apple Lisa2. One working!! - one to go?

Terry Stewart terry at
Wed Dec 8 15:47:17 CST 2010

Tony (and anyone else interested),

Here is the symptom on this Lisa 2/10 (or Mac XL as they are also called 

It passes all tests until it gets to the I/O board test.  It then fails with 
an error 57 message (disk controller fault).  Reading Lisa 2 documentation 
suggests this is the Lisa Lite adaptor, but with a Lisa 2/10 there is no 
such thing. The floppy disk is connected straight to the I/O board.  I am 
not sure if the fault is on the I/O board itself, or somewhere on the Widget 
hard drive controller?   I've found the schematics, but no real "theory of 
operation" docs for the widget drive itself.

The Lisa allows you to click on both the hard drive icon or the floppy drive 
icon even after the error is posted.  Neither work.  The hard drive comes up 
with an error 82 which means "Drive doesn't answer".  I can't recall right 
now what the floppy error is, but it doesn't spin up or eject, even with a 
DD drive.

I suspect the fault is on the I/O board itself as the floppy seems dead even 
when the hard disk is disconnected.  However, I'm not assuming anything. 
This may be just because the I/O has reported an error, or it's 
functionality may need the widget drive to be on-line.

Some other things...

1. With the widget and floppy drive unplugged, the same error occurs (but 
this might be because they ARE unplugged).  The error also occurs with 
either one or the other plugged in

2. When I switch on, the widget drive spins up, the drive light flashes and 
I "think" I can hear the "clack" people write about when the brake is 
released.  It's quite noisy but I believe these drives are.

3. I've cleaned all the card edges.

4. I'm fairly sure I have the right ROMS.  The machine reports H/E8.  H is 
correct for the Lisa 2/10.  E8 (which refers to the floppy disk routine I 
think) is not documented anywhere.  88 seems more common.  It may be a later 

5. The I/O board looks in good external shape with no evidence of corrosion 

6. I've reseated all socketed ICs I could find, both on the I/O board and 
the widget drive.

I have a scope, logic probe and multimeter.  I also have the schematics. I 
have a website where I can post pictures if needed for diagnostic purposes. 
I have "some" skills at interpretation but I would still class myself as an 
"advanced beginner" so any guidence as to where I might start is most 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tony Duell" <ard at>
To: <cctalk at>
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 9:19 AM
Subject: Re: apple Lisa2. One working!! - one to go?

>> Many thanks for your time and input.
> No problem... Diagnosing faults is much more fun that flamewars about
> musuems ;-)
>> It's now onto the next project, which is a faulty I/O board in a Lisa 
>> 2/10.
>> I want to get that widget drive booting so I can experience the real Lisa
>> office suite!
> I've had a quick look at the I/O board schematics on the web. It looks to
> be several somewhat independant sectioms, each one (apart from the FDC,
> which has its own 6504 microprocessor..) fairly simple. Do you have any
> idea where the fault is?
> -tony

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