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Repairing my first PC

First written on April 3, 2018
Last updated on December 2, 2018

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”).

booting Damn Small Linux (DSL) from the CD-ROM
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

Motherboard

motherboard and processor

Slots

Connectors

Processor

Cards

sound card and video card

Memory

Drives

HDD
HDD
HDD

Power Supply

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

Connector 2

Keyboard and case connectors

Internal accessories

Case

External Accessories

monitor back view
monitor front view

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