Unusual stuff inside computers

Eric Christopherson echristopherson at gmail.com
Sat Aug 1 18:27:03 CDT 2015

On Sat, Aug 01, 2015, Vlad Stamate wrote:
> Hi,
> I recently got a very nice HP 9816 with a 9121 drive unit from Earl
> Baugh (thanks Earl!). The computer worked fine but the primary drive
> of the 9121 refused to read the disk and made a continuous beating
> noise. After I cleaned it on the outside I opened it to see what is
> wrong with it. And I found this piece inside the drive itself:
> http://imgur.com/dlqOexX (floppy added for size comparison).
> After carefully removing it, the drive actually worked like a charm
> and I was able to boot from it. I was pleasantly impressed that the
> drive head has not been damaged bumping in the leather piece all the
> time. I am not sure how that got there, I assume a child pushed it in
> by mistake? I am not sure what it is either, the leather triangles
> sewn together by hand it seem.
> What other strange pieces did you find when you opened up classic computers?

While an Intel Mac laptop doesn't really qualify, I found an uneven
piece of hard plastic, about 2mm x 1.5mm, inside one of its RAM slots
when I went to upgrade it. How it got there I've never been able to
understand -- it was already populated with a DIMM that was working
correctly, and I think maybe I had actually put that DIMM there in the
first place, and never seen the odd chunk before.

It was a royal pain to remove, too -- I ended up using an X-Acto knife
to cut away part of the edge connected so I could remove it with a
tweezer.  Boy was I shocked to realize that the actual metal pins that
the RAM module connected to were embedded in the piece of plastic edge
connector I cut away; somehow I managed to remove the plastic without
breaking any of them. Upon bending them slightly so they looked
straight, I put the RAM in, and everything was fine then.

        Eric Christopherson

More information about the cctech mailing list