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Repairing my first PC [retrocomputer hardware] 2018-12-02 23:37 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 Edition").

{% 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 broken.

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


  • 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" %}


  • 3x PCI
  • 2x ISA
  • 2x DIMM 168 pin
  • 2x SIMM RAM (Don't know pin #)


  • 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 KEYLOCK
  • 1x 4 pin speaker (buzzer)
  • 1x reset
  • 1x HDD LED
  • 1x power ON/OFF
  • 1x EXTSMI
  • 1x INFRA-RED


  • 1x AMD AMD-K6-2/450AFX


  • 1x PCI Winmodem (can't find it; I think it was a Lucent one)
  • 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" %}


  • 32MB DIMM32MTEC AL0457BY DIMM RAM. It has 4 M.tec memory modules on the front.


  • 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" %}

Internal accessories

  • A 4 pin audio cable that connected the CD-ROM drive with the sound card (can't find it). The wire was grey and the two connectors were black.


  • The case was a classical beige 1990s looking one, with a single metal cover around the left, right and top sides.

External Accessories

  • AT Monterey 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" %}