Looking for help with a recently revived Power Macintosh 6100/60av

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bushnrvn's picture
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Please give this a read, correct any errors in my knowledge, and provide any assistance you are willing/able. I am still relatively new to the world of vintage Macs and I'd love to get this machine running properly again.

I was given a Power Macintosh 6100/60av this week. I noticed the date was showing as 1956. I've read this indicates a bad PRAM battery. If this had been the only error, I would have bought a new battery and moved on.

After about an hour of use - just general use like testing the keyboard in SimpleText, loading Sim City 2000 and Syndicate after nearly two decades, I shut the computer off and went to go do something else for a bit. Later that night I turned the machine on and found that it would not boot. After a few tries, I managed to get an image on the screen but it was slightly different than what I had seen earlier.

Errors I am currently seeing:

  • -Instead of the normal "Welcome to Macintosh" box that shows all the programs loading at the bottom of the screen, it was just a blue bar.
  • -When the OS loaded, Finder seemed to be in a bit of disarray. There were strange black bars along the top overlapping with the menu items.
  • -Selecting icons on the desktop seemed to leave artifacts where the mouse had been.
  • -Opening folders was a strange affair - at times only an outline of the open folder appears, other times, the contents and whitespace are shown, but navigating through finder is hit and miss.
  • -Most programs that ran were missing details like...Ok and Cancel buttons.

Some technical notes:

  • -I am running System 7.5 with 40mb of RAM.
  • -I have my video running from the av card s-video out to the s-video in on the back of a capture card that relays video to my monitor connected to my modern PC. [***]A note on this: This setup worked fine before I shut down the computer the first time. So I would be reluctant to place this very high on the list of possible causes.
  • -I tried resetting the time before I read that it indicated a dead or low battery, and it reverts to 1956 on start-up.
  • -I have read that if the PRAM battery is dead, any image displayed would likely be in black and white. I've read that if the image displayed is not black and white the issue may lie with corrupted Finder settings.

I am not in a position to provide images/video currently but, I will do so when I get home in a few hours.
Thanks.

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Dr. Webster's picture
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Re: Looking for help with a recently revived Power Macintosh ...

Did you ever replace the PRAM battery, or do you still have a dead one in the machine? In my experience, Macs of that vintage can tend to act a bit wonky (and have trouble powering on/booting) with a dead PRAM battery.

Barring that, pop the cover on the machine and inspect the motherboard closely, specifically the capacitors. 6100's are of the age now where their capacitors are starting to dry out and become flaky. If you find any that are bulging/leaking, you'll want to replace them or the machine's problems will only get worse.

Regardless, your issue sounds to definitely be hardware-related. I can't say I've ever seen a Mac behave as you've described and had the fix be a simple reinstall of the OS.

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gsmcten's picture
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Re: Looking for help with a recently revived Power Macintosh ...

Doc is absolutely correct.

Pull the top. Check the Capacitors.
Change the Battery.
Pull the ROM SIMM and reseat.
Pull the RAM SIMMs and reseat.
Check the AV card and reseat if required.
Check the AV card to see if there is a RAM stick (30 Pin) installed. Some of the AV cards do have RAM on them. That could be part of your problem. It's not required, but it may help.

I have three of these sitting here and have had varying degrees of success with them. When they are running; they run well. When they get finiky you have to play with them.

Do you have the VGA adapter cable to go from the normal Video Out connection? You can try bypassing the AV card all together.

Steven Smile

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bushnrvn's picture
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Re: Looking for help with a recently revived Power Macintosh ...

I've replaced the battery with one from RadioShack. The initial problems seemed to have subsided.

Thank you for your info.

On another note - I've noticed the hard drive sometimes makes a pretty interesting wavering noise. Honestly, I feel kind of excited wondering what is going to cause the next puzzle...

One last question, I've noticed that after a bit of use - say a couple hours, the heat sinks are extremely warm. Is this normal for a computer of this make and age?

Thank you for your help. I've only been pursuing this type of thing recently, and I am glad to see such a wonderful and helpful community behind it.

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gsmcten's picture
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Re: Looking for help with a recently revived Power Macintosh ...

Quote:

One last question, I've noticed that after a bit of use - say a couple hours, the heat sinks are extremely warm. Is this normal for a computer of this make and age?

Yes. Smile

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Steven (gsmcten)

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Re: Looking for help with a recently revived Power Macintosh ...

Yes the PowerMac 6100 Series computers had a big problem with heat, they didn't have a fan outside of the power supply, and they are notorious for overheating with hard work, they did make a fan that attaches to the processor but I don't know if one could still be had. The problem also had to do with the small size of the case.

bushnrvn's picture
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Re: Looking for help with a recently revived Power Macintosh ...

I hate to revive an old thread like this, but I was just looking at this again the other night and I was wondering if someone out there had an extra HDI45 to DB15 display adapter I could borrow? Idk if this is a strange request, but I just need to figure out if the AV card is bad or if something else is causing the issue.

I can pay shipping via Paypal if needed. Thanks.

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bushnrvn's picture
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Re: Looking for help with a recently revived Power Macintosh ...

Found one. Now I wait...

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MaxTek's picture
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Re: Looking for help with a recently revived Power Macintosh ...

If you need another part let me know and we could work something out. I have a 6100 (no cd drive version) that I am willing to part out. Also have the video adapter, mouse, keyboard and apple logo power cord.

maxtek No interest so I took it to the goodwill.

bushnrvn's picture
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Re: Looking for help with a recently revived Power Macintosh ...

Yeah, sorry about that. I missed your reply Smile The adapter I ended up with works fine. Looks like the AV card is on the way out. I am not in a hurry to replace it. Thanks though.

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