I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

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I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-6-15 @ 17:46

Well, I finally accomplished what I've been trying to do for quite a while now! I've completed the fixing of the Pentium II custom build that I've been fixing for a year now. You probably remember me mentioning this rig from a help thread I posted in February, and another thread I posted about this desktop in May. But I finally got to solve all of those problems and I now have a working retro rig! I just got a new power supply for the desktop and fixed the rig up in many ways, and it was a success! About this desktop, it's a custom build from 1998. My parents got it from a friend of their's a few years before I was born, so it was pretty much my first computer. But then, two years ago, I retrieved this rig, and it works again.

Specs:
Motherboard: Intel E139761
CPU (processor): Intel Pentium II
Memory (RAM): Samsung 64MB SDRAM
Hard drive: Western Digital 60GB 3.5" IDE HDD
Power supply (PSW): Startech 250W power supply
Graphics card (GPU): Intel RHB740
Optical drive: Mitsumi CD-ROM drive
Floppy drive: Sony 3.5" floppy disk drive
Display: ViewSonic OptiQuest Q71 CRT
Keyboard: Dell QuietKey RT7D5JTW
Mouse: Microsoft Wheel Mouse v2.0
Operating system (OS): Windows 98

Here and some pics of entire desktop and its setup:
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Front side

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Back side

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Inside guts

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Monitor

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Keyboard

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Mouse and mousepad

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Full setup

It did take no more than five minutes to boot up, it had some bugs and viruses and other crap that prevented it from starting up, but I just washed the entire system, and it now works successfully.
So yeah, this is something that I just accomplished, and this desktop now works great again!
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby oeuvre » 2019-6-17 @ 14:49

heh nice use of space with the mousepad on top of the tower
Retro PC Intel i7 2600, 16GB, AMD FirePro V5800 1GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
Main Desktop AMD Ryzen 3700X, 32GB, AMD RX580 8GB, NVMe SSD + HD, 10
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-6-17 @ 19:26

oeuvre wrote:heh nice use of space with the mousepad on top of the tower

Haha! Yeah, I had nowhere else to put the mouse, so I decided to just have it on the tower. Simple, but effective.
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-6-17 @ 19:39

UPDATE:
Along with the Microsoft wheel mouse I got for this desktop, it came with a CD for Microsoft IntelliPoint v2.0 as its mouse driver software, this is a picture of the disc for the software,

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And its manual,

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That you've probably noticed in a post I made a while ago, when I received this mouse. And so I just installed IntelliPoint on that computer, so its mouse now has something to help it work better.
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby chinny22 » 2019-6-23 @ 18:29

Jeeze way to make me feel old!
A similar PC was MY very first PC (as in not the families) also in '98 only I was born :P in fact I was 18.

It's good you held on to it though, people here spend loads trying to recreate their first PC.
What you got planned for it? the graphics card is holding you back but then you have to balance the sentimental with practical value in a build like this
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-6-23 @ 23:32

chinny22 wrote:Jeeze way to make me feel old!
A similar PC was MY very first PC (as in not the families) also in '98 only I was born :P in fact I was 18.

It's good you held on to it though, people here spend loads trying to recreate their first PC.
What you got planned for it? the graphics card is holding you back but then you have to balance the sentimental with practical value in a build like this

I don't know what I'll do with this PC. I might use it then and there to do random stuff on, like I usually do on my modern computers. I'm just unable browse the web on it because it's "outside my network" (that's sometimes the thing with vintage computers :-P), but maybe eventually I'll find a way to get it connected to the internet. And yes, it's always good to keep a piece of old equipment until it gets rusty to the point where it can't be used anymore.

Also, are you saying that this desktop's graphics card is not really that good? It works perfectly fine for me.
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby keropi » 2019-6-23 @ 23:45

Nice one!
It's a great feeling having your first computer working again!
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby chinny22 » 2019-6-24 @ 09:18

Your graphics card main claim to fame is it was the first AGP card to hit the market in a big way, but just like intel graphics cards today its more aimed at 2D office work then gaming.

If you wanted something period correct mine came with a 16MB TNT card although roughly 2 years later It got upgraded with a GeForce 2 MX which was a better match.
If period correctness doesn't bother you just about any of the earlier AGP 3D cards from ATI or Nvidia will be ok as the CPU will start being the bottleneck.

If your not intending to play anything that needs 3d acceleration the Intel card is fine.
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-6-24 @ 09:36

keropi wrote:Nice one!
It's a great feeling having your first computer working again!

Yep! It always worked actually, but I got it to work better than it did before I retrieved this rig.

chinny22 wrote:Your graphics card main claim to fame is it was the first AGP card to hit the market in a big way, but just like intel graphics cards today its more aimed at 2D office work then gaming.

If you wanted something period correct mine came with a 16MB TNT card although roughly 2 years later It got upgraded with a GeForce 2 MX which was a better match.
If period correctness doesn't bother you just about any of the earlier AGP 3D cards from ATI or Nvidia will be ok as the CPU will start being the bottleneck.

If your not intending to play anything that needs 3d acceleration the Intel card is fine.

Well, I don't think I'll be playing 3D gaming on this computer. If I were to do gaming on it, I would just go with basic 2D games, most suited for the vintage GPU I have for that rig.
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby FFXIhealer » 2019-6-24 @ 17:21

I don't know, but when someone has to write a school report, there's something very satisfying about making them go use a computer that was built and working before they had even been born to type it on. LOL It's got Word '97. It'll work.
Can't print worth a damn to anything today, but whatever...
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-6-24 @ 23:56

FFXIhealer wrote:I don't know, but when someone has to write a school report, there's something very satisfying about making them go use a computer that was built and working before they had even been born to type it on. LOL It's got Word '97. It'll work.
Can't print worth a damn to anything today, but whatever...

Not for me. I can write a school report on any computer from any era. I mostly do that kind of stuff on modern computers. And yes, this rig I have does have Office 97 on it. There's actually a lot of miscellaneous stuff on there.
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby SirNickity » 2019-6-27 @ 22:56

FFXIhealer wrote:Can't print worth a damn to anything today, but whatever...


Is that because most printers now come with "drivers" that would consume 100% of the HDD's total capacity back then? ;-)
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby chinny22 » 2019-6-28 @ 15:41

FFXIhealer wrote:I don't know, but when someone has to write a school report, there's something very satisfying about making them go use a computer that was built and working before they had even been born to type it on. LOL It's got Word '97. It'll work.
Can't print worth a damn to anything today, but whatever...


I know the feeling, I get a certain bit of joy of using a retro PC to type up a basic document every now and then.
Save it to the network to print/email off and sure the formatting may be a bit basic but the other end can open it just fine.
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby Almoststew1990 » 2019-6-28 @ 19:21

My MS Office 2000 is still my office software for home. I did all my school work on it, all my university work on it, all my Masters degree work on it, did my CV and job application on it! It is still quite adequate for basic-to-middley complex letters and reports, and the excel is just fine (although I am hardly a power user). I useit withj the official .docx to .doc plug in so it can open the latest (I think?) format.

I use Office 365 at work so I can compare between new and old. I prefer the old; toolbar is better than ribbon; less intrusive floating menus in 2000 (e.g. the "What type of Paste" that you activate by pressing CTRL and the "what type of image format" when you do anything with an image, in the newer version).

However I think I would struggle to do a full blown work report on Word 2000, beyond templates not working.
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-6-28 @ 20:26

Almoststew1990 wrote:My MS Office 2000 is still my office software for home. I did all my school work on it, all my university work on it, all my Masters degree work on it, did my CV and job application on it! It is still quite adequate for basic-to-middley complex letters and reports, and the excel is just fine (although I am hardly a power user). I useit withj the official .docx to .doc plug in so it can open the latest (I think?) format.

I use Office 365 at work so I can compare between new and old. I prefer the old; toolbar is better than ribbon; less intrusive floating menus in 2000 (e.g. the "What type of Paste" that you activate by pressing CTRL and the "what type of image format" when you do anything with an image, in the newer version).

However I think I would struggle to do a full blown work report on Word 2000, beyond templates not working.

Of course there will always be a point in time where you'll want to upgrade your software, but I guess that's your decision, if you want to keep using Office 2000 for as long as you can. I'm the kind of person who prefers using the newer versions of software. I also like vintage stuff as well, but I never tend to bash modern tech.
Also, I sometimes think of seeing what Vogons would look like on this vintage computer I have, which has IE4. I'd bet this site would have loose HTML and stuff like that, since some older versions of Internet Explorer are known to have trouble handling CSS files that are originally for IE versions older than IE6, and 'cause Internet Explorer is "evil" :lol:
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby SirNickity » 2019-7-02 @ 17:54

Not so much "evil" as just "really really dumb." IE has always had the worst rendering engine of all the popular browsers. It won (for a while) just by sheer numbers, not for merit of its prowess.

The IE6 / IE7 period sucked all the joy out of writing HTML for me. I developed on a Linux box with a KHTML browser (Konqueror) and it was a dream. Then I would test the page on XP and it turned into a nightmare. It ignored so many CSS parameters, miscalculated a lot of others, couldn't even render HTML elements above UI widgets (couldn't place anything -- like a notification box -- in front of a drop-down list or text field because they are ALWAYS on top), didn't support transparent PNGs, and the JavaScript performance... ugh. The list goes on...

Those were dark times.
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Re: I got a 90's Pentium II PC working again!

Postby JonathonWyble » 2019-7-02 @ 23:26

SirNickity wrote:Not so much "evil" as just "really really dumb." IE has always had the worst rendering engine of all the popular browsers. It won (for a while) just by sheer numbers, not for merit of its prowess.

The IE6 / IE7 period sucked all the joy out of writing HTML for me. I developed on a Linux box with a KHTML browser (Konqueror) and it was a dream. Then I would test the page on XP and it turned into a nightmare. It ignored so many CSS parameters, miscalculated a lot of others, couldn't even render HTML elements above UI widgets (couldn't place anything -- like a notification box -- in front of a drop-down list or text field because they are ALWAYS on top), didn't support transparent PNGs, and the JavaScript performance... ugh. The list goes on...

Those were dark times.

If you check out Nathan's Toasty Technology page, you'll find out what I'm talking about, saying that IE is evil :-P especially IE4, according to that guy from Toastytech, Nathan Lineback. Internet Explorer is okay, but sometimes older versions of IE might not handle CSS files for newer websites, like this site. I prefer using Google Chrome, because that browser can pretty much handle any CSS files, no matter how old or new the associated website is. But for my vintage computer which this topic is about, I'm stuck with IE4 on there, and that's not too bad.
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