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Here we have another Packard Bell in the form of the Legend 2440. I found this particular PC on Craigslist for $10 in a lot with two other computers. At first it was completely nonfunctional but with a little work I’ve managed to get it up and running as well as adding a few minor upgrades. Its a nice little desktop style PC that with a little work makes a good Pentium based DOS machine.

pb24401

Here you can see the 2440 uses a pretty standard desktop look but still uses that Packard Bell lower case styling. You have your two standard power and reset switches as well as three bays. if I ever run across a spare 5 1/4 floppy drive (which this machine as factory did not come with) I may decide to drop it into this unit but a CD ROM drive and 1.44MB 3 1/2 drive is sufficient for the game time frame of this machine.

pb24402

Here we have a shot of the rear of the unit which is also pretty standard. you have a serial and a printer port as well as two PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse and finally a VGA port for the built in video.

pb24404

Here is a shot of the the riser card with its expansion ports after the case is removed. two PCI and 3 16 bit ISA slots though one PCI/ISA slot is shared. As for RAM the unit has 8MB built into the board and has 4 kind of oddly spaced slots for 72 pin RAM. My PC came with 16MB total (8 on board and 8 more via two 4MB SIMMS). I later upgraded the RAM to 72MB total (8MB on board and 4 16MB DIMMS). The motherboard is capable of handling up to 136MB of RAM max. The CPU in this PC is a 75mhz Pentium. considered a little slow this was one of the first true Pentiums and when paired with the right motherboard can be quite speedy. Some of the highest end 486 CPU’s can like the AMD 133mhz 486 can match and at times slightly exceed the P75 in speed but the Pentium can do floating point calculations faster then any 486. Overall the P75 is a good DOS and win 3.1 CPU, its fast but not to fast and is reliable. The CPU on this machine did not come with a cpu fan and I don’t believe it came standard with one, the case fan to the right of the CPU acts as a cooler for the CPU. On the lower left hand is the chip for the on board video. The chip is a Cirrus Logic GD5430 which should play many DOS and windows 95 games and applications just fine. Its not a speed demon of a video chip but its reasonably fast. There is no jumper is disable on board video. On board video should disable when you add a video card to one of the expansion slot but I’ve had some issues doing such.

Like most Packard Bell systems and cheap OEM PC’s of the time there is NO L2 cache on this system though there is a space where it would go and I assume you could solder on your own chips if you have them. Its a shame though this model doesn’t even have sockets for them to make things easy though I have read reports of versions of this model indeed being sold with the L2 cache on the motherboard.

pb24405

Here is a shot of the board with all obstructions out of the way. You can also see the RAM I have replaced and filled the four slots. Over in the upper right corner next to the AT power connector are a floppy drive connector and two IDE connections built into the motherboard.

Now a little about the repairs I made and some things I learned about this computer while doing them. As far as I can tell I bought this computer pretty much in its original factory condition. This included a 1 gig hard drive, a network card and a aztech sound card. Windows 95 was preloaded on the hard drive. On receiving this computer I could not get it to boot at all. I replaced the AT power supply and still no power. I discovered that the network card was the source of my troubles. For some reason if the network card was installed the PC would not boot. I’m guessing the card was bad or was drawing to much power and shutting the PSU down. Since I really have no need for a network card my solution was just to remove the card. Getting into the unit to replace the switch on the power supply is somewhat tricky and requires removing the front faceplate which of course has fragile plastic tabs pron to snapping off if your not gentile. I also had some issues getting the power switch in as the screw holes on my switch were not lined up with the case. In this case I trimmed down the switch and used a hot glue gun to hold the switch in place. Usually I would not suggest this method but I only plan to lightly use this PC for testing so I doubt the switch will get heavy use. The case fan was also completely dead but the housing for it easily pops off via 4 plastic tabs and I was able to replace the fan.

On removing the expansion cards, reformatting the hard drive and installing a sound blaster 32 and a S3 Virge video card I ran across several errors. First off here is the sound card that came factory as far as I know with this system.

pb24406

Its an okay Aztech Sound Blaster 16 clone with a real Yamaha opl3 chip really meant for a windows environment. If your installing a different sound card like I was make sure you erase all the drivers for this card first or you will get a slew of errors. Of course reformatting the hard drive will get rid of those drivers.

After reformatting I installed DOS 6.22, Windows 3.1 and finally IBM OS/2 just so I could play around a bit with that operating system.

The second issue I came across was the video card. Unfortunately OS/2 refused to load with the Virge card installed. This most likely an issue with OS/2 that could be resolved with some effort but I decided to just go with the on board video. For my purposes the on board video really isn’t much of an issue so I simply decided to abandon the Virge and stick with the on board Cirrus Logic chip. (UPDATE) The Virge card I had was actually bad so no fault of the PC or OS/2.

Finally I had an issue with the factory CD-ROM drive from PB. Apparently this drive is somewhat picky about what drivers it uses and since I didn’t have the original drivers that came with this machine I had to use the generic ATAPI IDE CD-ROM drivers that I always use. Unfortunately the Packard bell drive does not work well with most generic drivers like mine and could not detect the drive upon booting DOS. A very easy and actually desired fix for this is to just find a cheap newer CD ROM drive to replace the most likely dying original drive.

The Packard Bell Legend 2440 is a decent DOS computer or even windows 95 machine though it will run a little slow on windows depending on what your doing and the amount of RAM. though it can be a bit of a pain to take apart and get running.

*after some searching the motherboard layout is available here

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12 Comments

  1. This was my first puter – love it and miss it!

  2. I actually recently got this exact model from a friend of mine, plus also gave me a 15 gig hard drive to install. The problem is that he didn’t have the system disc with him, and i don’t have any of the bleeding drivers. Is there any chance you know where i can find the drivers or an image of the system isc?

    • Theres here http://www.oocities.org/sjg/drivers.html but I don’t even know if those links still work. I didn’t have any system disc either. your best bet is probably just reformatting the HDD and installing a generic copy of DOS or Win 95/98 which should have driver support for the video and probably sound card (should)

      For mine I ended up just replacing the sound card with a awe32 and I’ll probibly be replaceing the video card with a Matrox mystique in the future.

        • Bill Hodges
        • Posted November 11, 2013 at 03:33
        • Permalink

        Thank’s i’ll give it a shot.

  3. Quick Question, how did you get to the hard drive on this thing?

    • nevermind, wow that’s a big caddy!

      • heh, I don’t remember exactly. been a little while since I was inside the thing. glad you got it though. sometimes its like a puzzle opening and dissembling these things. at least its metal and not plastic like most old macs. I’ve busted so many mac interior/cases because I’m not sure what I’m doing and end up forcing parts which snap because well, 20+ year old degraded plastic isn’t the toughest material anymore.

  4. oh, if you plan on installing windows and want an extra boost. I did upgrade mine from a p75 to a p100. it claims to be able to be upgradeable to a Pentium 120 which is what I actually installed in it but I cant get it to detect it as anything other then a 100mhz even though I have the jumpers set for a 120mhz.

  5. Hi, would you be willing to sell that PC? I am looking for that PB600 motherboard as a project. Its the first PC I had as a child growing up and I updated it like crzy, however it no longer functions. Please let me know, thanks!

    • I do from time to time sell off machines I do not use due to space limitations where I’m currently at. Unfortunately you missed the PB by a few months. I believe this machine ended up being donated to the local boy scouts at their electronics auction event.

  6. God this brings back memories, my first PC bought on credit, think at the time it cost about £1100 for cash and I paid about £1500 on credit plan for it.

    Cut my teeth on Doom and Quake on this 🙂 and its other uses where to write up work for college, though had to save the finished projects on a floppy as couldn’t afford my own printer at the time.

    Eventually gave it to a cousin for his shop, as far as I know he’s still using it to run his spreadsheets on and play chess.

    Will have to pop in and find out the next time i’m visiting the oldsters back home.

    This was also the PC that got me interested in IT and now I’m working in IT, so it has a lot to answer for.

    • If its actually still in everyday use that would be super cool. Thank you for sharing the story. I think Packard Bell maybe had a little better rep in Europe if I recall correctly. I know they were still selling PC’s there under the brand long after they stopped selling them in the US.


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