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IBM Aptiva 2170 - Revival or Bust

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade Worklogs' started by Mistikal, Jan 10, 2022.

  1. Mistikal

    Mistikal Member

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    Hello all,

    It has been a short while between posts for me here on the forums - long story short, many things have happened in my life, some good and many bad, but alas we are here now.

    While on a bit of an alcohol-fueled peruse through eBay a few hours ago, I impulsively punched "ibm aptiva" into the search bar as I do occasionally, and stumbled upon this:

    upload_2022-1-10_3-29-23.png

    Now either I am an idiot (likely) or... I am an idiot, I bought it without even thinking about it - hell, I couldn't care less what was inside the beige shell, I only wanted the case!

    My plan of attack is either:

    a) Revive what is inside the machine, as the advert lists it as unable to POST, with no beep/etc either. It could be something simple.
    b) Harvest what is good, scrap the rest, and rehome my main PC into this case for that "sleeper" appeal.

    Most if not all the other Aptiva tower cases I have seen place the ATX PSU sideways over the top of the CPU socket/slot, where as (and I did not even notice until after I hit "pay") this one places the PSU above the motherboard like a conventional ATX system - bonus!

    I am leaning towards recycling the case for my main machine, as I feel it'd be a good laugh, but we will see how we go.

    Now the waiting game for it to arrive...

    Below are a couple of pictures from the eBay listing:

    upload_2022-1-10_3-34-8.jpeg upload_2022-1-10_3-34-59.jpeg upload_2022-1-10_3-35-12.jpeg upload_2022-1-10_3-35-29.jpeg

    Oh, and I also bought this - SB Live! SB0060 with the SB0010 Bay Enclosure.

    Paid way too much for it but meh.

    upload_2022-1-10_3-45-30.png

    Edit: a word, shh I'm half cut.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
    adz, JaC, Vanne and 2 others like this.
  2. OP
    OP
    Mistikal

    Mistikal Member

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    Done some more reading - the motherboard is an Acer V75M using the SiS530 chipset; IBM were too lazy to get their own, so they just used someone elses 'board. This chipset is for the "Socket 7" architecture, not the "Socket 370" which is what the advertised processor would be. Something is a-miss.

    My gut is telling me it will have an AMD K6-2 of some sort fitted, but what chip exactly is currently a mystery!
     
  3. Grant

    Grant Member

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    Nice looking machine, hope you can get it working! The onboard ESS Solo-1 is a bonus too, are you planning to use the SBLive in this box or another one?
     
  4. /invariance\

    /invariance\ Member

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    Looks like the ram slots are empty so don’t be too surprised if the cpu socket is too. Convenient how it is hidden behind the mass of cables.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Mistikal

    Mistikal Member

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    If the innards remain, no - the Live! and its associated kit will be fitted to my S370 retro box linked in my sig :)

    There is definitely a stick of RAM fitted, just cannot be seen in the photo I've attached. None of the photos show any indication of what CPU is fitted (be it the dark-die early Celeron, or ceramic with metal heat-spreader AMD chip).
     
  6. /invariance\

    /invariance\ Member

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    Oh yeah, sneaky little bugger.
    I do wonder though why there is a screw missing from the voltage selector switch and the other one is loose. :Paranoid:
     
  7. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    Similar to the Aptiva 2196 I had, and probably this whole era of IBMs I guess. Mine ran the SiS540 chipset, and the IBM hardware manual claims that only K6-2's can be installed (which seems odd... I wonder if there was some commercial influence in that advice). Mine came with a K6-2+ 500.

    The table here suggests that the SiS530 supports the expected range of Socket 7 processors: https://web.archive.org/web/20201005172839/https://www.super7.net/
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Mistikal

    Mistikal Member

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    You've got a keener eye than I my friend, I didn't even notice the missing screw, though I was about 8 drinks deep when I bought the thing - perhaps it isn't the only thing with a screw loose either, something myself and it may have in common.

    I had a 2196 briefly many moons ago, was a fun little machine. I also had a 2144 "slab" with a Pentium-S 100MHz and 8MB RAM, which eventually was relegated to a Debian-based internet firewall when we switched from Dial-Up to ADSL.

    If the machine I've bought does indeed have a K6-2/333, it'll be running at 1.9v I assume. It could just be something as simple as the DIP switches for the CPU voltage are wrong, who knows... could even be more terminal than that, wait and see! I can also use the P233MMX to test the system with, however I'd rather not borrow parts from a known-working machine in case this system is a hardware killer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
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  9. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    ahh the guessing game, "its like a box of chocolates, you never know what youll get", part of what i love ... and hate about buying used old stuff off the internet. if its functioning, it would be a cool win98/me box. On a personal note (and much more important that this Aptiva,) hope your ohkay mate.
     
    Grant likes this.
  10. OP
    OP
    Mistikal

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    Cheers bud, yeah doing OK now, appreciate the concern :) Hindsight is lovely, and the local Tinder options are shit.
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    Mistikal

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    Seller agreed to local pickup, so I've just gone to collect it. It is all wrapped up and sitting in the car, might fish it out after dinner.
     
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  12. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    Pics pls ;)
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Mistikal

    Mistikal Member

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    Got it out the car, unpacked and on the bench. Straight away I had power issues with the bench, which should have been a sign that I was going to achieve next to nothing :(

    Eventually got my power issues on the bench sussed out, and found my Philips 107E CRT will no longer power on, great, another thing to get fixed. Placed a temporary LG 22" LCD on the bench as it has VGA input, that works.


    All in all, case is about a 5/10, but no dents or plastic damage, just very dirty and surface rust ... I mean, patina. Lid off and a gaze inside, motherboard appears ok - no bulging or obvious leaky caps, all other surface mount components seem ok, nothing looks out of the ordinary. Checked the PSU also, no cap damage, sweet.

    Power cable in, VGA connected, press the button... nada. Found the power switch flylead disconnected, reconnected it and powered on - Num/Caps Lock lights flash once (not scroll lock tho, odd), CPU fan spins up and Power LED illuminates... and thats it.

    Pulled the system down to bare bones, which uncovered the CPU - AMD K6/2-500 (5x100MHz @ 2.2v), score! RAM is 128MB PC133 SDRAM, nice! Didn't even look at the HDD as it is enclosed in a cage, so unlugged it and set aside for now - main aim was to get it running.

    Checked the CPU dip switches were all set correctly, reseated the RAM, reseated the CPU, tried a different stick of RAM, a different PSU, no dice. Dug thru my hoard and found an AMD K6-200 (3x66MHz @ 2.9v), set the DIP switches to match, still nada - she no booty booty.

    Ripped the board out and put it on the bench for a closer visual inspection and I could not see any damage anywhere on either side. Figured the board is just toast, pity.

    Gutted the system, cleaned it out with the dust brush, took a few photos before chucking the clamshell back on and stuffing it under the desk for now.

    Onto pictures:

    PXL_20220111_120637408.jpg PXL_20220111_120803511.jpg PXL_20220111_120655730.jpg PXL_20220111_120746928.jpg PXL_20220111_120740417.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2022
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  14. OP
    OP
    Mistikal

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    Also - I am about due for a new "main PC". The more I think about it, the more I'd like to cram something current and beefy into this old girl. The original hardware (well, motherboard at least) is useless, so might as well make use of it - my only goal was to obtain an IBM Aptiva case anyway!
     
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  15. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    nice case, sorry you couldent get the mobo to boot. would have been cool to see the old gal fire up. I wonder how much of my old stuff in Sydney will suffer the same fate when i finally get back there..

    cool cpu too. the K62 and 3's are some of my personal favorite's, at least you ended up with uber cool case :)
     
  16. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    That's a bummer about the mobo, but it'll be interesting to see what you build in there instead. Hope it will still include the SB live!
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Mistikal

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    Might have another crack at getting it booting over the next few days, I haven't lost all hope on it just yet.

    If I do end up stuffing the case full of current-period hardware, I will make a new thread in the general worklog section.
     
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  18. OP
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    Mistikal

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    Toyed around a bit more with the board, got it to POST just once, then back to square one. I haven't given up yet. If I get it booting and stable, I will look into options on what to do with it - I do have a yooooge fancy pants RGB case full of fans and LEDs that I could house it in, a "reverse sleeper" if you will, would be quite funny. I've also got a few other boring beige cases floating around, could build a retro rig and flog it off (provided it is stable of course), really not sure yet. The fact I got it to POST at least once is somewhat promising.

    Besides that, I've already started to repurpose the case... currently houses a Gigabyte H110M MicroATX board that barely fits, an i5 7400, and 16GB DDR4 RAM. Already ghetto-mounted the original front panel ports from the donor system into the blank FDD bay, with the door closed you'd never know they were there, will be nice to have access to USB3 at the front of the old dinosaur. Will make a proper build thread for that once I've finished building it.
     
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  19. Grant

    Grant Member

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    I assume you've reseated at least the RAM, but apart from giving everything a good clean and reseating everything in a socket, the retro mantra is "replace the caps" :thumbup:
     
  20. OP
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    Mistikal

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    Yeah one of the first things I tried. I don't have the equipment to test the caps, or even replace them, so if I cannot get it going then it'll end up in the junk pile. The CPU was a good score though. Interested to get the HDD on the test bench and see what lurks on it too.
     

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