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Memory Devices on Old Motherboard

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October 14, 2003 11:46:34 PM

I'm looking at a friend's ancient Compaq machine. It's a 486/66 and the mobo only has one socket for a floppy (3.5" and / or 5.25") and one for a harddrive. Is there anyway to install a CD-ROM on this machine? BTW, my friend likes to put together and run 'old junk', so there's no point in suggesting 'get something more modern'.

That (upgrade) which does not destroy you(r system's stability), makes it stronger. Nietzche
a b V Motherboard
October 15, 2003 2:40:39 AM

most were compatable with standard ATAPI devices, just fill that 5.25" bay with a standard CD-ROM.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
October 15, 2003 2:51:56 AM

Thanks for your reply. Yes, physically the CD-ROM fits in the 5.25 bay, but the problem is trying to install it. Normally there would be 2 IDE channels, and the CD-ROM (and / or burner, DVD etc.) would be installed on one, and the HDD(s) on the other. In this case there is only one, so I tried installing the CD-ROM as a slave to the HDD. The CD-ROM was definitely set up as a slave, but the pins on the back of the harddrive were not what I'm familiar with (4 pins, instead of 6, and no label - MA, SL, CS). Anyway, when I tried to get Windows (95A) to detect new hardware, it didn't 'see' the CD-ROM, even as unrecognized new hardware. The other problem is that Compaq has that weird pseudo BIOS-O/S program running underneath the O/S. Perhaps I need to 'add' it there first?

That (upgrade) which does not destroy you(r system's stability), makes it stronger. Nietzche
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a b V Motherboard
October 15, 2003 4:20:55 AM

You need to find the documentation for that hard drive online to determine the propper setting. If it's a WD drive it might require a jumper for master, and no jumper for single.

And you might need the floppies for BIOS settup on the computer.

A lot of sound cards used to come with an IDE connection on board so you could upgrade a non-compliant system to include both CD and sound with 1 upgrade! I still have a few of these cards if you're interested.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
October 15, 2003 12:56:25 PM

Thanks again. Ya, the pins looked different, with only 4 pins in total. There was already a jumper connecting 2 pins, but it was connecting them 'horizontally' rather than vertically as I'm used to. Without any labels on the harddrive itself it's hard to be sure, but I'm guessing they correspond to master / slave. Interesting about the sound card with the extra IDE. Would those be ISA cards?

That (upgrade) which does not destroy you(r system's stability), makes it stronger. Nietzche
a b V Motherboard
October 15, 2003 10:01:40 PM

yes, that's a standard WD layout, the jumper going crossways is just a way to store it, it's not actually connecting any active circuits (probably two grounds). You have to connect it as Master in order to slave another drive, go to WD's site to see.

Yes, all those sound cards with an IDE controller were ISA. In fact, there were several cards including Soundblaster 16's that had various drive controllers, including the old proprietary Panasonic, Mitsumi, and Sony interfaces, as well as IDE and even SCSI. These cards often came with drives and speakers as a "Multimedia Kit".

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
October 16, 2003 12:39:57 AM

Thanks Crash! I'll check it out and give it another shot. Come to think of it, I've seen that 'storage' position before, just didn't clue in because it's not the same as more current harddrives. Also, I've seen some of those old ISA sound cards, and wondered what the connector was. Never realized it was an IDE socket. Duh. :) 

EDIT: Check an old ISA sound card that was lying around. Had 2 connectors, one labelled IDE the other Creative / Panasonic. Lol. Thanks again.

That (upgrade) which does not destroy you(r system's stability), makes it stronger. Nietzche<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by deadkenny on 10/15/03 09:08 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 16, 2003 1:10:23 AM

yup i have an sb16 scsi on my k6 machine.


If it isn't a P6 then it isn't a procesor
110% BX fanboy
a b V Motherboard
October 16, 2003 4:34:30 AM

Like I said, some were IDE, others for proprietary early CD-ROM interfaces. Some served mulitple drive types by jumper, and still more had multiple interface connections.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
a b V Motherboard
October 16, 2003 4:36:26 AM

Did you know you can interface those to nearly ANY SCSI device? I've made custom SCSI cables with breakout plates to attach a SCSI scanner to some sound cards!

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
!