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Hardware you wish you'd never bought.

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Reply 80 of 119, by Tetrium

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CHiLL72 wrote:

Several people mention ZIP drives, but it is still a very convenient way to transfer files between anything from an MS-DOS PC up to Windows 7/8..... I bought myself a second hand USB ZIP drive last year and I have a lot of ATAPI ZIP drives, which come in quite handy. I also have a big stack of ZIP disks, so I do not really care if one fails.

I have also bought hardware that I later wished I wouldn't have.... A few ISA soundcards that claimed to be SB Pro compatible, but really were not.

Same here. I've used my USB ZIP drive quite a lot for transferring files between my main rig and my (non-internetted) retro rigs. It's still useful for what it is.

Whats missing in your collections?
My retro rigs (old topic)
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Reply 81 of 119, by FaSMaN

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My current laptop, I upgraded from a HP workstation 8710w laptop C2D 2.2ghz with a 17" screen and a Nvidia Quadro FX 1600M, to a eMachines E732G i3, 500gb hdd and a ATI 5470, at the time I thought it was great, very cheap, but when I started using it (alas after I already sold my old lappy) it just crumbled to bits, it has a terrible build quality, you cant use the keyboard and touch-pad at the same time (pressing a key makes the mouse stop moving), the cpu overheats when using it in combination with the GPU,so gaming is out of the question, it reboots when it feels feels like it.

Really miss that HP 8710w my only gripe with it has to be the fact that the Quadro was really hit and miss with its drivers and game compatibility, hence why I went with the above.

I wish it would just DIE 😒

Oh and I was a early adapter of a LG DVD-Rom think it was 8x or 12x, my biggest problem was I never got a mpeg 2 accelerator card for it as a result it didnt play dvd movies very well and by the time PC games on dvd became popular the drive died, it allso didnt like ejecting like all of the LG drives I have ever come across (wish they could just use proper gears instead of that rubber band)

Did the same with Blu-ray though, but atleast that I am using as it plays blu-ray movies just fine on its current hardware...

Reply 82 of 119, by Mau1wurf1977

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I loved my Parallel port Zip 100. I had in in a little case and could visit all my friends and give them / get me some games 😁

My website with reviews, demos, drivers, tutorials and more...
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Reply 83 of 119, by idspispopd

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FaSMaN wrote:

My current laptop, I upgraded from a HP workstation 8710w laptop C2D 2.2ghz with a 17" screen and a Nvidia Quadro FX 1600M, to a eMachines E732G i3, 500gb hdd and a ATI 5470, at the time I thought it was great, very cheap, but when I started using it (alas after I already sold my old lappy) it just crumbled to bits, it has a terrible build quality, you cant use the keyboard and touch-pad at the same time (pressing a key makes the mouse stop moving), the cpu overheats when using it in combination with the GPU,so gaming is out of the question, it reboots when it feels feels like it.

Regarding using keyboard and touchpad at the same time: Usually this is intentional. The goal is that when you are typing for example in MS Word and you touch the touchpad accidentally the touch is ignored.
You could have a look around in the mouse options in the Windows control panel. On the laptop I'm currently using the option is called "TouchCheck".
It might be necessary to install the drivers for the touchpad to get these option if they are not already installed.

Regarding overheating: Did it do this from the beginning? If not, did you check for gathered dust?

On the topic of ZIP drives: I had an ATAPI one, and it was extremely useful for downloading stuff at university and carrying it home since I didn't have broadband at home yet. I think DSL only started in Germany in 1999 and I got the ZIP drive before that. Since the drive itself was rather inexpensive (and I got it as a birthday wish) and I only needed a few ZIP disks for my purpose I have no regrets.
The drive is still working, my father is occasionally using it for backups on an old box. (He got several disks later from friends who stopped using their ZIP drive.)

Reply 84 of 119, by FaSMaN

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idspispopd wrote:
FaSMaN wrote:
Regarding using keyboard and touchpad at the same time: Usually this is intentional. The goal is that when you are typing for ex […]
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Regarding using keyboard and touchpad at the same time: Usually this is intentional. The goal is that when you are typing for example in MS Word and you touch the touchpad accidentally the touch is ignored.
You could have a look around in the mouse options in the Windows control panel. On the laptop I'm currently using the option is called "TouchCheck".
It might be necessary to install the drivers for the touchpad to get these option if they are not already installed.

Regarding overheating: Did it do this from the beginning? If not, did you check for gathered dust?

Initially I thought it was software related aswell, so I had a look trough the Synaptics touch pad software and could find anything, I will look again , thank you 😀

Yes overheated from day 1, returned to retailer who responded "we could not locate the error" and send it back to me, the cpu downclocks heavily when it hits 90deg+ and fails prime if a 3d app is running ontop of it, had a ongoing battle with the retailer who refused to replace or refund, on grounds that I freshly formatted the system, and they consider that "tampering", never going back there again...

Reply 85 of 119, by idspispopd

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I found the following description for the current Synaptics drivers:

The PalmCheck™ feature guards against operating the TouchPad with accidental contact. PalmCheck allows the TouchPad to recognize when your palm is resting on it or brushing its surface while you are typing. This will help to prevent unwanted pointer movement or clicks.

If the TouchPad exhibits undesired pointer movement or clicks, increase the PalmCheck setting by moving the slider to the right toward Maximum. If the TouchPad misses intended motions or taps, decrease the PalmCheck setting by moving the slider to the left toward Minimum. You are more likely to experience missed motions or taps if the slider is in the red zone.

Reply 86 of 119, by FaSMaN

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Nice thank you idspispopd, will check for it next time I use it, atleast then there is one less hassle with the laptop, but I still wish it was dead...

Reply 87 of 119, by Schizofrik

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I overpaid for an Nvidia 8600gt. The performance was not even close to what I expected. Although it is now living happily in my media center PC.

Had to purchase a convertible tablet PC as a requirement when I started college. Went out and got the HP tx1000... Out of everything on this list, that is probably the worst ~$1700 dollar purchase I have ever made, ever. Damn screen was not an active touch screen, it was all pressure based, and basically useless for the work I had to use it for in school. Also, 45 minute battery out of the box and heat heat heat.

Had a TNT2, but was naive and didn't know what M64 meant. Basically a crippled TNT2. Wasn't as impressive as I had hoped.

Athlon T-bird 1400, stupid amount of heat from that thing. It had good performance though. Ended up getting so hot that the heatsink clamp warped, fell off, and the damn thing nuked itself in about .5 seconds.

ECS K7S5A motherboard. I saw someone else mentioned that on here... I mowed lawns for months saving up for that horrible, awful, piece of garbage that was not stable from day one.

I purchased an ATi Radeon HD4850x2 as an upgrade from a single Radeon HD4850. The performance was good, but that x2 card produced so much heat and made an unbelievable amount of noise. Had to upgrade my power supply just to stable out my machine.

I have had a pretty good run of luck here lately. I have made a habit of studying reviews for days before making a purchase. Most of those purchases I made in the past hurt because I was probably between ages 11-15, money wasn't exactly easy to come by.

Not all people that have beards use Unix, but everyone that uses Unix has a beard.

Reply 88 of 119, by d1stortion

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An OEM PCIe (!) Geforce 6500, which had nothing to to with the great 6600 GT and was basically almost a 6200. To be fair, it ran UT04 and some other then-popular games somewhat ok at mid-high settings, but let this card come near any amount of AA or higher resolutions than 1024x768 and it's death.

Also a Radeon X1950 Pro that didn't do quite well at UT3 as it should have, which was kind of lame since the GPU in the Xbox 360 is a derivative of it.

Reply 89 of 119, by dirkmirk

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Schizofrik wrote:

ECS K7S5A motherboard. I saw someone else mentioned that on here... I mowed lawns for months saving up for that horrible, awful, piece of garbage that was not stable from day one.
.

I had this board too, It was cheap and having SD-RAM and DDR-RAM made it a very cheap combination to upgrade your existing system, I went from a celeron 333 to a Duron 1000 system with 192meg SD-100 ram.

One quirk I remember was that it had stuttery sound or like a clipping noise, I thought it was the onboard sound so went and bought an overpriced c-media 8738 from a local computer shop that I thought would fix the problem, it did'nt, luckily I was able to return the sound card when they tested the computer.

Turns out it was running a PCI Voodoo3 that made the sound clip, I upgraded to Geforce4 ti4200 and the sound problems dissapeared, I later upgraded the system to an 1800XP and 512meg DDR RAM(I think?), Apart from the sound I had no issues with the board and later sold it for half the price I paid for it, now that I think about it the onboard LAN adapter stopped working but I thought in all it was a good cheap board and a cheap way to upgrade using your existing SD-RAM.

Reply 90 of 119, by vmunix

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Opti sound card with that ugly shape, mine had an IDE connector as well, God it was horrible playing .wavs at CD quality and the FM synth was terrible.

6818z.jpg

JTS "Champ" hard drive, it was simply the cheapest drive, and it was sloooow (PIO mode 3) nevertheless it worked fine for about 5 or 6 years, then died completely, so it wasn't that bad, I just regretted not to have spent a little more and get a bigger faster HD,mine was 1.3Gb

zoomsp205281.jpg

By the way in redhill there's a comment regarding kalok/jts
http://redhill.net.au/d/9.php

cyber240d.jpg
Cyberdrive made garbage, garbage CD-rom drives or writers, all junk failed in less than 3 months, I kept returning them as they failed and opted for buying Pioneer which also failed after a year.

pioneerdvd104s4f39c0d1d.jpg

Trailing edge computing.

Reply 91 of 119, by nforce4max

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Add two HP Pavilion TX2510US to the list, typical ef0 error thanks to HP being cheap idiots by not providing cooling to the SB so there is issues with the sata controller. At least I didn't get burned with a powerbook g4 1.67ghz that I got for $56.

On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.

Reply 92 of 119, by Mez

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I realise how old this thread is but I found it through a crawler looking for help with a Synaptics touchpad so I thought to post my solution for any other victims of ASUS/Synaptics/MS shenanigans who also stumble across this thread.

I have a decade-old ASUS K54C laptop and I did a fresh install of windows 7 SP1 (is win7 retro yet?? 🤣), where-by I lost all functionality to both keyboard and touchpad.

After about 10 days of pure frustration, I bit the bullet and cracked her open to inspect the nether regions for any signs of dust or disconnected cables etc.. to no avail. On the third interior inspection I decided to reset the CMOS while I was in there... next boot the touchpad and keyboard were back! And any keyboard/touchpad glitches that were occurring previously vanished! *touch wood*

For the noobs: resetting the CMOS involves popping the battery out and putting it back in again. The hard part is finding the bugga! Youtube is a good source for working out how to get in there. ASUS hide the battery underneath the motherboard so you have dig deep!

Here's some tips to save you some time/effort...

1) Synaptics won't help you, they have disabled end-user access to all drivers and tell you to see your manufacturer. Nor will they reply to emails.

2) If you're out of warranty, ASUS won't help you either. They may charge you a small fortune to do the above, or they may try to convince you to throw the lappy in the bin and buy a new one with win10. The latter is their preference.

3) Microsoft are useless! They too would prefer you upgrade to win10. Unfortunately, win10 users are also experiencing this issue and, you may have noted, MS has not helped anyone on their forums.

4) Intel were supposed to recall these motherboards due to this (and other) problems. They, like ASUS Synaptics and MS would prefer everybody simply trashed the equipment and upgraded so the problems will go away.

For the above mentioned reasons, I will never buy another ASUS/Synaptics/MS/Intel product again! They can shove their shitty equipment and service where the sun don't shine 😁

long live Ubuntu !!!!

Gave up gaming to support Autistic grand children. Now writing educational browser apps for slow-learners. A note from the grandies "Long live Monkey Island!"

Reply 93 of 119, by Mez

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FaSMaN wrote:
idspispopd wrote:
FaSMaN wrote:
Regarding using keyboard and touchpad at the same time: Usually this is intentional. The goal is that when you are typing for ex […]
Show full quote

Regarding using keyboard and touchpad at the same time: Usually this is intentional. The goal is that when you are typing for example in MS Word and you touch the touchpad accidentally the touch is ignored.
You could have a look around in the mouse options in the Windows control panel. On the laptop I'm currently using the option is called "TouchCheck".
It might be necessary to install the drivers for the touchpad to get these option if they are not already installed.

Regarding overheating: Did it do this from the beginning? If not, did you check for gathered dust?

Initially I thought it was software related aswell, so I had a look trough the Synaptics touch pad software and could find anything, I will look again , thank you 😀

Yes overheated from day 1, returned to retailer who responded "we could not locate the error" and send it back to me, the cpu downclocks heavily when it hits 90deg+ and fails prime if a 3d app is running ontop of it, had a ongoing battle with the retailer who refused to replace or refund, on grounds that I freshly formatted the system, and they consider that "tampering", never going back there again...

Just thought to add to this comment for any new comers wondering the same thing... apparently the Intel speedstepper doesn't kick in until the OS has loaded. I worried about it for a while too, until I read that on Intel's website. Now I just make my visits to the BIOS as brief as possible.

Gave up gaming to support Autistic grand children. Now writing educational browser apps for slow-learners. A note from the grandies "Long live Monkey Island!"

Reply 94 of 119, by KCompRoom2000

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Mez wrote:

For the above mentioned reasons, I will never buy another ASUS/Synaptics/MS/Intel product again! They can shove their shitty equipment and service where the sun don't shine 😁

long live Ubuntu !!!!

AMD/VIA and Linux fanboy detected.

On a more on-topic note. Here are a couple things that I regret buying:

- Dell Dimension 4300S - I saw this machine at RE-PC (our local recycler) thinking that it would be a good candidate for a 9x machine (I was in dire need of a 9x desktop back then) and with the $30 price tag, I figured why not take the chance? So I took it home, installed Windows 98SE and all the drivers I needed on it, and ran some games on it.

First of all: The integrated audio chip is a SoundMax chipset which doesn't support DirectSound acceleration, so a couple games either refused to output sound or outputted distorted sound, which led to using a PCI sound card, which also had some horrors (to be mentioned later).

Second: The expansion slots it has are a low-profile AGP slot and two full-height PCI slots on a riser, severely limited upgrade potential to the point where I had a hard time finding a graphics card that was better than the original ATI Rage 128 Ultra AGP card, I know some of you always rely on the Geforce 4Ti cards for a high-end 9x machine, but because there's no such thing as a low-profile GF4Ti card, the only alternatives that didn't cost an arm and a leg were 1) a LP AGP nVidia Geforce4 MX440, 2) a PCI ATI Radeon 9100, 3) a LP AGP ATI Radeon 9250, and 4) a LP AGP nVidia Geforce FX 5200. I had option 4 to spare so I went with that, until you mentioned that the FX5200 sucked even for 9x gaming, which led to option 1, which led to me having to experiment with different nVidia driver versions since 81.98 didn't cut it, worked fine for me, until I saw this thread which nitpicked on how ATI video cards had better image quality than nVidia cards from the same period. Knowing how finding 128-bit versions of video card options 2 and 3 was going to be hard, I ended up junking the Dimension and resorting to buying an Optiplex GX150 tower for my 98 gaming fix.

And third: It had a s***ty 1.6 GHz Willamette Pentium 4 processor, another factor that made it both suck and a**. I could have used my spare 2 GHz Northwood Celeron instead (it surprisingly had better benchmarks!), but it's too late because I dumped it.

TL;DR. Don't rely on small form factor Pentium 4s for any type of gaming, not even 9x gaming, unless you like having headaches from trying to find good graphics and sound cards.

- Sound Blaster Live! Dell OEM CT4780 - As mildly mentioned in point 1 in the Dell 4300S argument, I bought a PCI sound card to take care of the integrated audio problem, this was the card I went for as I also found this at a cheap price at the same RE-PC store. Working Creative driver hell, here I come. The CT4780 card worked fine with the built-in drivers on Windows 2000 and XP, but for 98SE, I had to resort to LONG and HARD searches to find drivers that really worked with this SB Live! model, and when I finally found them, they stopped working after a month. Luckily, I managed to score a CT4670 at the same RE-PC a year later, and thanks to it working with the much easier to find official Creative driver package, I no longer have to go through this painful process again. I still have the CT4780, it's currently in my Dell Dimension 4600 which is being used for audio transfer.

I'd list more items, but since this list is already so long and it's dinner time for me at the time of typing, I'll be sure to come back later with some more stuff. I'll be sure to mention the Dell Latitude CPi motherboard that I bought a couple months ago (even we Dell toleraters run into some bad Dell hardware sometimes).

Reply 95 of 119, by Mez

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haha! And here I was gonna say I couldn't knock Dell for longevity... I got a 20 yr old Inspiron that is still kicking along without any repairs what-so-ever. Admittedly it's only running 8-bit pixel games for my grandchildren so it's hardly doing any work but they're heavy handed so you kinda expect summin to break eventually.

oh.. And thanks for the heads up. I was wondering how the hell to avoid all the brands I'm angry with atm. I'll look into AMD/VIA for my next box, although I'm leaning heavily towards MSI - if it weren't for the Intel-crap inside I might have bought one already.

BTW... it's fangal if we're being politically correct hehe xx

Gave up gaming to support Autistic grand children. Now writing educational browser apps for slow-learners. A note from the grandies "Long live Monkey Island!"

Reply 97 of 119, by lazibayer

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Almost everything in my first computer - Unknown 430VX mobo, K5-133, ALG2032, an ISA MPEG card, etc. - I knew little about computer hardware and let the salesman pick the items.
Many things in my second computer - Pineview 440LX mobo, unknown i740, CMI8338, crappy slotket - I knew something about computer hardware but my old little town doesn't have much to offer.

Later on...
SiS315 64MB AGP
IBM 60GXP 40GB
Some monitor with integrated speaker

More recent:
Refurb Thinkpad X61T - constant breaking down, probably because of refurb
Thinkpad X100e
Some MSI tablet
Sony Vaio tablet

Reply 98 of 119, by KCompRoom2000

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As promised, here are some more things I regret buying:

- Toshiba Satellite 315CDS - A couple years ago, I managed to find a Toshiba laptop complete with the original AC adapter, software discs, spare trackpoint caps, and some PCMCIA NIC cables all for around $50 (can't remember the exact amount) on Craigslist. Good deal, right? WRONG. As I'm sure you've figured out already, I didn't realize the CDS part meant it had a DSTN screen until after I got it, that's too bad because I really wanted to use this laptop for gaming since it has a Yamaha YMF-719 audio chipset. I would've liked to replace the DSTN panel with a TFT but unfortunately Toshiba used different screen connectors on the motherboards between the CDT and CDS models so it's not as easy as swapping the screens. I ended up looking for a Pentium 1 laptop with a TFT screen and put this Toshiba away once I found one.

- Dell Latitude CPi (motherboard) - A couple months ago, I had the opportunity to buy a parted-out Dell Latitude CPi D266XT laptop on eBay, so I bought it in hopes that I could use its motherboard to find out how good it was for DOS gaming (the last time I had a CP, I couldn't get its sound chipset to work with DOS, yet others have managed to get the Crystal CS4237 chip to work, so I thought maybe I was doing it wrong back then). Unfortunately, the daughterboard had a scorch mark on one of its chips, so I ordered another daughterboard, and when I tried to turn it on, the stupid thing killed my spare PA-9 adapter. Whelp, there goes my $50 (combined cost for the laptop motherboard and a new daughterboard).

- Chaintech 7NIL1 motherboard - Ah yes, another RE-PC purchase from the days when I started going their often in 2013. Let's say I had a spare case and the idea to build an extra system to play around with, so I thought "why not visit the Athlon XP architecture when I could find the hardware to build one?". This motherboard was a major pain to get working.

The CMOS battery was soldered onto the socket, not only that, but it was also dead. Whenever I attempted to restart this computer after configuring the BIOS settings, it would lock up, possibly implying that the CMOS battery needed to work in order for it to use my new settings, with how the boot-up priority is inconveniently configured by default (LS-120->HDD->CD), this was a HUGE problem because I couldn't change it to the usual Floppy->CD->HDD order I swear by.

Not only that, but because it had one of those FSB jumpers (this was before I knew about them), I had a hard time figuring out what CPU I was using with it because it ran at 1150 MHz, upon a quick research, I found that there was no such thing as a 1.15 GHz Athlon, so after some guesswork and further research, I came to the conclusion that I was using an AMD Athlon XP 2600+ underclocked with a 100 MHz FSB since it had a 11.5x multiplier. The CPUID string in the BIOS reading "1150 MHz AMD Athlon" is what puzzled me the most because it meant it could've been a regular old K7 pre-XP Athlon for all I knew.

Needless to say, this was the worst (and only) Athlon XP motherboard I have ever used in my life.

Reply 99 of 119, by SpectriaForce

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- Intel Core i5-7600K LGA1151: pcb corners bent (seems to be a common problem). Clock speed stuck at 800 Mhz. Got rid of it and upgraded to Skylake-X (LGA2066). Now no problems and very stable system. Still use same cooler but on LGA2066 it's assembled with bolts.

- Brother DCP-9055CDN color laser printer: paper feeding problems just after the warranty expired. Tried everything, no fix. Got rid of it (given it away for free!).

- Thomson Speedtouch and Netgear wifi products. One word: junk. I've learned my lesson and bought Linksys / Cisco: zero problems.

- Crucial DDR2 1066MHz modules in combination with Asus P5B. Didn't work. Replaced with Corsair same spec: system still runs fine after 11 years.

- Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe: died after a couple years use. Tried everything, just wouldn't POST anymore. Never overclocked CPU more than 10%..

- Several Logitech keyboards that either typed horrible or couldn't withstand my rough treatment. I now use Corsair. Zero problems.

- HTC Sensation smartphone. Couldn't resist me spray cleaning it.

- TomTom GPS VIA 135 (or something like that) navigation system. Severe stability and software issues just after the warranty expired.

for ready to use retro game pc's click here