Another prebuilt system supported by 86Box that a restore disc is available for. From the looks of the software included this was intended to be a family PC, typically sold in computer stores of the era (PCWorld or Staples)
The PC itself
This motherboard featured onboard 3DFX Voodoo 3 graphics, along with the onboard audio. Although 86Box has support for the Voodoo 3, there are various issues with the emulation that cause sever graphical issues when just on the desktop.
The onboard soundcard is not emulated at all, meaning we have to use a discreet sound card instead.
Running the ititial recovery software was easys ince the disc is bootable from the CD-ROM itself. From here you can format and itialize the hard disk and begin the recovery process.
After the first stage, things went a bit wrong and the system crashed to a bizzare divide overflow error. This didnt affect anything and the install continued after a quick reboot
The last stage took you to the Windows desktop, but the recovery was not yet finished as additional software installers had continued to run.
Lots of bundled software to look at here:
Packard Bell Tour
A browser based tour (You can see it launching Internet Explorer briefly), it gives a rundown of the features of your new PC, and gives you the option to register.
Packard Bell Support Center
This is sort of the replacement of Windows help, although that still exists by pressing the F1 key. It gives you troubleshooting and maintenance information and your computers specifications. It also links to the CyberCoach tutorials.
AT&T Special Offer
Signs you up with AT&T, the internet service provider. Not much use outside the US.
Packard Bell Internet Radio
Appears to be a link to an online website, but its probably long since discontinued. It also wont open, thinking that we have yet to set up an internet connection. This is despite using the PCI ethernet adaptor.
Targeted to novice computer users or for those who are new to Windows, gives a step by step demonstration of different software included on the system and how to perform basic tasks.
CyberTrio / Kiddos
An interesting program that affects the Windows environment. There are different modes:
Basic mode: sort of like a limited user mode seen in Windows XP, prevents users from modifying critical system settings
Advanced mode: Typical Windows environment
Kiddos: A restricted environment designed for young kids to allow them to use the computer without potentially damaging or affecting system files. Clicking on the icon will take you to a customized desktop. I’m not sure if this is a customized user account or just a custom version of Windows Explorer.
Also if you ever wondered where the ImgBurn sound comes from (The one that plays at the end of a successful burn) it originated from here and acts as the Kiddos logon sound.
You can manually add programs to the Kiddos area, such as any games or additional software that was installed after. Packard Bell have already set up and installed a few child friendly applications such as the games from the Microsoft Entertainment pack.
An activity center for kids, with various different activities
Quicken.com Online Finance
Some shortcut to an online website, no longer active and an archived version does not exist.
Just opens a banner with shortcuts to various applications and tools like the internet, CD player. Kind of pointless since its located on the desktop so you will need to minimize to open the banner, would have been better off as a quick launch icon. My guess is the computer would have came with a bundled keyboard that had a dedicated button that opened the Navigator Assistant.
Microsoft Word 97
Just Microsoft Word is installed here instead of the whole office suite.
Early photo editing software, typically shipped on systems that came with a flatbed scanner.
There are four expansion slots, 3 PCI and one ISA slot
ISA: Sound Blaster AWE32 PnP 8MB
PCI: 3DFX Voodoo Banshee 16MB
PCI: AMD Pcnet-FAST III
The SoundBlaster card was part of the premade configuration in Winbox86, and features an onboard IDE controller that supports two drives. In combination with the motherboard IDE controller you can have up to 6 IDE drives, plus the two floppy drives for a total of eight. The SoundBlaster IDE is a bit temperamental due to the emulation so I recommend connecting a CD-ROM and Zip drive to it, and having the hard drives and one CD-ROM drive connected to the motherboard, since this BIOS is capable of CD-ROM booting.
In the end I swapped it for a ISA AWE32, and using a SCSI card for the additional drives since Windows 98 would sometimes fail to detect the SoundBlaster IDE device upon boot.
As mentioned earlier, the board also had onboard sound but the SoundBlaster was substituted instead, unless support comes in later 86Box versions.
The AMD PCnet card is automatically detected and installed as part of Windows setup and should work out of the box, the actual system did not have an onboard NIC or a modem.
The video card used was a 3DFX Voodoo Banshee which did not work out of the box, and required an additional driver to be installed. I would recommend a Cirrus Logic for the OOBE setup, then change to whichever graphics card you prefer. Since the motherboard included a 3DFX card onboard, you may prefer to have a Voodoo Banshee or Voodoo 3 instead
Where did you find those recovery disks?