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By XJayX Deactivated
I have enjoyed building my own computer, and like seeing what other people have built. Just a bit of an appreciation for the hobby.
CPU: AMD Ryzen 2700
GPU: NVidia GeForce 2070 Super
MOBO: MSI B450
RAM: 4x8 3200
Storage: Samsung 850 Evo 1 TB, Seagate Ironwolf 10 TB
Case: NZXT H700
I mainly use it to game, and video edit.
March 13, 2020
This was a commission I had done of my genie character, drawn by the hand of...
I had her play around with whatever piece of jewelry she wanted to add, and she added the star earrings and gave her a veil linking her wrists.
This was drawn on light cardstock paper with a sharpie pen and colored with Chartpak AD Markers (like Copic or Prismacolor markers - the expensive artist-grade stuff)
The stars were added with just white acrylic paint
"Starting up. . . Just for you!" Her computer said. It was strange, really. That computers became so advanced, that they developed emotions for their owners. The girl had ordered a new computer for work. But, she'd only end up getting distracted by the computer's sweet remarks and kind words. The computer she had bought could move it's own wires like hands, talk with her when she got lonely, and helped her with work when she wasn't caught up with talking to it in the first place. She'd come to love this computer, since it showed more emotion than regular people did. Whenever she got down, the little computer would help her get back up.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Hello! I've thought about this idea for a while now, and I thought it was really cute!
For this roleplay, I'm hoping to get someone to fill in the girl role, and I'd love for this to be a super cute and sweet roleplay with a lot of expression! As I've said, expression is one of my favorite things in roleplay. Having lots of emotion through text and things like that. This can also be a nice wholesome roleplay too, if you don't feel like doing smut and just want a sweet roleplay. But whatever you choose is okay!
If you're interested, please EcchiText me~
What happens if you cross a netbook with a Desktop PC?
Well, meet this cute little fellow.
This little computer has a width of 25CM (9.84 inches), a length of 20.5CM (8.07 inches) and a height of 6CM (2.36 inches) making it one of the smallest desktop computers I have ever owned.
It is so small in fact that it almost doesn’t even look too out of place on my bookcase, and is smaller than my A4 folders, and the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual too, as you can see here:
So for this one; I was just browsing around on eBay (As I do from time to time) and I noticed this for £10.00; plus free shipping. At the time on the 4th of April there was no bids on it, and I decided to keep a watchful eye over it. I put a bid on it for £20 with my ultimate max going to be around the £25 range.
A few days went by - nothing. But on the last day it there was an explosion of bids that stopped about an hour before the end of the bid, with the bid sitting at £15.00. But then on the final minute; I raised my max bid to £25, and it was just as well because on the final few seconds someone attempted to bid snipe me to knock my previous maximum out. In the end I won it for just £20, bid sniper BTFO’d.
The same seller has these computers selling comfortably for £35-£50, buy it now. So I think I got a hell of a good deal; especially when you consider that the DDR2 RAM and the HDD alone would sell for way more than that on eBay; this was a pretty good deal. Did I need this computer though? No. I just wanted it.
Item: ACER Veriton L670G Core2Duo E8400 2 x 3.00GHz 4GB 320GB DVD PC Computer
Price I paid: £20.00
Shipping: Free (Courier)
Total Cost: £20.00
Came With: Power Supply.
Honestly you’d be surprised with the cheap computers you can pick up on eBay. When I was handed this box at the door, I was concerned that it looked a little too small. The eBay photograph didn’t quite prepare me for how small this machine really was; where as you were prepared before getting to this point in the topic. I thought it was going to be a normal ATX-Form Factor Desktop PC, that didn’t really have much to write home about.
Manufactured on October 23rd 2010, this small machine actually packs one hell of a punch. Whilst I have no doubt that this will not run any games (As in it most likely won’t) it’s quite the responsive little computer. When I opened up the box and started taking out the packaging paper, I found the PSU which is pretty beefy.
Under this more packaging paper, and then the computer itself… My first words about it was “Aww; this is cute. It’s a Neppy Computer.” Which got Neptune’s attention; as when I usually prefix something with Neppy, I’m meaning it’s small. Kind of like “Neppy-Sized” = “Fun-Sized”, which is a bit of an in-joke between Neptune and myself, because standing next to me she is quite ‘Small’. Neppy sized.
I pulled out the computer and even she remarked “It’s dinky.” My first port of call - as always - was to open this little bad boy up and see what was inside, and to take out the hard drive and put it into my desktop’s hotswap bay and find out what kind of condition it’s in, and if there is any recoverable information on it.
When I opened up the small computer I found it to be absolutely caked in this extremely fine dust. And I mean it was extremely fine, almost like carbon from a 90’s printer toner. So it needed to be stripped down and completely cleaned out, but I held off from that, and only cleaned out the bare minimum. I put the hard drive into my computer and ran crystal disk info which got me this information:
Which is not bad; it tells me that the hard drive has only been spinning for 189 or so days - and should have plenty of life left in it. I have hard drives in my computer that have been running for double that or more, with one running for over 918 days. It also had no problems, and seemed absolutely fine. I then also tried to do a data recovery on it.
… There wasn’t a single bit of information. 🥳 It was completely empty, and properly wiped! So thumbs up for that. 👍
Who ever had this last wiped it very well; even if it was zero filled and I’m extremely impressed by this. This is exactly what should be done when you sell your computers and/or hard drives on eBay. The seller made no indication that they had wiped, or formatted the HDD. Usually when they say they ‘Wiped’ the hard drives they just quick format it which is not good enough as the data can still be recovered. But this hard drive didn’t even have partition information on it. It was completely blank. That tells me that someone has their head screwed on.
I noticed that there was a Windows 7 Pro Certificate of Authenticity sticker stuck to the bottom of the computer as well as several other stickers. However I have a few retail licences for Windows 10 Pro kicking around, so I put Windows 10 on it, and ran my stress tests to get a baseline for the computer’s temperature. Then I pulled the whole thing apart and cleaned it all out, fans, heatsinks, the shitty Acer thermal paste that had turned to cement, and so on.
The temperatures have only improved by about five degrees centigrade, which means to me anyway; that the system wasn’t struggling to stay cool, which is astonishing to me. I lost the before chart; but this is the result after it was done:
No thermal throttling and the CPU Temperature a good 30-40oC away from maximum temperature, and indeed the air coming out of the back is pretty cool, I think. Certainly much cooler than the Viglen AiO PC. For reference here is the Viglen graph:
Taking a look at under the hood, and it’s pretty clear to see why the Acer succeeds in cooling;
This should give you some idea about the size and scope of this machine. Unlike the Viglen AiO, this uses notebook RAM.
The left and right hand sides are vents that allow the system to draw in cool air, there’s a massive heatsink attached to a heavy block at the back with two small fans side by side sucking air out of the machine. The design of this is exceptional (Especially coming from Acer) because it means it’s pulling cool air in through the hard drive which goes through that heatsink next to it (Covering, I think either the GPU or the south bridge, I don’t recall) combined with air coming in directly next to it before being sucked through the heatsink of the CPU, through the block at the back and out of the system. The air that comes out is not too hot, but it is warm, and the system stays at a cool temperature throughout.
Now, on the underside of the machine; is where I made a rather neat little discovery… I’m writing this document for my post as I am testing this part out, so we’ll see how it goes.
This is a Mini PCI-E slot, now this is where my knowledge on hardware hits a brick wall - because I’ve very rarely played around with Mini PCI Express slots and the things that can be used by them. From what I do know; this is where I could fit a wireless card in. But...
I’m not sure if it would work or not (The pin count seems to be about the same) I could theoretically fit Mini PCI-E SSD which I’ve seen on sites like NewEgg and eBay, which I can use as the boot drive, and the 320GB drive as a data storage drive, or swap disk for the Windows Page File, or even a scratch file for Photoshop. I’d enjoy an even more snappier experience. But I don’t know if that’s possible or not. If anyone here knows, let me know, and if anyone wants me to post my findings on this when I do go and explore it, then please let me know.
For all I know it could be there but completely disabled in the BIOS. I do have a spare Wireless Mini PCI-E card kicking around so I suppose my first port of call would be to test this using this card… Which is exactly what I will do; if I ever find it, before I invest into looking at utilising it.
The Specs -
Acer Veriton L670G (With Acer EQ45LM Motherboard)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo (E8400) LGA775, 45nm Chip Dual Core @ 3.00GHz L1 Cache 2 x 32 KB instruction caches 2 x 32 KB data caches L2 Cache 6MB (3MB per Core) 4 KB Pages, 4-way set associative, 128 entries 4 MB Pages, 4-way set associative, 32 entries 52.81W Typical Power Consumption (65W TDP) 4GB Max Supportable RAM* Chipset: Intel(R) Eaglelake Q45 Express Chipset (North Bridge: Intel Eaglelake Q45) (South Bridge: Intel 82801IO ICH9DO) RAM: 4GB DDR2 (2 x 2GB) 1x Princeton (2GB) Non-ECC RAM Bandwidth: DDR2-800 (400 MHz, DDR2) Timings: @ 400 MHz 5-5-5-18 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 23-51-3-6-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) @ 333 MHz 4-5-5-15 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 20-43-3-5-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) @ 266 MHz 3-4-4-12 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 16-34-2-4-2-2 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) Model: Unknown 1x Kingston (2GB) Non-ECC RAM Bandwidth: DDR2-800 (400 MHz, DDR2) Timings: @ 400 MHz 6-6-6-18 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 24-51-3-6-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) @ 333 MHz 5-5-5-15 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 20-43-3-5-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) @ 266 MHz 4-4-4-12 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 16-34-2-4-2-2 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) Model: ACR256X64D2S800C6 Optical Media: HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GT31N (LG Electronics?) Firmware: 1.00 Can read: CD-ROM CD-R CD-RW DVD-ROM DVD-R DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+RW DVD-RAM DVD+R DL DVD+R9 DL Can Write: CD-R CD-RW DVD-R DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+RW DVD-RAM DVD+R DL DVD+R9 DL Network Cards: Intel(R) 82567LM-3 Gigabit Network Connection (1000M) Graphics: Intel(R) GMA 4500 (Integrated) on the Intel(R) Q45 Express Chipset. VGA Output DVI Output PSU: 1 x LITEON 135W Laptop style PSU (Power Brick) Model PA-1131-07 Output 17V at 7.1A HDD: 1 x 320GB (WDC WD3200AAJS-22L7A0 (320 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)) Monitor: None included. Sound: Realtek ALC888 (On the Intel 82801JB ICH10) Whilst in my benchmarking software there are a ton of claims that this has HDMI support and HDMI compatibility; there is no HDMI output port on the motherboard, nor are there any headers for it. With the monitors I have I can easily use DVI or some kind of converter to convert DVI to HDMI/Display Port so I’m not overly bothered by this.
In terms of connectivity; on the back of the device you have four USB2 ports, a serial connector, ethernet connector, an eSATA port, VGA and DVI Ports, and an impressive array of audio ports including: Line-out/Front Speakers/Headphones, Microphone, Line-In, Subwoofer/Center Out, Read Surround Speakers for 5.1 and 7.1 systems, middle surround speakers for 7.1 systems as well as a MIDI/Game Port - Joystick port. Oh and the power in. On the front you have four USB2 ports, again, headphones port and a microphone port.
I have used this computer for an extended period of time, from managing Microsoft Access Databases, to Excel Spreadsheets, and Google Docs this has taken everything I’ve thrown at it and shrugged it off. I’ve even gone as far as to install Photoshop CS6; and again it can handle it pretty well.
320GB is not a lot of disk space especially with how quickly I can eat that up, so I’ve just mapped network drives to my NAS, and one of the drives in my PC, so if I need something I can drag it from there, or if I want to put something onto my main PC I can push it over there. It also allows me to share things across my network (Through the NAS) which I can access on other machines.
I will not be flipping this PC and putting it back on eBay, instead I will be setting it up as a workstation once I’ve set the security policies up and everything. It would make a fine addition to my collection of computers.
Take a look at it’s size compared to a USB3 Flash Drive and my Samsung Galaxy S8+, as you can see this is quite a small device:
Benchmarks: For these, I am directly comparing them to the Viglen AiO as I believe they’re somewhat comparable. And as a result I will be showing the specs there, and how different they are.
Here it is against my beast (Don’t worry, I’ve since cleaned it up and I’ve actually moved it since this picture was taken in April).
Acer: 2.25KG + 610g (PSU) = 2.86KG Viglen: 5.1KG (5,164g) Difference: Acer is 57.4277% lighter RAM
Memory Read: 6,832MB Viglen Memory Read: 7,098 MB/s Difference: Viglen AiO is 3.8191% faster Memory Write: 6,682MB/s Viglen Memory Write: 6,955 MB/s Difference: Viglen AiO is 4.00381% faster Memory Copy: 6,283MB/s Viglen Memory Copy: 6,384 MB/s Difference: Viglen AiO is 1.59469% faster Memory Latency: 105.1 ns Viglen Memory Latency: 100.0 ns Difference: Viglen AiO has 4.97318% less latency Central Processing Unit Benchmarks:
CPU Queen Score: 12,704 Viglen CPU Queen Score: 12,662 Difference: Acer has 0.331152% better score. (Negligible) CPU Photoworxx Score: 3,592 MPixel/s Viglen CPU PhotoWorxx Score: 3,498 MPixel/s Difference: Acer has 2.65162% better score. CPU ZLib Score: 75.6 MB/s Viglen CPU ZLib Score: 75.3 MB/s Difference: Acer is 0.397614% faster. (Negligible @ .3MB/s difference) CPU AES Score: 330 MB/s Viglen CPU AES Score: 328 MB/s Difference: Acer is 0.607903% faster. (Negligible @ 2MB/s Difference) CPU Hash Score: 966 MB/s Viglen CPU Hash Score: 959 MB/s Difference: Acer is 0.727273% faster. (Around 7MB/s Quicker) Floating Point Unit Benchmarks:
FPU VP8 Score: 2,035 Viglen FPU VP8 Score: 2,102 Difference: Viglen has 3.23906% better score FPU Julia Score: 4,030 Viglen FPU Julia Score: 4,056 Difference: Viglen has 0.643087% better score (Negligible) FPU Mandel Score: 2,140 Viglen FPU Mandel Score: 2,144 Difference: Viglen has 0.186741% better score (Negligible) FPU SinJulia Score: 1,103 Viglen FPU SinJulia Score: 1,099 Difference: Acer has 0.363306% better score (Negligible) SIMD-Enhanced Ray Tracing Benchmarks:
FP32 Ray-Trace: 580 KRay/s Viglen FP32 Ray-Trace: 582 KRay/s Difference: Viglen is 0.344234% quicker. (Negligible) FP64 Ray-Trace: 306 KRay/s Viglen FP64 Ray-Trace: 305 KRay/s Difference: Acer is 0.327332% quicker. (Negligible) All of those marked “Negligible” are well within margins of error.
I was really surprised by these results. I was expecting it to be better than the Viglen in every way possible, and whilst it’s not (And only by a thin margin), I can’t explain why it feels snappier and more responsive, perhaps under real load conditions rather than synthetic load conditions - it is snappier. It also seems to chuck out less heat than the Viglen one, so I consider that a reasonable compromise to offset the benchmarks. There are of course other factors to consider when you’re basing things off of real world usage, quite a lot of it is subjective. I enjoy this computer though. Compared to my beast it’s tiny, underpowered and not going to run my games. But then I don’t need it to.
Oh and it has no problem running EcchiDreams.
Next on: "Shit I've bought from eBay" - Asus Eee PC 1011PX (AKA: Minibook 120) and Packard Bell DOTS E2 Netbooks (Coming Soon)
What use is an all in one PC, especially by HP of all OEMs?
Watching YouTube or listening to music in the Kitchen, of course. Naturally.
I found this one whilst browsing on eBay. It was marked down as broken; specifically “The Screen is Cracked” but it otherwise powered up. It included everything internally - HDD, RAM, processor, etc. But did not come with a power pack.
There was no excitement with this one, I put down a maximum bid of £20, with the intention of taking it up to £30, and I pretty much won it at the end of the seven day listing for the listing price of £5 +£8.99 Shipping. Although I knew I would need to make other purchases, so £13.99 is not all I paid for it.
Honestly I was surprised to have won it as over the last few days I kept getting bid sniped on everything (Where someone comes in and put in a bid with a few seconds to spare so you can’t react to it) so I didn’t expect to win it. But I did and I was ecstatic. Immediately after paying I put in a call to a well known supplier of odds and sods of computer parts to see what kind of deal he could offer me for a HP Pavilion AiO LCD Panel; after taking the part number, he told me he could get one for £39.99. I thought that, that was a reasonable price, but I said that I was going to do some shopping around first. Credit to this supplier: He did say that if I can find a cheaper price to contact him and he’ll see what he can do.
A few days later I found one for £17.49 on eBay; that was pulled from a fully working MS215UK model HP AiO PC. Now these OEM computers sometimes use the same components as similar models, such as it were I found out via HP’s Partsurfer that the same LCD Panel is used in the MS215UK as the MS228UK and a handful of other HP AiO’s. It was a risk; but I decided that it was worth going for it.
After I had gotten the AiO, I noticed that there was no power supply; so I needed to shop around for one. I found an aftermarket one for £10.49 and after testing it on the computer I was able to turn it on. However my problems started with it, which I will explain later. So I went and purchased a genuine power supply for £22.90, and I have sent off the aftermarket one back to the seller for a refund.
There are several items that made this possible.
Item: HP Pavilion MS228UK All in One Desktop PC
Price I paid: £5.00 Shipping: £8.99 (Courier) Total Cost: £13.99 Came With: An entire family’s private data including pictures, bank information, passports, password files, pay slips, tax information, memes and music. Item: HP Pavilion AIO MS215 LCD panel
Price I paid: £17.49 Shipping: Free (Courier) Total Cost: £17.49 Came With: Enough bubblewrap that @Neptune will be happy for a while. Item: HP Part Number: ‘594294-001’ Power Supply
Price I paid: £10.49 REFUNDED Shipping: Free (Royal Mail) Total Cost: £10.49 REFUNDED Came With: UK Mains (Clover Power Cord) Item: Genuine Original HP Compaq 594294-001 90W SMART AC PSU
Price I paid: £22.90 Shipping: Free (Royal Mail) Total Cost: £22.90 Came With: Nothing. Grand Total Cost: £54.38
As you can see from the above image; I was successful in repairing the AiO PC. I am quite confident at repairing computers and I have been doing off and on for over two decades. My first computer that I repaired was when I was five or six years old; and it was at school. The school teachers knew I was great with computers - it seemed to be this ‘Natural Talent’ I had, and I remember telling them frankly “I get on with computers better than I get on with people.” Which is still true today. I had always owned a computer (My first ever being a Basic Amstrad CPC464) so when I was presented with a C drive error and my teacher had no idea what was wrong with the computer, I told her that I could fix it; I knew how to put Windows into DOS and perform a ‘Scandisk’ of the C drive; which found errors and fixed it. When the computer booted up afterwards it worked perfectly. In my primary school after this incident; I became the primary school’s defacto IT technician as they didn’t have a real one; and back then things were much simpler. If there was a problem with a computer somewhere in the school; that teacher would end up sending a student to come to the class with a note to the teacher, and I’d be excused to go fix it, although I always had time limits (10 Minutes, 20 minutes, etc). This all changed when a new headmaster came in, and I don’t think this headmaster liked me very much; but that’s a different story. My point is; from a young age I’ve been learning and studying computers. Playing around with them at home trying to break and repair them on a software level and learn how they work. Reinstalling Windows, and DOS, playing around with the various settings and such. Back then there was no Internet in the house so I had to teach myself everything.
It’s precisely those lessons that I applied here, I have a set of diagnostic steps which I use to identify and repair faults, then I fix them. For a start on the listing I knew the screen was cracked - common fault on LCD monitors. Usually this is caused by a person; especially if the screen is cracked. I knew that there is no point in repairing the actual panel; it’d need to be replaced. I have never had a HP AiO before; so I opened it up.
First of all I opened the two panels on the back - one was for the RAM, the other was for the Hard Disk Drive (HDD) but had a screw in there that held the CD drive in place. I ejected that and set this components aside; I took the HDD out of it’s caddy and put it into a hotswap bay on my PC only to discover that it had a full Windows installation on it.
OH DEAR. OH DEAR… We’ll come back to that.
Going back to the actual computer now; when I finally got it opened, I was presented with a shocking display:
The whole system was caked in dust, and I knew instinctively that if this thing had an integrated GPU; on the same copper pipe as that one heat sink (Which I could already tell was infinitely likely) then there was going to be a problem with the GPU on this, which is a common fault caused by overheating that the original XBOX360 owners will know all too well.
Opened up the metal panel cover the motherboard, disconnected the fan and then unscrewed it before pulling it away from the board. I was then able to see how clogged the heatsink was:
Yeah - that’s not a good thing. There is very few fins that the air can escape through. On top of that, dust can be an insulator; and that coupled with heat is not good. I thought for sure - this computer is going to have suffered overheating damage. This wasn’t good. I was not going to boot this up in this state. Taking this off of the motherboard was an absolute pain in the arse to be quite honest with you.
The problem is, is that it was practically glued onto the CPU. There was such a tight seal between the two with the thermal paste between them which had hardened that I actually delidded the AMD processor under it, which I did finally remove it. I cleaned up all the thermal paste that was on it and replaced it immediately with Arctic Silver 5 (Including the processor chip under the IHS), and then cleaned the heat sink with some compressed air, and an old tooth brush with Isopropyl Alcohol to clean it up. When I was satifiied I attached it back to the board and then I looked at the fan, and took it apart.
The fan was in a shocking state as well. I’ve cleaned up desk fans before and I’ve noticed with all of them that if there is a lot of dust built up on the blades, the amount of air that they push out seems to be diminished. If they’re cleaned up they noticeably push out a lot more air. I haven’t scientifically tested this, but it is something I have noticed, and I wonder if the same principle applies here.
Here is it after just a basic cleaning:
I finished up on it and made it look as good as brand new.
Taking a look at the motherboard; I could see no obvious signs of capacitor wear and tear; nothing exploded or bulging:
But I did notice that as I suspected the GPU was on the same heat pipe as the the CPU, all on one heat sink… Oh boy.
USB Ports Ethernet Port (I think it only does 100Mbps, I’m not sure) Power Port SATA Wireless Card SD Card RAM Slots (4GB Max, DDR2) Central Processing Unit Graphics Processing Unit Monitor Connection I knew straight away that the GPU was going to be iffy and would need reflowing (The act of heating up the chip to ‘reflow’ and refresh the solder) which was extremely risky. In everything I had tried this on, I had failed and made things worse - I had NEVER successfully reflowed/reballed a chip a before… So I was hoping that I didn’t have to.
I didn’t take any pictures replacing the screen; but needless to say it was a tedious and careful process. I had to remove a lot of screws and connections, and carefully note what I had done so I could reverse it when I wanted to put everything back together again.
Taking my time, and being as careful as I could, I attempted for the first time ever to put in the screen; and when I did it and had almost everything back together, I breathed a sigh of relief. I powered on the machine and saw!
The power light came on, the fan span up, but then everything went dead, the power light was still on and it was powered up, but nothing appeared on screen. SHIT! I thought. I then tried to diagnose the problem, and according to a HP forum post I read this was likely to be a power pack failure.
At this point I was using the after-market power pack and I tested the power output through an AMECal ST-9905 (As used by BigCliveOnline, one of my favourite YouTubers) and found that the output voltage was at 16.32 and dropping (The last test I did with it, it was at 14.59V). The computer needs 19V to operate, and the amperage needs to be 4.79A which surprise - surprise this Power Supply wasn’t and was all over the place.
I started a refund and returns for this power supply and got a genuine HP one which took some finding as they’re quite difficult to come by at a reasonable price nowerdays. When that arrived I plugged in it; and booted it up.
The screen came on, and everything seemed to work, for a moment. Then everything went dead again. There was another problem; and after a lot of diagnosing and avoiding what I knew in the back of my mind to be true, I came to the conclusion that the GPU needed to be reflowed… I don’t own a heat gun…
I do however own one of these bad boys from my weed smoking days:
Let there be fire
It’s basically a lighter that’s more like a fucking mini-blow torch. Risky… Very fucking risky. This has the tendency of quickly setting fire to things, and so I wanted to be extremely careful with it. Turning it on, I ran it over the chip for thirty seconds, making sure to keep it moving, and not too close to the chip as I moved it around making sure to cover each part of the chip equally. Afterwards; I hovered my hand over it afterwards to feel that it was hot, but I did not touch it - and nor should I. I let it cool down on it’s own without touching it any further for the duration of an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation and put the heat sink back on…
Oh I also replaced the HDD with a WD Black 1TB Drive, and installed Windows 10 Home.
It worked. To be clear though it only works with the Genuine HP Power Pack; the other power pack has the same problems I described earlier. Therefore I can deduce that the aftermarket brand Power Pack is not fit for purpose. I installed Windows 10 Home, and spent some time setting up the machine, which will be in our kitchen so we can watch things on YouTube, or BitChute whilst we’re in the kitchen - or have music playing.
So now I’ve been through the repairs, and this machine is 100% operational again, let's get right into this shall we?
CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250u AM2+, 45nm Chip K10 Microarchitecture (64 bit) Dual Core @ 1.60GHz L1 Cache 2 x 64 KB 2-way set associative instruction caches 2 x 64 KB 2-way set associative data caches L2 Cache 2 x 1 MB 16-way set associative caches 24.9W Typical Power Consumption (25W TDP) 4GB Max Supportable RAM* Chipset: AMD RS780M + AMD K10 IMC (Northbridge) and AMD SB700/710 (Southbridge) RAM: 4GB DDR2 (2 x 2GB) 2x SK Hynix (2GBN Each) Non-ECC RAM Bandwidth: PC2-6400 (400 MHz, DDR2) Timings: @ 400 MHz 6-6-6-18 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 24-51-3-6-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) @ 333 MHz 5-5-5-15 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 20-43-3-5-3-3 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) @ 266 MHz 4-4-4-12 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS) / 16-34-2-4-2-2 (RC-RFC-RRD-WR-WTR-RTP) Model: HMP125S6EFR8C-S6 Optical Media: HP DVD A DS8A4LH SATA CdRom Device Firmware: DHD5 Can read: CD-ROM CD-R CD-RW DVD-ROM DVD-R DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+RW DVD-RAM DVD+R DL DVD+R9 DL Can Write: CD-R CD-RW DVD-R DVD-RW DVD+R DVD+RW DVD-RAM DVD+R DL DVD+R9 DL Network Cards: Qualcomm Atheros AR5007EG Wireless Network Adapter (b/g only) Realtek RTL8139/810x Fast Ethernet Adapter (10M/100M) Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics (Integrated) No external output. Upto 256MB shared memory PSU: 1 x External “Laptop Style” Genuine Original HP Compaq PSU (594294-001) 90W Model 594294-001 HDD: 1 x 1TB (Originally: WDC WD5000AAKS-65V0A0, 500.1 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA II) WDC WD10 EALS-002BA0 SATA Disk Device (1 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II) Monitor: (Reportedly) Samsung LTM185AT01 (18.5”), but is actually a AUO M185XW01 V2 (18.5”) Sound: Realtek High Definition Audio (ESS1869 Chipset, I believe) Stereo 2x 2W Internal Speakers (Built in) Remember when I said that we’d come back to what I found on the hard drive? Yeah; we’ll let's talk about that shall we?
So I rebooted my computer and booted into that windows installation to see that it was Windows 10 Home, upgraded from Windows 7. The user account that logged in, which I will call ‘User 1’ didn’t have a password so I was in - instantly. I then discovered that the hard drive seemed to be taking a long time to do anything. It was at that point I decided to terminate the session as I believed I was looking at a dying hard drive. Long story short: I was correct. I rebooted back into my Windows 10 and took ownership of the /users/ folder, then copied off to my hard drive; I then ran a file recovery program on it, and recovered a massive payload of deleted files that had not been overwritten.
Whilst this was doing that, I had a look at the files I copied over to my hard drive; and oh deary me… This hard drive wasn’t even formatted before being sent to me. In the Users Folder I found five (5) different user accounts; User 1, User 2, User 3, User 4, Admin 1 (I’ve removed the names), and I have permission to share the details of what I found in there, and what happened.
In total I recovered 38GB of information from the drive.
I didn’t find any porn; or porn collections but I’ve not fully gone through everything. What I have gone through and seen on this hard drive is the following:
Lots of family pictures and selfies, including pictures of people using this very computer. Bank information, such as sort codes, account numbers, card numbers and pin numbers for those cards. Scans of passports Unencrypted text files containing: Passwords Pay Slips Tax information Tame Memes One or two spicy memes Music Documents Homeworks, coursework information and so on. Pirated Movies Internet Browsing Histories of 5 people Autocomplete passwords access Their contact information (Names, Addresses, Phone Numbers, Email Addresses, etc) This is why I left the feedback:
And no I won’t be doing that, I'm not that sad.
Within this treasure trove of information I found the names, addresses and phone numbers (And even a passwords text file) of the family and made contact with them. Yes; I called them up, and spoke to the father, which was quite risky. I asked if I could have five to ten minutes of his time, and that I wasn’t trying to sell him anything or do market research. He agreed and I thanked him. I then explained to him why I had called…
I told them that I had brought this computer off of eBay and described the computer to him; I told him that all of their data was still on it's hard drive. The man wasn’t very happy - and I don’t blame him at all. He told me that they had an an accident something got knocked over and smashed into the screen, and they took it to a repair shop to get it repaired. However… They were told that it was beyond economical repair, that it wouldn’t be worth repairing the PC, but they will if they wanted them to; it’d just cost £199.
The father went home to discuss this with his family, however when he got home he found his son setting up a brand new PC that he had brought with his own money (I think he was the one who broke it) to replace the broken one for the whole family to use.
Now that’s sweet, isn’t it? A young person taking personal responsibility for his actions. You don’t see that too often nowadays.
So the father went back to the repair shop and told them “Categorically”, to "Destroy the Hard Drive, and dispose of the PC as you see fit". So to find out this after the fact; you can imagine that they were not happy with the shop to say the very least, and I can’t blame them.
The family were not aware that their PC was sold on eBay either!
I told them that I would be very happy to send the files back to them, via a flash drive in the post - completely free of charge, and I confirmed their address, however they wanted it sooner and so it was emailed to them instead. They were extremely happy that I was able to recover their files and I had sent it back to them, but the father (Admin 1) said it was a little surreal that I called out of the blue and offered to do something extremely kind. Meh; that’s the kind of person I am, I guess. I told them to change their bank pin, and debit cards and passwords as I had access to that information and if I did; whoever’s hands the computer has been in before I got it, could have it too. I also told them that I was able to repair it for about £20; and that this repair shop was nothing short of extortionists.
I sent the files back to them and they have received it and thanked me. They even offered me money for my assistance (£100) which I have declined; although that would have completely paid for this PC and then some.
The hard drive after all this got completely corrupted; and it was clear that there was something going on under the hood. So I pulled up Crystal Disk Info:
Yikes. 9,773 pending sectors (9,773 * (Sector Size(4096 bytes)) / 1024 = KB / 1024 = MB = 38.17578125MB of the drive is unstable) and 15 uncorrectable sectors. I would not use this hard drive for anything at all. Still - I zero wiped it twice and this didn’t change. So I’m inclined to believe that this drive is on its way out. I will not be selling it - so I might play around with it, or take it apart for the magnets, and assign it to physical destruction (I have a place that I can go to that allows you to chuck them into this giant shredder.)
I want to urge everyone here; if you’re selling your computer/laptop then please at least do a proper format (Not a Quick Format), or worse yet don’t just *delete* your files or “Restore Windows from a Factory Image” and call it job done, it most certainly isn’t. Do not be lazy about this. Overwrite that data. So assholes like me can’t come along and recover it; I really can’t stress that enough. In most cases a single pass of random bits will do, but if you want to be sure, 3 passes like with the DoD 5220.22-M is usually a good idea, but if you’re a little paranoid, a 7 pass write like DoD 5220.22-M ECE I guess is alright. But if you’re extremely paranoid - just don’t sell the hard drive, and physically destroy it, and sell/give the rest of the computer. Chances are if you’re reading this, you probably don’t need to be told that.
There are far worse people out there and I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve purchased second hand hard drives online, that people haven’t properly formatted the hard drives of. I’ve had access to various kinds of sensitive materials that have either been too hot to handle or have been wiped properly by myself. But the stuff I will talk about openly is that I’ve also had access to a company’s customer database which included names, addresses, phone numbers and credit card information of their customers. But most commonly I’ve had access to people's private and personal files, and in one case I got access to someone’s private porn library. Even if you’re taking your computer to a repair shop and tell them to dispose of it- as for the hard drive back! Don’t trust them with it! This is exactly why you shouldn’t.
To see someone actually take data protection seriously and to wipe their drives before selling them is a good thing to me. I actually like that they do it properly. But I always format again; just to be sure, it roots out any bad sectors, and makes sure that the drive is properly cleaned and conditioned, ready for use. You don’t need to use the Gutmann method (35 pass write) because that is most certainly overkill.
For more information you can read the following:
• https://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/secure_del.html - Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory (Floppy/Tape/HDDs)
• https://www.cs.jhu.edu/~astubble/600.412/s-c-papers/remanence.pdf - Data Remanence in Semiconductor Devices (Flash/SSDs)
Due to the fact that this drive was dying I put a 1TB HDD that I had spare. I thought it was a WD Black; but apparently it’s a Blue. Which is strange because the label is black. Hence the assumption. Either way I think it’s only capable of SATA II, so it’d be a waste of time putting in a SATA III drive.
Despite HP’s reputation for overheating; when I ran AIDA64, and told it to stress the CPU, FPU, Cache and System Memory, I couldn’t get it past 40-45oC. I don’t think any thermal throttling was going on either. The air coming out of the top of the device was pretty much cool and the system was running fine without breaking a sweat. In fact I was concerned that the stress test wasn’t even running. Strangely however despite that kind of temperature the cores of the CPU seemed to be running at about 20-25oC which is about a 20oC (50%) difference to the rest of the CPU. I’m not really sure what was going on here, as I’ve never worked with AIDA64 before. But Prime95 and Speedfan, as well as HWInfo produced the same data. Apparently the maximum operating temperature of the CPU is between 55°C - 81°C so to get what I’m getting - I consider that to be extremely good.
I know the CPU is vastly underpowered (25W) but that is incredible results to me. Especially for a a HP. By this point I had already refreshed the thermal past of the CPU and GPU; when I repaired it. But this is actually highly encouraging. It’s a shame I can’t overclock the CPU. CPUID doesn’t display correctly for this either. The Socket has AM2 printed on it, the CPU is AM2+ (Or AM2 Revision 2) and yet CPUID reports it as AM3:
This small CPU clock of 1.6GHz pretty much reminds me of the crappy netbooks that was quite popular about about ten or so years ago, and the computer does struggle from time to time especially when things are loading up, but that could be a hard drive bottleneck as well as in Task Manager I’d frequently see the HDD activity stuck on 100%, and the CPU would be fine. It might be something I consider later, buying a cheap SSD to slap in there so that it boots up quickly and we can truly use it as a PC-TV. That said it seems to be able to run videos be that from YouTube, BitChute in 720p and the DVD Drive plays our Star Trek and Babylon 5 episodes just fine. So for the purpose I’m using it for, it’s fine.
EcchiDreams loads in the browsers, no problem too. So that’s also good. Although I’m not ever going to sign into EcchiDreams (Because my staff account is a high security account, and I’m not even allowed a duplicate account) and I do not consider this machine to be a high security machine.
For a start; doing a full disk encryption for the system drive is most certainly going to slow it down to a crawl. Secondly I can’t even put in a BIOS level password. Where I showed a picture of the motherboard, look carefully towards the edge of the motherboard in box 7; You can see two sets of two silvery looking contacts, one says “CLEAR PASSWORD” and the other says “CLEAR CMOS”. Instead of hiding this further into the board, where it can’t be easily accessed, all you need to do is remove the memory cover, and press on the two contacts to remove password with your screwdriver to clear the password and boom. Job done. You’re in. I don’t consider this to be a good thing, and is a prime example of convenience defeating security. As this has been designated a low security machine on my network, it doesn’t have access to any network resources such as any of the servers, or the NAS or our computers which means music and stuff needs to be manually loaded onto it via flash drives. It doesn’t have a username or password so you can just turn it on and it’ll go straight into Windows. The USB ports on this machine are all USB 2.0 from what I can tell, which means it’s capable of 480Mbps maximum and there are six USB ports on the device. Four on the back and two on the side.
It also has a built in SD Card reader; which I can honestly see using that instead of putting in DVD’s, or holding music libraries on that and having and SDCard case next to the computer as SDCards are dirt cheap nowadays.
We’ve got this computer set up in the kitchen so that we can watch videos, or listen to music whilst we’re cooking or cleaning up, or just to have a ‘Stereo’ of some sorts, but let's talk about the sound quality shall we?
It’s bearable, but compared to my dedicated set up with the Matrix Mini-i Pro and HE400s it’s fucking awful quality. Watching things that mainly have dialogue isn’t too bad, but music sounds tinny, and frankly like they’re coming out of a set of laptop speakers from 2009/2010. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected much considering A) It’s age B) What it was intended to be used for and C) It's not specialist equipment. Lol
Despite having a sticker over the webcam, I actually disconnected it and left it disconnected (On purpose) whilst I was in there, and I think it’s on the same board as the microphone which was connected too because it’s on the same cable. I’m that type of guy who covers these webcams (And front facing cameras on their phone) for a damn good reason. It is something I have done to every laptop I’ve ever owned, where it’s been included. So I haven’t tested these out, but I am sure if I did it’d be absolute dogshit; given that it’s a VGA Webcam so I expect it to be around 0.3 - 1.3 Megapixels, and it’s from around 2009/2010. It’s a Chicony CNFA09921004171LH (Model: HP CFNA099-A2) (Part: 537546-001) If you’re interested.
Do not count on this machine to play any games; it doesn’t have the processing capability or the graphics power that would be required.
All in all I can say that I like this machine and it will serve its purpose in the kitchen just nicely. What I don’t like about this machine, is that in order to clean out the heatsink and fan, you need to take the whole damn thing apart which isn’t all that easy. But it’s something I will do yearly. I do not want to let this PC overheat again, otherwise I’m going to potentially have to reflow the solder; again. Other than that it’s a neat little thing and everything is very well contained. In my experience I wouldn’t call the internals ‘Desktop Components’ but more like Laptop Components, that’s neither a plus or a negative for me, although it does limit its power. I suspect that I could replace the CPU with a 260u; but I probably won’t, and I don’t know if it can take more than 4GB of RAM; according to the CPU Spec - it can, but according to the PC Spec, it can’t. I don’t have other sticks of laptop sized DDR2 RAM so I can’t test it.
It goes to show that there is a use for these older machines today; although as an everyday working computer? Probably not.
I’ll close with some AIDA64 Benchmarks:
Memory Read: 8,934 MB/s
Memory Write: 5,811 MB/s
Memory Copy: 8,089 MB/s
Memory Latency: 97.9 ns
Central Processing Unit Benchmarks
CPU Queen Score: 5,809
CPU PhotoWorxx Score: 3,122 MPixel/s
CPU ZLib Score: 40.7 MB/s
CPU AES Score: 212 MB/s
CPU Hash Score: 524 MB/s
Floating Point Unit Benchmarks
FPU VP8 Score: 1,156
FPU Julia Score: 2,005
FPU Mandel Score: 1019
FPU SinJulia Score: 509
SIMD-enhanced Ray Tracing Benchmarks
FP32 Ray-Trace: 303 KRay/s
FP64 Ray-Trace: 160 KRay/s
Next on: "Shit I've bought from eBay" - Viglen Genie Ultra Small (2009/2010)