Bringing a 233mmx back to life

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by -AL-, Aug 16, 2020.

  1. -AL-

    -AL- Member

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    Half a lifetime ago I bought my first PC, a 233mmx.
    It served me well for a few years & I caught the PC bug, later moving on to overclocked Celeron 300s & then countless Intel & AMD setups.

    A recent clearout resulted in finding a lot of old gear including the old 233.
    With a committment cancelled today I finally had some time to try to get it running.
    Initially I could hear the PSU & CPU fan running but no other action. After a reseat of everything & a couple of goes to get the Ram seated properly, I can now at least get it to respond.
    Realising there was no HDD, I grabbed the one I think came with it originally but still no boot love.
    Next step, try to gind the old Win 95 disk & see if I can reinstal the OS.

    Any suggestions on how to get this running appreciated. I've forgotten more than I remember about these things.

    Al
     

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  2. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    freaking awesome!!! my brothers first PC had a 233mmx cpu in it, ran that colin McCray Rally like a champ. that and some soccer game i cant remember the title of, but just the theme song..

    Cool little setup, cant wait to see you getting it to boot all the way. :) is the video card a known working quantity?
     
  3. OP
    OP
    -AL-

    -AL- Member

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    Thanks.
    It was all working when it last ran but that was a VERY long time ago.
    I found my Win95 disk but I'm afraid I can't even remember how to boot into the bios to set it to boot from CD.
    I'll search around a bit tonight & see if I can work it out.
     
  4. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    Common keys to get into BIOS are Del, F1 or another function key, or on some wacky things like Aspire mobos, Ctrl-Alt-Esc. It should tell you this at some point during boot, but sometimes it goes by fast.
     
  5. Zubrick

    Zubrick Member

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    F10 is another chance too.
    The battery may need replacing after all this time.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    -AL-

    -AL- Member

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    Thanks. Looks like it's Delete but before I get to that, there's a few things to solve.
    1. The battery is almost certainly dead. Easy enough to fix.
    2. It has a 9 pin mouse port & a 24 pin keyboard port. I have a 9 pin to PS/2 adaptor but no PS/2 mouse. I have a PS/2 keyboard but not a 24 pin adaptor. I'll dig through my crap & see if I can find something remoteley usable. Not so easy to fix.
    3. It's not even trying to get to the bios. It just sits in the screen in the first post. I'm hoping it's one of the above 2 issues but not sure as yet.

    I'll have a dig around my stuff tonight & hopefully have another crack after work tomorrow.

    Al
     
  7. Spearchucka

    Spearchucka Member

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    Not aware of a 24 pin keyboard port. Has it got a 5 pin DIN socket for a keyboard, maybe? My cloth-eyes can't make out the mainboard model. Rather than trying to boot to Windows, can you boot to floppy or cd? If you haven't got lots of old crap lying around, you may be entering a deep rabbit hole. Next and final question (for now), your location in this world (postcode will scratch that itch)?
     
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  8. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    try it with no cards installed in it, just the cpu and 1 ram stick and vga card. I doubt its the keyboard as it would show keyboard error..

    any further developments?
     
  9. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    24 pin isn't keyboard. If it's with a PS/2 connector then I dare say it's either a serial or parallel port which is connected to the motherboard via a header on the board.

    The keyboard on Socket 7 is most definately AT which is on the motherboard itself. You can get PS/2 to AT adapters as pictured below which would allow you to use your PS/2 Keyboard.

    upload_2020-8-18_15-13-7.png

    I'm a bit confused here because you're saying you have a PS/2 keyboard but no way to connect it. Then how are you trying to get into the BIOS?
     
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  10. OP
    OP
    -AL-

    -AL- Member

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    You are right. I had it in my head the mouse & keyboard were plugged in side by side without having a proper look. There's an AT port on the board.
    I haven't had time to play with it but I'll grab an adapter tomorrow. No wonder I couldn't get into the bios..... I had the keyboard plugged into the 9 pin mouse port.
     

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  11. Mistikal

    Mistikal Member

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    Battery will be a CR2032, can get them from Kmart for a dollar or two.

    You might need to create a bootable floppy disk with CDROM drivers preloaded, as most Win95 and Win98 CDs werent bootable, and most motherboards in the day did not support booting to CD.
     
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  12. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    If it's a later Socket 7 motherboard, which I'm guessing it is since it supports the 233 MMX, then CD-ROM boot support isn't out of the question. The socket 7 motherboard from my Ritron Classic dated around '96 doesn't have support for the 200/233 MMX but CDROM is a boot option in the BIOS. Phoenix Technologies helped develop the El Torito standard so any motherboard with a Phoenix BIOS in the mid to late 90's would of had support pretty early on.

    Probably a mute point though as your right many of the Win95/98 aren't bootable and in fact if memory serves me correctly I don't think it was until Win98 SE that it was fully supported.
     
  13. Mistikal

    Mistikal Member

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    I do seem to recall that yes, 98SE was the first official release that could boot from the CD.

    http://bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm <-- will get you out of strife, I use the 98SE custom version, works flawlessly.
     
  14. kazimatiz

    kazimatiz Member

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    Some Windows 95 OEM CDs were apparently bootable
     
  15. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    Yeah I've heard that too but I can never seem to find a link to ISO that is known to be bootable or any mention of which exact Win 95 version it is to look for it. Would be interested to know out of curiosity but I'm not going to spend time downloading every Win 95 ISO I can find to try.

    I did however find a link to a post made on BetaArchive.com on how to make your own Win 95 Bootable CD which might come in handy.

    https://www.betaarchive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26963
     
  16. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    There's a bootable cd with win 9x on it floating about. I've used it many times. Works a treat. It has 95, 98, 98se, and Me on it.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    -AL-

    -AL- Member

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    Thanks for the replies.
    I had to shelf this for a little while while I rebuilt PCs for me & my son.
    All done now so back to the 233 this weekend. New Bios battery installed tonight. I'll dig out the Windows CD & see if I can find a bootable floppy.

    Al
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2020
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  18. shredder

    shredder Member

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    I've got an original CD of Win95 With USB Support. Never used the disc actually, it's still in new condition. Anyway, being a later version it might be bootable - I'll check later today. If it is then I could, ahem, pass on the details for research purposes to anyone that wants it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  19. Zubrick

    Zubrick Member

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    If you are looking for a bootable floppy this site has every MSDOS boot disk known to mankind
    https://www.allbootdisks.com/
    from MS dos 3 to windows ME boot disks .
    Floppy images, exe images and ISO images, 5.25,3.5 and cds
    Its a handy site.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
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  20. JidaiGeki

    JidaiGeki Member

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