First post, by Andy1979
Hello all, my first post on this forum.
I recently rescued a pile of old computer parts from my parents' loft. My first PC was actually a generic Pentium 120 AT system assembled by a local company in 1996. Since then I've always built my own systems, gathering a small collection of surplus parts along the way.
Amongst the bits and pieces in the loft was a 386 AT tower system, which I first cobbled together 15 years ago out of the tower from my P120 when the PSU and motherboard died, an AMD 386SX40 motherboard, 4x1mb SIMMS and an ISA graphics card that I'd found in a 'junk box' at a computer fair about 20yrs ago. I already had a basic ISA multi I/O card that had seen previous use in my pentium.
In addition at some point I was given an old 5 1/4 inch floppy and a Tandon TM262 21mb MFM hard drive and Western Digital controller card which I thought I'd try and get working in this.
I can't find much info on the board, which seems to be a generic 'made in China' model from circa 1992. I did find something almost identical on eBay which was labelled as an 'ML765 V3', and has 'Firenze Research Lab' as the manufacturer. Mine has no such markings. The graphics card looks to be an Acumos AVGA1.
Unfortunately the board has suffered battery leakage while in storage, which had damaged one of the tracks to the keyboard socket. I was able to clean things up with the usual vinegar/water/IPA process, and repair the track damage with a wire. The keyboard BIOS socket had also been damaged on one pin, which I was able to fix with a small piece of metal.
Currently the system will boot from floppy and I can access the AMI bios, but any attempt to boot from hard disk (using either the IDE port or the WD MFM controller) meets with an 'HDD Controller failure' error message. Think I need to try all the various permutations of expansion slots as there are no address jumpers on my IDE controller card.
The other weird thing is that the RAM shows up as 3840K when all 4mb is installed. Also cannot seem to get the machine to recognise any more than 4mb, although the only other 30pin SIMMS I own are 2x256k so it's not like that's a big deal.
Am hoping that the above issues aren't due to battery damage to any internal layers of the board.
Keen to get this up and running for some period correct gaming / software. I have DOS 6 and Windows 3.11 on floppy, and some software from my father's old 386 laptop (which we sadly no longer have). I'm also building a Pentium 133 system, so don't need it to run anything too demanding. I have an 81mb IDE drive to use with it for now, but ultimate plan is to use a 128mb compact flash.
Have attached a few photos in case anyone is interested, or can identify the board.
My Retro systems:
1. Pentium 200, 64mb EDO RAM, Matrox Millennium 2mb, 3DFX Voodoo 4mb, DOS6.22 / Win95 / Win98SE
2. Compaq Armada M700 laptop, PIII-450, Win98SE
3. Core2Duo E6600, ATI Radeon 4850, Win XP