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half revived mac IIsi


Hi all,
Not sure this is the appropriate spot for this, but I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to keep working on this mac IIsi I have. When I started reviving it, I mostly wanted to get some old files off the hard drive. The first problem was the power supply, it would boot up but die a minute or so after. I found a guide online on how to rewire a standard PC supply to replace the old one, so I did that, and replaced the lithium battery on board. After that, it booted up pretty well. I was able to get a bunch of files copied onto a floppy and transferred over to a linux box, but yesterday I rebooted after trying to hook up an ethernet cable, and the hard drive gave out a whine of destruction and died. And sadly, I don't even have a system floppy to boot it with, so I can't really do a ton with it now. I was planning on putting it on ebay after getting the files off, but not sure it's worth that much with no hard drive. I did google up some hard drive replacements, but none are particularly cheap, and I'd also have to get some new system disks, so that seems like more added cost. I fixed the psu by rewiring a PC psu extension cable, so I can power it up with the lid closed, but it's not wildly elegant. I do also have a spare external superdrive floppy, so I could try to pull some files off my old disks with a floppy shuffle, but I'd still need a compatible system disk. Not sure it's all that worth it, though. Anyway, I'm rambling, does anyone think the system is worth saving? Is there a reasonably cheap way to replace the dead hard drive? Should I just sell it off? Can't really decide if it's worth the extra effort or not. Thanks for any opinions!

-------- Cordis


Well-known member
What you've described is typical of most old Macs now really. PSUs are usually dead and SCSI hard drives don't last after they've been powered up after sitting for so long.

A IIsi is worth saving, its actually one of my favourite Macs, but it all depends on how much you want to put into it. The cheapest hard drive replacement option is probably a BlueSCSI: https://scsi.blue/ - they are about $50 fully assembled I think.

If you were to sell it, you'll get some money for it as a parts machine, but not a lot. I paid about £40 for my dead IIsi, which is about $55, and IIsis are not as common in the UK than in the US.

If it has an Ethernet card, that is a bonus - most of them don't have one.


Well-known member
If you decide to get rid of it I’d like the board I’m feeling lazy about repairing the battery damage on both of mine.


Hey, made some progress on this, got it to boot up with a system image written onto a floppy, and even got the dongle to hook it up to a vga monitor to work on old flat panel, so that's a plus. May go back to the apple monitor anyway, but still, somewhat cool. Thinking of getting a hard drive replacement now, from here: https://store.inertialcomputing.com/SCSI2SD-s/100.htm They're in my area, so shipping should be cheap. Anyone have any experience with these guys? I'm thinking that the v5.2 version for $62 should do it for me, but if anyone has used these before and had issues, let me know, thanks!


Well-known member
I love these things (the SCSI2SD's) as a replacement hard drive in desktop Macs. I have a few different images that I have set up and saved, which I write to an SD, using my MBP, plug in, run the setup and I am ready to go.

I know that there is a lot of interest recently in the BlueSCSI that joshc mentioned, and as I end up replacing more powerbook drives (where they seem to excel, from what I've read), I may start looking into those too.


Well-known member
scsi2sds are fine, generally. Some people find the configuration UI slightly obtuse, but I've never had a problem. BlueSCSIs are slower but somewhat cheaper. Both perfectly reasonable bits of hardware.


Well-known member
BlueSCSIs are slower but somewhat cheaper.
I was under the impression that speeds are similar, if not slightly in favour of the BlueSCSI, when pitted against the V5s. Being able to drop a hard drive image onto the SD card, give it the appropriate file name as per the naming scheme, and having it work is worth it over writing an image physically to the SD, IMO.