DEDICATED HOBBYIST ALERT: IBM AS/400 9406-F2 for cheap sale in Germany

mazzinia at mazzinia at
Tue Jan 5 16:33:08 CST 2021

These things are tanks, sort of... so technically troubles tend to be
The hard disks are factory initialized with a specific number of sectors...
they are scsi, and you cannot use normal scsi disks there.
Also you must not reformat these hdd elsewhere, or you end messing them
up... the only way to initialize them for an as/400 is with an ibm tool that
has never been released.

This said, that auction has the terminal needed to operate it ( as admin )
included, it sits on top. (and yes, you can otherwise use the small panel on
the front to ipl it up, and shut it down)

You can add more twinax terminals ( the cables are included ), or connect to
a twinax card in a pc ( isa/pci , depends what you find ) and ibm client
access... or client access on lan.
In any case you need that ( or a ) twinax terminal (emulator card works) for
maintenance/admin duties

-----Original Message-----
From: Tomasz Rola <rtomek at> 
Sent: Tuesday, January 5, 2021 10:46 PM
To: cctalk at
Cc: mazzinia at
Subject: Re: DEDICATED HOBBYIST ALERT: IBM AS/400 9406-F2 for cheap sale in

On Tue, Jan 05, 2021 at 10:02:02PM +0100, mazzinia at wrote:
> Well,
> The whole translation is more on the lines that it hasn't been started 
> since 3 years and they can't be bothered to check if it still works 
> with the mains not plugged since then. Thus the risk to turn it on is 
> on the buyer.

Yep. I am used to this kind of description. I sometimes see it on certain
Polish auctioning site. The seller is honest - they say it openly that they
cannot take on the risk. "We also sell power supply to this laptop on
separate auction but whatever stopped us from plugging one into another and
into the wall"...

I guess it is more complicated to check mainframe's correct operation. And I
would want a very specific info about what is in the box. I am not sure, for
example, if hard drives for it can be easily bought. 

Then again, if it worked perfectly and did not broke, there is good chance
it might work for a long time. At least this is what older mainframes did
(from what I have read).

> Another small thing... I helped carrying that model up into our 
> office, years ago... good luck to whoever purchases it because it's 
> some serious weight

I would also make sure it could be powered on without blowing the fuses out
of the wall... Ok, after consulting IBM page [
] - it says, 300~~700 watts, depending on configuration. 

Last but not least, my limited understanding is, the owner would need either
control panel or operation console (looks like a laptop... perhaps?) and
cables to connect them into the black refrigerator. Without enabling js for
this page I cannot see what is pictured on very small photos. I suppose it
will not boot (ipl) without panel/console.

Tomasz Rola

** A C programmer asked whether computer had Buddha's nature.      **
** As the answer, master did "rm -rif" on the programmer's home    **
** directory. And then the C programmer became enlightened...      **
**                                                                 **
** Tomasz Rola          mailto:tomasz_rola at             **

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