First post, by pool7
Long time lurker, first time posting; hope I'm not breaking any rule or etiquette.
For a while now I've been looking to build a proper retro machine for late DOS and Win9x.
Unfortunately due to lack of availability and excessive prices in my country (and customs being jerks with international packages), I'll have to postpone doing so.
In the meantime, I looked at laptops available around here, and bought the best I could find: Compaq Evo N400c (would have loved N410c or N600c, but couldn't find any locally).
I'm still waiting for it (hopefully it'll arrive by end of week or beginning of next week); however I'm already thinking about expanding and getting the best out of it, so I thought I'd post here some questions.
Note: My focus will be testing and messing around with Operating Systems (DOS, Win, OS2/eCS, BeOS, Linux, etc), boot loaders and applications from that era in general, with some light gaming every now and then (whatever the onboard graphics chip can support).
1-This specific model has a Pentium III @ 700MHz. In the event I wanted to max it out, what's the best/fastest processor I can replace it with that will run stable and not overheat?
2-I've been reading it supports up to 512MB RAM. Is there any way (soft/hard/modding) I could get it to 768MB or 1GB?
3-I want to replace the HDD with either SSD or CF. Keep in mind this is an IDE drive. I've seen many options and I'm kinda worried about compatibility.
Which of the following would be more compatible/stable for this system (if you can also recommend brands, much better):
PATA/IDE SSD (hard to come by around here, but I've seen one or two in the past)
CF to IDE adapter + CF Card
CF to IDE adapter + CF to SD adapter + SD Card
SATA to IDE adapter + SATA SSD (will this even fit?)
4-I'd also like to add a second storage, and was thinking one of the following:
PCMCIA CF card + CF Card
PCMCIA CF card + CF to SD adapter + SD Card
Any recommendations? Anything to be aware of in terms of compatibility (ie. would any CF card work with any PCMCIA card?)
While we are on the subject, I read CF cards can be either Fixed disk or Removable storage. Any easy way to identify these?
5-Should I consider recapping the mobo? I heard one of the main issues with old HW is capacitors leaking, so I'd love to prevent this.
6-While looking for drivers, I found for Windows 95/98 and XP.
Would Windows 3.x, Windows NT4 and Windows 2000 require any drivers?
What about OS2 and BeOS?
Any other suggestion is more than welcome 😀
Thanks in advance!