Wednesday 2 December 2020
Monday 30 November 2020
Earlier on today I took a quick look through all the 'Car Boot Sale' laptops that I've got and I've found another 7 nx9000 series HP/Compaq laptops so I now have 9 in total that I need to fix/repair/refurbish!
First things first, I need to see what Spares and Repairs I might have as a few of these laptops have missing HDD Caddys and covers for the RAM etc so time to rummage through my Spares and Repairs box for HP/Compaq laptops...
Monday 23 November 2020
Way before the Covid19 Pandemic came to light I picked up a job-lot of laptops from a car boot sale and I'm slowly starting to refurbish them!
In this YouTube video I will show you how I use my 8 Steps To Refurbishment to get the laptop back up and running!
Saturday 14 November 2020
First of all, exactly what are .BIN and .CUE files? Well, a .BIN file is similar to that of an .ISO file, in that it is an image of a CD etc. and the .CUE file is a metadata file that defines how it is burnt to disk - as simple as that!
After upgrading/updating to the latest version of Windows 10 (20h2) my Asus USB BluRay Drive has disappeared, it's not in This PC or Disk Management or Device Manager...
However something strange is listed in Device Manager:
- Disable the Initio Default Controller in Device Manager (right click etc)
- Right-Click the disabled item and click on Properties
- Click on the Driver tab
- Click on Uninstall and uninstall it (if prompted, click the checkbox to uninstall the drivers)
Sunday 1 November 2020
I recently won 240+ 3.5" floppy disks on eBay so I have been looking for a way to reliably mass format and test them. I did ask on a Facebook Retro Computing group but all they came up with was using the format command and scandisk/chkdsk! Needless to say this was not what I was after and as floppy disks have been around for decades there must be a utility that does what I'm after...
I posted a message in a forum on the Vintage Computer Federation website. Needless to say it wasn't long before I got the answer I was looking for! Let me introduce you to a utility called FormatQM:
FormatQM is a Quick Mass Diskette Formatter. The version I have been using is 1.72 and was released in 1991. It's a DOS based utility so has issues running in Windows XP and above (trust me, I've tried) but is happy running in MS-DOS mode on a Windows 95 machine if you don't have an MS-DOS based machine to hand.
To launch the quick formatter you need to add a couple of parameters, namely the drive letter of the floppy disk drive you want to use to format a disk and either an N or a P (there are a few more options than these in the instructions you get with FormatQM but these two will get you started). The N option is for quick verification of the formatted disk and a P will only pass a disk if it's Perfect with no flaws.
FormatQM A: N
FormatQM A: P
After launching the utility you need to press the Space Bar to start the formatting process:
All you need to do now is follow the on-screen instructions and insert floppy disks that need formatting/testing, discarding any that fail and keeping those that pass.
If you want to see what it looks like working, then take a look at my short YouTube video below:
Monday 26 October 2020
Saturday 24 October 2020
Saturday 17 October 2020
Monday 12 October 2020
Saturday 10 October 2020
My collection has grown somewhat since my last post on the matter so thought it about time I posted an update so here are a couple of photos for you:
It's a bit difficult to find an angle where all the badges can be clearly seen hence why I've had to take 2 photos from different angles. My favourite new pin badge is the PC Virus one with the Police Constable's helmet on top of it!
Sunday 6 September 2020
Sunday 9 August 2020
Tuesday 23 June 2020
Thursday 18 June 2020
Having once worked at Currys in the UK I was the Business Centre Manager (fancy name for the salesperson who knows about Computers) I got given a Compaq pin badge by the local rep in return for listening to their in-store training. I also gained an MCP so got a pin badge from Microsoft and recently I saw some Compaq pin badges on eBay and it's all starting to snowball out of control in to a full-blown collection!
Friday 12 June 2020
Wednesday 10 June 2020
Monday 8 June 2020
In this video I will use a HP nc6120 I got as part of a 'Tech Job Lot' on eBay the other week and show you how to properly refurbish a laptop and how different the process is compared to 'Second Hand' where in most cases it has not even been cleaned!
Friday 29 May 2020
The only thing I can remember being in this haul is a HP laptop that works but has a broken screen (which I just so happen to have a spare of) so the plan is to fix it, flog it and the rest (as they say) is gravy! More money to buy more interesting Retro Computing stuff!
Anyway, here's the video:
Friday 22 May 2020
Tuesday 19 May 2020
Tuesday 12 May 2020
If you'd like to see the unboxing video I did then take a look here:
Sunday 10 May 2020
Tuesday 5 May 2020
Saturday 2 May 2020
The first one I took out of the storage box was pretty beaten up, the lid is covered in very deep scratched - clearly the car booter had no idea what the real value of these laptops is and had not been storing them properly or looked after them at all.
Without giving too much of the game away, in Part 4 I also do a speeded up tutorial on how to install Windows 98 Second Edition!
Thursday 23 April 2020
Well, you can visit https://www.archive.org which is the Internet Archive website and you can see if anyone has uploaded a backup copy there that you can download, burn to a disc and then restore your Vintage/Retro laptop back to factory settings!
The only way these disc images get on to the Internet Archives website is by people uploading disc images of the Restore Discs that they have. This is why it is important that if you have any system restore discs, when you get a chance, make backup images of them and get them uploaded to the site.
In this quick video I will show you one way of creating a CD disc backup and how easy it is to upload them to the Internet Archives website...
Wednesday 22 April 2020
To begin with I would scour the likes of eBay and Amazon looking for the correct power supply that would have originally come with the laptops and pay between £7 and £25 without even knowing if the laptop(s) worked or not!
Then, it suddenly dawned on me, there must have been some Universal Laptop Power Adaptors 'back in the day' - I wonder if I can find some on eBay...
Just in case you want to try and get hold of some yourselves, here is a list of the part numbers of the Universal/Replacement Laptop Power Adapters that I have:
72W DC (Car) Adapter - CUC0001B
75W AC (Mains) Adapter - CUA0002B
90W AC (Mains) Adapter - CUA0001B
90W AC Dell Laptop Power Adapter - LPDELL12
90W AC Lenovo Laptop Power Adapter - LPLENO17
(Despite its name, the Logik Lenovo Adapter works with other makes too).
150W AC Power Notebook Adapter - APA08EU
Although these model numbers are no longer manufactured, every now and again 'New Old Stock' seems to turn up on eBay and that's what all these are/were, new but old stock and were never used until I got them - in fact at the time of writing this I have two more 2-Power NOS power adapters on their way to me in the post! It's amazing what you can find if you look hard enough.
Friday 17 April 2020
Some just do a quick format (not the best way), other may even do a full format (still not the best way) but I test any hard disk drives I get from Car Boot Sales or eBay by using Active KillDisk as it's (currently) Free for Personal Use and in this short video I will show you what I do...
Thursday 16 April 2020
Monday 13 April 2020
One thing I have learnt from doing this video is that going forward, even if I'm not making a YouTube video, I shall start recording anyway as for those of you who have seen the video will know that whilst air dusting the laptop a spring shot off across the screen that basically stopped the power button working! Luckily I spotted this whilst I was editing the video and found the spring under my screwdriver set and it's now safely in a small plastic bag and Sellotaped to the laptop!
As you will see from the photos below, it's a hell of a lot cleaner than when I started but the weird and wonderfull markings and dents are still there - looks like something acidic has touched the laptop but no idea what.
Because it has no Hard Disk Drive or HDD Caddy, it's covered in scratches and strange dents and has a few cracks in the case I have labelled this one up as Spares and Repairs - you can't win them all, beside for £1.90 it's well worth it for the parts in case I get another one of these that requires a floppy disk drive or CD-ROM drive :)
Friday 10 April 2020
First things first, time to check the voltage on the power adapter I have to ensure it doesnt damage the laptop:
It's the correct voltage so we're good to go!
As you can see not only did the laptop power on, but it has a working hard disk drive in it with what appears to be a relatively fresh installation of Windows 95 on it!
Overall the laptop is in very good condition, although there is some damage to the bottom right-hand corner:
I was pleasantly surprised to see Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (just about) runs on this laptop even if the playing back of videos was a but jerky it was still playable.
CPU: Intel Pentium 150MHz (P150)
Optical Drive: 8x CD-ROM
Floppy Disk Drive: 1.44MB
Graphics: 1MB Neomagic NM2093 MagicGraph 1282V
Audio/Sound: Crystal Audio (SoundBlaster Pro 2.0 Compatible)
Tuesday 7 April 2020
I picked up these games a few weeks back but I've only just had a chance to see if any of them work and if they do, are the games I've picked any good?!
It's a bit of a long one (that's what she said) but it was a lot longer before I edited out the long installation times! One of my most favourite games of the day was Theme Hospital which wasn't the first game I ever completed (that was Doom) but it was the first game I ever completed without using any cheats like I did with Doom...
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2000
OS: Windows 95/98
CPU: Pentium 166MHz
DISK SPACE: 110MB
As the laptop I was using is a Windows XP laptop I didn't think this would work but thought I'd give it a go but as expected, it didn't work so got a thumbs down from me.
OS: Windows 98/XP/Vista
CPU: (Pentium) 75MHz
DISK SPACE: 55MB
GRAPHICS: DirectX 5 compatible
This is one my most played games of all times, certainly in the top 10 of my favourite Retro Games (oooh - that's a good idea, I'll have to create one of them)...
I spent many an hour on this game and loved every minute of it - even when all the patients got the squits and vomited all over the floor!
FRIENDS - The One With All The Trivia
OS: Windows 2000/XP
CPU: Pentium III 1GHz
DISK SPACE: 240MB
GRAPHICS: DirectX 9 Compatible Graphics Card
In the UK Friends was shown on Channel 4 at 9pm on a Friday night and was a must watch TV show and as Netflix has shown, it still is! I never knew this game existed until the other day so had to pick it up and give it a go...
Starsky & Hutch
OS: Windows 98/ME/XP/2000
CPU: Pentium II 450MHz
DISK SPACE: 700MB
GRAPHICS: NVIDIA TNT2 3D Card with 256MB of RAM
Wow! The graphics and gameplay on this game are amazing. Why have I never seen this game before?? If I had gotten this game 'back in the day' I would have spent hours and hours on this game - as you'll see from the video, the graphics are fantastic and the gameplay is brilliant.
Monday 6 April 2020
I am going to start with this rather nice Dell Latitude D820 that has Windows XP on it - although it has already got 1GB of RAM (2 x 512MB sticks) I'm going to upgrade it to 2GB for not other reason than I can :)
Now I've got my test Windows XP laptop all set up it's time to get testing things so watch this space!...
To make your own battery you will need the following items:
- CR2032 Button Cell Coin Battery
- Conductive Tape
- Heatshrink Tubing
- Heat Gun (a soldering iron up close will do if you dont have a proper heat gun)
Appologies for the bad jokes (there aren't many) - #thatswhatshesaid
Tuesday 31 March 2020
Tuesday 24 March 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
As you can see it came with 5 40MB disks (2 are in the case with the PCMCIA card). They're all labelled up from 1 through to 5 so not sure if there is some software on these disks that needs to be installed in this order or if it was simply a numbering system where they kept notes on what was on each disk so they didnt have to keep re-writing the labels and ruining the disks.
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