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Mighty Jabba

I resurrected a Mac SE hard drive!

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I should probably preface this by saying that I am very much a beginner when it comes to compact Macs. I had basically never even used one before a couple of weeks ago (having started as a Mac user with a PowerMac 9600 tower), and I certainly had never disassembled or serviced one. But I've recently bought a Macintosh SE (non-superdrive version) and a Mac Plus (apparently one of the "factory upgraded" versions that still uses the case from the original Mac). The SE I managed to snag on eBay for $37.99 plus about $20 shipping. The seller said it turned on and showed the floppy disc icon, so I figured the hard disk was dead, but maybe the floppy drive would be okay. Turns out the floppy was just fine, but as I suspected the hard disk seemed dead. The indicator light did sometimes flash, but there was no sound at all from the drive and it didn't show up in any of the utilities I tried. I did also try reseating the SCSI cable, but it didn't do anything.

 

Since I figured it was a lost cause anyway, I decided to try opening the actual drive up and spin the heads manually, which is a trick I've seen work on some YouTube videos. (See the photo below.) I probably should have prepared my work area better for this kind of thing, but I really didn't expect it to work. But much to my surprise, it booted up immediately after I put it back in! The most recent "modified" date on the hard disk seems to be from 1993. I don't know if they stopped using it because the hard disk stopped working or if it just got put it storage and got locked up from sitting for decades. But either way, it appears to be working absolutely fine now, and isn't even noisy. Anyway, I was excited.

 

While I had the case open I removed the internal battery, adjusted the screen height, and upgraded the ram from 2MB to 2.5MB with some spare memory I had left after upgrading the Plus to 4MB. Should I worry about replacing the battery? It was one of the soldered-in ones, so it would be a little bit of work to replace, but I can certainly do it if necessary. I'm not sure how much I will actually be using this particular machine.

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Edited by Mighty Jabba

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Will probably work for a while, but i have had many cases where it won't last more than a couple of attempts.

Edited by bibilit

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16 hours ago, bibilit said:

Will probably work for a while, but i have had many cases where it won't last more than a couple of attempts.

I guess we'll see. I did preemptively copy anything from the drive that looked remotely interesting. But I do hope that it keeps working, because it is much quieter than the hard disk in the other SE I just got!

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I used a SCSI2SD to save the data of old harddisks. Most of my „repaired“ hdd did not work for a long time.  Sometimes there are sticky bumpers in the hdd that can be replaced.

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