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Broken IBM 390E Now runs Antix

Posted 07-23-2009 at 10:30 AM by rokytnji

I own a old IBM 390E, 14.1 inch LCD Screen, Pentium 2, 366mhz, 64mb of ram, 3 gig hardrive. It had been collecting Dust in the computer room. It had been dropped by the previous owner on the left Hinge corner breaking the corner of the base to where the Hinge snapped loose and there was no plastic on the base to attach the hinge and screen to. Also the monitor would not display a screen but I checked it with a External CRT monitor and it would display with it. It had Windows ME on it. (Notice the word had)

I played with it once in a while learning about computers and Linux with it. It was my first computer 2 years ago. I ran Xubuntu and Mepis on that puppy after I put 2 128mb sticks of ram in it to bring it up to 256mb.

Today I decided I was going to fix that baby back to where it should work better than it did before it was broken.

I broke our my JB Weld Quick and started Building up the plastic with epoxy. Sanded and filed till I got a good foundation to remount the hinge to. I then drilled out the broken screws in the hinge and tapped out the holes to one size
bigger which is 6-32 screws. Fastened everything together and open and closed Laptop. Locks on display cover worked. Open and closes smoothly.Did this numerous times to make sure my chemical weld job would hold. Success there.

Next it was on to figure out why the screen wouldn't display. Pulled the Keyboard. Unscrewed 2 screws where the screen plugs into the motherboard and checked for bent pins and such. Nothing Amiss there. Next I removed the plastic outer casing that holds the LCD in place. It is a pretty involved process let me tell ya.

Anyhows fast forward a bit. Now the Hardrive is pulled, Cdrom is pulled, Battery is pulled. LCD screen can be pryed up now from back plastic of Display casing. I have replugged in the LCD where it connects to the motherboard and secured it.I hook up the AC Adapter and power that puppy up. I pry up the LCD which puts a little pressure on the ribbon Harness
that goes from the motherboard connector to the back of the LCD Screen where it connects to the screen. Yowzaa. I get
a no operating system found now displayed on the screen.

You see, when this laptop was dropped, It also messed up the connection of the ribbon cable going to the back of the
LCD Screen. I applied pressure forcing the ribbon cable to make a good connection as far as it could go into the connection housing (which is a flaky setup, but standard on glass LEDs) and took the clear pieces of Duct Tape I had
precut for this repair. And Taped up that Harness to the back of screen while applying pressure to ensure the cable was seated firmly.

To make a long blog post short. I reassembled it. Fired it up. Runs just Like new but better. Now I got another pet project done, with something to show for it. Now on for the distro dance. Though I might pop in a 8 gig Microdrive
Hardrive out of a Ipod in it to boost the gigs on it. I have a CF to IDE Laptop adapter for just that purpose. We'll see. Right now it runs AntiX 8 with a Wireless B Netgear MA401 PCMCIA card.
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  1. Old Comment
    Sold That Laptop for $100.00
    Posted 03-09-2010 at 05:01 PM by rokytnji rokytnji is offline


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