PowerExpress Revisited part II

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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I've reassembled my Powermac 9600 to begin a renewed effort at booting my PowerExpress motherboard which was first tried years ago when I first arrived at Applefritter and created this thread:
PowerExpress Revisited
That thread became a very long thread (maybe one of the longest threads at AF?), so I thought I'd create a part II thread to keep things short.

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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XPF OS X HD problems

To renew the project I need to first create an OS X hard drive using the Powermac 9600. I'm having problems with that. I've got a copy of OS X Public Beta and an OS 10.1.3 install disk for a G4 tower. I've got the 9600 set up with a 4GB SCSI HD on the internal motherboard SCSI bus along with an Apple SCSI CD drive. I've also got a Sonnet ATA100 PCI card installed connected to an 8GB ATA HD as slave and an ATA Apple CD drive as master. I've tried installing both X versions with no success. The 10.1.3 will almost install completely via Xpostfacto 3.1, but just near the end of the installation the installation it quits because it says it cannot access a folder.

When trying to install OS X public beta (clock set to March 2001), XPF will install it's extensions, etc. still in OS 9, the computer goes to restart, the CD drive starts up, and the apple appears, but then it just stalls--no move to Open Firmware--just the apple.

I've also tried installing the public beta directly without XPF, but that stalls at the happy mac (10.0 installation normally starts with the happy mac). Reading this interview with Ryan Rempel:
http://xlr8yourmac.com/OSX/rempel_interview.html
I thought he inferred near the bottom that X Public Beta could install on a Powersurge computer:
"When Mac OS X Public Beta came out, it would install on my 7300"
so I've tried a direct install. My 9600 is running on a Sonnet 450mhz G4 upgrade. Does anyone know if the Public Beta can actually be directly installed on the pre-G3 PowerPC's?

I also tried installing Jaguar using XPF, and that installation quit also (went to a black screen which simply said the installation had quit), but the truth is, I'd really like to get a 10.0 or 10.1 installation instead of 10.2. I've installed the Public Beta on a Beige G3 and I see there's a PowerExpress kext file in the extensions, so the earlier the OS X, I would think the more likely a successful boot on the PowerExpress might be possible.

Hokusai's picture
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Hmm...

I was hoping that you were one day going to get back to the 'ole PowerExpress.

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Re: Hmm...

Hokusai wrote:

I was hoping that you were one day going to get back to the 'ole PowerExpress.

Seconded.

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Interesting.

Hey there, I've been interested in what progress you have so far on this machine. I haven't had time to read all the forum posts so thank you for the summary.

Now from what you stated, your trying to get Mac OS X onto the PowerExpress machine. Have you tried installing an earlier OS or has that not worked out so well? I can maybe help you, I just need some quick info on your PowerExpress. Thank you.

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YAY! Now I have to start che

YAY! Now I have to start checking AF more frequently!

Macinjosh's picture
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I'm Subscribed :)

Hehe, not to build up the pressure or anything, I think that whatever you might get up and running on this box is just pure awesome. Update when you can!

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Any news, HC?

I'm eager to hear if you've had any luck with the PowerExpress. It'd be REALLY cool if you got her running.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Same old futility

Thanks for your enthusiastic support. Sorry, I've obviously been avoiding responding because there wasn't much to say. I was hoping someone would have an idea of how to install OS X Public Beta onto a PM9600 hard drive. I've retried it a couple of times, still with no success. The fixation on X Public Beta comes from the previous thread:
"Up through Mac OS X Public Beta, there was boot support for PowerExpress Macs built into the kernel. After Public Beta, Apple had removed support for both PowerSurge and PowerExpress Macs. Fortunately, Ryan Remple has made kernel extensions of the code that Apple removed, including for PowerExpress Macs. So there is a good chance this will work."
Rereading and following the previous thread is a bit difficult. My memory's a bit fuzzy--not that it wasn't fuzzy to begin with. CaptainZ was attempting a boot of Public Beta with his Manhattan motherboard, but it looks like he had no success.

I tried installing Public Beta on one of my Beige G3's using XPF 3.1. with no luck--same thing, stalls at the Bootx apple. X Public Beta does install directly (w/o XPF) on the Beige with no problem (clock set to early 2001). In case you've never seen the Public Beta desktop, I've put a grab image here:

OS X Public Beta

Transferring that HD from the Beige to the 9600 does not work. The difference in the formatting of the drive between the PowerPC 9600 and the G3 seems to be profound enough that the G3 formatted drive is not recognized by the 9600. It does mount on my desktop, but that's because I have an ATTO SCSI extension in the 9600's system, and the G3 Public Beta drive mounts as an ATTO SCSI drive with the ATTO icon. Running Disk First Aid, or Diskwarrior fails to get the standard recognition. I tried to boot into it, w/ and w/o XPF, just to see what happens, with no luck. After restart the 9600 does not find it.

My next angle was to try to directly boot the Public Beta install disk on the PEX. I was fumbling around with the OF, trying to figure out the correct code. In my setup, my last attempt was this:

0 > setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX ok
0 > setenv boot-file pci1/@e/@2:,\mach_kernel ok
0 > reset-all
Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > 0 bootr can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't
OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:
,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN
: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOO
TX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci
1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX ca
n't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/
@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't O
PEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\
BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN:
pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX
Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 >

No luck. For awhile, I was able to get video on the PEX to OF using the code, as before:
" pci1/@d output"
But for some reason, after a couple of times of success with that, it no longer worked--no video through the PEX motherboard. Actually, I tried many things with the codes, all of which I can't remember, and I may have screwed up the video code by hitting a reset-all at one point. Removing the battery and letting the motherboard sit for awhile puts it back at square one from where I can start all over again. I've been using the second NVRAM code that powersurge9600 provided to get to the boot command. The other codes he provided do not work, as was the case back then. For awhile, I could hear the CD drive spin up--with no video--but that stopped in my last attempts.

I then had the idea of using Toast to create an ISO 9660 OS X Public Beta Install disk. I don't know if that idea is nuts or not. The way I accomplished it was by this roundabout fashion: Most of the files on the installation disk are hidden files. On my main computer hard drive I have a 700mb partition which I made during initial formatting which I use to put data that I'm going to burn to CD--my "CD Burn" partition. I normally put files on it, burn them, and then erase the partition. In order to create the ISO 9660 OS X Public Beta Installation Disk, I used Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the actual Public Beta install disk to the CD Burn partition--that way getting all files, including the hidden files. I renamed the CD Burn partition, "Mac OS X Install CD" and then attempted to burn the whole partition in ISO 9660 format using Toast.

Opening Toast 7, I click on Data and select ISO 9660 format. I drag the partition into Toast, but Toast reverts back to Mac/PC format and refuses to format ISO 9660. I click on ISO 9660 again, rendering the Toast drag window empty again. I click on Select this time which brings up an ISO 9660 pop-up drag window. I drag the partition into it with no problem. I click Done on the window. The window disappears and then I get the following message:

I click OK, bringing me back to the main Toast window where the partition is listed this way:

I click on the big red burn button which brings up the normal record button window. I click on Record. This message immediately pops up:

I click OK. The disk burns with no problem. I put it in the PEX CD drive, but no luck. No difference from before. No spin up. No video output. That's where it stands.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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powermac1 where are you?

I probably should have mentioned earlier that powermac1, who was a user who joined and popped in only once at the very end of my previous thread had offered me a copy of OS X server 1.2. I contacted him in PM, but unfortunately I wasn't able to retrieve his copy and he hasn't been back since then.

It probably would be good to repeat his post from the previous thread:

"i have a mac os x server 1.2 original cd that works natively with old world macs, like the os x beta. do you think it would do the thing?"...

"does open firmware also needs arguments for the bootloader partition Apple_Boot MOSX_OF3_Booter ?

here is the partition map from a macos x server 1.2 hd installed on a 9600/300:

/dev/rsd0h map block size=512
#: type name length base ( size )
1: Apple_partition_map Apple 63 @ 1
2: Apple_Driver43*Macintosh 54 @ 64
3: Apple_Driver43*Macintosh 74 @ 118
4: Apple_Driver_IOKit Macintosh 512 @ 192
5: Apple_Patches Patch Partition 512 @ 704
6: Apple_HFS Macintosh HD 2238137 @ 1216 ( 1.1G)
7: Apple_Boot MOSX_OF3_Booter 16384 @ 2239353 ( 8.0M)
8: Apple_Loader SecondaryLoader 1024 @ 2255737
9: Apple_Rhapsody_UFS Mac OS X Server 1.2 6210429 @ 2256761 ( 3.0G)
10: Apple_Free Extra 9 @ 8467190

would a pre-installed hd work better on the scsi mesh than the ufs+hfs install cd?"

******In PM he added:

"this cd [X server 1.2] also has support for power express"...

"i think there were problems with boot arguments that should have aimed to the bootloader (partition 4), but not directly to the mach-kernel (partition 9).
the cd also has a bootloader partition... but your mac can't read hfs

installing the server onto a old scsi hd on a 9600 (installer makes disk ufs), getting the hd map via pdisk then pluging the hd to external scsi on powerexpress with good boot arguments should work.."

Most of that was Greek to me.

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Minimal OS system requirments?

What are the minimal OS system requirements for this machine? Would A/UX be able to work with this?

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Re: Minimal OS system requirments?

DaveyPocket wrote:

Would A/UX be able to work with this?

No. A/UX was never updated to work with any PowerPC based Mac.

M

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Now it's your turn!

Guess what? I'll give you the personal chance to explore first-hand all the possibilities of this motherboard. I've decided to put it up for sale:

http://www.applefritter.com/node/23517

Even though I think it's quite valuable, it felt like it was time to pass it along. Obviously, in my limited abilities, I was getting nowhere new. Also, the economic downturn has done a body-blow to the tourist industry here in Hawaii upon which I rely, and my business is suffering greatly, possibly fatally, and dinner needs to be placed on the kitchen table, so I can use whatever income I can come up with these days. Cleaning the closets is also very refreshing, but I'll surely miss this old companion.

Macinjosh's picture
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Hey HC

Check your PMs (nothing shady... auction looks like it's not working.)

- Macinjosh

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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I scheduled the auction openi

I scheduled the auction opening and then posted here before the auction started, so probably it didn't work at that time you checked because it hadn't started yet. Hopefully.

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Confirmed

You're right Smile

-- Macinjosh

alk's picture
alk
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Wow

$224.72!

Good luck with the sale.

Peace,
Drew

P.S. Check your PMs.

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The story continues...

Hi Everyone,

Just to let people know I was the successful bidder for 9700 proto, and just going through the process of payment and shipping.

My main aim in buying this, apart from adding it to a collection, was to try and get it to boot OS X. I've been lurking on the PowerExpress threads until now.

There are 2 methods which I'm keen on trying to get it booting:

1) Continue the line of enquiry with using open firmware and a PC floppy disk to try and get bootx / Mac OS X loading properly.

2) Make use of the fact that the ROMS are re-programmable flash to first backup the ROMs on this board (using this method: http://sandeen.net/fwfix/index.html ) and then to put a more functional 'working' version of the ROM on the chips.

For this last point I'm looking for some help, as I'm based in the UK, not the USA.

The ROMs on the Digibarn's 9700 (www.digibarn.com/collections/systems/mac-powerexpress/index.html) seem more functional and have a later version number on, so if we could copy these via software (http://home.tampabay.rr.com/osemu/n800/software/GetRom.sit.hqx) I could then save these to this board.

It would require a trip to Digibarn - so I guess the first question is anyone near there, and willing to perhaps arrange/make a trip?

James.

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Welcome

Ha! Welcome!

I'm the 2nd highest bidder. I thought for sure that $222.22 would be enough, but I guess not. I'm glad to see that the PowerExpress isn't just going to some collector for his personal museum never to see the light of day again. I don't have the equipment to reflash the ROM, so you might have more success than I would have had.

I do have plenty of other Mac equipment and software. I would have continued along the Open Firmware/BootX line to get the PowerExpress booting OS X. I happen to have copies of OS X Server 1.2 (basically Rhapsody), OS X Public Beta, OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, etc...

Good luck with the PowerExpress! If you get frustrated with the machine and want to pass it on, feel free to contact me! Wink

Peace,
Drew

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Join the Resistance! Enlist in the PowerPC Macintosh Liberation Army!

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The torch is passed!

Yeah, I did reasonably well on all my auctions this time, which was a little unexpected since they ended during some of the worst days in Wall Street history. The only auction that unexpectedly disappointed was my Sonnet 450mhz G4 processor that I was using with the PEX. It didn't occur to me at all to set a high starting bid price. I just assumed it would end up, at least, in the $40-50 range. Didn't actually give it a second thought. It sold for $16! That was a surprise.

Well, hopefully the PEX arrives in England jolly good. I'm really happy it's been passed along to someone who will continue the project here.

James, I would suggest you start a new thread of your own--"PEX revisied part III" or something like that--take ownership of the discussion as well, so to speak. Start one, and then place a link to it here. May the force be with you.

Oh, BTW, I emailed powersurge9600 after I started this thread but haven't gotten any reply. The only email address I have is the one he posted on his website which, unfortunately, he probably rarely checks. It's been years since we've been in contact. He's a great guy and I hope he returns to join in again.

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It's arrived safely...

Just to let people know the the PEX board has arrived safely in England, and was extremely well-wrapped by HawaiiCruiser.

As we've had our central heating system replaced this week life is a bit hectic at the moment, so will probably be able to play with it next week.

I'll start a new thread called PEX revisited part III to continue the work.

James.

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Rom chips...

Hi,

I've had a play with the PEX Prototype over the holiday season and have tried all the approached tried here in the past to try and get it booting.

However, so far I have been unsucessful. Persuing another avenue that a floppy drive boot might work, but with the version of the open firmware I have not supporting this, I was wondering if anyone else with the removal PLCC roms would be willing to post them to me.

I'd pay postage there and back. I would make a copy of these roms and send them right back.

Thanks,

James.

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Re: PowerExpress Revisited part II

Jim's PEx revisited III thread has some new activity and I noticed that there never was a link posted to it from this older thread, so I'll post it here just in case someone wanders in here through a back door:

PowerExpress Revisited Part III