I’ve been working on getting Frankenstein working again, so this Saturday I cleaned him up a bit. I had hoped to have him up and running for some experimentation, but I hit a few insurmountable snags (as you’ll see).
I took Frankenstein to SMF (my workplace) because there’s an industrial kitchen there with deep sinks and several tables. Usually they are used for food preparation, but not today!
First of all, a look at the nasty state he was in before cleaning:
Basically, it was lots of nasty. It was a lot less nasty than when I cleaned it up to salvage parts to make Limited Edition, though — there were huge balls of dust all over the inside of him then. So I got to work tearing off the plastic parts of the case, and when I got to working on the inside, I took off the CPU fan shroud (the big plastic thing that directs airflow from the CPU fan directly to the outside of the case) and found this:
Which I guess was okay until I took off the fan and found this lurking underneath:
Frankenstein needed some really hardcore cleaning. So, I took him apart entirely: floppy, fans, PCI cards, power supply, motherboard, even screws got cleaned. I didn’t take the heatsink off the CPU, though, because I figured if it kept it that cool when the heatsink was that clogged, it would be fine. Maybe some other day I’ll give it the Arctic Silver treatment. However, everything else, PSU inclusive, got disassembled, washed and/or canned-air-cleaned (is there a verb for that?). And I mean the “washed” literally:
After I cleaned the case thoroughly, I got the bare motherboard whipped into shape:
After reattaching the motherboard, I put back the now thoroughly cleaned RAM, PCI cards, system fan, and CPU fan. Already, Frankenstein was looking better than he had in years. Starting out like this:
He now looked like this:
By now, there was only one more dirty component to deal with — the power supply:
After dealing with the literally gagging amounts of dust, the PSU was finally cleaned and ready to go back in place, but there were two big problems I’d noticed along the way.
Problem #1: No floppy cable. I know nobody cares about floppies anymore, but I had hoped to have this one working so I’d have something other than USB to fall back on in an emergency. I could just steal it back from Limited Edition, but the issue is irrelevant in light of the other big problem.
Since the CF-IDE adapter I purchased plugs directly into the motherboard, the floppy power connector is too short by far to reach it. Stupid HP! You made everything else in this case too long by far, why not the floppy power cable!
At least Frankenstein is clean now, but this means that I can’t work on him again until I get an adapter. Fortunately for me, eBay has several Molex-to-floppy converters, and I used the last of my eBay bucks to get one (and a new floppy cable, just in case). When I get it in the mail, my adventures in running Linux from a cheap SSD-workalike will resume.
UPDATE: I got the floppy cable in the mail today, and it is just the perfect length to reach! Maybe I can experiment with one-floppy OSs, so long as I’m going to use Frankenstein for experimentation, eh?