Dying 486

I have a Packard Bell 486/25 that is failing that I'd like some assistance with. The pc has, for several months, been failing to see it's hard drives after normal functioning for several hours ("Can't write to hard drive"). It has happened more often lately and a couple weeks ago the pc failed to recognize it's boot drive at startup (hardrive spins for about 30 secs and BIOS reports a drive failure). Initially I thought the drive was bad and did a low-level format, full diagnostic of of the drive. However, after several attempts to get the drive set up I've come to realize that it's not the HD that's the problem. Any suggestions on what's causing the problem? If I'm lucky it's just the battery dying (it's never been replaced).

[Yes, it's slow as hell, but it was reliable.]

On a side note, I plan to buy or build a new pc soon. I'd like to buy a Palimino (A4?) when it becomes available. Anyone have suggestions of components for a high-end desktop pc available end of October or thereabouts (parts that will make good use of the cpu ($~2500US w/monitor)). The pc will be for home use, lots of Internet use, gaming, and such; power user.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Tinker on 09/16/01 03:43 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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  1. WOW
    486-25 to athlon4.
    thats gotta be the biggest upgrade ive ever seen.

    whats wrong with your current beast? could be lots of things, from power supply to motherboard.

    for your new system:

    1. Athlon4 1.5 or greater when they finally arrive (soon).
    2. KT266A mobo
    3. 256 or 512Mb of PC2100 DDR ram (go for a good brand like corsiar, crucial, mushkin etc)
    4. 40 - 80 Gb hard disk. any brand but i lie the ibm 60GXP. so long as its 7200rpm and ata100.
    5. floppy
    6. pioneer 16x 106S dvd drive (or similar)
    7. ricoh/plextor 20x10x40x burner
    8. maybe a second hard drive in case of emergencies.
    9. ati 8500 or geforce2pro/geforce2ultra/geforece3 graphics.
    10. sb live platinum 5.1 herc gamer or someother sound card. digital or not is your choice.

    course everyone will reccomend a different setup. but the basics are there for one kickass system.

    In memory of the 90+ Auzzies missing in the WTC disaster. An attack that has changed the world.
  2. Poobah has a good reccomendation list, be sure to get a good heatsink with that tbird, and dont get a gf2 pro or ultra, its a dead end upgrade, deffinatly gf3 ultra or radeon8500, whichever is more powerful.(wait for benchmarks)

    "The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
  3. I have an older system with a 486. Every so often I get similar errors. I have found it's poor electrical contact by the hard drive IDE cable. Also have had the hard drive stop or intermittantly loose power. Same problem--poor electrical contact of the power supply cable. I power down, unplug the cables and reinsert them a couple times and I'm good to go.
  4. Unless this guy is an avid gamer, I seriously doubt a GF2 card is a dead end. Especially the ultra. With those benchmarks, this card is going to be keeping up for a couple years at least. And with the release of the GF3's, the prices are dropping to much more palatable levels.
  5. You're right, the cards have to be reseated, the connectors reconnected on old machines periodically.
    I'm still collecting old machines and also breeding computers from junky stuff and I know that problem.
    (Any idea on how to upgrade a laptop? I've got one 286 1MB RAM Toshiba. It had DOS 3.0, I upgraded to MS DOS 6.0 and on top installed MS Windows, just Windows no version number, runs pretty good. In order to run something else in addition to old games and DOS Edit I called to Toshiba for RAM upgrade, they don't wonna tolk about it. You suggested Gf3 instead of Gf2? I'll think about it, Radeon mobile version?)
  6. >Anyone have suggestions of components for a high-end
    >desktop pc available end of October or thereabouts

    consider a SiS735 board. Maybe a tad slower than a VIA KT266A but still faster than the current KT266 and AMD761 boards. Its also dirt cheap, and very stable. Huge improvement over my old VIA board. Only cave at: current IDE performance is below par. Hoping for a new driver from sis..

    ---- Owner of the only Dell computer with an AMD chip
  7. I'm going to be the first to say this: look closely at Northwood when it comes out. Northwood is the new Pentium 4, and at the moment, it's looking better than Palamino is. Keep an eye on it.

    Motherboard and possibly RAM will be different, depending on whether you go AMD or Intel. So for everything else, what's-his-name gave the best choices :)

    <font color=green>They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!</font color=green>
  8. So you wan't one computer for that??
    Let me put it this way... you can buy 3 machines for that kind of money.

    But if you've got money to burn...
    Option (1):
    Abit KR7-Raid (KT266A chipset, will be coming out in less than a month)
    AMD Tbird core @1.4 Ghz.

    you know what i'm not even gonna finish this...

    Get yourself a Vapochill case, it doesnt matter what you spend the rest of the money on... you've got enough to make even a P4(*cough-[-peep-]*) system run good.

    :eek: <font color=blue>I for one run Quake 3 on a P133(No MMX)</font color=blue>I have no affiliatioin w/ Intel
  9. He said high end, a gf2 pro is no longer high end, also, why spend 200bucks for a gf2 ultra when you can have the cream of the crop for 80 bucks more.

    "The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
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