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Questions tagged [ibm-pc]

For questions about the early IBM PC, clones and compatible systems.

24
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2answers
2k views

How did MS-DOS assign drive letters in the case of more than two floppy disk drives?

The IBM PC BIOS had provisions for up to four floppy disk drives, by virtue of returning the number of floppy disk drives in a two-bit field plus a none/some flag (allowing for reporting values of 0, ...
29
votes
4answers
4k views

What was the IBM PC cost saving for using the 8088 vs 8086?

The decision to use the 8088, a version of the 8086 with the data bus restricted to 8 bits, in the original IBM PC, seems strange on the face of it, certainly hurt performance and intuitively shouldn'...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the best choice for DOS for a 1990 80386 PC?

I plan to install Windows 3.0 and PC/GEOS on top of DOS. Plus I will install numerous games from the 1984-1992 timeframe. Some of the later games will require >640K RAM and make use of an EMM driver. ...
5
votes
1answer
275 views

Using a 1995 model M with a modern setup

Looking to get my Model M keyboard working on a modern setup, I believe I need an active converter to go from PS/2 to USB. What adapter / part would be compatible with this keyboard?
27
votes
5answers
2k views

Does every retrocomputer and console with NTSC composite output have 'artifact color' ability?

Artifact color is heavily associated with the Apple ][, since that is the only method the machine had to produce a color display. I was looking at the fantastic demo for IBM PC + CGA, 8088MPH, and I ...
24
votes
4answers
5k views

Windows 98 with 2GB of RAM

I have assembled a retro-gaming PC out of an old Shuttle SN45G with a Windows 98/Windows XP dual boot. The motherboard can handle 2GB of RAM, but apparently Windows 98 can only handle 1Gb. Windows ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Windows 98 / XP Dual boot

I have acquired an old Shuttle X PC (Windows XP, Mini-DTX form factor HTPC) that works fine. As I can't do much with this form factor (I can't fit a modern motherboard in the case) and that the ...
11
votes
1answer
627 views

Can the IBM PCjr be upgraded to support the better features of the Tandy 1000?

It is well known that the IBM PCjr was a commercial failure and that the Tandy 1000 series of computers not only matched the features of the PCjr (other than maybe the wireless keyboard), it also ...
15
votes
4answers
682 views

Were there VLB cards other than video cards and SuperIO controllers?

VESA local bus was an expansion bus used to overcome speed limitations imposed by ISA bus. In theory VLB could reach 1280 Mbit/s (with 40 MHz CPU) which was way more than ISA's 66.7 Mbit/s. The speed ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Restore corroded AT motherboard with dead CMOS battery

I have acquired a nice MS-DOS PC from EET Computer (I couldn't find any information about them). It actually works, but I have two errors on boot: Floppy disk drive controller failure; CMOS Battery ...
7
votes
4answers
305 views

Cost of expansion slots

Among other early computers, the Apple II and IBM PC made the consequential decision to provide internal expansion slots. How much did this add to manufacturing cost? Intuitively, it seems like it ...
3
votes
1answer
260 views

Installing hdd on PhoenixBIOS A486 on Gateway 2000 4DX-33

I'm fixing up a Gateway 2000 4DX-33 which came with a Fujitsu hard drive. The CMOS battery was dead after over 20 years without use, and needed to be replaced. This meant that all BIOS settings were ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views

IBM PS/2 Model 53 Not Powering On

I bought a PS/2 with the intent of robbing it's case for a restomod project, but since that is on the backburner right now I decided to see if it would work. When I flip the power switch, the PSU ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Only “Drive A:” detected with two floppy disk drives

I am trying to repurpose an old Acer Aspire M1641 to copy/format bulks of 3.5'' floppy disks. I think it's one of the last generations of computers to have a 34 pin floppy disk drive header as it also ...
13
votes
3answers
13k views

How can I connect a DIN plug keyboard to USB?

I have a wonderful IBM Model M keyboard, which has the best key action of all keyboards I ever used. The problem is it has the big round 5-pin DIN connector used in AT PCs. I have some PS/2 to USB ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Memory timings for a 430VX mainboard

I'm trying to troubleshoot a memory-detection problem on an old Pentium MMX system with a 430VX chipset. I've got the following memory timing options in the BIOS: DRAM Precharge Wait State: 0, 1 ...
8
votes
3answers
628 views

Does the 25-pin IBM PS/1 serial port connector contain two serial ports?

I got my hands on an IBM PS/1 computer and it provides a 25-pin serial port connector. Whith the help of an adapter I can get a 9-pin serial port on COM1 and transfer data that way. I would like to ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did connecting the IBM PC 3.5" FDD backwards cause the problems it did?

When the 3.5" FDD was introduced for the IBM PC and compatibles (or possibly earlier), someone made a decision to make the data cable between the controller and drive unkeyed. This, of course, meant ...