Search for Documentation Macintosh Powerbook 170

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speedyG's picture
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Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2406

Hello AF-members,

today i stumbled across a macintosh 170 powerbook.
I´d like to get that device in an operational mode.....
at the moment i try to collect information before touching the system.

Up to my knowledge it was told to me that the system does not start....
there are plenty chances for failure.... but first in such case i start collecting
all availiable information before i start touching the system....
that prevents making mistakes and makes sensitive to common known issues....

that´s location at the moment....
i appreciate any kind of information about that system....

Besides i´m searching for the correct power adapter ( brick )
if possible i´d prefer if here in Europe a 220 Volt version would be availiable.....
please pm me in such case.... thanks a lot

sincerely speedyG

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Posts: 68
Re: Search for Documentation Macintosh Powerbook 170

Hi speedyG,

How's you PowerBook 170 doing? Does it have the internal SCSI hard disk? I got mine a few years ago but no hard disk. But of course you can run a limited OS from the floppy drive.

speedyG's picture
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Posts: 2406
Re: Search for Documentation Macintosh Powerbook 170

Hello snazzify,

at the moment it´s still waiting on the shelf.....
unless a kind of documentation is availiable it will remain there....
primar diagnostic:
no booting possible...
this indicates:
if there is a harddisk inside, then that disk is without operation system......
without manual - the key sequences to get the powerbook setup displayed at the screen is unknown....
so at the moment i can´t check the configuration ( boot devices, boot sequence, boot order )
and i prefer a attempt with at least minimum knowledge what i should expect.....
i´m not a fan of "try and error" but rather more of systematic reliable path of troubleshooting....

so unless at least some basic kind of manual or documentation the unit will continue resting
at the shelf.... If documentation is availiable then i may make attempt to run diagnostic on the harddisk
and install Operation system according to the instructions of the manual....

but unless documentation isn´t availiable i refuse to access the ports
without doocumentation of their pinouts.... that´s the fastest way to damage a system...

speedyG

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Re: Search for Documentation Macintosh Powerbook 170
speedyG's picture
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Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2406
Re: Search for Documentation Macintosh Powerbook 170

Hello snazzify,

Thanks a lot for that first link.
It worked well and i downloaded the service manual.
This was the one source i was hunting for.

So now i´m just only still hunting for a kind of
user manual....
that should explain the availiable "special key" access terms
that would permit me to access the internal setup menu of the computer
so i can chack the basic bios hardware configutration...

- and probably list the general installed software at the computer
( which vers. of OS and the general setups within the OS itself )

as soon as i get info´s to that part of knowledge i´ll be able
to startup the task of resurecting this system "back to life"

sincerely speedyG

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In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Joined: May 21 2015
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Re: Search for Documentation Macintosh Powerbook 170

There are not too many special key presses on that machine...

The two most important ones that (as far as I remember) helped very often, are:

Parameter RAM reset: hold command-option-p-r until you hear the startups-under a second time.

And the power manager reset:
that will will permanently remove a RAM disk, if present, and all of its contents. Should not be a problem in your case Wink
1. Remove the AC Adapter and the battery.
2. Let the unit sit without power connected for 3-5 minutes.
3. Using two paper clips, simultaneously press and hold the reset and interrupt buttons for 5-10 seconds.
4. Reinstall the battery and, if necessary, reconnect the AC adapter.
Note: reset and interrupt buttons are located next to the power button on the back panel of the PowerBook.

It might help to use the slightly stronger power supply of the PowerBook 180(c). That one is easy to recognize by the larger enclosing of the plug that goes into the PowerBook.

It might also help to connect a scsi-device, you can boot from. (CD or HD)

If you need special cables, let me know.