in 2016 i got a computer from an uncle. for a while i used it for testing operating systems and stuff, but eventually it stopped booting, and in 2017 i put it on the attic. it's been sitting there...

until now.

it's an HP Compaq nx9000! i don't know the exact specs yet but it's got 512mb+256mb of RAM.

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the problem of this computer was that it got stuck on the bios screen, clicked and wouldn't let me boot off USB. i think that the problem here is that it's trying to read from the hard drive, and that hard drive is dead, so it gets stuck. I'll test this by plugging it into another computer

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here's an interesting oddity: the hard drive is placed under the battery!

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this might also not be the hard drive; idk, i didn't take it out yet

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oh well. let's at least see if I can boot this thing without it

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it does!! and there's no clicking anymore, so that confirms my theory about a dead hard drive.

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so it's got a 2ghz intel processor, and all ~700mb of ram are visible. the bios is still a bit reluctant to let me boot off USB though

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interestingly, the bios settings seem to claim that it's a hard drive. odd

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turns out the bios is just oddly slow, perhaps an update would fix it. anyways here's the debian usb menu

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welp, it's x32

i was kinda hoping it would be x64 but this is a machine from circa 2002 so that was pretty unlikely

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ok, looks like the hard drive is indeed IDE, there's just a small adapter at the end (cc @Jessica)

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anyways, it's got mostly the usual ports for that era (i'd assume): 3.5mm headphone/mic jacks, firewire, expansion card slots, a modem, LAN, VGA, serial, printer/parallel (?), two USB ports, S-Video and PS2, plus a dvd recorder (or at least reader)

there's also a docking station port on the bottom

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for now, what i think i'll do is i'll install windows xp on a pendrive (if it lets me) and do the necessary bios updates, then try out linux

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problem no. 1: it won't boot off of any of my XP install CDs

xp iso download time

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there's an utility that burns a bios installer onto a floppy, and that seems to be the only way to get the absolutely latest version. the only other one available is 2 versions older, but i think it should be fine

and i'm not kidding when i say floppy, it literally just says "please insert a 1.44mb floppy into drive A: and press start". like, this particular model doesn't even have a floppy drive, and even if it did, i don't have any floppies

maybe it's for the floppy-equipped versions. if not, there's definitively a way to trick it into putting it on a pendrive

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anyways, the xp iso is now being put onto the install pendrive. i'll save the inevitable failure and disappointment for tomorrow, since it's getting kind of late

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it is now tommorow. the xp usb I made shuts down the computer immediately after trying to boot from it.

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@knuxify the good past times at which they wanted to build durable hardware, not unrepairable crap that'd die after two years... <3

@knuxify old Bios' do this, it's a compatibility thing, at least for most computers for dos compatibility, or until the OS takes over

@knuxify volume switches on the side? you can use it as the clunkiest portable mp3 player ever, nice

@knuxify looks like it could be ide with an adapter, does the connector pull off?
@knuxify I'm not sure, but around this time a lot of companies put an easy-pull connector onto their drives

@Jessica i tried pulling the connector off, but it's pretty stuck in there. i don't want to risk breaking it even though i know the drive is probably broken anyways

@knuxify I would probably try using contact cleaner and wiggling it and pulling it off like an eeprom
@knuxify maybe gently prying with a small precision screwdriver, going from one side to the other carefully lifting on each side
@knuxify I don't know where you live, but in america, i could buy an SD to laptop IDE and then plug the adapter into the adapter, makes it a little harder since you'd probably need to find some sort of mountable solution to mount to the caddy, although some people sell a 3d printed caddy for it
@knuxify where i live it's actually about the same price to get an SD card solution than to get an old one. SD cards are about the speed of IDE, although if you go the CF route, CF is literally IDE, but there's a lot of weird things about CF and oddities that make it way more expensive
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