• Updated 2023-07-12: Hello, Guest! Welcome back, and be sure to check out this follow-up post about our outage a week or so ago.

Rescued what I thought was a Mac II


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I can see corrosion in the traces near the power button. This area is very frequently cap damaged, especially the long diagonal trace and in around some of the chips. Damage here stops the machine powering on.

And here is a mandatory link to a description of the circuit. Note the circuit is the same between the II and IIx... but frustratingly the component labels are different.

Yeah, this 100%. The startup circuit is the most troublesome thing on big box IIs.


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Thanks guys and Phipli that doc is amazing! Will need to spend some serious time reading and digesting the information...I'm sure I will learn a ton too!

The Compacts and 030s are my absolute favorite vintage Macs, I'm happy to have the IIx and I hope I can eventually get both it and the IIfx up. Assuming all components work in both, I'd move the SuperMac card to the IIfx running 7.1 (as per Josh recommendation) and the Toby would go to the IIx running 6.0.8.

In the meantime they look great in my ever-growing little museum, and all the machines make me smile every time I go into the office, so already providing ROI. Note I felt it prudent to add additional support under the center of the folding table :)



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That's a nice collection and setup. I did a double take when i realized the monitor on the left is actually an iMac :D


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Thanks Andy, and I'm sneaky like that! However that's actually a pretty cool idea, if there's an iMac with a good CRT but bad logic board, would be cool to turn into a monitor for other Macs.


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I was surprised that the iMac CRT connects via a regular Apple video connector, and not soldered or wired through an analog board like on previous compacts. It's very trivial to convert an iMac into a monitor. :)


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Good day Mac II fans!

Finally got around to cleaning the IIfx's 800kb floppy. Very glad I did this, given the amount of gunk in the various mechanisms, I doubt the ejecting would have worked properly, maybe not even the heads movement. The "Smallest Cog" (let's see if anyone gets that reference) in the ejection motor was luckily still in good shape and didn't need replacing at this time. After cleaning and new lubrication, all the actions are beautifully smooth. Which leads me to next to-do item...I feel I need to clean/lube the 1.44mb now, even though not nearly as gross, I enjoyed doing the 800kb and want the 1.44mb to be as nice.

Again, highly recommended the video from my previous post, very detailed and well put together. A few pictures follow.

Have a good one all!

I forgot to take a before picture, I finished cleaning the bottom half before I snapped this
Before - action was very choppy
After - sssmmmoooottth!
All finished


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Oh forgot to ask a very loaded question...who can recommend an Ultrasonic Cleaner large enough to fit a full sized Mac II board? Preferably not one that totally breaks the bank. I think this Vevor 22L might fit, but seems to me will be very close. Thanks again!


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Oh forgot to ask a very loaded question...who can recommend an Ultrasonic Cleaner large enough to fit a full sized Mac II board? Preferably not one that totally breaks the bank. I think this Vevor 22L might fit, but seems to me will be very close. Thanks again!
I used a 22L tub for my IIx (same size). You have to do it in two halves, but its the best option. You won't find anything big enough for the whole board at once without taking out a mortgage.


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Thanks...and just so I'm understanding, you mean half the board will be submerged while the other half is sticking out of the tank?


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Good morning Mac II fans,

When last we left off, I was going to clean the IIfx’s 1.44mb floppy drive, which I now have done, along with both floppies from the IIx. Here are a few notes from my work, most of this commentary relating to the procedure in the aforementioned cleaning video:

There seems to be a variation in the action of the ejector motor. In the video and on IIfx’s 800k (which is actually an 800k from a Mac II, this was not an OEM IIfx but an upgraded II), the two largest cogs spin freely when the two smaller cogs are removed. In all three of the other motors, there is a resistance slowing down the action from roughly the 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock position as per below orientation. As I understand it, this part of the action engages the slides which force the floppy out of the drive. I guess for some reason they engineered a slower ejection action in later drives. Maybe someone knows more.


There is a variation in the worm gear assembly not shown in the video. Both 800k’s and the 1.44mb from the IIx had a removeable assembly as portrayed in the video (see above 800k picture). The IIfx’s 1.44mb’s worm gear assembly is part of the “chassis” (see below). Since the IIfx-upgrade would have presumably supplied a later drive than an OEM Mac IIx, I’m assuming this is a 1990 and later variation? At present I don’t have any other floppies to confirm my suspicion.


The video recommends removing the worm gear assembly and leaving the head assembly in for cleaning. I found it easier to leave the worm gear assembly in (for drives where removeable) and remove the head assembly. This allowed me to do a much more thorough job of cleaning everything. I was sure to put the head assembly back in the same exact location on the worm as-found, however I suspect the drives do some zero-ing below use like the Apple Disk II 5.25” drives (the controllers are still based on the Woz Machine, right? Or maybe I’m completely off, but logically made sense to me)

I used 91% IPA on the head cleaning wanting faster evaporation. I also held the heads apart for about a minute after cleaning to allow for some air flow and evaporation before closing. Want to repeat the YouTuber’s cautions about being very careful with this part of the cleaning process.

As I usually find, an Xacto knife is an indispensable tool. The “arm” for the head assembly that moves along worm gear was super gunked up with old grease and very gross things in all four drives. An IPA soaked Q-tip (cotton bud) did a partial job, but I really needed to scrape all the gunk out with a fine tool. Also, a toothbrush as recommended by the Youtuber was another critical tool, especially for cleaning the worm gear, another highly gunk-ified area. My tweezer skills are developing but still need improvement.

I went 4 for 4 with passing integrity testing of the smallest cog in the ejector motors!

Over a decade of hobbyist auto detailing has served me well, I’m just detailing much, much smaller objects now. I think I need hobbyist eyeglasses though…Selah.

I’m sure that’s more than anyone wanted to know about my floppy drive cleaning adventures.

In very exciting other news, I may have found the perfect person to do the soldering work on the Mac II's. My friend’s father worked in the electronics industry for many years and is very well seasoned. I’ll be seeing him in a month and will show him the boards for an initial assessment. We’ll see where we go from there, but also very excited because I can also get some basic instruction to start me off learning to solder (and no, I’m not going to touch the Mac II’s, but will bring an old laptop or router I have to play with - yet another piece of good advice from Josh).

That’s it for now, thanks for stopping by.


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Thanks @Renegade two stage cleaning it shall be. And WOW what an amazing collection you have listed in your signature. I'm awed! I think you have every single Mac model I had significant time on before 2000, and many many more beyond them! 😍


I’m sure that’s more than anyone wanted to know about my floppy drive cleaning adventures.

I really appreciate all the details! It also motivates me to get working on my Mac II restoration. My 800K floppy drive has been sitting on my bench for weeks waiting to be refurbished; so everything you are doing is very interesting to me.

Keep up the great work!


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From those of us who work better from text than videos, writeups with photos are a valuable resource. Please keep doing them!


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Thanks for the kind words @cheesestraws ! Same @markkrueg and good luck with your floppy work ;)

For a quick update, I'm working on a friend's Performa 6200CD and was finally able to fully test the monitor I bought at the VCF East swap meet. Very happy to report picture looks great!


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So been a while since there was anything to report on the IIfx's restoration.

My friend's father is very skilled at soldering and is up for doing the recap and battery holder replacement on the IIfx.

I've identified the following parts, looking for verification from our IIfx experts before I order, please.

Thanks all, very excited! :)

For C24 and C9 replacement


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Well IIfx Fans, this is a monumental update.

Quick backstory. My “little brother” bought a house with some old, small office PBX gear I put up for grabs on the Trading Post which @ilitch64 wanted. This evolved into me going to a VCF workshop on 3/24 in Wall, NJ to deliver the PBX gear at which time @ilitch64 would work on the IIfx hoping to bring it back to life.

At the workshop the two leaked caps at C9 and C24 were removed as were the bombed battery holders.


The board was then washed in the sink and treated to address the corrosion areas. New battery holders and tantalum capacitors were soldered on, and @ilitch64 tested out several traces in the affected areas and identified a few in need of repair. Two required bodge wires while the others were fixed in other ways (will let him specify). As this work was being done @ilitch64 was great with explaining what was going on and answering my many questions, like what’s the differences between a trace and a via or what does reflowing mean? The work took something like three hours and I was fascinated for every single moment!




After letting the board dry and not having time to work on the machine for a week, I finally got down to business on Sunday.

I put everything back together except I only used the 4 x 1MB SIMMs because I didn’t like the looks of one of the 4MB SIMMs and I also left off the HD for first boot. Then the scary moment of truth… eyes closed…quick prayer…hit power button…FAN SPINNING!!!! BONG!!!!!!!! MONITOR ON!!!!!!!!! ? DISK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OMG IT’S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🤯😁😁😁😁😁


After several “YES! YES! YES!” shouts and a bit of jumping for joy I then tried to boot off the hard drive which did work and came up with A/UX…interesting!



That was about as far as I got on Sunday. Since then I’ve put a different hard drive in with System 7.1 and I’ve worked on cleaning the 4MB SIMM. Unfortunately that SIMM must have been the one next to the batteries and was very corroded, I don’t think it will work again, or at least won’t work within my abilities. I did try the 4 x 4MB SIMMs in the machine and got the very unhappy RAM bad chimes.


I’ve also replaced the Toby card with a SuperMac Spectrum 24 IV. Next need to get LocalTalking to my PM 7500 to start transferring software and SuperMac drivers. Only having 4MB of RAM is a bummer but I’ll look to get more when I have some cash to burn. The IIfx also gets my beloved AEK, no other KB would do! I should also archive the original A/UX hard drive as @ilitch64 suggested but could use some advice on how to do this from the community.


As I said in my profile post, many people to thank for their help along the way. Obviously @ilitch64 is the hero of this little saga and props to @Dude.JediKnight who was also at the workshop and offered ongoing encouragement, @joshc has provided mucho vital IIfx info, and many in this thread have offered additional support and encouragement. Then there’s @Phipli …no comment needed :LOL:

Finally, to answer @luRaichu 's profile post question more thoroughly. The penguin is a cartoon character named Badtz-Maru and he’s the center of a superstition that started in 2001 or so (very early in my IT career). We had to perform an intrusive DB maintenance on a critical production system, I had only seen it done, hadn’t done it yet myself. I asked my boss if he was going to run it, he told me I should do it. I asked if he was sure I was ready, he said yes, you got it, and Badtz will help you. His kids loved the Badtz character and gave him a small stuffed animal for his desk at work. He tossed me the stuffed animal, Badtz was placed on top of the DB server, and I ran the maintenance and brought the system back online without issue. Ever since then, Badtz has been called in to help with dicey system work. He has the power to intimidate systems into cooperating!