Monday 24 February 2020

Retro Shuttle Desktop Computer Pentium IV 4

I picked this up at a car boot sale the other week, it didnt come with a floppy disk drive and the beige optical drive that came with it didnt work properly but today I finally found not only a black floppy disk drive, but a working optical drive to match!

I've installed Windows XP 32b on it and it works like a dream!  There is one thing missing though, as this was a gaming rig 'back in the day' when LAN partys were all the rage, a bag is required to help you carry it around to your mates house without it getting damaged.

As this is around 20 years old it's going to be a job to find one... except by complete luck/chance someone listed a genuine Shuttle Bag on eBay this week and it has just arrived!

Thursday 20 February 2020

How to Upgrade the RAM on a Samsung V25 Laptop

The RAM slots are located underneath the keyboard on this laptop so the first thing you need to do is locate and remove the single screw that is holding the keyboard in place from underneath the laptop as shown here:
You then to press two clips that are holding the keyboard in place as shown here:
 The PC133 RAM can be found under the metal cover which is being held in place with a single screw as shown here:

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Compaq Armada 7350MT Laptop - Disassembly - How To Replace The Hard Disk Drive

As you can see, there is an unlocked/unsecured flap on the side that reveals the hard disk drive and its caddy... you cant actually remove it yet though as it is secured by a single screw holding a metal plate in place which you access from underneath the laptop.

That's it!  The hard disk is now removed and you can do what you need to with it and remember, the rattle noise is normal :)


As this partticular laptop of mine doesn't power on, it's time to remove all the screws underneath, carefully remove the keyboard and top bezel to reveal the motherboard:

Everything looks OK but on closer inspection you can see that the CMOS battery is a bit dodgy and the connectors are stuck fast on the motherboard.

As it's beyond economical repair this will get put back together and placed in my Spares and Repairs pile in case I get another one etc.

Friday 14 February 2020

USB Floppy Disk Drive Repair - Photo Floppy

One of my USB Floppy Disk Drives stopped working today so before putting it in the Spares and Repairs pile I thought I'd grab a screwdriver and see if there was anything I could do to get this working again...

As you can see, I had to carefully remove two of the rubber feet to reveal the 2 screws I needed to remove to get in to the disk drive.  Once I had removed the screws I took a good look at the drive and couldn't see anything wrong, except for the metal bar at the front of the drive was slightly bent so I straightened that out.

After putting the drive back together (despite not actually doing any repairs) I decided to quickly test it and (as if by magic) it was reading and writing disks again!

Wednesday 12 February 2020

Running Diagnostics on the Dell Latitude D600 Series of Laptops

Not sure if this works on other newer/older Dell laptops, but on the Dell Latitude D600 I have, you can run the built-in diagnostics by doing the following:

  • Hold down the mute button
  • Power on the laptop
  • Depress the mute button once the diagnostics start to load/run

The 'word on the street' is that on some Dell Laptops it wont automatically run the Diagnostics, instead it will appear on the F12 menu and you can then run it from there.

Crafting A Clock From A Laptop Motherboard - Proof of Concept

After stripping a laptop for parts, all that was left was the non-working motherboard.  Normally this would end up in the WEEE pile ready to go off for recycling, but today I decided to try something out...

Using an old blank CD that I had lying around I (very quickly) hot-glue-gunned 12 function keys from a non-working laptop keyboard to it and then nicked the clock mechanism from another clock and hey-presto!  An upcycled motherboard clock.

The next time I have a non-working laptop I will know what to do - I'll take a bit more care the next time as this one is purely proof-of-concept so was a bit rushed hence the messy glue all over the place...

Monday 3 February 2020

Cleaning A Very Dirty Compaq 7350MT Laptop

I picked up a (very) dirty old laptop the other day for a couple of quid that has clearly been sitting in a barn or garage somewhere for a very long time...

To clean a dirty old laptop like this, I use two different products.  First I give it a once-over with the trusty old AF Foamclene followed by a magic sponge/eraser!

After a very short while you then end up with something like this:

As you can see it has come out really nice :)

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