exxos blog - random goings on

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Steve
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by Steve »

The Shifter wobble issue kind of reminds me of someone standing on one leg, it's OK if nobody nudges him, but if you do he'll start to wobble a little, then a bit more, then lots, then falls over! This is my analogy of the STe lol
Badwolf
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by Badwolf »

exxos wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 12:06 pm I was not at home yesterday so the STE is turned off the entire time. Anything I did just was to change the reset to solve the previous issue. And now with either version of shifter installed the video is perfectly fine again.
Bit more drying out after the bath?

Anyway, she looks a go-er. Nice one!

BW
DFB1 Open source 50MHz 030 and TT-RAM accelerator for the Falcon
DSTB1 Open source 16Mhz 68k and AltRAM accelerator for the ST
Smalliermouse ST-optimised USB mouse adapter based on SmallyMouse2
FrontBench The Frontier: Elite 2 intro as a benchmark
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exxos
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Badwolf wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:04 pm Bit more drying out after the bath?
I thought that. But to have the same fault as other STEs ... Plus I can't say if the fault was there or not before the bath. I think I might have seen intermittent faults where I thought wake up states might be involved. But its hard to prove when things don't fail on demand :lol: :roll:

Ive tried heatgunning and feeezerspraying stuff with no luck. Going to leave it in the sun tomorrow, heat the whole thing up better. Then maybe dunk it in the bath and plug it right back in and see what happens..
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viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
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exxos
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Steve wrote: Thu Aug 04, 2022 1:03 pm The Shifter wobble issue kind of reminds me of someone standing on one leg, it's OK if nobody nudges him, but if you do he'll start to wobble a little, then a bit more, then lots, then falls over! This is my analogy of the STe lol
Mine is alignment of the planets..
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/store2/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
Just because a lot of people agree on something, doesn't make it a fact. ~exxos ~
People should find solutions to problems, not find problems with solutions.
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

PC died :(

It had been acting up for the past couple of weeks. But it just froze this morning and it's been downhill since.

It seems a sata card had died for starters. It was preventing the PC from booting. But windows kept acting very odd. It would boot then the screen would go black and the taskbar would vanish.

Reinstalled the drivers, unplugged all sorts. New ram, new gfx card. Now it's not even seeing any hard drives. :cry:

I may put my own quadcore CPU back in, but not sure there's much point. SATA is via the motherboard so think it's dying a slow death .

So I'm kinda screwed now really unless I can find the same motherboard as i have now. Putting anything else in will likely screw my system drive up even more. No clue at what point motherboards won't work with win 7. But I use the floppy drive and my board was the last board with a floppy port. I've said it all before.

So I'm going to be away for a while, while I try and fix this PC or decide where to go from here.
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/store2/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
Just because a lot of people agree on something, doesn't make it a fact. ~exxos ~
People should find solutions to problems, not find problems with solutions.
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JezC
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by JezC »

:awwww:
Badwolf
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by Badwolf »

exxos wrote: Mon Aug 08, 2022 7:00 pm So I'm kinda screwed now really unless I can find the same motherboard as i have now. Putting anything else in will likely screw my system drive up even more. No clue at what point motherboards won't work with win 7. But I use the floppy drive and my board was the last board with a floppy port. I've said it all before.
If I were you, and depending on what else you have available, I'd take an image of that SATA drive and try to get it booting in a virtual machine.

You'll have all the heartache of getting a windows installation going on a different "motherboard", but you'll only have to do it once (and if you knacker it up, you still have the master drive to re-image from). You can then replace the motherboard with anything you like and run all your old stuff under virtualisation.

Hardware pass-though is good enough now, that I reckon you'll be able to map your floppy disc too.

BW
DFB1 Open source 50MHz 030 and TT-RAM accelerator for the Falcon
DSTB1 Open source 16Mhz 68k and AltRAM accelerator for the ST
Smalliermouse ST-optimised USB mouse adapter based on SmallyMouse2
FrontBench The Frontier: Elite 2 intro as a benchmark
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JezC
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by JezC »

Another option for the floppy might be via a GreaseWeazle?

I have one...but never had chance to set it up & use it (too many suspected faulty floppy drives)...
Steve
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by Steve »

@exxos Appologies if you already mentioned it, but do you have the precise motherboard details? Maybe I can help you find a replacement second hand. The most important thing is finding one with the correct cpu socket (of course) but also the exact same chipset. If you do get the same chipset, then your existing Windows 7 installation should boot up fine, it will just re-configure a few drivers based on IRQs and such, but besides that you should be fine.

edit: Or the opposite. Look at this as an opportunity to upgrade your system and OS. The longer you put this off the more difficult it is going to be. I know you mentioned having old software that only runs on Windows 7, but there are ways around it. Windows has 'compatibility' modes for apps which may work. You can also run VM's as BW mentioned which isn't as difficult as it sounds. Even I run Windows-only apps within Linux, using Wine, as simple as double clicking the program and it just runs, even for my eprom programmer.

On a side note - I'm sure you're aware Win7 doesn't get security updates anymore, so you're significantly risking your digital privacy if you keep using it as your main OS. Sometimes fate just makes us take these difficult transitions 8-)
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Re: exxos blog - random goings on

Post by exxos »

Problem is time and motivation as always. It took me 2 years to update the server and get stuff running again. Imagine if I had gone via windows 8,10,11 as well, I'd be doing nothing but updating windows, id get nothing else done.

Its hardware as well. I got a sound blaster audigy. Been no drivers since XP. A community effort got them running in win7.. Are there drivers for win10 ? No idea. I remember buying all sorts of sound cards years ago. They always died easily or didn't have enough volume output. I can see me throwing loads of time and money at all that again. No thanks.

I really can't be arsed to go though a new PC build again. I'll keep this rig running as long as possible. I'll use Ubuntu on my laptop for internet stuff if needs be. A lot of web stuff is encrypted . so unless windows itself gets hacked.. If micro$oft haven't made a secure OS by now then there's no hope. One could argue hackers would target new OS as they more likely have security holes in them. If I get hacked I'll pull the internet from it. I'm not doing a new windows install again.

Back on XP I think chrome refused to run and others. Which is why I ended up moving to win7. But I wanted to use more recent hardware as well and XP just couldn't do it. "Being online " is just becoming a uphill battle. Great for gamers who can install a new os and download games again and away they go. I'm mean sure I could run a VM, but there will always be some problem getting in my way. I'm sick and tired of endless googling for fixes for problems which nobody knows how to fix. I really am "done" with it all.

My current board is a asrock 990FX extreme 4. Annoyingly there are a few extreme 3s about. I even found a brand new one. But it doesn't have as many io ports.. No floppy. There are other 990fx chip boards but mine was pretty much the last one with a floppy port. I would have to go further back for older boards. I still have my dual core pc in the loft I could use at a push.

PC aside. Its the old argument of how long Atari stuff will sell for. Like evilbay and others, there was a 30% drop in sales since lockdown ended. Understandable. But with parts shortages and the rise in bills, I think that sales will continue to decline now.

I bulk purchased all I could 2 years ago but that stock is almost gone now. Stuff if getting harder to find in general . Ramping my prices up and up and peoples funds being less and less., its not a good mix. Also. My day job used to help pay for stuff. But I've been basically out of work for almost 3 years now. I've got 40k tied up in store stock alone. There's "overspill" stock which is likely the same again. The Atari market is tiny compared to others. I have to be very careful with what I do from now on.

I'm not trying to be negative in all this. But if sales do continue to decline then I'm going to be pushed to clear all the stock I have currently over the next, 5 years for example. So , RSI aside, would I be doing new stuff still then and would I even need a PC at that point.

A lot of this stuff is more I've "got to" do it rather than I "want to". People have no idea how much time it takes looking for parts, dealing with PCB houses, building stuff, testing stuff, designing stuff, prototyping stuff, and shoving millions of parts into little pink bags day in day out, looking for suppliers for parts etc etc etc Its just millions of hours unpaid work. Like we used to say in my old job "same sh*t different day".Where's the fun in it all ?

Getting back to my PC. I think the CPU is faulty. Its odd as it would boot into windows but crash just after the taskbar came up. Then the taskbar would vanish and things mostly seemed to run OK. That lead me down a rabbit hole of reinstalling gfx drivers etc. The aero theme was crashing. That lead me down another rabbit hole. I would just get intermittent lockups for no reason as well.

I found my PCI sata card was getting red hot. So took that out. But soon after the bios wasn't seeing a single hard drive. Not even the floppy or CDROM. Some people on the internet were blaming bad ram.. Wasnt that. Wasn't the graphics card or PSU. So basically gave up thinking the motherboard had died.

As a last straw I found out my old CPU and put that in and all the drives were found and all the odd problems in windows stopped happening. I left it running rar benchmark for some hours and it seemed fine.

I also noticed a lot of the hard drives have over 2,000 interface error counts. But several drives all with direct power to the PSU on various cables..but when I upgraded my SSDs a while ago. There was one drive which would drop out and vanish if I tried to do much access to it. I left it because I just didn't have time to mess about with it. But I wonder if this was the start of my problems rather than thinking it was a bad drive from new.

I found a CPU on evilbay which should have been here a few days ago. Hermes lost it.:roll: "Hermes fail evri time" is my new saying now. So hope it will turn up soon as my PC is in a pile of bits. As to if this new CPU will solve the problems is yet to be seen. This one is more power hungry, so I can load the motherboard as much as I want to see what happens. It could be my old 4 core could cope with a bad CPU power rail. But maybe the 8 core can't.

I can't really see how the MB or CPU could have failed anyway. Its under clocked most of the time. But at this point maybe the CPU had been faulty from new. I have mentioned odd PC problems for a while. But its windows..so...

Also just been to hot for messing about with all this stuff anyway.
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
https://www.exxosforum.co.uk/atari/store2/ - All my hardware mods for sale - Please help support by making a purchase.
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1585 Have you done the Mandatory Fixes ?
Just because a lot of people agree on something, doesn't make it a fact. ~exxos ~
People should find solutions to problems, not find problems with solutions.
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