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Thread: The $14 Gateway 2000 4DX2-66

  1. #1

    Default The $14 Gateway 2000 4DX2-66

    I'm new to the forum, didn't see an introduction section, so I'll do a quick bit here. My name is Scott from VA, and I'm into all sorts of things from old obsolete tech, retro video games, art, and automotive customization. 40 years old. My first computer was a Tandy RadioShack TRS-80 Color Computer 2, unless you count my Atari 2600 Video "Computer" System. LOL.

    So my current long term project is a 1995 Gateway 2000 4DX2-66. I picked this guy up a local estate sale for a whopping $14. When I first got it home, testing showed the power supply was toast, so I ordered a NOS Astec power supply for $31 shipped from eBay.

    The new power supply arrived last night, so I was able to do a little more tinkering. It does start to boot now, but of course the Dallas 12887 RTC is dead. Ordered a replacement from eBay as well for $9.

    So far I've also picked up a 2001 Dell E770S CRT monitor at the Goodwill outlet for $2 and a Reveal CS-308 speaker system with powered subwoofer for $4, Gateway PS2 mouse and Compaq PS2 keyboard for .99 cents each at a local Goodwill store.

    So we're in $62 for everything so far. Boy does it add up quick for a "cheap" build. I would like to upgrade the RAM and add a sound card at some point as well, but it will likely be a while. I'll update as this thing progresses.

    I've searched this forum and the Google for a solid way of identifying the motherboard on these models, and come up short. So hopefully this helps some other folks, as I've seen this question posted here a few times as well. In my case there was a label underside of the board near the edge where processor is located. I will attach some images for reference. My board model number is MBDPCI008ABWW which turns out is an Intel manufactured Anigma 486 Integrated PCI GAT MB Revision 2.

    One last thing, I'm looking at the IDE-CF adapters on the net, and so far this Monoprice unit with PCI bracket seems like it would be a good choice. Anyone have any experience with this particular model or do any of you have one you would recommend? I'm probably going with a 2GB CF to run in it.

    This is my first vintage PC build, so by no means do I claim expertise. Feel free to chime in with suggestions, critiques, or comments.

  2. #2
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    Obviously, you have a ram problem. This would've been my next course of action after replacing your power supply. You needed a keyboard and mouse but I would've considered a different speaker option later. For better performance TURN OFF BIOS SHADOWING. You will probably need more ram. I'm using a CF card on a 233 MHz Pentium system but you will need to use either WIN95 or 98 (use the latter). I gave away a unit similar to yours. It did good work.
    Rick Ethridge

  3. #3

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    It's always a rare treat to see a 486-class system with PCI slots.

    I'm surprised the nameplate says "4DX2-66," though. PCI-bus 486 systems in Gateway parlance were "P4D-66," VLB systems were "4DX2-66V," and "4DX2-66" would have denoted ISA-only systems with a minimum of bells and whistles. Is there a chance the motherboard was replaced at some point?

  4. #4

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    FWIW, it's unlikely that the BIOS will recognise a 2GB HD natively. I will take some tinkering, e.g., a DDO.
    ☀☀☀ Visit Take Another Step for both computer and non-computer related discussions. ☀☀☀

    If you're looking for DS/DD or DS/HD 3" or 5" floppy disks, PM me. I've got some new, used, and factory over-labeled disks for sale.

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  5. #5
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    Some of the older Phoenix BIOS revisions, such as 4.03, don't like drives over 2GB as @Stone mentioned. I also second the DDO, however, I would use the XT-IDE Universal BIOS (can be added on a network card or another card of your preference). If you don't have a network card or cannot seem to find one online, the DDO software is more appropriate. Also, good luck on restoring that machine. As for the RTC Dallas chip, glitchwrks has the 12887 for sale on eBay, or a simple CR2032 mod on that RTC chip will also suffice, in case you want to keep the old RTC. I have a $17 Packard Bell Pack-Mate 28 Plus (that included the keyboard and mouse) that needed a new battery in order for it to boot (pre-NEC motherboard to be precise) and keep the settings in the BIOS. Now, it has the 3.3V voltage regulator mod, as well as the battery holder for the CR1220 batteries I have, a fully functional Creative Labs CD-ROM drive (CR-563-B) that I repaired and got from eBay with the CT2230 sound card (not installed since I have the CT2740 installed with the DB50XG Daughterboard), Music Quest MPU-401 clone card by Keropi, Tandy 3-Voice Compatible Sound Card by Lo-Tech (got from eBay), and 3Com 3c509-TP network card (installed by previous owner) expansion cards. The other hardware installed is an Intel i486 DX4-100 OverDrive, 32MB SIMM-72 RAM, 4GB CF card (CF-IDE adapter), Epson SD-800 Dual Floppy Drive, and a Conner 250MB/350MB (compressed) data tape drive (floppy interface).
    Current retro systems:
    2x Commodore 64 Breadbin 250407 Rev. B and C
    Packard Bell Pack-Mate 28 Plus, aka, the Ultimate Sound Card machine
    iMac G3/600 Graphite, Mac OS X 10.4.11 Tiger, Lubuntu 16.04.3 LTS
    iMac G4/800 Lampshade, Mac OS X 10.4.11 Tiger
    YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/RetroPCUser

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by retro-pc_user View Post
    Some of the older Phoenix BIOS revisions, such as 4.03, don't like drives over 2GB as @Stone mentioned.
    1) His proposed drive is not over 2GB it is 2 GB.

    2) I didn't say the BIOS didn't like drives over 2GB. I said 'it's unlikely that the BIOS will recognise a 2GB HD natively'.

    3) 2GB is not the problem size that the BIOS can't deal with. It's 528MB.
    ☀☀☀ Visit Take Another Step for both computer and non-computer related discussions. ☀☀☀

    If you're looking for DS/DD or DS/HD 3" or 5" floppy disks, PM me. I've got some new, used, and factory over-labeled disks for sale.

    There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. -- Leonard Cohen

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