Found a couple old computers in my dumpster

racketboy

Established Member
I was taking out the trash this morning before I went to work and in the dumpster (I live in an apartment) there were a couple of old computers on the top. Unfortuanately they were both Compaqs.

I yanked um and threw them in my car.

I got to work and looked up the serial #s and found out what model and the basic specs and everything.

Compaq's site wasn't much help -- it couldn't give me specs for those old of models, but eBay came to my rescue
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One is an original Pentium 166.

The other is a 486.

I might be able to use the Pentium for something, but I don't know about the 486.

Should I dump it?

Would any of the parts be worth pulling?

Could I use it for something?
 
check out the 486's harddrive and you might can add it to the Pentium. The memory might be the same too and you can just add them to the pentium machine. Check the expansion cards for any good soundcards, NICS, or modems. If you find a good ISA modem those can be pretty good. ISA modems are usually hardware modems that have their own DSP chip. Hmm? DSP? I think I might be using the wrong acronym
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But NEway, It might not be a software modem that requires a fast CPU.

You might can even keep the cases or power supplies for backup of each other. If the Pentium's PSU ever goes out, you might can use the 486's

Both have potential in doing something. The 486 can be a Print or file server. Or you can play around in Linux or something.

What is the Mhz for the 486? You might can make it into a fun Gameboy and NES emulator!
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Goodluck and keep us posted!
 

racketboy

Established Member
well the problem with the old compaqs is they make them really hard to upgrade

I haven't opened the 486 yet, but I had a compaq 386 a long time ago and it was such a mess inside

I breifly looked at the insides on the Pentium and it was icky as well.

The HD was easy to access, but the power supply (if my memory serves me correctly) was right over the RAM slots. Unless I can take it apart, you'd need really small hards to work with it.

As for the NES/GB emulator idea, that's what my DC is for
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thanks for the suggestions though!

keep um coming

correction: the floppy drive was over the memory -- but! the whole front part with the floppy and HD flips out so you can access the whole board with no problems! very cool
 

ExCyber

Staff member
You didn't mention the clock speed... lower-speed 486s are about perfect for playing old PC games. Throw MS-DOS 6.22 on there and hit some abandonware sites.
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racketboy

Established Member
also, neither box has a CD-ROM

however the Pentium does have USB ports so I can use by USB burner if I need to (once I have an OS on it that supports it)

the Pentium has 1 PCI slot

should I get an old video card for it?

what would be a good one that would boost the overall performance of Windows98 and some educational games?

(I'm thinking of using it for my wife's piano students)

BTW, here's the model: Compaq Deskpro 4000S 5166X

I'm pretty sure it's a P166 -- hense the name.

If I wanted to swap the chip, what the best one I could replace it with?
 
Originally posted by racketboy@Jun 6, 2003 @ 01:38 PM

also, neither box has a CD-ROM

however the Pentium does have USB ports so I can use by USB burner if I need to (once I have an OS on it that supports it)

is the pentium a 166Mhz?? i didn't even know computers had USB back then...is it on a pci card or is it built into the motherboard?
 

Myname

Established Member
Originally posted by ExCyber@Jun 7, 2003 @ 01:09 AM

You didn't mention the clock speed... lower-speed 486s are about perfect for playing old PC games. Throw MS-DOS 6.22 on there and hit some abandonware sites.
biggrin.gif

Agreed. You might be one of the few people left who can play System Shock without having to spend 3 days fixing your computer afterwards.. Never was a game more aptly named.
 

racketboy

Established Member
yeah I was surprised that it had USB too.

I had my hopes up when I first saw the USB ports.

"wow cool this has USB, so it must be like a Pentium II or something"

haha

BTW, I realized the box doesn't have sound, so I might have to use the PCI port for that.

It has another card slot which I'm guessing is ISA slot.

Can I get a SB-compatible card to put in there?

edit: hehe

Originally posted by Myname+Jun 6, 2003 @ 07:27 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Myname @ Jun 6, 2003 @ 07:27 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'> <!--QuoteBegin-ExCyber@Jun 7, 2003 @ 01:09 AM

You didn't mention the clock speed... lower-speed 486s are about perfect for playing old PC games. Throw MS-DOS 6.22 on there and hit some abandonware sites.
biggrin.gif

Agreed. You might be one of the few people left who can play System Shock without having to spend 3 days fixing your computer afterwards.. Never was a game more aptly named. [/b][/quote]

So what are the best games that would run on a 486?

I'll have to get back with you on the Mhz for that after I actually boot it up

BTW, I'm assuming these boxes actually run -- they are still sitting in my car
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Originally posted by ExCyber@Jun 6, 2003 @ 01:09 PM

You didn't mention the clock speed... lower-speed 486s are about perfect for playing old PC games. Throw MS-DOS 6.22 on there and hit some abandonware sites.
biggrin.gif

Hells yeah. I still have an old Tandy 386 20MHz (I think), a Packard Bell 486 (66MHz), and an HP 486 (can't remember) and my Packard Bell Pentium 200MHz. Great for old games. They run them like they were meant to be. No screwing around with Windows 9x/XP for me! I haven't booted any of them in quite some time though, I need to clean 'em up and make sure they're all ready for action.

racketboy - good old games? score anything from LucasArts (especially their archives Vol. 1 series... Sam & Max, Day of the Tenticle and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantas). Also Sierra made some kick ass games in the day. Check Police Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, Space Quest, and a few of the King's Quest games. I know they released PQ, SQ and LSL in box sets, so you might get them all in one go. Oh, can't forget Shadows of Darkness, the fourth in the Quest for Glory series (and the only one I played.. great game though). The Wing Commander series (mostly the original and II with their add on packs) are also sweet (and in one package deal as well). Syndicate Wars is another great game if you can find it. There's a ton more great games out there, but that's a start anyway.
 

racketboy

Established Member
any star wars games that will run on a 486?

and how about some recommendations for some 2D graphics cards?
 

Myname

Established Member
Check out the Underdogs for some game ideas. But DEFINATELY check out System Shock if you've never played it. The Ultima Underworld games are great too, also by Looking Glass.
 

racketboy

Established Member
I found out the Pentium actually has 128MB RAM in it already

Windows 95 is on it, but the owner really screwed up some of the startup and ini files. I got about 15 error boxes as it started up.

I'm looking to do an install of either 2K or 98(lite) on it.

Which should I do?

I'll have to do it over a network since their isn't an optical drive.

I might get another 128MB if I do 2K.

Now to test the 486....

edit: tried to hook a monitor up to the 486, but the cable doesn't seem to go.

it looks like the same shape.... but it looks like one of the pin holes is filled.

are their different type of monitor cables from back then?
 

Gallstaff

Established Member
Maybe they just ripped the monitor away from the comp and one of the pins got jammed? If it looks like that, try plyers.
 
I agree with Gallstaff.

If it's 15-pin it should be VGA, which means any new color monitor will fit it. I think the old monochrome cards/monitors used 9 pins.

If the plyers don't work, try a straight pin with some superglue, or a toothpick with superglue. Put the smallest amount possible on the tip of the pin/pick and stick it in the hole. Leave it for 5 minutes and try to slowly pull it out. This might get it out enought to use plyers or tweezers.

oh yeah, What size is the harddrives?

How many IDE channels do they have?

have you been able to find out the clockspeed on the 486?

Once you get windows to boot in either machine, I would download and run "TestCPU" from a floppydisk. You can find it here: http://testcpu.webz.cz/ or download from here: http://testcpu.webz.cz/testcpue.zip

It will tell you the type of CPU you have and the clock speed, it will also benchmark the CPU and/or Memory. If you run it from a floppy, it will save the results in an .ini file so you can compare your machines in a graph.

I wouldn't recommend Win2k for the Pentium, you can try though. I ran it for a while on my 166Mhz overclocked to 200Mhz with 64MB ram, and it ran ok. But the lack of memory ran the harddrive ragged and I went back to Win98SE . . and then WinME cause it had better memory management. If you only have a 1 or 2 gig HD, Win2k after it's updates will be about 900MB. So take that into consideration, when Win98 is under 400MB.

I think Win95b would be good for the 486.
 

racketboy

Established Member
k -- i'll give the monitor thing a try

hey on the pentium, sometimes it give me a "hard drive controller failure" error when it starts booting up.

Each time I unpluged the HD and pluged it back in and it went back to normal.

This happened twice. Should I be worried?

Everything else on the machine seems great
 
check the harddrive jumpers and the BIOS, and make sure everything is set right. Somebody might have removed an extra harddrive and didn't bother with the jumpers, or the BIOS. Scan the harddrive for porn, credit card numbers, a mailing address, and then burn them to a CD and mail them back.
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racketboy

Established Member
Haven't been able to test the Mhz on the 486 since I can't hook the monitor up

I have a 266 laptop that runs great on 2K with 192MB of RAM.

The Pentium box has a 2GB hard drive. I might upgrade it -- especially if the current one keeps giving me problems (see previous post).

I might also pick up a 233 processor along with the other parts on eBay.

Here's what I'm looking to spend for these parts:

233 MMX CPU? - $9

ISA Sound card - $10

PCI Graphics card - $12

RAM? - $20

HD? - $20

? = maybe

what do you think?

Originally posted by Tindo@heart@Jun 7, 2003 @ 02:12 AM

check the harddrive jumpers and the BIOS, and make sure everything is set right. Somebody might have removed an extra harddrive and didn't bother with the jumpers, or the BIOS. Scan the harddrive for porn, credit card numbers, a mailing address, and then burn them to a CD and mail them back.
biggrin.gif

actually, now that you mention it -- in windows there is a D: drive on my computer (disk icon, not CD) but it doesn't have any properties.

there are now installed programs or data files that I can see

just a base Win95 install that has messed up ini and driver file errors

strange
 
old 486 ram can be the most expensive, especially 128MB. I forgot to mention that. but the 128MB you have now might be enough for Win2k.

I'd get a soundblaster AWE64. or someone might can suggest a "real" full duplex ISA card. Don't use any driver for this card you find on the Net, use the Windows drivers that automatically install when you insert the card. That should give you good full duplex capability.

If the processor in it now is not MMX, you cannot upgrade to MMX. I'm sure, but correct me if I'm wrong. The board might be limited to a certain Mhz also, especially for a compaq. It might can only go to 200Mhz which isn't much from 166 . . you might can find a jumper and try to overclock it, . . I have for over a year and it runs fine and stable. That would save a chip upgrade.

If you wanna network it, you definatly should get a cheap NIC off ebay. PCI or ISA, but ISA is limited to 10bps, and PCI can get up to 100bps.

I can't recommend video cards.

The D: drive might just be an extra partition on the 1 harddrive. You can run the DOS program "FDISK" to find out this. I think some manufacture like compaq keep restore/backup files on an extra partition.

Do a search for *.cab and look for the windows cab files. You might can salvage these to install Win95 on the 486.
 

racketboy

Established Member
the RAM upgrade would only be for the Pentium

I'll ask around more about the upgrade of the processor.

It is an MMX.

It already has a built in NIC

I was actually already looking into the AWE64
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for the videocard I'm looking into the Matrox G200
 
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