Return SE/30 from the dead?

The SE doesn’t suffer from swollen caps (mine boots up just fine) but apparently the SE/30 may have this issue! They have very different motherboards. But I don’t know to troubleshoot faulty caps.

If it’s not bulging or leaking, the only way to test a capacitor is to remove it and test it on a meter.

In general, electrolytic capacitors do tend to fail after many years, but I wouln’t proactively start replacing them if everything is working fine and nothing is bulging/leaking.

If you do have a problem, then I would recommend replacing all of the electrolytic capacitors once you’ve gone through the work to open the case and remove the boards. They won’t all be bad, but caps are not very expensive and you don’t want to replace one and close up the computer only to find a different one failing later on.


More excellent advice. Thank you! Everything helps.

That symbol means several things. First, that your motherboard is likely fine. Second, that the machine can boot, power works, display works, etc. That’s also good news.

The bad news is that the symbol means that it wasn’t able to find a copy of the operating system on the boot disk. That may mean that the boot disk is toast, in which case you aren’t likely to get any of that data short of hiring a very expensive forensic recovery team. What you need at this point is an exterrnal bootable drive, with a suitable version of the OS on it. Unfortunately, about the only way to get one of those is by creating it with an identical version of the mac hardware.

There are two major categories of potential problem here. The first, and extremely common, is that the disk boot blocks simply aren’t readable. Those can be restored by suitable software and it’s not too difficult, if you know the byte layout of the partition map, etc. You might be able to find a mac tech locally who can help with that.

The second probability is that the disk hardware simply hasn’t survived. If that’s true, you could get the mac running again by replacing the disk, but the data on that broken disk is likely lost, short of hiring a very expensive, forensic recovery team.

My advice would be to carefully evaluate how much money you’re willing to gamble on the possibility of recovering that data. If it’s a small amount, look for a local mac tech and explain the situation to them. If it’s a large amount, just google for a forensic recovery team immediately without making any other attempts to recover since any failed attempt could easily wipe out precious data. If it’s zero, then it’s probably time to give up.

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Thanks for the great advice. There’s nothing critical on the hard drive that we can’t live without. We just really want to get it up and rolling to see what we can find.

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