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DDR2 era hardware pain

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mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Today at work they were throwing out Pentium D and Athlon64 X2 systems. So now I'm having some pain with them. Neither have a disk, no problem, I'll just throw in a SSD and install Win7. It started going downhill from here...

The Pentium D system is an old Dell desktop. It picked up the SSD, but refused to install Win7 from DVD saying it doesn't detect anything. Maybe the DVD drive is bad. I don't have a spare to swap in for now.

Onto the X2, this time it booted from the Win7 DVD, but didn't find any drives to install onto. I suspect it has a non-standard SATA implementation as there's nothing in bios apart from on/off setting. Nothing about modes. How about installing Win10? It doesn't recognise the USB stick format. Maybe I need a different format on it that's older.

Ok, one last try, what if I got a s775 Win7 install from another system and simply transplant drive into the Pentium D? BSOD on boot.

I've had enough for now. Gonna park the systems for when I more free time to dig deeper into it. I was kinda hoping to do a quick install and bench before recycling them again.

Random thought: I wonder if the Pentium D will run in my other s775 system, if so I can reuse that.
 
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mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
After a break I had another go. Suspecting the DVD in the Intel system was not functioning I swapped it with the one from the AMD system, and I'm installing Win7 on it now.

The AMD system will take a bit more work. I've seen SATA to IDE adapters on ebay for not a lot, and wondering if that is one way to get round it faster than looking for drivers and all that stuff.
 

Alaric

New Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
I had a Pentium D Dell (or three). I can't speak to your model, but every damn thing in mine was proprietary. Couldn't find drivers for anything in it anywhere but Dell. Then again, they were my first computers and I frequently broke them just to see if I'd learned enough to fix it. And some was just just dumb on my part. I installed a lot of XP for a couple years, so grain of salt with anything I add. LOL
 
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mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
I finished the Win7 install with no problem on the Pentium D Dell. A quick look in device manager only shows the sound hardware was unknown, although of course it is quite likely many drivers will not be optimal if it is just the basic win7 support. I used a rather old Win7 SP1 DVD for the install, although at this point it doesn't seem worth bothering with updates any more. Not just for benching anyway. This weekend's task might be to run a select set of benches on this, as a Dell there is no OC so it is more just to laugh at older hardware performance. I might be crazy enough to install Win10 on it after...

For the AMD system, I forgot to mention it was an Acer OEM box. No OC on that either. If AMD haven't changed the clip mounting system since the X2 days, I could replace the small cooler with a Wraith Prism... that could be interesting assuming it fits. I know there was a change in mounting holes between AM3 and AM4, but at this age... As for the disk, I've ordered the IDE-SATA adapter as it seems the easiest way around compatibility.

Assigning ram between the DDR2 era systems is going to be interesting. I think I have something like 7x1GB modules, 3x512MB modules, to be split across 4 systems if I ever want to run them all at the same time. For now I have 4x1GB in the Pentium D. I really wish I didn't sell off my Core 2 era systems now...

Edit: I don't even know which Pentium D I have in the system. I only saw Windows detected it as 3.0 GHz so it could be either 830 or 930. The 930 has more cache, but there's fewer subs on hwbot for the 830 :) Still need to install stuff like CPU-Z on it...
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Systems that old probably were using SATA I or SATA II so that will bottleneck the SSD some, as may the lack of processing power. In my experience, switching to an SSD can have minimal effect on performance on those old systems because the CPU lacks the ability to handle much more data than a spinner hard drive can already throw at it.

Most of the PCI SATA adapters are SATA I. You may be able to find a SATA II or III in PCIe but do those old machines even have PCIe?
 
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mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
They both have one PCIe x16 slot. Probably not 3.0 from their age. I wasn't intending to use that anyway. As said, I wanted to use the IDE connector already present on the AMD system as that doesn't need drivers. The problem is that there weren't really any SSDs with that interface as they only became affordable after SATA became standard.

I get the point that the CPU might not keep up, but all the same, I'd rather not deal with a spinner for OS unless I really have to. The adapter costs equivalent to under $5, throw in a spare SSD assuming I have one in my pile of bits, and away I go. I did get a few spare mSATA SSDs salvaged from laptops work were throwing out recently, and they came with full SATA adapters. Not the fastest SSDs anyway. I don't think I used them all up yet.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
If the adapter requires a driver you might not be able to boot from it.
 
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mackerel

mackerel

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Mar 7, 2008
My memory is a bit rusty as IDE is really ancient, but built in IDE I don't think ever needed drivers. At least, not for Win7. The problem with SATA of that era was that it wasn't quite standard yet. Often they used 3rd party chips which needed their own separate driver.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
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Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Standard as in, integrated in the chipset? It really wasnt until the last couple of gens where most boards have only sata ports driven by the chipset. It was always common to see a few sata ports from the chipset and two (or) more from 3rd party controller... which still needs drivers iirc. Back in the day, none were integrated and used solely 3rd party, indeed.

Is there an issue using the sata drivers from the website?
 
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mackerel

mackerel

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Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Is there an issue using the sata drivers from the website?

Haven't bothered looking for them. Even if I had them, how do I get it added? I'm not slipstreaming a DVD. Win10 has certainly made things easier over Win7 in terms of installation. As such the easiest workaround is the one I went for.


I did fire up the Pentium D system again. It is a 930. Busy with other things so not did much more with it yet.
 

Alaric

New Member
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Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
Have to set the HDD in the BIOS to IDE or SATA, too. I think most of them defaulted to IDE if they had both, but as soon as I make some generalization you'll have the one exception and I'll feel like an idiot. LOL

Windows 7 used to require a registry change to operate in AHCI, too.

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\msahci]

"start" =dword:00000003
 
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mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
There literally were no settings at all for SATA other than enable/disable. Reg settings are kinda irrelevant until I can get the OS onto it in the first place.
 

Alaric

New Member
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Dec 4, 2011
Location
Satan's Colon, US
True, but once in if it's an early copy the OS will not automatically recognize the SATA setting and it won't boot. I had to install my first copy of W7 with it set to IDE (even though I used a SATA cable), go in to Windows and run the registry fix, reboot and then go in to the BIOS before it tried to boot back up and change the BIOS to SATA. It was a convoluted PITA but it was the only way to get it installed and using the faster SATA protocol. The early W7 discs defaulted to IDE. If you set the BIOS to SATA before installing the OS it won't work. I don't know what revision fixed that either. I got my first W7 in 2010.
 
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mackerel

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
Got the install going on the aMD system via the IDE adapter. I can't find any spare SSDs after all, but found a 320GB 7200rpm hard disk. For how much I'll use it, I'll just have to put up with HD performance. I also couldn't find any spare high speed IDE cables. The few I could find were the lower speed type, so I had to put the HD as slave to the DVD drive. Hopefully once I get into Windows, I can start to identify the hardware in more detail and see if modern drivers even exist for it.

Edit:

It's an X2 3600+, running an nforce chipset. So nvidia graphics and SATA driver!

I'm debating if I want to run Windows Update on Win7. I saw similar on the install I did on the Dell. It seems like as an early SP1 install, it is missing "stuff" added later. hwinfo64 wont run. Many websites give a warning about certificates, I suspect because the set included in the OS is too out of date at this point.

Edit 2:

I decided to do selected Windows updates, firstly an update to SP1, and also some drivers offered. Then I let it get on with security updates. That might have been a mistake as there were over 100 of them, over 1GB of download. Was hoping to run more stuff on it, even a sky Diver run, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow I think...
 
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