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Thread: Post up your DOS gaming machine!

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    ServBot (Level 11) aaron7's Avatar
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    Default Post up your DOS gaming machine!

    Figured it could be a neat thread.

    I have two computers I dedicated to DOS gaming.

    One is an old Micron laptop... nice big 15" screen, SoundBlaster audio (easy to configure!). Think it's a PII 333MHz with 128mb RAM. I have a 20gb hard drive in there to store all my stuff and run 98SE on it.

    The other is my custom built all in one PC. It's a standard AT mini-tower that I glued a 15" LCD screen to the side and wired it up inside to the video card. It also has internal speakers. I added handles on the top to carry it around... still trying to figure out how to get some sort of flip-down keyboard and mouse to cover the screen. This system is a Pentium 233MMX, 128mb RAM, 20gb hard drive, Radeon 7000 64mb PCI video (tears through Quake and Duke3d!), AWE64 ISA sound card, and a PCI USB 2.0 card.

    I'll get pics up when I get home.

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    Originally an HP Pavilion 8260

    266Mhz Pentium II
    128Mb PC100 SDRAM
    80Gb IDE
    Windows 95 on top of DOS 7.0
    Voodoo 3 2000 AGP
    Sound Blaster AWE64 ISA
    Iomega ZIP100 Drive
    Lite-On CD-RW Drive
    Mitsumi Floppy Drive
    Cheap black case from CompUSA ($15)
    Small Dell LCD (goes about 1024x768)

    Oldest thing I can remember running on it: Akalabeth
    Most advanced thing I can remember running on it: System Shock 2

    Things I'd like to do with it:
    -Add networking
    -Wheel-mouse support
    -Set up a minimalist pure DOS environment, dual-booted
    -Try Windows 7 on it
    -Play Half-Life 2 on it
    -Build a good integrated-monitor case like aaron7 made
    -Bring it to a lan-party (we spend a lot of time playing UT99 anyway, why not?)

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    Peach (Level 3) PC-ENGINE HELL's Avatar
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    You know, I actually have a ton of Super Socket 7 K6-2&3 stuff, and Soundblaster 16 and 32 sound cards and what not. Enough to build 2-3 Dos comps possibly. Also have some Slot1, Socket A, and Socket 370 stuff as well incase I wanted to do Windows 98-Me Direct X 6 and prior, or XP Direct X 7-9 stuff. I should really go though and make a inventory list....

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    I used to use a tricked out 8 bit IBM PC XT. The hardest thing about adding devices to the original PC is that it uses 8 bit ISA cards, not the 16 bit ones. It had...

    EGA graphics adapter
    Adlib sound card
    20 megabyte hard card (it's an ISA card with a built in hard drive)
    SCSI controller with a 600 mb hard disk and CD ROM drive
    768k of RAM
    Floppy controller with high density 5.25 and 3.5 inch disk drives
    10base2 Ethernet controller

    The device drivers to run all that hardware took up almost all the available memory, so it was more of an experiment in how much hardware I could shove in one computer. I pushed it too far when I eventually put a 386 card in there that would have effectively turned the computer into a 386. After installing the card and powering up, the computer beeped SOS a few times and then never turned on again. It killed BOTH the motherboard and the power supply. I tried putting a new power supply in, wouldn't work. I tried putting the old power supply into another XT, it wouldn't work. It completely killed my machine

    Now I just use DOSBOX on a Pentium III. I have it multibooting into Windows 98, XP, and NetBSD so all my bases are covered.

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    Pear (Level 6) PentiumMMX's Avatar
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    While I have a 486, my main PC (A roughky 14-year-old NEC desktop) for older games is currently setup like this:

    - Pentium (75Mhz)
    - S3 graphics card (PCI-based, don't remember which model)
    - Sound Blaster AWE64 (ISA-based)
    - A pair of USB 2.0 ports
    - 40MB RAM
    - 6.8GB hard drive
    - 3.5 & 5.25 floppy drives, 24X CD-ROM
    - Windows 98SE

    I've pushed the old hardware to the limits on countless occasions; at one point I had it successfully running Windows 2000 at a surprisingly usable speed. However, I still need to find a working network adapter for it...

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    Cherry (Level 1) phreakindee's Avatar
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    For my oldest DOS games:

    IBM PC 5150
    Intel 8088 4.77Mhz
    Intel 8087 Math Co-processor
    DOS 3.2
    640k RAM
    CGA Graphics
    2x 5.25" FH 360k Floppies

    For 386 to Pentium-era:

    HP Vectra-based
    DOS 6.22
    Pentium 100Mhz
    24x CD-ROM
    3.5" 1.44MB Floppy Drive
    Creative Sound Blaster 16
    64MB RAM
    10GB HDD
    8MB 2D Graphics chipset

    For 90's DOS/Win95 games:

    Pentium II 400Mhz
    Windows 95
    48x CD-ROM
    3.5" 1.44MB Floppy Drive
    5.25" 1.2MB Floppy Drive
    128MB RAM
    20GB Hard Drive
    ATI Mach64 2MB for 2D card
    12MB Voodoo 2 PCI
    Sound Blaster 128

    Others:
    Compaq All-In-One Presario 486 Overdrive
    Toshiba Contura Aero 486
    Random clones PCs
    Last edited by phreakindee; 10-22-2009 at 12:06 AM.
    PC Game Collector - DOS and beyond

    Lazy Game Reviews

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    Very nice case there, I ought to put some 90s logos on mine. There's something appealing about having a retro system decorated to look modern.

    I've always wanted a 5.25" floppy drive, but I've never found one. That's really the last piece I need for my retro PC.

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    Cherry (Level 1) phreakindee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue lander View Post
    I used to use a tricked out 8 bit IBM PC XT. The hardest thing about adding devices to the original PC is that it uses 8 bit ISA cards, not the 16 bit ones. It had...

    EGA graphics adapter
    Adlib sound card
    20 megabyte hard card (it's an ISA card with a built in hard drive)
    SCSI controller with a 600 mb hard disk and CD ROM drive
    768k of RAM
    Floppy controller with high density 5.25 and 3.5 inch disk drives
    10base2 Ethernet controller

    The device drivers to run all that hardware took up almost all the available memory, so it was more of an experiment in how much hardware I could shove in one computer. I pushed it too far when I eventually put a 386 card in there that would have effectively turned the computer into a 386. After installing the card and powering up, the computer beeped SOS a few times and then never turned on again. It killed BOTH the motherboard and the power supply. I tried putting a new power supply in, wouldn't work. I tried putting the old power supply into another XT, it wouldn't work. It completely killed my machine
    Oooooh, that sucks! Sounds like an awesome machine before!

    Risk of things like that happening is why I've limited myself to only upgrading video and RAM on my IBM PCs.
    PC Game Collector - DOS and beyond

    Lazy Game Reviews

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    ive considered making one on many occasions. i am very put off by the fact that i simply dont have the space for an extra pc & monitor. i thought about getting an old laptop and i am still playing with that idea, however am very anti paying 100-200$ for an arhiac laptop that would almost never be used.

    i have resorted to using dos box. however i wonder how windows 7's xp environment will handle dos games. i also considered simply running a virtual system with the specs i wanted within my current pc (i have a beast of a pc with 2 21" LCDs and 8gb ram, amongst other things - allowing me a very vast amount of multitasking)

    the set up i always wanted to set up as my dos box would be a 333mhz pentium with 128 or 256 ram. 20-40gb hd with dual boot into either dos w/ Norton Commander or Windows 98SE. that would pretty much cover all my bases, i could probably run most stuff in 98SE anyway.

    im generally very busy with work and ive recently decided to start going to graduate school. between all of that and my gf & other friends i have no time for this kind of hobby project. im pretty much in between going full out virtualization and setting up the above specs w/ OS on it or find a laptop. something tells me it be virtualization due to it being free and space limitations.
    Last edited by Poofta!; 10-22-2009 at 12:24 AM.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Push Upstairs's Avatar
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    I use it mostly for DOS gaming via Win98 but here it is.

    This machine started out its life as an HP Pavilion 6640c.

    Specs:

    AMD K6 500mhz
    384mb RAM (overkill)
    20 gig HD (a bottom less pit of storage for this machine)
    VooDoo 3 video card
    Soundblaster Live! sound card (with SB-16 emulation)

    For now I have to use it with my LCD monitor. I don't have space for my CRT monitor and the LCD, but one day it will.

    Much, much easier to run games on this as these components have better compatibility and drivers are easier to find than the ones that came with the computer (I found the computer re-formatted and without any driver disc).

    Possibility is infinity! You must be satisfied!

    You just can't handle my jawusumness responces. -The Sizz



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    Pretzel (Level 4)
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreakindee View Post
    For my oldest DOS games:

    IBM PC 5150
    Intel 8088 4.77Mhz
    Intel 8087 Math Co-processor
    DOS 3.2
    640k RAM
    CGA Graphics
    2x 5.25" FH 360k Floppies

    For 386 to Pentium-era:

    HP Vectra-based
    DOS 6.22
    Pentium 100Mhz
    24x CD-ROM
    3.5" 1.44MB Floppy Drive
    Creative Sound Blaster 16
    64MB RAM
    10GB HDD
    8MB 2D Graphics chipset

    For 90's DOS/Win95 games:

    Pentium II 400Mhz
    Windows 95
    48x CD-ROM
    3.5" 1.44MB Floppy Drive
    5.25" 1.2MB Floppy Drive
    128MB RAM
    20GB Hard Drive
    ATI Mach64 2MB for 2D card
    12MB Voodoo 2 PCI
    Sound Blaster 128

    Others:
    Compaq All-In-One Presario 486 Overdrive
    Toshiba Contura Aero 486
    Random clones PCs
    Hahaha an IBM 5150 I can't even find a monitor for mine. Usually I'll Frankenstein one together from the 100+ CPUs 15 cases 25 Hard Drives etc. Then I'll install DOS or Windows Play the game, if there is a config I use frequently I can automate part of the software installation too.

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreakindee View Post
    Oooooh, that sucks! Sounds like an awesome machine before!

    Risk of things like that happening is why I've limited myself to only upgrading video and RAM on my IBM PCs.
    If I had to do it all over again, I would have just put the hardcard, EGA card and extra memory in the thing. There's no real need for an XT to have a giant hard drive or a CD drive. What are you going to do with them? The 20 meg hard card was quite enough, and so much easier to configure than an older MFM hard drive controller. The ethernet card was nice, but the TSRs and whatnot took up almost all of the machine's memory

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    ServBot (Level 11) aaron7's Avatar
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    Snapped a pic of the beast:


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    Pear (Level 6) PentiumMMX's Avatar
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    Seeing as everyone is showing off pics of their own PC, I might as well show mine. It's not hooked up at the moment (Only enough room for one monitor and keyboard at the moment, so I have to unhook my 1Ghz Pentium III desktop and setup my 75Mhz Pentium in it's place for older games).

    13 years and still going strong...it was well worth the original $2,000+ price tag.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Push Upstairs's Avatar
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    I don't really have a picture of my Win98 gaming system, but I can show you the case I put it in.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811147112

    The reason I switchted the case is that the HP case it came in was very small and not easy to work in. This case allows me access to whatever I need by simply removing one side of a case (as opposed to taking the whole computer apart). Plus I screwed up the front of the case.

    A "retro" look would have been cool, but I needed to be practical. Too bad I have no way of using the sound or USB ports on the front of the case.

    Possibility is infinity! You must be satisfied!

    You just can't handle my jawusumness responces. -The Sizz



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    I've got a DOS box that I've had for a couple years. It's a Toshiba Tecra laptop running MS-DOS 7.1 and Windows 3.1.

    Specs:
    - 2.1 GB internal hard drive
    - 5 USB ports (with compatible drivers)
    - 48 MB RAM
    - ~266 MHz Pentium
    - 450 GB external hard drive (works with all my computers)
    - CD-ROM drive
    - 3" floppy drive
    - Support for SD cards
    - Compatible 16-bit sound card (beats the terrible default 8-bit support)

    Installed stuff:
    - Fully functional MP3/WMA/OGG/WAV player
    - Fully functional MIDI player
    - Microsoft Office 4.0
    - Several image viewers
    - Very slow and buggy video player
    - Grand Theft Auto
    - Some other stuff I forgot about

    Stuff to do (but don't care much about):
    - Integrate Ethernet card for networked Internet
    - Find better video player
    - Fix annoying blue screens which are common on boot if sound card is messing up
    - Install DVD drive
    - Attempt using a drive with space > 1TB
    - Fix other minor stuff

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    Pear (Level 6) Soviet Conscript's Avatar
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    i use an old gateway tower case

    Win98SE
    pent II 450 mhtz
    30GB HD
    Voodoo 3 AGP
    AWE32 soundcard (ISA based)
    512 mb PC100 ram
    3 1/2 floppy
    cd and dvd drive

    its a bit faster then i wanted it to be but overall its a decent MB

    i have anouther MB with a 200 mhtz MMX that i would love to turn into a pure DOS based machine. its nice cause it has several ISA and PCI slots. just need a case for it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cat333Pokemon View Post
    - Find better video player
    Your best bet is always Geexbox, but of course you'll have to reboot every time you want to use it.

    Your alternatives are Quickview and the very poorly-named DISPLAY.

    - Attempt using a drive with space > 1TB
    This is not going to be possible, period - unless you get an expansion card of some sort. Even then you'll never persuade DOS to use its full capacity.
    Last edited by J'orfeaux; 10-23-2009 at 11:17 PM.
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    What's the best solution for large drives in DOS, anyway? Divide into partitions? I somehow got Windows 95 to recognize my 80gb drive in its entirety, but it took the better part of an afternoon and I can't remember exactly what I did...

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    Quote Originally Posted by NayusDante View Post
    What's the best solution for large drives in DOS, anyway? Divide into partitions? I somehow got Windows 95 to recognize my 80gb drive in its entirety, but it took the better part of an afternoon and I can't remember exactly what I did...
    You were almost certainly using FAT32 and Win95B. http://toastytech.com/guis/miscb2.html says an FDISK update from Windows 98 is necessary, but of course there are alternative tools to FDISK.

    The fact remains that using FAT32 on a very large disk is inefficient, which is why XP and later will stop you from creating a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB.

    Sysinternals used to offer a Windows 98 NTFS driver, but that vanished after they were bought out by Microsoft (along with the NT 4.0 NTFS floppy-disk formatter.)
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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