Monday 20 March 2023

Refurbishing An ESCOM Minitower P100 i Desktop PC

I can't believe that after many years of trying to find one of these on eBay I have finally not only managed to find one, but win the auction and I now own one!

The first PC that I ever purchased was an ESCOM PC, I started with a Cyrix based system (as that was their cheapest model) but within just a matter of hours it was crashing and was simply unusable so I had to take it back.  I was offered a full refund or if I wanted to pay £100 more and get an Intel based system that would definitely not crash - needless to say I paid the extra and went home with a Pentium 75Mhz based system instead of the silly Cyrix one...

Two months after owning my Escom PC instead of just being a customer, I became an Escom (UK) Ltd Employee working in the former Rumbelows retail shop in Kettering, Northamptonshire which Escom got rent free for around 18 months as part of a deal that they had to takeover all of the shops that Rumbelows left behind when it went bust.

Before working for Escom (UK) Limited I was working for a company called Stationery Box on £2.25 hour but Escom was paying £4.50 an hour so I literally doubled my pay as well as getting to work for what was at the time, the UK's Largest Specialist PC Retailer.

Let the refurbishment begin...

The seller mentioned in the listing that the Aztech CDA 468-03ISE wasn't working so that's the first thing I'm going to take a look at:

I've never refurbished a CD-ROM Drive before so I'm not sure if I need to lubricate the gears etc. or if the old saying "if it aint broke, don't fix it" comes in to play?!

Optical Disk Drives have come a long way over the last 28 years, as well as getting faster they also got quieter so I am unsure if this drive is noisy (and in need of some lube) or if it's perfectly fine - please listen to the YouTube video below and let me know what you think.

I'm off to see what the Vogons have to say as there is bound to be someone on there who has serviced/refurbished a CD-ROM Drive this old before...

TO BE CONTINUED...  so bookmark this page now and check pack periodically as I will be updating/editing this page as I go...

Saturday 4 March 2023

Compaq Presario 700 (Rare) Laptop

This laptop is soooo rare I now have 3 of them...  It always makes me smile when I see the word 'rare' in an eBay listing as 1) just because something is rare, doesn't mean it's valuable and 2) it's probably not rare at all...

I made a cheeky offer on this and after a bit of negotiating got it for a steal and I picked it up from Argos (eBay Click and Collect service) so now it's time to unbox it and see if it works.

Packed with nothing more than newspaper :( I hope it hasn't damaged in transit.

It looks in really good condition for a laptop that was first release in 2001!

More importantly, will it work OK?  Time to grab my trusty 2-Power Universal Power Adapter and find out...

We have life!  Unsurprisingly the CMOS battery will need replacing as it's not keeping the time.  Does the hard disk drive work and will it load an Operating System?

The laptop was making some very strange noises whilst it was loading Windows XP, I was starting to think the hard disk drive might need replacing but then I checked the optical drive and found this:

A quick look in Windows Explorer revealed there wasn't anything of interest on the CD-R disc, just a couple of drivers someone has used to install the Windows XP operating system on the laptop (probably before they listed it for sale on eBay).

It doesn't look like they had the original discs to restore the OS as it looks like some sort of cracked version made by 'Gamerman' - whoever that is?!

Needless to say I wont be leaving the laptop like this so it's time to put my investigative cap on and see if I can locate and restore discs for this Compaq Presario 700 laptop or if I can find the Drivers and Utilities CD/DVD disc so I could install the OEM version of Windows XP Home Edition as that's what's on the COA on the bottom of the laptop...

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