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Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :) - OLD Hardware Emporium

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Look forward to it.
 

Mussels

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Benchmark Scores I don't quite know how i managed to get such a top tier PC, I am not rich.
@Robert B you'd probably love this random find that came out of my dads storage boxes when he moved house, un-opened...


1633295228892.png

1633295215174.png

1633295241729.png


I mean, look at all the built in I/O ports...
1633295268917.png
 
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Yeah she's a looker alright! :D I also have a Chaintech Sk.7 motherboard with white PCI and ISA slots. This combination is uncommon.

The Sk. 8 motherboard from yesterday is on the right track towards recovery! All the cosmetic damage has been taken care of. Now is the time for deep cleaning and the all important POWERING UP TEST!

Clean PPRO in a very dirty socket!
 

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Mussels

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Benchmark Scores I don't quite know how i managed to get such a top tier PC, I am not rich.
If you could use it for anything, pay shipping and it's yours

would rather it go to someone who could build a working system with it, after all these years... cant believe how much damage you can fix
 
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@Mussels - Coming from you it means a lot to me. I am a long time lurker on TPU and I know your nick from way back. :) There are quite a few nicks that I associate with TPU. Ever since I registered here I knew that I am stepping into a special place.

You live in Australia right? I'm from Romania (Europe). I did some research and the shipping costs are way out of my league. Add to this the changes in local laws related to customs expenses and this board will cost me an arm and a leg. For customs I would need an invoice with the declared value, otherwise I would be charged according to a fixed rate. At least this is what I found after some research online.

All in all I am sorry to inform you that I won't be able to take this awesome motherboard into my already big stash. :)

My advice would be to find a good home for it somewhere near you.

I must thank you from my heart for proposing this. You remind me of someone from my country that sent me a lot of stuff way back when I was just a greenhorn in regard to old HW. :D

In other turn of events I found more stuff that needed fixing on the Intel Venus board. I did the right thing and the board came out great. Unfortunately I just can't spill the beans just yet but what I can tell you is that ahead of schedule, the NEXT EPISODE will be about the SOCKET 8 MOTHERBOARD. It was an unexpected find and it needed a lot of attention but I hope that in the end it will pay off.

From rags to riches, from nothing to something, maybe the Gods of HW will be on my side and I will get the expected outcome! :) SOCKET 8 IN THE HOUSE! I can't even think what this would've meant back in the day when it just came out. Come to think of it I don't even remember if I ever read about the PPRO boards back in the day when I was in high school. This stuff was rarer than hen's teeth. Also remember that Internet wasn't what it is back in '94-'96 ... time flies and getting older sux BIG TIME!!!

More later.
 
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Mussels

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Memory 2x32GB DDR4 3600 Corsair Vengeance RGB @4000 C18 (1.4V, SoC 1.15V)
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VR HMD Oculus Rift S
Software Windows 11 pro x64 (Yes, it's genuinely a good OS)
Benchmark Scores I don't quite know how i managed to get such a top tier PC, I am not rich.
Damn, it's annoying how i can get things sent out bulk for free from china, but cant send anything to other countries myself
 

phill

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Yeah she's a looker alright! :D I also have a Chaintech Sk.7 motherboard with white PCI and ISA slots. This combination is uncommon.

The Sk. 8 motherboard from yesterday is on the right track towards recovery! All the cosmetic damage has been taken care of. Now is the time for deep cleaning and the all important POWERING UP TEST!

Clean PPRO in a very dirty socket!
Robert do you ever just check over the hardware, see if it's ok and just test it or do you go to the very limits that you do and then test?? I was just curious how you do your testing, before the main clean or after :)
 
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In the "old" days, I mean when I was starting in this endeavor, I always did a full restoration and then I would test the components. There was no exception.

Starting a few years ago, due to the fact that I also started collecting "newer" stuff, like Geforce 3,4,5,6 video cards, ATI 9 series, Socket A, 478 motherboards, etc., the need to test them before has arisen. If the state of a component is good or if I do enough repairs that I deem that it is fit for testing, I sometimes test it before going to town on it but in general I still prefer to make a component pretty before I plug it in. :) It is my way of ensuring the best conditions for a test. The casualty rate among these "newer" parts is usually bigger. Stuff from before the 2000s is in general more resilient. This has made me consider testing before restoring. I must say that even if a component turns up to be dead I still restore it quite nicely. Sometimes I do not go the extra mile but they are still going to be restored to a level of at least 95% of that of a full working part.

I never power up a component without ensuring the safety of it. The basics are: dusting off, visual caps check, missing parts checks, TIM quality, checks for scratches, touching parts that aren't supposed to touch, cooling fans operation, etc.

I consider any component alive and kicking, no matter the state, until proven contrary. :D If I would consider a component dead just by the looks of it then I would not own many of the jewels that now are in my possession.

There are a few cases with components that have given me a lot of grief or they provided a particular frustrating experience. To these, if they are dead, I just give them a once over and I "toss them" in the box of dead parts for a resurrection at an undisclosed date. :D

Not one component is/will be left in the condition it came if I decide to keep it. They have to wait in line but all will be restored eventually.

Testing means, for video cards several runs of 3DMark '99,'00.'01,'05,'11. Temps checks with GPU-z or the utility supplied by the manufacturer. For motherboards, POST tests, BIOS checks, BOOT tests and in some cases a full OS install with all the trimmings followed by a few 3DMark runs. The memory is subjected to a few passes of MEMTEST 86 /+. HDDs undergo a sector check with HDDScan or HDTUNE. The ODDs are checked with CD Speed util.

One more thing. Many of these parts are decades old. If I intend to use a component more often then I test it more thoroughly. If it will be kept in a box, then I take it easy on them.

What I am going to do with all of the stuff I gathered is an entirely different thing, :) I know that some time down the line I'll have to part with some of them but I am at peace with this. :D A year ago, I came to the realization that this is an inevitable part of this experience. I'll see how it will feel in the not so distant future. A month ago I started selling stuff locally. Mostly unrestored, some with caps changed, cleaned to about 40% of what I can do, in general newer stuff or stuff that it is not in my area of interests.
 
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The Socket 8 motherboard is giving me the fits, as a lady she is ... As this threw a spanner in my works I have to change plans and prepare another episode.

NEXT EPISODE: Retr08right? What's the hubbub with the bleaching of ancient electronic artefacts?

I took the easiest route I could and to my amazement it really worked as intended.

More later.
 

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Retr08right? What's the hubbub with the bleaching of ancient electronic artefacts?

Retrobright. Ever since I heard about this "thing" called retrobright, I wanted to try it. The main obstacle that prevented me from doing this was and still is, the fact that I mainly "specialize" in gathering components. I have just five complete PCs and of these, two need a retrobright treatment. The rest are looking fine and there is no need to fix something that's not "broken".

I watched a lot of videos on YT and read quite a few articles on the good ol' internet about what makes the retrobright tick. From all the information I gathered, I decided to use the 40 vol (12%) Hydrogen peroxide solution.

I won't go into detail in regard to types of retrobright solutions and methods as I think that there are way better tutorials on the internet than what I can present at this early stage. This will be a presentation of my first retrobright experience.

As this was my first ever foray into this new area, I needed the proverbial guinea pig which arrived in the form of two ODDs that initially were destined for recycling.



I took a long hard look at them and I said: Why don't I try a rejuvenating treatment on you two? What do you say? Yes please! was the unanimous answer.

Before I tackled these two, cough, ahem, beauties, I briefly tested them and they proved to be in good shape. They read DVDs like a dream. NOICE!

Let's meet the duo.

Lite-On DVD-RW LDW-851S



Samsung DVD-ROM TS-H352



These drives are common as dirt where I live and if I didn't get them as a combo deal with other parts I might've never bought them. Also, I must confess, that once I get something, it is quite hard for me to knowingly send them to the crusher. So I was stuck with these two ODDs and I wanted to at least give them a new lease of life. I mean, who in their right mind would stick something looking like that into a retro PC? For sure I would not do such thing.

I disassembled the trays and front bezels and I assessed the state of the plastics.



Inside the units, the trays looked quite well and they gave an indication of the original shade of white.



Being confronted by 50 shades of yellow I was even more determined to make these ODDs look as good as possible.

As I don't have zip bags or cling film and I didn't want to buy them just for this experiment, I took a regular plastic sheet cover, tied it with a zip tie to see if it held air and I was good to go. :) Not ideal but wth, the main purpose of this is to prevent the evaporation of the hydrogen peroxide solution/emulsion.



Finding the hydrogen peroxide solution/emulsion that I needed proved a little tricky but in the end I prevailed. At first I wanted to go to a hair saloon and buy a bottle of 40 vol (12%) hydrogen peroxide but in the end I bought what I needed from a local supermarket. Buying from the internet would've been even easier but I left that for the next time when I'll retrobright bigger plastic elements.

Initially I wanted to use a hydrogen peroxide in liquid form like I saw on the internet but when I found a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide in gel form I knew that it was perfect. As a backup I also bought some hydrogen peroxide in powder form which once water was added would also turn to a gel consistency.





I used a couple of brushes and I coated the plastic bits with a generous layer of hydrogen peroxide gel. When I did this, I also did my first "mistake". I didn't wear gloves while I handled the plastics and even if I took great care I still got some of hydrogen peroxide gel on my fingers. When I saw my skin turn white I rushed to the sink and with lots of water I washed away all of the hydrogen peroxide. This wasn't dangerous but it made my heart race a little. What can I say. Beginner mistake. During the time I worked with the hydrogen peroxide I had the inspiration to at least wear some safety glasses. You really really don't want this stuff in or near your eyes. :D

The bigger plastic bits were put in plastic sheet covers that were tied with zip ties, and the tray covers were put in a plastic sheet cover that was just rolled at the end. Nothing fancy.



After 30 minutes in the summer sun, I could see the transformation taking place just in front of my eyes. It was like magic, even if this sounds cheesy. :D After just a few minutes in the sun you could tell that the stuff was doing its job.

I left the bits in the sun for an hour, then I washed them with water and dish soap. I used some regular rubber gloves just as a precaution. My skin is very sensitive.

Let's see what I got in the end.



Fantastic results. An exigent eye can spot some hints of yellow still present but that didn't bother me at all. I didn't want to do another pass of retrobright as the scope of this entire thing was not to make perfect these humble ODDs, as to gather the all important data for future projects.

Before and now. Night and day difference.



Another reason why I didn't want to do another pass of retrobright was the fact that it is quite easy to overdo a retrobright treatment and get a shade of white that will not match an older case. Also it is worth mentioning that retrobrighting a part doesn't mean that it will stay like that forever. The yellow shade will return some time down the road. When? Nobody knows, as this is variable. In some cases it may take years or much less. Also it may return with a vengeance yellower than any yellow before it. :D It depends. The fire retardants used in the composition of the plastics that are responsible of the yellowing will still do their thing no matter what. Sure you could just paint the plastics but that it is an entirely different matter that needs a whole more experience to get it perfect, so retrobrighting is a lets say, safe and easy method to improve the appearance of all sorts of computer plastic bits.

The 50 shades of yellow are almost gone.



After the success of the the retrobright treatment I was ready to do what I know best. Restoring everything that's PC related and sometimes even more.



I still couldn't believe my eyes while I performed the final stages of cleaning.



The front bezels of the ODDs have taken some beating but as the plastic is soft I used a small screwdriver and with the round metal part I pressed the plastic back into shape. This was as good as it was ever going to get.



The metal cover of the Samsung drive had some small scuffs and spots of rust that were removed. I used a cotton stick and some paint to blend in the areas that were damaged. The results were quite good as the drive looked like it was never touched up.



The Lite-On drive had a lot more rust and the paint had a different shade of gray that didn't match anything that I had in stock. I treated the rust and I painted the area that was damaged. Nothing fancy.



Both of the drives have been taken completely apart and thoroughly cleaned. I took detailed pictures of all the important bits. To my joy the Lite-On drive didn't have a rubber belt. That's a plus in my book no matter the ODD. During the cleaning process I had to use some polishing paste to remove some brown stains on the inside.



Some assemblies required.



The first to be assembled was the Lite-On drive. All of the rails and all contact parts have been lubed with silicone grease. The laser lens has been cleaned gently with a microfiber cloth and some IPA 99%.



Next came the turn of the Samsung drive.



After a lot of work I had in my hands a couple of usable ODDs and I was filled with a sense of accomplishment.



My joy was short lived though.

After I finished the drives I installed them into my Slot 1 PC and I was ready to check them thoroughly. These two, cough, ahem, beauties, would not read CDs no matter what I tried. They read DVDs perfectly.

I tried to clean the laser head lenses a few more times but got the same results. It seems that the CD lens inside the laser head assembly it is toast on both of the units. What where to odds of this happening?! I even used cotton sticks dipped in IPA 99% that I left to rest on the lenses for a few minutes. Nothing worked. DVDs were read great CDs not so much. &*#&*($#%^#$!@#&!!!!!! :D The ASUS CD-ROM inside the Slot 1 PC worked as usual. I even changed the cable. Nothing changed.



I was a little bummed but I looked at the bright side of this affair. The retrobright section of this adventure was a complete success. :D

Retrobrighting is not complicated and if you decide to do it, it is better to start on small bits and pieces. In some cases retrobrighting might not get you the results you expect but this doesn't have to stop you from trying. You must decide if a piece of tech needs this treatment. There are cons and pros like everything in life. "If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?" :D

As always Google is your friend. There is a lot of information on this subject waiting at your fingertips. :D

gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/QTBxyFY

More later.
 
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Nice work and fun Pink Floyd reference! :D
 
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Great job!! retrobright is a extremely rewarding process personally I use UV led's as it's more controlled than sunshine but it does take longer. I used to use salon bleach also when I first started but large projects can get expensive so I moved on to mixing my own with baking soda. Once again a brilliant read Bob look forward to your next adventure.
 
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I usually just use the store bought 3% stuff. Always works well for me.
 
Joined
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Messages
620 (10.51/day)
Location
Thailand
System Name Shoebox
Processor 3600x
Motherboard Asrock b450m steel legend
Cooling Cryorig m9
Memory Hyperx c16 3200 2x8gb
Video Card(s) Powercolor rx570 4gb
Storage WD black sn750 256gb (OS), crucial mx500 1tb(storage),Hitatchi ?? 7200rpm 500gb(Temp files)
Display(s) Samsung 65" TU7100
Case Zzaw b3
Audio Device(s) Yamaha rx-v363
Power Supply Corsair sf750
Mouse Logitech g300s
Keyboard Custom Skyloong sk64s
Software Windows 10 Pro
Store bought stuff is great but when you do multiple large items in my case retro chairs it starts to add up so making your own is the only viable option.
 
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Store bought stuff is great but when you do multiple large items in my case retro chairs it starts to add up so making your own is the only viable option.
Very good point. Some things are too big to be submerged.
 
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Show Me What You Believe Baby 1989 Party up in here!

Friday I had some cake and I also got to see some topless action! :D

I hoped for a 1000MHz core like my defunct K7 750MHz but I was out of luck. Next time will be my lucky day! :) Still, a fresh 8(O)(O) MHZ slot A CPU that enters my collection is nothing to sneeze at.

NEXT EPISODE: A bunch of coolers! You need them! You love them! Some may hate them but there is no way around them!

More later.
 

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