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Old 10-13-2021, 09:41 PM   #41
Topcat
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Ok, I ended up with a couple more of these turds in big tin cans a couple weeks ago....



What better to rehouse this than some HP slimline 3000 series AM2 with a bad motherboard.....





The board. I added a 40mm fan to the forward side of the sink. The original case had a 90mm fan drawing air across this sink....and we all know AMD stuff running hot! This slimline had no case fans other than the one in the PSU, which was removed....so I figured something had to be added. This ended up being a bit of a goof, but easily remedied....more later.



Now popped the original IO shield and had to mod the new one for the wifi antenna. I didn't do the antenna in the PSU blockoff plate this time, the cable was too short.



Drilled and DEBURRED!



Now to debadge the case....



Done.



Test fired, booted Hiren's.



Here's where the fan interfered....the optical was hitting it. The solution was simple, relocate it to the AFT end and have it drawing across the sink instead of blowing. Worked like a charm. Yea, looks a little ghetto with the zipties, but it's not going anywhere. There was no cleaner way to fasten it with screws....



A little more engineering....the tabs that held the lower part of the bezel on were broken off.....so I shaved the alignment pins flush with the steel and ran a couple screws into them. Perfect!



Now to fit it for a 2.5" HDD without having to waste an adapter tray (keeping costs down). Simply marked & drilled the 3.5" cage.





I had to use the most flush screws I could find, otherwise it dragged on the ceiling of the cage housing.



...and done!!!





Specs are an AMD APU E2 with 8gb RAM. The spinning 2.5" HDD is just temporary, I'll get a cheap SSD for it.....but here's to one saved from the shredder & repurposed....without the big ass useless tin can case. No OS installed, just used Hiren's and Mint Live boot for testing....I'll install an OS when it gets rehomed.
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Old 10-14-2021, 11:05 AM   #42
momaka
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Ok, I ended up with a couple more of these turds in big tin cans a couple weeks ago....

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1634181990
Ah.... HP "Engineering" again. *sigh*

I never understood why they did that. Such a waste of metal and space. Granted those cases are made of really really thin steel... but still a waste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
What better to rehouse this than some HP slimline 3000 series AM2 with a bad motherboard.....

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1634181990
Let me guess... model number on that board starts with M2N (looks like M2NC51-AR)... so by that, I can only guess it's an nVidia (a.k.a. "noVideo") chipset. If so, that probably explains it all.

If it was a socket 939 system and had a Athlon 64 X2 CPU, certainly save those, as they are getting harder to find. AM2... not so much. In fact, AM2 is pretty much scrap value now... unless you specifically want to run WinXP on something dual-core and "proper" from that era... but dirt-cheap.

*EDIT*
yeah, I see an nVidia sticker on the case...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
The board. I added a 40mm fan to the forward side of the sink. The original case had a 90mm fan drawing air across this sink....and we all know AMD stuff running hot!
The AMD APUs run pretty cool, IME. It's just that the stock heatsinks that come with these systems are always inadequate and running either a tiny fan or no fan at all, thus relying on the rear fan (like it was with the original big tincan HP cases above.) It's unfortunate these soldered APUs don't have an AM2 mounting bracket or provision to mount any other kind of heatsink. Otherwise, even a stock slim Intel Al heatsink will work tons better here for cooling. But again... "HP Engineering"

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Glad to see I'm making you do extra work every time now. Wonder how many people cut their fingers on your builds before that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Here's where the fan interfered....the optical was hitting it. The solution was simple, relocate it to the AFT end and have it drawing across the sink instead of blowing. Worked like a charm. Yea, looks a little ghetto with the zipties, but it's not going anywhere. There was no cleaner way to fasten it with screws....

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1634181990
Ghetto? It looks OK to me. Probably cools better than the original 92 mm fan too, since I didn't see a shroud over the CPU HS in the original case. If HP did that, though, that would have been one helluva cool-running CPU. Dell did this back on their P4 regular tower cases, and it managed to keep those P4s cool, despite all their heat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
A little more engineering....the tabs that held the lower part of the bezel on were broken off.....so I shaved the alignment pins flush with the steel and ran a couple screws into them. Perfect!

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1634181990
Brilliant solution! It's like those plastic pins were made for that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Now to fit it for a 2.5" HDD without having to waste an adapter tray (keeping costs down). Simply marked & drilled the 3.5" cage.

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1634181990

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1634181990

I had to use the most flush screws I could find, otherwise it dragged on the ceiling of the cage housing.

https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1634181990
Neat! I've had to do that before as well.

BTW, if you have a center punch with a larger diameter than the screw head, you can use that to make a flare around the hole in the steel cage. This will also raise the HDD a few mm away from the metal parts... though I don't know if that could also make the original cage not fit 3.5" HDDs anymore, due to the flared metal holes sticking out.

BTW x2... how come you're not re-using the original 3.5" HDDs? Too slow? I suppose if you're going with Windows 10, that's a good enough reason. But for Win7 and older, I still don't mind 7k2 RPM spinners. Every now and then, I still buy 250 GB 3.5" HDDs from Ebay for pretty much the price of shipping. Seems like no one wants HDDs that small or that old. I use them on Win7 machines, and depending on the config (and drivers that have to be loaded), some systems take less than 20 seconds total to get to desktop from pressing the power button.

Last edited by momaka; 10-14-2021 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:49 PM   #43
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Only having one WiFi antenna and leaving the second antenna connector open is another quality bit of HP "engineering." In this case, there appears to be a second antenna on the front of the case, but I've seen laptops with one antenna.

HP is still using the old Compaq Torx/slotted combo screws, too. It just reminds me of the computers that taught me to save often in case they locked up.
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Old 10-14-2021, 06:43 PM   #44
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Ah.... HP "Engineering" again. *sigh*

I never understood why they did that. Such a waste of metal and space. Granted those cases are made of really really thin steel... but still a waste.
Agreed. It will be redeemed though, I devised a case crusher using my fork lift. It flattens them out the size their footprint size but about an inch thick. I have the cabin of a junk car filled with many horrible junk cases that are crushed....just waiting to be taken to the steel recycler! They will live again, hopefully as something useful!

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Let me guess... model number on that board starts with M2N (looks like M2NC51-AR)... so by that, I can only guess it's an nVidia (a.k.a. "noVideo") chipset. If so, that probably explains it all.
Yup. M2NC51-AR....and yup, no video.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
*EDIT*
yeah, I see an nVidia sticker on the case...
LOL...not that you didn't already know...

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
It's unfortunate these soldered APUs don't have an AM2 mounting bracket or provision to mount any other kind of heatsink. Otherwise, even a stock slim Intel Al heatsink will work tons better here for cooling. But again... "HP Engineering"
Indeed, soldered. Heatsink attaches with the little anchors & hooks like an old world northbridge sink would attach.

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Glad to see I'm making you do extra work every time now. Wonder how many people cut their fingers on your builds before that.
That will live on in any build that deburring is required!

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Ghetto? It looks OK to me. Probably cools better than the original 92 mm fan too, since I didn't see a shroud over the CPU HS in the original case. If HP did that, though, that would have been one helluva cool-running CPU. Dell did this back on their P4 regular tower cases, and it managed to keep those P4s cool, despite all their heat.
The CPU would get warm, but not alarmingly so....I still fanned it anyway.

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Brilliant solution! It's like those plastic pins were made for that.
They had to be shaved about 3/16" to flush up with the steel, otherwise the bezel would still be loose and flop around on that bottom side. It's rock solid now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
BTW, if you have a center punch with a larger diameter than the screw head, you can use that to make a flare around the hole in the steel cage. This will also raise the HDD a few mm away from the metal parts... though I don't know if that could also make the original cage not fit 3.5" HDDs anymore, due to the flared metal holes sticking out.
Noted. Ones originally like that are stamped with a press...but yea, a punch and a little finesse would totally work in that case.

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
how come you're not re-using the original 3.5" HDDs? Too slow? I suppose if you're going with Windows 10, that's a good enough reason. But for Win7 and older, I still don't mind 7k2 RPM spinners. Every now and then, I still buy 250 GB 3.5" HDDs from Ebay for pretty much the price of shipping. Seems like no one wants HDDs that small or that old. I use them on Win7 machines, and depending on the config (and drivers that have to be loaded), some systems take less than 20 seconds total to get to desktop from pressing the power button.
The original spinner was a seagate 160gb full of bad sectors. Odds are when rehomed, it'll be doomed with 10....it originally had 8.1 on it, so 10 will activate without any smoke & mirrors....unless I could talk them into 7 or Mint....but most people believe the hype that 7 is insecure...and look at you like you grew another head when you say Linux Mint...
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Old 10-14-2021, 08:50 PM   #45
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Agreed. It will be redeemed though, I devised a case crusher using my fork lift. It flattens them out the size their footprint size but about an inch thick.
Oh yeah, I saw that in the cheap scores thread when I scrolled through it briefly last time.

Neat way to get rid of cases that aren't worthwhile.
Though I saw the front panel and/or USB/front audio headers were left on a few of the cases. I suppose you have enough of these that don't need any more? They make great retrofits for older beige cases, otherwise, when front USB or audio are needed... or just to replace the crappy cables on an otherwise well-built no-name case (seen a few like that.) Actually, I had to temporarily do a fix on one like that. The USB 2.0 front ports kept dropping out flash drives or Windows saying it's an unrecognized device. A few wraps of aluminum foil, tape, and a grounding wire later, and that fixed the issue with unrecognized devices. Then added an electro cap for filtering + power transients right on the USB port, and that healed the issue with devices dropping out on power-up. But in reality, I really should change that crappy front USB cable. I have one I saved from an HP case that was going to get junked by someone. I keep it in my spare bin for testing certain bare motherboards, though.

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LOL...not that you didn't already know...
Yeah, the Vista sticker was a good giveaway clue too. Whoever had that system got the "best" "fully loaded" package - Windows Vista and a crappy nVidia chipset. I mean, what could go wrong?

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
Indeed, soldered. Heatsink attaches with the little anchors & hooks like an old world northbridge sink would attach.
Oooof. Let's hope they put some good thermal compound in there then.

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
That will live on in any build that deburring is required!


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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
The original spinner was a seagate 160gb full of bad sectors.
Really? HP put that kind of small HDD on the AMD APU system?
I guess that's a double-whammy with the big hollow tincan cases: so not only you get big empty case, but also big 3.5" HDD that's only 160 GB. Wow!

Perhaps the HDD wasn't original to that system, after all?
Also, which series was the Seagate? 7200.9 or later. If 7200.9 or earlier, it might still hang around with some useful life.

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
but most people believe the hype that 7 is insecure...
Well, that's what happens when "IT Professionals" write clickbait articles for major "news" sites. I can't tell you how many times I've seen this rhetoric on Yahoo! articles.

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Originally Posted by lti View Post
Only having one WiFi antenna and leaving the second antenna connector open is another quality bit of HP "engineering."
Funny you mention this.
I did the same thing, and on a HP mini desktop PC nonetheless , because with both antennas connected, I was getting more frequent WiFi dropouts than with one antenna. In retrospect, though, that might have been an improper solution, as it seems now that the WiFi at my parents' apartment just seems to drop out at certain timeframes of the day, regardless of anything else. It's not the router either (already replaced with another)... nor the ISP (doing a ping to the router's IP - 192.168.1.1 - for 1000 packets, I can confirm the connection drop happens between router and device/PC and not ISP.) Removing one antenna seems to drop the WiFi speed of the connection... but somehow the connection seems to dropout less frequently then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lti View Post
HP is still using the old Compaq Torx/slotted combo screws, too.
I genuinely dislike those. If you have a torx driver with a long handle, perhaps it would be tolerable. I don't so I have to use one of those drivers with the short replaceable bits. Problem with that is, the screwdriver handle's body is sometimes too thick to reach in certain areas... and HP always has one or two screws in such areas. Flat heat is not a good alternative either, because I can never grab the screw with it and then move it to the hole without it falling from the screw driver, even if the screwdriver has a good magnetized head.

Don't get me wrong - I like Torx screws for certain applications. But PC cases isn't one of them.

Last edited by momaka; 10-14-2021 at 08:53 PM..
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Old 10-15-2021, 11:51 PM   #46
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Neat way to get rid of cases that aren't worthwhile.
Any of these really flimsy black cases meet the crusher. The old world gray HP cases (as ugly as they were), I don't crush...they're built like tanks and make great sleepers...I have quite a few of them.

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Though I saw the front panel and/or USB/front audio headers were left on a few of the cases. I suppose you have enough of these that don't need any more? They make great retrofits for older beige cases, otherwise, when front USB or audio are needed... or just to replace the crappy cables on an otherwise well-built no-name case (seen a few like that.)
I usually pull those and keep them just for that reason. I have a plastic tote full of them.

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Oooof. Let's hope they put some good thermal compound in there then.
It wasn't terrible....but I cleaned it off and buttered it up with some fresh AS5


Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Really? HP put that kind of small HDD on the AMD APU system?
I guess that's a double-whammy with the big hollow tincan cases: so not only you get big empty case, but also big 3.5" HDD that's only 160 GB. Wow!
I lied....it was a 500gb seagate. I don't know why I had 160 in my brain when I typed that....old age I suppose....but yea, full of bad sectors.

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
Perhaps the HDD wasn't original to that system, after all?
Also, which series was the Seagate? 7200.9 or later. If 7200.9 or earlier, it might still hang around with some useful life.
It probably was. It's in a big box of bad hdd's I have here....I take them to the Sheriff's department and give them to them. They take them to the range and use them for target practice.

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Originally Posted by momaka View Post
I genuinely dislike those. If you have a torx driver with a long handle, perhaps it would be tolerable. I don't so I have to use one of those drivers with the short replaceable bits. Problem with that is, the screwdriver handle's body is sometimes too thick to reach in certain areas... and HP always has one or two screws in such areas. Flat heat is not a good alternative either, because I can never grab the screw with it and then move it to the hole without it falling from the screw driver, even if the screwdriver has a good magnetized head.

Don't get me wrong - I like Torx screws for certain applications. But PC cases isn't one of them.
I dont mind them....it just annoys me when they're hybrid; some philips some torx....and then I have to go get extra tools...
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Old 12-10-2021, 09:03 PM   #47
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

Kind of a special build, but not special enough for a thread of its own..... This Shuttle ST61 G4 SKT478 P4 system has been a BCN member whore.... If I have the history right, it originated with Kerijane many moons ago, was then passed onto Hondaman, then Ratdude.....and finally me. I don't know where it died.....but it never worked for Ratdude and didn't work when I got it.

These are getting to be quite relics, its circa 2004....and getting harder to come by. Not sure if they'd ever be deemed 'collectable', but I figured I'd see what I could do with it....just because of all the years & travel stickers it has. Despite of their design flaws; crap caps and poor ventilation I've always thought these were neat little toaster boxes....so let the fun begin!

I think it had been sitting in a shed or basement for quite a while....it was filthy, had some sticky brown goop on the case, and had a musty smell about it...not a big deal, but I knew a good cleaning was going to be needed.....

...and here we go! Case open. The Vantec 'Vortex' is something I added instead of an optical...I'll get back to that shortly. The GPU is an ATI HD2400 Pro 512mb, not bad at all for this era of hardware....going to leave that alone.





Time to start taking it apart. It was missing 2 of the 4 feet, so I removed them all.





Getting ready to start cleaning it.....even if I can't make it work, it'll make a nice display piece in my office.





Someone partially recapped it....and the PSU had some bad caps in it. I finished recapping the motehrboard and recapped the power supply. I didn't take any pics of the power supply.



Now time to test it all.





Success!! I do not have any faster P4 CPU's left, I got rid of all the faster ones ages ago when they were actually worth something. THis is a Prescott 1mb cache model.... I'll run with this one until I encounter a faster one; if ever.



All cleaned & tested....and time to reassemble it.





Not too bad.....but it's crammed in there!





Now for the Vantec HDD holder... Nice way to get a little more air flowing through this thing.







All the old foot goop cleaned off and some new feet added.



Of course a butt shot.



Installing XP....I used the onboard Silicon Image 3512 controller; since it's SATA....otherwise I'd have been doomed to an IDE HDD....so I had to loose install a floppy long enough to load the driver for it....and of course a loose optical... Once the OS is alive, I can use the network or USB for the rest.



Buttoned up after the install.





...even a little Q3A... In 1024x768 with all the eye candy enabled, it flies! It will do the same in 1280x1024, but this crap monitor for some reason doesn't display this game right in this resolution. Any other monitor is fine. It does this with any/every system.



A BCN classic restored!!
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Old 12-13-2021, 08:43 AM   #48
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Kind of a special build, but not special enough for a thread of its own..... This Shuttle ST61 G4 SKT478 P4 system has been a BCN member whore.... If I have the history right, it originated with Kerijane many moons ago, was then passed onto Hondaman, then Ratdude.....and finally me. I don't know where it died.....but it never worked for Ratdude and didn't work when I got it.
I'll clarify the history. I'm sure there are other threads about it on here... but don't have time to dig them up. I'll post links if/when I have time later.

Kerijane acquired it a long time ago... and it was her first recap job ever (for a first recap, actually was pretty good!). But not being a Mac, she never used it much... and gave it to me. I added the ATI TV wonder card and the GPU (and the RAM)... but didn't use it all that much either, having moved on to other projects. Hondaman wanted a HTPC, so I gave it to him... and other than pulling the DVD burner I installed (which had yellowed badly), made no changes, and it probably failed on him where after it sat in his basement for years. Later on he was wanting to downsize his stash, and I rediscovered it when going through such. I reclaimed it, with the intention of giving it to you where I knew it'd get the attention it needed that I wasn't inspired to provide myself.

I take it the Prescott CPUs I included weren't compatible? Supposedly they may have been the only model in 478 that supports x64 (OEM-only, I didn't' have anything else 478 to try them on).
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Old 12-13-2021, 09:54 AM   #49
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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I take it the Prescott CPUs I included weren't compatible? Supposedly they may have been the only model in 478 that supports x64 (OEM-only, I didn't' have anything else 478 to try them on).
I could have sworn you said you forgot those...and I don't seem to have any SKT478 stuff here of unknown origins (every unused 478 CPU is in a bin of its own)....but I'll keep looking.
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Old 12-13-2021, 11:31 AM   #50
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
I'm sure there are other threads about it on here... but don't have time to dig them up. I'll post links if/when I have time later.
Tadaa: https://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6569
P.S: There are others, but you must search for "ST61*" or "ST61G4"
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Old 12-13-2021, 11:45 AM   #51
ratdude747
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Originally Posted by Topcat View Post
I could have sworn you said you forgot those...and I don't seem to have any SKT478 stuff here of unknown origins (every unused 478 CPU is in a bin of its own)....but I'll keep looking.
I Thought I shoved them in the case?

Maybe I didn't... heck I dunno. On the road for work so I won't be able to work.
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Old 12-13-2021, 12:51 PM   #52
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

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Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
I Thought I shoved them in the case?

Maybe I didn't... heck I dunno. On the road for work so I won't be able to work.
No, there was nothing of the sort in there. No worries, have a safe trip!
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Old 12-28-2021, 02:33 PM   #53
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Default Re: Topcat's Other Misc Weird Build Thread

This was a drop-off yeaterday. Been sitting in a barn since about the turn of the century. It's custom-built based on the legendary super-7 board; the Asus P5A-B. This was the K6-2 & K6-3 lover's dream because of its overclocking abilities plus having an AGP; a rare combo at the time.

It's filthy, and smells.....not as bad as the 'goat barn rescue', but it definitely needed a cleaning....but first things first....lets see if anything even works at all.... Obviously the CDROM is bad.



It fired up and booted to WinME. It's a 233MMX with 64mb RAM.....agonizing with Millennium Edition! ...but this revealed the first problem... Video card is bad. I did snoop...a lot of rental agreements for houses on the drive....apparently this once belonged to a property manager/owner... Rents were cheap ~20yrs ago compared to today!!





After a few minutes, it froze..... Here's why. CPU fan completely frozen. It was so clogged with dust, the louvers in the aluminum were not visible. THis photo was taken after a blast from the air compressor.





CPU...



Replacement fan from the junk drawer...



Now for the bad GPU, which was a Cirrus Logic 1mb IIRC. Yea, this went to the scrap bin.



I added a Hercules Prophet 4000 64mb AGP GPU. I also pulled the 33.6 modem and added a NIC. Sound is a Yamaha PCI card, not sure what model....



4.3gb Seagate HDD is still good; as if by some miracle....not even any bad sectors! Installing Win2k. I'd have done NT.....but I was being lazy and didn't feel like tracking down the drivers for everything.... Win2k had embedded for all except the video, which I already had.



Now to clean it up and put it back together....



...and done!



Nice rescue if I do say so myself!
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