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another comp question


TRIBE Member
Ok so I picked up a used system for a friend of my g/f's.

Its an IBM PII 400 w/128 MB ram, and a Compaq 15" monitor.

Installed Windows 98, no problem.

It has onboard video, Im not sure how great it is, and this is where the problems begin.

When I go to "Display Setting" I am only allowed to choose bettween 2 and 16 bit, nothing else.

Needless to say, the color sucks ass, everything looks ghey, and I cant install Sympatico onto it.

Now....where should I be looking here.

a) drivers?
b) new vid card, PCI 8mb or something similiar???
c) try a different OS?

Normally I would just try all three and see what happens, but I am all of a sudden time pressed here and was wondering what you brilliant Tribe peeps would do.

Alex D. from TRIBE on Utility Room


TRIBE Member
Are the drivers for the onboard video installed correctly?

I'm going to guess not. I'd do a search on IBM's site for the particular model of machine you have. It should have drivers available for download for your specific system.


TRIBE Member
That system sounds like my old IBM GL and IBM PL, PII 333/400, and they still work like the reliable grunt units that they were designed to be.

Like he said, go to IBM and download the manuals (users guide and tech specs), drivers, firmware, check BIOS to get the exact model, ie the PL line comes in many flavs, mine was 6886 or something.

Also, regardless of whether you get your display and sympatico working, I strongly recommend that you use Windows 2000. My IBM's came with Win98 and what a waste of time, dump it. It's fucking useless, pathetic how many times i had to fix this and that with Norton Crash Guard reporting multiple errors, missing files etc. I thought the problems were machine related, but when Win2k was released and I installed that, I had no more crashes and random malfunctions.

If you don't like the idea of your friend calling you up every week for tech support --->Windows 2000

Oh yeah, and Win2k will solve many device problems that you experience under win98 as it has a broader device driver database, ie you aren't required to search the net for some obscure driver.

Dr. Grinch

TRIBE Member
If all you got is 2 and 16 bit then you need drivers for both the Motherboard chipset and the onboard videocard.
Most likely it's an Intel Chipset, you can verify by just opening the housing. If it is you need to download the Intel INF installation utility and run that. Then install your video drivers and you should be fine.

If you plan on upgrading to Win2k you're gonna need a lot more RAM than 128Mb to make it bareable...
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TRIBE Member
Thanks for the help guys!

Originally posted by The Tesseract
Bill... this is what you get for buying gay little obsolete computers.
You should take up on Rye's offer.

How do you figure?

This computer is for a girl who
a)can only get dial up internet
b) wants it for email and MSN messenger

Sooo..why would she drop $800+ on a system, when she can get this one for $200.

I mean, the system is perfect for a starter computer.


TRIBE Member
Old computers are awesome! I have a Pentium I 133MHz (maxed out!), two PII (not sure on the freq), and of course my new computers: a dual-PIII and a P4. The older ones are AWESOME to use as file servers, firewalls, etc, etc...


TRIBE Member
Oh for sure.

I am running a PIII 550mhz with Windows XP, and the thing does everything I have seen a P4 do.

Movies, games without a hitch.

My g/f is running a Compaq PII 350Mhz, and I just keep slapping more RAM in it, its a great little system for her, get's the job done flawlessly.

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