Monday, September 29, 2014


Work In Progress (WIP): Restoration of mighty laptops to factory condition

     Yesterday I got into a flea market for the purpose of finding some old rusty machines. 
The search didn`t take long as walking by I saw an IBM Thinkpad logo between some scrappy old Play Station II units. It was all covered in mud with deep scratches on the lid.
 I took a closer look and I saw the hinges were dead, the keyboard was “chewed” my guess … and it was still docked to its docking station. When I tried to undock it I couldn`t because of the sand and dirt that got between. It was an old PIII machine, an IBM X21 with a 700MHZ processor and 256 SDRAM. I looked at it like I had no real interest on the machine so I will obtain a better price from the lady that put it on sale. I negotiated the price at 10 lei (2.80 US Dollars). J  
    When I picked it up water and mud was actually pouring out of the notebook. I told to myself… “this is a perfect way to throw away some money…”
First thing when I got home I disassembled the IBM X21 screw by screw gently not to scratch or break anything (not that is wasn`t scratched enough) and cleaned it with a brush, azopropilic alcohol and contact spray. I put all the components together and plugged in an original IBM charger.
At first the power led flicked than it got dark and I tried several times to push the power button.

Nothing happened.

    Being very disappointed that I spend 3 hours to clean that machine I just left it plugged in the outlet (power supply) and got to my usual business.
The next day I came from work (I completely forgot about the machine) I pressed the power button, seeing no reaction I turned around… and suddenly I heard the HDD spin up… 
It was a clear sign that the machine powered up. Then I heard the boot “beep”  and the IBM Thinkpad logo on the screen!

It was amazing! 

So now all I have to do is to replace the keyboard and hinges, maybe change the HDD unit my guess is that its pretty full of bad sectors. Get a original charger. The docking station that came with it its fully operational, it has a CD-ROM unit and a FDD i will post the photos with the final restoration look of this marvelous machine.

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