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 Newest version of Windows for a 486? View next topic
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Davy Crockett



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I went through a box of old computer parts this weekend and found a Tyan 486 motherboard with a 486DX2/66 and 16MB of memory plugged in. I rummaged around and pulled out a Diamond VLB video board, Adaptec ISA SCSI controller, and my old 1.08GB Conner SCSI drive.

All of this stuff works fine, surprisingly. I have enough spare memory sticks to upgrade this system to 64MB. I should also have a 5x86-133 Cyrix chip around here that will plug into the Tyan board.

I don't think that this system would run XP, but I bet that NT 4.0 would run well on it. Will Firefox run on NT 4.0? If so I think that this will make a great internet box.

I've pretty much given up on getting the 286 on to the internet with anything other than Arachne. I got Winsock and Mosaic going on it under Windows 3.1, with 8MB of memory and an IDE hard disk. I couldn't get it to talk to my network, so I had to dial-up to the net with an old USR Courier 28.8k modem that I used to run my BBS on. Mosaic is so old that it won't display most web pages properly. Got a lot of messages to the effect that "this page requires IE v5.xx or higher."
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T-R-A



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 592
Location: Western NC

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

NT4 should run OK on it, but if you've not had much experience in configuring it (which can be a real PITA), I'd stick to Win95C. Remember, NT4 has a Win95 "look", but the underpinnings are true 32-bit (and not nearly as user-friendly as either Win2K or WinXP). You may also need drivers for various cards you put in the system, and NT4 drivers are as difficult---if not more so---to find as Win95 drivers...
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:23 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey, what kind of Tyan 486 motherboard are you running? Tyan makes some great stuff. Does yours have (16) 30-pin memory slots, 8 EISA and a few VLB?

Also, where did you get that Cyrix 5x86-133? Those things are pretty rare. So far I haven't been able to get any of my Cyrix 5x86 chips working on 486 boards that don't directly support them.

The best version of Windows that will run on a 486 is Windows 2000, though you need to do a trick to get it to install (I think you start the install on a pentium and then move it over to the 486 later). I've been meaning to run Windows 2000 on my 128mb 486 but I just haven't gotten around to buying a large enough SCSI drive for it yet.

I can tell you how to fix the network problem on your 286 in Windows, but it requires you to use your Inboard. Networking in Win3.1 stinks. You will need to install WFWG311 (requires a 386 or better) and install the TCPIP addon from microsoft.
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Davy Crockett



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:43 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

AC,

It is a Tyan 486VL EISA Vesa Local Bus board, revision 1.0, with 2 VLB slots. It has four banks (0-3) of four 30-pin SIMM sockets and can hold a total of 256MB of DRAM. It also has provisions for up to 1MB of cache! AMI BIOS with a 05/1993 date, SIS chipset.

If memory serves, the Cyrix 5x86-133 was purchased at a computer "swap meet" long ago.

I'm not certain that it will work with this board, though. There are jumper settings for either a 486DX (at 20, 25 or 33MHz) or a 486DX2 (at 50MHz or 66MHz). One set of jumpers specifies "DX" or "DX2", and the other set of jumpers can be configured for equal to or less than 33MHz, or greater than 33MHz. I suppose that I could set it for 486DX2, equal to 33MHz, and see what happens.

What is special about the 5x86-133 that you have had so much trouble with it?
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Davy Crockett



Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Posts: 23

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 7:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Made a mistake....I found the 5x86-133, and it is actually an AMD chip. So much for my memory. Smile
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:52 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You have a really great motherboard. I tried to bid on that same board on ebay about 2 years ago, and somebody outbid me for $130US. Instead I got a nearly identical board made by NICE that cost much less. The only difference is one less VLB slot and non-standard tag RAM. Hang onto that board, it's a good one. Do you know where to get the 128kx8 cache RAMs so you can upgrade to 1mb? I've been looking all over, and haven't found any.

So the Cyrix 5x86 is not a regular 486 like the am5x86 as you probably already know. It's a 64-bit chip internally and has all kinds of neat features, so it's not easy to get going on older motherboards. The 133MHz version of the cyrix 5x86 is really rare because Cyrix never produced large quantitites of it.

The AMD 5x86 on the other hand will definetly work on your board. I've been running one at 160MHz on my VL EISA board for several years now. The only thing you need to make sure is that you have a voltage regulator module since it's a 3.3V chip and your board only supports 5V chips. I have a few spare VRMs if you need one, but I can only send it to you when I go back to the US in September.
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Trixter



Joined: 22 Apr 2007
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:20 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I think that the most practical version of Windows you should run on that hardware is Windows 98 SE, not Win2K. Most Windows 2000 software assumes they're running on a machine with around 128MB RAM (the OS itself takes up between 48-64 depending on what services are running), plus you'll have more device driver support for older devices, and more games compatibility.
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:34 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree. Windows 98SE would be a better choice for running games, and possibly for hardware support. Quite honestly though I think the vintage device support for NT/2000 is pretty decent. Windows NT4 also runs quite well on a 486 with 32mb RAM. I'm aware of the fact that Windows 2000 needs 128mb to run smoothly, but it is certainly possible to work with 64mb. A stripped down version of Windows 2000 should have a memory footprint more similar to NT4.0. I've never tried running Windows 2000 on a 486 before, but it sounds like an interesting project.
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k2x4b524p



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 217
Location: Nor here nor there.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I had a get this a pc-chips M919 *Crappiest ASS board every* with 128mb ram and a 5x86-133 p75 amd chip. for shits and giggles, the thing ran xp too.....


Trixter wrote:
I think that the most practical version of Windows you should run on that hardware is Windows 98 SE, not Win2K. Most Windows 2000 software assumes they're running on a machine with around 128MB RAM (the OS itself takes up between 48-64 depending on what services are running), plus you'll have more device driver support for older devices, and more games compatibility.
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:17 am Reply with quoteBack to top

How did you put XP on there? I have heard it won't run on a 486.
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k2x4b524p



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 217
Location: Nor here nor there.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:19 am Reply with quoteBack to top

did the drive swap trick, it ALMOST installed once, but once it got to hardware detection, it dropped dead. Once everything was setup as much as it could get, i went and tracked down all the old nt4 drivers. XP is VERY touchy about old drivers, but will operate *unwillingly* with win2k or nt4 drivers
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Anonymous Coward



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 589
Location: Shandong, China

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:07 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Could you post some step by step instructions to do this? Several people have tried XP on the 486, and all of them have failed.
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k2x4b524p



Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Posts: 217
Location: Nor here nor there.

PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:28 am Reply with quoteBack to top

As with all new things done with old computers, milage will vary

First. Proceed with standard xp installation, but on the SLOWEST pentium board you can find. Ideally, you can use the POD chip that i found was mentioned in a 486 board. Also, if no POD chip is available, try and find a 486 board that has similar chipsets. IE made by the same manufacturer as the pentium one. I couldn't do it that way as the 486 is a UMC board and the pentium was an ali one

* The Way I Did It *

Second, remove said hard drive from pentium computer, place it into 486 computer *mine is a dx-4-120 so it wasn't too terribly bad* Then reboot

Third, if it doesn't lock up on reboot, make sure you've got the drivers ready, nt4 or win2k. They ARE HIT AND MISS. **Cannot blame me if it don't work** Reboot the required amount of times.

Fourth. Final reboot. If your this far, your one lucky bastard....

Fifth. Wait a long LONG time to bring up the start button.

There is also another way, but i'm not into hacking the setup files of win xp. It involves removing the hlt instructions for installation if it can't find the simple instructions that the chip performs, but xp doesn't use. That is hearsay though..
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bear



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
Posts: 202
Location: 57�59'N 15�39'E

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

remember this ? http://www.winhistory.de/more/386/xpmini_eng.htm

I would use w98se myself which run without problems on a 486.
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wdegroot



Joined: 03 Feb 2006
Posts: 488
Location: pennsylvanai

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I vote for win 98 se as well
there is an unoficial sp2 and also free copies of 98 lite floating around
98 lite requires a 95 cd to exchange some files.
it should help
as they say " sleeker and faster"
also it's likely or possible there will be 95 drivers for the video card. and NO 98 drivers .

part of the performance is using a video driver.

there is a newer defrag ( from windows me) that solves some 98 defrag problems. (www.bootdisk.com)
or you can use diskkeeper 7 . originally an add-on from NT that works better. ( similar to defrag in w2k)

admittedly the PnP in win2k is much better that 98,
and 2000 doesn't run badly on a faster( 500 PIII)

but you are several clicks below that.
w2k has some pnp but not accomodating
changing hardware ( like the mb)
w98 is accomodating even "finding" new hardware" when an installed drive is moved to another system.
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