Seeking Apple II Hardware Failure Descriptions

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Seeking Apple II Hardware Failure Descriptions

Hi, I'm trying to write a short story that involves an Apple II undergoing some sort of catastrophic hardware failure. Unfortunately I'm too young to have used an Apple II (my first computer was a 386), so my description will be unfaithful unless I get some first hand accounts.

Does anyone have any horror stories about Apple IIs biting the dust? I've had power supplies blow up and hard drives crash and I'm wondering what the equivalent disasters for Apple IIs would be. Any plausible scenarios that would result in a small fire would be nice too.

Also, I know what modern computers sound like (mostly fan hum and hard drive clicking) but what did Apple IIs sound like?

ex-parrot's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 01:35
Posts: 6846
Apple IIs didn't have fans or

Apple IIs didn't have fans or HDDs most of the time, so they would be silent with the possible exception of a very high pitched whine coming out of a composite monitor with a dodgy capacitor or flyback... however when you turn one on the disk drives will make a very distinctive click-click-click-click-click noise.

As for failures.... I suspect that any number of things could go wrong in the PSU that might result in smoke, popping noises or even a fire, but not having had this occur first-hand I'll let someone else give you more specific details Blum 3

Krest's picture
Last seen: 15 years 6 months ago
Joined: Sep 29 2004 - 12:39
Posts: 96
I don't know if the Apple IIs

I don't know if the Apple IIs had the same problems, but the Apple /// had a serious problem with getting too hot. Since it had no fans (Jobs wanted it to be superquiet) the Apple ///'s ICs heated up and eventually popped out of their sockets. Apple's official workaround was to lift the Apple ///'s front up a few inches and let it drop on the desk, so the ICs would settle themselves in their sockets again...

Nice litte story imho... Wink

astro_rob's picture
Last seen: 9 years 3 months ago
Joined: Mar 19 2005 - 12:28
Posts: 320
Apple II's & Cockroaches

An Apple II hardware failure... a toughy. I'm of the opinion that if left alone, Apple II's would probably last until the Sun goes off main sequence and becomes a red giant (a few billion years yet...).
The only hardware failure I had was with an Apple ][ Plus, and involved a disk drive; locally made, obviously non-Apple. It started up fine, and then, whilst bootin DOS 3.3... BANG (and I do mean BANG)! A chip on the controller card blew, and caused the Apple to go errant.
Solution? Replaced the non-Apple disk drive and controller with Apple-made units.
It just seems to me that these simpler computers are far tougher than more modern machines. Just like viruses, bacterium... and cockroaches.


mmphosis's picture
Last seen: 1 week 15 hours ago
Joined: Aug 18 2005 - 16:26
Posts: 435
Re: Seeking Apple II Hardware Failure Descriptions

Back in the 80's, the original power supply for my Apple II plus stopped working. I bought a replacement power supply: the "Little Beaver" made in Canada and found in many of the Apple II clones that were made at that time. It's worked okay ever since.

Currently, I think the keyboard encoder board is not working. For now, I am using a crappier keyboard out of a clone.

A few of the many peripheral cards stopped working: a 110/300 baud modem card, and some others like printer interface cards that I have more of.

The disk II drive needs a bit of maintenance: speed adjustment and cleaning from time to time. Actually, I think it's the old disks that need cleaning more than the disk drive.

All and all the Apple II is solid hardware that still works today! The built in obsolescence of hardware produced today might give one some pause.

Last seen: 10 years 2 months ago
Joined: Dec 20 2003 - 10:38
Posts: 149
Well My old Apple //e had a m

Well My old Apple //e had a mmu pin rust through but all that did was make it lose the display...

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