Restoring an IBM PC XT-286 from 1986

May 1, 2020 by 38 Comments

Cleaning, upgrading, and overall reinvigorating a vintage IBM computer system from 1986! The Model 5162 here is a bit of an uncommon beast at this point, combining the classic case design of the XT with the 286 internals of an IBM AT. Let’s fix it!

● Pertinent linkage:

● Music courtesy of:

#LGR #Hardware #Restoration


38 Replies to “Restoring an IBM PC XT-286 from 1986”

  1. LGR says:

    To answer questions about the Hardcard: as expected, it doesn't work.
    Every single one of them I've come across are in need of various internal repairs. Hopefully I'll get around to fixing mine up someday, but it'll be a time-consuming and fiddly process that I'm not exactly rushing to get involved in, haha.

  2. Clint, just remember, Seagate ST-225 never dies. The best sounding hard drive ever made, I could fall asleep listening to the sounds one of those make!

  3. CN Mathias says:

    Fleblenerp lol

  4. rm2kmidi says:

    I used to play Wheel of Fortune on our old IBM. Also Jeopardy and Outnumbered. Fun stuff 😛

  5. Great Work LGR Thank you for Saving the Beast , I remember working on these in the day , Smiles 🙂 QC

  6. I shoot across to the 8-Bit guy

  7. Sounds like TOS Startrek:)

  8. Quentin Tubb says:

    i have a case ALOT like that one, but mine has push button domes on the sides at the front and has a flip top lid
    i also have a smaller one that only has three 5 inch bays on the front and a 3 inch one that also has the flip top dome button lid

  9. I used to have a musical 20Mb hard drive on my Model 30/286. It was much smaller, but it sounded like an electronic organ. It used some interface that was a single, flat, ribbon cable. My favorite DOS was IBM 4.0, because it had DOSSHELL. Compared to the Windows of the time, it started up much faster, had quick navigation, and it was easy to use. It had mouse support, but things were really quick, when you used keyboard shortcuts. Fortunately, it was also a stand alone .EXE, that you could copy from one machine to another. It wasn't dependent on any other files. It even runs under DOSbox, and I've always kept a copy with me.

  10. tiamat_023 says:

    there's something therapeutic (maybe it's just nostalgia) about watching your vdeos. My dad was a small business PC guy back in the late 80s and early 90s. I used to help him build PCs all the time — as well as working on my own. I remember my custom 286 fondly =).

  11. douro20 says:

    This was a better computer than the AT, especially with the zero wait state RAM.

  12. Ross Doc says:

    i love your mission, restoring old tecnology there is memory , respect for the origins and a real understanding of our world

  13. Mongo Cosmo says:

    I'm glad that riker and wesley gave it to you ;p Don't let the captain know.

  14. I'm not the only one who found the sound of the hard disk chirping and humming oddly satisfying, am I?

  15. It's funny…these were ten a penny back in the day. Now they are rare vintage objects.

  16. bluphant says:

    I think I saw a Leisure Suit Larry batch file in there….

  17. I'm as old as this computer.

  18. LOL I remember the jet-like sounds when booting up these old machines.

  19. SteelRodent says:

    Maybe you need an old DOS version of SeaTools to check those disks properly ;). Although I seem to recall Seagate called it something else back when it still supported their MFM disks

  20. RoomerJ says:

    After all these years we still need to talk about the difference between cleaning and "restoration". Great video though.

  21. Shouldn't you have to tell the controller the specifics of the HD with a debug command? As I recall you may need to read the sticker on the drive to see the cylinders and sectors or such and poke that info to the controller with the debug command.. The original controller may actually work.. Sigh.. Mfm, can't say I really miss those days very much. Good on you for spending time with it. Cheers!

  22. I'm sure one day professors around the world will how LGR's videos as the perfect storytelling: Intro, problem to solve, problem being solved, problem solved, happy image (2 ibm booting up) for the audience to take home.
    It's just… ahhh wonderful

  23. CR Solarice says:

    There are drivers required for that hardcard for use with DOS. There are also firmware/ROM files that can be applied in case there has been 'firmware/ROM evaporation' occuring (notoriously).

    A good place to start >>> ibm-pc.org_firmware_other_plus hardcard_plus hardcard.htm (substitute front slash for underscores (normal internet address…))

    Also try: Reseating and cleaning all contacts on the card, canned air on the slot that the card is going to be seated in, pencil eraser on the hard card contacts.

    Also: Gently hold the hard card in your hand horizontally and rotate back and forth in place (spinning motion) to unseat stuck (stictioned=siezed spindle bearings) platter(s)…. Has to include some measure of acceleration to work, if its going to but not insane, <= 1g (gentle on rotation direction change).

     Let me know if any this doesn't help out…. You may need to get a ROM chip burned for them (which may actually revive every single one of them…))

    Never did twitter. never will…

  24. CR Solarice says:

    LOL, I use the bath tub and shower nozzle….

  25. i had an ibm xt when i was 10 years old. it did almost nothing, all it had was dos 3.3 on a 10mb hard drive. i played zork 1&2 from 5.25" floppy. when i was around 15 i scrapped the guts and upgraded it to a 386, 486, and later pentium. had to hack the case up some, and i'm surprised the power supply held up like it did. i vaguely remember tooling around microsoft works from a floppy disk.

  26. i want to see the video about an MFM to compactflash adapter!!!

  27. I remember back in the day we dumped loads off these pcs in favour of 386's which was a big upgrade , in IT support at the time we trashed loads off these to land fill, sooo bad.

  28. Dionysus says:

    Hey this was filmed on my birthday!

  29. Spaceman 79 says:

    Awesome, loving your videos. When that Wheel of Fortune segment came I had flash back to middle school (intermediate) in 1991 loading that game on to C64 drive and taking ages, we were impatient children haha.

  30. MRB16th says:

    So MS-DOS 5 won the poll in a blowout, and there's two floppy drives. What a machine.

  31. I LOVE old IBM computers! I have a small collection of them myself in my "retro lab"

  32. I HAVE THAT EXACT Harddisk card… how to get it to be read/write instead of read only? mine works but is somehow locked to be read only

  33. the carcass rustbucket pc could be great for a sleeper

  34. why not msdos 6.22 or freedos?

  35. perfect systems and I love the monitors

  36. FeedScrn says:

    IBM made all of their PCs so easy to fix…. These days trying to repair a laptop is unnecessarily difficult.
    – Louis Rossman – a MAC repair guy is leading the way of "Right To Repair"…. so that cellphones and laptops are not ridiculously difficult to repair for the average user.

  37. 32:51 : sound like ASMR to me, you should make a video of this working,
    just for the pleasure of the ears

  38. Vault428 says:

    Pause at 19:58 and look very closely