VOGONS


First post, by triggerhappy

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Hi everyone 😀

your site popped up more than once while figuring out stuff that I've long since forgotten about. My first PC was a Commodore PC-20-II and as such I've lived through many PC architectures.

When I turned 18 I started working for a household appliance store and the two main brands of PC's they stocked were Compaq and Packard Bell.
The Compaqs never held much appeal for me but although the software was as bloated as a river corpse and you could probably (surely) build a more impressive gaming rig for less money, there was something about a nicely styled, complete setup with a rich software package that appealed to me. Sadly, the salary they paid me for working there didn't earn me enough to actually afford one.

The iXtreme 8110 RW was the most expensive model we stocked when I first started out there. The base 8105 RW had a P3 with 866mhz, 128 megs, a 40gb drive, DVD and CDRW.
Video was powered by a GF2 MX with 32 megs, onboard audio and LAN. Screen options were a 17 or 19" CRT or a 15" TFT. All options came with screen mounted speakers, webcam, a headset, mouse and keyboard and a fat stack of CD's and software titles. If you bought the (even) more expensive 8110 'dream machine' edition they upped the specs to 1000mhz/256mb/60gb and included a TV tuner card.

And this is what it would look like put together:

pb_ixtreme_7800.jpg

I was scouring the web and found the case online (which is what started the whole endeavour). Quickly though I found out when dissassembling the case the original hardware had been replaced at some point, so I'm stuck with just the case. The one upside is that apart from the top cover (which is plastic and I can retrobright) none of the plastics are yellowed.

PClz93A03I1GUzLaWnPipxTz.jpg

Soo0... not so much for gaming reasons (because then it'd be way easier to pick the best parts and leave it at that) but more for nostalgia's sake (it was my first full time job and I was so proud wearing a shirt and tie selling this stuff) I would very much like to restore this set. Problem is... the brand has all but dissappeared. Yes Packard Bell still exists but only as a label for other companies' stuff. And because it was also very local to the Benelux not many of them are still around. I certainly can't find any parts online anymore, even abroad. The site is gone and whatever documentation used to be available, it seems to have evaporated. It was an unlucky period... not old enough yet to preserve for future generations but also not fast/interesting/remarkable enough to live on until today.

So I went with plan B: approximation. I sourced a generic Asus CUSL2-C mainboard with a 933mhz P3 that I overclocked t0 1000mhz (cleaned the cooling and refreshed thermal paste to be sure).
I went with PC133, 256MB ram and already found a Hercules GF2 MX 32mb card that is in shipping right now. Issues arise, however. Firstly:

- Drive is missing, so in lieu of goose-chasing whatever drive it should/could have had I purchased a second-hand 200gb 7200rpm drive (a bit of speed won't hurt) that I'll just partition appropriately
- This board has no audio (I've found an Audigy 2 card that I will use for the time being, for a second reason other than sound:
- This board has no firewire! I ordered a pin header - to - firewire 6-pin plug bridge so I can connect the internal header from the facia to the Audigy in the back so as to have a working FireWire port on the front
- The case header for USB is a double row header that I have to split out individually to fit the 2 seperate headers on the board (but the header layout is funky, have to dig into that)
- I don't have the original restore disks, nor would they work with generic hardware, so other than a random PB themes background there is nothing PB about it
- I'm missing all of the peripherals (screen, webcam, speakers, headset, keyboard/mouse etc)
- I'm missing the original DVD and CDRW drives (though a general retrobrighted drive would't be the biggest issue)
- I don't even know where to begin sourcing the TV tuner and accompanying software

+ Upside: I managed to download and burn an OEM Windows ME disk and that actually installed with the OEM code on the case so there's that

So what kind of help am I looking for? Any, basically... documentation, sales material/folders, software, specs on any of the used internal/external hardware, pictures... up to and including actual parts. The series hasn't been produced for very long and was quickly superseded by the full dark green facia models that sported the P4 line (2.4ghz and such) with GF 2 MX 440 cards (64 and 128mb models). The series before it were basic white cases though usually with funky curves, but no distincs color patterns. This series was unique in that regard.

I think they used PB as a European Brand and rebranded stuff Gateway in other parts of the world. This would only apply to the hardware though, case design was completely different.

Currently, I'm in the process of making the usb/firewire headers work with what I have (remove the plastic header and isolating the seperate wires for correct connection the board) and retrobrighting the yellow plastics (I have a DVD player, burner and 2 floppy drives that will go in there). Once the new disk and gpu/audio come in and I finish the retrobright I'll put it together like this because it'll probably be a while before I source any other parts and this way I can at least use it as a retro game machine slash jumpbox to create floppies and transfer stuff on older media that my W10 rig doesn't support anymore.

I would be so happy to actually get this in original condition again. The hardware I've sourced for now will only enable me to build a spec-like one and I'm using an Acer 15" TFT for now just to have it up and running. The original mainboard and stuff + software would obviously be a much better choice, so I'm not making any permanent changes to the case in case I do find them at some point.

Anything you have to share - you are welcome 😀.

Reply 1 of 22, by Caluser2000

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NEC owns the Packard Bell trademark still I think and make pretty robust systems. I got a bundle of 2 P4 3.x iMedia systems from 2003 or thereabouts for a princely sum of $nz40 with a ton of extras and software.

There was a dedicated PB on a WebRing that delt with P1 and below stuff. I may still be around. It had colour modo diagrams and info about specific models.

There's a glitch in the matrix.

Reply 2 of 22, by triggerhappy

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-02-01, 19:36:

NEC owns the Packard Bell trademark still I think and make pretty robust systems. I got a bundle of 2 P4 3.x iMedia systems from 2003 or thereabouts for a princely sum of $nz40 with a ton of extras and software.

There was a dedicated PB on a WebRing that delt with P1 and below stuff. I may still be around. It had colour modo diagrams and info about specific models.

Google'd it but unless it's on the dark web somewhere it seems to be gone now 🙁.

Reply 3 of 22, by dionb

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triggerhappy wrote on 2021-02-01, 18:15:

[...]

Soo0... not so much for gaming reasons (because then it'd be way easier to pick the best parts and leave it at that) but more for nostalgia's sake (it was my first full time job and I was so proud wearing a shirt and tie selling this stuff) I would very much like to restore this set. Problem is... the brand has all but dissappeared. Yes Packard Bell still exists but only as a label for other companies' stuff. And because it was also very local to the Benelux not many of them are still around. I certainly can't find any parts online anymore, even abroad. The site is gone and whatever documentation used to be available, it seems to have evaporated. It was an unlucky period... not old enough yet to preserve for future generations but also not fast/interesting/remarkable enough to live on until today.

There's still quite a lot of documentation out there, just not in 'joined-up' form.

These are my favorite resources:
http://uktsupport.co.uk/pb/pbidx.htm
http://passion-pb.fr

Particularly passion-pb.fr has a lot of model info from the i-everything era (iirc "eMove" internally, but getting a bit rusty there). Now, the FR models aren't exactly the same as the UK or NL ones, but the basic components are. So, take a look at this system:
http://passion-pb.fr/documents/PDF/models/Des … treme_8002i.pdf

P3-1000 instead of 866, but otherwise comparable. Now, it doesn't list the motherboard, but does give the numbers of slots: 1 AGP 5 PCI 1 AMR. Then look at UKTSupport for the motherboards. The only So370 board that matches that layout is the MS-6309 'Saturn'. That one was notoriously affected by capacitor plague, so it's no surprise the motherboard in the case isn't original. But they can still be found (and re-capped) and are relatively cheap, because otherwise unassuming Via ApolloPro133a boards.

Then there's a GeForce2MX in there. I'm afraid I don't know exact models used, but good chance it was an MSI card as well. So look for an MSI Gf2MX.

Sound is a SoundBlaster Live! (the original 'gold' one). As 2 PCI slots are occupied, that suggests it came with the optional breakout plate for 2x SPDIF.

Finally there is the modem, almost certainly an Aztech MR2800. These are pretty useless today, but that makes them cheap, even on eBay.

Then drives... 40GB sounds about right. PB kept switching HDD vendors, so Seagate or Maxtor would be equally likely (maybe someone with better memory than me could say what they specifically stuck in these machines). Neither optical drive is original. I believe LiteOn drives were most commonly used, in any event a 12x DVD-Rom and 8x4x32x CDRW.

Monitor was an A726, with matching Diamond Audio speakers, and mouse and keyboard were respectively "ActiveMouse" and "ActivBoard" - just search for PB stuff and choose the green one 😉

So if you're willing to hunt down all this stuff, it should be possible to get it into pretty much original state.

Oh, and it came with Windows ME, if you *really* want to be authentic 😜

Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-02-01, 19:36:

NEC owns the Packard Bell trademark still I think and make pretty robust systems. I got a bundle of 2 P4 3.x iMedia systems from 2003 or thereabouts for a princely sum of $nz40 with a ton of extras and software.

There was a dedicated PB on a WebRing that delt with P1 and below stuff. I may still be around. It had colour modo diagrams and info about specific models.

Not anymore, they sold it on to Acer in 2008.

Reply 4 of 22, by triggerhappy

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dionb wrote on 2021-02-03, 21:48:
There's still quite a lot of documentation out there, just not in 'joined-up' form. […]
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triggerhappy wrote on 2021-02-01, 18:15:

[...]

Soo0... not so much for gaming reasons (because then it'd be way easier to pick the best parts and leave it at that) but more for nostalgia's sake (it was my first full time job and I was so proud wearing a shirt and tie selling this stuff) I would very much like to restore this set. Problem is... the brand has all but dissappeared. Yes Packard Bell still exists but only as a label for other companies' stuff. And because it was also very local to the Benelux not many of them are still around. I certainly can't find any parts online anymore, even abroad. The site is gone and whatever documentation used to be available, it seems to have evaporated. It was an unlucky period... not old enough yet to preserve for future generations but also not fast/interesting/remarkable enough to live on until today.

There's still quite a lot of documentation out there, just not in 'joined-up' form.

These are my favorite resources:
http://uktsupport.co.uk/pb/pbidx.htm
http://passion-pb.fr

Particularly passion-pb.fr has a lot of model info from the i-everything era (iirc "eMove" internally, but getting a bit rusty there). Now, the FR models aren't exactly the same as the UK or NL ones, but the basic components are. So, take a look at this system:
http://passion-pb.fr/documents/PDF/models/Des … treme_8002i.pdf

P3-1000 instead of 866, but otherwise comparable. Now, it doesn't list the motherboard, but does give the numbers of slots: 1 AGP 5 PCI 1 AMR. Then look at UKTSupport for the motherboards. The only So370 board that matches that layout is the MS-6309 'Saturn'. That one was notoriously affected by capacitor plague, so it's no surprise the motherboard in the case isn't original. But they can still be found (and re-capped) and are relatively cheap, because otherwise unassuming Via ApolloPro133a boards.

Then there's a GeForce2MX in there. I'm afraid I don't know exact models used, but good chance it was an MSI card as well. So look for an MSI Gf2MX.

Sound is a SoundBlaster Live! (the original 'gold' one). As 2 PCI slots are occupied, that suggests it came with the optional breakout plate for 2x SPDIF.

Finally there is the modem, almost certainly an Aztech MR2800. These are pretty useless today, but that makes them cheap, even on eBay.

Then drives... 40GB sounds about right. PB kept switching HDD vendors, so Seagate or Maxtor would be equally likely (maybe someone with better memory than me could say what they specifically stuck in these machines). Neither optical drive is original. I believe LiteOn drives were most commonly used, in any event a 12x DVD-Rom and 8x4x32x CDRW.

Monitor was an A726, with matching Diamond Audio speakers, and mouse and keyboard were respectively "ActiveMouse" and "ActivBoard" - just search for PB stuff and choose the green one 😉

So if you're willing to hunt down all this stuff, it should be possible to get it into pretty much original state.

Oh, and it came with Windows ME, if you *really* want to be authentic 😜

Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-02-01, 19:36:

NEC owns the Packard Bell trademark still I think and make pretty robust systems. I got a bundle of 2 P4 3.x iMedia systems from 2003 or thereabouts for a princely sum of $nz40 with a ton of extras and software.

There was a dedicated PB on a WebRing that delt with P1 and below stuff. I may still be around. It had colour modo diagrams and info about specific models.

Not anymore, they sold it on to Acer in 2008.

Dude, you are a lifesaver!!! I could not find any of this stuff myself! I'm digging into it as we speak, this will totally change my outlook on this project 😀. With this new info I can start focussing on actual partnumbers and hunt down the software individually if I cannot end up finding the restore CD's themselves.

Again, many, many thanks 😀 😀.

P3-1000 instead of 866, but otherwise comparable. Now, it doesn't list the motherboard, but does give the numbers of slots: 1 AGP 5 PCI 1 AMR. Then look at UKTSupport for the motherboards. The only So370 board that matches that layout is the MS-6309 'Saturn'. That one was notoriously affected by capacitor plague, so it's no surprise the motherboard in the case isn't original. But they can still be found (and re-capped) and are relatively cheap, because otherwise unassuming Via ApolloPro133a boards.

Oooh boy. Unassuming no more. For some reason I cannot fathom (and I refuse to believe there are more people like me restoring old PB's) this mainboard goes for top dollar on ebay.

Also, there is no mention anywhere that this board would come equipped with Firewire. And as the Live PCI also does not offer this feature, the only other option is to procure a seperate FW400 card.
While that in itself isn't hard, the header connector coming out of the case front implies it was internally connected, but all FW cards you can buy today also have a full 6 pin (external) female connector on the PCB, and not a header.

Puzzling...

Last edited by triggerhappy on 2021-02-04, 15:46. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 6 of 22, by triggerhappy

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-02-04, 15:30:

Have you checked archive.org for your system restore disk? I found the system disks I needed for my Compaq presarrio 4402 there

Very good tip (bookmarked it!) but only the iMedia, unfortunately.

Reply 7 of 22, by chrismeyer6

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Darn. People are always uploading new things so check often it took me almost 9 months of checking archive.org before I found it finally uploaded. It's a great source for hard to find stuff.

Reply 8 of 22, by triggerhappy

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I did find and purchase a Western Digital Caviar Enhanced IDE 200gb drive. Bought it mainly because it's 7200rpm, which is what these systems had, though it's much larger then needed.
I've also found (still in shipping) a Hercules GF2MX card with 32megs and I've tracked down a CT4830 card nearby which I'll probably buy for cheap.

Reply 9 of 22, by dionb

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triggerhappy wrote on 2021-02-04, 16:09:

I did find and purchase a Western Digital Caviar Enhanced IDE 200gb drive. Bought it mainly because it's 7200rpm, which is what these systems had, though it's much larger then needed.
I've also found (still in shipping) a Hercules GF2MX card with 32megs and I've tracked down a CT4830 card nearby which I'll probably buy for cheap.

Watch out with that one, it's an OEM card and the OEM Live cards tended to need specific OEM drivers.

Sound Blaster Live! Value/Player Compaq /Intel/IBM/NEc CT4830

Look here for full list of Creative cards (incl which are OEM and which aren't)
https://support.creative.com/kb/showarticle.aspx?sid=10846

Will look into other things later on, but haven't got time now.

Reply 10 of 22, by triggerhappy

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dionb wrote on 2021-02-04, 16:58:
Watch out with that one, it's an OEM card and the OEM Live cards tended to need specific OEM drivers. […]
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triggerhappy wrote on 2021-02-04, 16:09:

I did find and purchase a Western Digital Caviar Enhanced IDE 200gb drive. Bought it mainly because it's 7200rpm, which is what these systems had, though it's much larger then needed.
I've also found (still in shipping) a Hercules GF2MX card with 32megs and I've tracked down a CT4830 card nearby which I'll probably buy for cheap.

Watch out with that one, it's an OEM card and the OEM Live cards tended to need specific OEM drivers.

Sound Blaster Live! Value/Player Compaq /Intel/IBM/NEc CT4830

Look here for full list of Creative cards (incl which are OEM and which aren't)
https://support.creative.com/kb/showarticle.aspx?sid=10846

Will look into other things later on, but haven't got time now.

That's a very good point, but isn't this an OEM situation if it was shipped with a brand system? I have one lying right here that is not detected (plug and play or hardware detection) by Windows ME.
I figured it was broken, do you think it could be another reason it's not showing up?

- edit -

You linked list does show it as an OEM card for (amongst others) NEC systems...

on the other hands, PB is mentioned seperately with a CT4782 card.

Reply 11 of 22, by dionb

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triggerhappy wrote on 2021-02-04, 17:02:
That's a very good point, but isn't this an OEM situation if it was shipped with a brand system? I have one lying right here tha […]
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dionb wrote on 2021-02-04, 16:58:
Watch out with that one, it's an OEM card and the OEM Live cards tended to need specific OEM drivers. […]
Show full quote
triggerhappy wrote on 2021-02-04, 16:09:

I did find and purchase a Western Digital Caviar Enhanced IDE 200gb drive. Bought it mainly because it's 7200rpm, which is what these systems had, though it's much larger then needed.
I've also found (still in shipping) a Hercules GF2MX card with 32megs and I've tracked down a CT4830 card nearby which I'll probably buy for cheap.

Watch out with that one, it's an OEM card and the OEM Live cards tended to need specific OEM drivers.

Sound Blaster Live! Value/Player Compaq /Intel/IBM/NEc CT4830

Look here for full list of Creative cards (incl which are OEM and which aren't)
https://support.creative.com/kb/showarticle.aspx?sid=10846

Will look into other things later on, but haven't got time now.

That's a very good point, but isn't this an OEM situation if it was shipped with a brand system? I have one lying right here that is not detected (plug and play or hardware detection) by Windows ME.
I figured it was broken, do you think it could be another reason it's not showing up?

- edit -

You linked list does show it as an OEM card for (amongst others) NEC systems...

on the other hands, PB is mentioned seperately with a CT4782 card.

Well, if you have the original PB MasterCDs *and* the exact correct OEM card that will work fine. But if you don't, welcome to driver hell. Now, maybe it's not so bad - I've not had that exact card myself - but there are enough driver-on-OEM-SBLive topics here that I'd consider looking for a retail card you can use regular retail drivers for. If not, you really need to find the exact CTxxxx model number of the card in the PB system. Which could be a challenge.

Reply 12 of 22, by triggerhappy

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dionb wrote on 2021-02-04, 22:22:
triggerhappy wrote on 2021-02-04, 17:02:
That's a very good point, but isn't this an OEM situation if it was shipped with a brand system? I have one lying right here tha […]
Show full quote
dionb wrote on 2021-02-04, 16:58:
Watch out with that one, it's an OEM card and the OEM Live cards tended to need specific OEM drivers. […]
Show full quote

Watch out with that one, it's an OEM card and the OEM Live cards tended to need specific OEM drivers.

Look here for full list of Creative cards (incl which are OEM and which aren't)
https://support.creative.com/kb/showarticle.aspx?sid=10846

Will look into other things later on, but haven't got time now.

That's a very good point, but isn't this an OEM situation if it was shipped with a brand system? I have one lying right here that is not detected (plug and play or hardware detection) by Windows ME.
I figured it was broken, do you think it could be another reason it's not showing up?

- edit -

You linked list does show it as an OEM card for (amongst others) NEC systems...

on the other hands, PB is mentioned seperately with a CT4782 card.

Well, if you have the original PB MasterCDs *and* the exact correct OEM card that will work fine. But if you don't, welcome to driver hell. Now, maybe it's not so bad - I've not had that exact card myself - but there are enough driver-on-OEM-SBLive topics here that I'd consider looking for a retail card you can use regular retail drivers for. If not, you really need to find the exact CTxxxx model number of the card in the PB system. Which could be a challenge.

Good point. Well, I have an Audigy 2 on the way that I bought because of the on-card FW connection so I guess I'll use that for the time being. Since I haven't sourced an MSI MS 6309 mainboard yet there is no point in making a fuss about the audio card right this moment. And without the original restore CD's the entire mainboard discussion becomes moot as well. These mainboards go for at least 100$ US on Ebay excl. shipping so it's a hefty price to pay for originality. I did find a seller who has the original keyboard and (what seems to be the right) mouse in stock so I'm chasing those down next.

But the CT4830 that I have lying here... would there be any sense to it now showing up in Windows because it's an OEM card? Or is it more likely that it's just busted?

Reply 13 of 22, by dionb

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triggerhappy wrote on 2021-02-05, 09:55:

[...]

Good point. Well, I have an Audigy 2 on the way that I bought because of the on-card FW connection so I guess I'll use that for the time being. Since I haven't sourced an MSI MS 6309 mainboard yet there is no point in making a fuss about the audio card right this moment. And without the original restore CD's the entire mainboard discussion becomes moot as well. These mainboards go for at least 100$ US on Ebay excl. shipping so it's a hefty price to pay for originality. I did find a seller who has the original keyboard and (what seems to be the right) mouse in stock so I'm chasing those down next.

eBay prices in general are very high (far more potential buyers per item than smaller platforms, so inevitable), occasionally you might spot a bargain, but for stuff like this I prefer local alternatives. Exactly what's available depends on where you are, but general rule is you need a lot of patience. These were common boards, both retail and OEM, so they pop up, but it might take months of looking.

In terms of behaviour and compatibility, any ApolloPro133A board should be near identical, although with MasterCD doing stuff in DMI, it might requre specifically the OEM MS-6309 to be present.

But the CT4830 that I have lying here... would there be any sense to it now showing up in Windows because it's an OEM card? Or is it more likely that it's just busted?

Try a different PCI slot, and if you have a Linux LiveCD (Knoppix etc) try that. If it doesn't show up with lspci in any PCI slot, it's dead.

OEM cards are perfectly OK PCI devices that show up when the OS scans the bus, they sometimes just have a different PCI VendorID, and drivers frequently only work with a very specific one. I had fun with that some months back with a Dell OEM SE440BX with Yamaha YMF74x onboard. In this case someone had flashed Intel retail BIOS on the board, changing the PCI vendor ID, resulting in absolutely no drivers working with it, even after manually editing the .inf files. Flashed it back to Dell and it worked straight away. Unfortunately flashing like that is rarely an option with cards.

Reply 14 of 22, by triggerhappy

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I did a clean reinstall of Windows ME because of the arrival of the new hard drive, and after installing it DID find a new PCI device. So that's all nice and well.... but the drive is misbehaving.

It's a 200GB Enhanced IDE drive. I updated the BIOS to the latest version (from 2009) and it recognizes the drive perfectly for what it is (a 200gb with type and all).

BUT...

fdisk will claim it's a 19078MB drive (so slighly below 20gb) and even if I select that as the primary partition (it goes through the whole verifying integrity yadda yadda) and format it afterwards, FORMAT will claim this drive as being only 8GB.

So i have 3 different readings for the same drive... bios says 200gb, fdisk says 20gb and format says 8gb.

W-tee-ef? What am I missing here?

- edit -

they say only a fool repeats the same steps expecting a different result. Well, I did fdisk a few times again and after a few format C errors (it wouldn't even start, stating invalid media type) it's now formatting the disk for 60gb of space.... which still is not correct, does not adhere to any known limit that I could have been running into, but does conveniently coincide perfectly with what the PC originally was shipped with.

Leave it at this or can I still expect issues down the road?

Reply 16 of 22, by triggerhappy

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Hezus wrote on 2021-02-05, 19:09:

Try hooking up the HDD to an IDE controller card. It might deal with the HDD type a little better.

Alternatively you could try some overlay software like OnTrack disc manager.

Color me purple and call me a vogon 😀 even though format reported 60gb, windows now shows 200gb available after install. Working as intended.

I also got the Live! PCI card recognized and installed with the CT4832 driver package here on vogons, awesome! No audio yet but that might have to do with dodgy speakers.

- edit -

scratch that, it just dissappeared from the device manager and is completely gone again. Guess the card is fubar after all.

Reply 17 of 22, by triggerhappy

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Update 😀 I managed to find a matching screen!! The original, green-tint-bezeled SlimView 526 LCD that was the most expensive option at the time (that almost no one bought because it was shit for gaming and the 17/19" CRT was a better choice if you could fit it). I also found a matching USB 'active keyboard', so now the hunt is on for the matching mouse and speakers. I also found a few time-appropriate games on CD/DVD to install so that it is actually functional now. I still want to find the original internals and I need to retrobright the current DVD and Floppy drive but things are looking up!

Kjjxjh2FX9bQ3uIW0Vp0CFSE.jpg?f=fotoalbum_large

Reply 19 of 22, by chinny22

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triggerhappy wrote on 2021-02-04, 15:25:

Oooh boy. Unassuming no more. For some reason I cannot fathom (and I refuse to believe there are more people like me restoring old PB's) this mainboard goes for top dollar on ebay.

Don't be so quick to dismiss! maybe it's nostalgia, maybe it people who simply know better but OEM systems are still sort after, I think even LGR has a soft spot for PB from memory.
That said we are still the minority and a OEM part should still be roughly the same price as its generic equivalent unless its really rare.

Never actually owned a Packard Bell myself but always thought they had good looking cases. The fact your now trying for the complete system is fun to watch come together