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Author Topic: Maybe off topic but..linux box, motherboard transplanting project questions...  (Read 1873 times)
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« on: August 03, 2010, 08:15:55 am »

Back in the day, I built all my own computers. As the prominence of pc's happened, pc's became so cheap it was not really worth it any more.

I mean like today, I can buy a 3ghz dell dual core for 150 bucks on ebay. I have been keeping this old full tower case around. It was originally a gateway 486 66dx2.
Yes I kept it that long. Later, I put a pentium 90 then a dual processor 200mhz motherboard inside, running windows nt then win2k. Its old school, you know a real full tower case?  So anyhow, now I would like to transplant my current linux box, which is a dell gx260 2ghz machine into this case. I also plan to put an extra at power supply inside
to power all the hard drives I plan to jam in there.

Nightflier sent me an at power supply, and also an atx power supply. They will both fit with a few mods. Thanks dude! My major stumbling block is I never built a computer with an atx power supply. There is a line that goes to the power button. In at, this was a big mechanical switch that came off the power supply. In ATX, this is a simple momentary switch I think that comes off the motherboard, and the motherboard apparently sends a signal to the power supply to turn it on.

Anyhow, if I rip the motherboard out of its current case, do I just need to connect that line that comes from the motherboard and currently goes to the front power switch to a new momentary switch?  I guess I just want some advice before I try this. Anyone ever dumped a motherboard from a prebuilt system into an old school case like I will be attempting?

I'd like to transfer this current machines motherboard to the old school case. I will then add an additional pci ide controller I have, then some usb controllers, and a usb hub that will be mounted inside, all to support a ridiculous amount of ide hard drives I have. I haven't counted, but I have something like 10 80-120 gig ide drives.

Yes I know I can save myself alot of trouble by buying a 1tb usb drive, but these hard drives are already here and were more or less free.
Besides this, I have never liked separating a physical drive into separate logical drives.

If I am successful, I will have a seperate 100 or so gig drive for MSDOS files, A seperate 100 or so gig drive for windows, 100 gig drive for amiga files,100 gig drive for os2,
100 gig drive for graphics files, 100 gig drive for mp3 files, 100 gig drive for video files/divx movies, 100 gig drive for documents and ebooks, 100 gigs for samples I use for music creation, and so on and so on...

I will probably never fill them, but there will be a very organized way of storing everything I have, or ever had for that matter. In short, this new system will become my ultimate computer, and will house all the software/graphics files/mp3's/video files, samples and so on I ever had or collected over the years, which is quite a lot.

Any advice on transplanting the dell motherboard into the new case would be greatly appreciated. If this works I will probably upgrade the motherboard soon, but I want to be sure an atx powered motherboard will power up in there okay first. I have a spare dell gx260 sitting doing nothing so part of me just wants to start ripping it in there and if I burn one up in the learning process, no big deal, but I've learned its always best to ask questions and be sure you know what to do before ruining perfectly good hardware.

If there is interest, I will post pictures as I build myself my ultimate vector machine...

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice...

Steven




 



 


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M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 3192



« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2010, 08:52:32 am »

Wow dude, sounds like you're in for quite a construction project.
First off, you should try to anticipate the kinds of problems that may come up. I can see 2 that jump right out of the whole plan. The first being of course the power switch.
I'm not sure how you're going to accomplish this, but the power supply connectors for the AT and ATX boards should not be compatible. At least I wouldn't expect them to be. In ATX, it's a soft switch. Goes from the front of the case to the mobo, usually a 2-pin connector on the mobo labeled 'pwr' or something obvious like that. There may also be one for the reset switch, pc speaker, etc.. in the same area.

Now, I have an older after-market (non-branded) atx case that also has a hard on/off switch in the back... like some old dells do, but I believe that switch is part of the power supply. If your PSU has this switch, that may be an option.

Second Issue: The number of IDE devices you plan to put on there.
I have tried the PCI IDE adaptors in linux, and simply could not get them to work. I found out that these things are developed around windows, and they do supply you with windows drivers for them, but there is little to no linux support at all for these things.

With that said, I think a more viable option would be a USB hub and [possible more than one] enclosure to plug these drives in on an on-demand basis. The only reason I say that is because USB support is much better in linux. And, if you dont want 10 enclosures plugged in at all times, you simply change the drive inside of it, or keep as many as you want.

Just my 2 cents.
Picture progression of this project would be awesome to look at.
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nitehawk
Vectorite
***
Posts: 155


Just me.


« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2010, 10:54:43 am »

Oh wow,..haywire...
that sounds like a simply yummy project!!!  I just love tinkering with junk like that, myself.  I have a full tower that I was just about to rip into myself today,....
It was a Dell Gx150 PIII,...but the motherboard seems to have drifted off into the sunset.  I was going to see if there was anything I could possibly do to it,..before thinking of a new motherboard.  I just re-built my old PIII HP Vectra (512ram--933Mhz--40G & 20G hard drives--Gforce2 Nvidia).  It's singing sweetly now,...but want to get the tower (aka "Pikes Peak") up and running also.  Good luck on your venture, haywire!  Let's keep these sweet old machines out of the trash dumps. 
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nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 4030



« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2010, 12:16:19 pm »

Ai, what fun!  Grin  Having done this, here are what I remember:

Power switches - the AT switch will have a mounting bracket that you attach the switch to, using a couple of screws (AT power switches are built into the cable that goes to the power supply). The ATX power switch is much simpler and flimsier, like the AT reset switch, with two wires running to a little mobo connector. You can use the reset switch for power, or get a small momentary NO (normally open) push button switch at Radioshack.

Motherboard - there is no removable I/O shield on the back of an AT case. You will need to cut holes for access to the ports.
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M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 3192



« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2010, 12:36:51 pm »


Motherboard - there is no removable I/O shield on the back of an AT case. You will need to cut holes for access to the ports.

Yikes... Fun indeed. This I want to see pictures of. Wink
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haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 01:09:51 am »

Yes I believe the power switch for atx is simply a normally open momentary switch, and I've already got a few from radio shack sitting here. The good news is that there is already a momentary switch like this on the case, which used to be the reset switch on the case when it was at powered. Maybe I can wire power to the former reset switch on the case and install a new switch for actual reset. The former AT power on/power off will be replaced with the new mechanical switch on the at power supply which Nightflier gave me. I already checked, and the screws and everything line up...

I painted the case over at my parents basement. Appliance white spraypaint works wonders. Case looks almost brand new now. I will be bringing the case over to my basement in the next couple of days to perform the transplant. I will take some pics as I go I think.


As far as the pci adapter thing... Yes I know my last motherboard the pci ide controller did not work with. I used the same kind of controller long ago with red-hat and suse and it worked fine. Some motherboards just don't like those controllers, I don't think thats a linux problem. Hopefully, this motherboard will be fine with it. Otherwise, all the drives will be connected via usb to ide adapters and usb hubs. If I get this beast working, I hope to upgrade the motherboard to a quad core, but I wanna know what I'm doing before risking smoking an expensive motherboard/cpu like that.

Pictures of the beast will follow. Thanks for everyone's advice. I feel more confident about doing this now. Ridiculous vector box coming soon!

Steven

EDIT - I should have explained the full tower case will house two power supplies... One AT power supply which will power the hard drives, and one ATX power supply which will
power just the motherboard, fans and floppy I suppose...

 
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 04:19:25 am by haywire » Logged
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 4030



« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 04:23:56 am »

To encourage the picture part.. here is how mine looked:
http://stefanussen.net/tmp/at2atx.jpg
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haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 06:26:00 am »

Nightflier,

What do you know, duct tape really can fix... or build... anything!

Steven
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M0E-lnx
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 3192



« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2010, 08:34:30 am »

To encourage the picture part.. here is how mine looked:
http://stefanussen.net/tmp/at2atx.jpg

Whoah... that's a serious rigg.
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haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2010, 09:53:14 am »

I'm hoping I'll be able to jam both power supplies inside the beast... Later tonight I'm bring the beast case home. Will take some pics and begin the transplanting operation either tonight or tomorrow. I have to scrounge around for some scews. Luckily, I have some old cases I can use for organ doners.

I might use the little dell atx power supply if the larger atx power supply won't fit. The at power supply that nightflier donated to the cause fits in the usual spot perfectly, but I'm not sure the atx will also fit inside, we'll see. I'm pretty sure if the full size atx won't fit, this little dell one will. I may have to drill some new holes, but I have a drill driver with a metal drill bit at the ready.

Steven
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haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2010, 03:01:32 pm »

Got crazy busy this week with a new dayjob from hell, I am hoping to do the transplant this weekend. I will post some pictures when I can...

Steven
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haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2010, 05:47:19 pm »

Can someone please tell me how many watts a standard 3-1/2 inch ide hard drive typically draws from the power supply?

I am wondering how can I be sure just how many hard drives can be powered from the power supply.

The system will have two, one for the motherboard and floppy. The second power supply will power the hard drives.

Also, nightflier kindly sent me a couple of power supplies for this project, I apologise to him because I've been so busy I have not sent his check to cover shipping, I will get it out next week to him.

New job and getting married in 2 weeks, so you can imagine the turmoil around here.  Today, I hauled the parts into the basement from my parents house. Hopefully tomorrow I will really start the transplant. I have to go buy some shrinkwrap and a few odds and ends for the build.

Also, I found a motherboard on ebay for like 100 bucks thats a dual xenon board for like 100 bucks. Back in the day I had a dual pentium 400mhz tyan board and I really loved that board... I also found a dual processor amd board/dual cpu combo thats also 100 bucks, but I don't know which is better, so its hard to decide.

Can anyone tell me what do you think of vectorlinux running with this before I decide? The motherboard from my current linux box I planned to transplant is only 2ghz and single core.
It really dosn't do compiz well without lots of lag. I'm on a very tight budget (how about no budget) for this project but I thought it really may be worth spending a little bit to get a board/processor combo that will perform the way my dual core 3ghz box did. Does anyone know if this board/cpu combo will be slower or faster and offer better or worse performance than a 3.0ghz dual core intel board and processor I used previously? I'd appreciate any advice. I think I may just jam the 2ghz dell board in, but I may want to buy this board.

Typically I would like to do compiz with a windows xp session running in virtualbox while on the internet, and running linux apps and dosbox sessions as well.
I'm really not sure how well this board/cpu combo will perform. Is 2 physcial processors typically faster than one hyperthreading or dual core cpu?
Any advice on this stuff, I'm all ears. I think I can scape up the 100 bucks for this board but I don't want to buy it and then be majorly dissapointed about what it can do.

Thanks for everyone's help, especially Nightfliers.

TYAN

DUAL SOCKET TIGER i7501 MOTHERBOARD

PART# S2723

WITH: 2 INTEL XEON 2.4GHz PROCESSORS

MODEL# SL73L

WITH: HEATSINKS

 
DESCRIPTION:
Using the power of the Intel E7501 chipset, the Tiger i7501 delivers exceptional features and performance for your server needs. The Tiger i7501 platform supports two Xeon processors with 533MHz Front Side Bus (FSB) support for bleeding edge processing power, Hyper-Threading, remote management of IPMI functions through TYAN's optional SMDC (Server Management Daughter Card), and is compatible with both ATX12V and EPS12V power supplies. The Tiger i7501 also offers Gigabit and Fast Ethernet ports for incredible flexibility in any network configuration, and onboard ATI RAGE XL fully-integrated VGA graphics - making the Tiger i7501 the ultimate solution for any server environment.
Processor
 • Dual mPGA604 ZIF sockets
 • Supports up to two Intel® Xeon® processors
    with 512KB of integrated L2 cache
 • Onboard VRM (VRM 9.1 spec)
 • Front-Side Bus support for 533/400MHz

Chipset
 • Intel® E7501 server chipset
 • MCH + ICH3 + P64H2 + FWH
 • Intel® P64H2 supports two PCI(-X) buses
 • Winbond™ W83627HF Super I/O chip
 • Winbond™ W83782D hardware monitoring chip

Memory
 • Four 184-pin 2.5V DDR DIMM sockets
 • Supports up to 8GB of Registered DDR266/200
 • Dual channel memory bus
 • Supports Registered memory only
 • Supports ECC type memory modules

Expansion Slots
 • Three independent PCI(-X) buses
 • Two 64-bit 133/100/66MHz (3.3V) PCI-X slots
 • Two 32-bit 33MHz (5V) PCI slot
 • Total of four usable slots

Integrated I/O
 • One floppy connector supports up to two drives
 • Two 9-pin serial ports
    (one connector and one header)
 • One 25-pin ECP/EPP/SPP parallel header (opt.)
 • Four USB 1.1 ports (two rear, two via header)
 • PS/2 keyboard and mouse connectors

Integrated PCI IDE
 • Provides two PCI bus master channels for
    up to four Enhanced IDE (EIDE) devices
 • Support for ATA-100/66/33 IDE drives
    and ATAPI-compliant devices

Integrated LAN Controllers
 • Intel® 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet controller (opt.)
     - One RJ-45 LAN connector with LEDs
     - Connected to PCI-X bus
 • Intel® 82551QM Fast Ethernet controller
 - One RJ-45 LAN connector with LEDs
System Management
 • Total of seven 3-pin fan headers
 • Six fan headers with tachometer monitoring
 • One 3-pin chassis intrusion header
 • Temperature, voltage, and fan monitoring
 • Watchdog timer

Server Management (option)
 • QLogic™ Zircon Baseboard Management
    Controller (BMC) based on powerful ARM7
    technology
 • Tailored for IPMI highest 1.5 Spec.
 • Supports KCS and BT styles
 • Supports flexible Windows and Linux based
    Management Solution
 • Supports RMCP and SNMP protocols
 • Supports ASF standard and EMP
 • I2C serial multi-master controllers and UARTs
 • Built-in IPMB connector
 • Supports remote Power on/off and reset support
    (IPMI over LAN)
 • Server Management Daughter card via built-in
    2x25 header  ( MDC/TSO Support)

Integrated Video
 • ATI® RAGE™ XL PCI graphics controller
 • 8MB of video memory

BIOS
 • AMI BIOS 8.0 on 4Mbit Flash ROM
 • LAN remote boot (PXE) and SMBIOS v2.3
 • BIOS Boot Specification v3.1 (BBS) support
 • Auto configuration of IDE hard drive types

Form Factor
 • ATX footprint (12" x 9.8", 304.8 x 248.92mm)
 • ATX12V/EPS12V universal power connector
 • Side-by-side serial (one) and VGA (one) port
 • Stacked USB (two) connectors
 • Side-by-side RJ-45 LAN (two) connectors
 • Stacked PS/2, keyboard, and mouse connectors

Regulatory
 • FCC Class B (Declaration of Conformity)
 • European Community CE
« Last Edit: August 14, 2010, 05:49:06 pm by haywire » Logged
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2010, 07:15:56 pm »

I finally got around to starting on this. I'm stuck right now because the ide cables are really not long enough. I think I can hobble it together for now with the hard drives not mounted, just to get it going. In the meantime, does anyone know where I can order some extra long IDE cables?


http://haywirepc.homestead.com/index.html

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retired1af
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1267



« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2010, 07:22:19 pm »

Will 2 feet work?  Grin
http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=15089
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 4030



« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2010, 03:45:14 am »

Looks like the project is coming along fine.  Smiley

Here is one, 3 feet long:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812105910&cm_re=ide_cable-_-12-105-910-_-Product
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