… 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 2×128 MB DIMMs and Intel 233Mhz MMX CPU.
The 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 an 8GB HDD, 3.5″ 1.44 MB floppy, and a DVD-ROM – all in an unknown state.
The machine successfully booted TinyCORE Linux through a 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 a fresh Win 98 install.
At this point, I already knew that I was missing a few parts, so I started looking at ’em online.
I’ve found a 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.
A 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 the old days 😀
… 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 😀
After the dust settled, I started to investigate the problem.
It turned out that the Ethernet ISA card is causing BSODs.
I completely forgot that I need to set up 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 😉
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