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Is this safe to power up?

1200XL M.U.L.E.

Well-known member
My Centris 650 from my thread, Entering the 68k ecosystem with a Centris 650 - what to check?, arrived.

The machine is absolutely filthy, inside and out. I can blow out the dirt, dust, sand, etc but I am concerned about dried pool of white "something" around one of the chips.

@Juror22 mentioned in post #4 the feet of the monitor should be removed because, as he said it, "dissolving foot goo gets everywhere". I have a feeling this is dissolved "foot goo". The monitor has what looks like melted marshmallow on its underside.


There were pieces of clear tape covering the melted feet. I removed the tape. Is it possible to clean this goo off?

You can see how dirty this machine is from the first picture. Here's a more global view.


Here's a view of the RAM.


The hard drive mount is not secured to the case.


I'm actually shocked the computer worked for the listing! Maybe this is a testament to Apple's engineering?

Yes, I can disassemble the computer into its major components and blow the dust out. Assuming the foot goo is nonconductive and totally harmless, I can turn the computer on. But ... should I be aware of something first?

On a positive note, the seller did an absolutely fabulous job packing everything. Seriously! I have a feeling the seller found this in a storage unit, turned it on, was totally shocked it worked, and posted it on eBay. I can't blame him for that.

Looking for guidance from the experienced.


Well-known member
Wow! That is both a treat and a challenging cleaning project. I think there is actually a thread on cleaning out dust, where several people weighed in. The dust you can see is going to be the 'easy' part (when you get to the floppy drive where the dust is packed inside is where it is going to get taxing on your supply of Q-tips)

Outside of Powerbook Duo feet, those are some of the worst dissolved/melting feet that I have seen. I would personally break out the latex/nitrile exam gloves when dealing with those. As for the process, I would start with something wooden to do the larger clean-up, I have a supply of wooden shims that work well for this kind of work (angled wooden scrapers that can be cut to pretty much any size). After that, it pretty much depends on what you have, but since I have a lot of disposable 4x4 squares, those work really well for cleanup (better than paper towels and the like, but you use what you have) along with alcohol and for final cleanup, probably goo-gone (or similar).


Well-known member
Take it all apart and air compress everything off, including inside the PSU, then use a non-conductive brush (horse hair is good), to remove the caked on stuff. The "something" I'd guess is something like food or drink that somehow got in there, not battery leakage, be very careful removing this to ensure it has not eaten away at any traces.

The feet = remove with anything and use some sort of adhesive remover to get off the rest. This can damage plastic so make sure you be gentle/don't leave it too long.

Your SCSI hard disk doesn't look like it is sitting properly in the slots, maybe from shipping, unscrew and you'll see little metal tabs that slide it on the bottom of the drive sled.


Well-known member
That drive is going to be dead anyway, nearly all the Quantums are due to degraded rubber bumpers that get the heads stuck. Some can be fixed, others can't.

1200XL M.U.L.E.

Well-known member
I completely disassembled the machine and have been cleaning it for the past hour. The main power supply board looks like it aged hard.


That's the darkest area but you can kind of see there are other dark areas. None of the components look damaged though.

Is this power supply at risk?

I worried about the motherboard. Could I sponge it down with acetone or 90% alcohol or anything else?


@31ectricPPC I don't have a lot of confidence in the remaining life of the hard drive. Like you said, it could already be dead from the travel it endured during shipping. Whatever time I get with it is a gift. I assume this drive doesn't have anything even closely resembling S.M.A.R.T. so there isn't a way to get any operational statistics on it.


Well-known member
You’d have to run a manual drive testing software, the drive itself has no reporting system beyond basic errors. SMART came to be in 95/96. As for the PSU, if no components are obviously burned, it could just be heat damage to the board caused by years of use. That shouldn’t be a big issue but you’ll want to at least recap the PSU at this point, if not swapping it out for a modern one.

Edit: whohoohoo! Don’t use acetone on a motherboard. I actually don’t know for sure if it will damage that kind of plastic, but I wouldn’t risk it. IPA is fine, you can even rinse it in the sink without issue as long as you dry it properly and bathe it in IPA to make sure none remains on the board. A nice spray of compressed air or a vacuum would be a good starting point though.


Well-known member
No to acetone! Just a good compress will get most of it off, with manual brushing the rest. IPA using a soft toothbrush on the "mystery area"


Well-known member
The machine is absolutely filthy
:oops: You definitely need to add it to this...
...welcome to the club! :)


Well-known member
That drive is going to be dead anyway, nearly all the Quantums are due to degraded rubber bumpers that get the heads stuck. Some can be fixed, others can't.

I don't have a lot of confidence in the remaining life of the hard drive. Like you said, it could already be dead from the travel it endured during shipping.
Don't assume the drive is near death, none of my quantums are dead. I think it depends a little on the local conditions.


Well-known member
Wow, that's some good dust!

Could I sponge it down with acetone or 90% alcohol or anything else?

I'd suggest: Use air first to get the dust off, either compressed air (carefully!) if you've got it, or a vacuum cleaner and a brush if you haven't (I haven't). It's fins to use isopropanol, but it feels like a waste of it just to get dust off and it doesn't do it that well, so use that after you've got the dust off if there's grot left over you don't like the look of. Acetone is probably too aggressive.


Well-known member
A little brush works wonders to get rid of the worst of the dust, and then compressed air, and then a scrub with 99.9% isopropyl alcohol using swabs/a toothbrush, and then another rinse with isopropyl alcohol should get it looking much better. You need to let it very thoroughly dry before you try to power it on.

1200XL M.U.L.E.

Well-known member
Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!

I spent about two hours last night and two hours this afternoon cleaning the machine. No acetone was used. ;) The purest alcohol I have is 91%. It helped tremendously!

The board is not shiny as it appears. There is some haze on it. I think one part of the haze is from the dirt, grime, and grease not fully washing off in my alcohol bath. Another part may be from the rubber goo that was on the VLSI chip. Alcohol dissolved that goo and made the bath a little milky colored. I replaced the bath a few times but there seemed to be no end of rubber goo under that VLSI chip.


I'm afraid if I try to get the goo out from under the chip then I will be risking irreparable damage. Hopefully this is all an improvement!


Everything else has been cleaned as much as I could make clean. All the memory, system and video, were cleaned in alcohol. Power supply dust was blown out. The case was scrubbed clean with dish soap and water. I wiped down the monitor and all the cables. Only the keyboard and mouse internals remain.

I'm going to start slowly reassembling the machine. Hopefully it will work. Sometimes you think you're doing all the right things in all the right order only to have everything go wrong all at once! 😞