VOGONS


Reply 20040 of 20386, by Nexxen

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Cleaned and old IBM Thinkpad T22 (P III 900mhz Coppermine in micro-pga)) - in bad shape with issue with the LCD. Bought for 5€ just to test cpus as the socket is easily accessible.
Then comes a PAckard Bell with a Duron 1200mhz - in medium shape; previous owner put a normal fan to replace the dead one; audio is awful even at max you can barely hear sound (it sucks); had to resolder one speaker as it came off - for cpu testing - 10€
Last an Acer Aspire 5630. Medium shape - failing fan with big rattling noise + one speaker doesn't work. Good to test cpus- 10€ Maybe a retro box for win 2000...

They all have the minimum ram requirements, even for their time they went for cheap.
Business machines that reflect their usage.
Testing and cleaning took quite some time and was more of a chore than a learning experience.

IBM thinkpad has the sticky issue of aging coating. Boring.

Nothing else in the world smells like that.
I love the smell of burnt components in the morning.

Reply 20041 of 20386, by PTherapist

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Working again on my Athlon XP build. I think I've figured out why I've been having stability issues and why they got worse when I changed the CPU cooler - the motherboard is warped right around the area of the CPU socket!

I didn't spot it at first as it's very subtle, but I noticed that if I removed the CPU cooler and tried to power it on it would turn on for a few seconds and then power off. Whilst running with the cooler, if I lifted the cooler slightly it would also power off after a few seconds. On the motherboard itself, there is visibly a small gap between the socket and the motherboard where the board is slightly bent.

Oh well, RIP MSI K7N2. Time for a plan B. All my other Socket A motherboards have bad caps, so I'll either have to buy a replacement in the meantime or switch to Socket 754 + Athlon 64 instead for my 2003 era gaming build

Reply 20042 of 20386, by BitWrangler

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I'd look through the boards for badcaps with 20% higher to 50% lower values of the caps that are on the K7N2 and swap them over

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 20043 of 20386, by PcBytes

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+1 for recapping the K7N2. I have the Delta-ILSR version (so the normal K7N2, but with onboard Fasttrak 375 SATA + RAID, 1394 and actively cooled Northbridge) and have recapped mine after the OSTs near the CPU dried out for no apparent reason. Simply put I want crazy and replaced almost every singe OST I found in there, including the little RAM buggers.

Main PC: i5 3470, GB B75M-D3H, 16GB RAM, 2x1TB
98SE : P3 650, Soyo SY-6BA+IV, 384MB RAM, 80GB
Milennium : P2 266, Zida LX-98AT, 256MB RAM, 10GB+20GB
2k: Duron 750, Totem TM-S730LMR, 256MB RAM, 40GB

Reply 20044 of 20386, by Kahenraz

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I have found a lot of parts lately that were perfectly fine except for bad caps. If you're not sure and still want to try salvaging it, start making a pile with copious notes and revisit the lot at some point later when you've built up some experience with board repair.

Many electronics from this era were built around the time of the capacitor plague and even good quality capacitors are drying out now simply due to age so this isn't an uncommon thing.

Reply 20045 of 20386, by PTherapist

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Well the K7N2 is actually behaving even weirder. Out of curiosity I tried a different CPU, an Athlon XP 2500+ (that originally was installed in this motherboard) and after manually configuring the correct bus speed & multiplier it ran perfectly stable with the 2500+. I ran Doom 3 on it for over an hour and then a round of Prime 95, rock solid!

I put the 3200+ back in and reconfigured it correctly and once again unstable. Either the board is indeed warped as I may have incorrectly guessed, or it could actually be like you've all been suggesting - bad capacitors. Either way it seems to like the 2500+ and hate the 3200+.

So I'll put it in the "working, but needs looking at" pile. I'm going to have to start practising soldering on a bunch of dead AM2 motherboards I acquired over the years, before I even attempt to try and fix one of these more valuable boards.

Reply 20046 of 20386, by aha2940

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Not PC retro related, but today I tried to play a CD on my discman sony D-E406CK: (pic is not of not my actual discman, but it is identical to mine)
s-l500.jpg
However it would not work. It turned on the screen for a second, turn the disc about 2 degrees and power off again. So I disassembled it, did some tests and found that the lens was not moving. I had to disassemble the whole lens assembly, lube the gears and re-assemble the discman. To my relief, after this it worked again without issues.

Reply 20047 of 20386, by dormcat

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Formatted 27 floppy disks found in my parents' shelf. Two were completely dead ("Invalid media or Track 0 bad - disk unusable"), three had bad sectors, the rest will remain useful: flashing BIOS, customized startup, etc.

Reply 20048 of 20386, by Kahenraz

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PTherapist wrote on 2021-10-01, 19:59:

Well the K7N2 is actually behaving even weirder.

What is the part number on those CPUs?

The added power draw on the 3200+ may be the tipping point that is causing the capacitors to fail in some way. I don't think there is a voltage difference between those two parts.

The warping isn't good either. How exactly is it warped? Was a heatsink pressing down on the socket or pulling it to one side?

Reply 20049 of 20386, by PTherapist

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Kahenraz wrote on 2021-10-02, 05:35:
What is the part number on those CPUs? […]
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PTherapist wrote on 2021-10-01, 19:59:

Well the K7N2 is actually behaving even weirder.

What is the part number on those CPUs?

The added power draw on the 3200+ may be the tipping point that is causing the capacitors to fail in some way. I don't think there is a voltage difference between those two parts.

The warping isn't good either. How exactly is it warped? Was a heatsink pressing down on the socket or pulling it to one side?

The 2500+ is AXDA2500DKV4D
the 3200+ is AXDA3200DKV4E

So clock speed aside, the only major difference between the 2 is bus speed, 333 for the 2500+ & 400 for the 3200+. Perhaps whatever is wrong with the K7N2 only rears it's head at 400Mhz.

It's interesting to note, when I originally started building this PC I assumed there was already a 3200+ installed as the BIOS had the CPU configured as such. In fact it was actually the 2500+ overclocked and I only noticed that after I removed the cooler to clean & apply fresh thermal paste. The 2500+ was also unstable at 400MHz FSB.

The warping is so small, barely distinguishable, that I'm not even sure it is warping that I'm seeing - could be normal. There's a very narrow gap between the board and the socket at the edge, think razor blade thin. I can only assume from years of a heavy cooler pulling at the socket. I only came to that conclusion after lifting the CPU cooler off the CPU would cause the PSU to cut off, but it hasn't done that again recently and the only thing I changed was to slightly bend back the little heat sensor located underneath the CPU, which may have simply been causing the CPU to not be correctly seated in the socket.

The SPP chip has also had fresh thermal paste applied in the past 12 months too, to rule out any overheating there. Though it's fan does groan a little if the motherboard hasn't been used for some time, so perhaps I'll look into a replacement.

Reply 20050 of 20386, by Thermalwrong

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KCompRoom2000 wrote on 2021-09-29, 08:09:

The external floppy drive for my Toshiba Tecra 720CDT died a week ago and I ended up buying two Toshiba external floppy drives because the first one wasn't the correct one for this laptop, so here's to hoping that the second one is the right one this time. I've double-checked the seller's images this time and it looked like it would be compatible. I would've taken a floppy drive out of another laptop and placed it in the enclosure, but none of my other laptop floppy drives have the matching connector (and neither did the first Toshiba drive which I accidentally ordered).

Don't you hate it when your old laptop uses a proprietary floppy drive and you're struggling at finding a suitable replacement? If only they made Goteks for laptops.

There is a gotek for laptops, or a half-height one at least. But it's a weird 720K drive and useless without FlashFloppy / HxC. The connector doesn't work with most floppy drives I've tried yet. Sadly the connectors for laptops are so varied and non-standardised that it's a non starter for most folks, I Think.
You could make a PCB that goes into the Toshiba's external floppy port, or that goes into the multi-bay port that connects up to a Gotek, that's doable probably since the Gotek is just a microcontroller and doesn't need much power to work. If there's interest, I wonder if I could design one. The regular Gotek is certainly more expensive now.

You reminded me I have a belt to fix from one of my Toshibas though! You can 3d print out a belt in TPU and that'll get the drive running again. Needs to be printed with a 0.25mm nozzle in vase mode with no skirt. Once it's printed, use nail clippers to cut off the filament blobs on the belt, give it a stretch and it's ready to use.

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Reply 20053 of 20386, by EduBat

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Today I recapped my old Gygabyte GA-7N400 Pro.
Both motherboard and Athlon XP 2500 are doing well and looking forward to at least another decade (I hope) of service in good health.
Last week I replaced the 2 x 120 Gbytes RAID with a single 500Gbytes hard drive as one of the 120GBytes discs was failing and would only work in a certain physical position. I ended up adding a partition with devuan linux just because "why not?"
All great fun.

http://edbatalha.info

Reply 20054 of 20386, by pentiumspeed

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pentiumspeed wrote on 2021-10-02, 20:08:

Is there a plan I can use for printing out new W1D belts?

Cheers,

Great Northern aka Canada.

Reply 20055 of 20386, by Shreddoc

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Was just talking about this on another forum, thought you guys might find it interesting too. I dug this out of my gear stash after seeing LGR's recent-ish video "Testing Two Nifty Old LCD Monitors".

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Rough shot (sorry) of the rotation mechanism behind those 90-degree rotatable Viewsonic LCDs, which I kept after deconstructing one years ago.

Reply 20056 of 20386, by Thermalwrong

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pentiumspeed wrote on 2021-10-02, 21:49:
pentiumspeed wrote on 2021-10-02, 20:08:

Is there a plan I can use for printing out new W1D belts?

Cheers,

Probably, sorry for not getting back to you. Send another PM, covid messed up stuff for a while and I'm just kind of getting over it all now. I've found that 0.25mm nozzles are best over the regular 0.4mm nozzles, but TPU isn't supposed to support that, so it's on the edge of what 3d printing can do.

Can you detail which model / sub-model so I can work out what length is needed?

Reply 20057 of 20386, by Horun

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Shreddoc wrote on 2021-10-02, 22:58:

Was just talking about this on another forum, thought you guys might find it interesting too. I dug this out of my gear stash after seeing LGR's recent-ish video "Testing Two Nifty Old LCD Monitors".

mech.jpg

Rough shot (sorry) of the rotation mechanism behind those 90-degree rotatable Viewsonic LCDs, which I kept after deconstructing one years ago.

Wow OK. Similar to the ones on some more expensive BenQ and Dells. Have one similar sitting in the piles that with base plate was just too good a build to toss. Wonder how many of the better monitors it would fit ? just rambling...

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 20058 of 20386, by KCompRoom2000

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Well, I got the second replacement floppy drive for my Toshiba Tecra 720CDT and unfortunately it doesn't work, it has the same slipping belt problem that my last one had. When I was opening up the drive to replace the belt, I accidentally broke off the connector that connects to one of the motors on the drive, and just like the last one the connector is too different to work with the drive inside the first substitute drive or the one in my Toshiba Satellite 315CDS. At this point, I'm considering just getting a different Pentium 1-era laptop and setting this one aside until I can manage to find yet another compatible floppy drive for it. AARGH! Why are laptop floppy drives SO goddamn proprietary? At the very least, I wish there was a pinout for the connector Toshiba used back in the day so I could hardwire a substitute drive in one of my enclosures.

Reply 20059 of 20386, by snufkin

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KCompRoom2000 wrote on 2021-10-03, 08:06:

At the very least, I wish there was a pinout for the connector Toshiba used back in the day so I could hardwire a substitute drive in one of my enclosures.

There's a service manual for the 720CDT here http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/manuals/Toshi … ce%20Manual.pdf

Page 201 has the pinout for the external floppy, page 205 has the pinout for what I think is the internal drive bay. On the external, most of the pins look like standard PC floppy drives, except for FREADY, IHMEDB, SLFDLD. I guess FREADY is a floppy ready signal that is available on some drives. I suspect a typo in the manual as it says the signal is an output to the drive. SLFDLD might be some self diagnostic result, or just a detect pin to say the external drive is connected. No idea about the IHMED (on the internal connector)/ IHMEDB (on the external connector).