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New 5150/5154 Acquisition


Veteran Member
Apr 23, 2019
Bit of a sad story - my best friend's uncle died recently. He was formerly a technician at IBM working on big iron. His personal system was this 5150 that he had apparently upgraded over the years and I have now inherited it.

The system was configured as follows:

Hercules Color Card (pretty much a straight CGA clone as far as I can tell, correct me if I'm wrong)
Tecmar Captain (memory and I/O expansion card)
WD1002S-WX2 (MFM controller) + ST-225
Stock IBM FDC + Tandon FH drive
Stock Planar
Aftermarket PSU
5154 Monitor

I started with the computer itself knowing the 5154 PSU contains a RIFA that will likely catch fire when plugged in. I've got another one of these monitors so I know the drill, I'll get to it later.
After a bit of cleanup, I was happy to discover the PC seemed to be completely free of problems. The spindle on the floppy drive was seized up but once I broke it loose and cleaned the heads the drive works flawlessly.

Then the ST-225 spun down. I examined it and smelled a bit of a burning odor. Pulled off the logic board, expecting to see a toasted drive transistor or something, but sadly the smell seemed to be coming from the spindle motor itself. Guess I lost a winding, RIP to that drive.
Double check the video card. With a 5154, I would expect the Hercules InColor Card which is EGA plus Hercules. The Color Card is Hercules plus CGA. Either way, you will have good text modes from the card.
I have. It's definitely the GB200. I also thought that was odd that he had the EGA monitor paired with the CGA card but it works fine for 200 lines I guess.

Has anyone else heard of a ST225 spindle motor burning up? Or it that maybe a red herring and I should try swapping drive logic boards?