Monday, October 19, 2020

HP T5740 Thin Client Retrocomputing Experiment: MS DOS 6.22, Windows 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.11 and XP

Supratim Sanyal's Blog: Inside of HP Thin Client T5740 Computer PC Atom N280 Windows XP SSD 2GB RS-232 VGA

"Thin clients" are interesting pieces of hardware. They are perfectly capable little computers in their own right. With decent processors and multitude of graphics and USB connectivity options, they easily match and out-perform full "fat" desktop PCs of Windows XP era. All but the purest of thin clients also come with some form of minimal storage allowing them to boot up locally instead of relying on booting over network.

I recently picked up a HP T5740 thin client. The little computer has an Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz processor, 1GB RAM and a 2GB IDE Flash disk. In addition to the external USB ports, there are two "secure" USB ports inside the case, to one of which I connected a 802.11n wi-fi wireless adapter for wireless network access for Windows XP.  

It came with Windows XP Embedded. I got rid of it, repartitioning the 2 GB IDE Flash disk into a primary 512 MB FAT-16 partition and the remaining 1.5 GB into an extended partition with a NTFS logical drive using all of it for Windows XP. After having a few days of great fun installing ancient operating systems and MS DOS executives, I ended up with MS DOS 6.22, Windows 1.01, Windows 2.03, Windows 3.0a, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and Windows XP, all selectable from Windows XP and MS DOS boot loaders and boot menus. I also found and installed all the applications I could find for Windows 1.0 and 2.0, and even Microsoft Word for MS DOS, along with a few games for the various environments. Here is a video walkthrough:

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