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 Stiletto » 2019-6-06 @ 17:17

Scali wrote:
Tiido wrote:EDIT: I think I know how this damage originated. There are these dimples in the pads... I think they're soldering iron tip caused, and the guy tried to lift up each pin manually by sliding it sideways or something. That can explain the marks in bottom traces too.


I wonder why.
Is this a common BIOS type? I believe it can be re-flashed in software (I know I reflashed some of my Matrox cards back in the day)? So perhaps whoever removed it wanted to reprogram and use the chip in a different project?


Back in the day I knew a few eBay'ers that were convinced that BIOS ROMs and other firmware chips contained private information and needed to be removed before resale - no matter how much I tried to convince them otherwise. Weird as it sounds, my money is on this belief being alive and well and surviving to this day...
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do the Fandango!" - Queen

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

Postby RandomStranger » 2019-6-06 @ 17:20

Today I installed a clean XP on a PC of a coworker who wanted a CD writer with Nero 6 out of it. I got a PCI-e Geforece 7300GT (ASUS Silent) for it as payment.

Looking up these cards on ebay (7300GT in general) they are pretty pricy and priced very close to the 7800GTX.
I'd understand a fairly high price for the AGP versions, since they should be about as good as a Radeon 9800Pro/FX5950, but with SM3.0 support and low TDP, but it's the same for PCI-e.
Did I miss something? Is there something wrong with the 7800 or is there is something exceptional about the 7300?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Predator99 » 2019-6-06 @ 19:50

Tiido wrote:Photos suggest original chip was 1MBit on this Compaq branded card which can be useful as a BIOS chip to some motherboards. I'm not sure what the motivations might have been to get it off. For just a BIOS update there's indeed no need to remove the chip, in can be updated in software. Just got to flick the protection DIP switch (which was also missing).


Wow very good work! But I dont think its a rare or valuable card?
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Thermalwrong » 2019-6-06 @ 21:44

Excellent work getting that card working tiido, I like how you added the socket to help with the height difference resulting from the replacement wires :)


I decided to embark on a stupid adventure, bought this stupid thing, made useless by its unique(ish) hard drive caddy with the broken connector. Surely that would be easy to fix?
badcable.jpg


Hmm, where do the pins go?
IDEcable-wirepattern-highlighted (Large).jpg


SOME SOLDERING LATER: (not as easy as I pictured in my head, my back hurt after)
IDEcable-somewires.jpg


And now the laptop can see the hard drive, but the floppy drive is broken and the screen is not backlit properly soooo, not 100% working just yet :D
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2019-6-06 @ 21:59

Having fun with my enormous Seagate ST4767N 666MB SCSI 5.25" full height monster. It seems mechanically OK, but getting a DOS partition on it will be a challenge. It had some kind of partitioning I had never seen before, first guess would be some kind of Unix. Unfortunately not bootable in my 486, so decided to try to wipe it and start again. Fdisk showed 4 partitions, two with negative (!) sizes. Removed all four, added a single FAT16 partition and made it active. Rebooted and tried to format:
Formatting complete.
Unable to write to boot.
Format Terminated.

Bugger, forgot to do fdisk /mbr. So did that. Tried again. Same result. Removed and re-created partition: same result again.

So decided to get out the big guns and do a debug:
Boot with a DOS floppy that has "debug" on it; run "debug". At the '-' prompt, "block-fill" a 512-byte chunk of memory with zeroes:

f 9000:0 200 0

Start assembly mode with the 'a' command, and enter the following code:

mov dx,9000
mov es,dx
xor bx,bx
mov cx,0001
mov dx,0080
mov ax,0301
int 13
int 20

Press <Enter> to exit assembly mode, take a deep breath - and press "g" to execute, then "q" to quit "debug". Your HD is now in a virgin state, and ready for partitioning and installation.

This went well enough, but afterwards the drive was not happy. It's still detected, but fdisk now gives error when reading the disk and I can't create any partitions, even after doing /mbr.

Intend to hook it up to a Linux system, but it doesn't exactly fit into the drive tray I have for this kind of work, so this will have to wait for another day.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Tiido » 2019-6-06 @ 22:19

Predator99 wrote:Wow very good work! But I dont think its a rare or valuable card?

I paid money for it so I'll get my money's worth, as little as it might have been lol. If I had noticed the missing chip I wouldn't have got the card though...
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby dionb » 2019-6-06 @ 22:53

Oh, it's not my night. I have this cheapo-but-impressive hinge-up XT clone case that I found an old 286 in. I decided to make a bit of a sleeper build in it, with a 486 (Am5x86) running at 133MHz on an EISA board. That HDD is also supposed to go in here. After thorough cleaning and a bit of work on the 486 board I put it on hold when I needed to clean up the spare room. This evening I decided to actually assemble it - which is a trick and a half as you can't install the drive bays without the motherboard being in place (who designed that?!?). But got to it, managed to get at least four of the nine motherboard holes to line up with the case, attached the bolts there and used standard AT spacers for the rest. After quite a bit of fiddling it was all solidly in place, I hooked up the PSU, stuck in an EISA VGA card and...

...noticed this:
Image
Yep, the case is at least 1cm too low to accommodate this - or indeed any other - EISA card :dead:

So now I can undo everything I did, look for a new case for the EISA stuff and think of something else to stick in here. Great. Maybe my P60 or something...
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2019-6-07 @ 00:26

Thermalwrong wrote:Excellent work getting that card working tiido, I like how you added the socket to help with the height difference resulting from the replacement wires :)


I decided to embark on a stupid adventure, bought this stupid thing, made useless by its unique(ish) hard drive caddy with the broken connector. Surely that would be easy to fix?
badcable.jpg


Hmm, where do the pins go?
IDEcable-wirepattern-highlighted (Large).jpg


SOME SOLDERING LATER: (not as easy as I pictured in my head, my back hurt after)
IDEcable-somewires.jpg


And now the laptop can see the hard drive, but the floppy drive is broken and the screen is not backlit properly soooo, not 100% working just yet :D

Hey, that's a good repair job you did. Wish I thought of that when those pesky ribbon cables broke on me years ago (never had a soldering iron, solder, or wires).
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-6-07 @ 05:57

Inventorying my Acorn parts and came across a fdd 5.25" to 3.5" adapter. No idea what is was doing amonst the Acorn stuff because they all have 3.5" fdds. It's going in my XT Turbo box with a 1.4meg fdd. It's caught up to the 90s.

Next will be an 8-bit NIC with RJ45 connector. I have a few BNC NICs and a suitable hub, cabling and terminators as a last resort.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Merovign » 2019-6-08 @ 07:17

I picked up a few laptops today.

AFewLaptops.jpg


There are a few not in the picture. It would be really exciting if they didn't all need different oddball power adapters and I only got one.

I've been looking for some of these for a long time, so it's worth it, but it's going to be a *nightmare* to test them. At least a few were "worked on" by an unknown party and I could be missing pieces, though I found a few baggies of screws that look promising.

There are at least a few T1000s here, which is Nicely Mid-80s, which is right in my wheelhouse. If I ever get the power situation sorted out I'll post some details. I made a thread as I can't find any references about the early 9V power supplies.

Edit: The one power supply is an 18V. And it says "Zenith" on it for some odd reason. AAAAAAnd it's for the wrong model, it's the wrong voltage, and by some miracle it didn't blow the laptop up, because it's a 12V laptop.

I didn't notice the voltage difference until after I powered it up. Never assume a power supply with a laptop in a soft case belongs there, lucked out with no bang.

Zenith1.jpg

Zenith2.jpg

Zenith3.jpg

Zenith4.jpg
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-6-08 @ 10:26

Wow, love those pop-up drives! Great looking setup.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby PC@LIVE » 2019-6-08 @ 18:32

I'm trying to rearrange the MBs to be repaired, some very old.
I have a 486 ISA (MB457) practically the same as this: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/c3EAAOSw ... s-l400.jpg
Then I have an ASUS P2B-F that I lost at home.
And other similar MBs (BX) including a DFI-CB61, a Siemens D1107, a LuckyStar 6ABX2V.
Then an HP Cognac (i810E) with some electrolytic capacitors to change.
Other Siemens, a ZX D1115 and an i810 D1120 that do not go.
Then I have some Socket7 to fix, a VX Eurone MS-5015 = PCCHIPS M549, a Freetech P5F76, a Tm586IV2
Also of Socket 462, an MSI k7T Turbo, an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe Gold.
Some only need to change the electrolytic capacitors, others have damaged tracks, and others do not display anything.
As soon as I can if interested, I put some photos of the broken MB.
Thank you
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AMD 386DX-40 Intel 387 8MB HD 81MB VGA 256KB
Cyrix 486DLC-40 IIT387-40 8MB VGA 512KB
AMD 5X86-133 16MB VGA VLB CL5428 2MB and many others
AMD K62+ 550 SOYO 5EMA+ and many others
AST Pentium Pro 200 MHz L2 256KB
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby PTherapist » 2019-6-08 @ 22:05

Received today an original Sony PlayStation that I ordered (not the earliest models thankfully, 5000 series). I never owned one back in the day, as I'd moved on from games consoles to PC gaming by that point. But having amassed an array of different games consoles over the years, I noticed a big 5th Gen gap in my collection, as in I didn't own any 5th Gen consoles at all, so I decided to give the PS1 a try.

As such I've been testing out and playing games on it all day long. Quite a fun system to own and it will come in handy when having friends around etc, but I still prefer that era of gaming on PC instead - better graphics for a start. :lol:
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Merovign » 2019-6-08 @ 22:31

liqmat wrote:Wow, love those pop-up drives! Great looking setup.


Yes, this is my favorite of the batch so far. I seem to have theoretically solved the PSU problem though it may take a little while to have the funds and parts in the right place, I *might* have a little "late 80s laptops" photo essay in 2-3 weeks. Zenith, Toshiba, HP, and I think one other but I haven't brought everything up to The Lab yet, and I now have 1 super-heavy tower with a (probably) dead PSU and a few machines that need to be stripped for testing parts (2 are missing side panels and other parts and the other violently blew its PSU and I think it's cursed).

Edit: I was super pessimistic about PSUs for these, but on further reflection most of them are under 2A so that means uber-cheap wall-warts are an option - the 4-pin one I will have to find specs for and may require a modded flex/SFF PSU or something like that. I *may* try to design a "universal vintage laptop power supply" given how many of these are sold without 3-pin, 4-pin, 5-pin or 8-pin PSUs.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby luckybob » 2019-6-09 @ 05:06

CLEANING STUFF!!

I had 3 big(ish) boxes of ram in 3 locations in my garage. Now there are 13!

Image

Have no fear, all the ram in the boxes is grouped by capacity & type, and bagged in esd baggs.

Eventually I'll get another job and I'll be able to afford boxes for my stuff rather than be "creative" with the free USPS boxes. Also there will be a few more boxes in the near future, containing pre-simm memory, laptop ram, and a box with my "go-to" ram for testing rigs.

Its amazing how just clearing 3 boxes into a sorted, easy to access manner really helps.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby Caluser2000 » 2019-6-09 @ 06:44

Went through my Acorn A4000s to see what works and what doesn't and if there is any battery damage. good news no damage. Bad news all have some fault. During the process one of the psus let go magic smoke. Luckily had had a couple of spares. One only works if the jumpers are set to 2megs when 4megs is on board, one wont recognize the hdd even though it boots without fault and verifies fine and the third one just doesn't boot or chime at all. I tested their zip ram and on the working one and checked out all the hdds which showed their contents fine.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby oeuvre » 2019-6-09 @ 13:16

Guess you could say there is a lot of...

(•_•).
( •_•)>⌐□-□.
(⌐□_□)

parity between the boxes
HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, AMD FirePro V7900 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
Main Desktop Intel 6700, 32GB, AMD RX580 8GB, NVMe SSD + HD, 10
Image
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby bakemono » 2019-6-10 @ 00:45

Revisiting the Shuttle HOT-433 board with Cyrix 5x86-120...

With a disassembly of a decompressed BIOS, I found out how to read and write UMC 888x chipset registers.
Code: Select all
        mov cx,0x8050        ; register index goes here
        mov eax,0x80000000
        mov ax,cx
        and al,0xfc
        mov dx,0xcf8
        out dx,eax
        add dl,0x4
        mov al,cl
        and al,0x3
        add dl,al
        mov al,0x30        ; value to write goes here
        out dx,al        ; use an IN instruction instead to read the register

When examining the BIOS with MODBIN 4 there are a number of register indices listed ranging from 8050 to 90A8. I suspect there are other registers, but to start off with I did several dumps of the known registers and was able to discern some of their function.
Code: Select all
; 8050 - cache control
;        bits 0-1 set when cache is enabled
;        bits 4-5 cache timing, 0=3-2-2-2, 1=3-1-1-1, 2=2-2-2-2, 3=2-1-1-1
;        bit 6 write policy, 0=WT, 1=WB
;        bit 7 set when cache is enabled
; 8051 - memory control
;        bit 0 tag ram, 0=7+1 bits tag, 1=8 bits tag
;        bit 4 DRAM write waitstate, 0=waitstate, 1=no waitstate
;        bit 6 FPM read waitstate, 0=waitstate, 1=no waitstate
; 8061 - $C6 = EDO read 4-2-2-2
;        $CE = EDO read 3-1-1-1
;          6 = EDO disabled ?
; 9041 - bit 2 = 1 disables PCI "park"
; 9056 - 0 = ISA clock is PCI/3
;        1 = ISA clock is PCI/4
;        2 = ISA clock is PCI/2
; 90A4 - $80 = PCI clock is CPU/2
;        $81 = PCI clock is CPU

Although I've yet to unlock any weird and wonderful performance options that weren't already available in the BIOS settings.

However I did notice that when using the XT-IDE BIOS the system can still boot from the onboard IDE with the PCI bus running at 60MHz. :evil: Trident 9680 PCI card also accepts 60MHz PCI. With this little boost, and tweaking the 5x86 registers, I'm now up to 16.1FPS in Quake.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby liqmat » 2019-6-10 @ 03:13

A tragedy is unfolding at my place this weekend. Some of you may remember that pile of new old stock SCSI 80-pin SCA hard drives I have from the Great Pentium Pro Haul of 2018.

scsi_tower.jpg

Well, looks like I am going to have to test every single one of them. It's a mix of 9, 18 and 36GB 7200 & 10K RPM models and some of them are DOA. It appears their motor lube has dried up after 20+ years sitting in a box. So far three 9GB drives wont spin at all. I've tried heating one up to see if I can get some movement out of it, but nothing. If you guys have any nifty ideas please feel free to throw them my way. Sad to see new pristine drives dead, but like a car you gotta use them to keep them healthy I suppose. I have 58 drives to go. Ugh. At least some are coming alive.
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Re: What retro activity did you get up to today?

Postby keenmaster486 » 2019-6-10 @ 03:23

Found this on Reddit
Attachments
3C48A064-11A5-472B-8BF8-047130F051C3.jpeg
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

http://classictechnology.herokuapp.com
http://keenmaster486.github.io
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