Rebuild

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I've been lucky so far. I've acquired older systems (with various  
issues) that people didn't want anymore. As long as they weren't too  
old, I'd take them home, scrap them for viable parts and recycle the  
rest. Sometimes, I'd rebuild one and donate it to a church or  
daycare center if it's new enough to run the software packages they  
use.  

Sometimes when I'm installing new machines in an office or  
something, the client wants the old ones hauled off and their  
confidential data wiped. Works for me. viable machines that can have  
a new life. :)  

The AMD box I rebuilt last night cost me $50 from a friend a few  
years ago. His dad built it for him and he didn't have the settings  
right in the BIOS or the ram in the right slots to enable dual  
channel mode. After I made the deal and paid for it, I opened it,  
repositioned the ram, made some adjustments in the BIOS; essentially  
making it run like a monster compared to it's old self. I configured  
it the way it should have been configured when it was originally  
assembled. It was never running at full performance when my friend  
owned it. The machine that donated most of the parts I needed to  
build another box came from a house I helped clean. It's owner  
replaced it with an all in one and just wanted it gone.  

My friend noticed it running much better than it ever did for him so  
I told him what I'd done. He accused me of cheating him. I said, no,  
I didn't do anything any different than what you taught me to do  
when buying a used car. He told me that people sell stuff if it's  
not working right and they don't know what's wrong with it. A lot of  
time, the problem is something simple and you can get the car for a  
lot less because the owner doesn't know how to fix it.  

He told me that his dad knew how to build computers too, so he  
wanted his dad to build it for him. I knew when he brought it to my  
house that it wasn't right, but I didn't tell him anything. He  
decided to sell it, I offered him $50 because it was slow. [g]  

I didn't cheat him, he just didn't know what he actually had and it  
wasn't my place to tell him. :) His dad should have properly  
configured the machine when he built it. His arrogance and stupidity  
is my gain. His dad assumed I was some punkass teenager the first  
time he saw me. And that's how he acted towards me too.  

Yep. The primary drive in this machine has an odd failing issue. If  
you restart the computer, you can't boot from the drive. You have to
start the machine via cd (bart or xp pro) and run chkdsk. When
chkdsk finishes (it finds problems in the mbr every time), it'll
boot normally into windows, until you power down/reset again. I
already know from monitoring smart on the drive off/on for atleast a
year or so now, that it's dieing. It's only started making me run
chkdsk from bootable media the past couple of months now though.  

The other machines HD1 wouldn't complete a chkdsk run. I thought it  
was the flaky mainboard alone causing the hard lock (due to bad  
caps), but it's the HD too. Always nice to find multiple components  
in a state of failure when you're troubleshooting, isn't it?  

This machine has had another start up issue that's been present for  
years now. Roughly four years or so after I built the box, this
issue started coming up:  

When you do a cold reset or hard start it sometimes doesn't POST. It
acts like it's going to start and it just hangs instead. Hitting  
reset multiple times and/or turning off the main AC power gets it's  
attention and it proceeds to POST as if nothing was wrong.  

I've determined it's a faulty circuit on the mainboard... At some  
point, I expect it will not post no matter what I try to get it's  
attention. It's a dual cpu socket system. P3/800mhz. It's an antique
by todays standards, but one hell of a work horse. You can just load
it up with threads and it tugs right along. Hard to find certain  
components for it though. It's not friendly with most AGP video
cards due to a power issue with the mainboard. The mainboard is
unable to supply much power via the AGP slot. Design defect by Tyan.  

It's a fourteen year old machine that still runs, so I can't bitch  
too much. It has helped me hax0r many a network day and compiled  
millions of lines of code for me. Not to mention thousands of hours  
encoding video/audio. It's a workhorse and i've run the dogshit out  
of it.  




--  
Q: What do computer engineers use for birth control?  
A: Their personalities.

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