VOGONS


First post, by RetroPC_King

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Hello. Today I will present my old retro Super Socket 7 AMD K6-2 rig from 1999.
Specifications:
Generic Baby-AT PC case (possibly JNC)
JNC 200W AT power supply
AMD K6-2 333 MHz (100MHz FSB) processor
Lucky Tech P5MVP3 ViA MVP3/VIA VT82C586B motherboard with 512K L2 cache onboard
128MB PC133 SDRAM DIMM
3Dfx Voodoo Banshee 16MB AGP 3.3V video card
3Com 56K OEM Winmodem
Gembird NIC-R1 Realtek RTL8139D PCI NIC
Avance Logic ALS120 ISA sound card
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 8 30GB 7200RPM ATA133 HDD
Panasonic 1.44MB 3.5 inch floppy drive
SONY CRX210E1 48x12x48x CD-RW
Windows 98SE/Mandrake Linux 9.0 Dual boot

I have posted pictures.
DO you like it? Any advice or opinions are welcome.

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Reply 2 of 9, by RetroPC_King

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STX: The Avance Logic ISA Sound Card works with DOS games at A220 I7/I5 D1 T5/T6. Emulates a Sound Blaster 16 or Sound Blaster Pro II maybe and a AdLib. The yellowing has its value.
Also STX, thanks for the nice Windows 98 Setup I have.

Reply 4 of 9, by RetroPC_King

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THX A LOT, chinny22! I am a proud owner of a very rare 3Dfx Voodoo Banshee, but it's AGP 2x when you see the connector with 3.3v notch, but itself it's a PCI card bridged to AGP. It does not even require an IRQ!
Also, it is not louder. It is silent! I had replaced the cooler with the Startech.com FANP1003LD 50x41mm Socket 7/370 CPU Cooler Fan with Heatsink and TX3 and LP4. Link to this cooler:https://www.startech.com/eu/Computer-Parts/Fa … ctor~FANP1003LD.
Before that, it had an Evercool CPU cooler that sometimes don't spin up and it spins up but it makes a grinding noise.

Reply 7 of 9, by RetroPC_King

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The HDD is capable of ATA133, but it runs on a ATA33 controller from the VIA VT82C586B southbridge.
Of course, Windows 98 can support Ultra DMA, but depending on the drivers and chipset. For Example: the PC Chips M571 motherboard supports DMA under Windows 98 with the stock drivers. In Windows 2000 DMA was not working with the stock drivers, but it works if you install a overlay program such as Ontrack or EZDrive (when using the stock drivers) or the SiS IDE driver.

Reply 8 of 9, by RetroPC_King

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Update: I recently built today a retro Slot 1 System. I moved the 30GB HDD, CD-RW, NIC and Modem in to the Slot 1 build. Now it have a 20GB Maxtor HDD DiamondMax Plus, 40x Liteon CD-ROM. In rest is the same.

Reply 9 of 9, by PCBONEZ

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RetroPC_King wrote:

The HDD is capable of ATA133, but it runs on a ATA33 controller from the VIA VT82C586B southbridge.
Of course, Windows 98 can support Ultra DMA, but depending on the drivers and chipset. For Example: the PC Chips M571 motherboard supports DMA under Windows 98 with the stock drivers. In Windows 2000 DMA was not working with the stock drivers, but it works if you install a overlay program such as Ontrack or EZDrive (when using the stock drivers) or the SiS IDE driver.

I've always preferred using an add-in controller card over drive overlay programs.
The overlay programs have always caused me problems later when the drive (or OS) has issues or the HD needs to be moved.

The Promise Ultra and FastTrak controllers up to ATA-100 don't need drivers for DOS so no TSRs. (I know that for sure.)
I've been using FastTrak's since UDMA33 was a new thing. They can be RAID or not depending on how you set them up.
The first I ever bought was to get past an on-board controller that was limited to PIO-2 or something and get that speedy UDMA33 performance.
If you will never use RAID then the Ultra cards are essentially the same card without the RAID option. (I haven't done a lot with Ultra's.)
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I dunno if my terminology is correct but these cards essentially send a 'fake' CHS or LBA (or whatever) to the OS and BIOS and handle the conversion to what the drive actually is internally. The BIOS and OS see a compatible drive even if it really isn't. Of course there are limits to how far you can go but with a reasonable HD choice they usually just work.
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A drive on a Promise RAID controller can be moved to a mobo controller and will work like a normal drive. (No workarounds.)
Promise RAID controllers put the configuration file on the first drive, not the controller. (Not sure if the other drives get a copy, but I think so.)
Because of that even with RAID enabled drives can be moved between Promise controllers without issue so long as they are moved as a set.
(The OS drivers only affect the OS "talking to" the card. The cards "talking to" the drives isn't affected. They 'ask' the config file on the drive what to do.)
You can even move a drive from a Promise controller to a mobo controller and back and as long as you don't wipe the drive (killing the config file) and it will still work.

I think that (needing no DOS drivers) is true up to the ATA-133 types and the S150, SATA-150 types.
If it works the '150's are SATA making SATA possible with DOS without drivers or TSRs.
I have the parts around but I haven't had time to do those experiments with the ATA-133 or 150's and DOS.
(There are like 150 motherboards in my 'in box' so it might be a while.)

= I haven't setup a W9x multi-boot in like 15 years - so, if me 'BIO-Memory' serves....
(This is only a "Promise thing" because the cards get around all the Mobo BIOS/Controller problems.)
(Don't need a Promise card to do this with a Mobo without those issues.)
As I recall a W98 setup CD worked well for this.
I usually follow this up with a Partition manager in W9x (after it's in) to fine-tune the partion sizes.
To make it work without drive letter issues I made at least 2 partitions (usually 3) with the CD before installing any OS.
1st (primary) a minimal (small as practical) FAT-32 partition for W9x so DOS doesn't recognize it. (W9x will think this is C drive.)
2nd (primary) a 2Gb FAT-16 for MS-DOS 6.22 and/or Win3.x (DOS/W3.x will think this is C drive because it can't see FAT32.)
1st + 2nd needs to be completely contained in the first 8Gb of the drive to keep DOS happy (meaning bootable).
3rd (extended/logical or even another primary if 3 partitions is enough) This is where to save files.
If you use extended/logical then you can partition the 3rd further if you want another FAT-16 for DOS file storage.
(The second DOS partition probably won't be bootable if it's past the first 8Gb but DOS can use it.)
= That's all from WAYBACK memory so take it with a grain of salt.

If you only want one OS you can skip the second partition and just use the 1st and 3rd.
If you want W98 + W95 (in place of DOS) adjust the partition sizes as needed.
(Install W95 first! You will have to work around a few drive letter issues in W98.)
(I usually edit the W98 registry and change the appropriate C:\ entries to D:\ so things go or look at the right logical drive.)
Having the data off the OS partition has benefits when you need to reinstall the OS fresh.
Personally=
= I make a "MyDocs" folder on the data drive and create a link to it in the built-in "My Documents" folder so I don't loose that stuff either.
= Also a "MyDT" folder and a link to it on the desktop. I never save anything that isn't replaceable to the actual desktop.

Around Y2k my main system used Promise cards + System Commander + 4 drives in 2 RAID-1 sets.
I could boot to DOS6.22, Win3.x, W95, W98, NT4, and W2k.
The earlier OSes were on an 8GB pair. The rest (and the data folders) were on a 40GB (IIRC) pair.
THAT was not easy to setup (mostly due to drive letter issues and files going to the wrong partition) but once I learned or fixed all the glitches it worked quite well.

Sorry for the rant, but Promise cards saved me SO MUCH time and trouble in the W9x days I had to hoot about them.

I'm still using a FastTrak in my "TV" system with 2x 1TB SATA in RAID-1 so I've used them for one thing or another continuously for over 20 years.
Promise is much easier to setup than the 3Ware, MegaRAID and Adaptec controllers I use in W2k-up systems now.
.

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