... or how to get a bluescreen from the past
That is exactly why I needed a retroPC - to feel it again. Emulators are great but that's just not it :)
It already had quite a lot of usable meat inside. However, it required testing, refurbishing, and pimping in general.
Motherboard MB-8500TTD by Biostar was already populated with 2x128 MB DIMMs and Intel 233Mhz MMX CPU.
Graphic card was an old good PCI based S3 Virge DX but its connector was a bit worn out as you can see below.
To my surprise it had a super old ISA ethernet card.
RT-2203V1 based on AM79C960KC chip with AUI and BNC connectors !
It also had a 8GB HDD , 3.5" 1.44 MB floppy and a DVD-ROM - all in an unknown state.
Machine successfully booted TinyCORE Linux through DVD-ROM drive so I could check what exact CPU is inside and try reading stuff from a floppy drive.
I've put a random diskette in and ... IT WORKED ! YAY
Hard-drive also looked fine. I was able to format it without a problem but I didn't do deeper checks. I decided that I'll just give it a go with fresh Win 98 install.
At this point, I already knew that I was missing few parts, so I started looking for'em online.
I've found few cheap parts so I've ordered'em quickly:
- Graphics card - ATI 3D Rage PRO
- Audio card - PCI SoundBlaster compatible
- Back-side USB connector
- 3D accelerator - Diamond Monster 3dFX VOODOO 1
I decided I'll go with m$ Windows 98 because it has USB support already in. I could install W95 osr2 and then add USB support but I was just too lazy.
Few google searches and a bit of CD burning later I had this screen:
... and this ;)
I was super happy that everything goes well and then suddenly ...
Thanks to M$ I instantly launched full rage mode like in old days :D
... KK it wasn't full rage mode but I just wanted it to be retro so I had to at least pretend that I was super pissed off :D
After dust settled, I started to investigate the problem.
It turned out that Ethernet ISA card is causing BSODs.
I've completely forgot that I need to setup I/O and IRQ jumpers correctly - lazy me ;)
I've wrestled with it for a while because the description on a card itself is quite shitty.
I've checked for conflicting addresses and set a card to proper IRQ and I/O addresses.
And there it is ! My own retroPC ! straight from the past ;)