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4 years ago
4 years ago
title: Repairing my first PC
4 years ago
tags: [retrocomputer, hardware]
4 years ago
updated: 2018-04-04 18:00
4 years ago
description: Attempt to repair my first PC and part inventory
This was my first PC back in ~ 2001 2002. It was already used back then and
it shipped with the mighty Micro$oft Windows 98 OS (probably the "First
{% include image.html file="dsl_boot_on_old_pc.gif" alt="booting Damn Small Linux (DSL) from the CD-ROM" caption="booting Damn Small Linux (DSL) with the CD-ROM" %}
I remember using *Intern€t Explor€r* (version 5?) with
this thing (sic) and to do that I had to connect the internal
[Winmodem]( to a
[tripolar phone
plug]( with an RJ-45 to
tripolar beige wire (this also happened with the
next computer). Internet speed was around 32Kbps on average.
No USBs, no WiFi, no Ethernet. Only a CD-ROM and a floppy disk drive which was
the only medium I used at the time to move files. Infact I remember using
floppy drives for school researches using Micro$oft Word as an editor.
It was not a gaming PC but I was able to play
titles like *Hard Truck: Road To Victory*, *Age Of Empires II* or *Flight
Simulator 98* anyway.
Sadly, some years ago this PC refused to boot up. This happened
more and more frequenly and I had no idea on what was going on. I gave up
using it...
... until I decided to repair it and I noticed some corrosion on
the RAM module. I found [this post](
which suggests using a pencil eraser on the pins. It worked. When booting, the
leds of the AT keyboard instead of blinking once, now blinked twice. So I
connected the video card as well but nothing happened. I then connected a PC
buzzer and found out that it was an
[AGP socket problem]( a.k.a.
*Video error*, since the motherboard has an AWARD BIOS.
I tried another AGP video card with no luck. The AGP socket was probably just
To be sure the system was working I tried a Windows 98 recovery boot floppy
disk. I issued the `dir` command and listened to the floppy drive making
the usual noise.
Since it's pretty useless as it is, and of course painly slow, I think it's
time to recycle the components...
What follows is a thorough inventory of the parts with some photos.
## The full hardware specs
### Motherboard
- 1x Unkown "Super Socket 7" motherboard with AWARD BIOS and VIA, Winbond and
other chips.
{% include image.html file="DSCN3132.JPG" alt="motherboard and processor" %}
#### Slots
- 3x PCI
- 2x ISA
- 2x DIMM 168 pin
- 2x [SIMM]( RAM (Don't know pin #)
#### Connectors
- 1x ATA Floppy
- 1x primary IDE (ATA)
- 1x secondary IDE (ATA)
- 1x PS/2 mouse (not the actual PS/2 connector but 5 pins. See [this]( for example)
- 2x COM 10 pin
- 1x IDC 26 pin
- 1x USB 8 pin (don't know what version but i suspect it's 1.1)
- 1x 3 pin fan
- 1x AT Keyboard
- 1x AGP 124
- 1x P8 P9 (power)
- 1x 20 pix ATX (power)
- 1x 4 pin speaker (buzzer)
- 1x reset
- 1x HDD LED
- 1x power ON/OFF
- 1x `EXTSMI`
### Processor
- 1x AMD `AMD-K6-2/450AFX`
### Cards
- 1x PCI Winmodem (can't find it)
- 1x ISA `CRYSTAL CX4235-XQ3` sound card
- 1x `ATI HIS Rage IIc` video card
{% include image.html file="DSCN3131.JPG" alt="sound card and video card" %}
### Memory
- 32MB `DIMM32MTEC AL0457BY` DIMM RAM. It has 4 `M.tec` memory modules on the
### Drives
- 1x 1.44 MB `MITSUMI MODEL D359M3` floppy drive
- 1x 44x `Delta Electronics, Model OIP-CD440A` CD ROM drive
- 1x 8.4GB `Seagate U8 Model ST38410A` HDD
{% include image.html file="DSCN3156.JPG" alt="HDD" %}
{% include image.html file="DSCN3157.JPG" alt="HDD" %}
{% include image.html file="DSCN3159.JPG" alt="HDD" %}
### Power Supply
- Power supply with P8 and P9 pins: `EXON COMPUTER SWITCHING POWER SUPPLY
230W`. Model name should be `EX04T`.
{% include image.html file="DSCN3130.JPG" alt="FDD and power supply" %}
### Case Connectors
These connectors are placed on the back part of the chassis. They have the
classic bracket form factor.
#### Connector 1
- 1x female PS/2 mouse connector
- 1x female parallel port
#### Connector 2
- 1x 9 pin male serial port
- 1x 25 pin male serial port
{% include image.html file="DSCN3134.JPG" alt="Keyboard and case connectors" %}
### External Accessories
- AT Montewrey Keyboard `MODEL : K280W` with the right foot/leg broken
(looking at the keyboard from behind).
- DELL Trinitron monitor `UltraScan 800HS Series MODEL: D825TM`, with a nice
integrated crack on the basement and a non functional horizontal line on the screen.
- A serial mouse (can't find it)
- Classical PC speakers (light blue transparent plastic) with power supply (can't find them)
{% include image.html file="DSCN3140.JPG" alt="monitor back view" %}
{% include image.html file="DSCN3143.JPG" alt="monitor front view" %}