The Clone.

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The Clone.

Postby caluser2000 on Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:33 pm

The generic 486 it bid on TM last week finally showed up. It's a 486dx2/50 with an orchid 1 meg video card, 8megs of ram in 30 pin simms, 3.5 along with a 5.25' HD fdd, a Conner CP-3544 500megs or there abouts hdd and nic. The usual dead CMOS battery routine. Once the settings where correct it booted straight into WfW 3.11 Turns out the previous owner was the Wellington School of Medicine. A cards obviously been pulled as there's a no blank behind one of the expantion slots. It has a couple of simms at the back of a fdd/hdd controller which is interesting. Did a quick look around the hdd in dos, which is MS Dos 6.22 and there looks to be some interesting stuff there. About 10megs left on the drive.

Just running scandisk at the moment to see what that shows up. It sounds like a jet starting up on bootup. Once thats done I'll delete any *.chk, doc files etc.

Oh and it had a cable that could be plugged into the keyboard din which fed to the front right side of the case. Never going to use it so snipped it instead of having to remove everything to slide the mobo to one side.
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Re: The Clone.

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:21 am

Excellent that it runs happily. My XT arrived with literally only a few bytes free on the hard disc lol, once you start clearing off the junk it'll come back in waves.
I use a serial/parallel cable and basically dump everything on the drive to a server in case I need it later, and then just starting ripping in to it.

Being a 486 I'm hoping they were just CR2032's and easy to replace?
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Re: The Clone.

Postby tezza on Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:00 am

I'm always surprised when I find personal files and other private stuff on the hard drives of old computers that come my way. I've seen some pretty sensitive stuff particularly files that have come from legal or medical computers. I always delete this information of course but many people don't realise that once their old computer is out of their hands this information could end up anywhere.

One of the best tools for deleting sensitive files off a computer: a hammer! Thankfully for us vintage computer enthusiasts people do use other methods :D .
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Re: The Clone.

Postby Carcenomy on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:25 pm

SpidersWeb wrote:Excellent that it runs happily. My XT arrived with literally only a few bytes free on the hard disc lol, once you start clearing off the junk it'll come back in waves.
I use a serial/parallel cable and basically dump everything on the drive to a server in case I need it later, and then just starting ripping in to it.

Being a 486 I'm hoping they were just CR2032's and easy to replace?

Nope, normally they were drums in 486s until reasonably late in the piece. Seen a few with the externalized battery bricks too.
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Re: The Clone.

Postby caluser2000 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:43 pm

Barrel or RTC on all the 486 stuff I've got apart from the Acer Ithink. Even the 486dx4/100 mobo has a barrel battery even though it's obviously designed for a coin type setup.
Last edited by caluser2000 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Clone.

Postby caluser2000 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:46 pm

tezza wrote:One of the best tools for deleting sensitive files off a computer: a hammer!
I only use that method if the hdd is toast. Certainly makes ya feel good ;)
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Re: The Clone.

Postby WelshWizard on Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:05 pm

caluser2000 wrote:
tezza wrote:One of the best tools for deleting sensitive files off a computer: a hammer!
I only use that method if the hdd is toast. Certainly makes ya feel good ;)



Or simply use zero fill, should be easy to get a copy for most hard drives, then you are back to factory settings and no Data can be pulled from the drive other than zeros, so the hard drive can be used agian rather than destroyed
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Re: The Clone.

Postby Gibsaw on Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:52 am

Well, usually the hard disk in question is irrelevant for zero fill... As long as the relevant BIOS services are available..

It's a low level format you're thinking of, which pretty much ended after IDE.
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Re: The Clone.

Postby WelshWizard on Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:49 am

Gibsaw wrote:Well, usually the hard disk in question is irrelevant for zero fill... As long as the relevant BIOS services are available..

It's a low level format you're thinking of, which pretty much ended after IDE.

Wording not the best by me, Zero fill means no data can be pulled from drive other than zero's then run the drives utility to restore the boot sector to factory, that way its looks the same as factory settings except for the zero's , but if you don't have any partitions you won't see them.

The old company went through about 200 old drives a month, which we would clean up, and flick of at the old Auckland Computer Flea market on a Sat, or the one on North Shore on a Sun, we found low level format was a good way to clean up a drive, but I personally found it a bit risky, because more drive clean ups ended in a dead drive with low level format than using zero fill and and finishing with the boot sector restore. never had any one complain that data was able to be pulled from any drive.

( we did get a batch of P233 slot 1's from a company in Auckland that they had so call unformatted by removing the partitions, one of the engineers restored the partition , only to find about 800 meg of porn on the drive, this just enhanced the need for drive clean up, last thing we wanted was some young wiz kid doing what the engineer did with the drive.)
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Re: The Clone.

Postby Carcenomy on Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:42 pm

I hear that. I've seen all kinds of gross stuff on old customer drives, a zero fill truly is the best way to eliminate any previous data.
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Re: The Clone.

Postby Gibsaw on Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:07 pm

I've found customer drives to be interesting sources of mp3's and movies. :)
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Re: The Clone.

Postby SpidersWeb on Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:35 pm

Yeah I found some rather odd animations on my A2000HD, I'm never taking squirrels to the movies again.
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Re: The Clone.

Postby caluser2000 on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:49 am

This one has been relegated to the garage for the time being. Far too many other "projects" on the go.
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Re: The Clone.

Postby Gibsaw on Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:52 am

WelshWizard wrote:
Gibsaw wrote:Well, usually the hard disk in question is irrelevant for zero fill... As long as the relevant BIOS services are available..

It's a low level format you're thinking of, which pretty much ended after IDE.

Wording not the best by me, Zero fill means no data can be pulled from drive other than zero's then run the drives utility to restore the boot sector to factory, that way its looks the same as factory settings except for the zero's , but if you don't have any partitions you won't see them.<snip>

I'm familiar with what zero fill is. Perhaps I should clarify. What I said was that most zero-fill utils use block level services through BIOS and/or DOS. As long as the drive is set up and operational, a zero fill doesn't need a utility specific to the drive... and a new boot sector is not usually drive specific either, and can be done with "FDISK".

The drive specific utils were for low-level format, where everything is re-written (all the MFM-RLL sector coding, track/sector markers and interleave layout etc.) and ended with IDE.

Modern drive specific utils (post-IDE) tend to be more "vendor-specific" than "drive-specific" for doing diagnostics/scans and low level resets that are aware of the sector translation and can do adjustments of the S.M.A.R.T. parameters and sector relocation table.

On older IDE, you can strike issues where a BIOS overlay is being used (and you don't have the original installer) to overcome the 500MB limit, but it's not generally a problem to clear off user data and then do only a freespace zero-fill. (Which again will not be drive specific. These utils basically create a zero-filled file/files that will use all the freespace.)
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