Amstrad ALT-286

Year: 1989

Initial Price: $ 2600


The Amstrad ALT-286 is a very nice machine, its a mix between the TOSHIBA T3100/20 and the SHARP PC-4500.

It shares same technology like the two mentioned above but the display its superior due to the fact it came on the market almost 3 years after the Toshiba and Sharp. Even if it was more budget oriented the computer has a lot of features and the quality build is impressive.

I got this computer from a local sales site and the computer was stated as working.  The amount requested was 699 LEI, that means in EUR 155. I called the seller and he was OK to sell it for 40 EUR.  The original post:

Short technical description:

Computer:  ALT 286
Processor: 80286
Screen: VGA LCD 640*480 Pixel 
Reverse by programming plus contrast and brightness switches
Graphics: Cirrus Logic
Memory: 4x 1024 KB Max
Harddisk: 20 to 60 MB
FDD Drive 720 KB FD-235HF
Extensionslots VGA 
AT Keyboard 
FDD Floppydrive
System:  DOS 3.3 and DOS 5.0
Printerport Centronics
Serial Ports 2×9 Pens. One for mouse
Weight: 7 KG


The Computer had better days, the HDD spins up but OS is not found, and the FDD is not working for sure as it has a very unlikely sound when booting and it does not spin the floppy disk. I will take apart the computer these days and I will replace the HDD and the FDD unit. The FDD unit can be replaced but there is a custom mod you have to do on the Floppy cable. I found an interesting article of someone that replaced the original unit with a standard one. I will start working and get back to you with the details.

As promised, below you can see the modifications I made for the Floppy Drive,  now everything works fine. I had spent around 4 hours to complete all “discrepancies” this computer had. If you want to see the repairs, click here.


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