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The Spam Thread!

(03-03-2020, 09:29 AM)cpd2009 Wrote:  Dude... I just bought another Dell.

Same pawn shop. Much lower price. $25 for an as is fix-em-upper Dimension E310 tower. Pictures taken and specs noted, but it will be later tonight before I get them posted here. I had to disconnect Rusty to work on it.

Details incoming.

But that pawn shop has been a magnet for old, unused Dell PCs as of late. Tongue
"TONIGHT, WE BUY, A DELL!!1!"

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More photos. I hope you aren't have trouble seeing these given your rather crappy internet speed.

[Image: DellE310_01.jpg]

[Image: DellE310_02.jpg]

[Image: DellE310_03.jpg]

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This poor Dell E310 needs a bit of work. The E310 would not post at first, giving a beep code. After doing some research, it was determined the existing Samsung RAM stick was bad. It's a 512mb PC2-4200u DDR2 type. The old Gateway BTX box had two 256MB sticks that were the same spec, so I put those in and the board came to life. The CMOS battery was dead and the existing WD 80GB disk is having issues. There's no click of death, but the drive keeps spitting out I/O errors when attempting to do the built in system recovery, or trying to clone the disk using an Acronis rescue USB. The drive may just need a good run through FDisk, but I am preparing a spare WD 80GB drive as possible replacement. What I'm trying to do is getting my existing XP Pro installed on the E310, using that to FDisk the original 80GB disk via a USB enclosure, and using Acronis to clone the disk to the replacement 80GB disk.

I would like to preserve the original factory install, which according to the COA, is Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. It won't be a big loss if I'm unable to do that. I already downloaded the hardware drivers for the E310.

Here are the specs, which are basic. It's a Pentium 4 HT at 2.8Ghz, 64bit capable. It uses an integrated Intel GMA IGP, originally came with one stick of 512mb RAM, Philips DVD-RW drive, and has a 230 watt Dell PSU.

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Fdisk worked like a charm. It found a whole bunch of sector errors on the drive and fixed them. I'm running the original WD 80GB drive off USB, and amusingly, the E310 seemingly can boot XP off of that. It crashed with a BSOD, so I booted into Dell Recovery, and it's restoring the original factory image as I type.

I still don't know if the drive itself is about to fail, but once I get the original image restored, I will see if there's a tool that creates a CD/DVD restore set and install that to the replacement 80GB disk.

CrystalDiskInfo showed warnings on the "Reallocated Sectors Count" attribute, so I proceeded to clone the old disk onto the replacement WD 80GB.

First boot was amusing to see. Bloatware on Windows 10 is nothing compared to XP-era bloat. Quite a lot of bloat this thing had on day one, such as a TrendMicro antivirus trial, Corel Photo Album, Google Desktop, Earthlink, AOL, NetZero, WordPerfect, and various casual game trials.

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You'd be hard-pressed to find a motherboard with that form factor unless you mod the case to accept a conventional ATX layout. And good call on checking the SMART status as well.

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(03-03-2020, 03:29 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  You'd be hard-pressed to find a motherboard with that form factor unless you mod the case to accept a conventional ATX layout. And good call on checking the SMART status as well.
Agreed. Though the old Gateway was easy to work on, it had some tradeoffs. The internals are so packed together in the old BTX box that it was somewhat difficult to get at the RAM sticks and remove them without taking out the optical drive first. There's also the PSU. The BTX box does have a PCI-e slot for a GPU, but it's hard to find a powerful enough PSU that fits the BTX spec. And the case is too small to fit a standard ATX PSU.

The E310 came with a complete set of peripherals, but only the monitor was usable. Whoever sold this to the pawn shop didn't pay attention to the plugs on the keyboard and mouse. My E310 doesn't have PS/2 ports at all, yet the bundled keyboard and mouse were PS/2. I had a USB mouse borrowed from Rusty, but the USB keyboard is bundled with the old i3-6100 rig I'm trying to sell. I had to go to the store and get a $20 Kensington USB keyboard. Oh, and the mouse is an old fashioned Dell two-button ball mouse. I haven't used a ball mouse in years, and don't miss them one bit.

I checked the SMART status of the replacement drive, and it checks out good. Smile

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If anything, you could fetch one of those PCI-based GeForce cards from Zotac, though they appear to be quite rare and severely constrained by PCI's bandwidth. But given your use case with the Dell at least it seems like a far better option than whatever Intel GPU it's using.

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The Dell E310 has been named Daffodil, after the rabbit character from Clifford's Puppy Days, as well as my second Windows based desktop PC, an old Compaq mini tower.

Before...
[Image: Daffodil_defaultdesktop_030320_low.jpg]

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After...
[Image: DaffodilDesktop_030320.jpg]

[Image: DaffodilStartMenu_030320.jpg]

Here is her CPU info and PCMark score...
[Image: DaffodilP4Info_030320.jpg]

[Image: Daffodil_PCMarkScore_030320.jpg]

I tried 3DMark, but it ran at only 1fps and ended up crashing halfway through the tests. Expected since the Intel GMA is more suited for casual games and video playback.

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Yeah, doubt that you'd get even far with 3DMark on that configuration. If it was the 2001 edition it would've fared better, but even then, performance is still subpar due to how crap the GMA is.

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Look what I found in my old software stash...
[Image: AGPremiere_startscreen.jpg]

And here is the makeshift desk I created with an old metal shelf and a wooden TV dinner tray...
[Image: MakeshiftDesk_01.jpg]

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Yes, Daffodil can do video capture, seemingly better than that USB vidbox I got.
[Image: VideoCaptureApp.jpg]

I went ahead and took that old PCI TV tuner/video capture board out of Jasper and installed it in Daffodil. It's a no-name generic I found on eBay in 2004, using a Conexant chipset. I still have the driver CD it came with. The drivers are good, but the bundled capture application is crap. Taking screenshots at 640x480 crashes the program, and it can't record video in a compressed format like MPEG-2. So instead, I'm using honestech Easy VHS to DVD 2.0, found on an old USB EasyCap driver disc I found. I did a test recording last night using one of my portable Famiclone systems, and the framerate seems more consistent and smooth than the USB Vidbox I have been using. I'm recording to MPEG-2 format with the intention of taking the recordings to Rusty for final processing if this particular capture method works better.

I'm also going to swap out the modem for Jasper's PCI sound card, an AOpen brand card with a Crystal CS4614A chipset. I'd like to take advantage of it's hardware-based MIDI synthesizer for games. Though MS did provide basic drivers for XP, I was able to use the Windows 2000 drivers provided by Tangent (Jasper's original manufacturer) just fine in XP and giving full access to the cards capabilities.

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I thought you only got the first edition of AG Premiere.

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