07/24/20 - 09/10/20 - Pentium 1 DOS Machine Build

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The DOS Machine 2: the dos machine 1

In December 2018, I got the idea to build a Pentium 1 DOS Machine for that period correct, NO VM, authentic DOS experience. I got the idea from Druaga1's "The Ultimate DOS Machine". Not the PIII One, not the 486 one, not the new one, the original one.

I thought that all the things you could do with a Pentium 90 was insane! So I stood up, and... went to a recycling center.

This is where the FIRST DOS Machine build started. A sad looking Packard Bell Multimedia E140. I never got the case, but I took the motherboard and wiretied it into an old case, just like Druaga did. But this motherboard sucked a lot.



First of all, wiretieing a board into a case, it works, it's classy, but oh my gosh it's not good.

The motherboard eventually died because corrosion spread to the ISA riser and I didn't notice it until I pulled everything apart.

So yeah, that was the death of the first DOS machine.



The DOS Machine 2: motherboard acquisition

Also some pictures are actually screenshots from my videos about this board, so some pictures look slightly odd.

Anyways, fast forward to June 2020, and I was getting back into DOS again. Finding out about even more DOS programs that really made DOS seem like such an unlimited OS. I was running DOS in 86box, and while it's a great emulator, I decided to go for the real experience.



On the electronicBay I found this motherboard. It's an FIC PA-2007 mainboard. One of the fastest and most high quality motherboards in 1997. So is it period correct? No. Is it awesome? You bet.

A copule bucks later it arrived in one peice, with some high end parts installed. But I needed some low budget "period correct" parts to get the full experience.
Of course, the Packard Bell motherboard from the small text block above would deliver. I sort of uh, stole it's 16MB of RAM and it's Intel Pentium 150 CPU to put in the c o o l board.

But I ran into a problem. The heatsink for the CPU that I pulled from the Packard Bell, DIDN'T FIT. It ran into the caps on the side of the CPU. Because of the cortanavirus, eBay shipments took weeks or months, and I wanted to power this on today! So I went into the garage and got a HACKSAW out, and clamped the heatsink into the vice, and cut the excess aluminum off. That oughta do it.



Improvise, Adapt, Overcome... Wait a second, i'm not a r/dankmemes lefunny redditor!!! Sorry.

Anyways, I hooked up a power switch, and powered on the board for the first time... Or I thought I would anyways...

Oh wait, I forgot to flick the switch on the power supply! But no, that wasn't it. The motherboard was totally silent.
I started going through all the possibilities in my head, reseat everything, check connections, check jumpers, and no matter what, it would not post.

As I was just sitting there looking at related forum posts, someone mentioned reseating the BIOS chip. I had doubts it would work, but I gave it a shot anyways.

In the process of removing the chip, almost all the pins got obliterated, which made me fell even less hopeful, but bending them back into shape and pushing it back in the socket, I nervously plugged it back in and...



Well I'll be!!! Try reseating the BIOS chip on some of your "dead" motherboards.

So that was just getting the board ready, we haven't even got to the cool part yet.



The DOS Machine 2: the actual build

Parts selection, GO!

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