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  • The Teardown of a Super Clean 486 from the early 90s
  • The Teardown of a Super Clean 486 from the early 90s



    The first step of recovery is admitting that you have a problem.  For me the problem isn’t so much being addicted to retro hardware but rather that I enjoy what retro hardware is and how these developments determined where we are today.

    Of course, building a computer during this era was considerably different than it is today.  During the early 90’s people knew they needed a computer but, it wasn’t a central part of their lives and users trusted the local computer shop to give them what they needed with an option to upgrade when something new came along. 

    The computer featured in this video falls into this category.  This is a 486 33Mhz mid tower that was clearly a living computer having many upgrades installed over its lifetime.  It came to the Hardware Asylum labs with four floppy drives, two hard drives and a plethora of expansion cards that included things like external CD Rom drives, hand held document scanners and multiple I/O cards to support the multitude of external storage drives.

    Overall, the case is SUPER clean and is the epitome of what early 90’s computers had become.  My plan for this case is to strip it down and restore every aspect of it.  There are a couple of screw holes that have been stripped out so I’ll be welding up the holes and re-tapping the location.  I’ll be painting the case inside and out while smoothing over the rough factory edges (some are still sharp after all these years).  The final step will be to install some more powerful hardware without doing any modifications to the case.

    One of the most challenging aspects of this restoration project will be replacing the broken bit of plastic.  This kind of break is extremely common on these cases and it will be important to not only match the color but to ensure that the repair will be strong and seamless so that nobody can tell it had been repaired. 

    Stay tuned for future videos related to this project.