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Old PC revived!

  • Homebuilt
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
December 23, 2009 1:04:13 PM

So, I was given an old "broken" PC. It came in a giant Chieftec Dragon case. (looked something like this) when I first got it. I decided to take out the guts and turn the old ass AMD Athlon 2500+ into a server (lol) for files and whatnot. The server will basically just sit around doing nothing, but what the hell--it was free and it was fun.

To get the server running I breadboarded it in my office when I had some spare time. I did this by setting the mobo on some cardboard, slapping a spare power supply on it, stealing a power switch from another dead PC (gotta turn it on somehow right?!) and running a monitor/keyboard/mouse cable from my work bench. Pretty easy way of testing stuff :) 

Check this beast out lol -- 2 gigs of DDR400 (runs 333 native until I can tweak this old ass KT400 motherboard to run 400mhz..not likely).

Here I took the GeForce 4 Ti 4200 and removed the stock heatsink and thermal compound to replace it with AS-5 just like I did on the CPU.

So, I am painting the big ass silver case flat black (interior and exterior) as well as modding it to hold 100mm fans instead of the stock 80mm. I would really like to get 120mm in there, but I just don't think it is gonna happen.

At this point I have put down the first coat of paint on most of the case (interior and exterior) and here is how it's lookin:

Before paint:

Side after first coat:

Front (without bezel) after first coat:

So far I have turned a "broken" PC into the beginnings of a new file server and turned the old case into what will be holding my gaming PC (hopefully). Will update this as the build goes on!

Please excuse the image quality--I do not care much for photography, so I don't even own a camera. These were taken via blackberry.


Nearly finished with all of the painting at this point--all I really need to do is some touch up, paint the front, then clear coat the entire beast. I have a few pictures of custom mounting (cutting, drilling, fitting) the fans. This case came with awful brackets to hold 80mm fans (2 front and 2 rear) which I found to be nothing short of useless; I went ahead and chopped and drilled out the back to wedge in a pair of 100mm fans (squeezed in there!) and cut out a hard drive cage to custom fit a 120mm fan in the front, debating getting a 140+mm fan to slap in there eventually to really pull some air in ;) 


After paint, before fan job..

Fans installed, test fitting mobo for cable management...

Test fitting the 5850 and other components..

Oh yah, I finished the home server build (combination of parts). This giant Chieftec case that I am modding here use to hold an Athlon 2500+ with 2 gigs of DDR400 and a GeForce 4 Ti4200 in it. My original intention was to build a home server out of that (as you see in the test pictures) however, I remembered I had an old 3.2ghz celeron and motherboard sitting around, so I used that base with the 2 gigs of DDR400 and Ti4200 to built my home server. Just installed Windows Home Server on it, will be adding it to the network asap :)  busy busy busy..

Pictures of the home server:

Mounted a dual fan hard drive cooler in the front (basically because I needed to fill the gap there and didn't have the 5.25 bay inserts lol.

Not too shabby cable management for older components, although I did cut the tray with a dremel to deal with the excessive wires in this cheap power supply.

Another view

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a b B Homebuilt system
December 23, 2009 5:17:31 PM

Looks good so far.
December 24, 2009 12:34:37 AM

cool paint job
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December 24, 2009 1:14:00 PM

Thanks guys :) 

I have a few more pictures, but I am not sure if I have them on my work BlackBerry or my personal one. (this confusion has got to end, lol, I am gonna get rid of my personal BB I guess!)

Will upload the new pix as they become available..

Decided to build a new server today with more parts I had kicking around. Used a dual core pentium (2ghz) on this one. Will sell the old one off for probably 100 bucks or something, as long as I can find someone who wants it :) 

Cable management isn't quite as nice here since I didn't mod the case--but this little HP box isn't too bad looking, and is a fair amount smaller...which I like.

So far, this is how the workstation looks--but there is still much more to be done. Just ordered all the parts to build my i7 machine yesterday, so the custom chieftec case will have some new guts soon. The server (under the desk on the far left) will be replaced with the new one in the HP box, and both monitors should be running from the i7 machine with an ATI 5850 (as soon as I can find a long enough DVI cable).

More to come!

Updated 12/28/2009 1652hrs!!! :bounce: 
January 5, 2010 12:12:15 PM

System is "built" :bounce:  but I am not really 100% done with it quite yet. Still needs some finalizing touches to get it looking as good as it runs! (also likely to get an SSD for it soon).

In other news, the Dual Core Pentium server I was building has a dead motherboard! Dang :fou:  I got it all for free, so I am not complaining--I spent some time trying to get HP to send me a replacement (I even offered to pay retail price for one) but they simply would not, reasoning was "It is not a customer replaceable item" lol. I will just snag another mATX LGA775 (preferably G33 or G41 chipset) for it...anyone selling one?

Components on the desk (here at work where I built it)

I get a kick out of the stock cooler vs. Xigmatek Dark Knight

Mid build..

Close up; you can spot the 140mm intake fan, HDD cooler, Radeon 5850, gSkill Ripjaws DDR3 2000mhz, and Asus Maximus III Formula here. I really like the flat black interior, it came out fairly nice. Note: the LED's on the CPU HSF and on the 140mm intake fan (pictured bottom right) look slightly blue, I assure you they are not! They are a very light white and are not very noticeable actually. The BB camera apparently isn't great with picking up lighting!

Touch screen fan controller (first time using a controller, never knew what I was missing!!!)

This is with my old system installed, but it is a preview of what the final result should look like...mostly.

January 5, 2010 9:07:55 PM

dude that is amazing!!!!!!!

maybe i will do it to

January 6, 2010 10:20:25 AM

Try it man, this was my first time custom modding a case--and I am so glad I did :)  It was really cool, and I had the ability to make it look however I wanted. I really love the look of the Corsair Obsidian case, so I wanted sort of model it's look with my case. I will have a few better pix (hopefully) in a week or so. Just adding some finishing touches to this beast.
January 6, 2010 2:04:44 PM

put that ultra violet lights in it......or some form of ultra violet liquid cooling with a neon uv bulb....
January 6, 2010 4:28:08 PM

I'm not really a fan of added lights and "bling". I was going for a more stealth look, although I have been considering liquid cooling with a black coolant for a real dark look ;) 
January 6, 2010 4:43:14 PM

black coolant? look for the cm liquid cooler.
January 6, 2010 5:04:38 PM

:hello:  LOL, I totally meant to say black tubing but I was doing too many things at once in the office! :)  hahaha ohh that gave me jokes

***"I have been considering liquid cooling with black tubing for a real dark look;) " ***

lol I'm such a meat head :pt1cable: