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Power Mac 7220: Optical Drives

The Power Macintosh 7220 was built cheap and used off-the-shelf PC hardware, including IDE CD and harddrives. Due to this, upgrading the CD drive is relatively easy... or it seems it would've been... when IDE CD drivers were popular! Nowadays everything is SATA and so finding a good IDE CD drive can be difficult. You'll find them on eBay, but they'll be marked as vintage and people therefore think they can raise the prices.

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Fortunately, in one weekend I managed to acquire a grand total of 6. I bought 2 on eBay (a standard PC version and then another since it was an actual Apple model) as I was sick of not finding any, but then stumbled across another 2 at Trash and Treasure (Australia's version of Flea Markets or Swap meets) the very next morning. The following post is an effort to detail the pain and suffering of finding out how (in)compatible the drives were.

LG CED-8080B

I actually found this at a thrift store last weekend for AUD$5. Initially, installed into the Mac with cables connected, it stopped the entire machine from booting. It was about to be shown the bin, but I chose to test it again once I'd had the rest of the drives (and a strategy) and the bloody thing decided to work.

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It wouldn't boot the Mac OS 8.0 CD that I had burned on Windows (but this seems to be a common trend... note that the CD image is now deemed unbootable!) As another test, I installed Toast 4.1.3 and found a blank CD-R. Using Toast's "Disk Copy" method, I created a new temporary CD volume and then dragged the System Folder over from my main startup disk. Toast burnt all this to the CD (with the bootable flag) and the CD booted!

Pioneer DVR-106D

Very plain-looking Pioneer drive. Expecting good things from a quality manufacturer.

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Again, it wouldn't boot the image burned via windows. I therefore tried something different: I imaged the burned Mac OS 8.0 CD to the desktop, mounted the image and then attempted to re-burn the image to a new blank CD with the bootable flag set. Unfortunately, I couldn't actually successfully burn a CD with this drive. No configuration or speed setting (buffer-underrun protection included) would work!

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Another point: ejecting the tray saw it get sucked straight back in again... a fault of Mac OS or the drive itself? If you were quick you could snatch the disc out.

Pioneer DVR-108

Quite similar to the previous Pioneer, this is a very plain looking drive. Based on the previous drive, my hopes weren't so high!

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This drive also failed to burn every CD I tried. Even on standard settings (16x), it threw buffer underruns. Switching on the buffer-underrun protection did nothing to help. Burning at lower speeds (all the way down to 1x) with underrun protection still failed miserably.

Don't use Pioneer drives with old Macintosh machines. Seems that it takes too long to spin up and the machine fails to have the data ready?

At this point I switched back to the LG CED-8080B that I knew worked... just to make sure my process of disk imaging was stable. It happily burnt the disk image! Of course, on reboot the Mac just showed a question mark. It had no intention on booting my 'bootable' copied-twice ISO.

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Note that, once back in the OS booted off the HD, I could still happily use the installer on the CD. It just wasn't bootable.

LG GSA-4167B

This one is listed as a Super-Multi. I'd usually be happy with this level of functionality, but the above results indicate that the Power Macintosh itself may not be able to cope with a drive that can spin too fast.

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Either way, it still is a really nice drive... smooth, quiet and fast. The best part is that it burned the CD with no issues!... but it proved that my CD burning idea was incorrect. You cannot convert a non-bootable ISO burned under Windows into a bootable ISO this way.

Note that this drive does not open with the case on. The tray face is too large to fit through the space provided in the front panel of a Power Mac 7220 case! This is sad.. it's the best drive of the bunch, and I didn't feel like hacking it to make it fit!

Apple GCC-4480B

Smooth drive. Happily imaged an 8.6 CDR ISO in a matter of minutes. Note that it does not have a drive activity LED on the front.

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The image was then burned back to a CDR with the bootable flag and the image booted! The flashing disk with question mark showed up for a split-second and then it convinced itself to boot!

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Feeling motivated, I used this drive to try and re-build the Mac OS 8.0 ISO into a bootable CD, but the drive also refused to boot it. Turns out that ISO itself is to blame?

This drive also doesn't fit correctly behind the face of the Power Mac 7220 case. Due to the missing front plate on the drive, the eject button doesn't mate and therefore the drive is rendered useless when the case is put back together.

Apple CR-583-B

This is the original drive that came with the machine. This has a little sticker over the eject button (but the button still works) and an activity light which is obscured by the front case.

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This drive happily booted the OS 8.6 ISO that was re-bootable'd using the process above. This contradicts my initial impressions of "not being able to boot a burned CD", as ... well ... it does boot them. You just need to make sure the burned CD is 'correct'.

Of course, this drive is not a recorder... hence why Toast was telling me that no recorder was found. I even rebooted the machine to find the recorder... I can assure you that rebooting did not turn it into a recorder!

Which Drive?

After trying out everything above, I had to settle on a drive. I didn't want the original as it didn't have the 'tabs' to hold a CD in when the drive is mounted vertically. I also wanted to use an Apple drive, but the one's I had wouldn't really work with the case or weren't a burner. Instead I chose the black LG and modified it's tray face-plate to fit through the Power Mac's front fascia. This required a little filing on the ends of the tray.

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In the end, it works like a charm!

Filed under: Apple No Comments
12Jan/170

Power Mac 7220

I've recently dug back into Macromedia Director disassembling with a goal to help finish an engine that can run movies under ScummVM. I've always wanted to make Gadget run on random hardware... and for that matter, on newer versions of windows without issues. To get this done, I've had to create permuatations of Director movies to be able to decode the bytes. For example, text labels on Director stages/frames can have fonts, styles (bold, underline, etc..), font sizes, margins, borders, box shadows and text shadows. Each of these customisations react against the others and therefore all permutations need to be given to be able to render stages correctly. To do this, I've been using BasiliskII, but it tends to dislike loading Director after closing it.

So... that's the brief... what's the answer? Since I've gotten rid of my Quadra 950 and Power Mac 7200, I scoured eBay to find a replacement. Turns out that a Power Mac 7220 (aka 4400) (aka not-really-a-mac) was available; two units, two keyboards, two mice and a monitor, actually. I only wanted one unit, but got a good offer to take the whole lot.

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Tear-down

All items were quite dirty and so a complete tear-down was required.

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That's not sepia tone.. that's a solid layer of 'protective' dust. I usually use that excuse with my car, but not with computers. The entire system was caked, so it received a solid once-over.

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Nothing better than finding spider eggs... bleach fixed that.

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Apart from the external case screws, the rest of the machine came apart with brute force. It is said that this Macintosh is as close to PC as possible... so it's very PC-like regarding IDE devices and case screws.. but then the Apple comes through with a perfectly dismantle-able case.

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The motherboard was slightly grotty! It all came up good after a wipe and vacuum.

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Of note: No fan on the CPU? AT-style power connectors. IDE connectors, but it seems that they're the same channel when you follow the traces (i.e. a header for master and a header for slave.) Crystal sound chip? Does apple ever use this? Built in ATI Graphics. "Feature Option"? First RAM slot is for "Single Bank" whereas the second two are "Dual Bank"? (I've read that this means you can have a 32mb in the single and 64mb in the doubles.)

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Power Supply Test

The power supply looked to be in good shape externally and I didn't feel like opening it. I decided to take the punt and switched the machine on.

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It chimed! The hard disk then started booting... All was going well until I heard the disk park the heads. It's a really scary event for a hard disk as it only happens when the disk itself knows it's in trouble. This is an old Quantum 1.2g and so the fact that it parked meant its basic error checking kicked in. The booting stopped as the drive was beeping. Not an overly audible beep, but it seemed to be fighting requests from the machine to fetch any more data.

Subsequent boots failed to produce happy disk-reading noises... it was parked for good. I'll need a screen attached to be able to see what's going on... and I'll need a video cable for that.

VGA Cable

I used the forum post here as a reference to wire up a VGA cable. I used an old VGA cable that I had in my junk box and purchased a male DB-15 connector and ribbon cable from Jaycar. After stripping and tinning both sides, I mapped out the VGA cable. The Macintosh side was easy enough as the IDC cable was, from the red wire, 1, 9, 2, 10, 3, 11, etc...

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Heatshrink came in very handy to keep everything isolated. Make sure you choose a size that is wide enough to slip over everything you want it to. ALSO make sure that you don't try to slip it over whilst the solder is still hot! ALSO make sure you remember to slip the heatshrink on before you solder the wires :)

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I initially tested on an LCD, but the Apple Multiple Scan 15 Display M2978 also worked first time! But gets very blurry after 30 minutes of usage.

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I shut the machine down and gave the HDD a little 'love tap'. Usually when the heads are parked (or stuck?), a tap can dislodge them. Of course, it could be that the magnet that locks the heads in place was just sticky... maybe the drive was wearing itself out trying to un-stick the heads. Either way... the small jolt did the job!

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PRAM Battery

There's no chance the battery still worked. It's also quite difficult to find an off-the-shelf replacement.

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I ended up at Jaycar and found a 3AAA battery holder. Using a bit of extension wire, I snipped the plug off the dead battery and wired it all together.

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The cable was run under the CD-ROM chassis and placed right next to the HDD. Taped up tight also... any effort to prevent future leakage (and terminal shorting) is appreciated.

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CD-ROM Drives

The IDE drive that comes with this machine did not like booting from CD. It might just be that my CDs were copies, or that the drive itself was faulty. I tried two other IDE drives, but had no luck trying to boot from them. I then tried a SCSI CD drive, but that wouldn't boot either. In fact, the SCSI drive needed the Sunrise CD driver to even recognise CDs. So, any IDE drive will work with the base drivers, but if you want to boot off a burnt CD then you will possibly need a real Apple SCSI drive.

Of course, I've learnt all the above before with my previous Quadra 950. It's amazing how quickly you forget these things. The Power Mac 7220 was also locking the IDE non-Apple drives and they were getting quite confused. If you soft reboot when the drive is locked then you can quickly have an unusable drive until you power down the entire machine.

Again, just stick to real Apple CD drives and real Apple CDs.

Actually, with further googling, it turns out that there might be ways to correctly burn and make bootable a CD image. Supposedly the System Folder needs to be 'blessed'. I would've expected this to be already the case in the bytes inside the ISO image, but supposedly not. I might try Toast on the Mac and burn a disk image and test from there. Here's a good guide.

Extra IDE Disks?

There's two IDC headers for IDE connections on the motherboard. Looking closely at the board, you can see parallel traces running between the headers, so it's pretty safe to assume that they're on the same bus. From this you can then assume that the CD-ROM header is hard-wired as slave with the HDD header as master. Disregarding this assumption, I tried to plug two HDDs on the HDD port.

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I had an 80-pin IDE cable on hand, but it turns out these are 'keyed' with one blocked pin. This doesn't fit the header on the motherboard. Instead I found another IDE cable. The second drive is 200gb and was seemingly busted... clicking badly! I found another HDD, this time 500gb.

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The Apple booted up both times in this configuration, but never saw the second drive.

SCSI Disks

I've always been interested to know how 50-pin cables convert to 'Printer port' DB-25 pin plugs at the other end... turns out that this motherboard has a SCSI controller and a 50-pin IDC header that has an adapter to an external DB-25 port!

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Ok, so ... every second pin is skipped? Half-duplex over full? Totally interesting! Fortunately, I had a cable to convert it back to 50-pin and tested out my dual-drive external bay. All worked flawlessly, even though the second disk was incompatible... will need to install PC Exchange or something else... I don't even know what's on the drive!

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RAM

The 200mhz version supports up to 160mb. So that's two 64mb DIMMs and one 32mb. The recommended spec is Unbuffered 60ns Non-ECC 3.3 volt DIMMs. Even though it is mentioned here, here and here that ECC RAM can be used in non-ECC motherboards, this does not hold true for older Power Macs. G5 and higher were able to support ECC.

Network Card

Both machines came with the same network card in them. It's a Communications Slot II profile card, with very little information on it. Most information on the 4400/7220 indicates that it either has a 'built-in' card or just comes with a standard 'Apple CS II Ethernet' card and the aptly named extension from the Mac OS CD will work.

After re-installing OS 8.6, I could see the driver in the extensions folder, but there was no network link light. The device showed up in System Profiler, but with very little information.

I then tried OS 9.1. It is the last out-of-the-box compatible version with my machine. During both installs, I couldn't boot from the CD, so I performed a clean install over the top of 8.6. Neither made the ethernet work.

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The card has "BD-064 REV a." written on the top. "GSEP-M01" and "94V-0" on the back. Also "805-1614-A" on the face-plate. Googling for everything but the first item came up with zero results.

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Finally, I found this post (6 months old!) from someone in the same predicament. The post author indicates that there's more information near the ethernet port. It sure as heck isn't on the board...

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Oh what? It's on the face-place.. under the removable face-plate? Nice work. Actually, now that I think of it... the removable 'face plate' is only used for this type of PC-style case. In a usual Performa (or other Power PC), this piece of metal, which obscures the relevant information required, would not be obscuring the relevant information required!

The author of the post above reported the same model number, so I used the drivers he specified. I tried to use a floppy to copy over Sonic Systems EtherLAN 7.8 Drivers. This didn't work on either the first, second or third attempt. I kept getting serious disk errors on the Macintosh side, so I think the floppy drive is gone. I therefore resorted to wasting a CD-R and copied the driver, plus some other bits and pieces, over.

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Installation was a breeze... the link light lit up right at the end of the boot process just before the desktop and then I tried Internet Explorer... poor machine ground to a halt! 48mb of RAM seems to be insufficient.

Macromedia Director

3 is throwing "An error of type 2 occurred". I haven't tried 4 yet. One step at a time!

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Turns out that Mac OS 8 is the last version that Director 3 will happily run on. I've created a partition specifically for this version. Director will open on 8.1 and 8.5 (getting past that error above), but then crash when trying to load movies. Mac OS 8.0 is the safest version to use.

Mac OS 9.2.2?

Nope. The 'Tanzania' motherboard that this Macintosh is based on does NOT support anything higher than OS 9.1. OS9 Helper which I used on my previous 7200 does NOT support this model. Don't even try!

BeOS 4.5

Turns out this is one of the few Power Macs that can run BeOS! I also have the CDs. Will test this out in short order.

Linux?

Sure, why not. Instructions are all over the internet.

Overclocking

The motherboard hardly has a passive heatsink on the CPU, so it can't be getting too hot during runtime. This gives an option to consider overclocking it, as we can just put a fan onto it!

There's a few links here at apple fool indicating overclocking the PowerMac 4400/160 and the Tanzania Motherboard. The first article is a dead link but web.archive comes to our rescue here. The basic idea:

How to update you PowerMac 4400/160 to a 4400/200:
1. Locate the SMD-Resitors R1 and R9 on the Logicboard. There on the left side of the CPU.
2. Remove R1 and R9 carefully and solder a 10K resistor to R2 and 10K to R8.
3. Attach a Fan on the Heatsink of the CPU.
4. Yes, now it runs at 200 MHz.

Ok, but we have the 200mhz version. Thanks again to web archive, here's the link on the Tanzania Motherboard. The blue box, up in the top-left corner near the CPU is where our settings are (or the bottom-right area below on my photo.)

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R8 and R9 are below the CPU OPTION pads with R21-24 above. The SMDs are tiny, so shifting them around will be a nightmare. By the table, we'd only need to shift R9 to R8 to get 220mhz and then, if that was stable, R21 to R22 for another 20mhz to 240mhz.

As that the components are already on the board, it can't be too hard to try... I also have a spare machine! Supposedly you can also change the base bus clock frequency from a 40mhz xtal to 50mhz and get a quick boost!

I'll tinker once I've got the machine stable.

Filed under: Apple No Comments
16Feb/160

Quadra 950: Apple Multiple Scan 720

I'd purchased an Apple Multiple Sync 720 (17") CRT along with the PowerPC 7200 and they worked fine together. I've since gotten rid of the PPC and have tried to get this monitor to work on the Quadra 950. On first plugging in, Mac OS 8 reported that only 640x480 was available. I know it can do up to 1280x1024, so I dug deeper.

From a brief google I couldn't work out if this monitor was supported officially or not. The resolution available indicated that the monitor was not correctly detected; but was this a fault of the monitor or an issue with my macintosh/rom/software/firmware? Or just the fact that the monitor was newer than the Quadra and was never going to be correctly detected?

A little digging indicated that Apple monitors used 'sense pins' to tell the Macintosh what was connected and then what resolutions should be displayed. This monitor uses 'extended sense pins' and I wasn't sure if the Quadra 950 understood these.

Sense Pins and related IDs

There are some very interesting articles online relating to Apple video hardware. I found this email to the comp.sys.mac.hardware usegroup from Dale Adams who was actually one of the engineers who created the specifications/hardware. In it he describes the technology and the 'pinouts' of the sense pins and associated monitors. I've reproduced this here for easy reference.

Monitor Sense Pin 0 (4) Sense Pin 1 (7) Sense Pin 2 (10) Resolution
Apple 21S Color 0 0 0 1152 x 870
Apple Portrait 0 0 1 640 x 870
12" Apple RGB 0 1 0 512 x 384
Apple Two-Page Mono. 0 1 1 1152 x 870
NTSC 1 0 0 underscan - 512x384
overscan - 640x480
12" AppleMonochrome 1 1 0 640 x 480
13" Apple RGB 1 1 0 640 x 480
Extended sense code monitor 1 1 1

From the table above, I can tell you that my monitor is of the 'extended' variety and provides '1' on each sense pin. When the 'extended' mode is found, the Macintosh BIOS is then meant to send voltages to each line and determine what the value of the other pins are. I couldn't actually find out when this logic was supported in what Macintosh ROM/BIOS and so I assumed that the Quadra 950 didn't know how to do this. A little bit more reading through Dale's post indicated that if I could ground the wires then I could fake a monitor code and test other variants.

Faking codes via the sense pins

I started with aluminium foil, folding it down to a thin strip and punching a hole in one end. These strips were then slid over the three pins that needed to be grounded to fake an Apple 21S Color monitor. This was fiddly work and took quite a few attempts. Foil isn't strong when punching it with a pin and isn't easy to manipulate. It also moves as you plug the monitor into the port, so it was a very one-shot affair.

After getting a successful connection, I started the mac and ... shit ... it just worked. The resolution was already set to the only fixed resolution that this monitor could handle. From the information page at everymac you can see that it can support 1152x870, but I had assumed that this was the max and that I could set any resolution up to that. Turns out that the 21S is a vintage monitor and only does one resolution; but I'm sure it does it well!

But I want to fake a multi-sync monitor!

It turns out that you can't. To do this you need 1,1,1 on the pins, of which my monitor is already outputting! Therefore I was back to zero. I kept reading posts/documents online and stumbled across the Video Compatibility reference article where I see it mentioned that, if you mate my monitor up to the Quadra 950, you can output the correct resolution. Why doesn't mine work then? Reading Monitor Adjustment Info by James Davis tells me that if the BIOS doesn't support the extended sense pins then the monitor will be seen as a 12" RGB. This seems to be the case, as I can only choose 640x480 when the monitor is plugged in as usual. But then again, that contradicts the first page.

Installing the correct drivers...

After a little more googling, it seemed that I'd needed enabling software called "Apple Multiple Scan Software". This was mentioned in this tidbit on hooking up foreign monitors and in the manual from my actual monitor. This wasn't easy to find but a lot of digging produced a copy over at macgui.com.

I initially tried with my PowerPC card enabled and the install software told me that my machine didn't need it. So I rebooted to 68k and it installed... but.... as it was installing it told me that the files on disk were already newer than the files being copied. Whatever... I copied them anyway. After a reboot there was no change.

SwitchRes

I managed to find this version (and have made SwitchRes v2.1 available here) and tinkered. I had assumed it would allow magical resolutions to be set... it really did nothing but cause problems.

DDC

A fellow vintage Macintosh enthusiast in a forum post over at the 68k Macintosh Liberation Army entertained me with the following user manual for the Mutliple Scan 720. I assumed it would lead to another dead-end... but as I was reading through I noticed that it indicated that if DDC was enabled then specific machines (PPC9600, PCs, etc..) would behave differently. What if it happened to be enabled and my poor Macintosh was getting confused?

I got home and booted the machine into its glorious array of 640x480 pixels. Flicking through the onscreen display on the monitor itself, I navigated to information and then DDC. It was set to 2B. I wonder what those codes even stand for... anyway, I knew that DDC wasn't what the Quadra spoke, so I turned it off.

Low-and-behold after a reboot the standard Monitors and Sound control panel allowed me to select right up to 16-bit 1024x768. Not quite the 1280 or 1152 that I was after, but nearly twice as good as what I had before. Moral of the story? Don't use newer tech on older machinery!

5Nov/153

iTunes store displays black screen

iTunes displaying nothing? Or just the top banner and a black screen? When you move the mouse around the black, do the play/pause icons magically appear?

It turns out that in the latest version of iTunes (12.3.1.12) if you stretch the window past 2048 pixels wide, then it fails miserably. Note that I can currently only test this on Windows 7 64-Bit.

My desktop happens to be 2560 pixels wide (interesting that this doesn't happen on Retina displays!?) and i get this...

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I quickly switched the window over to my other monitor at 1600 pixels wide, worked fine. Hah. So then I tried to shrink the window on my main monitor... here's 2055 pixels...

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... and then coming under the 2048 threshold... tada! ....

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2039 pixels, works fine... how annoying. Hopefully this helps someone else stuck in the same situation.

Bieber is cool, right?

25Oct/150

Power Mac 7200: PCI USB Cards

USB has been around for a long time, it seems. Longer than I'd originally thought. For fun I wanted to try and get this relic of a PowerPC into the less-than-stone ages and, well, plug things in without having to reboot. USB would provide this and I had a few devices to try out.

There's information on what OS' support USB here at lowendmac. My mileage varied... but I actually think it was because of faulty/old hardware rather than software incompatibilities.

Belkin F5U220

20151025 111909The card shows up in System Profiler but there is no power on the USB bus. I plugged a $10 HP Mouse in and the LED/Laser didn't glow. It seems this card is only good for Beige G3s or higher? Or could this card just be faulty?

OS 9.2.2 had installed and loaded the USB extensions... so it seemed that it wanted to do something with the card, but failed.

Adaptec Duo Connect PCI Card AUA-3020

20151025 111955This card comes with 2 FireWire and 3 USB 2.0 Ports. I plugged it into the PCI slot and booted up. I had already installed OS 9.2.2 with the previous USB card in, so the USB extensions were all there. Plugging in the same HP Mouse saw the light glow underneath. It worked!

Right-click just acts as normal click, so it effectively becomes a one-button mouse. I'm sure you could install something like USB Overdrive to make the buttons and scroll wheels more functional.

Opti FireLink BG-3800-00 UH-275

20151025 112011This is another PCI USB 2.0 Expansion card. Most USB tutorials for these older-style PowerMacs mentioned this chipset, usually recommending it. I found one on Ebay for under USD$10.

It worked perfectly on installation. No configuration necessary. The mouse lit up and was functional straight away.

OS9.2.2 and USB Keyboards/Mice

20151025 111849The USB cards will apply power to the bus very early in the boot process, but the devices wont actually work until the last icon on the desktop is loaded. It's still recommended to use your ADB equipment (or at least keep it for emergency purposes.)

Both the HP USB Mouse and Apple Keyboard (from a future iMac) worked perfectly fine.

LITE-ON DVD Drive

20151025 150659I plugged in my portable eSAU108 DVD/CD Writer. On the Adaptec Duo, I only got a flashing red light on the unit. It seems that the card does not output enough power for the device to function correctly. On the UH-275 USB Card, the drive worked perfectly.

Further research indicates that the drive has a smart USB power detection feature. The LED will flash red if it needs to suck power from two ports. So it seems the Adaptec correctly limits the power, whereas the UH-275 can push out more milliamps.

USB Overdrive

Downloadable from here, I assumed this would give me left-click and scroll-wheel mapping... instead it just stopped the HP Mouse from working at all. I gave up on it pretty quickly.

Does the USB get passed through to the DOS Card?

No. Even worse... if you have a 2-button mouse on the USB, the second button does absolutely nothing on the Windows side. It makes perfect sense but can be really confusing when you still have to command-click to get a context menu.

2Jul/152

Power Mac 7200: PC Compatibility

The 7200 was marketed as PC Compatible out of the box and came stock with an 820-0728-A Apple PC Compatibility Card. Getting one of these to work without the original disks was quite a challenge!

The Card

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The Cable (is not required)

It turns out that if you boot the machine up without the cable patched in then it isn't needed; the PC display is routed internally through to your monitor.

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I'm going to guess that the internal ribbon cable, as seen in the last picture above, is the reason for this. It must route the video output through to the standard Macintosh video. I don't know if this causes a performance hit.

Upgrading it

My initial understanding was that the CPU is fixed and so is the on-board 16mb of RAM, but there is an extra slot that you can slap up to 64mb into. See Oliver Schubert's notes here. I therefore purchased an additional 64mb on eBay to get my card to 80mb. Make sure it is 5v NON-EDO FPM 4x64!

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The RAM arrived from eBay (new DIMM is above old in the picture above) and I plugged it in and turned it on. Windows still reported 30mb of RAM (2mb to video, I imagine) and so did the BIOS. I initially thought I'd bought a dud... after a few reboots and poweroffs I still couldn't get the total amount to register. I powered the machine down completely and inspected the card. It seems that the DIMM had around 0.5 of a millimetre more to be pushed into the slot!

Rebooting with a properly seated DIMM showed 64mb in the BIOS. I had actually expected 80mb if it was working properly, as the on-board 16mb should've totalled to that. Nothing I did further remedied this. 64mb worked for me though.

For fun, I removed the DIMM altogether and rebooted. Trying to start the PC got a loud beep. Nothing. It wouldn't start... I then read the actual manual:

Your PC Compatibility Card has one socket available for RAM (random access memory). Some versions of the card come with a DIMM (dual inline memory module) already installed. On these cards, you can increase memory by replacing the installed DIMM with a greater-capacity DIMM.

Some versions of the PC Compatibility Card do not come with an installed DIMM. On these cards, you must install a DIMM in the socket prior to installing the card in your computer. Otherwise, the card will not work.

Hah... so... my card had 32mb in there.. I removed it and added 64mb. When it was partially inserted it somehow appeared as 32mb. When correctly inserted the 64mb was visible. I then checked out PC Setup and saw that, when no RAM was in, it told me NO RAM. Duh...

noram ram

Mac OS 8.1-8.6

The card just works. The PC Setup Control Panel is installed with the OS and command-return switches you to the PC. I hadn't tried networking from Windows... but I had found that it didn't seem to be configured.

As that the machine came with this OS and had Win95B installed on the PC side, I didn't have to go through anything to get it working. It wasn't until I installed 9.2.2 fresh that I was at the whim of 90's vintage technology.

Mac OS 9.2.2

Nothing. No control panel, no command-return. Mac OS 9 Cross-Platform Issues reports that you can get it to work under 9.0.4... and so I tried for myself on 9.2.2.

Note: This turns into a rant very quickly. If you just want the required files, then jump down to here.

Tips for Running Windows on Mac has a FAQ for getting it to work. They state that networking hadn't worked since 8.5 (probably why it didn't work when I tried.) Their link to PC Setup 2.1.7f failed me, but I found it over here at the PC Card FAQ. It is also available on alksoft's site labelled 'Stuff that might be useful'. Of course... that 'Mac Drivers' link didn't work... so grab it from the PC Card FAQ.

Did that work for you? It didn't for me... the zip from PC Card FAQ had a __MACOSX folder in it and a file that was unrecognised by my 9.2.2 installation. If it still works when you read this, go to the official site here and download the actual driver itself from them.

It worked! And then asked for registration details... enter the following:

  • Licensee Name: FREE
  • Site Number: 469
  • Authorization Key: UEV-EVZ-7TU

Picture 5 Picture 6 Picture 7

...and I then it tells me that I need PC Setup 1.6.4 installed first. Yey! You'll find the first file you need here. Extracting the BIN will give you a disk image. Simply double-click it and Disk Copy will mount it onto your desktop. Run the installer and reboot.

Once rebooted, I thought I'd try and muck around with PC Setup 1.6.4. It seemed to work, but I had no HDD. I had a 1gb disk in there that I wanted to use natively. Don't even bother trying to use real PC Partitions... go with a Drive Container on a spare disk/folder.

PC Setup will take years to build the drive file, so go make a coffee. Once it's done, start the PC. You'll need a boot disk. There seems to be one at the PC Card FAQ with CD-ROM drivers and the like.

Note: You must insert the floppy only once you are on the PC side. A floppy inserted on the Macintosh side will be mounted onto the desktop and be invisible to the PC. Switch to the PC using command-return and then insert the disk. Use command-E at any time to eject the disk.

Anyway, back to the floppy disk image... the files you've downloaded will prove problematic. It'll be next to impossible to create the disk images as the metadata from the zip files seem to be missing and the files wont be openable in Disk Copy or any such program. Your best bet from here is to load up another machine, say Linux or Windows, and create a floppy. Here's someone else who had the same trouble. Their answer was to get another person to write a physical floppy and mail it to them!

I tried this, booting up my old windows PC with floppy drive, but it didn't work! I'm thinking the zip format was the issue... so I started searching deeper. Googling for more information got me to Oliver Schubert's DOS Card FAQ which had pointers to Apple's download site. This was full of dead FTP links, but gave me the real file names in BIN and HQX. I slapped these into google and came across this directory listing. I don't know who you are yahozna, but I love you. The files were there!.. sitting, waiting to be downloaded. And shite, sometimes things just work: they extracted and mounted perfectly via Disk Copy! I took a copy of the second disk for safe-keeping also.

Turns out this disk isn't bootable. Go figure. You're actually meant to have installed DOS 6.22 from the disks that were originally included with the DOS Compatibility Card. I don't really want to do that, so we'll try trick it. We really just want the drivers for our Win98 install.

Grab the Windows98_SE boot image from here and burn it to a floppy. Once created, grab CDROM.SYS from the the PC_Compatibility_1.6.4-2of2 and copy it onto the Windows 98 disk. Either delete an existing driver (like BTCDROM.SYS) and rename it to that, or edit CONFIG.SYS and add in a line for CDROM.SYS.

Or, you can just download the boot disk here that I created which will work fine! It also has all the required networking files.

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Boot this floppy and crawl to a DOS Prompt. You'll get a warning that C:\ is no good, as expected when no partitions exist. Run FDISK and create a new logical partition. Reboot, booting off the floppy again and we should be set... you should now have a CD-ROM drive and usable C: Drive.

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Usually from here, you'd run setup off the CD. Fortunately, we know in advance that the CD will be inaccessible on the second reboot into Windows setup. So, format your disk here and then copy the win98 folder to C:\. You can then run SETUP.EXE from C:\WIN98SE\. This will save a lot of headaches!

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That last screen... Windows will sit there 'updating settings' for a very long time! Prepare to wait for around 30 minutes.

Now you're at the desktop, slap the PC_Compatibility_1.6.4-2of2 disk back in and run setup.exe. Keep all the boxes checked, install the drivers and hit restart.

run-setup installer installer-options
installer-complete helper-installed

After a reboot you should then have your CD-ROM drive in My Computer! Command-Click on My Computer and then choose properties. Go to the Devices tab and you'll see three items that need drivers. With the Windows 98 SE CD in there, you can choose properties and then Reinstall Driver. Let Windows choose the driver off the CD and you'll be set.

At this point, audio still didn't work. Looking at all of the manuals for the cards, you'll note that they all output audio through the CD Audio cable. It's actually patched in... instead of the audio from the CD drive going straight to the motherboard, it is fed into the cd audio input on the PC card, mixed (I assume) and then another cd audio cable connects the cd audio output of the pc card to the motherboard.

The big hint here was that, after installing Mac OS 9.2.2, had I correctly set up the Mac for CD Audio input? Switching back to the Mac and checking the sound panel, I noticed that I was mute to the world. There was no input specified! An easy fix: set this to CD Audio and switch back to Windows. Tada! All the nasty sounds of Windows 98 SE. Actually... I never did mind that guitar solo on the Welcome screen.

Networking wasn't too difficult. Following the 'How do I network the Mac and PC side at the same time?' instructions at the bottom of the pc card faq, I downloaded the DOS NetWare Client file from FreeDOS, copied it to a CD and then transferred it over to Windows on the Mac.

Note: You cannot use multi-session 'USB Style' CDs in the Macintosh. If you're copying files onto a CD in Windows and want it to work in the Macintosh then you have to do it the old way. Select 'With a CD/DVD Player' rather than 'Like a USB Flash Drive'.

Anyway, back to the networking... There's no need to do much here, I've put all that is required on the floppy image I've created. Slap it in and drag the NWCLIENT folder to C:\.

copy-nwclient-over edit-autoexec edited-autoexec

Edit AUTOEXEC.BAT and make sure the following lines are at the end of the file, in the following order:

C:\NWCLIENT\LSL
C:\APPLE\MACODI

I'm assuming you would've done all of this from a Command Prompt window inside Windows 98. So reboot your machine once this is done. Hit ESC when you see the pretty Windows 98 loading screen to see what DOS is doing underneath.

Once back in Windows, go to control panel, networks and then add a new adapter. Select the ODI adapter under the 'detected' category. It'll take a really long time... and won't really tell you that it's doing anything... but it is busy! Just leave Windows at the desktop at this point. It should not ask you for a Novell Disks at this point. If it does, then you need to check your errors on boot up.

add-adapter enable-sharing net-hood

Once installed, reboot as Windows asks. When Windows loads, you should be prompted with a login for Client for Microsoft Networks. You can just hit enter here to set your password as blank.

Once booted, I got to Windows, jumped into a command prompt and typed in IPCONFIG. Oh goody! I had a 169 'internal' IP. This wasn't going to work. There had been no errors, everything seemed to be fine... but PC Setup 1.6.4 on Mac OS 9.2.2 wouldn't let my packets flow. Trying a renew_all on ipconfig reported that my DHCP server wasn't available.

I thought I'd try the patch that was meant for Mac OS 8.5, but that didn't work... it installed, I got my newly patched extension, but on a reboot I still couldn't contact the outside world. Based on the post from Phil Beezley on the FAQ from Oliver Schubert:

...On some Macs, it is also necessary to replace the extension called Apple Enet with the Ethernet (Built-In) extension provided with Mac OS 8.5.
The more official solution to the network problems when using Mac OS 8.5 onwards is to use PC Setup 2.x.

Prior to trying 2.1.7f, I thought I'd try replace this extension. I inserted the Mac OS 8.5 CD, located Ethernet (Built-In) and copied it into the System Folder. It complained that there was an older version in there... how does that happen in 9.2.2? Anyway, You then need to delete/disable/move Apple Enet. Reboot the Macintosh.

It came back up... no errors. Chooser still worked, so did browsing the internet on the Macintosh side... so... I booted into Windows. Command Prompt reported a perfectly defined IP address from DHCP. Internet Explorer even tried to render a page!

configure-ie-1 configure-ie-2 configure-ie-3
configure-ie-4 ie-usage-1 ie-usage-2

After rebooting, I was on the internet! Windows 98 SE is working beautifully! I quickly tried MOD4WIN... nostalgic much? I do wish I could find a copy of Vibe, the MP3 Player that turned into Sonique.

For those who didn't read the fine print

Here are all the files mentioned and how to use them.

Files Comments
Apple Macintosh PC Setup 1.6.4 Disks
PC_Compatibility_1.6.4-1of2.img.bin

PC_Compatibility_1.6.4-2of2.img.bin

The first disk contains the Macintosh side and will get 1.6.4 installed on any Mac OS up to 9.2.2.
The second disk contains the PC drivers. This is NOT a boot disk. The original expectation is that you have already installed MS-DOS!
Macintosh PC Setup 2.1.7f
pcSetup217Mac_22Aug2000.sea.bin

Windows Drivers for PC Setup 2.1.7f
pcsetup217.exe

PC Setup 2.1.7f Setup/Installation Manual
217finalpcsetupinstall.pdf

These files were all secured from the Wayback machine. I have no idea if they work or not!
My Windows 98 SE Boot Disk
BOOT98SE.img.sit.hqx
This disk is bootable and contains the CD driver. It is originally the 98 SE Boot Disk. So it'll drop you to a command prompt where you can use FDISK, FORMAT.COM and then run SETUP from the CD.

I actually recommend that you copy the WIN98 folder to your C drive first! (call it WIN98SE) and run SETUP.EXE from there... that way you wont have to practice magic when it can't find the CD drive during installation.

This also contains the Network Drivers. Copy the NWCLIENT folder to C:\ and edit AUTOEXEC.BAT as specified above.

50mb Hard Disk Image of above boot disk
TinyBootDisk.sit
As mentioned, this is a bootable harddisk image that should work for people having issues booting from floppy disks. It contains everything you need for CD and network. The Win98SE Boot Disk RAM DRIVE is also loaded as D:\ (CD as E:\)
PC Compatibility Card Manuals
7" Card Manual12" Card Manual
The original Macintosh manuals for each card.

It's been a pleasure...

1Jul/157

Power Mac 7200: OS 9.2.2

Mac OS 9.1 is officially the final OS supported on the Power Mac 7200. I've got a new PCI graphics card and PCI USB card on the way and so I'll need Mac OS 9.2.2 for full compatibility. Below details how to achieve this.

Mac OS 9 Lives

I had previously downloaded 9.2.2 from here. It's known as Mac OS 9 Lives and it comes as an ISO with Apple Software Restore and a disk image of a partition with 9.2.2 fully installed. To install the software you only need to run the restore and it'll turn a partition on your local machine into a bootable system image.

Picture 2 Picture 5 Picture 6

..of course, I installed this and rebooted and got the standard This startup disk will not work on this Macintosh. I assume from here you could hack the system folder and edit the gestalt ID matching code (as was done with the 68k) but I instead chose to use OS9 Helper.

To get my machine booting again, I had to find a boot disk that worked fine on my hardware to switch back to the 9.1 startup disk. My old Presto PPC boot disk wouldn't work on this PowerPC... so I had to guess how to boot from a CD. Turns out, with the 9.2.2 boot/firmware, that holding down C at boot will startup from the CD.

Official 9.2.2 ISOs

If you want the real ISO, then go there's more information on it at Macintosh Garden: Mac OS 9.2.2 Universal. You can also get it at winworldpc.

This wasn't going to work either, so I started researching and heard out about...

OS9 Helper

There's quite a few links that explain how the Power Mac 7200 owner should use OS9 Helper to hack OS 9.2.2 into submission. The basic idea is to download OS9 Helper and run it on your machine.

Picture 7 Picture 9 Picture 11

This application will not hack/fix an installed version of OS 9.2.2. Instead, it requires that a version of 9.1 or a patched version of 9.2.1 reside on a local hard disk. It will then update this to the version you require.

This stopped me from using the partition I'd just created with Mac OS 9 Lives and therefore made me use my previous 9.1 startup disk.

The app requires that the relevant Apple OS Update for the version you wish to install be downloaded locally. I didn't try the download links available... instead I searched the net. Finding this was much easier than expected; it turns out that my own ISP still has a cache of Macintosh software! iinet's public FTP located here has a whole swathe of archaic Apple software to download!

Once you've got the required updater, re-run OS9 Helper. I quickly found out that you can't just jump to 9.2.2, you'll need to follow the upgrade steps and install 9.2.1 first. Installing 9.2.1 via OS9 Helper is a breeze. Once done, restart your Mac. It should boot back up to your desktop without issue.

Picture 12 Picture 13 Picture 14
Picture 15 Picture 16 Picture 17

Once booted, set up 9.2.1. You're now ready to apply the 9.2.2 update. Do this via OS9 Helper once again.

Picture 18 Picture 19 Picture 20

And now you're done!

Picture 21

25Jun/151

Power Mac 7200: Power Supply

Whilst searching for a CRT on eBay for the Quadra (that's another story), I came across this item. It was listed as being PC Compatible and, after my last efforts of trying to get a DOS Card to work, I decided to tackle this one.

The Power Mac 7200 was marketed as a PC Compatible because it came with a PCI card containing all the required hardware to run a PC. This card includes a 100 MHz Pentium processor that can have a maximum of 64 MB of RAM dedicated to the DOS/Windows operating system.

Powering it on

The case contents rattled a little, so I opened up (there are two push-buttons on the front under the lip) and inspected it. A few plastic lugs had snapped loose, but there was nothing conductive. With the case open I jammed in a power cable and hit the power button.

Nothing. Not even a zap, whirrr or beep. Just silence. I hate that...

Basic principles told me to disconnect all unnecessary components and try again. No love... Pulled the CMOS Battery, held the CUDA button (but not for 15s), left power off 10minutes... no go.

Testing the power supply (Delta DPS-150GB A) (Apple 614-0039)

From here I thought I'd tackle the power supply first. I didn't want to believe it was the logic board. I disconnected the cables and removed it from the case.

DSC07239 DSC07242 DSC07244

There are 4 screws holding the lid of the power supply on. After removing these, you'll then have to slide the lid along the main trunk of power cables. Pushing the cables into the supply will make this easier. The fan has a 2-wire cable which easily pops off the main power supply circuit board.

Once open, I first inspected all components for damage... all looked good. Testing the fuse showed that it worked fine... conducting power. I then grabbed the multimeter and tested all of the pins. I found 5v on pin 4, but no voltage anywhere else.

DSC07245 DSC07246 DSC07248

Here's the pinout for the main 22-pin connector, looking at the plug as if it was facing away from you. Pin 1 is top-left, pin 22 bottom-right.

+5v +5v +5v +5v GND GND GND GND GND N/A -12v
TRKL +5v +5v +5v +5v GND GND GND GND /PFW +12v

And then the secondary 10-pin connector. Pin 1 is top-left, pin 10 bottom-right.

GND GND GND GND -S
+12v +12v +12v +12v +S

These power supplies are triggered by the power switch on the motherboard. Plugging them into the wall will get them in to 'stand-by' mode and power should be visible on certain pins. To test this, plug the power supply into the wall and check the following:

  • (22-pin connector) +5v is visible on pin 9 (Yellow)

One important point is that, in my case, the 5v above showed up on the correct pin. The power supply still would not power up. It turns out that the above test is not fool-proof; it'll simply tell you if the initial 'trickle' power is available.

To get this thing to power on whilst disconnected from the motherboard, follow these steps (Thanks goes to LT.Maddog420 on the Tech Guy forums):

  1. On the 10-pin secondary cable, connect pin 5 (White) to any of pins 1-4 (Black)
  2. Still on the 10-pin secondary cable, connect pin 10 (Brown) to any of pins 6-9 (Orange)
  3. Confirm the power supply is plugged in to the wall and that the pins connected above are not exposed or touching metallic surfaces.
  4. Now, on the main 22-pin power plug, connect pin 12 (Yellow) to pin 21 (Purple)

DSC07254 DSC07261

The above should jump-start the power supply. The fan should at least fire up. If you get nothing then you've got a dead power supply. This would be the first item to replace in a Macintosh that doesn't power on. Of course, when the supply died it could've also fried other parts... but replace the power supply first as it's cheaper. I tried to jump-start mine and it didn't work at all. I decided to pull it completely apart for thorough inspection.

Cracked Circuit Board

Once out of the casing, the issue became quite obvious. The base circuit board for the power supply had a crack in it. The crack formed a semi-circle around the area where the circuit board is held by notches in the metal case. It seems that, somehow, the board has received lateral pressure and cracked! It doesn't quite make sense as the board is thoroughly enclosed. I can only imagine that weather/heat has caused this. I have a hunch that this machine had been out in the elements for a while.

There also seemed to be new flux and solder at the base of a 3-pin component. I really wouldn't be surprised if this had been repaired in its past life; this machine is nearly 20 years old.

DSC07263 DSC07265

Repairing the crack was pretty straight-forward. I was really lucky that this was a single-sided circuit board with large tracks. If there had been tracks on the top side, then this would've been a lot more difficult.

I bared the copper on the tracks around the solder joints and messily bridged all of the component pins. I made sure that I followed the tracks and didn't bridge any circuits. My butane-powered soldering iron decided to let its tip melt in the process and so the first fix shown below looks really crappy. I bought a proper soldering station (I needed it to work on the DOS Card for the Quadra 950) and re-did the soldering. Hence the two pictures of the finished job below.

DSC07268 DSC07271 DSC07277
DSC07280

And then... the friggen thing spun up! Using the jump-start instructions above, I bridged the two wires and then joined yellow to purple. It felt like I was hot-wiring a car and I, honestly, had very little faith in my hack working. I had a celebratory beer as the fan kicked off and I then crossed my fingers that the logic board wasn't also damaged.

DSC07282 DSC07283 DSC07272

A final note: be careful when pulling/pushing the bunch of wires in and out of the power supply case. You can easily peel the insulation off the individual wires and the last thing you would want is a short!

24Jun/150

Quadra 950: DOS Cards

I remember back in high school that we had DOS Cards in the Macintoshes we used for Multimedia class. We were either programming Hypercard Stacks or switching to the DOS environment and fragging eachother in Doom II. We weren't meant to be doing the latter... but it was hard to resist.

I had always been impressed that the DOS side worked just as well as the Mac side and switching was seamless. It all makes sense now why the DOS side kept running when switching and why it all ran so well; the DOS card created a whole PC running independently of the host Macintosh.

To re-live all this, I wanted to find a DOS Card for the Quadra 950. Researching the cards lead me to believe that the majority would fit into the the PDS Slot, but I wanted to keep my PPC upgrade in there. I therefore began the hunt to find a Nubus DOS Card.

Some light reading...

First attempt at acquiring one

I happened across an Orange Micro PC Coprocessor Card (dated prior to the OrangePC 290) with a Cyrix 5x86 on eBay. Bidding started at USD50. I bid up to USD70. I was in the lead until the last second when the price nearly doubled to USD126. Sounds like I'm an eBay newbie but, on the contrary, I just wasn't expecting the price to go that high. I actually wonder what the final bidder put down as a max bid... only the bidder ever knows with eBay, the seller only ever gets to see the final auction price and any bids below that.

This kind of crappy bidding brings up a good point: I like how Yahoo Auctions Japan actually extends the auction in the last five minutes, for five minutes, if someone places a bid. That way, just like in a real auction, the final bidder with the most money actually wins; rather than the one with the lowest latency.

The conclusion? These things are in demand!... This model happened to be a Cyrix 5x86 SL50 and was a little below-spec anyway, so I was happy to sit tight for something gutsier.

Orange Micro: OrangePC 290

eBay alerts are all well-and-good when the sellers list their items correctly. Unfortunately, this item was listed as shipping to the US only. I usually don't bother begging, as you usually get a flat-out "no" in response, but I asked the seller if they'd ship to Australia. As luck would have it, they did... but it was through the global shipping program. Not to be discouraged, I took the gamble and bid anyway... I won!

It seems that this card was worth over USD$2500 back in the day. See The Original Macintosh DOS Compatibility Card (Houdini I) for a price list... way down the document. I haven't checked the rest of the doc for valid information on my scenario (I don't have a Houdini card), but I'll read it at a later date when I have Win95B+Plus! running on my Quadra.

DSC07167 DSC07168 DSC07169
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DSC07179 DSC07186 DSC07188

This card is came equipped with a genuine Intel 486 DX4-100 CPU and 32mb of RAM. I scoured the internet and found the drivers on the Wayback Machine. Product information is here and Downloads and drivers for the OrangePC 290 are here. Installation seemed overly-easy. Running the application gave a very simple configuration interface. Thanks to all my partitions I could easily allocate the space on one to a virtual HDD file. It seems that you need to use real floppy disks instead of images... Use Disk Copy to create those via the "Make Floppy Disk..." menu item.

The first warning, as below, was that my Video mode was unsupported. As you can see, it was configured for internal video, but the desktop mode didn't seem to gel with the OrangePC card. I tried quite a few resolutions (not really trusting my MAC to VGA video converter) but couldn't get it to agree with any mode. I was beginning to wonder if this was actually a hardware issue with the card itself.

orangepc-loading orangepc-configuration orangepc-error

I then hit Cold Boot on the setup panel and ... nothing ... 10 seconds later an error: The OrangePC card is not responding to the Macintosh and the error code 32. I couldn't find anything on that error number, but googling the text gave the standard advice of (taken from Orange Micro's FAQ page):

Q: When I launch OrangePC, I get an Error message saying ``The OrangePC is not Responding."
Remove the OrangePC from the Macintosh. With a pencil eraser, clean the PCI contacts. Do the same for the Memory (DIMM or SIMM) modules. Reseat the memory modules on the OrangePC, and insert the OrangePC into the Macintosh. If possible, place the OrangePC card in the slot closest to the Macintosh processor.

I decided to go down the cleaning route and removed the RAM SIMM. Everything then started to become very clear... the teeth in the socket were loose. I don't even know if that's the right term, but either way the three left-most contacts were going to be making very dodgy connections... no good for low-level digital logic. I jumped straight on eBay and found a local 72-pin SIMM socket and ordered it... it's 90-degrees instead of the 22.5 angle, but it'll be a good test.

DSC07191

In the meantime, I removed the SIMM, put the card back in the Macintosh and tried again... this time OrangePC told me that the Memory configuration was incorrect. Slightly interesting... it can tell that the chip isn't there (there must be a latch driven when the chip is in, must be on other pins.) I unseated the CPU and checked for further damage, but it looked ok... I then inspected the rest of the board. There are dints and scratches all over it, but none look track-threatening. I reseated the SIMM as best as possible with its loose teeth and tried again.

DSC07194 DSC07196

Finally, prior to any actual surgery, I grabbed a hair-drier and gave it a once-over. The age-old trick of reheating dry solder joints is a good one. I've never tried it, but I could see dry joints all over the place. A hot hair-drier will actually slightly melt the joints and, as long as you don't angle the board, hopefully re-join any damaged connections. It's a crap-shoot, but it was worth a try. Unfortunately it didn't improve the situation.

Googling further, I came across Andrew's OrangePC 290 page. This guy is a legend; That is all. The site might as well be the technical manual for the card. So lucky to find it. It documents the jumper settings... I assume these would come set out of the factory, but they are there to be configured. It turns out that he has all the information I need for the CPU I have installed. I reviewed the jumpers, and found that they were all wrong. They didn't match the CPU installed at all. I reconfigured the jumpers as per Andrew's page... but the board still would not function.

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Re-inserting it and starting OrangePC threw an error Type 1 at me... hadn't seen that before. Oh, the joys of playing with vintage hardware! Type 1 errors are address errors... I assume it's having issues finding the hardware. A reboot didn't help. I powered the machine down and was about to put the card in another slot when I realised I'd bent a pin on the Nubus connector. No wonder the software couldn't find the hardware.

orangepc-bent-pin DSC07210

Don't do anything with vintage hardware in a rush... Straightening the bent nubus connector pin proved relatively easy. I inserted it again, gently, and power up the machine. No love... errors... I think we'll see if the RAM socket repair will work.

One note, I attempted to set the video mode to external via jumpers 11 and 12. Andrew's site indicates that there are two configurations, but I tried all. The software actually registered that external mode was selected... it even stopped me from opening the internal view of the dos environment. That only confused me further... the Macintosh could talk to the card fine... it just seems that when it throws the final boot command that the card does not respond... maybe it is the RAM/CPU combo. I really don't know what the history of this card is... for all I know it's been out in someone's flowerpot catching rays for the last 20 years.

Further attempts to get this working resulted in very hot CPUs and other ICs on the board, random bus errors on boot of MacOS and system crashes left, right and center. Not much fun... this card is about to get written off as a dud. I tried reverting to 8.1, switching off the PPC card, switching back to the stock crystal. Nothing. It just wouldn't boot.

I had a lightbulb moment: I could re-wire the first loose tooth on the ram socket prior to receiving a whole new socket. I found some winding wire from my toolbox and installed it. Nothing... it still failed with the same errors... made me believe that the card was hopeless.

DSC07213 DSC07216 DSC07219

...this effort proved fruitless. No change in error messages.

In the never-ending quest to fix this thing, I also replaced the CPU with a valid substitute. I bought an AMD DX4-100 from a seller on eBay and gave it a go... no love.

DSC07274 DSC07275 DSC07276

The RAM socket arrived... I replaced the socket, but that didn't work either.

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DSC07321 DSC07324

Could it be the RAM SIMM? I've another arriving sometime in the next week... will give it a go.
Otherwise... I'm beginning to think that this is a dead-loss. Time to sit back and wait for another one to appear on eBay.

14May/150

Quadra 950: MacOS 8.5 (and 8.6)

The Quadra is a 68040-based Macintosh. Unfortunately, MacOS 8.5 and higher require a PowerPC processor. Regardless of the fact that you can 'add' a PowerPC Processor to the Quadra, MacOS 8.5 is still listed as unsupported on this model.

Impersonating a 'real' PPC

It seems that every model of Macintosh has a specific unique ID stored in the BIOS of the logic board. The MacOS installer will verify this against a known set of values before proceeding. If a correct value is not found, then you'll get the dreaded This program cannot run on your computer error.

There's numerous tutorials online on how to get around this. The Unofficial Turbo 601 Site has instructions and so does Running Mac OS 8.5 on A 68k Mac with A PPC Upgrade Card. The Mac OS 8.5 Special Report has an Install Hack page also describing how to do this.

Note: You don't need to go through the hacking process! The Presto PPC Software can do it all for you and I've described the process further below.

The main point behind all of this is that the hardware is there and ready to roll for MacOS 8.5. Apple, in their infinite (loop) wisdom, decided that they'd wipe the slate clean and only support the 'real' Macintosh PPC models. We can get around this and the following steps will show you how.

Tricking the installer

Your first step is to go to Low End Mac and grab Wish I Were. This archive contains both an extension and a control panel. Read the README that comes with it for more information.

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Drag both the extension and control panel at the same time to your startup system folder. Once copied, jump over to Control Panel and open Wish I Were. Set your Gestalt to Powermac 6100/60. You'll now need to reboot... Don't bother with the Quadra 940 with Upgrade, I thought this might work, but it's probably the original ID that the Quadra 950 CPU/BIOS is already returning.

If you have your installation disk ready to go (it is recommended to install to another physical disk!) then start the MacOS 8.5 installer now.

MacOS Installation

Note: Prior to even trying the install, make sure you have enabled your PPC Upgrade Card and have set Wish I Were to a relevant value!

Grab the software and burn it to a CD or mount the image on the desktop. Double-click the Mac OS Install application to get started. Installation itself is painless... lots of 'next, 'next', 'finish'. You can choose to customise; for some reason Quickdraw GX was unchecked for my machine, I checked it for fun.

The install will try to update harddisk drivers. Don't be worried if you get a warning that this cannot be done. It will usually only work for drives that have Apple firmware. The installer will continue regardless of a successful firmware update. Note that it will try to update firmware for all attached harddisks; not just the target disk.

Files started copying... (the estimate was 21 minutes) and then fail: "Get QuickTime Pro" could not be copied from Disk "". What? Blank disk label? I had been using the internal drive at this point and decided to switch to the slower PowerCD (see all about my optical drive illusions here.)

I inserted the original Mac OS 8.5 CD in the PowerCD and everything loaded. You could feel the icons refreshing in the finder folder and the screen refreshing the license agreements during the installation steps. The files started copying again and the estimate was 50 minutes! They were smart enough to judge the speed already, prior to any files copied and guessed that this drive would take more than double that of the internal drive.

The file copying continued without errors... was the slower PowerCD more capable of reading a damaged disk? The-slower-the-better with scratches? Either way, the 50 minutes quickly became 46, then 40 and then 30. It still did take a good amount of time. My last Windows 8.1 install felt like it took me only 15 minutes to get to the desktop!

Once the install has finished... make sure the startup disk you installed from is still handy (and remember the SCSI ID!) Rebooting at this point will make Mac OS 8.5 throw the usual "this startup disk will not work on this Macintosh model." .. feel free to reboot just to ensure this occurs.

If it does, hold down CMD-OPTION-SHIFT-DELETE-(SCSI ID) on your next reboot and make your Macintosh boot the harddisk of the associated SCSI ID. Note that 'Delete' needs to be the full 'Delete key, not 'Del'. The number also needs to be a number from across the top of the keyboard, not the numpad! This should be your previous startup disk, or another... either way, we just need an environment to ResEdit the Mac OS 8.5 partition.

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Once you're back on a known desktop, download and install ResEdit. Open the 'System Suitcase' from inside the System Folder on your new MacOS 8.5 partition. Once in there, open the gusd resource and then open resource 1. Go to Find -> Find Hex and search for 001f001c, there'll be one occurrence. Highlight the block including 001f and type 0076 for the Quadra 950 (see other model IDs here.)

Quit out of ResEdit, saving your changes... as that you booted with the special shortcut, your startup disk will still be the new MacOS 8.5 partition... reboot your Macintosh. Now you get to watch it pass the hardware check and load to the desktop! Step through the Mac OS Setup Assistant if you're really bored. 'Checking network connections' in the setup assistant took a REALLY long time... minutes... and then never completed... I forced it closed, but Finder then never responded. Sorry Finder, you get a reboot. I then, for the first time in ages, saw the "Your machine was not shutdown/crashed" disk-check screen. I'd forgotten all about it!

Meanwhile, my Asante Card just worked! Note that TCP/IP is disabled by default. Go to the control panel and enable it. I loved it that my Ethernet slot 3 was already a selectable option.

Also, all the disk mounting issues from above had gone away. Blank floppies show up as 'PC' floppies but the PowerCD still wouldn't work with Audio CDs (data CDs were fine.)

Upgrading to MacOS 8.6

I acquired the update and burnt it to a blank CDR. Turns out the internal NEC drive just hates recordable media. Fortunately, the trusty PowerCD came through with the goods and got me started. At the 8.5 desktop, with the CD mounted, I double-clicked on "Upgrade to 8.6" and got the usual "you have an unsupported system." Of course I do... I'd been running peacefully in 8.5 for so long that I forgot that the Wish I Were hack was on the previous 8.1 disk. So, I scrounged around, extracted the extension/control panel from the other disk and dumped them on my 8.5 install. Prior to reboot I adjusted the machine back to a Powermac 6100/60.

After a reboot, I was running the installer. It is extremely streamlined... I get one option to update SCSI HD Drivers and that's about it. The installation proceeded (slowly on the PowerCD) without a hitch.

After the installation, I attempted to get back to the desktop. Unfortunately the installer wasn't going to have it... it kept demanding that a restart was in order. I had no choice... I didn't want to restart because I knew it'd throw an error. Luckily, my 8.1 partition was there, so option-command-shift-delete-0 (remember, that's delete, not del) saw that boot.

Once at the desktop I opened the new System Suitcase in ResEdit, made the hex change to gusd and saved everything. The system was now allowed to reboot.

The desktop came up and everything worked very well. My network wouldn't get a DHCP address to start with, but that ended up being my ethernet-over-power setup... a solid cable fixed it up.

Note that if you have any DHCP issues that you can supposedly update OpenTransport to the version included with MacOS 9. Sustainable Software's page on DHCP and Mac OS indicates that MacOS 8.6 uses a different technique to obtain DHCP addresses. Download OpenTransport 2.6 here. You will probably need to re-enable 'Wish I Were' to install it.

Sonnet Presto PPC 8.5 and a fresh MacOS 8.6 install

It seems to be little-known that this can all be automated. Sonnet, a maker of PPC upgrade cards, released their Presto PPC utilities to do everything listed above in a much easier fashion. Find the manual for an upgrade here. Download the application and install open the archive. You'll get an dialog that allows you to mount the disk or write it to a real floppy. I did the latter and, once successful, you get the Macintosh Text-To-Speech telling you it's complete! How quaint!

From here, I've installed a fresh version onto another SCSI HD. This drive is 36gb and needed to be partitioned. Using my previous install, I had a base to run partitioning software from. It turns out there's quite a few options... your mileage may vary! Check out this page for partitioning and the tools available.

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Partitions ready, I copied over my Games, Apps and Development files. I then restarted with the Presto Floppy Disk. The floppy has a raw Apple CD Driver on it and it didn't find any of my CD-ROMs. I threw CD Sunrise in the system folder and then rebooted with the floppy... it tried to see the PowerCD but thought it was uninitialised!

I opened up the MacOS 8.1 partition and copied the ISO9660 File Access, AudioCD Access and High Sierra Access extensions to the floppy. I had to remove the Profiler patches to make this work, but I wont need them yet anyway. After a reboot, still no dice. I swapped the CD Sunrise extension out for the original Apple CD version, just in case that only worked with the access extensions... it still didn't work on reboot.

At this point I realised I wasn't going to be using the floppy to boot and install. So I booted into my 8.1 install and ran the installer from there. I chose to install a fresh version on my newly partitioned HD. Starting the installer got the usual "this software cannot be installed on your machine", so I resorted to the Presto PPC manual.

So, floppy disk inserted, you must first copy the Presto PPC 8.5 Enabler and Presto PPC ID files to your current system folder. Do this and restart your machine. Installation can now proceed as usual. I chose a clean install on the blank partition.

The install took so long that I gave up. Don't even bother using an Apple PowerCD for data... it's toooo slow. Single speed maybe? I booted up Cockatrice III on my Windows machine and mounted the 8.6 ISO. I then shared it via Chooser to the Quadra and installed it that way. Worked a lot quicker.

Rebooting got the usual This software is not designed for this Macintosh. This is expected... the fresh install did not have the PowerPC ID masking files. So, back to the manual, I booted from the floppy and failed ... The System version on the Presto PPC Floppy is too old and wont recognise my 4gb partition. It tells me there isn't enough space to copy the files over! I'd imagine it's an integer size issue.

cmd-opt-shift-del-0 WOULD NOT boot my original partition... it seems that this time around the system wanted to ignore my keypresses! Booting from the floppy and trying the short-cut combination wouldn't boot my other hard disk either... guess the hack? Boot the Presto PPC floppy to the desktop, open the system folder on your MacOS 8.6 install partition and browse to the Startup Disk Control Panel. Changing the startup disk there will actually change it for that entire drive. I then went Special -> Restart and Finder locked up. I forced a restart, the disk didn't eject and we rebooted back into the floppy's archaic desktop. A further restart got me back into MacOS 8.1!

So, now I could copy the extensions over. These are the Presto PPC 8.5 Enabler and the Power Macintosh Card Control Panel (yes, it says 601 Processor Upgrade in the doc... but on the disk that is not its name!) Drag them from the floppy to the 8.6 System Folder.

From MacOS 8.1 I then switched the Startup Disk back to MacOS 8.6... and... the friggen thing booted. Winner!

Black-screen-of-death (aka Sad Mac)

If you do anything to screw your PRAM, then it will default back to the 68k processor. As soon as you do this, you'll get the following error screen:

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This error: Sad Mac 0000000F 0000000C indicates that MacOS has tried to boot and found invalid hardware. 8.6 only wants to boot on a real PowerPC, so it's found the 68k processor and failed.

The resolution is to boot from a disk that can boot on 68k (Presto Floppy as above? Older MacOS 8.1 boot disk? etc...) and then get to a control panel that'll let you switch the PRAM back to PowerPC mode. My answer was to boot the Presto disk, go to the System Folder on my 8.6 HDD and then toggle the PowerPC card.

The system then rebooted fine!

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