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IBM Aptiva 2176-352 build

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First post, by soupapes

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So today I received a lovely Aptiva I bought from eBay.
It was one of my dream machines when I was a young boy, after having as my first computer an IBM PS/1 486 😀

It's a Pentium 120MHz with 48Mb ram and 1.2GB HD.

I am planning to do the following upgrades:
- 3DFX Voodoo 4mb PCI
- Intel P200MHz CPU
- additional Hard Drive
- Replace MWAVE sound card with a Sound Blaster
- Install windows 98 SE

The BIOS of my machine comes in spanish, but I haven't found a menu option to change de language. Anyone knows how to do it in this machine?

Also tried a 10Gb hard drive, but the BIOS only supports up to 8.4Gb. Is there a recent BIOS update capable of solving this?

Greetings from Portugal!

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- IBM Aptiva 2176
- Unbranded 486 DX2 66MHz

Reply 1 of 33, by retardware

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Hi and welcome to the forum!

soupapes wrote on 2021-11-16, 14:40:

The BIOS of my machine comes in spanish, but I haven't found a menu option to change de language. Anyone knows how to do it in this machine?

Maybe clear CMOS (remove battery for a few secs or set jumper, don't know how its done on your machine), as the first question then probably will be which language you want.

soupapes wrote on 2021-11-16, 14:40:

Also tried a 10Gb hard drive, but the BIOS only supports up to 8.4Gb. Is there a recent BIOS update capable of solving this?

Why not use SCSI?
A 29160 or 39320 is (still) cheap, has its own BIOS, and 73GB 15k SCA drives are ideal for Win98, and still cheap, although the market already is drying out, so the prices have already begun to increase.

Reply 2 of 33, by Limpem

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Welcome to the aptiva family! 😁
The only way to change the language on the aptiva bios is to reflash the bios with the correct language (there is no menu option).

I am not aware of any bios file (or bios mod) that allows disks larger than the 8GB limit.
Personally I added a pci RAID card to get my 250GB SSD fully detected.

430HX/P1 233MMX/64MB/S3VirgeDX,Voodoo1SLI(King Shaman)/AWE32
440BX/CelTualatin1400/512MB/Banshee, PowerVR PCX2/AWE64Gold
645DX/P4Northwood 3,5Ghz(Oc)/512MB/Voodoo5500/Vortex2
875P/P4EE 3,4Ghz/1GB/GeforceFX5950/Audigy2ZS
Z97/i3-4370/16GB/GeforceGTX960/X-Fi

Reply 3 of 33, by soupapes

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I was able to change the BIOS language to english by performing a firmware update.

If it helps someone in the future, I have downloaded the one in this link:
https://www.driverguide.com/driver/detail.php … driverid=607867

The update didn't help regarding the BIOS supporting HD with more than 8GB.

Trying a RAID controller card would be something interesting for me to explore, but the thing is that I only have 2 PCI slots available. It's crazy IBM decided to provide 6 ISA slots but only 2 PCI's.
Since I'm planning to use one PCI slot for the Voodoo card, and the other one to add a USB ports card, so that I can use a USB ZIP100 external. Not sure if USB will work properly in Windows 98 SE, let's see.

- IBM Aptiva 2176
- Unbranded 486 DX2 66MHz

Reply 4 of 33, by Anders-

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retardware wrote on 2021-11-16, 16:38:

Why not use SCSI?
A 29160 or 39320 is (still) cheap, has its own BIOS, and 73GB 15k SCA drives are ideal for Win98, and still cheap, although the market already is drying out, so the prices have already begun to increase.

I can think of several reasons not to, the first being noise. Old scsi drives are anything but quiet. Also doesn't really fit this computer, unless one is aiming for a frankenstein-build.
SCA drives make sense if you have such a backplane, but adding that would turn the aptiva into something else.
Don't get your statement about "73GB 15k SCA drives are ideal for Win98" - what exactly is it that makes a drive ideal for w98? Are you talking access time/speed, size, interface type or something else?

Måttfull och balanserad.

Reply 5 of 33, by retardware

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Anders- wrote on 2021-11-16, 20:27:

Don't get your statement about "73GB 15k SCA drives are ideal for Win98" - what exactly is it that makes a drive ideal for w98? Are you talking access time/speed, size, interface type or something else?

Speed (no IDE bottleneck).
Reliability (enterprise drives, the Fujitsu ones are really quiet, they are worth to take, unlike IBM, Seagate or HGST which are hot and loud).
No hassles with 8GB, 32GB etc BIOSes.
Size is just because it is common, compatible with 128GB Win98 limit, and still cheap (with a little patience you can still obtain these items, controllers, drives, cables, adapters, terminators at around 1 euro).

Yes it is frankensteining.
But considering that the most annoying thing for me is to wait for slow old consumer grade drives which break down easily.

To clear out my storage, I have recently tested my old IDE/early SATA drives which I put into storage years ago in a climatized dry storage room with almost constant temperature, and almost all had to be thrown away.
Of the SCSI drives, only an old IBM 2GB and a Seagate 9GB had to be binned.

Reply 6 of 33, by soupapes

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So I tried to replace the CPU with an Intel Pentium 200 which supposedly should be compatible.
From the board documentation, I have set JP35 for 66MHz and JP10/JP11 for 1/3.

But now every time I turn ON I get an error "127 System Board Error" and the BIOS does not recognize the CPU.

I still can boot to windows after the error.

Am I missing something?

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- IBM Aptiva 2176
- Unbranded 486 DX2 66MHz

Reply 7 of 33, by Anders-

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retardware wrote on 2021-11-16, 21:03:
Speed (no IDE bottleneck). Reliability (enterprise drives, the Fujitsu ones are really quiet, they are worth to take, unlike IBM […]
Show full quote
Anders- wrote on 2021-11-16, 20:27:

Don't get your statement about "73GB 15k SCA drives are ideal for Win98" - what exactly is it that makes a drive ideal for w98? Are you talking access time/speed, size, interface type or something else?

Speed (no IDE bottleneck).
Reliability (enterprise drives, the Fujitsu ones are really quiet, they are worth to take, unlike IBM, Seagate or HGST which are hot and loud).
No hassles with 8GB, 32GB etc BIOSes.
Size is just because it is common, compatible with 128GB Win98 limit, and still cheap (with a little patience you can still obtain these items, controllers, drives, cables, adapters, terminators at around 1 euro).

Yes it is frankensteining.
But considering that the most annoying thing for me is to wait for slow old consumer grade drives which break down easily.

To clear out my storage, I have recently tested my old IDE/early SATA drives which I put into storage years ago in a climatized dry storage room with almost constant temperature, and almost all had to be thrown away.
Of the SCSI drives, only an old IBM 2GB and a Seagate 9GB had to be binned.

It's a pentium-120/200 machine which can't make use of high transfer rates, short search time it would benefit from though - I'd put a cf/sd-card in it and call it a day.
Don't mind speed issues much as it's part of the retro-charm for me, the noise otoh I can do without 😁

No issues with storing old drives here, occasionally a harddisk goes bad, but it's very rare (stored indoors though).
Enterprise drives might hold up a little better than consumer stuff, haven't noticed that as of yet though.

Måttfull och balanserad.

Reply 8 of 33, by soupapes

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soupapes wrote on 2021-11-16, 21:28:
So I tried to replace the CPU with an Intel Pentium 200 which supposedly should be compatible. From the board documentation, I […]
Show full quote

So I tried to replace the CPU with an Intel Pentium 200 which supposedly should be compatible.
From the board documentation, I have set JP35 for 66MHz and JP10/JP11 for 1/3.

But now every time I turn ON I get an error "127 System Board Error" and the BIOS does not recognize the CPU.

I still can boot to windows after the error.

Am I missing something?

So, after some experiencing with the jumpers, I suspect that this board only supports as maximum a Pentium 150MHz without having error in the BIOS.
I noticed that in the jumpers table the 3x multiplier option mentions a clock speed of 50MHz and since I set the CPU clock to 66MHz in JP35, maybe that's the reason why BIOS does not recognize it as a Pentium 200Mhz.

So the best option I could find to upgrade the speed without having BIOS error, was to configure the jumpers for 60MHz in JP35 and use 2/5 setting in JP10/JP11. This means: (60MHz * 5) / 2 = 150 MHz.

The P200 has a factory clock speed of 66MHz, I suppose there is no problem in having it running at 60MHz.

- IBM Aptiva 2176
- Unbranded 486 DX2 66MHz

Reply 9 of 33, by Caluser2000

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soupapes wrote on 2021-11-17, 19:15:
So, after some experiencing with the jumpers, I suspect that this board only supports as maximum a Pentium 150MHz without having […]
Show full quote
soupapes wrote on 2021-11-16, 21:28:
So I tried to replace the CPU with an Intel Pentium 200 which supposedly should be compatible. From the board documentation, I […]
Show full quote

So I tried to replace the CPU with an Intel Pentium 200 which supposedly should be compatible.
From the board documentation, I have set JP35 for 66MHz and JP10/JP11 for 1/3.

But now every time I turn ON I get an error "127 System Board Error" and the BIOS does not recognize the CPU.

I still can boot to windows after the error.

Am I missing something?

So, after some experiencing with the jumpers, I suspect that this board only supports as maximum a Pentium 150MHz without having error in the BIOS.
I noticed that in the jumpers table the 3x multiplier option mentions a clock speed of 50MHz and since I set the CPU clock to 66MHz in JP35, maybe that's the reason why BIOS does not recognize it as a Pentium 200Mhz.

So the best option I could find to upgrade the speed without having BIOS error, was to configure the jumpers for 60MHz in JP35 and use 2/5 setting in JP10/JP11. This means: (60MHz * 5) / 2 = 150 MHz.

The P200 has a factory clock speed of 66MHz, I suppose there is no problem in having it running at 60MHz.

Non at all.

There's a glitch in the matrix.
A founding member of the 286 appreciation society.
Apparently 32-bit is dead and nobody likes P4s.
Of course, as always, I'm open to correction...😉

Reply 11 of 33, by Limpem

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It's weird the aptiva doesn't accept the 200Mhz speed.
I only know of issues with 233 Mhz.
Am I correct that you have motherboard FRU12H2015 in your aptiva?
I have that same board lying around as a spare, if it's the same I can do some testing as well to see if I can help you out.

430HX/P1 233MMX/64MB/S3VirgeDX,Voodoo1SLI(King Shaman)/AWE32
440BX/CelTualatin1400/512MB/Banshee, PowerVR PCX2/AWE64Gold
645DX/P4Northwood 3,5Ghz(Oc)/512MB/Voodoo5500/Vortex2
875P/P4EE 3,4Ghz/1GB/GeforceFX5950/Audigy2ZS
Z97/i3-4370/16GB/GeforceGTX960/X-Fi

Reply 12 of 33, by matti157

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I recently fixed up an IBM 300GL 6282. The BIOS is very similar to your Aptiva, my guess is they are from the same period.

I went from Pentium MMX 166 to Pentium MMX 233.

I wanted the BIOS in Italian and to do so I had to reflash, luckily the utilities and the bios can be downloaded from this site that also has a mirror of the old IBM FTP. http://ps-2.kev009.com/

I took the opportunity to put my logo in the bootscreen.

I also put an SD to IDE adapter

But isn't Windows98 too recent? Does it support it?

Reply 13 of 33, by soupapes

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Limpem wrote on 2021-11-19, 13:06:
It's weird the aptiva doesn't accept the 200Mhz speed. I only know of issues with 233 Mhz. Am I correct that you have motherboar […]
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It's weird the aptiva doesn't accept the 200Mhz speed.
I only know of issues with 233 Mhz.
Am I correct that you have motherboard FRU12H2015 in your aptiva?
I have that same board lying around as a spare, if it's the same I can do some testing as well to see if I can help you out.

Hi, I think is strange too because in the official documentation for this model it mentions P200 as supported.
But unless the 1/3 multiplier jumper settings is not correctly described in the documentation, Im not sure how to configure the jumpers correctly.

Where can I verify the motherboard reference that you mention?

Thank you for your help.

- IBM Aptiva 2176
- Unbranded 486 DX2 66MHz

Reply 14 of 33, by soupapes

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matti157 wrote on 2021-11-19, 15:22:
I recently fixed up an IBM 300GL 6282. The BIOS is very similar to your Aptiva, my guess is they are from the same period. […]
Show full quote

I recently fixed up an IBM 300GL 6282. The BIOS is very similar to your Aptiva, my guess is they are from the same period.

I went from Pentium MMX 166 to Pentium MMX 233.

I wanted the BIOS in Italian and to do so I had to reflash, luckily the utilities and the bios can be downloaded from this site that also has a mirror of the old IBM FTP. http://ps-2.kev009.com/

I took the opportunity to put my logo in the bootscreen.

I also put an SD to IDE adapter

But isn't Windows98 too recent? Does it support it?

I did flash mine with a more recent firmware. I have successfully installed windows 98 using an 8gb SD card set as Primary.

For the SiS display I had to use a windows 95 driver.

- IBM Aptiva 2176
- Unbranded 486 DX2 66MHz

Reply 15 of 33, by Limpem

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Well I did some testing and can confirm I have your issue as well on this board.
None of the 3x modi seem to work without a bios error:
150 Mhz (50Mhz)
165 Mhz (55Mhz)
180 Mhz (60Mhz)
200 Mhz (66Mhz)
If you don't mind ignoring the error every boot, the processor will probably work fine at 200 Mhz just as the 233 Mhz works fine on other boards which also cause an error on boot.
You could test it by running cpu-z in Windows and see the reported speed.
I didn't want to do a fresh install to see for myself 😉

If you want to verify if you have the FRU12H2015, it was reported on a sticker above the 2 SIS chips on the mainbord.

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430HX/P1 233MMX/64MB/S3VirgeDX,Voodoo1SLI(King Shaman)/AWE32
440BX/CelTualatin1400/512MB/Banshee, PowerVR PCX2/AWE64Gold
645DX/P4Northwood 3,5Ghz(Oc)/512MB/Voodoo5500/Vortex2
875P/P4EE 3,4Ghz/1GB/GeforceFX5950/Audigy2ZS
Z97/i3-4370/16GB/GeforceGTX960/X-Fi

Reply 16 of 33, by Limpem

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I also did an additional test with a 200 Mhz pentium Overdrive.
The bios didn't give any error messages, but also didn't report the clockspeed.
Instead it just said Pentium ODP.
So if you want a 200Mhz error free boot process (and also extra cpu power + MMX instructions) you might consider this cpu if you can find it cheap.

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430HX/P1 233MMX/64MB/S3VirgeDX,Voodoo1SLI(King Shaman)/AWE32
440BX/CelTualatin1400/512MB/Banshee, PowerVR PCX2/AWE64Gold
645DX/P4Northwood 3,5Ghz(Oc)/512MB/Voodoo5500/Vortex2
875P/P4EE 3,4Ghz/1GB/GeforceFX5950/Audigy2ZS
Z97/i3-4370/16GB/GeforceGTX960/X-Fi

Reply 17 of 33, by Intel486dx33

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soupapes wrote on 2021-11-16, 14:40:
So today I received a lovely Aptiva I bought from eBay. It was one of my dream machines when I was a young boy, after having as […]
Show full quote

So today I received a lovely Aptiva I bought from eBay.
It was one of my dream machines when I was a young boy, after having as my first computer an IBM PS/1 486 😀

It's a Pentium 120MHz with 48Mb ram and 1.2GB HD.

I am planning to do the following upgrades:
- 3DFX Voodoo 4mb PCI
- Intel P200MHz CPU
- additional Hard Drive
- Replace MWAVE sound card with a Sound Blaster
- Install windows 98 SE

The BIOS of my machine comes in spanish, but I haven't found a menu option to change de language. Anyone knows how to do it in this machine?

Also tried a 10Gb hard drive, but the BIOS only supports up to 8.4Gb. Is there a recent BIOS update capable of solving this?

Greetings from Portugal!

Those are my two favorite IBM computers. The PS/1 and This Aptiva.
My Aptiva has a 200mhz Pentium CPU in it.
And is running Win95 the Operating system that came with these old Aptiva’s.

The Pentium 120 is actually fast enough to play most DOS games and Win95 games.
32mb is actually all you need for DOS and Win95.
1.2gb hard-drive is also more than BIG enough.
Maybe add a second drive to store all your files.

Reply 18 of 33, by soupapes

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Intel486dx33 wrote on 2021-11-20, 13:25:
Those are my two favorite IBM computers. The PS/1 and This Aptiva. My Aptiva has a 200mhz Pentium CPU in it. And is running Win9 […]
Show full quote
soupapes wrote on 2021-11-16, 14:40:
So today I received a lovely Aptiva I bought from eBay. It was one of my dream machines when I was a young boy, after having as […]
Show full quote

So today I received a lovely Aptiva I bought from eBay.
It was one of my dream machines when I was a young boy, after having as my first computer an IBM PS/1 486 😀

It's a Pentium 120MHz with 48Mb ram and 1.2GB HD.

I am planning to do the following upgrades:
- 3DFX Voodoo 4mb PCI
- Intel P200MHz CPU
- additional Hard Drive
- Replace MWAVE sound card with a Sound Blaster
- Install windows 98 SE

The BIOS of my machine comes in spanish, but I haven't found a menu option to change de language. Anyone knows how to do it in this machine?

Also tried a 10Gb hard drive, but the BIOS only supports up to 8.4Gb. Is there a recent BIOS update capable of solving this?

Greetings from Portugal!

Those are my two favorite IBM computers. The PS/1 and This Aptiva.
My Aptiva has a 200mhz Pentium CPU in it.
And is running Win95 the Operating system that came with these old Aptiva’s.

The Pentium 120 is actually fast enough to play most DOS games and Win95 games.
32mb is actually all you need for DOS and Win95.
1.2gb hard-drive is also more than BIG enough.
Maybe add a second drive to store all your files.

Is your Aptiva a 2176? Does it has USB port (modern version of the board)?
Can you confirm what version of BIOS do you have?
Any chance you could send a picture of how the board jumpers are set next to the CPU (JP10 & JP11)?

- IBM Aptiva 2176
- Unbranded 486 DX2 66MHz

Reply 19 of 33, by Limpem

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I would like to point out that the 2176 series also came with board FRU 12H2001 (type A2 in the manual) which does support the 200Mhz cpu in the bios and comes with a 430VX chipset instead of the SIS.
Did verify this today as well.

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430HX/P1 233MMX/64MB/S3VirgeDX,Voodoo1SLI(King Shaman)/AWE32
440BX/CelTualatin1400/512MB/Banshee, PowerVR PCX2/AWE64Gold
645DX/P4Northwood 3,5Ghz(Oc)/512MB/Voodoo5500/Vortex2
875P/P4EE 3,4Ghz/1GB/GeforceFX5950/Audigy2ZS
Z97/i3-4370/16GB/GeforceGTX960/X-Fi