Lydian's FastMHz

Autie retro tech geek!

IBM PS/2 Model 30 286 Project

The IBM PS/2 Model 30 is that version of PS/2 that has real 16-bit ISA slots in it rather than microchannel.  This is a good thing, because ISA cards are cheap and easy to find whereas MCA ones are expensive and good luck finding a sound card in MCA format.

My PS/2 came to me with a failing ESDI HDD, a broken floppy drive, 4MB of memory, and no sound support.  Basically, not very useful.

The first thing I needed to do was modify that power supply to have proper molex power connectors.  To do this I opened it up and soldered on the connector I chopped off another dead PSU.

That’s better.  Now I can use regular floppy drives and hard drives, you know, ones I can get for cheap.

I installed a Seagate RLL controller, and a regular Seagate hard drive, and installed a regular floppy drive now that I had a power connector for it.  No cable hacking needed.

4 megs of RAM isn’t enough, so I installed an Intel Aboveboard with another 8 megs on it.  Now I have 12 megs of RAM in my PS/2.

The dead Dallas clock had to go, and so did that 286 CPU.  I installed a Glitchwrks drop-in replacement for that clean factory look (eBay, $25), and a MakeIt486 CPU upgrade.  It tries to be a 486, but it’s definitely not as fast as a 486…but I can run full blown 386 enhanced software now.

Just a pic showing the memory card in there

Next was a SoundBlaster clone, specifically my favorite Aztech sound card with programmable EEPROM.  This gives my PS/2 SBPro sound, OPL3, and a dialup modem….not that I will ever use that modem.

I installed IBM PCDOS 2000, and optimized the memory, manually.

My mint condition PS/2 model 30 is now a “486”, has 12mb of RAM, stereo sound, and working FDD and HDD.