VOGONS


First post, by DoctorDalek

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Hey all,

I made my family keep hold of my first PC for obvious reasons and I'm putting the time in to get it running again. Specs:

  • Gateway 4DX2-66V (Intel DX2-66 obv.) full tower
  • 40MB RAM
  • 1x5.25" Floppy
  • 1x3.5" Floppy
  • 1x Tape backup drive
  • ATI Graphics Ultra Pro - Mach 32
  • 3com 3C509BC ethernet card
  • Promise EIDE Pro expansion card
  • 1.5GB WD HDD (dead)
  • 341MB WD HDD (dead)

Unfortunately both hard drives are dead to either clicking or not spinning up. Since the machine hasn't been turned on for 20+ years I am not surprised. The battery also died so all the CMOS settings got reset and I'm having to build from practically the ground up. I am able to boot from 3.5" floppy into DOS. I bought an 8GB CF card and CF/IDE adapter hoping to get DOS/Windows installed to that, however I believe the BIOS only supports 4GB drives. Is there some sort of alternate BIOS ROM out there that would support 8GB drives? Or would the Promise card (as I understand they're generally terrible) fit the bill?

I'm as old as this machine and only got into building/configuring around the P3 era so the quirks are unknown to me. Thanks in advance!

Reply 1 of 7, by chinny22

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Restoring bit of your history, nice. I guarantee you'll enjoy it.
Its probably a blessing that the HDD's died, makes the decision to upgrade or not much easier.
You have a few options.
You could try the Promise card, Seems to be drives and documentation here
Promise EIDE Pro ISA Controller Hangs on 286 Computer
I doubt performance is that much worse then the onboard IDE, and the CF card will make up for a lot of it.

You can use something like X-IDE where you use a network card boot rom socket for a chip with IDE support of larger drive.

I'm not sure if drive overlay works on CF cards? basically that's a software version of X-IDE

Or, you can do what I do and get a couple 4GB CF cards and one of these of ebay and simply swap CF cards if you run out of space.
SD-CF-IDE-BR-MAIN-500x500.jpg

Reply 2 of 7, by oeuvre

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Could also go for the SD to IDE route

also those Gateway 2000 towers were legendary! I hereby demand pictures.

HP Z420 Workstation Intel Xeon E5-1620, 32GB, RADEON HD7850 2GB, SSD + HD, XP/7
ws90Ts2.gif

Reply 3 of 7, by DoctorDalek

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chinny22 wrote:
Restoring bit of your history, nice. I guarantee you'll enjoy it. Its probably a blessing that the HDD's died, makes the decisio […]
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Restoring bit of your history, nice. I guarantee you'll enjoy it.
Its probably a blessing that the HDD's died, makes the decision to upgrade or not much easier.
You have a few options.
You could try the Promise card, Seems to be drives and documentation here
Promise EIDE Pro ISA Controller Hangs on 286 Computer
I doubt performance is that much worse then the onboard IDE, and the CF card will make up for a lot of it.

You can use something like X-IDE where you use a network card boot rom socket for a chip with IDE support of larger drive.

I'm not sure if drive overlay works on CF cards? basically that's a software version of X-IDE

Or, you can do what I do and get a couple 4GB CF cards and one of these of ebay and simply swap CF cards if you run out of space.

I'll try out the Promise card since I don't have any extra EPROMs laying around anymore from my arcade days. Thanks for the advice!

oeuvre wrote:

also those Gateway 2000 towers were legendary! I hereby demand pictures.

In its current state of "why the hell won't this work":
rQVqXpj.jpg

Reply 4 of 7, by Katmai500

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Love those old Gateway towers! Awesome that you still have your own. It looks to be in excellent condition, too.

I actually just ordered a Syba SD-CF-IDE-A IDE to Compact Flash Adapter and a 4GB Transcend 300x Industrial UDMA CF card to try in the baby brother of your tower, a 4DX2-66V Desktop. Mine doesn't have the promise IDE card, so I'll be trying it with the onboard IDE controller. I'll post an update on how it handles the 4GB card.

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Reply 7 of 7, by sirlemonhead

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Cool!

I thiiink a friend of mine had one of these towers (in fact, I believe I have the tape backup drive that was in that machine).. I also love Gateway 2000s and have a few myself, including the pentium model the same as Katmai500.