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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
Cheap machines ideal for Puppy
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SirDuncan


Joined: 09 Dec 2006
Posts: 836
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Fri 02 May 2008, 14:18    Post_subject:  

I was considering getting one of those iPaq's for use as a file server and torrent download box. For either of those purposes I would need to swap in a larger HD, so I was hoping someone who bought one could tell me what size/type of HD it is? I've got plenty of larger 3.5" IDE drives, but if it is either a 2.5" drive or a SATA I'll have to keep looking for a machine.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1301

PostPosted: Fri 02 May 2008, 16:28    Post_subject: iPaq desktop hard drive  

@SirDuncan,

Remember, we are talking about iPaq desktops, as always Compaq has used the name for a number of different, incompatible machines. The 500 MHz Celeron w/ 128 MB RAM and no floppy or CD says it has a 4+GB HD. Mine came with a 3.5" 8.4 GB Seagate drive. Comments about 2.5" drives on this model can confuse the issue. Because it has a slimline drive bay, compatible with Armada laptops of the same vintage, it can take a CD/DVD or a 2.5" "multibay" hard disk drive, (if you can find one). The fixed internal drive is completely standard, just remember that Compaq uses cable select and custom cables.

My only caution at this point is that I have not tested a drive larger than 8.4 GB. If you have been around for a while, you may recall this was one of the boundaries where BIOS problems showed up. I expect it to take drives up to 30 GB w/o problems, perhaps larger. If this is important I'll run a test for you. Getting details on the differences between models out of Compaq documentation is difficult. If it works on this machine it is likely to work on all faster models.

@Yogi,

This machine is quiet. The only fan I hear is on the power supply, which sits at the bottom of the case. If you replace the hard drive with flash, the disk will be silent. Performance is adequate to run Muppy-Mini-008.3, if not impressive. Watching videos is possible, but may be a little bit frustrating. Muppy uses Flash player 7 which runs better than 9 on this machine. (I am testing Chihuahua alpha 6 on this as well, and so far we haven't decided about Flash player.) Perhaps changing out the SDRAM will make a big difference. This is a test I plan later.

Everyone interested in these machines should realize they are not guaranteed to accept a ps2 mouse or keyboard. (Those having a "legacy module" would.) If you don't have a USB keyboard, this may be an unexpected expense.

Edited_time_total
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Yogi

Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Fri 02 May 2008, 16:42    Post_subject:  

SirDuncan,

Just got my iPaq pc today. Came with a Seagate 8.4gb HD.
I haven't been able to boot it yet because I don't have a usb keyboard. My fault for not reading the ad carefully. Anyhow, I tried booting off my usb Puppy but no go as well. I know Compaq used to be kind of proprietary when it came to hardware and BIOS issues. So, looks like I'll need a ps/2 to usb adapter if I'm gonna crack this thing.
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Fri 02 May 2008, 16:45    Post_subject:  

MMM

Might I add that from my experience with several Compaq boxes, they use a 'preboot partition' arrangement for compaq recovery tools software or somesuch
Not exactly clear as to the details, but I cloned a smaller drive OK, but simply replacing the original gave loads of problems, until I found out & downloaded their utility, which setup the relevant files on the bare drive - had to put dos on first I think
32gb sounds familiar on early bioses, didn't some drives have a jumper to limit them? I think it was a WD 80G drive I had to limit, once

Aitch
Edit: Should run external usb H/D OK, its just the boot drive that you need care with
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SirDuncan


Joined: 09 Dec 2006
Posts: 836
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Mon 05 May 2008, 14:37    Post_subject:  

If there is a high chance of not being able to use a large capacity drive, I may be better off just getting a USB enclosure and hooking it up to one of these old laptops I have sitting around. Well, thanks for the info.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1301

PostPosted: Fri 09 May 2008, 13:59    Post_subject: Large drive in $25 iPaq desktop  

@SirDuncan,

I just found an 80 GB HD I could repartition and test in that $25 iPaq mentioned above. I installed wNOP, from tombh, (done on another machine) to see if the Intel driver could use i810 graphics. (It couldn't, and I fell back to the Xorg driver.) The BIOS reads the size incorrectly, but once I have GRUB installed it boots without problems. This is above the 32GB boundary, so I would expect a 120 GB drive to work. I have such a drive but have no place to park the contents while I experiment.

There have been some problems around 128 GB, for some BIOS, controller and drive combinations. The next major boundary above that could be around 500 GB. Someone who can either test on one of these machines, or tell us about IDE drive interface issues with large drives could chip in here with helpful advice.

Bottom line: you can put a large drive in that machine, depending on what you mean by large. Very Happy
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SirDuncan


Joined: 09 Dec 2006
Posts: 836
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Fri 09 May 2008, 14:45    Post_subject:  

I think I've decided to get the USB enclosure, but thanks for checking for me.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1301

PostPosted: Fri 23 May 2008, 08:54    Post_subject: Compaq iPaq desktop + large disk drive  

SirDuncan has decided to opt out of the $25 iPaq computer market. That didn't stop your dogged correspondent from continuing tests started by his questions.

This is being posted from that same infamous machine discussed above, which now has a 500 GB internal Seagate IDE hard drive (bought refurbished from Computer Geeks.) I'm running MU's Muppy 008.3d, installed on another machine because this one lacks either a CD/DVD or floppy. (I strongly recommend running the mini version with the addons.sfs because the standard version is a dog on a 500 MHz machine with 128 MB RAM. I'm only doing this as a test.)

I think I got my money's worth.
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mechmike

Joined: 29 Nov 2005
Posts: 103
Location: Pelham, AL

PostPosted: Tue 03 Jun 2008, 21:48    Post_subject: Build a $150 Linux PC
Sub_title: Wired article
 

"It's a simple bare bones PC and it probably won't win any real tough benchmark contests. But it's hard to argue with useful and efficient cheapness."

http://howto.wired.com/wiki/Build_a_%24150_Linux_PC

The mobo listed is out-of-stock...
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SirDuncan


Joined: 09 Dec 2006
Posts: 836
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Tue 03 Jun 2008, 23:48    Post_subject:  

Wasn't that the motherboard that was causing a bunch of problems in Linux? Seems an odd choice for a "$150 Linux PC".
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headfound


Joined: 24 Jun 2006
Posts: 346
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed 04 Jun 2008, 06:34    Post_subject:  

Intel D201GLY2 are outdated now!
They have recently released the Intel Atom powered D945GCLF.
(uk site here)
http://www.tranquilpc-shop.co.uk/acatalog/Motherboards.html
Which has a much better processor and is around the same price.
I'm seriously tempted!

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mechmike

Joined: 29 Nov 2005
Posts: 103
Location: Pelham, AL

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jun 2008, 18:30    Post_subject: $150 (USD) Refurb Dell Desktops:  

These are direct from Dell Financial Services, and all carry a 100-day Limited Warranty, FWIW...

Go here: http://www.dfsdirectsales.com/dell/desktops/ctl641/cp11867/cl1

Under "Narrow By Category", click on Optiplex.

Under Filter Options, select No Operating System from the Operating System dropdown menu.

Click on the up arrow at the top of the Price column to sort by cheapest first.

You will find five pages of Optiplex GX280 Small Form Factor machines, all equipped with 2.5Ghz Celeron processors, 256MB of RAM, 40G Hard Drives, and CD-ROM. Mouse and Keyboard included.

Puppy should scream on these...
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1301

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jun 2008, 21:12    Post_subject: Geeks still selling MB  

For anyone who does want these cheap MB, Geeks is still selling them. http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=BOXD201GLYL&cat=MBB
For desktops under $150 (U.S.) you might also consider this. http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=GX260P420-8B&cat=SYS&cpc=JAD
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Fri 06 Jun 2008, 23:50    Post_subject:  

$150 seems a helluva lot for these

In uk, these are available from £39 +£15 post for 1.8Ghz sff gx240, - just over $100

Aitch
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mechmike

Joined: 29 Nov 2005
Posts: 103
Location: Pelham, AL

PostPosted: Sat 07 Jun 2008, 00:55    Post_subject:  

Aitch wrote:
$150 seems a helluva lot for these

In uk, these are available from £39 +£15 post for 1.8Ghz sff gx240, - just over $100

Aitch


The 'murrican dollar ain't what it used to be...

Some cheap iron here as well:

Edit 02/2014 - the link originally posted no longer exists...

Edited_time_total
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