical drive mounted in the machine).

Turns out that I can't use a modern, regular PSU with this motherboard to test to see if it is the PSU that's causing the problems I created (which I doubt it is), since one of the connections is on the opposite row with the included PSU.

Things were going smoothly, until the final stages of the Win98SE installation, where I got a BSOD. :/

I also noticed before I got to the BSOD, and also many times when I tried to diagnose the issues previously, was that I would experience PS/2 keyboard layout corruption, where all of the sudden where the "keys" of the keyboard are laid out to the computer and where the keys are physically laid out do not correlate.

At this point, I think I'm just going to abandon this board, since i have somehow on a very basic level have damaged the board (by trying to upgrade the CPU and forgetting to adjust the jumpers on the motherboard accordingly), and get a newer replacement board, preferably with a newer Pentium II chipset and something that isn't expensive. I don't have the expertise or the tools to properly diagnose and fix the problem. Or, if I can't find a board for a reasonable price, I think I might just disassemble the system and either keep, sell, or recycle some of the parts; I'm A) getting tired of having to pay for and to make up for my mistakes and B) don't want to have a system in my small apartment that I would have no use for. It would be a shame in a way to disassemble and get rid of this system, but it would be the easiest way to deal with the situation and move onto more useful and impacting projects.

Edit: I forgot to ask. What would you call these type of motherboard standoffs that "clip" into a PC case? I have to replace at least one of them if I intend to "keep" the system.


Well, I just had a great idea. Recently, I upgraded my P3 machine's mobo from an Asus Slot 1 P3B-F to an Asus Socket 370 TUSL2-C. I'm not using the former, and it supports all Slot 1 CPUs, so, why not use that to test all of my Slot 1 CPUs, and eventually put the best Pentium II I have in it to make it a mid-90's gaming machine/test rig, complete with a CF-to-IDE adapter for convenience?

So, I transferred everything over to my P3B-F, and BAM!, everything worked without a hitch (although the Quantum FIreball 2GB IDE HDD is molasses slow - hence my desire for a CF card; I'm not really going to be gaming on this much, if at all, and instead will use this machine to test any Slot 1 CPUs I come across, and maybe other PCI and ISA cards, so I'm not going to be too concerned about a CF card's write endurance in such a TRIM-less OS as Win98SE).

Also, I want to fill up the RAM expansion slots on the Diamond Multimedia Stealth 3D 2000 ("(Turbo)", as stated by 3DMark99 Max). Does anyone know what speed and specced RAM chips the card accepts, and does anyone have any recommendations as to which chips I should purchase?
Image

This PC will live after all - just not with the motherboard it came with (R.I.P.).
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby gex85 » 2018-11-07 @ 09:22

the_ultra_code wrote:Edit: I forgot to ask. What would you call these type of motherboard standoffs that "clip" into a PC case? I have to replace at least one of them if I intend to "keep" the system.
Image


I have done some googling on these standoffs lately because I have two cases (made by Chenbro for German manufacturer Maxdata) that use them, and actually got the best results with a search term like "clip in motherboard standoff".
However, I did not manage to find a single source to buy them yet. This type of standoff doesn't seem to be standardized either, which really does not help finding spares. :(
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby wiretap » 2018-11-07 @ 10:23

the_ultra_code wrote:Edit: I forgot to ask. What would you call these type of motherboard standoffs that "clip" into a PC case? I have to replace at least one of them if I intend to "keep" the system.
Image

The closest thing I can find are these:
http://www.addtronics.com/addt/product_ ... 6c9a882739
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Almoststew1990 » 2018-11-07 @ 18:17

Egh...

My old trusty S478 motherboard wouldn't post. Swapping RAM around, CPUs around, GPUs around... I get frustrated and decide it's dead, literally scrape the PCB with a screwdriver to get the chipset heatsink and cooler mount off, and *throw* it into the bin-BANG!

I see a board on ebay for £6. Put in a best offer for £5. Don't hear anything back.

I buy a S478 board locally for £10. I get home and it is sticky on the back- not a good start. I wash it and leave it to dry for a couple of days. Ebayer accepts my offer for that other board, which I shouldn't need anymore, damn.

Try out the locally bought board. I get very fast continuous beeping (Phoenix BIOS). Try a few sticks of RAM, and the beeping goes away but no post, only warm CPU/chipset/GPU... great. Few different 400/533/800MHz CPUs... nothing. Get annoyed!

Co-incidently when I washed the new board I also washed the dead board for... some reason. It should go to the "Great Storage Cupboard In The Sky" looking its best I suppose! Anyway, I plug it into the loose PSU (literally with the board in the bin) and it's power LED on it comes on... OK fine... get it out the bin, stick the same RAM in, a random 533FSB P4...

...and it posts. GAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!

This hobby, eh?

*edit* It looks like an evening of Memtest :cool: at least whilst I wait I can mess around on my tablet, which can somehow run* Mass Effect, even installed onto it's SD card!

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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby StevOnehundred » 2018-11-07 @ 20:13

Failed miserably to get Permedia 2 and RTL8139 working in NT3.51 on the P2B-DS board. Various stuff failing to start according to Event Viewer. Further investigation required, I suppose.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2018-11-07 @ 21:45

the_ultra_code wrote:[...]

Also, I want to fill up the RAM expansion slots on the Diamond Multimedia Stealth 3D 2000 ("(Turbo)", as stated by 3DMark99 Max). Does anyone know what speed and specced RAM chips the card accepts, and does anyone have any recommendations as to which chips I should purchase?
Image

There's not much point in using anything different to what is already soldered onto the board surely? Anything slower and you have to downclock the card (or if not risk it just not working), anything faster is plain wasted as the soldered RAM will be the limiting factor... The only oddity is that one 35ns Mosel Vitelic chip in between the other 40ns ones. Bit of a waste... just take any 5V SOJ 512kB (256kx16) EDO chips rated at 40ns or better and you should be fine.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Strahssis » 2018-11-07 @ 21:52

I did quite a lot of retro activity today actually. I first recapped two of my graphic cards; my ATI Radeon X300 SE and my ATI Rage 128 Pro. The ATI Radeon X300 SE, had a few leaking capacitors and it had some weird graphical issues. Recapping the card didn't fix the graphical issues unfortunately. :depressed: The ATI Rage 128 Pro had no issues whatsoever, but I noticed earlier that there were a few capacitors bulging, so I just decided to replace them to prevent any future problems. The image was actually a lot clearer after the recap, which I didn't expect to happen. :)
2018-11-07 17.31.44.jpg

2018-11-07 17.30.59.jpg

While I was soldering anyways I decided to reflow my father's previous solder job, because the motherboard he recently recapped, had some weird issues. Reflowing did fix the unable to restart issue, but it looks like the Celeron is running quiet hot now for no reason. I might have some more research to do, I think . . .. :blush:
2018-11-07 17.32.24.jpg

I also swapped the power supply of my Pentium 4 system; a Inter-Tech SL-500A with the FSP250-60PNA(PF) I recently recapped. The FSP250-60PNA(PF) is actually the power supply that originally belongs to this system. :)

And I also built the core of a AMD Athlon II X2 255 system in a brand new case that arrived today, I will finish this build later on. :)
2018-11-07 21.48.24.jpg
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-11-07 @ 21:55

Goody gum drops.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2018-11-08 @ 04:05

wiretap wrote:The closest thing I can find are these:
http://www.addtronics.com/addt/product_ ... 6c9a882739

gex85 wrote:I have done some googling on these standoffs lately because I have two cases (made by Chenbro for German manufacturer Maxdata) that use them, and actually got the best results with a search term like "clip in motherboard standoff".
However, I did not manage to find a single source to buy them yet. This type of standoff doesn't seem to be standardized either, which really does not help finding spares. :(


Damn. Sucks that they are that hard to find. Thanks for the notice and that link, though. I'll buy some of those and test them out later. Don't need them now at the moment, since I'm using a "thin" ATX motherboard (that Asus P3B-F) which needs 3 less of those standoffs as compared to that Intel board (which is full-sized ATX), and therefore don't have to worry about that one that I had to break apart, since it liked to accept screws and then hold them hostage. :/

dionb wrote:There's not much point in using anything different to what is already soldered onto the board surely? Anything slower and you have to downclock the card (or if not risk it just not working), anything faster is plain wasted as the soldered RAM will be the limiting factor... The only oddity is that one 35ns Mosel Vitelic chip in between the other 40ns ones. Bit of a waste... just take any 5V SOJ 512kB (256kx16) EDO chips rated at 40ns or better and you should be fine.


I had a sneaking suspicion you would reply, after you helped me with that sadly-now-glitchy Cirrus Logic card I have. :)

Well, I just kind of want to do it, just 'cause I can, and since 3DMark99 won't run, well, let's just say in a visually comprehensible fashion with only 2MB of RAM. :P Also, those chips that I got for the Cirrus Logic card were dirt-cheap, and I wouldn't expect that I wouldn't be able to find similarly cheap chips for this card, although I might be wrong (been wrong plenty of times before :lol: ).

I also have to agree with you regarding that odd-one-out RAM chip on the card. I'm guessing they were having some supply troubles when making this exact card. My question then would be this: Is that chip, since it's faster than the rest, being forced to run at 40ns to stay in line with the rest of the chips, right?

In other news, I spent most of the day today testing all of the Slot 1 CPUs I had on hand, and making them complete a run of 3DMark99 and 3DMark2000.
Image

My 300MHz Klamath PII was able to finish 3DMark99, but not 3DMark2000 (although I know with the rest, sometimes 2000 wouldn't finish properly the first time and instead would crash, and only on the second run would it finish properly; can't remember if I tried a second time with this one), 2 out of the 3 333MHz Deschutes PIIs I had wouldn't even POST, with the only one that worked was the one I was working with yesterday, and then the 600MHz Katmai and 700- and 800MHz Coppermine PIIIs finished both tests just fine (whether 2000 crashed or not on the first run for any of them, I can't remember).

Going to sell all of them except the 800MHz CM (keeping this as a backup if my other 800Mhz CM begins to act up), along with some passive S.E.C.C. II heatsinks I have been collecting over the months.

Finally, I just received a "new" stick of Kingston PC-133 512MB SDRAM stick from ebay:
Image

... and put that into my PIII-S machine.
Image

Ran the same benchmarks that I did for the earlier PIII revision of this build, and tomorrow, after I get some new photos of the machine, I'll make a nice update post here on VOGONS about my latest retro endeavor. :)

P.S. Just noticed the supposed manufacture date of that stick of SDRAM. 2008? What? They were still making SDRAM then?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-11-08 @ 05:36

Used REE (ROM Extension Extractor) on my Packard Bell Pack-Mate 28 Plus's motherboard (PB450) to get the video BIOS and system BIOS in their own files. I'm surprised the video BIOS itself is 32KB whereas the system BIOS is 64KB, and the miscellaneous is somewhere in the middle for the full 128KB BIOS chip. Is it possible to use my network card with the ROM socket to utilize the video BIOS (the BIOS itself uses address C000:0000) or would that be impossible?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2018-11-08 @ 11:17

the_ultra_code wrote:[...]

Well, I just kind of want to do it, just 'cause I can, and since 3DMark99 won't run, well, let's just say in a visually comprehensible fashion with only 2MB of RAM. :P Also, those chips that I got for the Cirrus Logic card were dirt-cheap, and I wouldn't expect that I wouldn't be able to find similarly cheap chips for this card, although I might be wrong (been wrong plenty of times before :lol: ).

I also have to agree with you regarding that odd-one-out RAM chip on the card. I'm guessing they were having some supply troubles when making this exact card. My question then would be this: Is that chip, since it's faster than the rest, being forced to run at 40ns to stay in line with the rest of the chips, right?

RAM is completely passive when it comes to clocking. It runs at whatever speed it is driven, or fails if it can't handle it - and all memory within a bank will always be run at the same speed. See it like speed limits on a road. One road will have a limit of 30, the other of 80. The speed limit sign in no way influences what your car does. If you choose to drive at 30 down both roads you can do so safely, even if it's below the limit on one road. If you choose to drive at 80, that will be fine on the faster road, but you might have an accident on the slower one and crash.

All you have here is two different maximum limits. The card shoudn't be clocked faster than the slowest module can handle, so 40ns. The 35ns chip was probably included due to a very local issue (whoever was soldering ran out of the bucket of 40ns chips), major supply problems don't show up half way across a PCB. In any event you can ignore 35ns when looking for your own RAM. Just go for 40ns. Or 35ns if you can't find 40ns, just like Diamond did ;)
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby henryVK » 2018-11-08 @ 15:29

Cleaned up the PCD-4ND I got off ebay. It works, for the most part, but it has the same annoying defect as my other one. There is really loud static on the headphone jack. WHY???

Some of the keys feel pretty gunky too, so I might have to do some clean-up underneath. This device was sold by some kind of industrial manufacturer.. I can imagine it spend most of it's life on some kind of dusty, grimy factory.

Oh, also the screen has some stuck (red) pixels. I've tried applying pressure, but so far no dice. Does anyone have experience getting them unstuck on old tft screens?

Anyhow, I'll probably just swap this one's 75 MHz CPU for my other PCD's 50 MHz and keep it around as a spare.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2018-11-09 @ 10:20

Today I was able to post my, well, post on upgrading my first retro gaming machine, my Slot 1 800MHz P3, to a Socket 370 Tualatin 1.4GHz PIII-S. Turns out, I didn't gain that much more performance with a 600MHz-faster CPU, but that's because I am being GPU-limited by the Voodoo3 3000, which is a hold-over until I get a Voodoo4 or -5, if I can get one. Any who, when I do get one, I won't be then CPU-limited. :) If you are curious, here's the link.

Afterwards, after wasting more of my life playing glitchy "Dawn of War: Soulstorm", I listed a few things on ebay, including an Intel Pentium Non-MMX 166Mhz and a broken Nvidia GeForce 6800 GT.

Finally, tried out DDU's predecessor, Driver Cleaner, provided by a fellow VOGONS-er, and it does a nice job of cleaning out the previous Nvidia and ATI drivers under Windows 98 SE on my P4 system.

Now to figure out what to do after staying up all night. :P
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby leileilol » 2018-11-09 @ 13:12

Installed Win98SE 5 times trying to get the SiS AGP driver to cooperate with the Rage128

ended up installing WinMe in which its own provided SiS AGP driver works perfectly.
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
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