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Thread: IBM PS/2 Model 85 "K/N" story

  1. #1

    Angry IBM PS/2 Model 85 "K/N" story

    SO this story begins browsing eBay as it does for many of us.

    I remember seeing this IBM PS/2 Model 85 go up for sale a few months before with a buy it now price of $950cad (every price I state will be in Canadian dollars) I know from watching this video from William Walsh: HERE These systems are fairly rare. But I certainly wasn't willing to pay $950 + $200shipping for one of these systems, especially missing parts.

    Then, a month or so later I saw the machine listed for auction! alright! so I Bid.

    looks like I wasn't the only one who noticed the machine for sale.

    the system was missing all the cables, the CPU, RAM, CACHE, and the i960 scsi controller chips, floppy drives, hard drives, and cdrom drive.

    but what was included interested me greatly!

    so I anxiously awaiting the auction to end... low and behold I was the ONLY BIDDER! so I won the machine for the starting bid of 149USD

    That is when the fun started...

    I will simply give the TL;DR version. The seller works for a computer recycler and re-sells items. The seller also doesn't speak very good English. using a mixture of Spanish and English in emails. this wouldn't be a problem if the seller hadn't pulled a really shady move.

    immediately after winning the auction the seller email's me and says "SORRY THE ITEM DAMAGED I GIVE REFUND" or something to that affect.

    again, the short version: the system wasn't damaged at all, the seller didn't wanna let it go so cheap. But, after getting ebay involved on twitter and repeatedly messaging the seller eventually he allowed me to purchase the system for the agreed price. However he too zero responsibility for the "damage" and he wouldn't send me photos of the "damage"

    again I anxiously wait about a month for the system to arrive....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2019
    San Diego CA


    The anticipation is killing us!

  3. #3


    PART 2:

    As I carried the system around to the side of the house I had a huge pit in my stomach as I could feel the computer moving around inside the box. The makeshift box started to rip and beak apart as i carried it. The box has a very thin layer of bubble wrap and that was it.

    I got the machine downstairs and was surprised the damage really wasn't too bad. lack of packing materials caused some damage to the back plastic panel but otherwise it looked perfect.

    On the inside the cards had been knocked loose, no doubt due to the machine bouncing around on its trip from California to Canada.

    But otherwise it actually looked pretty clean.

    As per: THIS on Louis Page, I did find the onboard F/w scsi controller had blown caps. so I replaced those.

  4. #4


    GOOD NEWS was after a small amount of troubleshooting (PS/2s can be very very picky about memory configurations) The system came to life. Can you really blame the system for being cranky? I have a feeling it hasn't been powered up in at least 10 years.

    I had to add a CPU, RAM, Floppy drive, cables, video card, etc. but thankfully i actually had most of the parts kicking around. (I was very lucky and came into a giant box lot of random IBM computer junk parts, cables, ram, all kinds of stuff) so I was able to mostly get this system back on it's feet.

    I was sent some parts from a few members of a PS/2 Group including Lorenzo from NYCE Distribution. But I'm currently waiting on a few more parts like the i960 chips so i can get the raid cards working.

    I did however win up with the Raid bay trays and Raid cables

    Cable management is kind of a struggle, the DX4/100 Intel Overdrive I installed is REALLY close to the back of the CDrom drive.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    New Zealand
    Blog Entries


    Cool. That damage can be tidied up with a bit of care and you wouldn't know it had happened.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  6. #6


    Oh man, fantastic job saving that system! I had consider bidding on it a few times, but all of the missing parts and the sudden, drastic reduction in price came off as red flags to me. That and I also have a very cranky K/N already that needs some work.

    Also, where'd you find the cables for the hot-swap bays? I have two pairs complete with trays, but only one of the three-drop SCSI cables.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by ButINeededThatName View Post
    Also, where'd you find the cables for the hot-swap bays? I have two pairs complete with trays, but only one of the three-drop SCSI cables.
    Thank's man! there was ALOT of cleaning, recapping, and messing around troubleshooting this system that didn't make it into the story. it was an ADVENTURE to get this thing going. Not to mention my adventure with the seller. 2/10 wouldn't recommend.

    Thank you for not bidding

    ANYWAYS the SCSI cables came from a fellow PS/2 'er and a very very nice guy I might add. He's a member of the PS/2 and microchannel systems group


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