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What's the worst/weirdest thing your PC has ever done?  "(my example in the first post)"

User is offline   Major Tom 

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#1

Exactly what it says on the tin: what's the worst (i.e., crashes, hard drive failures, etc.) or weirdest (....read my example XD) thing your computer has ever done?

For me, the weirdest has to be from a few weeks ago. I was going through my CDs, looking for some old stuff related to Duke3D, and I ended up leaving one CD in my computer's DVD-ROM drive for over 2 hours. I ended up meandering off, going to eat lunch and stuff, and then returning to the room---I DISTINCTLY remember thinking "Man, that CD was so old, I hope it doesn't catch fire in the drive or something".

Lo and behold, I eject the DVD-ROM tray, and....pieces of CD fall out.

The thing had disintegrated---completely SHATTERED---in the drive tray.

Worse, a piece of the CD apparently got lodged in the opening mechanism that pushes the tray out, and it worked its way back there last Saturday---I had to use a paperclip to pry the thing open. Works fine now, but the fact that a CD shattered in the tray just weirded me out, right after it happened....

So, enough about my harrowing experience---what's the worst or weirdest thing any of you have seen from your computers?
2

User is offline   Gambini 

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#2

I once took my HD out to do some backup (i think) and put in my son´s pc as slave. I was using Windows 7 and my son back then XP sp3. When i opened the hd with his system all my system folders had funny names like shituser or nothingprogramfiles, etc. It turned out that the friend who lended me his pirate windows 7 downloaded it from the first site he saw and it had a tremendous backdoor which surely connected all pcs with that windows installed to some obscure hacker´s system. The funny thing is that i lended that dvd to a handful of other people and my friend did too. I fixed the issue by getting a copy that a guy of my job´s IT office took borrowed for me, but nobody i warned about the issue gave a fuck and must still be using the same hacked system.

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2

User is online   Mark. 

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#3

I think my computer before this one was so attached to me that when I gave it to my brother it gave up the will to live. I bought it new 7 years earlier and it was still running lean and mean and trouble free on it's original install of XP. Within a week of giving to my brother the built in sound card crapped out so I gave him a card to plug in a slot. A couple weeks later the built in network crapped out. So I gave him a network card to plug in another slot. Not long after that the computer refused to boot at all. I told him to toss it at the junkyard.
1

User is online   Tea Monster 

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#4

My youngest one leant his old desktop to a friend so that they could play Minecraft together. Literally the next day he brings it back round. "My Brother used it and now it won't work". It was completely full of crap. Viri and all sorts of nastiness. The dude's brother had completely trashed it. We formatted and re-installed. All was fine while it was here. Son's friend comes round and borrows it again. That exact evening, it's a replay. I told the friend that any further work would be undertaken at contractor rates or he could get his own computer. That silliness stopped after that.

The strangest thing was a supposedly completely dead rig. One day the machine just wouldn't turn on. I took it completely apart and reassembled it. I didn't have any spare kit apart from a power supply. I installed that and didn't even get a beep (yeah, I checked the cable). No lights, no beeps, no fans, nothing. I double checked all cables and reassembled it twice. I even broke it down to just the empty board with the CPU, cooler and the power supply (tried both) to see if I could get it to beep at me because stuff was missing - nothing. I assumed the board had blown. I put everything back together and went to bed. Just for shits and giggles, I flicked the power supply the next morning. It fired straight up and ran like a dream.
0

User is online   Forge 

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#5

had a cd drive go bad several years and computers ago. something to do with the motor position sensor or some such component.
When the computer was powered on, the cd tray would start opening and closing repeatedly
0

User is online   Hendricks266 

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#6

View PostForge, on 03 March 2016 - 06:07 PM, said:

When the computer was powered on, the cd tray would start opening and closing repeatedly

feed me a stray cat

Or,


3

User is offline   Robman 

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#7

Computers do weird stuff, especially the older they get. Heaven help you if you tinker with their innards a lot.
I've owned quite a bit of computer stuff over the years and enjoy building/testing/fixing them (most of the time.)

Here's a picture gallery of 90% of the computer hardware I still own.

The best though is when you have to cook a video card or motherboard in the oven to make it work again :D


This post has been edited by Robman: 03 March 2016 - 08:22 PM

0

User is offline   Tristan 

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#8

I had a computer that would corrupt my data sometimes, resulting in strange shit. One of my wolfenstein mods got corrupted, but only the map files. I played the game and there were still maps, but they were nothing like what I made, and were mostly garbled shit, and when it happened I was so pissed off because all that hard work on the maps was lost but at the same time it was kind of funny to see how weird these corrupted maps were.

This same computer would always BSOD when I played Skulltag, but only when I was fucking winning.

This post has been edited by gerolf: 03 March 2016 - 09:41 PM

0

User is offline   Commando Nukem 

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#9

My old eMachines tried to fuck me to death in my sleep.

That was pretty weird.

Not the worst, though.

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User is offline   Inspector Lagomorf 

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#10

I had recently installed a new SSD into my computer, and for a while I was having issues where every evening around 11pm, like clockwork, my computer would crash/BSOD and I would have to log back in again in the morning. Then I would come home from work and it would have crashed again, but for some reason the BSODs would never occur while I was actually using the computer. Doing any research on the BSOD message was completely fruitless because it was one of those generic messages (system handler exception, or something like that) that could be tied back to literally any possible piece of hardware. So I went into Event Viewer and discovered the culprit.

Windows 10, in all of its infinite wisdom, was attempting to defragment the SSD.

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1

User is offline   Person of Color 

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#11

Nothing super weird here, honestly. I generally daily drive newer equipment and the retro stuff I have doesn't get used enough to develop major pains.

Weirdest I had was my first build - A Soyo SY-K7V Dragon PLUS! with an AMD XP 2000+ and a 128MB Ti4200. The fucking board stopped posting a little over a year after I built it. Turns out it could no longer handle 266MHz FSB speed - I had to set it to 200MHz.

Also, even after replacing the degraded to fuck CPU, this Gigabyte Z77-D3H isn't stable at all for overclocking. I think it has some weird kind of problem - The VRM's were never run hot and they behave and respond as they always have.

Not that I care anyway, I've always H-A-T-E-D the BIOS in this thing, seriously Gigabyte's UEFI is total shit.

View PostRobman, on 03 March 2016 - 07:19 PM, said:

Computers do weird stuff, especially the older they get. Heaven help you if you tinker with their innards a lot.
I've owned quite a bit of computer stuff over the years and enjoy building/testing/fixing them (most of the time.)

Here's a picture gallery of 90% of the computer hardware I still own.

The best though is when you have to cook a video card or motherboard in the oven to make it work again :D


Dude, bolt in those hard drives...vintage gear is EXPENSIVE dude. Don't let it smash against random PCBs. I have a bunch of vintage stuff too and I keep it all in drawers, away from harm.

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This post has been edited by Person of Color: 04 March 2016 - 07:50 PM

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User is offline   Robman 

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#12

View PostPerson of Color, on 04 March 2016 - 06:46 PM, said:

Dude, bolt in those hard drives...vintage gear is EXPENSIVE dude. Don't let it smash against random PCBs. I have a bunch of vintage stuff too and I keep it all in drawers, away from harm.

That 386 has been through hell, it had mouse crap inside it and there's corrosion around the keyboard port. I fired it up recently and it just beeped at me. 3 beeps - silence .. 3 beeps .. silence. I looked it up awhile back and I'm pretty sure it's a keyboard error. I'll pull the board out and look for broken circuit paths and clean it up someday. I try not to let the hdd smash around but I agree, bolting it in would be wise. I played doom on that 386 at one point, had win 3.1 on it. I scored an XFX gtx260 today and a Quadro FX 1000 for cheap, pictures in the gallery.


This post has been edited by Robman: 04 March 2016 - 08:00 PM

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User is offline   Person of Color 

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#13

What would you need a 260 for?

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User is offline   Robman 

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#14

View PostPerson of Color, on 04 March 2016 - 08:21 PM, said:

What would you need a 260 for?

To keep some1 else from having it :)

I have 2 towers that have pci-e ... a core2quad 9550 and a core2duo e6750.
Now I have 2 pci-e video cards that have atleast alittle bit of muscle. the gtx260 and 9800gt.

I got a radeon 4850, the quadro fx 1000 and spare sb live x-gamer card yesterday for $30. I stop by the computer shop in town and ask what he's got once or twice a year. The radeon put all kinds of lines and artifacts on screen, tried it with 2 different computers so I took it back and paid $10 more for the gtx260.

I just like having and building stuff, I don't even use desktops currently but someday I'd like to have my own computer lab for gaming and dickin' around.
You know how it is.

How could I say no to this giant wheure of a card.
It's the 216 Stream Processor version instead of the 192 which is nice.
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This post has been edited by Robman: 04 March 2016 - 08:40 PM

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User is offline   Person of Color 

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#15

I generally only buy parts I absolutely need, although I do hoard vintage gear within reason. If I see a good price on some good old components I'm going to buy them as a spares if I already don't have some.

Generally, good parts that I have lying around have a short turnaround time and if a buddy of mine needs something done I just give it away. Chances are I didn't pay for it in the first place.

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Muslims are peaceful people oppressed by cis white males! Hillary for presidynt!
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This post has been edited by Person of Color: 04 March 2016 - 09:54 PM

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User is online   Tea Monster 

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#16

I'd love to have a whole room full of old kit. I get all nostalgic about old computers and the times I had with them. Gaming, messing around with hardware, finding cool stuff at the back of computer fairs (remember them?). I miss all that so much. They were such good times. Buying a cardboard box with some floppy disks in it at a computer fair and having a whole new universe to explore when you got home. I grew up in a time before computers and there is still something faintly magical about video games, especially the older ones.

I used to have a few old computers, but I wound up hardly using them. I found it was more depressing to see it sitting there unloved than to actually have it.

The kids all have computers though and it's fun to take them through building and fixing and adjusting. It's got now that the eldest ones teach the younger ones. This way at least I'm never short of a lan partner :D

This post has been edited by Tea Monster: 05 March 2016 - 03:40 AM

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User is offline   High Treason 

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#17

Too many things to really pick just one. The strangest things are probably corruption related.

Both ICH9 chipsets I ran corrupted hard drives regularly and I will never get some of that data back as they also corrupted the backups. In older machines, I've run two which had RZ-1000 and CMD0640 IDE controllers and these are legendary for eating the hard drive except for in Windows 95 where a silent patch was included, little help to anyone given how the controller is from around 1993 and was included on early Pentium boards and mid-life 486 host adapters/motherboards. Intel and Microsoft tried to hush up the whole thing. So far as I know they tied an interrupt to the floppy controller and so accessing certain things at the same time causes weird things to happen. I suspect my families first x86 computer (A Pentium bought around 1993) had one too as the drive in that ended up corrupted quite often, though it failed completely in 1997 so it might have just been faulty to start with.

Another weird thing along those lines is being negligent and using a 2GB partition on a machine which could only see 504MB of the drive due to BIOS limitations, what happens is you reach the end of the first 504MB and subsequent writes "wrap around" to the beginning of the drive and overwrite DATA there... As you can imagine, this isn't generally a good thing but luckily I lost nothing important as I knew the issue was potentially there, still fun to observe though and still a problem today on those fake USB sticks - you know, 8GB stick sold as 32GB for example, it will probably do the same thing.

My old friend Tim from years back had by far the weirdest computer in general. He told us it was the best machine in the world and how it "beat the shit" out of my Duron and my other friend's Xeon, then we found it was a K6-2 and this was in 2003. We knew it wasn't going to run well because he had no AGP interface, using a PCI GeForce 2 MX card and because he was cheap, a Sound Blaster 16 ASP from the family's old Pentium 90 which they gave to him upon acquiring a Pentium II in the late 1990s. Actually, Derek and I had reason to suspect the K6 system was the Pentium 90 with serious modifications. For one thing, it was AT form factor and the puny amount of 72-Pin RAM performed like FPDRAM as opposed to EDO which further suggested a Socket 5 board, the CPU sat in some weird mass of board and wires he seemed to have made himself and the POST screen gave " -S at 50MHz" when starting the system. We don't know what size the drives were but they sounded old, they were definitely Seagate and he had four of them (His CD-ROM drive was a proprietary MKE drive connected to the SB16), he said ambiguously "They're 8GB" when asked but wouldn't elaborate on whether this was per drive, or total for all of them combined. From what little was saw of the insides, he liked covering them over with card and rarely opened the case, the motherboard used the SiS 5501/5502/5503 chipsets, further implying a Socket 5/Early Socket 7 machine under the hood. I like the K6 and it was a fast enough platform in its time, the world will probably never agree on whether the K6 or Celeron was the way to go, but that thing performed horribly, it could barely run UT99. UT03 and Q3A were pretty much a lost cause but he insisted it ran fine (At around 3fps), strangely at LAN parties, he could finish middle of the board, but whether this was down to skill or the fact he lagged so much nobody could hit him was never determined. Using the machine felt like a remote desktop session over a slow and highly latent connection, the cursor actually lagged. We were weary of using it because you never knew when you'd open a directory and find masses of Hentai/Tentacle Rape/Lolicon stored inside (His room was full of posters to the same effect) and nothing on the machine operated as expected because he'd modified the Windows 98 (First Edition) interface. In CFS2 he modded the game so certain areas were highlighted red, he did this so he knew not to fly there because his computer would lag more or crash, "These game designers are rubbish, look how slow this game runs... It's running fine but it should be better, they're rubbish, my computer is great, the program is just really inefficient." was the gist of his remarks to this. Adding insult to injury, he was beaten by a girl because she was our friend too and she had a dual Pentium III on some ABit board which she was already looking at replacing with a Pentium IV. Interestingly, the K6 machine was liquid cooled but he never changed the water and it stank pretty bad, it also ended up dooming the machine because the pump had sounded crap for a while and he wouldn't fix it, I was arguing about this with him again when a tube split and soaked the motherboard. Luckily we had talked him into putting an Athlon XP together and he was only waiting on a CPU, we were kinda happy he was off the thing (This was 2004) but he somehow repaired it and kept it going as a second system. Unfortunately, he ended up being arrested for computer crimes of some sort or other and I have no doubt the machine was seized and probably destroyed, a shame, because for all its flaws it was a unique and innovative machine with some fascinating kludges employed of the sorts you'll never see today.


Early Pentium's are fun to play with (Socket 4) because they go a bit mental sometimes. Combined with Intel's Batman's Revenge board they're disaster waiting to happen and any move you execute could bring the whole thing crashing down, probably made marginally worse if you have an FDIV chip. You think you're going to start Windows, but the Pentium has other ideas and goes into an infinite loop throwing "Divide Overflow" messages at the screen and beeping frantically. You think it's running fine now, but that smell of hot silicone suggests otherwise because you've got an old gray top chip and it runs twice as hot as the sun no matter how many fans you put on it and how big the heatsink is. You're certain you've got everything up and running, but the PCI implementation has other ideas, yeah, you and the OS can see the network card but it's not going to do anything useful, it'll send packets but none ever seem to come back. You swear your Pro Audio Spectrum worked in Commander Keen last time, but there isn't any sound now. The ABit board which replaced that one seems to be more reliable but it still has quirks. For example, if I have a mouse driver loaded when I run the installer for Flight Unlimited it will crash, but this is reproducible every time as are its other quirks, so you can trigger them or avoid them by conscious decision whereas the Batman was completely random and something as simple as listing the contents of a directory at the wrong hour of the wrong day could trigger error messages, a beeping lockup or even total data loss.

Some 486 boards perform worse with a DX4 installed than they do with a DX2, notably the FIC 486-VIP-IO will often slow down when using a DX4 and yield similar performance to what you'd expect from a single clocked chip. That board is also an example of one using a PCI Bridge in place of real PCI, so the PCI BUS is painfully slow and doesn't work reliably with some peripherals, you'd still be better using a VLB card for anything fast like video - whilst this is generally true for any 486, it isn't so noticeable on real PCI implementations like the UMC 8881 as they are only slower by a margin, bridged solutions like the VIA chips the FIC board uses are terrible and you will actually feel the slowdown in Windows and some applications, such as if you want to run Quake on it.

Much as I miss such quirks, it is probably a good thing that newer machines are less prone to freak out like this. Some of the problems used to be simply because the system was not configured right, maybe due to inexperience or lack of good documentation and standardization, but they weren't as fun when you had to actually rely on the system every day. Some older systems were just weird to start with, like those ASUS 486 boards where the CPU was on a card, Leading Edge did similar things in their OEM boxes and I'm sure DEC (among others) made some weird attempts at integrating controllers and such that resulted in a really bad tempered SCSI controller and an unusually bulky board in a gray case you couldn't find replacement drives for in the right color.

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This post has been edited by High Treason: 05 March 2016 - 06:30 AM

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User is offline   Jeff 

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#18

Several Seagate drives failed on me in 2008. In that same year, I had a motherboard that would lock up the whole system quite often.
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User is offline   Robman 

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#19

View PostPerson of Color, on 04 March 2016 - 06:46 PM, said:

Weirdest I had was my first build - A Soyo SY-K7V Dragon PLUS! with an AMD XP 2000+ and a 128MB Ti4200. The fucking board stopped posting a little over a year after I built it. Turns out it could no longer handle 266MHz FSB speed - I had to set it to 200MHz.

Newbie. :D


This post has been edited by Robman: 05 March 2016 - 05:49 PM

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User is offline   Person of Color 

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#20

Bad ching chang chong caps would be my guess on that one.

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Muslims are peaceful people oppressed by cis white males! Hillary for presidynt!
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY DONALD TRUMP'S VIOLENCE!

This post has been edited by Person of Color: 05 March 2016 - 06:23 PM

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User is offline   Robman 

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#21

View PostPerson of Color, on 05 March 2016 - 06:22 PM, said:

Bad ching chang chong caps would be my guess on that one.

Haha :)

I've found my older AMD machines to be a complete pita to get to post after being in storage for years.
The intel machines usually function fine after sitting idle for some time.

I've come to believe AMD/Radeon is considerably inferior products compared to Intel/Nvidia for many reasons.


This post has been edited by Robman: 05 March 2016 - 06:31 PM

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User is offline   Person of Color 

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#22

View PostHigh Treason, on 05 March 2016 - 06:28 AM, said:

My old friend Tim from years back had by far the weirdest computer in general. He told us it was the best machine in the world and how it "beat the shit" out of my Duron and my other friend's Xeon, then we found it was a K6-2 and this was in 2003. We knew it wasn't going to run well because he had no AGP interface, using a PCI GeForce 2 MX card and because he was cheap, a Sound Blaster 16 ASP from the family's old Pentium 90 which they gave to him upon acquiring a Pentium II in the late 1990s. Actually, Derek and I had reason to suspect the K6 system was the Pentium 90 with serious modifications. For one thing, it was AT form factor and the puny amount of 72-Pin RAM performed like FPDRAM as opposed to EDO which further suggested a Socket 5 board, the CPU sat in some weird mass of board and wires he seemed to have made himself and the POST screen gave " -S at 50MHz" when starting the system. We don't know what size the drives were but they sounded old, they were definitely Seagate and he had four of them (His CD-ROM drive was a proprietary MKE drive connected to the SB16), he said ambiguously "They're 8GB" when asked but wouldn't elaborate on whether this was per drive, or total for all of them combined. From what little was saw of the insides, he liked covering them over with card and rarely opened the case, the motherboard used the SiS 5501/5502/5503 chipsets, further implying a Socket 5/Early Socket 7 machine under the hood. I like the K6 and it was a fast enough platform in its time, the world will probably never agree on whether the K6 or Celeron was the way to go, but that thing performed horribly, it could barely run UT99. UT03 and Q3A were pretty much a lost cause but he insisted it ran fine (At around 3fps), strangely at LAN parties, he could finish middle of the board, but whether this was down to skill or the fact he lagged so much nobody could hit him was never determined. Using the machine felt like a remote desktop session over a slow and highly latent connection, the cursor actually lagged. We were weary of using it because you never knew when you'd open a directory and find masses of Hentai/Tentacle Rape/Lolicon stored inside (His room was full of posters to the same effect) and nothing on the machine operated as expected because he'd modified the Windows 98 (First Edition) interface. In CFS2 he modded the game so certain areas were highlighted red, he did this so he knew not to fly there because his computer would lag more or crash, "These game designers are rubbish, look how slow this game runs... It's running fine but it should be better, they're rubbish, my computer is great, the program is just really inefficient." was the gist of his remarks to this. Adding insult to injury, he was beaten by a girl because she was our friend too and she had a dual Pentium III on some ABit board which she was already looking at replacing with a Pentium IV. Interestingly, the K6 machine was liquid cooled but he never changed the water and it stank pretty bad, it also ended up dooming the machine because the pump had sounded crap for a while and he wouldn't fix it, I was arguing about this with him again when a tube split and soaked the motherboard. Luckily we had talked him into putting an Athlon XP together and he was only waiting on a CPU, we were kinda happy he was off the thing (This was 2004) but he somehow repaired it and kept it going as a second system. Unfortunately, he ended up being arrested for computer crimes of some sort or other and I have no doubt the machine was seized and probably destroyed, a shame, because for all its flaws it was a unique and innovative machine with some fascinating kludges employed of the sorts you'll never see today.


That is one of the most amazing hardware related stories I have ever read. Thank you so much. I'm saving that one to a text file.

Also, Celeron. Loved my 500MHz. Monster of a chip for the price, and faster than any P2 ever made.

I'm about to build my ultimate 486 soon. 160MHz AMD 5x86, 2MB ATI Mach 32, 64MB RAM, SB16 CT2230 w/ REAL OPL3, 4GB Bigfoot TX HD, and a Nakamichi 5CD SCSI changer. I figured you might find the board interesting - a PC Chips M912 marketed as a "Deep Green 486." It has a real UMC chipset, no sticker, real socketed L2 cache, socketed BIOS, etc. It was my main rig 11 years ago for old stuff and I got it barely used - it was always rock solid stable. Also, the solder joints are crazy clean, unlike the haphazard mess I've seen with other M912's. It's a fantastic board, PC Chips could have been a major player if they didn't just stick random crap on it.

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Muslims are peaceful people oppressed by cis white males! Hillary for presidynt!
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY DONALD TRUMP'S VIOLENCE!

This post has been edited by Person of Color: 05 March 2016 - 06:40 PM

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User is offline   Person of Color 

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#23

View PostRobman, on 05 March 2016 - 06:27 PM, said:

Haha :)

I've found my older AMD machines to be a complete pita to get to post after being in storage for years.
The intel machines usually function fine after sitting idle for some time.

I've come to believe AMD/Radeon is considerably inferior products compared to Intel/Nvidia for many reasons.


It really comes down to the component quality IMO. I have an AMD Athlon XP 3000+ rig. My brother built it as his first computer and although everything else is long gone the CPU/RAM/mobo still works perfectly. I also have another XP board from an eMachines made by FIC that works as well.

I switched back over to Radeon and I'm much happier. All the systems I've designed for people, with one exception have been Radeon based since 2014. Nvidia isn't what it used to be IMO.

As for the Intel/AMD debate, I definitely agree. Intel sucks ass though when it comes to product improvement. I have a love/hate relationship with anything Haswell or later - It's nice to make such a complicated beast your bitch, but at the same time as a Sandy Bridge owner, it's clear they wanted to discourage overclocking. I still build AMD rigs, I've built two FX-6300 machines as workstations at my job, but for gaming I try to go Intel.

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There is no race, only racists.
Proud trigendered babysexual pan-Korean anarcho-transhumanist
Muslims are peaceful people oppressed by cis white males! Hillary for presidynt!
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY DONALD TRUMP'S VIOLENCE!

This post has been edited by Person of Color: 05 March 2016 - 06:47 PM

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User is offline   Robman 

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#24

By "newbie" I was just being a jackass thinking that a 2000+ is still relatively new in my mind. Then again, 84yr old BlackCat could call me a newbie by the same regard.

I'll admit I don't really have much experience with newer hardware although I can't see it being very difficult. The last "new" system I built was an i7 2600k for my mother.

When I speak of the AMD machines being a pain the the ass, I mean the Athlon XP machines I have. When I pull them out of storage I always have to juggle sticks of ram, re-seat video cards or dick around with something else just to get them to post and then leave them be. Where-as the intel machines usually just work. If they don't work, chances are something is seriously busted.


This post has been edited by Robman: 05 March 2016 - 07:13 PM

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User is online   Forge 

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#25

View PostHigh Treason, on 05 March 2016 - 06:28 AM, said:

strangely at LAN parties, he could finish middle of the board, but whether this was down to skill or the fact he lagged so much nobody could hit him was never determined.

:lol:

Quote

We were weary of using it because you never knew when you'd open a directory and find masses of Hentai/Tentacle Rape/Lolicon stored inside

:blink: :lol:

Quote

Unfortunately, he ended up being arrested for computer crimes of some sort or other and I have no doubt the machine was seized and probably destroyed

maybe he got arrested for building that frankenstein's monster and the villagers had finally had enough
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#26

View PostRobman, on 05 March 2016 - 07:09 PM, said:

When I speak of the AMD machines being a pain the the ass, I mean the Athlon XP machines I have. When I pull them out of storage I always have to juggle sticks of ram, re-seat video cards or dick around with something else just to get them to post and then leave them be. Where-as the intel machines usually just work. If they don't work, chances are something is seriously busted.


Yeah, that's because most of the Athlon XP machines used shitty cheap VIA chipsets. Intel systems had these things too, just not as often because Intel would sell chipsets at a loss to certain OEM's. SiS and nForce 2 boards just fucking work. Over the years I had all three in my primary system and you really just had to avoid VIA back then.

The other thing that can make them "finicky" is that the nForce based boards have dual channel memory. Just like Intel's earlier stuff, in those slots if both sticks are the same capacity it's best to put exact pairs in. Back then you needed pairs that were 100% identical and if they weren't the BIOS wasn't always smart enough to get things working right. The difference is these are more common than Intel setups.

The Athlon XP is easily one of my favorite processors of all time. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it, not even one thing.

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This post has been edited by Person of Color: 06 March 2016 - 09:11 AM

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View PostForge, on 05 March 2016 - 07:26 PM, said:

maybe he got arrested for building that frankenstein's monster and the villagers had finally had enough




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#28

View PostPerson of Color, on 05 March 2016 - 06:37 PM, said:

That is one of the most amazing hardware related stories I have ever read. Thank you so much. I'm saving that one to a text file.

Also, Celeron. Loved my 500MHz. Monster of a chip for the price, and faster than any P2 ever made.

I'm about to build my ultimate 486 soon. 160MHz AMD 5x86, 2MB ATI Mach 32, 64MB RAM, SB16 CT2230 w/ REAL OPL3, 4GB Bigfoot TX HD, and a Nakamichi 5CD SCSI changer. I figured you might find the board interesting - a PC Chips M912 marketed as a "Deep Green 486." It has a real UMC chipset, no sticker, real socketed L2 cache, socketed BIOS, etc. It was my main rig 11 years ago for old stuff and I got it barely used - it was always rock solid stable. Also, the solder joints are crazy clean, unlike the haphazard mess I've seen with other M912's. It's a fantastic board, PC Chips could have been a major player if they didn't just stick random crap on it.


Ha, everything the guy owned was like that. His bike had a broom handle secured by wooden wedges as a seat pole because the original had rotted away. The M912 is like a slightly modified version of my MB-4DUVC's design from Aquarius and there were others (Like JK-042A), I use this board in my U5S-Super40 machine and it is a quick board, beats the shit out of the PCI ones anyway and has a few achievements to its name, notably serving web pages for a while and editing a 480p25 video for YouTube. It is by far my favorite system in the world. Whilst I love the X5 and topped several charts with this system when using one at 160MHz, I have a personal preference for the Pentium OverDrive, so my ultimate 486 box - currently unfinished - uses one of those with the Turbo button selecting 83MHz or 100MHz operation, it loses some performance by being PCI though. Architecturally the board in this, Aquarius MB-4DUPM, is like the M919 in that is uses the same chipset and is a VIP board. Beats my Pentium 60 over the head anyway, even with it being incomplete, but that might not stand if I can get the Sailor Boy adapter working reliably. Current focus is on the new Xeon though, given I just bought the board for that.

Celerons, the trick used to be to get a 300 running on 100MHz FSB and outstrip a 450MHz Pentium II. I personally prefer the K6 due to its lack of fixed multiplier, but both are viable platforms and both have their own quirks. Some K6 boards are a pain in the ass and throw fits about their AGP implementation or else hate certain frequencies (Mine is fine at 500MHz but throws its toys out at 450MHz) whilst exhibiting strangely slow IDE performance with certain drivers. Still, the original Celeron's sucked too and I keep meaning to plug a Celeron 266 into a spare Intel 810 board I have to try and make the "World's greatest Solitaire machine" - surely there will be Divide Overflows aplenty, and that's before I've even installed Windows. The later models were fine though and the 600-800MHz Coppermine versions saw a lot of use locally with people on a budget and government institutions.


View PostRobman, on 05 March 2016 - 07:09 PM, said:

By "newbie" I was just being a jackass thinking that a 2000+ is still relatively new in my mind. Then again, 84yr old BlackCat could call me a newbie by the same regard.

I'll admit I don't really have much experience with newer hardware although I can't see it being very difficult. The last "new" system I built was an i7 2600k for my mother.

When I speak of the AMD machines being a pain the the ass, I mean the Athlon XP machines I have. When I pull them out of storage I always have to juggle sticks of ram, re-seat video cards or dick around with something else just to get them to post and then leave them be. Where-as the intel machines usually just work. If they don't work, chances are something is seriously busted.


I had more Athlon XP machines die on me than anything else, leaving me with a strong distrust of the hardware. In all fairness, the CPUs rarely die unless they overheat, so there's that. New hardware is a foreign language to me, I still look for Clock/Multiplier jumpers when I pick up a board and I still have to remember that nothing is IDE anymore. I think a large chunk of the problem with the AXP era was one of the same things that made it good - cheap hardware was in abundance. Hooking up a Cho Kin Wang power supply to a Sum Ting Wong motherboard combined with the brilliance of other hardware made by companies you couldn't pronounce that you never saw again, it was never going to end well.

In recent times I have started to like the Athlon XP more simply because of my Chaintech board. It is a VIA board, so if what Viper says is true I don't know if everyone else just set VIAs up wrong or what, but Chaintech knew how to make good boards and it is generally trouble free with its intended processors. Meanwhile, I never used an nForce 2 that worked though the potential was there. I cheated and got an Athlon 2800+ (Lower FSB version, so essentially the 2600+ with double the cache) to run in my Chaintech, it bites Windows 98SE's head off, stupid fast and combined with the factory overclocked Ti 4600 it just destroys everything DX8 and below. Some day I'll finish building it and I recently learned how cheap low-capacity SSDs are, so I might be sticking like twelve of them on my Promise SX6000... Yeah, now that is a man's RAID controller, I wonder if instant boot times is possible, given the system can boot from its regular IDE controller using a battered old Fujitsu in about 7 seconds. Not sure as the RAID BIOS slows the boot time with its scans and checks, but I do imagine using a large SSD array would severely cut the boot time down once GAG or Windows' boot loader takes over. Only problem, the board doesn't use ATX12V and I have to fix my old 650 Watt power supply because new ones don't give enough oomph on the 5V rail. I hate working inside power supplies.

View PostForge, on 05 March 2016 - 07:26 PM, said:

Maybe he got arrested for building that frankenstein's monster and the villagers had finally had enough.


For some reason I imagine the entire neighborhood gathering below his bedroom window at night carrying torches and pitchforks while a string of Windows 98 chord.wav's can be heard. A blueish glow in the window as the theme of some cheap anime plays, all with the "gtrgtrgtrgtr" of the busted pond pump almost drowning the yells of the crowd.

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This post has been edited by High Treason: 06 March 2016 - 12:32 PM

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#29

View PostHigh Treason, on 06 March 2016 - 12:26 PM, said:

In recent times I have started to like the Athlon XP more simply because of my Chaintech board. It is a VIA board, so if what Viper says is true I don't know if everyone else just set VIAs up wrong or what, but Chaintech knew how to make good boards and it is generally trouble free with its intended processors. Meanwhile, I never used an nForce 2 that worked though the potential was there.


VIA's later stuff like the KT600 and the KT880 are fine, it really all depends on what you're doing. Those are pretty uncommon though. I threw out a perfectly good Sound Blaster Live I had spent $70 just a few years prior because of the PCI latency issue on the KT266A.

I've never had an issue with an nForce 2 system, although I've never used an NF2 with native SATA. I've only worked with boards with the Silicon Image chip and those work great. I think the native SATA sucks, and for ultra-hardcore overclocking you can actually corrupt the BIOS due to some weird chipset/BIOS feedback loop, but aside from that I can't think of any issues with those. They just worked.

Athlon XP "unreliability" was definitely caused by cheap hardware though. That era was hands down the cheapest as far as price/performance goes, and the quality of cheap components was worse than today IMO. When you can get a 2500+ for $85 you can corner cut wherever the fuck you want if you're poor enough. You've already got the temptation of a fast processor and for once in your life owning something "special," what's there to lose by buying a $30 case/power supply combo? Or a $25 PC Chips motherboard? May as well save $15 on generic memory while you're at it...and snag one of those $12 S3 Savage IX AGP cards that's actually a mobile graphics chip with all the ram built on to the GPU. The possibilities for chink shit were fuckin' endless back then. Just fucking endless waves of garbage.

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This post has been edited by Person of Color: 06 March 2016 - 02:49 PM

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#30

I owned one KT6 board but sent it back before powering it on - I had good reason, PC World Component Center lied about the specifications and also displayed a different version in the image on their site, they did the typical PC World thing and made a scene about returning it. I hat a K8T800 board for my Athlon 64 and it used to destroy RAM, so that didn't last long.

I liked the KM400 for low-power machines, in that scenario it gave decent price/performance and seemed to be happy chugging along with a Duron/Sempron, these weren't systems intended to be long living and they managed their three-to-five years without fail and then kept going. So far as I know, one is still working, but the capacitors were a bit bulgy looking the last time I saw it, the user was retiring it in favor of their laptop anyway and was only using it rarely by then, so it might have been dumped by now.

I had two nForce 2 boards worth remembering and I have no idea what version, I suspect both. I had a WinFast K7NCR18D which had no real issue with the chipset aside from the Sound Blaster legacy weirdness, it just had the small problem that its CMOS battery burst into flames and killed the board shortly after I got it, it was a cheap board. I gave it another chance with the $200 DFI LAN Party NFII Ultra (Not the "B" version). This board never worked right, a major disappointment because of the cost and because DFI usually made very good stuff. It had a SiI chip, but that only provided 4 channel PATA RAID, the single SATA port had to be enabled in BIOS and used the regular on-board IDE controller's first channel, you could not install an IDE slave on that channel with the SATA enabled despite the SATA using the Master slot in the BIOS. Personally, I always slightly suspected it was PATA with an adapter on the board, because when I tested it years later (Circa 2009 when I first got any SATA drives) it performed identically to the IDE drives, so who knows. Either way it was unstable and unpredictable, so you'll forgive me for keeping the NF2 on my "shit list" as my only experiences are negative, I know some people swore by them and if they're working for you, stick to them.

SiS was a mixed bag. With you mentioning "chink shit" I immediately think of the ECS K7S5A / PC Chips Amptron M830LR, this was a SiS 735 based board and they never worked right, somehow though it gained a huge following. Locally, there are still many around, possibly due to Quay Tec (Local store from back then) pushing it big time, but none of them worked. Hell, I own three and I only bought one - I don't have mine because I returned it to the store for being 'broken' shortly after buying it, replacing it with an MSI KT3, another VIA I had a positive time with. On the other hand, the SiS 741GX based board I had lasted ages, it was slower than hell, but it didn't really complain and ran a Sempron 2200+ for quite a few years before it switched off and never came back, it was a very cheap ASRock so that was to be expected. My Chaintech is definitely a VIA, though I can't remember if it is a KT266 or a KT333. I suspect a KT333 which would put it on the same lines as my MSI KT3 board, probably explaining why it works for me. This was the board I really wanted back in the day but couldn't afford, I even have a photo of one in the case at Quay Tec because I thought it was as close as I'd ever get - I actually wanted the Deluxe model, but I actually figure this one is better as I can choose my own RAID board and as noted above, went overkill with it.


If you want a bad Socket A board, try the MSI MS-6340M, that thing was literally fucking everywhere, in all the lowest-of-the-low OEM crap. I mean the Advents, the Times, the Tinys and the Packard Bells all used this thing and like all crappy boards, for some reason, they did that thing where they rotate the chipset 45 degrees, why? These boards were really for the original Socket A processors up to 1400MHz but were commonly paired with slower Durons around 650MHz instead. The fastest I saw was PC World's Advent brand which offered a system with a 1000MHz Athlon installed, that thing scared me because the board was barely stable with a 650MHz Duron, with an Athlon 1000 I seriously thought it was going to blow up or something and Advent stuck this tiny heatsink to the CPU, like smaller than a Celeron heatsink with no paste, awful. Fixing the heatsink did nothing to make the system more stable and the capacitors bulged, leaked and killed most of them in less than two years. Where I used to work we had some of Time's very last machines and I was horrified to find that they all used a later version of this abomination paired with Athlon XP 1800+ chips, they seemed to work for a while but then we had them mass failing, the keyboard and mouse ports kept failing and the caps kept bulging, I ended up having to move most of the company back to their older Compaq Deskpro Pentium II boxes and by then, Time had folded and the systems weren't covered by warranty;

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Whilst I wasn't the one that ordered them, imagine how I felt having to explain to the boss that his barely a year old computers had all failed, that the efforts to move the company accounts from the ageing 286 had gone with them meaning we had to start again and that the Deskpro's he wanted to use in his insurance scam were now back in service instead of storage. I think I still have one of the earlier boards as used by Advent, wonder what would happen if I plugged in my Athlon 1400? Don't really think I want to find out, I can probably predict accurately enough how it will end - I imagine my screen will probably turn blue a few times as that distinct aroma of electrolytic fluid boiling off fills the room.

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This post has been edited by High Treason: 06 March 2016 - 03:43 PM

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