LGR – Repairing The Barbie/Hot Wheels Computer
[typing] Greetings! LGR here and this is a Hot Wheels Computer.
The one that I had a video on previously saying that I got and
needed to fix up, and I have! It is now restored in fully-working order. In fact, it’s better than it ever was. But this is not what we’re exactly
talking about today as you probably know
from the video title. This is the Barbie computer alternative to the Hot Wheels PC. But… there is a problem. And that is… Yeah. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t turn on whatsoever. Even with its lovely pink power cord
that I got for it plugged in and everything. It is, uh… on the surface, it seems like the same problem that
I was having with the Hot Wheels PC, which was a dead power supply. And, uh, you know, we’re gonna find out. So, join me as we try to get this thing working. Yeah… This is gonna be fun! Made in Canada by the ill-fated Patriot Computer Company. Yeah… The back of this is, yeah, you
know, it’s pretty bare, actually. There’s only two screws to unscrew to get to the insides of this thing,
which I’m going to do in a moment. But just a quick look at the back of this here. You got two USB ports, uh, here and here. These are
USB 1.1 as far as I know. A VGA connector, couple of audio connectors, there’s a modem and a serial port. And that’s it! Once those two screws are taken off,
all you have to do is just lift off the whole case. And it’s in this self-contained, little cuboid thing here. And, uh, on the side, well, you can kind of see what you got going on in here. The insides of these things are very cramped. I mean, this is just my hand out-stretched, and I don’t have the biggest hands in the world. This actually uses a FlexATX motherboard. Which is just absolutely tiny.
We’ll get to that here in a moment. But, uh, the rest of it, it’s pretty standard. I mean, you just have a basic CD-ROM
drive and a matching floppy drive. There’s a hard drive in here,
which most of them were 10 gigs. You have this terrible power supply which… [laughs] Ah, you know, we’ll– we’ll
take this out first and see if that is what’s causing our
non-powering issue or not. Then, there’s of course, we got a fan here which is actually kind of surprising to me. It’s just packed in here. Because behind there even is
another fan for the CPU, which is a 500-ish MHz Intel Celeron. And it’s– it’s right up against this. So the air is just–
it’s not flowing well whatsoever. But that’s just how these are designed. Terribly. But, ah, yeah. Let’s go ahead and get
some of these cables out of the way. Actually, before we start removing the cables, I unscrewed the power supply because I just want to show you this here. Getting this thing out is no easy task. You can see that it is loose now, with
those screws taken out, but you actually can’t remove it, or do anything with it here because
of the way it’s all packed in place. You have to remove the fan, you have to remove this entire bay, you have to remove these cables, and then… you can’t get to the rest of it because it’s actually hooked in behind all of the rest of this case hardware. And let me kind of show you what I mean. This is a super interesting design, but not the most fun to work on. This right here, which I’ll take off in a moment, actually holds the motherboard in place. And the power supply cable goes from down here, and it’s clipped. So there is sort of a bit of cable management going in. And it’s all clipped,
all along this inside. Okay, I’ve got the fan removed, I’ve got this all unhooked and unscrewed here, so You just take this entire assembly
out with the floppy drive and the hard drive and set that thing aside. And now we can, uh… You would think you could just pull the power supply
out once it’s unhooked from the motherboard. But no, it’s still is not budging. And that is because of all this over here. So I took this screw out, and this screw out here. So what we have to do is use this here to pull outward and that will slide along the top here. It doesn’t quite… Well, this one works a little better
than the Hot Wheels PC. Hmm. That’s cool. Usually, it kind of sticks over here
in the corner, but this one works about like how it should. And so, you can see here that we’ve got the
entire motherboard and everything coming out with this panel. And there we go. Yeah, this is the entire assembly
pulled out right there. And now, of course, we can get to unhooking the power supply
from the motherboard itself. And you can kind of see here
what I was talking about with the power supply cables being clipped to the case, so it’s clipped right here. Uh, it’s clipped right back behind there.
It’s clipped here. Clipped up here. It’s… [Laughs] You have to undo
each one of those in order to do anything with the power supply. So that’s why it’s not budging,
because it’s just all crammed in there. In fact, I don’t know if you can see it,
but the case is so tight, that you can see that there is a spot in the, uh, the chassis here that’s cut out for the mess of cables to
come of out the power supply because otherwise it wouldn’t fit.
So they had to get rid of this little structural part of it. [Laughs] Okay, power supply is completely unhooked. That whole thing is probably gonna get tossed, if it indeed turns out to be dead. Just wanted to take a look at the motherboard itself here and make sure that there’s no bulging caps or any leakage or… anything like that. For the most part,
other than being a bit dirty, it looks okay. There’s a couple of these little points on here… Eh, and I might test the little guys… But, uh, yeah. Another thing that I wanna go
ahead and ta– just, just switch out here, because it’s probably dead
or going to die eventually, is the CMOS battery, and this
uses a standard CR2032, but check it out. You can’t even get to it
because the RAM is in the way. So you have to actually take out the stick of RAM to replace the battery but the RAM… is so tight, it goes up against the clip for the fan on the CPU, so… you can… kinda get it out. Ugh! Alright. Finally! Alright, so we can
replace the CMOS battery now. Old CMOS battery is out. New one is installed. And, uh, this little sticker came of off
the RAM when I was taking it out. Guess my warranty is now voided. Okay, got the RAM back in there, and I just have a generic test power supply hooked into this because I don’t actually
have a power supply small enough to put in here, but you know.
I just want to test it out anyway and see if it indeed was
a dead power supply. So… Don’t really have anything hooked in except the
motherboard and the power button itself, but… Go ahead and do it. And you kind of have to press in down here because there’s no button anymore. Let’s see what happens. Ooh! Well… [laughs] Uh, we got power, but that sounds terrible. Yeah, that CPU fan is a real problem. [beep] It was dead and dying on the Hot Wheels one as well. Apparently, that’s a piece of junk. Got some loose bearings or something in there. But it does seem to be working. So we’ll hook it up to VGA and see what we got. Alright, there we go. We can get right into the setup from here. 533 MHz apparently this one has,
and 128 megs of RAM, which is what the stick said, so that’s good.
We know the RAM is working. And of course, with the battery replaced, we’re gonna have to put in some, uh… [laughs] accurate information. Yeah. This is good. In fact, I’m thinking we’re gonna be
able to get this thing fully repaired once I get a replacement power supply and another CPU fan, because that thing is dreadful! Okay, hit a bit of a snafu. Uh… [laughs] So I got this replacement power supply.
The seller on eBay said it’d be the same. And, um… you know… Specs are fine. However, it is mirrored from what I need.
Otherwise, it would be fine. Because see, with this one, the, uh, the cables go on the right side, the power supply has them on the left.
Well, I was thinking maybe I could just squeeze it in there anyway and then maybe get the cables, you know, and over that way and make this thing work.
But guess what? When you do that, it doesn’t line up here in the back whatsoever. Okay, well I got the correct size and shape power supply,
and here’s the one that didn’t fit. And yes, I did try it in all sorts of other positions. Obviously, I couldn’t put it this way
because the fan would be on the bottom. Couldn’t put it this way because it
just doesn’t line up with anything else and it gets in the way of the other stuff. And, uh, I did think about maybe
switching around the insides, but with the way the board is configured and where this is and everything, it just– Even if I were to switch all that around, it just doesn’t work right. I mean, because it would have
to be down here. Yeah, anyway. So this is the one we’re going with, and we’re gonna go ahead and install it now. Since I’m in here upgrading some components anyway, I figured I’d go ahead and swap out the existing 128 MegaByte RAM Stick for… 256 Megabytes! PC-133. Oooh! Double the memory! And yes, this is the maximum bit the board- er, the motherboard can acutally support. Here we are… Eh, crappy old CPU fan and and this tiny little junk cooler, those things had to go. We’re replacing it with… This brand-new Cooler-Master. [laughs] Coolers, which I hope fits in here, it’s a bit bigger. This is going to be… ridiculous! But I did check it and it does fit. Soo… you’know, that’s cool. Alright, so remember that fan the was in here, ahh I don’t even know if it was any good so I’m just going to be replacing it entirely with one of these new Cooler-Master. Relatively silent fans, and uh… yeah. Uh, I thought this fan was going to fit just fine because this is the same exact size, dimensions and everything, supposedly as the one it’s replacing, but as you can see… It’s not going behind the fan on the power supply, which, again, is an exact replacement, for the one that’s dead, so it should be fitting, but if not, [breath] There’s just that tiny little bit of overlap there, and as a result it’s not actually lining up with the screw-holes in the back. and what I was going to do is maybe move the power supply back just a tiny little bit so that it’s sat just like a millimeter closer over this way and the fan would, but no that’s not going to work because there’s a slot underneath the bottom part of the case here which prevents the power supply from moving even when the screws aren’t, er screwed into it So this is just annoying all around design, I hate this case the more I work on it. [Laughs] But whatever, I’ll just er, I’ll get something really sticky and hold it in place Who needs screw holes anyway So, I just went ahead and attached the fan with some mounting putty for now, I mean It’ll work, but I’ve got it plugged into a monitor here with the hot wheels keyboard plugged in and a mouse, so let’s just see what happens, kinda moment of truth here I really hoping we get a booting hard drive at this point Uh… I apparently broke it, or it broke itself because, you know, it was working earlier when I first tested it, and Now it’s not, I have gone through all the troubleshooting steps over the past hour or so, you know Taken everything out, piece by piece, check, check check, check check different power supply, different memory, different CMOS battery, different CPU, everything and it does nothing After a considerable amount of time testing this thing out and troubleshooting every which way I know how to, I’m at my wit’s end, so there’s one more thing to do. and that is… sticking it into the oven Seriously Bake at 375 degrees for seven minutes, or until a crisp golden brown Serve as desired Mmmm Ah, smells like fresh barbie OK, that sounds wrong OK, here we are again after the cool. Oh, please, please, please Oh YES, Score one for cooking a friggin motherboard in the oven So, incase you’re not aware [Computer beeps twice] what I was trying to do there, yeah I had nothing plugged in, that’s fine I’m just so happy it works Holy crap This is great Ok. What I was doing there was reflowing, is what it is called, and that is because I have frigging no idea Basically, some of these solders and joints and stuff will kind of crack loose After a while, and I’m assuming that since I was doing all this work and like putting new CPU coolers and RAM and just all sorts of things to this motherboard I stressed it to a point where it sorta broke and for whatever reason, you know you put it in the oven and you take all the stickers, adhesives, things like that off, make sure it’s very clean and you stick it in the oven for seven minutes, 375 Degrees Fahrenheit… ish and then let it cool off for 10 to 15 minutes and [unintelligible, happy sound] it worked, man That’s only the second time I’ve ever had to reflow something And both times, it has worked The Barbie computer lives again, ah, this is great Except for this, but uh yeah, apparently this uses Windows ME [Laughs] and there’s a registry error Whatever man, let’s just see if it boots Yeah screw it, we’re just going to redo this whole thing because there’s no sense having Millennium Edition on here anyway, it’s the wrong version of windows It’s supposed to have 98 SE, and Millennium edition sucks [Somewhat quietly] So, [button squeaks] let’s just go ahead and [Disc drive opens] put a windows 98, oh? Ok, well apparently somebody left Monsters Inc bowling for dreams in here And no I’m not going to be showing the entire Windows 98 installation process because when you take into account FDISK and the formatting and the installation and the drivers and [unintelligible sound] it’s just going to take an hour or two, so yeah, be back momentarily. Finally, the Barbie PC is up and running, fresh install of Windows 98 SE, and I even applied some custom Barbie backgrounds, pink cursor, and uh, you know what All sorts of other little features [Windows 98 Boot sound plays] Sound card’s working That took a little bit to get, just because I was trying to find the exact correct drivers for this, but it turns out it was just as easy as going to the Intel website, they still have them up You just have to figure out that they are the Sound Max drivers, and not the Creative drivers that it was trying to give me for this model of motherboard. Once I got that, everything was pretty smooth sailing. So, yeah, check it out here we’ve got, yeah, registered to me, 256 Megs of RAM 533 Megahertz Celeron, yeah it’s all here A couple other little thingies I haven’t installed yet, like LAN but who cares, it’s not even a LAN, it’s a friggin modem. So yeah, just to show what’s in here, it’s not much at the moment, it’s a fresh installation. I did actually back up what was on the drive already, which wasn’t much. Honestly, it was just a bunch of Barbie installation thingies, and I didn’t have the CDs for those anyway so I couldn’t really use them. There was no custom anything really, it was just a basic install of like Window Millenium Edition, I don’t know if it used to have stuff on it Hotwheels computer never did But um, yeah I do actually have a Floppy disk here to test out and see if the disk drive works, which I already know it does, I’ve been using it for the installation But yeah, there it is. You can check out my pink mouse pointers, and all that good stuff. And of course, the CD ROM drive does work, and to test that out, I installed none other then DOOM 2, cause I don’t know what else you’re going to do on a Barbie computer, other then play doom. Certainly not going to play Barbie games