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A project log for Re:tro:storing Macintosh Performa 400

My first attempt in restoring an old computer

TawezTawez 09/26/2018 at 08:220 Comments

Unfortunately, cleaning staff have refused to come. I need to do it by myself.

I have divided the process into two steps:

  1. Logic board and all the electronics
  2. Computer case

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.

My first time, not too bad...

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...

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