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I'm a total Apple addict, as you might tell.

Macintosh SE FDHD

The other day, my SE/30 threw me a bus error. It refused to boot off a hard drive or a floppy without throwing an error. That and the fact that the machine has never had sound led me to believe that it was finally time for a recap. I ordered some replacement caps to repair the machine, but the last time I attempted a recap on a board, it was a disaster. I couldn't be without a Mac that can read both 800K and 1.44MB floppies, so I hoped on eBay in search of another SE/30 or an SE FDHD just in case I'd need one.

It's a little discolored and there's a scuff mark on the back where someone scratched off a label, but other than that, it's a pretty good looking unit.



Let's have a look inside. Never power on an old Mac without first inspecting the internals. Wow! This has to be the cleanest Mac I've ever seen! It's absolutely spotless in there!


I mean, it's pristine. There's not a spec of dust anywhere. This machine was not used for very long, and then was properly stored.


Have you ever seen a machine this clean before?


With no sign of corrosion, leaky caps, or battery goo, it was safe to power the machine on. This machine was sold as "Not Working For Parts or Repair". I scored it for a mere $34 bucks. That's the deal of a lifetime if I can get it working; considering Macs in the SE family regularly go for well over $100 bucks. The seller did not provide much information other than the fact that it's "Not Working" and did not show any images with the machine powered on. So I had my fingers crossed that "Not Working For Parts or Repair" meant it was something as simple as a dead hard drive. If all else fails (literally) all I need is a working logicboard to put in the SE/30. (If my recap attempt fails.)

I powered the machine on, was greeted with a "bong" and a floppy disk icon, followed by the sounds of an old hard drive who has seen better days.

Check this out….

SE FDHD bad drive

Yup, that drive is toast.

I had to take the machine apart to get to the drive screws, so it was a good opportunity to inspect the logicboard. This is the first time I've seen an FDHD board up close and personal. The only difference between a "plain old" SE and an SE FDHD is it's ability to read 1.44MB floppies. It's still limited to 4MB of RAM and uses an 8MHz processor.

Again, this board is absolutely spotless!





The first order of business was giving it a fresh PRAM battery. I always keep a handful of these around.


Here's the drive.


It's a MiniScribe from 1989.


Once I pulled the drive out, I put everything back together and gave it a boot with a System 6.0.8 floppy. We're in business! There's nothing wrong with this machine!


What's that? 2MB of RAM? Unacceptable! This machine maxes out at 4MB. I rummaged through my RAM box and looked for some old 1MB 30-pin SIMMs.


Don't forget to remove the RAM-select jumper, or the machine will still think you have 2MB!


Ugh! Bad RAM!


I swapped the sticks out with another set. Close, but no cigar.


Third time lucky? Nope. Wow, is all my RAM bad?


I hopped on eBay and ordered a matched set of 4 x 1MB RAM. That did the trick. I installed the SCSI2SD drive from my SE/30 just to make sure that the SCSI bus worked.


Everything works great. The floppy drive might need a little lubrication, but other than that, it's all good. What a deal!