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HP Vectra VE / XM repair

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Reply 20 of 26, by FAMICOMASTER

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PC Hoarder Patrol wrote on 2021-06-16, 09:37:

The latest (?) BIOS downloads for both machines are still up on the HP ftp network...

Rev GX.07.15 for the HP Vectra VE 5/xxx Series 3 - ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib/software1/vc2009 … en/vub5l1us.exe

Rev GW.07.12 (B) for the HP Vectra XM 5/XXX Series 4 - ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib/software1/vc2050 … en/vqb1z1us.exe

Thank you for these, I was not sure if what I had was the latest one. How did you navigate the HP FTP server? I looked around but had no real luck.

Reply 21 of 26, by PC Hoarder Patrol

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The HP ftp site isn't really set up for easy navigation - it's just the back end to their web support portal (paid or otherwise), but even for hardware this old which they no longer support, the actual files usually hang around on the ftp site for many years. When I'm looking for stuff I usually just use a combination of as detailed Google search queries as I can form, plus ftp search engines like mamont or napalm.

Reply 22 of 26, by FAMICOMASTER

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Received a 512K Sync COAST module and a 2.8V VRM in the mail today, will be upgrading the system and seeing if maybe that helps these issues.

Reply 23 of 26, by FAMICOMASTER

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Well, it hangs during POST with the 2.8V VRM and a Pentium MMX running at any speed, but it works fine with the short block and the Pentium 150 it started with, so no harm done.

Contrary to the owner's manual AND technical reference manual, this computer DOES support the 512K COAST modules, it works no problem at all and increases performance a huge amount in Windows 2000. Really a shame that it doesn't seem to support more than 128MB of RAM, the Vectra VE had 192MB no problem until it's motherboard quit.

Windows 98SE is still very troublesome. Still don't know exactly why. I am suspicious of the Seagate 6GB hard disk and I will pull another from my collection to replace it with.

Reply 24 of 26, by FAMICOMASTER

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Well darn. I was hoping I could get away with just cloning the drive and it's partition to a different disk but no such luck. It will boot Windows 2000 which is installed on the other drive but it will not boot from Windows 98SE which is installed on itself. Miraculously the MBR and the NT Boot menu still work but Windows 98SE, alas, does not.

I'm just gonna bite the bullet and back up what I can in Windows 2000 then reinstall Windows 98SE first, then Windows 2000 afterwards. Hopefully things will get better from here.

Reply 25 of 26, by FAMICOMASTER

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Wow, I don't think anybody saw this one coming.
My SIIG PCI USB host card seems to be the culprit!

POST never saw an issue but Windows 9x continued to randomly crash for no apparent reason and during boot at various points with no obvious cause.
However, I noticed that Windows 2000 would only freeze during file transfers, disk to disk or USB to disk. Initially this pointed to the mechanical hard disk being a problem, I always copy to the primary drive since it is larger. Replaced the Seagate 6GB drive with a WD Caviar and the problem persisted even after a reinstall.

Removing the old USB card seems to have fixed the problem and it boots and stays running reliably for now. Nothing is obviously wrong with the card and it appears to work fine in other machines but it will not be going back into the Vectra. I'll just have to find another USB adapter and in the meantime I will stick to diskettes and network transfers via Windows 2000.

Thanks everybody for the help and if anybody knows a reason why this card (SIIG JU-P20011) might have failed or would have caused this problem, I would be interested to hear about it.

RIP SIIG 2 port PCI host, 07/01 - 07/21.