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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found it at a garage sale. This guy sold me a PC for 25 cents, lol. I was told that they had problems getting it to start up. At first I wasn't going to do it, but I changed my mind and said "Oh, what the heck, let's get it!". I was looking for an older PC with a Pentium III processor in it so I can have a dedicated Windows98 machine to use my 3Dfx Voodoo cards and my older NVIDIA cards. When I got home, I did some research on the model and took a peak inside for myself. It turned out to be a Dell XPS B1000r model. It was known for being rather expensive back in the day (around September of 2000). Here are the specs.

1GHz Intel Pentium III with 256Kb of on-die Level 2 cache, 128Mb of 712MHz ECC RDRAM, Intel 820 motherboard chipset, 75Gb hard disk, 12-speed NEC DVD-ROM, 24-speed read/eight-speed write/quad-speed re-write Sony CD-RW, 64Mb DDR AGP 4x Dell OEM GeForce 256 graphics, 19in Dell UltraScan M991 monitor, Sound Blaster Live! Value 512 audio, Harmon Kardon HK595 speakers, internal V.90 fax/modem, Windows XP.

It's been slightly modified from the original, but it still looks good enough for my older games that have issues with more recent OSes/video cards (i.e. Theif, Aliens versus Predator, and a few others). TBH, I always wanted a GeForce 256 just to see what it can do. I might replace it with my GeForce 3/Ti 500 later on.

What's the problem? I've been trying to trouble shoot this PC since I got home and I'm quite sure the HDD is going bad. It makes lots of noise and doesn't sound like it's in working order. It makes a distinct sound pattern, "SCRATCH-SCRATCH-SCRATCH-SCRATCH... p-p...". The bad thing is I don't have any spare HDDs laying around, but I can always buy a new one for it (a 40GB HDD would do okay since I only want it for an old PC/DOS gaming machine).

Just wondering, anyone else ever had this model?
 

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Hm, for the harddisk you should try looking around goodwill/salvation army and such, because sometimes they'll have old PCs with working HDDs for a few bucks.

If you plan on installing Windows 98, be aware that it has some issues with harddisks over 60GB IIRC.

For $0.25 that looks rather decent. I've recently got a Intel Celeron 600MHz, 192MB, ATi Rage, 20GB HDD PC for free that my city was just going to throw out. I was originally going to use it for a small server but now I have it hooked up to my HDTV (Which I also got for free because rentacenter was going to throw it out even though it worked fine) for a simple internet browsing PC. I had to throw a GeForce 5200 in there to get it to output 720p though. Works pretty decent.

It's hard to believe people would just throw these things away.
 

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Opensource-spice
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Does it post the bios screen? If it does then it would more than likely have to be the HDD(I'm not saying that's all it could be... just that's what it probably is). If it doesn't post at all then you have quite the problem on your hands, mate. Troubleshooting something that old that won't post requires old parts for testing... which most of us don't have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hm, for the harddisk you should try looking around goodwill/salvation army and such, because sometimes they'll have old PCs with working HDDs for a few bucks.

If you plan on installing Windows 98, be aware that it has some issues with harddisks over 60GB IIRC.

For $0.25 that looks rather decent. I've recently got a Intel Celeron 600MHz, 192MB, ATi Rage, 20GB HDD PC for free that my city was just going to throw out. I was originally going to use it for a small server but now I have it hooked up to my HDTV (Which I also got for free because rentacenter was going to throw it out even though it worked fine) for a simple internet browsing PC. I had to throw a GeForce 5200 in there to get it to output 720p though. Works pretty decent.

It's hard to believe people would just throw these things away.
Around here, I doubt I'll find any HDDs because the Goodwill/Salvation army around here doesn't have a very good selection of PC accesories; just a few old monitors, scanners and printers from the mid 90s, and once I found a set of TV tuners that I regret trading because I think they were some rare 3Dfx cards now that I know what they look like :mad: Oh well... at least I traded them for another 3Dfx card (one with expandable memory from 16MB to 32MB) :D

But yeah, it is amazing what they throw away these days. My uncle got a decent notebook PC that this train station was throwing away. The only problem is that the screen has bars going across the display, but it looks fine in 16-bit colour. Everything else was fine. I guess when you have money, you can throw away stuff and get a new stuff no problem. I come from a family where we don't let things go to waste.

Gossamer said:
Does it post the bios screen? If it does then it would more than likely have to be the HDD(I'm not saying that's all it could be... just that's what it probably is). If it doesn't post at all then you have quite the problem on your hands, mate. Troubleshooting something that old that won't post requires old parts for testing... which most of us don't have.
It shows the Dell bios okay. The problem occurs when the PC tries to go into Windows. It will show the Windows XP loading screen, but then goes stops before showing Windows Explorer. I tried using safe mode, but it just restarts. Maybe I can find one tonight though.
 

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It shows the Dell bios okay. The problem occurs when the PC tries to go into Windows. It will show the Windows XP loading screen, but then goes stops before showing Windows Explorer. I tried using safe mode, but it just restarts. Maybe I can find one tonight though.
Try reinstalling Windows perhaps?
 

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From Love and Limerence
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That's actually a really good steal you got there. It's easily a steal at $25, let alone a quarter. There's two things that stand out to me.

First, that monitor is known to get very, and do I mean very blurry near the center. I know because I had it. The tube often goes bad, and Dell should have had a recall on it. Yours may not have that problem, depending on luck and/or use of it since it was made, but beware it going increasingly blurry near the center.

Secondly, that model has the Intel 820 chipset with RDRAM, so it's a bit better in that regard, but it'll make upgrading the RAM almost out of the question. It'll be quite expensive. It's a shame too, considering the 128MB it has now is it's low point. Adding 512MB or more would make it good, but if this is just for Windows 98, it should be alright as is.

The Dell Dimension Bxxxr, Lxxxr, many earlier Dimensions, and some other models were all very similar, and in the case of the B/Lxxxr models, the xxx number simply stood for the MHz frequency of the processor it came with. Otherwise, little varies between the models. I have a Dimension 4100, and besides the chipset and SDRAM vs RDRAM, I believe our systems are pretty identical, so I don't have the exact model number, but for all intents and purposes, I basically have the same system.

Here's mine for reference.

Dell Dimension 4100 (XPS-Z)
Dell Intel 815 socket 370 motherboard
Intel Pentium III 933MHz (256k L2, 133MHz FSB, Coppermine)*
A spare CPU heatsink (it seems a bit better than the stock one)*
Dell Foxconn 200W or 210W PSU
512MB PC133 SDRAM*
20GB Western Digital Caviar IDE (usually I have two HDDs in, but currently just one)*
GeForce 4 Ti4200 64MB w/ AGP8x*
Sound Blaster Live Platinum*
3Com 3C905B NIC*
12x CD-ROM Drive (open/close on it is failing)
Floppy Drive

Things with a star are what I added and/or upgraded.

I have alot of old IDE hard drives (mostly 20GB and 40GB, with one 60GB, some being 7200RPM and over half being 5400RPM), as well as a Dell Windows 2000 Professional and a Dell Windows XP Professional disc.

Oh, and these may come in handy.

Documentation

Dell - Drivers and Downloads
 

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Registered Anime Hater
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I think the only sure way to confirm that the HDD is the problem would be to simply pop it into another PC as a slave drive and see if its partitions show up.
 

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From Love and Limerence
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He suspects that the HDD is dying, but it appears Windows needs wiped out and reinstalled anyway. That's more likely why it won't boot. It may be on it's way out physically, but some of these older HDDs can sound quite bad and still be okay (I doubt yours is by the sounds of it though).

Get a new HDD and reinstall Windows. You planned on putting Windows 98 on it anyway, right? Well, then that Windows XP install is useless.
 

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European Citizen xD
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Wow, talk about garage sale ..that's a great deal . I think it's either the HDD or the RAM . What you should do is get Hirens Boot CD , do a memtest over-night and then a hdd check, there are a couple of them depending on the brand . The most advanced thing you could do is a 'low level format' whick isolates your bad sectors from the good ones . Anyway , once with bad sectors it will keep having them so don't store your emu projects on that :p
 

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How can people sell something so cheap.

that's crazy right there.

Here a computer with those specs are sold at 3000 pesos, like 80 US Dollars for people that want to get cheap stuff and learn a little bit of computers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sorry I haven't replied in a while, the owner of the wifi I've been "stealing" apparently didn't pay the bill, so I can't get on that often now until next month.

I got the PC working with minimal effort. I did a repair of WinXP and it moved the data from the bad sectors on the HDD (I think), but the problem is probably still spreading throughout the HDD so I still plan to replace it. Also, the PC actually has an NVIDIA GeForce 2 GTS/Pro 64MB. I always HATED GeForce 2! Oh well, better than the Radeon 7500. I'll probably replace it with my GeForce 3/Ti 500, now that's a R-E-A-L man's card! :lol:

As far as performance goes, it runs Aliens versus Predator like a dream with no bugs or anything like that. I only had problems out of Microsoft's point sprite demo (Direct3D 7).

Oh yeah, it even had WOW installed on it :) I don't have a subscription yet, but I think it's about time I started playing that game. It also has Croc installed too. I guess I don't know how much of a bargain I really ended up getting.
 
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