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I > IBM  > PC - Model 5150


This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the IBM  PC - Model 5150 computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Tuesday 22nd September 2020
Jay (Washington State USA)

Email is

Tuesday 22nd September 2020
Jay (Washington State USA)

I am looking for one of these at a cheap price, I will pay up to 100$ including shipping if I have to pay for it

Saturday 9th November 2013
Rogelio (México)

Hey, I´m into a project.
Looking for an old IBM 515O STYLED PC AND SCREEN.
Don´t need to be working, just need the enclosures: PC and the screen ones.
(The PC elcossures should have the floppy readers)

Friday 13rd July 2012
Willem Weijgertse (The Netherlands)

I have two pc''s of the model, with monochrome monitors but no original keyboards.
One with two 5,25 inch drives, 512kb Ram.
And one with a 10 Mb harddisk en a 5,25 inch drive.

Wednesday 24th August 2011
Teun Raaijmakers (Netherlands)

i found al lot of 5,25inch drives for this model IBM.
so if someone is looking for 1 or 100 i have them.
teun1984 (a) hotmail . com

Tuesday 12th July 2011
Laura (USA)

I''ve listed some old Sligh office furniture catalogs on Etsy, which have a photo of what I believe is this same computer. Can anyone confirm?

Here''s the link to the listing.

Thursday 12th May 2011

This was my first PC repaired by my hands and with only basic aknowledge in electronics.
The 5150 was set at our Library and an memory error mesage appeared when you powered on.
It had a bad memory chip and I didn´t know how to fix it.
So I found the solution in Brenner´s book which deserve my respects at all.

Saturday 18th September 2010
Thom Anderson (USA)

"Jeffrey H. Ingber" is remembering history wrong. I built literally thousands of machines when working for resellers in the Los Angeles area. You could order a PC with no drives, one drive, or two drives. The XT came out of the box with a 5 1/4" drive and a 10mb hard drive. You could order them that way right out of the box, and take them home.

Now, what alot of operations did was customize. Pull out the single drives and stack two 1/2 height floppy drives. Order the XT with no hard drive and put in a 20 or 40mb hard drive with its own controller.

The idea that you "couldn''t" go in and get from IBM a machine ready to run out of the box is hogwash. People did it all day, every day. The biggest sellers for home use were two drive PCs from the factory, and standard XTs with the hard drive from the factory. Hughes Aircraft, Rockwell and others would order XTs without the hard drive and have third party Seagates put into them$by the THOUSANDS. Our config center would crank out hundreds of machines over a weekend, so I know what I am talking about!

Saturday 31st July 2010
Raindance Rob (UK)
Rave Info

my old man brought one of these from work back in about 93-94 for £50 i had it in my room $ spent much of my childhood using one for word processing $ playing games. in order to play a game or load a floppy you had to enter a command as they wouldnt just run otherwise. our one had on floppy drive $ i wasnt much for the screen as it would get whatever you had been doing burned onto the screen, plus it used to give me headaches which no other monitor has ever given me lol i owe alot to these PC''s as they started my interest in computers which i still have today $ has been a lifelong hobby. unfortunately when we moved house it got left behind in our old house $ i do miss it alot, i would definitely buy another one

Sunday 8th November 2009
Alessio Di Domizio

I''ve done some extensive research about the MS/DRI debate. As Tom Rolander (DRI) states in many interviews, DRI was indeed interested in having their OS in the IBM PC. Gary Kildall and Rolander did meet IBM executives, there were some early licensing disputes (it seems that IBM wanted to buy the whole CP/M 86, while DRI obviously preferred a licensing scheme). IBM then involved Microsoft to have an OS ready for the PC launch.

Microsoft proceeded with buying QDOS from Tim Paterson - who wrote it in 6 weeks QDOS - many suspect it to be a CP/M ripoff.

After some legal threats from DRI against IBM, both a completely rewritten MS'' QDOS (due to bugs, IBM had to rewrite it fron scratch), branded PC-DOS, and CP/M were given as an option to PC buyers.

As DRI''s Rolander recalls, when the IBM PC went on sale, CP/M option was priced $ 240, while Microsoft-IBM PC-DOS was priced $ 40.

Tuesday 19th May 2009
Bob Teodori (USA)

I had one of these old beasts. I had the Hercules Graphics card and an Amdek amber-on-black monochrome monitor. It did indeed have the 8-bit slots but there were only 6 of them. The XT had 8. Most of the chipsets on the board were made by texas instruments although I do also remember seeing hitachi and samsung chips as well. I remember this because when I was 12, I took the thing apart right down to the screws and rebuilt it again. This computer is the reason I know how to build PCs today. (Like my Phenom II system I just built last week! LOL!) The upgradability was fantastic for its day and at the very end, I had an AdLib sound card and an ATi EGA Wonder. Ahhh, the carefree days of my youth. I actually even ran my BBS on it with a 2400bps modem for over a year. *grin* my BBS, Seventh Heaven can currently be found on the historic area code 416 BBS List.
Oh yeah, one more thing. It took a full 2 minutes for the thing to boot once you managed to get your hand to the back of the case to flip the power switch.

Saturday 4th April 2009
David E Wyant is not completely correct

Bill Gates didn''t have an OS so he SENT Jack Sams to see Gary Kildall about CP/M. When Gary''s wife Dorothy turned them away, Bill realized that he needed to get an OS or his deal with IBM might fall apart.

Saturday 4th April 2009
David E Wyant (USA)

The reason IBM did not go with CP/M is that two guys in IBM garb showed up at the CP/M location in Sunnyvale (which was a home) to discuss that IBM was going to build a PC. The husband wasn''t home and, before they would even tell the wife who they were, they asked the wife to sign a 22 page disclosure (standard for IBM when working with other OEMs). She was so overwhelmed and confused that she threw them out. They then called back to their manager who suggested that, since they were already on the west coast, they go up to talk to "that guy who wrote the basic".

Saturday 12th August 2006
T Heavey (Olympia, WA)
Washington Service Corps

In 1983 we were a new government program and my boss, a great visionary - who none-the-less considered a pencil to be a portable printer, my boss knew this "PC Thingy" would be important. Because I had been playing around at home with TRS-99 he appointed me to be "the computer guy."

We purchased an IBM PC with an 8086 chip. It was the second PC in the entire State Employment Agency. Two floppy drives and one 10 megabyte hard drive in the expansion chasis. (During design phase I requested a 20 megabyte hard and I was told by our "expert" - '10 megabytes is more than you will use in a life time.')
I later added a second 10 megabyte hard drive in the expansion chasis. dBase II was the main piece of software I ran, with some word processing with WordStar.
By using the PC to organize data collection we were able to demonstrate the effectiveness of our programs and we continue to serve the people 23 years later.
I have retired now, but thousands and thousands of young people owe a great start in their working life to vision of that one guy and the use of the IBM PC.

Friday 28th July 2006
Jonathan Hubbard (Utah)

I own one of these computers it has never been used and is like in prestine shape does anyone know how much I could sell it for.

Tuesday 25th April 2006
SirOrlando (Utah (USA))

To John Cowley:

This reply comes a year later, but regarding "Non-System Disk or Disk Error," the answer is quite simple:

In order to boot up properly, an operating system is required. As these computer systems only came with floppy drives (originally), you must start the computer with a "Boot Disk" in the first of the two floppy drives.

Assuming the disk has the necessary system files on it, and it has not become corrupt, then they will allow the operating system to load into memory. If successful, you will come up with a DOS command prompt.

During a time before the success of the mouse, the IBM PC and compatible computers ran completely from a command prompt. From here, you can swap diskettes, enter commands, and launch programs. But without a "System Disk," to tell the machine how to talk to it's hardware and peripherals, the computer is unusable.

Thursday 13rd April 2006
Rick (Sussex, United Kingdom)

Back in the early nineties I bought one of these second hand and wrote my entire four years' worth on university work on it! Mine had a hardcard - a 30MB HDD on an expansion card - in it, which made things a lot easier. Those were the days: DOS and WordPerfect 5.1 !!!

Wednesday 3rd August 2005
Renzin (USA)

My dad used to use these at his job. The drives were so primitive, so they liked to eat disks. Can you attatch a 3.5 floppy on this?

Saturday 12th February 2005
john cowley (virginia)

i was working with the 5150 personal computer, and every time I try to start it up it says: "Non-System or system disk error, press any key when ready."
Do any of you'll know whats wrong w/ it and how to fix it?

Thursday 15th July 2004
javier (canary islands)

this computer was the origin of the wold´s most succesfull computer architecture

Monday 26th April 2004
Matjaz (Ljubljana)

To Maja - IBM-PC is copyrighted, but it is very hard to prevent somebody to do some reverse-engineering and build a 100% compatible machine from scratch. In IBM's case, that was Compaq, I belive. IBM even sued them over copyright infringment of the BIOS code, but they lost, as we can all see. And rightfully so - reverse-engineering is not the same as copying and if done in the spirit of "fair use" - perfectly legal.

Saturday 10th May 2003
Maja (Ljubljana,Slovenia)

Hi. Does anyone happen to know, why IBM did not patent the original PC? I mean, how did it happen that everybodey started cloning the thing. Was that IBM's intent or did it happen by accident?
If anyone knows,I'd much appreciate the info.

Saturday 7th September 2002
Yves Mc Donald (Montreal, Canada)

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2 was the best hardware compatibility test software to evaluate IBM PC clones!
The PC keyboard had an excellent feei but was VERY noisy and CGA output in text mode was flickering when scrolling text. MDA display was eye-pleasing and character generator supported accented letters; great tought for non-English users!

Tuesday 12th February 2002
Newtony (Belgium)

Hi Jiri,
try the two links below, they have tons of old games !

Wednesday 30th January 2002
Jiri (British Columbia, Canada)

Anyone know where I might be able to find some interesting software for my IBM-PC 5150. I have DOS 3.1 and 3.3 disks but am looking for old programs and games etc. Thanks...

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