I am restoring Apple Macintosh Performa 400 which I've bought just for this purpose. This is my first attempt in restoring an old computer and I would like to try and learn various techniques like Retr0bright, rust removing, etc. If the computer is still working, I'm going to expand it and upgrade whenever possible.
Macintosh Performa 400
compressed air spray, brush 1 ½", isopropyl alcohol, cotton pads and hygienic sticks
steel wool 200, sandpaper 200 and 400
Unfortunately, cleaning staff have refused to come. I need to do it by myself.
I have divided the process into two steps:
Logic board and all the electronics
A bit of compressed air, soft wipe and the fan is like a new. HDD was actually clean, but a bit of compressed air... just to be sure... and it's fine too. FDD was really dusty. After cleaning it, I have used isopropyl alcohol to clean the driver head.
And last but not least, the logic board. It took me over an hour and a half to clean it. Compressed air turned out to be invaluable once again as well as synthetic brush. After removing all the dirt, I've cleaned the PCB using isopropyl alcohol.
So what's inside an average old computer, you may ask. Well, actually nothing you would expect: sand, soil, dead leafs, two dead spiders and one snail (dead as well).
Oh, the case... I need a coffee and warm up before the long battle. Soundgarden will be a good companion, Johnny Cash will do the job as well.
The PSU was quite easy to clean. Steel wool, a bit of patience et voilà:
The top cover is a completely different story. The metal shield has been corroded so I've separated it from the plastic case. It allowed me to wash the plastic part. Then I've started to rid off the rust.
I was using steel wool to lightly rusted places and the sandpaper to all the rest, starting with grit 200 and then using grit 400 to finish the surface.
The result of four intensive hours - top cover before and after the whole process:
The DB25 and DB15 sockets on logic board were also rusty. The best way was to use steel wool, but I am not so happy with the final results. Nevertheless it looks much better.
All the parts are clean now, so I've decided to test the logic board. I've connected PSU, fan and speaker to the logic board, crossed my fingers then turned the power on... and...
Well, not too bad I think.
Now I need to grab ADB keyboard and mouse and find any LCD display. And it will be not so easy, because I don't have any at the moment. It means more expenses...
It will blend for sure, but the real question is if it will work. Of course I can power it up right now, but because of the rust I am afraid that this approach will cause some serious damage to the logic board. I'd like to disassemble the computer and inspect power supply first.
Macintosh LC like computers are really easy to disassemble. Actually you don't need any tool to do this. Every part of the computer is holded by plastic latches that are part of the bottom case. Disassembling process is very intuitive and the only thing you should pay an attention to are plastic latches that can be broken easily. If you would like to see the whole process step by step, watch Apple Macintosh LC II (1992) Full Tour and Disassembly.
The housing of the power supply is a bit rusty, but it seems that it's not a real issue because it's only on the surface (no deep corrosion).
I have disassembled the power supply and cleaned it. The PCB looks fine, without any sign of corrosion, but I've inspected it with the multimeter, just to be sure..
I've assembled everything together and now it's a moment of truth. I've turned on the power supply... no smoke, great!... and checked the output voltages (+5V, +12V and -5V). Everything looks good.
Now I can invest more time in this project... and more money... obviously.
I was looking for an old Macintosh for a while, but couldn't decide which model I'd like to have... I was thinking about something with 68030 + FPU... maybe with NuBus, but not too big. Then by accident I've found Macintosh Performa 400, which is actually a Macintosh LC II. It was described as "for parts or repair", but the photos were looking quite promising.
Macintosh LC II wasn't really a machine of my dreams. No FPU, 16-bit wide data bus, a 10MB RAM limit... no fun at all.
But hey, it was really cheap. I think that even if it won't work, it is a great opportunity to try to restore an old computer.