Technical Articles

Taking the Screwdriver to your Tandy 1110HD


Many have written us and asked about replacing the hard drive on the Tandy 1110HD notebook. Until this week I have always replied with the usual, “I haven’t had to attempt that yet.” Yes, you guessed it. This was the week. Being a vintage collector and an avid Tandy user, I always put my vintage micros to work.

This past year I have been on the road, and always had my trusty Tandy 1110HD with me loaded with MS-DOS 5.0 and Quicken Version 5. I was using the machine to maintain my records. Well like many, I had to finish my year end, so I pulled out my trusty Tandy, turned it on… and NOTHING!!!

I can’t believe it, a Tandy that let me down. This has never happened and like many others, I failed to back it up. So, I rummaged through the warehouse and came up with a wrecked Tandy 1500HD (working hard drive). I grabbed my trusty screwdriver and ‘Frankenstein-ed’ me a fixed Tandy 1110HD。

How is it done, please read on: First you have to flip the unit over and remove three Phillips screws from the base. Then turn the unit around with the back facing you and open the interface port hatch and remove two more screws. Almost done unscrewing… now open the display and remove the two hinge covers on both sides of the case. One is above the “Key Pad” key and the other is above the “ESC” key. Please see the photos (Thumbnails).

Under those covers you will find four more screws to remove. This allows the display to be lifted back while pulling open the case from the back. At this point the front of the case closest the ‘space bar’ will catch. With a wide flat screw driver gently pry up the case on both sides of the display locking latch. The top of the case will come detached. Take the top of the case with the display and flip it forward towards the back of the computer. Now, take a breath and remember what you did so far. You will have to reverse this procedure to get it back together.

Once you have the machine open, you are presented with the keyboard still attached and the mainboard and expansion bay covered with a metal RF shielding. You will now have to remove the shielding. This is accomplished by removing five screws. Three from the upper plates, one from just above the keyboard and one to the left of the keyboard.

The hard drive is located under the keyboard. The keyboard is held in by just one silver colored screw. Note all other screws are brass colored. You will also note that their are two types of screws. Machine threaded, which are those that are used in metal to metal and coarse threads used for attaching components to plastic parts. Remove the silver screw, and gently lift the keyboard from the top. The keyboard’s lower portion is held in my tabs. Pull the keyboard forward and flip it in front the of the computer base.

To remove the RF shielding you must disconnect the display panel wiring from the mainboard. There are two connections. One sixteen pin white Mylar and one two pin Mylar. Gently pull them off the mainboard and pull the wire out and clear of the RF shielding. You will need to clip one zip tie with small side cutters. This wiring is attached to the top of the case. (See Photo) Now lift the RF shielding and and pull/flip towards you and gently lay it over the keyboard in front of the machine. Two flat keyboard cables prevent you from removing the RF shielding completely and you need not dissemble it further.

The hard drive is found at the bottom right, and it is wrapped in RF shielding. There are three screws holding the drive down and one IDE cable attached to the mainboard. Remove the screws and IDE cable. Now, remove the drive from the machine.

Once the drive is out, you need to remove the drive from the bracket and shielding. Four small screws hold these together. Remove those and pull the drive from the shielding. You now have the old drive out. You will find it to be a Conner CP-2024. I used the same drive from my cannibalized Tandy 1500HD. Replace your hard drive, and reverse the procedure. Attach the hard drive, RF shielding, keyboard, and re-attached the Mylar connectors to the mainboard for the display. Gently reset the top of the case along with the display, replacing all the screws. Re-attach the hinge covers, and replace the screws on the case. Plug in the power, and turn the machine on.

Three beeps later you should get a prompt for a boot floppy disk. Run “FDISK.COM”. Create your DOS partition.

Reboot and then run “FORMAT.COM C: /S”.

Your done, and it should have only taken you 40 minutes. If you are unsure of yourself and have the guts… go for it.

We at do not take any responsibility for a trashed 80. You are ultimately in control of your own hands, and free will. Good luck and happy vintage computing.