PowerExpress Revisited

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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BOOTX on ATA slave harddrive

Well, the copy of BOOTX I burned onto CD last time is one I pulled off your link last week, so I wasn't sure if it was the XpostFacto 3.1 version, so what I did was clicked on your link above and downloaded it again, and this time, what I thought I would try is, instead of burning it to CD, I erased (by initializing in Mac OS Extended) an old 350mb Apple IBM ATA drive (firmware c. 1994) and put the BOOTX on it. Then I installed it as a slave drive on the same channel 1 on the Acard with the OS X drive. Then I turned on the PEx with both harddrives on, and with the BOOTX CD still in the channel 2 DVD drive, and it stopped at the OF prompt at usual. Then I typed 0 bootr and hit return (not pressing command-v this time). To see what came up, see my images gallery: NoBootX, and NoBootX Script. Here is what the readout says:

FailToBoot: BootX::GetBootPaths <>failed following LoadFile
Custom BootX 3.0, based on BootX 59.1.1
gBootSourceNumber = 0
gBootDevice = pci1 @e/@2:,\BOOTX
gBootFile = pci1/@e/@0:6,\mach_kernel
ofBootArgs =
gExtensionsSpec = pci1/@e/@0:6,\System\Library\

To reboot into Mac OS 9, use command-control-powerkey to force reboot,
and then hold down the option key.

For additional diagnostic information, reboot with command-v held down

I tried the reboot with command-v, but it just stopped at the OF prompt after restart. I then typed 0 bootr, and held down the command-v, but it just did the same NoBootX thing with the same readout.
I then restarted, and at the OF prompt I typed the following, hoping to boot from the BOOTX on the slave ATA drive:

setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@1:,\BOOTX
setenv boot-file pci1/@e/@0:6,\mach_kernel
reset-all

At the OF prompt, I typed 0 bootr, and then I got about four long lines of repeated "can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@1:,\BOOTX" followed by a restart.

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Re: BOOTX on ATA slave harddrive

Open Firmware on Old World Macs is only able to fully read DOS floppy disks and ISO-9660 CD-ROMs. It barely is able to read HFS and HFS Extended disks. In order to load BootX from a HFS disk on older Macs, a program such as XPostFacto must write the offset to BootX in the disk partition record. This way, Open Firmware knows exactly at what offset location on the disk to begin loading BootX. Once BootX has loaded, it updates Open Firmware's mac-parts and mac-files packages so that it can fully read HFS disks and locate the mach_kernel and kernel extensions.

Simply putting BootX onto a HFS disk and setting the boot-device to be pci1/@e/@1:,\BOOTX will not work.

It is interesting that after you connected the other hard drive on Channel 1 as Slave, BootX then displayed some text output. From my own experience, I have noticed that PCI card location and drive settings can affect Open Firmware's ability to successfully load BootX and boot OS X.

Try connecting the OS X drive to Channel 2 as Slave. The DVD drive will be Master. Then enter these commands:
setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX
setenv boot-file pci1/@e/@3:6,\mach_kernel
reset-all

Type 0 bootr and see what happens.

If this doesn't work, try changing the PCI slot location of the Acard. Perhaps try putting it in slot E2. That is the second slot up from the bottom. Change the boot-paths accordingly.

setenv boot-device pci2/@e/@2:,\BOOTX
setenv boot-file pci2/@e/@3:6,\mach_kernel

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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OS X as slave drive

Tried the OS X harddrive as the slave drive on channel 2 with the reset commands, and got the same thing as just before: the circle with the slash instead of the apple and the readout highlighted in black (see NoBootXslavedrive image). So now I don't even get the apple. Is that because of the master/slave setup, perhaps?

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slaves not welcomed

BOOTX is an emancipated-only zone. I tried the E2 slot with the OS X harddrive still as a slave and got the NoBOOTX screen again, so I switched the harddrive back to being the master on channel 1 and the DVD drive still the master on channel 2, then changed the boot-path to setenv boot-file pci2/@e/@0:6,\mach_kernel. After 0 bootr, I got the OS X apple again and then the video bars/hang again. The bars come on about 5 seconds after the apple, and there's no sprocket at all. The bars are always in the exact same place across the video screen. I guess I should mention that the DVD drive is connected to the Acard with a 40wire cable because that's the only cable long enough to reach the top bay where I have the DVD drive, so when I had the harddrive connected as a slave it was also connected to the 40wire cable. Right now I've got the DVD still connected to channel 2 with the 40 wire, and the OS X drive is connected to channel 1 with an 80 wire cable.

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boot?

I'm new to this post and I really dont want to go to over 200 posts. I was wondering, is it actually booting in OS 9 or any other system?

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Re: boot?

Unfortunately, Hawaii Cruiser's PowerExpress and Captain Z's PowerExpress Manhattan are completely unable to boot Mac OS 9 or any other lesser version. These machines are development prototypes and cannot boot the Mac OS ROM. Fortunately, they can enter Open Firmware, which gives them some hope of booting OS X or even Linux.

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Just a quick word

As a life-long Apple enthusiast (and current Apple employee), I have to say that reading this thread has been a total blast! It's always so much fun watching a group of intelligent, dedicated Mac-nerds get down into the very DNA of these computers. Bravo to all of you, and I'll keep lurking around.
Best wishes,

SpaceBoy

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Re: slaves not welcomed

The 40-wire cable will not affect the boot capability of the drives. It will just limit them to ATA-33 speeds. A 80-wire cable is needed for ATA-66 and higher.

As an experiment, try burning a HFS Extended CD containing the mach_kernel and kernel extension cache. The kernel extension cache should be from a drive that has OS X installed by a Old World Mac. Set up the CD in Toast so that it looks like this:

You will need to install a second CD-ROM drive in your PowerExpress and connect it to the Acard as slave to the DVD drive. The Open Firmware settings will look like this:
setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX
setenv boot-file pci1/@e/@3:2,\mach_kernel
(In this example, the Acard is in slot B1.)

I want to see if BootX on your PowerExpress is able to access any other disk. If this works, BootX will load from the ISO-9660 CD-ROM and then will try to load the mach_kernel from the HFS Extended CD-ROM. On my Power Mac 9600 and G3 AIO, this works.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Second CD drive

I was just going to ask you if you thought there was a way to boot X from the OS X install CD rather than from a harddrive. Does XPostFacto bypass or go through the ROM to boot the install CD? How about, if instead of an added slave CD drive, I use my 24x Apple SCSI CD drive connected to the external SCSI onboard port? And btw, how does OF work with SCSI ID's?

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Booting from the OS X Install CD and Apple 24X SCSI CD-ROM drive

You could not directly boot from the OS X 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, or 10.3 install CDs because all the code for pre-Beige G3 machines has been removed. If you tried, there would be a kernel panic very early in the boot process.

The way XPostFacto boots the install CD is that it copies the mach_kernel and kernel cache from the install CD to the hard drive you intend to install OS X onto. Also on the hard drive you intend to install OS X, XPostFacto puts the necessary kernel extensions for "Old World" Macs along with BootX. When it then restarts, it will initially boot from the hard drive containing the mach_kernel, kernel extension cache, and "Old World" kernel extensions. Once the kernel is loaded, it will switch to the Install CD as the root device. An example of the Open Firmware boot settings will look similar to this.

boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6 (Hard drive connected to the Acard containing the kernel and kernel extensions)
boot-file -i-h (The arguments "-i-h" tell XPostFacto's custom BootX to look for the mach_kernel in a hidden folder XPostFacto created. The real boot-file address would look like this: pci1/@e/@0:6,\.XPostFacto\scsi-ext\@3:2\mach_kernel
boot-command 0 bootr -v rd=*scsi-ext/@3:2" (OS X will see the root-device argument and use the Install CD as the root device)

If you do connect the Apple SCSI drive to the external SCSI bus, make sure the bus is terminated. Open Firmware handles SCSI IDs just like with IDE drives. Here are some examples:
boot-device scsi-ext/@0:2 (SCSI ID 0, partition 2)
boot-device scsi-ext/@1:2 (SCSI ID 1, partition 2)
boot-device scsi-ext/@2:2 (SCSI ID 2, partition 2)
boot-device scsi-ext/@3:2 (SCSI ID 3, partition 2)
boot-device scsi-ext/@4:2 (SCSI ID 4, partition 2)

I wanted you to make the CD containing the mach_kernel and kernel cache to see if BootX on your PowerExpress could access another disk other than a hard drive.

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mach_kernel

I went looking on my OS X harddrive for mach_kernel, and sherlock says there's a mach_kernel on both the harddrive and in the XPostfacto file, but both are invisible, so I'm unable to copy them, I suppose because I'm in OS 9 looking for them. But now the 9600 refuses to boot into my XPostFacto created OS X harddrive. How does one switch back to OS X from 9 on the OldWorld Macs?

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I've always gotten lucky hold

I've always gotten lucky holding down the option key right after the boot chime. Sometimes, zapping the PRAM works well too.

Cheers,

The Czar

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Re: mach_kernel

To get your 9600 to boot into OS X, use XPostFacto to select the hard drive.

In OS 9, to make the mach_kernel visible, use ResEdit. If you don't already have it, I'm sure you can quickly find it on the web. In ResEdit, Click the File menu and select Get File/Folder Info... Select the mach_kernel and in the info window that will appear uncheck invisible. Then save. This will make the mach_kernel visible in OS 9. Being visible in OS 9, will not affect the boot capability of OS X.

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no bites for my booty

Made the CD with mach_kernel. Installed the SCSI Apple CD drive, ID 3, connected to external SCSI bus, as well as a 4GB SCSI harddrive, termination at harddrive. Put BOOTX CD in DVD drive connected to channel 2 of Acard. Put mach_kernel CD in SCSI CD drive. At OF prompt,
setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX
setenv boot-file scsi-ext/@3:2,\mach_kernel
reset-all
0 bootr
I get the NoBootX screen with the black highlights.
I then put the BOOTX CD in the SCSI CD drive, and reconnected the OS X harddrive to channel 1 on Acard. At OF prompt,
setenv boot-device scsi-ext/@3:2,\BOOTX
setenv boot-file pci1/@e/@0:6,\mach_kernel
reset-all
0 bootr
I get the repeated CAN"T open scsi-ext/@3:2,\BOOTX for about 5 lines across the whole screen followed by a restart.
I put the BOOTX CD back into the DVD drive, and at the prompt,
setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@2,\BOOTX
setenv boot-file pci1/@e/@0:6,\mach_kernel
reset-all
0 bootr
I get the OS X apple again followed by the bars/hang.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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SCSI harddrive

The 4 GB SCSI harddrive (ID 0) has OS 9 on it. I tried setenv boot-device scsi-ext/@0:2 and get the "can't OPEN scsi-ext/@0:2" over and over, so isn't it unlikely that putting OS X on that harddrive will get to a boot?

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Open Firmware madness

The way your PowerExpress is able to load BootX from one disk, but is unable to load the mach_kernel from another disk is similar to the way Beige G3s (Revision B ROMS) behave. My Power Mac 9600 and G3 All-In-One (Revision C ROM, Open Firmware 2.4) are able to load BootX from one disk, load the mach_kernel from a second disk, and use a third disk as the root-device with no trouble. On my Beige G3 Tower though, it will load BootX, but then display the same error message as your PowerExpress. I will need to do more testing on my G3 Tower to try to get some ideas about how to proceed further.

I am also wondering why your PowerExpress cannot directly load BootX from the drive containing OS X. Whenever you try, it gives "CLAIM failed" and "Default Catch" errors. It's very mysterious.

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Beige ROM

Could I have corrupted the PEx OF back when I was trying different ROM cards? Here's a recent thread of someone who fears he corrupted his 9600 by putting in a Beige ROM:

http://www.applefritter.com/node/7940

I'll try two ATA CD drives when I can spare the time. I'll either have to take the DVD drive out of my B&W or the Sony CDRW out of its USB enclosure for the second drive. The Sony will be easier but I suspect it's probably not bootable. I guess I should still be looking for a PC floppy drive and the Public Beta X.

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Re: Beige ROM

Quote:

Could I have corrupted the PEx OF back when I was trying different ROM cards? Here's a recent thread of someone who fears he corrupted his 9600 by putting in a Beige ROM:

I doubt that putting a Beige G3 ROM card into the ROM slot on your PowerExpress has affected your machine in any way. I have done so before with my Power Mac 9500 and there was absolutely no effect. That person who put the Beige G3 ROM into his 9600 likely just messed up his Open Firmware NVRAM settings. Removing all PCI cards other than the video card and putting the video card into a different PCI slot will likely get things working for him again. Changing the PCI card configuration forces the machine to rescan all the hardware. Pressing the Reset button on the motherboard often is not enough.

Quote:

I'll try two ATA CD drives when I can spare the time. I'll either have to take the DVD drive out of my B&W or the Sony CDRW out of its USB enclosure for the second drive. The Sony will be easier but I suspect it's probably not bootable. I guess I should still be looking for a PC floppy drive and the Public Beta X.

For now, don't bother putting a second IDE CD-ROM drive into your PowerExpress. I am currently right at this very moment working with my Beige G3 Tower devising a custom OS X boot CD for your PowerExpress. Acquiring a PC floppy drive and OS X Public beta would still be very useful.

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What partition is OS X on?

When you put the Acard with the 4GB OS X hard drive into your 8500 or 9600 and select it with XPostFacto, what partition number does XPostFacto show for the boot-device? Is it @0:6? Though a hard drive may have only one main partition, in actuality there are several small hidden partitions for file system purposes. I want to make sure of the main partition number containing OS X on your hard drive.

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partition

Yep, XPostFacto says it's at pci1/@E/@0:6. The e is capitalized.

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PC floppy drive

I found a Compaq Presario on the side of the road, so I thought I had lucked out with finding a floppy drive, but when I checked the floppy drive cable, there's a blockage on the cable connector at one of the second-from-the-end pin slots, and the PEx motherboard has both rows of pins complete, so there's a pin in that location, so the cable can't connect.

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That blocked pin is just used

That blocked pin is just used as a key. If you are careful you can just drill it out.

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Helper Boot CD for your PowerExpress

I thought the partition was 6, but wanted to make sure. The "E" can be capital or lowercase; it doesn't matter.

It's excellent you got a PC floppy drive. Hopefully you can modify the cable to work with your PowerExpress.

I have created a custom boot CD for your PowerExpress. I will email you links to the multi-segmented disk image of the CD for you to burn. The total compressed size of the image is 17MB. The goal of this test is to see if we can finally get the Mac OS X kernel loaded and perhaps boot into the OS X 10.3 Install CD.

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Babylon

The Presario was missing it's harddrive and memory and PCI cards, but I have a harddrive with Windows 98 on it from a dead Sony Vaio I picked up from a thrift shop for $10, and two sticks of 64mb RAM, and when I turned on the Presario, it locked at the Windows 98 startup window, and then I noticed that the CPU cooling fan was dead, so I turned off the machine and removed the fan and checked out the processor, and it's an Intel PIII 933mhz, so from what I can read online about this computer (which is meager info, Mac sites are so much more informative), it seems to have been upgraded from a slower Pentium, and what I suspect happened with this computer was the processor was overheating, causing problems, and that's probably why someone threw it away. And there was also a Windows XP Pro installer CD in the CD drive! My my, the things you can find on the curb.
Well, I put a working fan on the processor heatsink and started it up again, and Windows came on and after some "finding drivers this, finding drivers that..." and some learning on the spot by myself (who is completely Windows illiterate, or should I say unviolated?), I was up and running on a PC (gag me with a spoon).
I stuck an unformatted floppy in the drive and formatted it successfully, so the floppy drive seems to be working fine. I don't really know what you mean by DOS formatting. Is that what I just did? But if I take this disk and put it in one of my macs with a floppy drive, the mac will just pop up the window to format this disk, right?, so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to put a simpletext document or BOOTX on it without wiping off the PC format.
Drilling the hole in the connector should be no problem, so I should have no problem installing the drive in the PEx. If that missing pin is standard on PC floppy drives' connectors, I wonder why the PEx isn't missing the pin as well?
I've also got Virtual PC, just to let you know, although I've never really done much with it.
Anyway, now I've got a working PC, oh joy. It's missing the OEM NVidia video card and the onboard video port seems to put out only 16 colors so everything is red hued--quite a devilish environment. What a gaudy machine. It's plastic orange front opens and has a place to store your Windows CD in, and there's a bauble on the top of the machine that pops out and has a Compaq calling card attached to it. Eww! Yes, a machine from the curb... After an hour with this thing, I feel like I've been down with the wenches of Babylon! I feel dirty. A PC! I need to be purified in the river of Cupertino, but now even King Steve is lying with the High"I"Priestess herself. Lord, oh Lordy! Where will we go for the sanctity of our apple-cored souls?!?

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PC Floppy Drive

Quote:

I don't really know what you mean by DOS formatting. Is that what I just did? But if I take this disk and put it in one of my macs with a floppy drive, the mac will just pop up the window to format this disk, right?, so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to put a simpletext document or BOOTX on it without wiping off the PC format.

Since Mac OS 7.5, Macs have been able to read and format PC floppy disks thanks to the PC Exchange control panel. Generically, they are referred to as DOS floppy disks, but specifically they are formatted with the FAT-12 file system. Your Mac will be able to read a DOS formatted floppy just fine and can even format a foppy disk with the FAT-12 file system as well.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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I'm getting confused...

Ok, I created the CD with the image you emailed and tried to follow these instructions you sent:

"I created this CD image by first formatting one of my
4GB SCSI hard drives as one 32MB HFS Extended
partition with the rest as blank space. I then used
XPostFacto 3.1 to set up this hard drive as a helper
disk to boot the Mac OS X 10.3.0 Install CD. Once this
was done, I made a few changes to the disk for your
PowerExpress. I then used Disk Copy 6.5b13 to create a
CD-R Master image of the entire SCSI hard drive. Doing
this preserved all the partition information of the
drive so that BootX should be loadable from Open
Firmware.

After this, setup your PowerExpress's Open Firmware as
follows:
setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@2:6
setenv boot-file -h -i
setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v rd=*scsi-ext/@3:2

The Acard should be in slot B1 and the DVD drive
connected to Channel 2 as Master. There should be a
space between -h and -i for the boot-file.

When you turn on your PowerExpress or restart between
attempts, wait about 30 seconds before trying to boot
from the Acard. In my 9600, I have an Acard-66 with a
LED connected to the LED header. When I first turn the
computer on or restart, the Acard's LED is on for
about 30 seconds. During this time the card is busy
and you cannot access any drives connected to it. If
you try booting OS X before the card is ready, Open
Firmware will time-out in its attempt to boot.

When you first try to boot from the CD, type 0 bootr
and see what happens. If BootX loads and then the
mach_kernel loads, there may be a kernel panic or it
might also say "waiting for root device." This is
expected. If that works, which I really hope it does,
then try typing just boot instead of 0 bootr in Open
Firmware. Hopefully, you won't get any "Default Catch"
or "CLAIM failed" errors. If this all works, we will
proceed from there.

I have tested this boot procedure on my 9600, G3
Tower, and G3 AIO, and it works for each one. I look
forward to hopefully hearing good news that this has
worked for your PowerExpress as well."

***Ok, when it rains it pours, especially here in Manoa valley, which is how I got into all of this, but that's another story. I picked up another discarded PC today, and this one had a floppy drive with a cable connector that didn't have the blockage, so I didn't have to drill the hole, and now I have that floppy drive in the case and hooked up to the PEx. I've got the 24x SCSI drive hooked up to the onboard ext scsi port (ID 3). I've got the DVD drive hooked up as master on channel 2 on the Acard in slot B1. I've got the OS X harddrive hooked up as master on channel 1. And I've got a SCSI OS 9 harddrive also on the SCSI cable (ID 0), last in line, providing termination. Now what should I have where in terms of the burned CD's? And perhaps I should try putting in a BOOTX floppy or something like that?

I entered the three lines of new commands, and did reset-all. I then put the new CD with the image in the DVD, and the mach_kernel CD in the SCSI, and tried 0 bootr, and I get a long march of repeated "no bootable HFS partition" for about 5 or six lines across the screen and then about ten lines straight down of "can't open pci1/@e/@2:6 can't open disk label package" followed by a restart.

Then I put the BOOTX CD in the DVD and the new CD in the SCSI and I get lines of repeated "unrecognized client program format not valid" followed by a restart.

I suppose I should add, that when I burned the new CD, I was in OS 9 and I had toast set to burn "Mac OS Extended CD."

Now, exactly what should be where?

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Let's try that again

Quote:

I suppose I should add, that when I burned the new CD, I was in OS 9 and I had toast set to burn "Mac OS Extended CD."

I believe you burned the disc image not as I intended. Follow these instructions I created on how to burn a disc image with Toast Titanium.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/toast_image_burn.html

Once the disc image is correctly burned, set up your PowerExpress's Open Firmware as follows:

setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@2:6
setenv boot-file -h -i
setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v rd=*scsi-ext/@3:2

For now, don't put any CD into the SCSI 24X CD-ROM drive. Put the new CD you just burned into the DVD drive connected to the Acard.

When you first try to boot from the CD, type 0 bootr and see what happens. If BootX loads and then the mach_kernel loads, there may be a kernel panic or it might also say "waiting for root device." This is expected. If that works, force restart and then try typing just boot instead of 0 bootr in Open Firmware. Hopefully, you won't get any "Default Catch" or "CLAIM failed" errors. If this all works, we will proceed from there.

It's good you now have a PC Floppy drive to put into your PowerExpress. Originally, since you cannot directly boot from your main OS X drive, I wanted to load BootX from a floppy drive or a ISO-9660 CD-ROM and then have BootX load the mach_kernel from the hard drive. Unfortuanely, the way your PowerExpress behaves is like they way a Beige G3 Revision B ROM behaves. On these machines, BootX cannot load from once device and then find the mach_kernel on another device. When you try, BootX will stop at the point where it is trying to locate the kernel and kernel extension cache. Therefore, we need to try another boot method, which is why I created the latest disc image for you to burn.

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Disc Image CD

Made the new CD, o bootr....

CLAIM failedCLAIM failedCLAIM failedCan't open deblocker package
can't OPEN pci1/@e/@2:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN pci1/@e/@2:6DEFAULT CATCH!

...etc.,etc.

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PM me if any of you need any

PM me if any of you need any of the following to help get this thing working:
Mac OS X Server 1.0
Mac OS X 10.0 & Public Beta
Mac OS X Developer Preview
Rhapsody DR1 or DR2

I have access to them and could send one of them to someone to assist in bringing this stillborne computer to life.

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Your PowerExpress is very perplexing

Your PowerExpress’s Open Firmware definitely is problematic. All the things I suggest work on any other PCI Mac, but not your PowerExpress. Regardless, I will keep making suggestions and hope that one of them finally works.

Try typing this in Open Firmware.
setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6
setenv boot-file
setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v
reset-all

When your PowerExpress returns to the Open Firmware command prompt, type the following:
dev pci1/@e/@0:6
" pci1/@e/@0:6" open-dev
init-deblocker
init-label-package
0 bootr

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Claim failed...

...and all the rest...can't open deblocker package, etc. How about moosemanmoo's generous offer on the early OS X's? I guess if it's not making it to the mach_kernel, then it doesn't matter what's on the harddrive at this point? What's Rhapsody?

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Re: Claim failed...

I guess it wouldn't hurt to get OS X Public Beta and Developer Preview 4 from moosemanmoo simply because these versions have native support for PowerSurge and PowerExpress Macs. The main problem with your PowerExpress is that it cannot access HFS disks. If you directly try to boot from one the result is Claim Failed and Default Catch errors. If you load BootX from an ISO-9660 disc, that works, but then BootX is unable to load the mach_kernel from the HFS disk. So even if you get those CD from moosemanmoo, I doubt that your PowerExpress will be able to directly boot either one.

Rhapsody is what Apple's called OS X before 1999. It was never released to the public; just developers. In the early 90s when Steve Jobs wasn't the CEO of Apple, he was the head of a computer company called NeXT. The NeXT operating system developed into GNUstep. When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he had Apple purchase NeXT. The NeXT operating system was further developed by Apple and given the code name Rhapsody, which was to be Apple's next generation operating system. As Rhapsody's development continued, it was renamed Mac OS X in 1999. There was Mac OS X DP3, DP4, Public Beta, and finally in March 24, 2001 Mac OS X 10.0 was released.

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Job for Jobs

Do you know if Steve Jobs had anything to do with the PEx? Was he the one who finally canned it? Maybe this PEx ROM wasn't designed for Mac OS? Perhaps they were playing around with a different format which is why it won't recognize HFS?

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Re: Job for Jobs

I don't think Steve Jobs had much to do with the PowerExpress other than that he was the one who killed it. Here is a link to an article discussing the PowerExpress's cancellation from January 2, 1998.

http://www.pelagius.com/AppleRecon/pe_970102.html

I think while your PowerExpress's motherboard is complete, its ROM is not. The problem with your PowerExpress is that it has a development version of Open Firmware. The final versions of Apple's Open Firmware are buggy enough, but your PowerExpress's development version is completely screwy. Your PowerExpress's Open Firmware has the mac-parts and mac-files packages for accessing HFS disks, but something is wrong. I think the real problem lies with either the disk-label or deblocker packages, which are needed to read any disk.

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Just a Thought on PEx disk format

What about trying to format a drive in UFS format? I know Max OS X Server 1.x used UFS format. And since Mac OS X Server 1.x came out after Rhapsody and before Mac OS X Public Beta, it probably has Power Express support built in.

So, if the PEx can't boot from HFS, and the mach kernel can't be on a DOS formatted volume, perhaps UFS might work - load BootX from a DOS formatted diskette, and then point to mach kernel located on a UFS formatted HD (which I presume one could make by installing OS X Server 1.x or Rhapsody on a HD installed in a regular 7300-9600 series Power Mac).

Just a thought.

Matt

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Re: Just a Thought on PEx disk format

The Mac OS X DP4 Install CD contains a UFS partition. That CD has several partitions, and the main UFS partition is partition 11. Open Firmware does not have native UFS support, so BootX is loaded from a HFS partition on the DP4 CD. Once BootX is loaded, it then gives Open Firmware the ability to read UFS disks. With HawaiiCruiser's PowerExpress, BootX definately would have to be loaded from a DOS floppy or ISO-9660 CD-ROM.

I have experimented with booting from UFS volumes on my Macs, especially my Beige G3 Tower, which as Open Firmware 2.0f1. This version of Open Firmware behaves similarly to HawaiiCruiser's PEx in that when you load BootX from one disk and then tell BootX to load the mach_kernel from another disk, it will fail. It does this with both HFS and UFS disks. Since HawaiiCruiser's PEx failed to load the mach_kernel from a HFS disk, I do feel it will have much success with a UFS disk.

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More things to try

HawaiiCruiser,

I thought of something you might try with your PowerExpress. First, copy BOOTX onto a DOS floppy disk using your Power Mac 8500. Then put that floppy disk into your PowerExpress. To make sure that PC floppy drive you got works with your PowerExpress, type this in Open Firmware:

dir fd:,\
A listing of all the files on the DOS floppy disk should appear.

If that worked, then next put the HFS CD-ROM, that you recently burned from the disk image, into the DVD drive in your PowerExpress. Then enter these commands in Open Firmware:

setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@2:6
setenv boot-file pci1/@e/@2:6,\.XPostFacto\scsi-ext\@3;2\mach_kernel
reset-all

Once your PowerExpress restarts, type the following:
setenv boot-device fd:,\BOOTX
0 bootr

Once you type 0 bootr, hold down Command + V on the keyboard connected to your PowerExpress so that if the mach_kernel is loaded, it will be in verbose mode.

Hopefully something new will happen.

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floppy drive

dir fd:,\ Detmedia
Detmedia
Detmedia
can't OPEN the DIR device
ok
0>

I've got two PC floppy drives now, so I tried the other one as well and get the same readout. I used the 1.4mb double sided high density floppy disk that I formatted in the Compaq Presario and then placed BOOTX on it using a PM6500.

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Re: floppy drive

I have never seen the message "Detmedia" before and I don't know what that is supposed to mean. It seems though that using the floppy drive is not an option.

Here is an alternative test you could try. Insert the ISO-9660 CD-ROM containing BOOTX into the DVD drive in your PowerExpress. Then enter the following in Open Firmware:

setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6
setenv boot-file pci1/@e/@0:6,\mach_kernel
reset-all

Once your PowerExpress restarts type the following:
setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX (At this point the boot-device needs to be changed to the ISO-9660 CD-ROM containing BOOTX.)
0 bootr

Hold down Command V on the keyboard connected to the PowerExpress in case OS X loads, so that it starts up in verbose mode.

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don't give a hoot if you don't get no boot...

OS X apple, video corruption bars/hang...same old, same old.

There's about eight lines of OF that pop up before the apple, but it's too quick to see what it is. It pops up whether or not I'm doing the command-v.

As' da Kahuna wen' say, dis board all hemajang. Mebbe I shud wax'em up and try'em out at Point Panics.

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Uncharted Territories and Resurrections

So now that this campaign seems to have fired it final shots, a couple of questions come to mind. What's going on with Digibarn's PEx? Does it work, does it boot, or are they trying to avoid any attention to it? Since it is the only production PEx in existence, then its OF should be complete, as well as it's ROM, and the unfinished mapping of the "DNA," as someone put it, of this machine could easily be completed there. Someone's writing, or surely one day will write, the biological history of Apple computers. This fascinating chapter should not be left incomplete.
Earlier in this thread there was speculation about copying eeproms, but such endeavors, legal or illegal or charitably overlooked, would probably be beyond my abilities, but this is such a beautiful motherboard, and like any child, we'd all, I'm sure, like to see it reach, somewhere, somehow, its full potential, so let's all pray for coded rain. Meanwhile, the surf rolls in, the waves are high, there's many bright boards on which to fly.

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I'm sure that bootx has chang

I'm sure that bootx has changed in the past, and I'm still quite open to any Mac OS requests that you need to help this thing.

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Re: Uncharted Territories and Resurrections

I will email DigiBarn again about their PowerExpress. When I last emailed them back in late May, a guy wrote back with some information about the system, but said he was busy at the time and asked that I write back in about three weeks for more information. I won't ask him complicated questions about the system such as its Open Firmware because that would require too much explanation. I doubt he would be familiar with such things.

Does the PC floppy drive you installed into your PowerExpress have a keyed connector? Unlike Mac floppy drives, many PC floppy drives do not have a keyed connector and it is possible to accidentally put the cable on upside down. Test the floppy drive in your PowerExpress and see if the cable orientation has any effect on its ability to read DOS floppy disks.

If you can't get the floppy drive working, could you install one of the IDE CD-ROM drives, from one of the PCs you acquired, into your PowerExpress? If so, connect the drive to the Acard. This way, you will have a DVD drive and a CD-ROM drive both connected to the Acard. Make both drives Master on each channel and make the hard drive Slave. With this setup, we can load BootX from an ISO-9660 CD-ROM and then try loading the mach_kernel from another UFS or Ext2 (Linux File System) CD-ROM. If it gets that far, we can then set the hard drive as the root-device.

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DigiBarn's PowerExpress

I emailed Bruce at DigiBarn again and he emailed me back as follows.

Quote:

Is there anyone on the list that lives in the Bay Area of northern cal who could come up to the digibarn and try to get this baby running? Problem i have is 1) I am not an expert in configuring macs and 2) i have a bunch of company deadlines for NASA. I have plenty of monitors, pc/kb and connectors here.

We are in the santa cruz mtns very near santa cruz, san jose, etc.

Bruce

If there is anyone on this forum who can go and take a look at DigiBarn's PowerExpress that would be excellent.

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I'm in the area, Watsonville

I'm in the area, Watsonville actually, but I doubt there is anything I can do. I will talk to my non-fritter friends, though.

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extra innings

Shall we make another go at this? Lord have mercy on my soul, and my pocketbook.
I found another PC floppy cable that's keyed and has no pin blocker, so I installed the floppy again, but I still get the "detmedia" message.
I've got the PC CD drive as master on channel 1 with the OS X harddrive as slave on the same channel. I've got the Hitachi DVD drive on channel 2 as master. I'm just using 40 wire cables since I don't have an extra 80wire to spare right now.
There she sits.

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Re: extra innings

Since you now have two CD-ROM drives connected to the Acard, perhaps we will make some more progress. Try burning a HFS Extended CD containing the mach_kernel and kernel extension cache. The kernel extension cache should be from a drive that has OS X installed by a Old World Mac. Set up the CD in Toast so that it looks like this:

Once you create this CD, put it into the DVD drive. Put the ISO-9660 CD-ROM containing BOOTX into the PC CD-ROM drive. Set the Open Firmware boot settings as follows:

setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:,\BOOTX [This is the PC CD-ROM drive containing the ISO-9660 CD]
setenv boot-file pci1/@e/@2:2,\mach_kernel [This is the DVD drive containing the HFS Extended CD]

Then type reset-all. Once it returns to the Open Firmware command prompt, type 0 bootr.

Hopefully your PowerExpress will load BOOTX from the ISO-9660 CD and then load the mach kernel from the HFS Extended CD-ROM. If this doesn't work, we'll have to try loading the mach_kernel from a UFS formatted CD-ROM.

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Blue (and White) Monday

Well, I've had a few problems with my Macs which have derailed these PEx ambitions. Sunday was nasty. I seem to have killed a motherboard. That left me without a needed computer, so the PEx is out, and the 9600 is back in.

In case your curious, here's how it went:

I recently picked up an Adaptec 29160 SCSI card, and my intention was to install it in my wife's XLR8 G4 upgraded B&W so that one day she might return to her video work, as she hopes. She's been running 9.2.2 on an Atlas V SCSI drive hooked up to an ATTO UL2D SCSI card, so on Sunday I removed the ATTO and replace it with the Adaptec. Simple enough, right? A couple of hours after installing the Adaptec, the Atlas drive started to make downspin noises and gulps and guffaws. I ran it through the gauntlet of utilities--Diskwarrior, Techtool, Norton--and it seemed to recover just fine.

Then late Sunday night I read powersurge9600's recent instructions above and thought I'd give them a try. In order to get the extensions needed for the CDR, I'd have to access the XpostFacto OS X harddrive, and since I couldn't do it in the 9600 because the PEx was in there, I thought the easiest way to access it would be to install the harddrive in one of my B&W's. My wife's B&W was the most accessible, so I took the harddrive and installed it in her B&W as a master on the onboard ATA bus. I started up her computer and the Adapteced Atlas V 9.2.2 came on but the OS X harddrive did not show up on the desktop.

I don't remember exactly what I did next--probably tried to open Drive Setup--but I think the combo of the faulty Atlas V, and the old, also faulty 4GB WD Caviar I had the OS X on really put the kibosh on the poor machine. I suspect the Atlas V could not handle feeling it's true oats via the Adaptec U160 capabilities, and combined with the glitchy Caviar, the two went hand in hand into the ditch. Suddenly, the Atlas V hiccupped a few times, the screen blinked scarily, the Atlas groaned like grandpa, spun down, and the screen froze. I restarted to a black screen, and it's been mostly black since then. I've tried every type of CPR I know of to try to get the computer to reawaken, rearranging and installing different components, etc., but the wound seems mortal. I get the chimes, but no video. I have stripped it of everything but the video card and a Utilities CD in the CD drive, and still nothing. Twice, I was able to get a video output--once to a white blank screen, and once to a blue blank screen--both of which went nowhere. I got those by pressing the on button on the motherboard, but those two events seemed random. And once, when I had everything disconnected, including the CD drive--just the RAM, processor, and the video card--I actually got to the folder with the question mark, but that instantly froze, and I've not been able to repeat it. I just get black screen. Terminated motherboard? I'm hoping that since it once got to the blinking folder that there's some hope for recovery somehow. Maybe if I just let it sit dormant for a long time it'll come back one day with tales of the other side. I wouldn't be surprised. It's happened before with motherboards I thought dead.

Well, I knew my wife would be quite upset that I killed her computer, so I spent the long wee hours of Monday morning sleeplessly performing organ transplants. I decided to give my wife my own B&W. I moved her Atlas V to an external SCSI enclosure and via another ATTO card in my own B&W, I transferred her complete harddrive contents to an extra ATA133 harddrive that I had in my machine. Then I spent the dawn performing all the optimizations, and then removed my own harddrive. My wife now has my B&W. She probably wouldn't even have noticed the difference if I hadn't told her, but I had to have an explanation for my zombie-walking-into-walls demeanor on Monday.

That left myself without a main computer, so I removed the PEx and all those PC parts out of the 9600 case and put the 9600 guts back in so I could use it as my main computer for the time being. So the PEx is mothballed again. Sorry. The past couple of weeks would have been the ideal time to go at the PEx project again, but those vandals who took down Applefritter ruined those plans. Karma, boys. Karma is waiting for you!!

So sorry, this project is back on hiatus again, or actually, it may be time to pass the baton.

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New DigiBarn PowerExpress Pictures

Bruce at DigiBarn emailed me yesterday that he had finally worked on his PowerExpress. He has taken many more pictures of the inside of the case. Here is a direct link.

http://www.digibarn.com/collections/systems/mac-powerexpress/

It is interesting to note that the DigiBarn PEx has all the built-in video circuitry, but no monitor connector. The video chipset appears to be Cirrus Logic. The processor is a 275MHz G3, which means the bus speed is very likely 50MHz (50MHz X 5.5 = 275MHz). Additionally, the computer has an ATI Mach 64 2MB video card and SCSI card installed.

This PEx is the only one so far known to be able to go beyond Open Firmware. There apparently is no System folder on the main hard drive so the computer had the blinking question mark icon. Bruce tried a Mac 7.1 floppy disk, but that wouldn't work because that version of the OS is too old for the PEx. If he tries a Mac OS 7.6 or newer CD-ROM or floppy, he may actually get somewhere. At least though this PowerExpress has a fully fuctional ROM, which all the others so far do not.

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G3? Hmmm . . .

Looks like a 604 board to me, nowhere in the pics do I see any actual indication of the processor type. It is different however from the Mach 5 CPU pics I'm seeing (I haven't a Mach 5 of my own.)

Nice set of pics, though I would have liked to see a full clean shot of the logic board. Looks like that's an ATTO PSC UW SCSI card. Is that a cache card I see? Notice all the dust, someone used it for awhile before it was retired.

Hey, HC, did you ever try a Mach 5 CPU in your box?

dan k

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