Virtual ProFiling

The last thing I needed to embark on the mission to put my X/ProFile into the Lisa 2/10 arrived today, a bunch of blank CF cards. I mail ordered them because it turns out nobody local seems to sell them this small anymore.


The reason I was waiting for those is that I didn’t want to do anything on the original CF cards that came with the X/ProFile without having a pristine backup first. With these in hand, I was set. Here’s the X/ProFile by itself, prior to attaching the mounting hardware.


The default place to mount the X/ProFile in a Lisa 2/10 is to the side of the drive cage, above the disk drive. It fits there, though only just barely.



I then attached my separate IDE-to-CF adapter, which I had lying around anyway, to the primary IDE connector on the X/ProFile. The X/ProFile allows two devices to be connected at once. One device is the CF card on the board, and the second (actually, primary) device is the IDE drive connected to the standard IDE connector. Once two CF cards are plugged in this way, the X/ProFile can be set to copy them. It’s a pretty straightforward process, it didn’t take me long to make backups of all of them and one more of the Lisa Office CF card as well, to use as a working drive.


While I had the Lisa open, I took another go at trying to make the disk drive work as well. I’m not sure what the problem with the drive was/is, but it wasn’t reading disks. It (surprisingly?) did seem to accept and eject disks ok, but it wasn’t doing anything with them. I did have a spare 400K external Mac drive, however, and the internals of the two drives are almost identical. They aren’t, as I understand it, exactly identical, having to do with how ejecting is handled, but I thought I might be able to do some kind of substitutions anyway.

I took my usual approach, which is to just completely disassemble, observe, and clean, to see if I got any ideas. So, out came the Lisa drive, and off came the eject mechanism.


I flipped it over and took off the controller board, and cleaned up a bit inside, though it wasn’t particularly dirty.


I looked on the underside of the controller board, and it seemed to be mostly in order.


There was, however, a certain amount of goop on the board. Although I’m still not an expert at looking for this, it seemed like it was at least possible that C120 and C119 had leaked. It’s not too clear on the picture. But on the back of the board, the area around IC101 did look pretty dodgy.


I thought, ok, maybe something has gotten corroded or shorted out here. So, I opened up the Mac 400K drive to compare it. The area around IC101 was much cleaner on that one.


However, inside, the Mac 400K drive was much goopier around IC102. Really, very goopy. It didn’t look so much like a leak as something intentional.


I decided there wasn’t much to lose, so I cleaned off the area on the Mac 400K drive board around IC102 to get rid of whatever that was, and then reassembled the Lisa drive with the Mac board in it. I know that if the drive worked but didn’t eject properly, then it would probably be due to whatever it is that differentiates Mac and Lisa 400K drives. The Lisa board did have a number of things wired together after the fact, and the Mac board (which was a revision or two more recent) didn’t. And maybe some of that wiring had to do with how the eject works. But, first things first.

The other thing I did, while I was dealing with the Lisa, is get out the RAM board that was giving me trouble and try to fix (temporarily) the bad RAM chip. As you might recall, I believe that I’d isolated the chip that was at fault on one of the RAM boards (which I’d removed altogether), and I in the meantime got a few replacement chips. I thought I’d at least try “piggybacking” the believed-to-be-good RAM chip over the believed-to-be-bad RAM chip, in case that would work and show that it was indeed that chip at fault and that replacing it would help.


And: test time. As for the RAM, no, the piggybacked good RAM didn’t help.


Faulty RAM card back out, restart. And:




Desktop! Ok, now the disk:

IMG 3145




Nope! Ok, the problem with the disk hasn’t really been solved.


The rest will need to wait for another day, but it looks like: the X/ProFile works and the Lisa now boots ok, the RAM failure is not solved, and the disk failure is not solved. Still, progress!

[Added notes: The next step with the 400K drive will be to put the Lisa board back in the Lisa drive and see if adjusting the read/write-head distance helps any. Also, I’m wondering if maybe the goop that was floating around on these boards was some kind of thermal dissipator. Do these chips get hot? Pondering whether there is something I should replace it with once I’ve cleaned it off.]

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