Modifications to a Packard-Bell PC with the PB 430 Motherboard.

While pushing a Costco bought Pack Mate 75 (don't confuse the 75 with anything remotely close to it's clock speed) to its limits I gained a good bit of experience in how to approach upgrades for the thing. Purchased in 1993, it came "Intel Insided " with a 486 CPU. 25MHz was the clock speed, the hard disk held 250MB. There is 4MB of RAM fixed to the motherboard, and a built-on 2400BPS fax modem, too. BOTH removable disks of this era were supported, the widely popular 5.25" 720K and the newfangled 3.5" 1.44 MB. Installed software included MS DOS 6, MS Windows 3.1, MS Works 2, a MS Entertainment Pack sampler, MS Money, Prodigy, America Online and the Packard Bell Navigator. A 14" .28 DPI  Non-interlaced color monitor with VLMF was included. Out the door price was $999 plus tax, the same asking price as the IBM brand 386s that were on the shelves.

I keep meaning to move on and build a new computer, but things like car payments, kids braces, and other stuff get in the way. The PB has given me reliable service, and has survived into the last half of the 90s, here is the stuff that has helped me, and maybe can help you too.

Warning - 1994 HTML web pages Ahead! You've been warned...

Company Stuff

From the PB BBS, this set of diagrams matched my motherboard more than the book that came with the box. My machine, labeled "Pack-Mate 75" is tagged as a PB440 on the back. Others applicable items are PB430 or PB 440T. These text files seemed to had dropped from sight and could not be found on the PB WWW Site or PB BBS, _BUT_ I did find the same files, and others at the CompuTeach web site. Check them out if you are looking for some other obsolete hardware documentation.

PB430.001 PB430 SYSTEM OVERVIEW Specifications.

PB430.002 PB430/440/440T GENERAL ISSUES Last Minute updates.

PB430.003 PB430/440/440T UPGRADE INFORMATION Memory, CPU, Cache, etc.

PB430.005 PB430/440/440T MOTHERBOARD LAYOUT Better than the book.

PB430.007 PB430/440/440T SETUP SCREEN BIOS Setup. Kill the OEM modem here!

PB430.009 PB430 CMOS HARD DISK DRIVE TYPES The presets.

PB430.013 PB486ES MANUAL CORRECTIONS Power Management, speed control.

PB430.014 PB430: SETTING PASSWORDS Keep it a secret.

PB430.020 PB430/440/440T MULTIMEDIA GENERAL ISSUES Issues regarding multimedia systems.


Download the set of text files in .zip format.

My Madness at work

My PB now sports 16MB of RAM, stores data on a 1.6G hard drive and uses a 15" multiscan monitor. It has been upgraded to multi-media twice and has had the modem upgraded twice. The slow 486SX chip is muted, it's replacement now goes 75Mhz (not really fast enough in this age..).Any more in line to upgrade? Prob'ly not. I finally did build that homemade computer of handpicked components, but the PB has found it's way to the kids' room, where it will live out its life doing homework or playing DOOM.

Multi Media. First saw a 2X CD a month after it was bought.

RAM Upgrade. Hey! What is that extra socket (that the book never mentions) for?

CPU Speedup. The "Intel Only" myth debunked.

Modem swap. Save those IRQs!

Hard Disk swap. Breaking the 528MB ceiling. Include BIOS upgrade.

External Upgrades. The most easy upgrade of all.