One of my Win98SE PCs died

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Ribtor
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One of my Win98SE PCs died

Post by Ribtor »

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That machine has been powered pretty much 24/7 since almost the turn of the century (2000) and today I smelled a hint of burning. It is the secondary backup of my businesses cash register and database system. Fortunately I have a prime backup plus an off-site backup plus the original machine which has been on since 1998 (24/7). This one was a secondary redundant unit so nothing was in danger of being lost. But still, I was hoping for an even twenty years out of it.

I was expecting the power supply or the hard drive to fail and I'm surprised the motherboard went first.

A replacement has been sent for.
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Kirk
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Post by Kirk »

That should be an easily replaceable part. Though of course it might have killed something else down the chain which is not obvious.

It appears to be a voltage regulator from the shape of the part. If so something might have been overstressing it. Or it might just have died of old age. Those capacitors would be a prime suspect on overstressing the regulator. Do any of them appear distended ?
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Post by macnuke »

the magic smoke has been loosed.
I am sad for your device.

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Post by Ribtor »

It's a power MOSFET and I did source them but there's another similar one showing signs of heat on another part of the board. All the capacitors are visually ok but I'm not going to rescue it. It's had its day. I still have two productive PCs running Win98SE because of the old peripherals required. When their hardware time is finally up I will have to run them as virtual machines. Unfortunately they require SCSI and multiple printer ports which may be a problem in a VM.

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Post by user »

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Post by maurvir »

I take it WindowsXP is out of the question?
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Post by macnuke »

what's the most current OS your software will use? you can always do a cheap build and use something like the adaptec scsi pci card.

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dv
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Post by dv »

Ribtor wrote:Unfortunately they require SCSI and multiple printer ports which may be a problem in a VM.


You might need more expensive hardware than you'd prefer to support it, but hardware passthrough usually works pretty well.
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Post by Ribtor »

macnuke wrote: what's the most current OS your software will use? you can always do a cheap build and use something like the adaptec scsi pci card.


The cash register/database runs on DOS 6.22, but via Win98 which is convenient for networking and backup. I have not had success running the system in XPs pseudo DOS environment. Any x86 PC of any vintage with two PCI slots should be fine as long as I can install two Parallel printer ports in it and run DOS networking.

The other Win98 machine requires SCSI, two floppy drives, internal zip and external Jazz drives, mac drive emulation, USB, two parallel printer ports and drag and drop networking for simplicity. That one is still alive and not showing any signs of giving up. Yet. I have all the parts to make another one of those should the need arise.

There's a lot of obsolete drives and PCI cards that would need to be connected and passed through a VM. I have an "old" dual CPU, eight core Opteron system which has all the obsolete connectivity on TYAN motherboard, should it come to that. But, running a native Win98 system is trivially simple. Plus beige floppies in a black case is tacky.
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maurvir
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Post by maurvir »

Windows98 (as well as ME) was still more of a GUI shell running atop a copy of actual DOS. Yes, 95/98/ME were a bit more complex than that, providing network and graphics drivers to Windows apps, but you could disable the GUI portion and run them as DOS machines. From that perspective, XP is an entirely different environment - it was built from the ground up as a 32-bit graphical OS with DOS emulation, rather than a GUI running on DOS.

That said, if all you need is DOS, getting DOS to run in a VM, even with networking, is certainly doable. Passing through PCI devices to the VM isn't difficult either. It would require an Intel or AMD CPU with all the virtualization extensions, which will almost invariably mean a reasonably powerful machine, but it probably has more legs than keeping a bunch of ancient AMD/Intel motherboards from 20 years ago going. It also has the benefit that a virtualized environment can be wholly backed up and replicated on different hardware (with the obvious exception of the physical hardware that was passed through). Restoring a VM is like magic in the sense that it is like going back in time. It just works again.

If I weren't in the process of moving, I'd attempt to get an old copy of DOS running in a VM on one of my older machines. I'm pretty sure this i7 3770 has the VTd instructions.
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Post by Ribtor »

If I have the time to be ambitious I might Install Linux in the Opteron workstation and run Windows 98/DOS as a VM in that. I assume that's a thing.

I am out of legit Windows Licenses and I just recently had to install XP in another workstation. MS still accepts validation of XP online, but maybe more out of pity than scruples. That would satisfy my OS license issues and free up a native Win98 machine as a backup cash register.
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Post by macnuke »

FreeDOS
Bill Gates gave it away so open source takes care of DOS now..
I use it on current machines as well as an 86 mobo that runs headless.

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Post by Pariah »

I remember running into a couple of neck beard DOS ogres after XP came out, they were SO very wasted that XP did not have "real" DOS.
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Post by maurvir »

Pariah wrote: I remember running into a couple of neck beard DOS ogres morons after XP came out, they were SO very wasted that XP did not have "real" DOS.


FTFY
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