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I found a Fujitsu Lifebook 280Dx in mint condition at a thrift store. There isn’t a scratch on it. I snatched it up. I thought it would be a great DOS-era retro gaming machine. However, I am having an issue with using it. While it did have the modular 3.5″ floppy and Zip drive installed, it did not come with the battery(s) or the CD-ROM drive. I would really like to get my hands on the CD-ROM drive. However, I checked eBay and nothing. Someone told me about Yahoo Auctions in Japan and nada. I know finding parts for a 25-year-old laptop is a long shot, but I’d like to try.

Where else can I look to find these hard-to-find parts?

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    This kind of stuff is widely available and cheap at second "recycle" shops like Hard Off. Though finding exactly what you need might be challenging. I would try to find the Japanese sites. Some YouTubers buy old teach online from Japan so it's possible but I wouldn't know the sites other than the Japan versions of the big international sites we all know. Jul 9, 2020 at 5:56
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    I'd say, Ebay/Yahoo is the only place ... and it'll take patience. After all, you aren't looking for anything new. Beside that thrift stores are your best bet. There isn't much in looking to other countries beside Ebay/Yahoo.
    – Raffzahn
    Jul 9, 2020 at 6:04
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    My garage. I was supposed to have cleared it years ago.
    – TonyM
    Jul 9, 2020 at 9:51
  • Are you looking for the CD-ROM so you can load programs from CD? If you have DOS6.22 you can use intersvr and interlnk with a serial/parallel cable.
    – cup
    Aug 4, 2021 at 19:10
  • It has a USB-port. Even if just a USB-1 port you should be able to use a USB-dvd drive with it. Aug 7, 2021 at 13:09

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If you can dig up the service manual, you can then identify the model or product ID of the CD-ROM drive. Then you can get very specific when searching.

I've setup an ebay search for product IDs and it emails me daily whenever something matches the criteria.

Other than that, buying another Lifebook that has a CD-ROM drive could be your best bet. It's expensive, but at least you get spare parts.

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  • Not quite Retro, but a few years ago the paper tray on my Brother laser (I think 12 years old at the time) broke, but the printer was otherwise fine. Cheapest solution was an entire used same-model printer from eBay. Turns out that came with a busted network port, so I couldn't swap "any/all parts as needed" but the paper tray was good and I got another year out of my old printer. Aug 3, 2021 at 14:41
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If you can live without the original Fujitsu CDROM, and can tolerate more cables and hardware...

A manual for the Fujitsu 200 series (not necessarily the 280DX):

https://www.manualslib.com/manual/246254/Fujitsu-270dx.html?page=19#manual

...shows both a USB port and PCMCIA slots are probably available.

If either option exists, then the easiest method would be either to obtain one of these relatively common items:

  1. External USB optical media drive. Note: if the USB port is not USB 2.0 this might be a bit slow.
  2. PCMCIA card to external optical media drive. Not as common as USB drives, but probably faster.
  3. PCMCIA card with USB 2.0 connectors. Then obtain an external USB optical media drive.
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My mother-in-law just dropped up a 280dx for my son to disassemble. It has the CD-ROM drive if you're still looking, DM me.

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  • there is no direct messaging on stackexchange. Thanks for the offer, I actually found a cd drive recently. Out of curiosity, do you have any other parts?
    – Keltari
    Nov 13, 2021 at 1:42
  • I have the rest of the laptop save for the power adapter. The keyboard has a busted N key.
    – Seth
    Nov 16, 2021 at 18:52
  • Ah ok. Do you have the battery or docking station?
    – Keltari
    Nov 17, 2021 at 2:52
  • No docking station but I do have the battery. Unsure of battery condition however since there is no power adapter.
    – Seth
    Nov 18, 2021 at 6:15
  • email me at finkelmana at yahoo.com I would be interested in it.
    – Keltari
    Nov 18, 2021 at 11:55

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