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DOS. Anybody still use it?

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by WN2SQC, Nov 9, 2020.

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  1. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thankfully, my Win '98 machine (built ca. 1999-2000) is still working with both 3.5" and 5.25" disk drives. Up until my "Dul*" Win 10 computer, all either were built with at least a 3.5" drive, or had one added. (Such as an eMachine T5010.) Unfortunately, "new'" computers (and new motherboards) no longer even have a floppy interface, so require use of a USB external 3.5" drive. (Now, if only someone would make an external USB 5.25" drive...:rolleyes:)

    But I have become curious of late. Many of our older ( 8088, 80286, 80386, 80486, even K6-2) machines seem to work quite well after 20 years or more (sometimes MUCH longer) but one of the "Tech guru's" at a PC specialty site says that computers with processors such as the i3, i5, or i7 will last about 5 years (on average.) Does that refer to the longevity of the processors:(, or simply that such computers themselves may be "obsolete" due to technology advances:rolleyes:, or changes in hardware and/or software?:confused:
     
  2. KQ8W

    KQ8W XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I doubt they are suggesting the processors not working any longer after that period of time. I don't see many processors failing on their own.
     
  3. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's sort of what I thought.:(:rolleyes: But I wonder if the "longevity" of MOTHERBOARDS is as long as those from "ye olde daze?:confused:"

    I have never seen a processor failure either, but sadly, I had to scrap an Athlon XP machine this past Christmas. Although it had been working on "Turkey Day" it had the "leaking Capacitor" syndrome, and after a few last gasps, simply was DEAD. (Yes, I tried the usual; different power supply, re-seating the memory ,even different processor, etc. It was just DEAD!) I built a Sempron 2500+ at about the same time (different brand motherboard) and it is still working. But both ran Win XP (SP3,) so there was (is) no point in trying to replace the caps in the old MoBo. (Not even worth the time or trouble updating the Sempron to Win 7 now.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
    KA9JLM likes this.
  4. KQ8W

    KQ8W XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've only had one processor fail in my life, and it was a DOA Pentium 100. Motherboard caps were a mixed bag in the late 90s. Many boards were simply cheaply made. I'm not certain it's an issue any longer, but I'm sure it widely depends on the motherboard used.
     
  5. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Even high quality MoBo manufacturers got stung by the "bad caps;" it wasn't :) (just) the lower price/lower quality motherboards that suffered. And it WAS a "mixed bag," some low priced mobo's have lasted with no sign of cap leakage; some even high quality mobos died prematurely. I have a Sempron 2500+ with a mobo (built around 2000) that still works, and no sign of cap leakage; at the same time, friend bought an eMachine that died within 3 years, with multiple capacitors bulging and/or leaking. (Granted, that wasn't the best brand, but I inherited an eMachine (from around 2006) that still runs with XP, although I had to replace the DVD R/W drive and the hard drive. I use it with my stereo to copy vinyl records to CD's. (or :eek:mP3's.)
     
  6. GNUUSER

    GNUUSER QRZ Member

    with the advent of surface mount technology computer power requirements dropped dramatically, The trade off was shorter lifespan due to components being far more susceptible to surge damages
    electrolytic capacitor issues compounded with age. but then you also had the issue of poor quality caps entering the market as well.
    I remember many hp pavillions coming into the shop had good mobos but junk power supplies
    and every one the same three transistors and caps. all damaged by power surges
    and i have indeed seem quite a few processors fail (mostly due to users failing to clean the dust grizzlies out of the heatsink)
     
  7. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page


    Some people wait to clean out "dust bunnies" on occasion:(, but a few (too many) go past the grizzly stage to having "dust buffalos!":D:rolleyes:
     
  8. GNUUSER

    GNUUSER QRZ Member

    yeah i used to have a "hall of shame" photo gallery with some rather ugly pictures.
     
  9. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Lots of talk about longevity... Capacitors etc.


    What about the CMOS backup batteries? Some machines are very difficult or impossible to recover after losing CMOS configuration.
     
  10. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    What ABOUT batteries? Yes, I HAVE replaced the batteries in any number of devices, including computers. But batteries are not designed to last forever, they DO have a finite lifetime. But I have never (personally, at least) worked on, or even heard of, a computer that could not be "recovered" after a battery was replaced, PROVIDING the battery has not destroyed circuit board traces because of leakage. Now, some devices are DESIGNED (can you say "marketing triumph?") to be sealed and not allow a battery replacement, such as "rechargeable toothbrushes," or smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors.
    I HAVE replaced the CMOS backup battery in my 21+ Y/o Win 98 computer, (actually, a couple of times) but that is to be expected; I replace the battery when the machine would not "keep" the CMOS settings; but I was always able to reset the CMOS and the computer was good for another 5-10 years. On the other hand, the battery in my H-T (bought in 1994) was replaced in 2018, not because it was "bad," or had leaked, but it was "preventative maintenance" while the H-T was opened up for a microphone replacement. (I don't recommend waiting THAT long for a routine battery replacement, though; some batteries will have leaked before that time.)

    Just out of curiosity, what machines have you come across with replaceable (by design) CMOS backup batteries that could NOT be recovered? (Forgotten settings don't count; if memory is lost, non-recovery isn't the fault of the battery replacement, it's the user's fault.)
     
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