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Restoring an old IBM Aptiva L80 (2144) - ...

Restoring an old IBM Aptiva L80 (2144) - Part 1

Feb 27, 2021

I have a bit more of 20 years of experience fixing mostly small home computers, in all those years I picked up here and there a few very old machines that I decided to keep around with the hopes of someday putting together a small collection of old hardware. Logically restoration of these old machines is also needed, since most of the times this old computers are found in bad shape, especially in my area of Argentina.

So I finally decided to start my first attempt of a restoration, in part because all the current situation with the pandemic and related economic difficulties is driving me mad, feeling boosted by the failure of local astronomical project that could be the subject of another post; and in the other hand... why not? Maybe is the opportunity to try and do things that always ended being postpone.

So, let’s start with this IBM Aptiva L80 (type 2144), if I remember correctly I picked up this one in an old shed and was gathering dust among other trash.

After that I just kept the machine in storage in my house for several years, never even opened once and don´t even remember if I attempted to turn the unit on, which could have been a good idea given what I found after opening the case for the first time...

Yep, was quite bad, even the 486DX processor was not entirely well sited in its socket (sorry, forget to take a photo about that), and there are some sings of damage by water. But after fixing the processor sitting situation that and making a quick and sloppy first clean up, already was looking better and was time to try it.

And it´s alive!

And hear those sweets clicking noises of the old hard drive!

Originally and according to the specs you can find in internet, the machine came originally with Windows 3.1 and DOS 6.3, now is currently running Windows 95... with only 12 MB of RAM could be a good idea to restore it to 3.1 since it’s a bit in the slow side, but I can also have some memories of that type so I will hold in that idea until later.

In part 2, some updates about individual parts cleaning!

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