Hacking The 3Com
Multi-Purpose Internet Server

Christopher Rath

May–June, 2002


Most of the actions I describe herein result in the voiding of the device’s warrantee. I take no responsibility for any damage which might result from anyone attempting to duplicate my work. In other words, you bear all responsibility for your own actions. If you break your 3C19504 then it’s your own fault. I do not recommend you reproduce my work! This information is offered for entertainment purposes only, no warrantee is offered or implied.


The 3Com Multi-Purpose Internet Server (Model 3C19504) is a discontinued Linux-based Internet appliance. It provides the following functions: web server, firewall Remote Access Server (RAS), web cache, email server, file server, FTP server, print server, and DHCP server.

As of May, 2002, Computer Geeks is liquidating 3C19504’s for $199US (note, they sold out of units in only a few weeks). I consider this a bargain, and so I purchased one with the intent of upgrading its internal hard drive and customizing it to suit me. Since it is Linux-based, I figured that I had better than even odds of success in this endeavour. This web-page documents my experiences hacking my 3C19504.Front View Of The 3C19504

3Com’s Internet Server product links:

Device Description

Back View Of The 3C19504The 3C19504 is actually a stripped down PC; specifically, it’s a First International Computer America Inc. (FIC) Sahara 1000 with a 500 MHZ Celeron processor and 32 megs of RAM. 3Com has had all unnecessary components removed from the motherboard (i.e., the parts were never soldered onto the boards in the first place), and so only the hardware necessary to deliver the 3C19504’s services are in place. This means that there is no floppy drive, no connector to plug a floppy drive into, no sound card chips, etc.

Of more relevant interest to me, the hacker, is what 3Com left behind; i.e., what hardware did I buy? In place are:

If you crack the case open, you’ll see inside:

What I’ve Learned

So far, here’s a summary of what I’ve managed to learn:

My Work

Rather than make this page enormously long, I have broken out my investigation log, detailed problem listings, and details on how to make the device functional into their own pages:

Other Resources

These links have been helpful in my hacking of the 3C19504:

©Copyright 2002, Christopher & Jean Rath
Telephone: 613-824-4584
Address: 1371 Major Rd., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1E 1H3
Last updated: 2015/02/14 @ 21:33:58 ( )