P4D-66 – The Nugget
We did it. We found an old Gateway Desktop AT style !!
We found this one ready to be cast aside to the trash heaps of things that time forgets. Of course we had to take a look and grabbed it.
Th P4 in this machines model name does not indicate a Pentium 4, no, no. This is before it was all about the Pentiums! This was a Baby AT, it says so right there in Model No. (not really the model number of the computer)
This comes from the early heyday of Gateway, then known as Gateway 2000. Gateway 2000, founded in 1985, was a renowned American computer hardware company that played a significant role in the personal computer industry. The name “Gateway 2000” was chosen to reflect a sense of futurism and to signify a gateway to the future of personal computing. One of the distinctive features of Gateway was its use of cow-spotted boxes for shipping, which became iconic and easily recognizable.
After cleaning it up the next question is – Does it work? There was a bit of grime to get off the thing and I immediately opened it up blew out the dust and it looked pretty good inside already. I did add the PCI video card in prep to do a power on test. Look at this beautiful relic!
I plugged it in and pushed the magic button and We had action!
…except.. The time and date were whacked. The 1994 Dallas RTC was kaput. This was a perfect time to try out an item I had been seeing so I ordered one of these thingies below. It is probably a fine product but it did not work at all on this motherboard. It didn’t feel like the pins could seat properly into the socket. Good vendor that did accept the return for the product!
That left me to track down a Dallas RTC and luckily I did find it at DigiKey (www.digikey.com) part # DS12887A+, for those also looking. There are many for sale on EBAY. Check those date codes. Most I saw were pretty much at the end or past the expected life cycle. There are articles on the internet on how to recognize product that has had the original model and date codes removed and been remarked. Buyer Beware you could be ordering product that is near death already.
The Digikey product worked as expected like a champ! New one is on the right in case it is not obvious.
Once this was taken care of I booted to a test diagnostic floppy.
This is where things took a turn and every so often things don’t go as planned. We feel, I feel, it is important to share those things too. I had a single simm stick of ram in the machine and decided to add some more one at a time. Unfortunately, the next stick I plugged in was bad. When I turned the machine on and it made a noise and shut down. Removing that stick did not revive our Gateway. That evil simm had shorted the board. I got a second opinion from from my friend and hardware guru.
We tested the AT power supply and it was good so at least we have that. You all know how hard AT power supplies are to come by these days. All in all this nugget still gave us a treasure!