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another SE/30 restoration


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I paid $100 more than I wanted to for a non-funcitonal SE/30, which just arrived. With my tools in another state, I ordered a long-stem Torx T15 driver from Home Depot, which is supposed to arrive in a couple days, though it's been over a week, and nothing has yet happened with the order.

I am ecstatic about the case. Beautiful shape, there are no nicks anywhere. There are no scuffs or marks that can't be eliminated as though never there. All 4 feet are intact, still soft, and don't even look all that old, but definitely OEM. The color is very nice and consistent, still pretty much Platinum, so no need for Retrobrite. This is a relief, because I have seen images of some really bad retrobrites in the last week with a sickening zombie-skin color.

Serial lookup determines it was made in Singapore the second week of June, 1989.

There is a disk in the floppy drive that won't come out manually. I'm curious about the disk, appears to be from Apple, but extirpating the entire floppy drive was always part of the plan. If I ever need to deal with floppies, I'll then pay way too much for an external; they're not at all rare, but boy are they insanely overpriced.

So at the least, I hope to resurrect this and get in working order, find it a network card, SCSI2SD, possibly a custom ROM, and I definitely intend to have it dual boot A/UX and NetBSD. It is excruciating not being able to get inside until the Torx driver arrives. I think it is quite possible it's never been opened up since manufacture. Since the auction claimed it powered up, but with nothing on display, I am hopeful the battery has not exploded and destroyed the logic board. I expected I'd either have to replace the analog board or have it recapped, along with having the logic board recapped, also PSU. My hands shake, more so when trying to be careful with delicate and detailed work, so I can't do this myself anymore. I sort of intended to replace the tube, but since it appears this SE/30 has been in no way abused, if OEM tube still has life and the picture looks good, I'll leave it alone. I'll be returning to this thread to post updates on my progress and images of the inside, when I get in. If anyone can offer any insight just from seeing the outside, much appreciated.

All my classic stuff is in storage in another state. I don't even have an adb keyboard and mouse with me, nor an extra IEC power cable. This is going to hurt eventually. Every little missing thing I need or want is going to increase my investment over the point of any possibility of investment recovery on resale, though I have no intention of selling.

pics here are from the auction, as good or better than I could produce. Also, an SE floppy slot cover (essential).


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Thanks LaPorta!

Just looked everywhere for a power cable. I cannot believe I don't even have ONE with me. I got the idea that maybe the seller had the screen brightness all the way down when tested.

I have this idea, not sure it will be liked. What does anyone think of securing thin strips of HEPA filter inside on the bottom side air intakes? Obviously the idea is to prevent dust from accumulating inside... at the expense of unhindered air flow. I figured I'd end up replacing the fan for a much quieter one, and I new fan should be able to still pull in air through thin filter without much issue.


Well-known member
You might not find that a modern quiet fan has the static pressure you'd want for that at the physical size you need to make it fit. You've always got a three-way tradeoff of quietness/static pressure/size. Not a huge amount of dust gets sucked in anyway, realistically, so personally I wouldn't bother. Your machine, though.


Well-known member
You're probably right. My rental is dusty, so I'm just thinking about it. I have seen a lot of old machines filled with dust, not so old ones, too. In 2014 I upgraded my 2010 MBP, and when I pulled off the bottom, I could not believe how much dust had gotten in there, when the place I lived was very new and clean. I'm in an old rental now, built in 1940s, and it's surprising how much dust builds up on surfaces in just a few days.


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First of all, I wanted to present... Excalibur, and the box it came in.

Also a nice surprise inside this SE/30.
It did not appear to have been opened before... the screws were very tight and gave just the right way (RAM appears upgraded, so probably not the first opening). The power cable was not completely seated, which is lucky twice, because I can never get that connector released without removing that back piece of the chassis, and maybe this was the only issue, a loose connector.


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See those wet/darker patches around the capacitors? They have leaked quite badly and need removing and replacing ASAP. Despite how dirty the board is, I think it will come up well. Good luck!


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I'm reaching out for quotes for cleaning and recapping.


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What is the level of risk in trying to test boot this with this much electrolyte covering the board(s)?
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Looks like a great pick up - a non-bombed SE/30 is almost rare these days! :)

It's not going to blow up and combust, if that's what you mean - I'd go further and extract the PSU, have a look at from outside to in - if you see any capacitor leakage from the PSU, it'll be obvious usually with staining on the metal cage.

If the PSU looks clean, with some deep cleaning of the motherboard you can maybe attempt to power it on with some life but don't trust it by any means. Analog board caps also need attention, but I've never come across a SE or SE/30 analog board with leaking caps - more they dry out and failure is not as obvious.


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Thanks Byrd. I'll keep cleaning.

Here's something that's not all that interesting. Got the floppy out, and it's Microsoft Works, released for Mac in 1988, so... period software.


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The analog board.


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Always worth an analog board recap if you want to get more use out of the machine. At this point the caps are beyond their original service life really. Go for 105C caps too.

You’re not going to achieve much by starting a machine with such a dirty logicboard. Get it cleaned and recapped first I’d say.


Well-known member
I mopped the logic board twice with cotton swabs and isopropyl. It is cleaner than it was, but still dirty. I could probably do that 10 times and it'd still be dirty, and there are places I can't get to, like in any of the slots. The analog board and PSU were far cleaner in comparison. I just vacuumed off most of the dust, mopped down a few details with swabs and alcohol. PSU literally appears brand new inside and out. But both boards and PSU need ultrasonic cleaning, then recapped.

My intention was to mod a Seasonic PSU, but OEM PSU in such good shape, probably best to just have it recapped. I can save the spend and trouble with the Seasonic mod on another project (already thinking about it, but requires an SE/30 logic board... I can get all the other parts relatively easily, but the logic board is tough to find without a donor machine, and I avoid cannibalizing SE/30s).

There's an eBay sale right now for an SE/30 with a recapped logic board that won't boot. I'd be pretty disappointed if I had this board recapped, and got it back, and it didn't boot. So a test boot is for more confidence in recapping.

After I wipe down the ROM and RAM with alcohol, I'm going to reassemble and intend to test boot, just for a minute, to see if there is joy. Unfortunately, no IEC power cable in the house. I ordered a couple for $10; they should arrive Monday.

I ordered an SD2SCSI v5.2 with mounting bracket, which shipped and arrived really fast. The mounting bracket just barely does not fit the machine in the floppy bracket. Fits the floppy bracket, but it sticks out like maybe 5mm too far, and is a little too low, to be set in that position so that the SD2SCSI can be accessed through the floppy slot. So close, but won't work. So I'll have to get an SD extender or work something else out. The SE slot cover I have that I'd like to use is pure Platinum, and when installed, it is easy to see the SE/30 case is a slightly less Platinum. Because the case looks so good as is, I'm not sure which way to go here, leave the slot cover in the Sun (or under UV light) or brighten the case. I was really hoping to avoid having to brighten the case... because it's a pain, hard to get right, messy and easy to screw up, and, of course, because it's mid-November.

I have a question about MacSD http://macsd.com/
The MacSD feature that interests me is the CD-ROM emulation (and audio). Does anyone know if the SD2SCSI also emulates a CD-ROM?

One last detail to note. I did not notice it at first, but it can be seen in the seller's images: the CRT has some moderate screen burn, probably not enough to affect use when machine is running, but it is there. I am not very concerned, as I happen to have an extra 9" B&W CRT that has no screen burn, though it is in storage in another state.
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Well-known member
The MacSD feature that interests me is the CD-ROM emulation (and audio). Does anyone know if the SD2SCSI also emulates a CD-ROM?

The scsi2sd does emulate a CD-ROM but is very much less feature-rich than the MacSD, no audio or bin/cue support, for starters. The MacSD also has a really handy feature for multi-CD games where you can set up a list of CDs, and when one is ejected, the next one is automatically "inserted". I've found the MacSD's CD support to be very good generally, and it's one of the strongest features of that product IMO. It's mostly what I use mine for.


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A SD extender will not work with the scsi2sd. I tried 3 different and nothing works. Others had no success too. A bluescsi works with an extender.


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uThat is strange snd disappointing.

What SD Cards and storage sizes are being used by the community?


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Power cable arrived yesterday, but 2 Mac minis were kicking my ass for the last 3 days, 2012, 2011. Sunday I installed the iFixit dual drive kit with 2x ssd in the 2012. I had almost memorized the video in the last few weeks. I knew they made it look easy, but they should have mentioned expected issues. After the same project with the 2011 yesterday, I'm beat. These Mac minis don't go back together just the same way. There's a lot of tension on some of the parts, so towards completion, screw holes don't line up. 2012 has the wifi grate screws at a funny angle. 2011 has 3 screws from that step I could not get back in (which I just put in a little baggie and taped to the cowling).

Both are now RAID 0, 2012 Mojave bootable, 2011 Mountain Lion. I haven't done benchmarks, but I am a little disappointed. I should have in the vicinity of 900MB/s storage bandwidth on the 2012 (and have witnessed only 90MB/s), and it feels only about twice as fast as running off an install on the internal SD card (where I have been experimenting booting various versions off of for the last 2 months, SDXC has impressive performance, but only for emergencies, not for production). Compared to the 2.6GHz 2012, the 2.7GHz 2011 is a dog.

I'm sort of obsessed now with getting my macports install scripts the way I want. So tomorrow I'll restore the SE/30 logic board and test boot.

I contacted 4 different recap services middle of last week and have heard nothing back. :/ Who wants to recap my logic board, analog board and PSU? Anyone?


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You know, I used to take these on....now I just don't have as much time. I am going to be doing a PowerBook 1400 recap and battery rebuild for Rick Dangerous, so that will be soaking up my winter time. I would think someone else here would be willing to help.