View Full Version : Dsi 386

May 17th, 2008, 03:44 PM

I have decided to save this machine from the junk heap and restore it. It is an old DSI ("smart computers") with a 386DX 25mhz, 1280K of extended ram (? 8 30 pin chips, must be 160K each, 1920K all together with the 640K base,) I had to add a 1038mb seagate hard drive out of a p1 computer because it originally had a 40mb connor peripherals laptop hard drive that went bad. Im guessing it had a special bank operating system on it because it belonged to Capitol bancorp, a company that owns hundred of banks nationwide. (i wonder how many peoples social security numbers and such is was on that?)

Anyways, im going to put windows 3.1 on it, its all ready, i had to solder on a newer cmos battery because the old one ripped half of one of the leads off, and was corroded to the mb. It was originally 3.6v, but the new one is 3.3v, but it works fine. But I want to know, will windows 3.11 for workgroups run on 1280K of ram, and is it very hard to install?

May 17th, 2008, 05:05 PM
You most likely have 2 megabytes of RAM installed, as eight 256K SIMMs. That's 640K conventional memory, 1280K extended memory, and it looks like in your case 128K of ROM shadowing, which copies the contents of the ROM chips into RAM for faster performance. If you disabled ROM shadowing in the BIOS setup, you'd see the memory test show the true total of 2048K, but then the performance would be much slower.

Windows 3.1x will run with only 2 MB RAM, but slowly, because it will have to spend a lot of time managing the swap file on the hard drive (when Windows runs low on RAM, it uses space on the hard drive to simulate extra RAM). If you took out those 256K SIMMs and installed a set of eight 1 MB SIMMs, for a total of 8 MB RAM, Windows would be much happier.

May 18th, 2008, 08:13 AM
Well, that seagate is meant for windows 98, its a lot faster than a original hard drive, but definitley not a substitute for ram. Now i need to get a hold of 30pin ram for it.