VOGONS


First post, by keenmaster486

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I'm actually very excited about this machine. Now I finally get to live up to my username.

I was poking around at the recycle center looking for parts for my various Thinkpads and my foray into actually building a modern desktop (more on that later) -- when I came across this Dell 466/M. The characteristic Made in USA sticker caught my eye, and then I noticed the triple-stacked drives, and I knew I needed it.

That was even before I realized that it had an original Sound Blaster 16 1740 in it, a "holy grail" item for me as I have never found one before in the wild like this.

It doesn't have a HDD as the recycle center requires that all drives be removed and the data on them destroyed - and they didn't have the capability to wipe IDE drives any more. Doh! Kind of sad as it was a nice 340 meg drive, but that's OK.

There is VGA video out on the motherboard. I assume it is some kind of SVGA chip but we will see. There is also the SB16, and an Ethernet card which I may or may not replace with something else. I suspect the CPU is a DX2/66. But if it isn't, that can be remedied 😈

Hot diggity dog! Now it's time to get working!

Here's a quick photo of it before I set to work:

IMG_7779 small.JPG
Filename
IMG_7779 small.JPG
File size
868.96 KiB
Views
898 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Benchmarks from PC Mag 😉 https://books.google.com/books?id=5KSmAXszIQY … epage&q&f=false

Original advertisement: https://books.google.com/books?id=23XxbVB2Y3g … C%20Mag&f=false
They seem to be very proud of the video chip on the motherboard. I don't even know what it is yet; stay tuned to find out!

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 1 of 29, by xjas

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Nice find, love that caddy-load CD-ROM drive with the MPC logo. You're lucky you got a caddy along with it as those are pretty hard to find. I think that drive was offered along with the SB16 as a Creative "Multimedia kit."

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 7 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 2 of 29, by Intel486dx33

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

That Sound Blaster 16 1740 has a propriety Panasonic interface. So that CDROM is most likely Matshusta. I have one in my IBM PS/1
You have to use the CDMKE.SYS driver with this sound card.
You need the Sound Blaster 16 drivers too.

Autoexec.bat
MSCDEX.EXE /S /D:MSCD01 /V /M:15

Config.sys
DEVICE=CDMKE.SYS /D:MSCD01 /SBP:220

See my post:
Sound Blaster CDROM install NOT working.(solved)

Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2019-08-31, 17:53. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 3 of 29, by keenmaster486

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
xjas wrote:

Nice find, love that caddy-load CD-ROM drive with the MPC logo. You're lucky you got a caddy along with it as those are pretty hard to find. I think that drive was offered along with the SB16 as a Creative "Multimedia kit."

Yeah, that's what I figured! I was pretty happy about that.

Intel486dx33 wrote:

You have to use the CDMKE.SYS driver with this sound card.

Thank you! I didn't know that! Yeah, I tried VIDE-CDD.SYS and it didn't work.

Last night I opened it up, cleaned everything, reseated cables, etc. and then put a hard drive in it in order to try it out.

On first boot the 3.5 inch floppy drive made some horrible noises and the machine refused to boot from it. However, setting the hard drive settings to type 41 let it boot from that (it has EZ-DRIVE on it so I can access all 16 gigs of the DOS partition on it). I had some fun playing around with it to see what it can do. This drive already had a bunch of generic DOS stuff on it from a previous project, and only required some tweaking of CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT to make it work fine with the Dell!

One annoyance is that the CPU has a heatsink stuck to it. I am really not sure how to get it off. I want to know what this socket is; there is an extra set of pins around the CPU and advertisements claimed this machine could be "upgraded with Pentium technology."

The machine opened up before cleaning

2.JPG
Filename
2.JPG
File size
148.55 KiB
Views
812 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

The cards that were in the unit

3.JPG
Filename
3.JPG
File size
152.06 KiB
Views
812 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
4.JPG
Filename
4.JPG
File size
142.91 KiB
Views
812 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

What is this? It goes in a slot behind the CPU. Cache?

5.JPG
Filename
5.JPG
File size
148.36 KiB
Views
812 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Holy crap, it's old enough to still have a "PC's Limited" sticker on it! Cool!

6.JPG
Filename
6.JPG
File size
112.53 KiB
Views
812 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 4 of 29, by keenmaster486

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Looking snazzy on the newly christened Retro Corner of my desk.

7.JPG
Filename
7.JPG
File size
72.93 KiB
Views
811 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

This was in the CD caddy when I opened it for the first time!

8.JPG
Filename
8.JPG
File size
81.24 KiB
Views
811 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Doing some retro DOS web browsing with Links

10.JPG
Filename
10.JPG
File size
115.28 KiB
Views
811 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
11.JPG
Filename
11.JPG
File size
141.67 KiB
Views
811 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 5 of 29, by keenmaster486

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

A valiant attempt

12.JPG
Filename
12.JPG
File size
91.4 KiB
Views
809 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Keen didn't make it =(
(these screenshots were brought to you by the B, A, and T keys on my keyboard)

13.JPG
Filename
13.JPG
File size
121.96 KiB
Views
809 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Some MSD stats!

14.JPG
Filename
14.JPG
File size
103.71 KiB
Views
809 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
15.JPG
Filename
15.JPG
File size
114.63 KiB
Views
809 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

As I suspected, the machine is indeed a 486 DX2/66.

Specs currently:

  • Intel 486DX2/66 (cache? Not sure)
  • 16 MB of RAM (may replace. I was getting some weird issues with Keen dropping sprites that I've never seen before, and random corrupted lines here and there in Wolfenstein 3D)
  • 250 GB HDD (might need more space, dunno if that's enough for a 486! Maybe I should put a 1 TB drive in there) -- really though there is just a 16 GB partition on it that I am running DOS from.
  • Some S3 onboard video card -- seems to be compatible with everything I've tried
  • Sound Blaster 16 CT1740 -- works great! A little noisy in games but running MPXPLAY it sounds amazing.
  • 3Com 3C509 ethernet card

All in all this is a great system to play around with! Stay tuned here for more projects and upgrades I may do with it!

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 6 of 29, by Intel486dx33

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

If that CDROM is NOT reading correctly you can always open up the CDROM drive and clean the lens with some CDROM lens cleaner and a soft cloth.
That's what I do with all my old CDROM drives. It's easy once you get the hang of it.

Here is how I got the 3com 3c509 NIC working in DOS with packet driver and mTCP package.
Performance difference between ISA NICs?

Reply 7 of 29, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Although at the time I really didn't like the 1X and 2X drives (they were slow even when new), these days I really appreciate the bezel design on this one.

I really like these old Dells too. In my opinion, Dell wasn't as cool after they ditched the grey face plates. Too bad the CD-ROM drive doesn't match.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 9 of 29, by Zack_H

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Excellent find! I'd love to get a 486 dell someday. The oldest I currently have is a Dimension XPS P90 (Penitum 90MHz) desktop, which uses a similar case to this 486.

Starting Windows 95. . .

Reply 10 of 29, by keenmaster486

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I am attempting to get the CD drive working. So far after having loaded the drivers successfully, it will not spin up the disk. I will be checking cables tomorrow.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 11 of 29, by Zack_H

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

A lot of those early CD drives have SMD electrolytic capacitors in them that start leaking with age. That could very well be your problem here.

Starting Windows 95. . .

Reply 12 of 29, by keenmaster486

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Zack_H wrote:

A lot of those early CD drives have SMD electrolytic capacitors in them that start leaking with age. That could very well be your problem here.

I'll look into that!

The video card is a VLB S3 86C805, built into the motherboard. I suspect it has hardly any RAM, though. It will do a max of 1024x768 with 256 colors in Windows 3.1, and no matter what I do I can't get it to go beyond 256 colors.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 13 of 29, by Intel486dx33

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
keenmaster486 wrote:

I am attempting to get the CD drive working. So far after having loaded the drivers successfully, it will not spin up the disk. I will be checking cables tomorrow.

I ran into this problem too.
Make sure you have the cable hooked up correctly.
I think the red stripe on the ribbon cable goes on the right side of the IDE connector.

Attachments

Reply 14 of 29, by Anonymous Coward

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Another problem with old CD-ROM drives is that the grease in between the gears gets all dry and turns to powder, though it's usually specific to the eject mechanism.

"Will the highways on the internets become more few?" -Gee Dubya
V'Ger XT|Upgraded AT|Ultimate 386|Super VL/EISA 486|SMP VL/EISA Pentium

Reply 16 of 29, by Windows9566

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
oeuvre wrote:

maybe it has ejectile dysfunction

my Windows XP PC's DVD drive has ejectile dysfunction but it still reads and even burns discs. just have to have a paperclip at hand when i want to swap discs.

Reply 17 of 29, by JonathonWyble

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
Windows9566 wrote:
oeuvre wrote:

maybe it has ejectile dysfunction

my Windows XP PC's DVD drive has ejectile dysfunction but it still reads and even burns discs. just have to have a paperclip at hand when i want to swap discs.

A paperclip? How would something like that help with burning a disc? I didn't know that was something people can do...

1998 Pentium II build

1553292341.th.19547.gif

Reply 18 of 29, by keenmaster486

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
JonathonWyble wrote:

A paperclip? How would something like that help with burning a disc? I didn't know that was something people can do...

Clearly you've never gotten a CD stuck in a drive before.

I reseated the cable on the CD drive and now it spins up the disk and attempts to read it, but it cannot read; just sits there making those characteristic squeaky CD drive noises forever and ever.

I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

Reply 19 of 29, by Windows9566

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
keenmaster486 wrote:
JonathonWyble wrote:

A paperclip? How would something like that help with burning a disc? I didn't know that was something people can do...

Clearly you've never gotten a CD stuck in a drive before.

I reseated the cable on the CD drive and now it spins up the disk and attempts to read it, but it cannot read; just sits there making those characteristic squeaky CD drive noises forever and ever.

you need to put in a disc before you burn it. and you also need to open the drive to put the disc in, unless it's one of those slot loading drives. you know those eject holes in every tray loader CD drive if the tray is being stubborn, just get a paperclip and push it in there.