Getting a mystery box

A couple weeks ago, I was informed that the PC that has served as a file server at my work for well over a decade would be retired; that means no more Windows XP for them! I am to receive the machine along with its monitor, a late '90s beige IBM CRT, tomorrow afternoon.

It looks quite nice from what I've seen; generic beige tower with 2 optical drives and a 3.5" FDD. I've never had access to it so I had no idea as to its specs. Luckily I was able to gather a couple days ago that it has a 1.7 GHz P4 with 512 MB of RAM. The only desktop 1.7 GHz P4s were released in April and August 2001, so it looks like a functioning 98SE install is probable, though I'm aiming for 95 OSR2.1, which is very slightly iffy based on the age of the machine.

I'm crossing my fingers that the rest of the hardware won't be PTSD-inducing (eg. VIA chipsets, S3/Intel graphics) but my expectations are low for a business machine.

Comments

  • Why would you be so against PTSD hardware, like Intel graphics and stuff like that? Those type of hardware features are pretty effective with those kind of machines... I think. But nice idea to take possession of something that used to be owned by a workplace!

  • edited August 29

    I meant hardware that induces PTSD, as in post traumatic stress disorder :lol:

    I only have anecdotal evidence as to the inferiority of integrated Intel graphics from the early 2000s (though they were much less competitive than now), but I certainly had issues with a VIA board + 8 MB S3 Savage4. Attempting to install the win95 usb supplement broke the OS, 98 was outright quirky, win2k was good but I have much newer hardware for that.

    The Savage4 caused many games to crash, not even start, had trouble with semi-transparent assets, and even lags with some after dark 4 screensavers.

    Anyway, I do have a GeForce4 MX 4400 somewhere so I can free myself from any integrated graphics funk anyway!

  • @win32 said:
    I meant hardware that induces PTSD, as in post traumatic stress disorder :lol:

    I only have anecdotal evidence as to the inferiority of integrated Intel graphics from the early 2000s (though they were much less competitive than now), but I certainly had issues with a VIA board + 8 MB S3 Savage4. Attempting to install the win95 usb supplement broke the OS, 98 was outright quirky, win2k was good but I have much newer hardware for that.

    The Savage4 caused many games to crash, not even start, had trouble with semi-transparent assets, and even lags with some after dark 4 screensavers.

    Anyway, I do have a GeForce4 MX 4400 somewhere so I can free myself from any integrated graphics funk anyway!

    I personally like Intel HD graphics because it has pretty good quality and stuff. Although, I also like the latest GeForce graphics cards as well, such as the GTX 1050, 1060, etc. But Intel HD graphics really isn't stress disorder-inducing :p

  • Yes but those early Intel graphics are completely different from today's "HD Graphics."
    They weren't very good.

  • Oh I see. I've ever only used the newer version of Intel HD Graphics, which are good, like I said before.

  • edited September 8

    I finally received it today. There are two issues; two leaked capacitors between the CPU and PS/2 and onboard ethernet ports, as well as the DVD-ROM drive being dead.

    Nonetheless it POSTs and almost ran win95 successfully, until getting caught by the race condition (and I forgot to load fix95cpu on a floppy), so I'm trying 98SE instead.

    I've never soldered anything before and I may end up switching out the entire board with the one of the aforementioned machine with the GF4 MX440 because Athlon XP > Willamette. Or maybe I'll learn to solder and leave the other board in peace.

    UPDATE: turns out i've got PC2700 DDR RAM and a GeForce FX5700 LE so overall it appears to be decent performance wise for 9x + Willamette. No EHCI though so I may still put 95 back at a later time.

    UPDATE: installed Windows 2000 and turns out it is EHCI-capable (NUSB didn't pick up on that), but it appears that the onboard audio was the casualty of the capacitor leaks.

  • edited September 29

    I ended up installing the DVD-RW drive as well as the FX5700 LE into my IBM PIII-500 box (I know, massive bottleneck :lol:).

    The DVD-ROM drive just happened to be disconnected from the PSU, though I've yet to test it.

    It was a massive step-up from the CD-ROM and the S3 Savage4 (Diamond Stealth S520). I got a good stability boost as well, as I can now install the USB supplement for Windows 95 without wrecking the OS; this now negates the need for a dual-boot with Windows 2000.

    Now everything fits well; my SB Pro-compatible onboard audio and one of the most powerful Windows 95-compatible GPUs with great drivers (just had to delete the NVIDIA control panel and TSRs). The CRT monitor is in fact an IBM G54, made one month before the 300GL rolled off the assembly line (happy 20th birthday)!

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