My Vintage Computer Virtual Museum and blog page.

GRiD Gridcase 1520 Laptop (LCD)

My GRiDCASE 1520 Laptop (Added to my collection in 2022)

  • 80286 10Mhz
  • 1MB RAM
  • 20MB HD
  • 1.44MB Floppy
  • Backlit LCD Screen (640×400)

I had a GRiD 1520 with the Gas-Plasma display back in late middle school/early high school that I had bought from a 2nd hand shop, it was my first “laptop” (at 13lbs it kinda hurt your lap though lol), I really wish I had kept it, the Plasma variants are quite expensive and hard to find. I eventually replaced this laptop with my Zeos 486 “sub-notebook” laptop, quite the difference in size and weight.

This laptop was working, however, it needed some restoration, first power up complained about failed RTC battery and it stunk of the fishy smell of leaking capacitors.

I installed a new Dallas RTC chip, and re-capped the DC-DC board and cleaned up the leaked capacitor electrolyte from the PCB.

After replacing the Dallas RTC module, the laptop booted up asking for a BIOS boot password, after some research I found this site dedicated to this very issue, I guess the new Dallas chip has FF’s in the memory location that GRiD used for the password storage, I was able to enter the upper ASCII chars and get past it, but the setpass utility would not take the upper ASCII password. luckily the person who made the site documenting this issue, also made a utility to generate a type-able backdoor password (I am mirroring this file, the original site’s download says its infected with a virus and is no longer available), I used this generated password with the setpass utility to then clear the password.