Description

Master Vintage Build: A Hybrid Vintage-Modern System

They all said “It just can’t be done

Those were the proverbial famous last words of every 'expert'. I was told by multiple people that it was not technically possible to build this computer. It’s not a virtual machine mind you, but a single physical machine that can run everything from DOS all the way through Windows 7, with full function for each operating system. The goal was to build a multi-boot wonder, one that didn’t need to swap out hardware components between booting-up each OS. “No, sorry, there are far too many obstacles” they said. Of course they cited reason after reason and attempts by others in the past that had failed quickly and miserably: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/classics-rock/windows-31-experiment-hits-a-wall.

“Impossible” they said

Well, being a systems builder with more than 35 years of experience, I simply can’t accept “can’t” and “never”. Some of you might be familiar with a prior master vintage build I did along the same lines here:https://pcpartpicker.com/b/krYrxr

Those words are a call to arms for me -a throw-down of the gauntlet, so I made a bet that I could do it against all odds. And I did. They said:

  • The hardware needed to run Win 7 is incompatible with Windows 95/98
  • Forget making sound work for Windows 9x, Win 7, and DOS/WIN 3.x on the same machine
  • Windows 9x won’t work with more than 512MB of RAM, and newer OSes require a lot more
  • Win 7 needs DirectX 9; newer graphic cards won’t support full rez and full color with 3.x
  • You need a fast CPU for Win 7 that older motherboards don’t support
  • Good luck getting DOS and Windows 3.x to share internet connectivity
  • You can’t get DOS to work with both SATA and ISA
  • You can't find a legacy ISA/PCI motherboard with that has DMA support for ISA audio for DOS/Win3.x
  • DOS doesn’t support USB
  • …and the list went on

Yes, these are real challenges for sure, but mere technological barriers never stopped me. So I set out to do what most said was impossible, and created the first-ever custom hybrid vintage-modern build that could do it all. The point is to have one physical system that can boot the widest range of software from DOS through Win7 or higher with excellent performance, full function, and with no functional compromises.

The cost of this build cannot be calculated; I built it almost entirely from excess parts laying around or scavenged parts from other dismantled systems, but I think most would agree that the value of the only build in the world that can do what this build does (and admittedly, the bragging rights), is...priceless.

The Big 10 “insurmountable” Barriers

There were ten hurdles I was told. Here they are, and how I managed to jump each of them.

Barrier #1 – You can’t get Audio to work in both DOS/Win3.1 and newer systems on the same box So how does one get sound working on the same machine for both a vintage OS like Windows 3.x and a modern OS, such as Windows 98, and also Windows 7? The problem is complex. Machines after the early 90’s had a different I/O Controller Hub that dropped support for ISA audio adapters. Not long after the PCI bus, ISA slots quickly disappeared. Countless souls have tried valiantly to get PCI audio cards to work with DOS and Window 3.1 only to fail miserably – you have to have to have an ISA audio adapter and the machine has to provide an I/O Controller Hub, such as an ICH5, that supports IRQ and DMA addressing. Period. So what does that mean for this build? We have to start with a motherboard that has both ISA and PCI slots, and one with workable interrupt (IRQ) and direct memory (DMA) addressing capability - that combination is rare.

These motherboards do exist, though they are not common. Motherboards with one ISA slot and several PCI slots are the most common, but I was greedy – I wanted to have multiple ISA and multiple PCI slots to really support things like vintage video capture adapters as well. The most versatile of these are industrial ISA/PCI motherboards.

So I based my build on a SuperMicro P4SCA motherboard that has 3 ISA and 4 PCI slots with IRQ and DMA support that plays well across both PCI and ISA adapters.

As for the audio adapter itself, I selected the Yamaha Audician 32 Plus (ISA) - an incredible ISA sound card with a daughter card expansion connector to which I added DreamBlaster Synth S1 General MIDI Daughterboard which combines wavetable and FM synth sound for a high end retro sound, and 64-voice polyphony. I also have a Waveblaster Module MIDI Interface option for full Midi connectivity and support.

Audio Card: eBay - http://www.ebay.com/itm/ISA-16bit-Sound-Card-Chip-YMF718-S-Yamaha-Audician-32-plus-/191717087488 Audio Card Modules: http://www.serdashop.com/waveblaster

Barrier #1: History.

Barrier #2: The 512MB Wall

It is a well-known fact that Windows 95 and Windows 98 can only run with 512MB of RAM, or less. Modern OSes such as Windows 7 and up need a whole lot more – 1GB minimum just to stand them up, and more like 2GB-4GB to run well. I wanted to populate this system with a full 4GB of RAM.

Look up the dozens of internet discussions on this topic and you’ll quickly find a variety of remedies. Most don’t work, and of the ones that kind of work don’t get much beyond 1GB, and are very complex to make work. Few people try. Just as I was about to throw in the towel I found a brilliant patch from a bright fellow named R. Lowe who hawks a patch one for a reasonable sum, so I took the chance, patched Windows 98 rather easily (I first had to boot it up using only 512MB to be able to easily install the patch), then I populated the motherboard with 4GB of RAM (4 1GB sticks), and…. magic

Sources: Memory: http://www.ebay.com/itm/331442899901?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT PATCHMEM: http://rloew1.us.to/

Barrier #2: Conquered.

Barrier #3: Graphic Adapter Compatibility

While Windows 3.x will boot up with most any graphics card in VGA 640x480 by 16 colors, that’s insufficient to run a great deal of the best software from back in the day that demands higher resolution or 256 colors. Remember, we’re not just trying to get these systems to boot up, the goal is to be able to run all the best apps from their era. Any viable Windows 3.x machine needs to support 1024x768 by 256 colors. The trouble is that modern video cards, such as PCI adapters with DirectX 9 support (required for Windows 7 and up), just don’t have drivers for Windows 3.x, and the stock Windows 3.x drivers don’t support them either.

I picked up a EVGA 6 GeForce 6200 DirectX 9 512MB 64-Bit DDR2 PCI 2.1 video adapter quite easily. Though it came with only a Win/XP device driver in the box, I was able to locate later drivers that provided support as far back as Windows 9x, but what to do about Windows 3.x? Humm….

This one had me stumped for a few weeks. Again, the barrier seemed insurmountable. But I recalled a patch that some of us used when installing Windows 3.x in virtual machines to get maximum resolution and color depth support. The patch was called VGAPATCH. I had a hunch that if I grabbed the original Windows 3.1 SGVA driver, patched it with the same patch used for VMs, then used the patched driver to add 1024x768x256 driver to a real version of Windows 3.x it might just work – and it did.

Sources: Video Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130477 SVGA256 Patch: ftp://tasha.eecs.umich.edu/Windows%203/Windows%20for%20Workgroups%203.11/

Barrier #3: Smashed.

Barrier #4: Internet working on both DOS and Windows 3.11

What use is a system unless every installed OS can connect and surf the internet? This one is a little tricky, but not as difficult to solve thanks to the handy work of M. Brutman and his mTCP software when combined with Trumpet Winsock.

The P4SCA motherboard has an on-board Intel gigabit NIC – an Intel® 82541 10/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Controller. The first task was to find a DOS packet driver for it, which took a little searching but wasn’t too difficult to locate. Once that was working all I needed was to install and run mTCP and voila – internet connectivity. I use ARACHNE as a DOS browser under DOS, IE5.0 under Windows 3.1, IE 5.5 under Win9x, and current browsers under Window 7 and up.

Now the problem was how to get the same TCP/IP working when Windows 3.x is booted without sacrificing connectivity – you can’t have both DOS using a packet driver and regular Windows 3.x TCP/IP networking protocols enabled at the same time. Since I already had a working Ethernet adapter and a matching packet driver, I downloaded and copied TRUMPET Winsock to my C: drive, added a PATH statement for it in my AUTOEXEC.BAT, and then added WINPKT.COM 0x60 following the packet driver. This is what is called adding a 'shim' between Windows and DOS which essentially allows Windows 3.x to communicate with the Ethernet adapter through DOS. In Windows 3.1 I simply added TCPMAN.EXE to my Startup group, ran Setup on TCPMAN then rebooted - and voila - full Windows 3.1 internet (TCP/IP) connectivity without ever needing all of the overhead of native Windows 3.11 network drivers.

Wireless Add: I also prefer to place the system anywhere and have wireless network connectivity, so I picked up a TP-LINK TL-WR702N Wireless N150 Nano Router/AP/Client/Bridge/Repeater 150Mbps and use it in Client mode. The TP-Link is matchbook-size and can be plugged directly into a USB port for power. Imagine what people would have thought back in the early 80's if they saw DOS/Win3 connected with a matchbook-size wireless adapter!

Sources: mTCP: http://www.brutman.com/mTCP/ Trumpet: http://www.trumpet.com.au/index.php/downloads.html Wireless Link: https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-WR702N-Wireless-Repeater-150Mbps/dp/B007PTCFFW

Barrier #4: Cake.

Barrier #5: Ultra-Fast Vintage CPU Capable of running Win7 with good performance

Maybe we can get a modern OS to boot up with a vintage CPU, but it won’t run very well. What we need is the fastest CPU possible that will work with the vintage motherboard. The SuperMicro P4SCA is a Pentium 4 socket 478 that originally supported up to a 3.0 GHz Pentium 4. After a bit of research, I found that the P4SCA will also handle the fastest socket 478 CPU, which was a pin-compatible Prescott P4 3.4GHz Extreme Edition that can be had for a whopping $10USD on eBay. The 3.4GHz CPU also needed a vintage socket 478 cooler designed to support up to a 3.4GHz CPU. So I pulled the 3.0GHz CPU that came with the P4SCA, dropped in the 3.4GHz Prescott, and replace the original noisy CPU cooler with a whisper-quite GlacialTech Igloo 4360 Plus Intel 478 Cooling Fan. That CPU, combined with an SSD for the main system drive, made this baby rip for every OS.

As for the PSU I am using a Logisys Corp. 480W 240-Pin Black Beauty ATX 20+4 PS480D-BK which provides more than enough power and a wealth of both Molex and SATA power connectors along with a few splitters to power all the fans, drives, and motherboard.

Sources: CPU: eBay - http://www.ebay.com/itm/141704040833?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT Cooler: https://www.amazon.com/GlacialTech-Cooling-Northwood-3-2GHz-Prescott/dp/B01D27MLI6 PSU: https://www.amazon.com/Logisys-240-Pin-Beauty-Supply-PS480D-BK/dp/B008MUDGBA

Barrier #5: No sweat.

Barrier #6: Dual ISA and SATA - and multi-drive support

Being ambitious I wanted maximum system performance and have tons of storage for multiple operating systems, and hundreds of applications spanning them. That called for a SATA SSD hard drive of at least 256GB for the main system boot drive. I also like having a pair of DVD/CD R/W drives for duplication, an IOMEGA Zip100 drive, a multi-card reader, a 3.5” floppy drive, and a 5.25” 1.2MB floppy drive for old stuff. That’s not asking for too much now, is it?

The SuperMicro P4SCA is quite a beast. It supports 2 pairs of IDE drives, 2 on-board SATA connectors, and multiple floppy drives that support a wide array of densities and sizes.

For the main HDD I connected the 256GB SSD to SATA Channel 1 as the primary drive and a BluRay DVD/CD R/W SATA drive to SATA Channel 1 as a slave drive. I also connected a Zip100 IDE drive to IDE channel 2 (primary), and a PATA DVD/CD R/W drive to IDE channel 2 (Slave). For the floppies I uses a dual floppy connector cable connect 3.5” 1.44MB and 5.25” 1.2MB floppy drives. I could swap out the 1.44MB 3.5” for a 2.88MB drive as the P4SCA supports it, but I didn’t have a 2.88 drive handy – I’ll likely change it out later

Now getting all those channels to work and sing together is another challenge. Having a system board with dual IDE and twin on-board SATA is not common to begin with, but thankfully the P4SCA BIOS has an option to run in these in what they call “mixed” mode, allowing two SATA and two IDE drives to co-exist in compatibility mode. I quickly discovered that other modes (SATA only, and Enhanced mode, for example, cause data corruption under DOS.

Sources: Motherboard: eBay (and http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/P4/E7210/P4SCA.cfm) Drives: Various drives (SATA and IDE DVS/CD R/W drives, IDE Zip100, floppy drives from eBay

Barrier #6: Vaporized.

Barrier #7: Where to put all of those disk drives?

That’s a lot of drives, and there are not a great many modern ATX cases that can accommodate that many. I found a terrific tool-less case with lots of expansion capability – a Raidmax Smilodon ATX-612WB Black/Silver case. Not only does it have 4 full size 5.25” and 2 3.5” external bays in addition to multiple internal bays, but both side panels fully fold out for easy access. The case is loaded with fans and external connectors, and has a large side window and cool blue led lighting as nice bonus.

Sources: Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156063

Barrier #7: Simple.

Barrier #8: Universal USB Support under DOS and Windows 9x Once again, I was told DOS didn’t support USB, and, Windows 9x USB support was there in Win95 OSR2 and Windows 98SE, but device drivers for disk storage were scarce or non-existent. DOS USB: Although is a bit obscure, there are drivers that will make USB work under DOS, and also under Windows 3.x as a result. It actually requires two drivers – a"USBASPI.SYS" Panasonic v2.06 ASPI Manager for USB mass storage driver and an ASPI mass storage driver, di1000dd.sys to map HDs and flash disks to a drive letters in DOS. This link will lead you to the right drivers.

Source: http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1046069/yes-usb-drivers-dos

Windows 98 USB: Windows 95OSR2 and Windows 98 come with basic USB support, but device drivers are almost non-existent. What’s needed is generic USB support which again, is like finding a needle in a haystack. Thankfully R Lowe comes to the rescue yet again with a free generic USB driver for Windows 9x.

After installing these drivers, the internal multi-format card reader, attached to one of the many internal USB headers on the motherboard, lit up for DOS and every version of Windows. I can now use generic CF and SD cards with all of them. I also installed an additional 5 port USB 2.0 PCI expansion adapter which all of the OSes recognized. R Lowe has this and many other very cool patches and extensions.

Sources: PATCHMEM: http://rloew1.us.to/ USB 2.0 PCI expansion: https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-Port-Card-Adapter-PCIUSB7/dp/B002VY53ZK Multi-format USB internal card reader: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA8SV3892657

Barrier #8: Conquered.

Barrier #9: You can’t get a 5.25” floppy drive to work with the latest version of Windows

Sometimes you get vintage applications that only come on a 5.25” floppy disk, and it would be really nice to have an internal 5.25” floppy drive on a modern OS such as Windows 7 to transfer the contents, either for archiving, easy zipping, or transfer to 3.5” floppy, USB, or burn to a CD. It is bad enough modern motherboard have dropped support for even internal 3.5” drives, forcing us to fall back to using external 3.5” USB drives, but I am greedy – I want not only an internal 3.5” drive that works with all of the OSes from DOS all the way through Windows 7, but also an internal 5.25” floppy.

The P4SCA motherboard has terrific support for a bunch of (mixed) format floppy drives, so popping one into the last available 5.25” external bay and wiring it up with a dual floppy drive cable was simply plug-and-play.

Sources: 5.25” 1.2MB Floppy Drive - eBay

Barrier #9: Next impossible challenge...

Barrier #10: You are limited to only four primary partitions which will limit the number of operating systems

While it is true that primary system HDDs are limited to supporting only 4 primary partitions (or three primary partitions and an extended partition with logical drives), I’ve got a great multi-boot manager that provides an extended boot manager record which permits the creation and management of more primary partitions than anyone could ever use (200+).

Sources: Terabyte Unlimited BootIt Bare Metal https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-bare-metal.htm

Barrier #10: Nailed.

In Conclusion:

I admittedly have work remaining on cable routing and and prettying up the build - I am waiting some cable sleeves, two round cables, and some connector parts to rid the system of ribbon cable, but the build is complete in all other respects. Now the fun part, adding hundreds of apps and several more operating systems using Bootit BareMetal.

Final Build Breakdown

  • CASE: Raidmax Smilodon ATX-612WB Black/Silver Foldout Computer Case
  • RAM: 4GB RAM (4 1GB Sticks)
  • HDD DRIVE #1: 240GB SATA SSD (SATA MOB Connected in Combined IDE mode)
  • HDD DRIVE #2: 80GB IDE (driven off of the IOFLEX Ultra)
  • MAIN BOARD: SuperMicro P4SCA Intel E7210 Socket 478 800MHz F/S Bus
  • CPU: Intel Pentium 4 Prescott 3.4GHz Extreme Edition/1MB Cache
  • CPU Cooler: GlacialTech Igloo 4360 Plus Intel 478 Cooling Fan
  • PSU: Corsair CX500
  • EXPANSION SLOTS: 3 ISA ports and 4 PCI ports
  • SERIAL PORTS: 2 Fast UART 16550 serial ports
  • PARALLEL PORT: 1 ECP / EEP Parallel Port
  • ONBOARD HD PORTS: Dual Headed IDE (4 IDE drives), Floppy, 2 SATA
  • Expansion IDE PORTS: IOFLEX Ultra ATA PCI RAID Controller
  • USB 1: Two external USB 2.0 Ports
  • USB 2: StarTech.com 7 Port PCI USB 2.0 Card Adapter PCIUSB7
  • FLOPPY 1: Internal 3.5" 1.44MB
  • FLOPPY 2: Internal 5.25" 1.2MB
  • REMOVABLE STORAGE: Internal 100MB IOMega IDE Zip Drive
  • CD/DVD DRIVE: DVD/CD IDE Rewritable Drive
  • BluRay DVD DRIVE: SATA Rewritable Drive (in combined IDE mode)
  • VIDEO ADAPTER 1: ATI RageXL 8MB PCI Graphic Controller (On board/disabled)
  • VIDEO ADAPTER 2: EVGA 6 GeForce 6200 DirectX 9 512MB 64-Bit DDR2 PCI 2.1
  • NETWORK ADAPTER: Intel® 82541 10/1000 Gigabit Ethernet Controller (On Board)
  • WIRELESS NETWORK: TP-LINK TL-WR702N Wireless N150 Nano Router in Client Mode – USB Powered
  • MODEML: US Robotics 56K Internal Modem
  • SOUND CARD 1: Yamaha Audician 32 Plus (ISA) w/ DreamBlaster Synth S1 General MIDI
  • SOUND CARD 2: SoundBlaster PCI
  • USB CARD READER: Internal USB Card Reader
  • SPEAKER: SONY Deep Base Amplified Speaker
  • KEYBOARD: Classic IBM Model M Keyboard
  • MOUSE: PS/2 Mouse
  • MONITOR: 20" LED Display

Software Installed

DOS/Win311 System

  • Operating System: IBM PC DOS 7.1 (DOS 2000/Y2K enabled)
  • 4DOS Extended Command Processor (+ Long filename and long PATH support)
  • Driver: MSCDEX CD Driver
  • Driver: Zip Driver
  • Driver: Yamaha Audio
  • Driver: CD Driver
  • Driver: Intel Gigabit Network Adapter Packet Driver
  • Internet: TCP/IP Stack/DOS): mTCP
  • Internet: TCP/IP: Trumpet Winsock via DOS shim
  • USB: DOS USB Driver Enabled
  • 640KB DOS RAM/536KB free after all required and optional drivers loaded
  • Word Processing: Mansfield KEDIT
  • Word Processing: MS Word for DOS 4.0
  • Word Processing: WordPerfect 5.1
  • File Manager: IBM FileList
  • Utility: IBM Fixed Disk Organizer
  • Utility: System Utility: SysInfo7
  • Utility: SysTest
  • Utility: PKZIP 2.5
  • Utility: Acrobat Reader
  • Utility: IBM 4019/4029 Soft Fonts
  • Desktop: Quarterdeck DeskView 2.0
  • Desktop: Calmira II Win95 shell for Win31
  • Database: Ashton-Tate dBase III Plus
  • Graphic: Harvard Graphics 2.0
  • Spreadsheet: Lotus 123 2.4
  • Spreadsheet: VisiCalc
  • Accounting: QuickBooks Version 1.0
  • Accounting: One Write Plus Money Matters
  • Communications (Dial-up): QMODEM
  • Communications (Dial-up): ProComm+
  • Internet: Browser/DOS: Arachne
  • Programming: Turbo Pascal 6.0 for DOS
  • Productivity: Point of Sale Cash Register
  • Publishing: IBM BookManager Reader
  • Word Processing: DWSCRIPT
  • Productivity: Policies Now
  • Productivity: Family Tree Maker
  • Game: Jeopardy
  • Game: Cyborgirl Pinball
  • Accouting: Quicken QuickBooks
  • Programming: Turbo Pascal
  • Programming: Turbo Assembler
  • Game: Space Invaders
  • Game: Space Invaders 78
  • Game: Monopoly
  • Game: PacMan
  • Mucic: CDPlayer
  • Music: Voyetra Sequencer Plus Pro MIDI

Windows 3.x System

  • Windows 3.11 WFW
  • Calmira II
  • Win32s Installed
  • SVGA Enabled 1024x768 256 Color (via SVGA Patch)
  • SoundBlaster Audio Drivers Enabled
  • Zip 100 Drivers Enabled
  • CD Drivers Enabled
  • Video for Windows Installed
  • TCP/IP Enabled (Trumpet WinSock)
  • MS Office Suite 4.3
  • MS Office 4.3
  • MS Word 6.0
  • MS PowerPoint 4.0
  • MS Excel 5.0
  • MS Access 2.0
  • MS Publisher 2.0
  • MS Project
  • WordPerfect Suite 6.1
  • WordPerfect 6.1
  • Quatro Pro
  • Corel Presentations
  • CorelFlow
  • Sidekick 2.0
  • Internet Explorer 5.01
  • Lotus 123 V5
  • Kedit for Windows
  • Adobe Photoshop 2.5
  • Aldus PageMaker 4.0
  • Frame FrameMaker
  • Turbo Pascal for Windows
  • Turbo Assembler (DOS and Win)
  • WS/FTP pro
  • Symantic ACT! 2.0 Windows
  • Xing MPEG Player
  • GlobalLink Power Translator En-Fr-Gr
  • PeachTree Accounting Complete
  • MS Word 2.0
  • My Invoices and Estimates
  • Contact Master
  • TopDown Flowcharter
  • WinPlay3 MP3 Player
  • PCAnywhere 2.0 Host and Remote (over TCP/IP)

**Windows 98 System

  • Windows 98 Second Edition
  • 4GB RAM Enabled via W98 Memory Patch
  • High Rez+True Color Enabled Graphics
  • Intel EtherExpress PRO/1000 LAN Adapter enabled
  • Audio Drivers Enabled
  • Zip 100 Drivers Enabled
  • CD/DVD Drivers Enabled
  • 56K Modem Enabled
  • USB 2.0 Internal Flash Card Reader w/Generic W98SE USB Driver
  • Windows 98 Applications Installed
  • MS Office Suite 4.3
  • MS Office 4.3
  • MS Word 6.0
  • MS PowerPoint 4.0
  • MS Excel 5.0
  • MS Access 2.0
  • MS Publisher 2.0
  • WordPerfect Suite 6.1
  • WordPerfect 6.1
  • Quatro Pro
  • Corel Presentations
  • CorelFlow
  • Sidekick 2.0
  • Lotus SmartSuide 9.6
  • WordPro
  • Freelance
  • Approach
  • Lotus 123
  • Atari Greatest Hits Games
  • Pong
  • Asteroids
  • Centipede
  • Missle Command
  • Super Breakout
  • Tempest
  • Adobe
  • Adobe Photoshop 6
  • Adobe Type Manager
  • Adobe PageMaker 6.5
  • Acrobat Reader 4.0
  • Internet
  • Internet Explorer 5.5 SP2
  • PCAnywhere 2.0 Host and Remote (over TCP/IP)
  • WS/FTP pro
  • Programming
  • MS Visual C++ Version 6 w/MSDN
  • VisualAge for Java 2
  • Utilities/Productivity
  • Roxio CD/DVD Creator
  • Quicktime 2.5
  • Partition Magic 8.0
  • Boot Magic 8.0
  • Kedit/Windows Text Editor
  • HiJaak Pro 4.01
  • HotMetal Pro HTML Editor 6.03
  • Peachtree Accounting for Windows
  • Grollier Multimedia Encyclopedia

Windows 7 System

  • Windows 7 Professional 32-bit *All service patches
  • Acronis True Image
  • DropBox
  • FireFox
  • Semantic Internet Security
  • ...lots more

Comments

  • 37 months ago
  • 5 points

holy cow the inner nerd just screams vintage PC

I still remember the time i used Windows 3.1 and later Win 95 before i swap to Win 98 and later skip the 2000 and Me for Win XP which has better driver support.

it amaze me you can just run multiple OS on one machine esp when there is DOS, Win 3.1 up to WIn 7 running inside.

  • 36 months ago
  • 4 points

That... Is one of the greatest thing in all the PC stuff I've seen. A build running all the OSes... Well worth reading every single word.

+1

  • 37 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks! I'd REALLY love to get Windows 10 also working on this baby. To do so requires a CPU with an Execution Disable bit (XD). I think I can do it for all of about $5 bucks by using a SL8U4 Intel Pentium 4 Processor 511 CPU. It would be a slight downgrade from the Prescott 3.4GHz EE CPU, but I thin it is the only Socket 478 compatible CPU that will do it. I just ordered one off of eBay - fingers crossed.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Please keep us updated!

  • 37 months ago
  • 3 points

Will do- just waiting on the other CPU. I did upgrade one of the DVD/CD RW drives to a BluRay DVD drive, which allows me to burn upto 50GB which I need because I image all f the OSes using Acroins and need to archive them. Although older systems can't write to BluRay, it is interesting to see DOS/Win3 and older systems recognize a BlueRay drive and read from them

[comment deleted]
  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, that was a typo. Yah, I might change it out for one that is higher quality. Maybe a Corsair CORSAIR CX500 will be a decent PSU for this build.

[comment deleted]
  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Good Luck!

  • 37 months ago
  • 3 points

You are the backwards compatible champion of the word! GJ!

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

wow! Just wow, while reading everything I have relived a huge part of my computer life (which started long ago, approx 28 years). Never thought somebody would try such a project, it's much easier to add old dedicated machines to the pool rather than do an all-in-one.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

I'll have to make and post a short video of each OS booting up - even I'm amazed I got thought it all. I'd like to put Win 10 on as well as the 3.4GHz Prescott Extreme Edition CPU in the build does support hyper-threading, but it might not meet all of Win 10's RTM CPU and BIOS requirements. Still, getting Win7 to run on the beast was enough to celebrate.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Please do make a video and link it here.

Lots of memories of me, my brother and my dad moving from apple to ibm and DOS. Thanks for the innovative post.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Know that I'll bookmark this for future reference. Such an amazing work, good job!

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow. Kevin Flynn would be proud. This is really cool and amazingly versitile while looking fantastic.

Great job.

Thumbs up and +1

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

that is skill

  • 29 months ago
  • 2 points

But can it run Minesweeper?

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

35 upvotes!? This deserves 35 trillion!

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

can it run crysis at 4k?

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

this is beyond science

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

CONGRATULATIONS!!

YOU HAVE EARNED THE TITLE OF:

MOST OS'es IN ONE BUILD!!!

Thank You. This is unlike any PC i have ever seen in my life. Great job!!

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

( •_•) >⌐■-■ Mother of god

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

I am relatively new to the PC world, but even I can recognize how incredible this is. Would be a great tool to teach people about the history of computing and how far things have come in a relatively short time.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you. If you think this one is interesting from a history of computing angle, you'll flip over this one: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/krYrxr

:-)

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I wanted to do a replica of this build...

Then I calculated the price, including a copy of every os.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually, you could get a lot from WinWord for each OS take a look at https://winworldpc.com/library

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool!

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Were you able to boot into win 10? Saw the partition on the 9th (I think) image.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I tried. I just couldn't get past the CPU bit that prevents it from running. There might be a path through a Win8 preview build, but I never was able to get a hold of an installable copy. :-(

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

There some on eBay IIRC

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

That was spectacular to read! LOVE IT!!! I now know what I'll be working on this winter!

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 point

This needs a feature

  • 30 months ago
  • 0 points

why!!!!!!

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Because as an experienced vintage computer builder for more than 35 years. it was a challenge that no one had ever accomplished and everyone insisted could not be achieved. That's all :-)

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

good reason

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  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

I just downloaded 1993 DOOM, other version I ought to run?

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  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually, yes - but only when I tunnel into my i7 monster using TeamViewer LOL

J/K - :-P

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