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Old 10-02-2022, 12:07 AM   #41
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

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Originally Posted by eccerr0r View Post
Yay was able to extract win95 from the failed CDRs and got a basic install on my 486dx4/75 on a 512M CF card. At 16MB RAM, don't think I'd want anything newer.

Now need to find drivers...
Nice! How's the responsiveness?
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Old 10-02-2022, 02:00 AM   #42
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

It's running as fast as I remember it... but I never had much software on this computer as it was never a main computer.

I have no network for it yet, but supposedly I did save a copy of the wifi and lan drivers (PCMCIA). I do recall putty working on this machine way back when.

No web browser that I know of ... yet...

I'm using a 512MB CF card at the moment. It's not really that much faster than before, except now I don't hear the clicking of the drive anymore. Totally silent now, unlike when I was using the 528MB drive that croaked.
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:00 AM   #43
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
I wouldn't waste any time trying to hunt down a sub-528mb HDD; especially one that's actually GOOD.... Just get a 512mb CF card with an IDE adapter....and done.
yea thats a very good suggestion. im glad eccerr0r is having some good fun with your idea, reviving his win95 system on compactflash.

if i ever get down to building a p3 system, im probably going to get a 120-128gb sata ssd with an ide adapter since ide ssds are either unobtanium or u have to pay with your bodily organs. i also noticed ide ssds often only come in 2.5" form factor with a 2.5" 44-pin ide interface, requiring me to get a 3.5" ide to 2.5" ide adapter to get it to work.

anyway, the reason for this 120-128gb capacity is because i noticed p3 boards typically dont support lba48 so u are limited to 128GiB drives max. i could also try sd or micro-sd cards with an ide adapter but 128gb sd/micro-sd/cf cards seem to be more expensive compared to a 128gb sata ssd.
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:12 AM   #44
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

lba48 can be fixed in a couple of ways
one is to customise the bios if it's one that supports "modules"
the other is an extra rom on a network card
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Old 10-02-2022, 07:15 AM   #45
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

If my 486 had been a desktop, I still have a 400MB (IDE) and 2GB (IDE) rust spinners around. They're in my K6-233 for no particular reason. Also have a few SCSI, a 700MB (SCSI2) and even a 5.25" 320MB (SCSI1) HDD. Though I dropped that case with the disk in it, not sure if it's still working... so don't forget about that option with a SCSI card...

Incidentally I forget... what kind of networking support does win95 have? I plugged in and installed drivers for an 802.11b PCMCIA card but not much luck in getting that working.
maybe I need sp1 or something, my osr1 didn't survive...

Last edited by eccerr0r; 10-02-2022 at 07:24 AM..
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Old 10-02-2022, 09:30 AM   #46
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

wifi cards that support win95 are quite a rarity because when wifi took off, it was already the win2k and xp era. plus even if u get it working, the problem is the encryption standards being supported because everyone uses wpa2 for their wifi encryption these days unless u want war drivers leeching your wifi with no encryption or weak wep encryption.

so in verbose, if u want wifi working on a computer, u need two things: 1. wifi driver support for the os in question and 2. a wifi client utility (typically from the manufacturer) that also supports the os in question. the wifi client is needed as it provides a gui for u to key in the ssid and encryption key for the wifi network u want to connect to. so obviously without either, the wifi card is a useless paper weight.

also i dont recommend wifi with encryption on a 486. im not too confident of the 486 cpus ability to encode and decode crypto hashes so using encryption will kill (overload) the cpu unless the wifi card's docs state that the encryption can be done and offloaded to the wifi ic chip, but such info is probably unobtanium as manufacturers typically dont publish such information about their wifi cards.

my recommendation would be to get a 16 bit pcmcia ethernet card. im ass-u-ming a 486 board is too old to have pci slots so a pci ethernet card wouldnt work. and then an ethernet to wireless bridge with wpa2 encryption. that should take the load off the 486 cpu as it doesnt need to do the wifi encryption hashing. the ethernet to wifi bridge will do it.

then probably first when u get it, connect the ethernet to wifi bridge on a recent pc with a current os with a current browser to configure the wifi connection of the bridge via web browser. beware! some ethernet to wifi bridges have shitty configuration pages via web browser. do your own research on which ones have shitty web configuration and avoid those. when its set up, then u can connect it to the 486 pc and u have wifi on your 486 win95 rig.

it also helps to update your win95 with all the service packs and updates available as the winsock layer in win95 in the early releases was too buggy and slow iirc. so updating the winsock layer in win95 helps a lot with the networking ability of win95.

EDIT: i found a couple of topics on vogons about 16 bit pcmcia wifi cards that work with win95. if yours isnt listed in those topics, it probably doesnt support or work in win95.

VOGONS - Any PCMCIA wireless LAN adapters for Windows 95 (3.x too)?
VOGONS - 16-bit PCMCIA Wireless with WPA?

Last edited by ChaosLegionnaire; 10-02-2022 at 09:35 AM.. Reason: added some win95 wifi card topics
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Old 10-02-2022, 04:35 PM   #47
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

hmm... well, forgot when the transition happened, suspect it was prior to mainstream.

XP seemed to be before bluetooth
95 before wifi... so would need a whole wifi stack software for it.

I wasn't even intending to use WPA or even WEP. Just unencrypted, with HTTPS and SSH... (btw yes people could wardrive to this particular unencrypted/unprotected WAP. Except the would quickly figure out you can only connect to 3 hosts... one of which is the router, one of which is the gateway which drops all unknown packets, and third of which is a VPN host. Without PKI to the VPN host, it's a login based captive portal.)

In any case the network cards I have are (all PCMCIA):
- An Symbol Spectrum 24 802.11b wifi card
- A 3c589 (D?) Ethernet (10Mbit thin/tp)
- A Xircom Ethernet (10/100 TP)

So far the 3c589 is not behaving, probably have the wrong driver installed, and the symbol spectrum I don't have a WAP browsing solution... I do vaguely recall having the Xircom working a long time ago, but haven't tried it after the hard disk failure...

Last edited by eccerr0r; 10-02-2022 at 04:40 PM..
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Old 10-03-2022, 01:26 PM   #48
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

As expected the Xircom works...

Now I need msvcrt.dll ... but ... wtf, was firefox never supported on win95?

What browsers were ever supported on win95? Oh no I have to go back to Netscape?

Last edited by eccerr0r; 10-03-2022 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 10-03-2022, 05:23 PM   #49
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

netscape & mosaic
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Old 10-03-2022, 10:05 PM   #50
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

The 428MB Seagate drive is officially on its way...
On a related note, the 850MB drive that I have installed in there failed earlier this evening. Powered on and calibrated fine, then suddenly got the click-of-death when I reset the system after several hours of idling. I'm guessing either mechanical failure, electronics failure, or quite possibly corrupted service tracks, in part due to the system's bugged BIOS.
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:30 AM   #51
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival



Probably mechanical failure/bit rot of tracking encoding. Highly doubt it's BIOS related unless you have a drive with a firmware bug that allows destruction of drive...
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Old 10-04-2022, 10:08 AM   #52
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

Damn... wtf...

Incidentally, this thing takes a minute to load the self extract installer .exe file stuck at 0% and goes 18MB into swap ... and due to the CF card, it's so quiet I can't tell this thing is madly thrashing while trying to work with the installer...
Attached Images
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Last edited by eccerr0r; 10-04-2022 at 10:11 AM..
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Old 10-04-2022, 01:09 PM   #53
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

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On a related note, the 850MB drive that I have installed in there failed earlier this evening. Powered on and calibrated fine, then suddenly got the click-of-death when I reset the system after several hours of idling. I'm guessing either mechanical failure
...and that's what you'll get; continually with ~30yr old mechanical devices, especially hard disks.... At the risk of sounding repetitive; CF card and IDE adapter... Transcend Industrial CF's are my favorite, they can take a lot of abuse....IE, formatting and trial & error flubs....
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:38 PM   #54
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

Should test my 40MB IDE drive to see if it still works...
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Old 10-05-2022, 12:49 AM   #55
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

(and I still can't explain why it thinks it has no disk space left, it looks like it has plenty... perhaps the win98 msvcrt.dll has unintended side effects when running on win95...)
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Old 10-05-2022, 09:19 AM   #56
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

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(and I still can't explain why it thinks it has no disk space left, it looks like it has plenty... perhaps the win98 msvcrt.dll has unintended side effects when running on win95...)
I had that happen with an installer once with Win2k.....I don't remember what the cure was....but I recall the confusion when I saw the error message showing the free space versus what the program needed.....

On a side note....LOL'ing at when a web browser only used 18MB of disk space!!
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Old 10-05-2022, 10:12 AM   #57
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

i had a floppy once, booted into a browser!!!
it was a demo of VXWORKS embeded o.s.
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Old 10-05-2022, 10:35 AM   #58
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Talking Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

Not much progress on the system over the past week+, again, due to waiting on that hard disk. As mentioned earlier, not only did Ontrack Disk Manager refuse to install on the system due to the bugged BIOS, but the 850MB drive failed Monday evening at about 6PM with a click-of-death, indicating a failure to self-calibrate.

Here's the errors that I was getting from Ontrack Disk Manager:
(Normal Mode)


(Advanced Mode)


In the meantime, I managed to get a RAM drive set up, as well as EMS/XMS (from my MS-DOS 6.22 diskette). I downloaded a demo and copied it to a pair of floppy diskettes, which I can then copy into the RAM drive. From that, I can start the demo. All with about 3.5MB free of the 8MB of RAM that it has. That includes the 1MB of EMS RAM that it requires for sound and the 577K of conventional (holy yikes) RAM that it requires.

Temporary setup.


Demo running. Using the SoundBlaster Vibra/16's SB Pro emulation for high quality stereo audio.


As soon as I get a working (and compatible!) hard disk in there, things are going to progress rapidly.

(P.S.: Does anyone know of a source or have any 2.88MB floppy drives that aren't from an IBM anything and don't cost a small fortune?)
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 1002222027_HDR.jpg (390.9 KB, 28 views)

Last edited by TechGeek; 10-05-2022 at 10:38 AM.. Reason: 2.88
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Old 10-05-2022, 11:26 AM   #59
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

dont those need special floppies with better quality coatings?

btw, try installing FreeDos and OS² Warp on it!
http://www.freedos.org/
https://winworldpc.com/product/os-2-.../os-2-warp-452

Last edited by stj; 10-05-2022 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 10-05-2022, 03:08 PM   #60
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Default Re: Gateway 80486-DX2/50 Revival

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dont those need special floppies with better quality coatings?

btw, try installing FreeDos and OS² Warp on it!
http://www.freedos.org/
https://winworldpc.com/product/os-2-.../os-2-warp-452
You can force-format 1.44MB diskettes to 2.88MB. Probably a good idea to hit 'em with a tape eraser beforehand to kill the sectoring.


Hadn't thought about OS/2. I've thought about FreeDOS, but not sure whether I'd like to use it on this system. Looking to keep everything as close to period-correct when and where I can. (When possible. I don't readily have room for a CRT monitor in any of the locations that I can see myself using the computer on a regular basis, but I'd use one if I had the room.
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