PowerExpress Revisited

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Hello,
I found this site through a backdoor. I recently purchased a PM 9600 motherboard on eBay. The listing called it a prototype and said it had onboard ultra SCSI so I was a little intrigued and bit the bullet and purchased it even though I originally just wanted to resurrect a dead 9600 for my very young daughter to use. Well, the motherboard arrived and I quickly realized it was quite an oddball. The seller knew nothing about it's origin or anything else and I'm tempted to request my money back per his non-DOA guarantee. Of course, I could not find any references online for the part number, but there's a strange slot on the board labelled VCI, so I Googled VCI motherboard and came up with CaptainZ's forum and webpage on this site. My motherboard certainly sounds like one of the PowerExpress Manhattan describe in an earlier forum:
http://www.applefritter.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.pl?board=apple;action=display;num=1070916360;start=0
Here's the auction where I bought the motherboard:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=4607&item=5154536227&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW
The same seller actually had two of these for sale and someone else bought the other one.
The RAM slots say "NB DRAM 3.3 VOLTS." I've tried many different configurations with the parts I have. I've tried a 32mb stick which I think may be PC66 that came with a Beige G3 that I sold long ago. I've tried a bunch of different PC100 sticks, all 3-2-2. I've tried my original 9600 350mhz processor, an XLR8 zif carrier with an XLR8 350mhz G4 processor, a Sonnet 450mhz G4 PCI processor, and a Powercomputing Powerbase 240mhz processor. With the first three processors I get a "chime" which is not a chime but actually a recording of someone saying, "I believe I saved this company" and then someone else says, "kill me!" With the Powerbase processor I get no chime at all. I have not gotten any video output at all, neither from an ATI 16mb 128 card, nor from the onboard video port. My original PM 9600 did not have a ROM card installed, so I don't have any ROM card to put into the ROM slot.
So, if anyone can please tell me, what's the consensus on this motherboard so far? Am I wasting my time with it or is there something I can do to get it going? Or is it a museum piece?
thanks

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Hmm...

I think it might say on the site, or not, but there was some progress made in trying to get these motherboards to boot. They didn't get very far though. Not much has been said about it lately on here.

Have you been able to determine what revision of the PowerExpress you have?

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back door?

To say you joined our site via a back door would mean that you've found a way to compromise our security and are illegally using our computers.

Or do you mean you came to the site and registered an account? That would be the front door.

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I'm not that sneaky

Well, you caught me. I guess I'm just a front door guy, after all. Not as bad as I try to pretend. You'll find me on the other Kinsey Report.

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revision

Nope, I don't know what revision it is, but it does have all the chipsets that were missing on Captainz's motherboard that he pictured here:
http://www.captainz.net/site_revision_081604/EVT2_proto.html
My motherboard has eight NEC chips (VRAM?), the Control, the Radacal, the Kaos (underneath) and the Nine99. The VCI slot is intact. Also on the topside of the motherboard is an LTX chip and the Symbios Logic Ultra SCSI chip. The onboard Ultra SCSI looks like the standard male 80 pin SCSI connection, but shorter, so I guess it's a 68pin in a form I'm not familiar with. Sorry, I'm just a tinkerer, not a professional, so I don't know much wherefore I speak, but there are also some other very interesting looking chipsets on the underneath of the motherboard:
the Fermi, 2 chips called Denali, and the Heathrow.
All are LSI or Texas Instruments. The Nine99 and the Heathrow say "proto" on them. Similar to Captainz's, there are four pads next to the VCI slot without chips labelled U32, U33, U34, U35. They link the ROM slot to the VCI slot. Could they be the missing piece to successful boot? It would be cool if I could get this thing to work. It'd be practically like having a G3 with six PCI slots, and what is a VCI slot? It's identical to a PCI slot. I'm wondering if it's possible that I could take the bracket off one of my ATI video cards and slip it in there for onboard video if I could get this thing to boot. That is, if the Men in Black don't show up after my posting and confiscate and eradicate. I know they're watching...aren't you?

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PC133

Try some PC133 RAM, this works in a lot of computers, even ones with lower bus speeds (e.g Beige G3).

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Power express greatly predate

Power express greatly predates PC 133. He needs either Fast Paged Mode or EDO ram. We had one in the lab when I worked for apple that we used for disk testing. It really was greatly inferior tot he beige G3, which is why i never shipped.

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Re: revision

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

The onboard Ultra SCSI looks like the standard male 80 pin SCSI connection, but shorter, so I guess it's a 68pin in a form I'm not familiar with.

It's 50 pin scsi, AKA, Ultra Narrow.

Quote:

the Fermi, 2 chips called Denali, and the Heathrow.

Heathrow was a PCI chip that provided IDE, ethernet, serial, and some other misc I/O functions. It's also in the beige G3 rev a. and the wallstreet powerbooks. It was a decent i/o asic in it's day (though it's successor Paddington was far superior).

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RAM

Thanks for your input, Dr. Bob. I tried installing the RAM from my original 9600. I don't remember if it's FPM or EDO, but it definitely does not fit into the RAM slots on the PowerExpress motherboard. SDRAM does fit, and the slots say "DRAM" on the plastic. They also say "NB." Any clue to what that means? North bridge? Shucks, I was thinking Heathrow was a prototype Airport chip. Wink

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Onboard Ultra SCSI

As to the onboard Ultra SCSI, there is one of the old style 50pin narrow slots, but next to it is another SCSI slot which has the form like the old Centronics male connector with a long tongue up the middle and mesh connectors within the tongue. I just now got down with flashlight and pointer and counted the connectors along the tongue and there's 34 on a side, so 68 total. I'll try to get photos up one day so you can see. Unfortunately, I don't own a digital camera so it'll take a little while to for me to post some. I'll go borrow one from a friend who I helped cram a bunch of PC133 into her B&W, so while I'm there maybe I'll distract her with a Bill Gates recorded speech or something and retrieve a 128mb stick to try in this motherboard too and post results.

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If the sockets are labelled 3

If the sockets are labelled 3.3V then it likely needs 3.3V EDO RAM.The ram from your 9600 would be 5V so it would not work. My guess is that NB means non buffered.

Also it looks like it has 8 slots. From my understanding in order to use more than 4 SDRAM DIMMS you need to use registered DIMMs. So that pretty much rules out SDRAM.

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Re: RAM

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Thanks for your input, Dr. Bob. I tried installing the RAM from my original 9600. I don't remember if it's FPM or EDO, but it definitely does not fit into the RAM slots on the PowerExpress motherboard. SDRAM does fit, and the slots say "DRAM" on the plastic. They also say "NB." Any clue to what that means? North bridge? Shucks, I was thinking Heathrow was a prototype Airport chip. Wink

it need 3.3V EDO, the 9600 uses 5V. It's keyed differently to keep you from inserting the wrong type. NB probably does'nt refer to anything relevant.

PC133, PC100, PC66 WILL NOT WORK.

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Which machines used 3.3v edo?

Which machines used 3.3v edo? I have an old pentium pro dually server mobo at work that i was going to hang on my wall. It has a bunch of dimms on it but they say edo on them. I'm wondering if one of them mighnt work?

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Re: RAM

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Shucks, I was thinking Heathrow was a prototype Airport chip. Wink

This I know for sure could never happen. Airport is nothing but rebranded Lucent and Orinoco Cardbus and Mini-PCI cards.

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PC133 doesn't work

I tried a PC133 128mb SDRAM--no luck. I don't get the broken glass sound when I start up. Wasn't that the sound it makes when the wrong RAM is installed or if the RAM is defective?
I suspect you've hit the nail on the head. 3.3v EDO sounds like the answer, thanks. I'll try and find some--didn't know it existed. Did any retail macs use it?
Oh, and the startup chime says, "I know I saved this company." Is that quote familiar to anyone? It doesn't sound like Steve Jobs. I'll see if I can make an MP3 of it.

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4400

I think the 4400 used 3.3v EDO, but i'm not sure

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Judging from the picture in t

Judging from the picture in the eBay listing, and your information on the motherboard, it looks to me that you have a EVT3 (video intact, Cirrus video chipset, VCI intact) or EVT4 motherboard (video intact, non-Cirrus video chipset, VCI intact). Yours also is missing the ROM (the two spots near the power button), just as mine is.

I must have overlooked the RAM slots when I was dealing with my PEx tower, since at first glance it looks identical to SDRAM slots. I know I have some of that somewhere, since the StarMax systems use that type (I can get 96MB out of my 5000/275). I can attempt it inside PEx Manhattan tomorrow.

I'm interested in hearing the "chimes" that you have heard, and any other pictures you'd be willing to share with us, and add them to my site to share with the world.

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ROM

So does that mean, no ROM, no boot, with or without the right RAM? Should I be looking for a ROM card?

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Just a note, I believe that a

Just a note, I believe that a lot of mac motherboards don't even make use of the rom slots.

They are present but were never utilized.

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I looked up the memory i have

I looked up the memory i have in the old pentium motherboard. One of the chips is this one: http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/partspecs.asp?IMODULE=CT16M72E4B6

Apparently the details are as follows:

* Module Size: 128MB
* Package: 168-pin DIMM
* Feature: EDO
* Configuration: 16Meg x 72
* DIMM Type: Buffered
* Error Checking: ECC
* Speed: 60ns
* Voltage: 3.3V
* Memory Timings:

I also have 4 32 meg versions of the same chip. I would not mind giving away one of the 32 meg versions if Dr Bob can confirm that the chip style listed above would work. THe one thing is that the one notch on the small side of the dimm is off by a tiny bit compared to a pc66/100/133 dimm. IN otherwords, the notch on the big side is notched the exact same but the notch on the other side is in the middle of the gold pads whereas on the pc133 dimmm, the notch is towards the left gold pads. I don't have a scanner here at work to show you though.

But the offer is out there if you are curious.

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3.3v EDO installed

Thanks for the RAM offer. I went ahead and bought some 3.3v EDO unbuffered non-ECC RAM on eBay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=4611&item=6739011067&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

It arrived and it fits fine, but still no boot. With the RAM installed and the original 9600 350mhz card installed, I get nothing at all--no powerup, no chime, nothing but a short click. With the RAM installed and the XLR8 carrier ZIF G4 350mhz installed, IT DOES POWER UP and then it repeats the "chime" over and over again, not rapidly, but over and over. It repeats again and again the, "I say that I rescued this company," but it no longer says "kill me" at all--so I suppose the "kill me" was the equivalent of the "broken glass" error sound, therefore, the 3.3v must be the correct RAM, although I wonder about the compatibility of the density of the chips on the RAM I bought.
So what's the next step? Get ahold of a ROM card? What kind of a ROM card? Were there ROM cards made specifically for the 9600? How about a Beige G3 ROM card--rev. a, b, or c? Or am I in the obsessive grip of good money chasing bad? I should probably keep this a secret from the therapists.
I also went ahead and purchased an old 8500 on eBay for my daughter to use. Does it have a ROM card--probably not, right? But it will have a 120 mhz processor I could try. It was shipped via parcel post, so who knows how long it will take to get here--two weeks, three weeks, a month?
And I dropped off my film for developing yesterday, so I should have the pics this weekend.
Thanks for your interest!

Perturbed in Hawaii

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I also have a 8500/9500 cpu c

I also have a 8500/9500 cpu card that I have no idea what the speed. I just know that it was working when it was given to me long ago. You want/need it?

I just know that it doesn't work in the 7x00 series machines so its of no use to me.

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What next?

Thanks for the CPU offer as well. I think I'm going to sit on this thing (I do use the 9600 as a footstool now under my desk) and dwell for a little while and see if anyone wanders back into this forum and has some definitive suggestion. I keep thinking the problem at this point must be missing ROM, although, since you offer buffered ECC it makes me start to wonder if Apple's intention with this motherboard was for a server--that would probably explain the onboard SCSI-3. Could having unbuffered non-ECC instead of buffered ECC cause my current situation? ILife's little mysteries.

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You've already got some sort of ROM . . .

else you'd not hear that cool startup chime. Now how complete and usable that ROM is, that's a whole 'nuther question.

Alot of pre-G3 Macs had both on-board ROMs and a ROM slot. Theory was new features or bug fixes could be added simply by dropping in a new ROM which would take over from the old ROM. Slot was cheap enough I suppose, and covered Apple's butt if the soldered-on ROM turned out to be somehow fatally flawed.

Hey drbob, whaddya know about ROM slots, etc., especially those in the PCI Macs?

And HC, I'm looking forward to seeing your pics. How about posting the startup and crash sounds too, eh? You can use most any Mac for simple audio capture- best setup -> stereo mini plugs direct between audio out on PEx to mic/audio-in on the other Mac. Stereo 44kHz/16 bit Mac sound file (AIFF) if possible, please! Smile

dan k

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I hate to point out the obvious...

Please forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but I feel I must...

Have you reseated everything possible on the motherboard? Made sure the connectors were clean and free of corrosion?

Your constant chiming problem sounds *a* *lot* like a problem I had with my Beige G3, as well as my buddy's Beige. It turned out that the processor didn't exactly fit in the ZIF socket (don't ask me why Tongue). What we ended up doing was very carefully and very gently sliding the processor back and forth in the socket and starting the machine to see what worked. Essentially, we'd turn the machine off, take the processor out, put it back in and "push" it as far in one direction as it could go while still in the socket, then we pulled the lever down to lock the processor into place. We tried (looking at the case from the front) up, down, left & right. I think that it was pushing it up which worked, but I can't be certain. Make sure to do this with the computer turned off.

I realize that this approach is probably one of the worst approaches to fixing a computer ever, however, when one is faced with the prospect of a dead machine, almost anything is worth a shot.

Hopefully this provides some insight that'll get your machine up and running. I'd be interested to see exactly what that computer identifies itself as if it ever boots.

Cheers,

The Czar

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Re: 3.3v EDO installed

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

It arrived and it fits fine, but still no boot. With the RAM installed and the original 9600 350mhz card installed, I get nothing at all--no powerup, no chime, nothing but a short click. With the RAM installed and the XLR8 carrier ZIF G4 350mhz installed, IT DOES POWER UP and then it repeats the "chime" over and over again, not rapidly, but over and over. It repeats again and again the, "I say that I rescued this company," but it no longer says "kill me" at all--so I suppose the "kill me" was the equivalent of the "broken glass" error sound, therefore, the 3.3v must be the correct RAM, although I wonder about the compatibility of the density of the chips on the RAM I bought.
So what's the next step? Get ahold of a ROM card? What kind of a ROM card? Were there ROM cards made specifically for the 9600? How about a Beige G3 ROM card--rev. a, b, or c? Or am I in the obsessive grip of good money chasing bad? I should probably keep this a secret from the therapists.
I also went ahead and purchased an old 8500 on eBay for my daughter to use. Does it have a ROM card--probably not, right? But it will have a 120 mhz processor I could try. It was shipped via parcel post, so who knows how long it will take to get here--two weeks, three weeks, a month?
And I dropped off my film for developing yesterday, so I should have the pics this weekend.
Thanks for your interest!

Perturbed in Hawaii

Interesting... I was messing around with my PowerExpress Manhattan with 3.3v EDO NB DRAM, and I also got the repeating "chime" (guitar playing for me). I was only able to get that with my PPC604 132MHz card, where I got no chime from my PPC601 100MHz, PPC603e 180MHz, or G3 350MHz cards. I still have to get my PPC604e 200 and 350MHz cards out to try them.

As for the ROM, the only ROM card you may be able to obtain would be the Beige G3 one. The 9600 has the ROM soldered on motherboard. I'm not sure, but that could be the Cache DIMM slot (like it is on the 7300/8600/9600), rather than a ROM slot on PEx. Therefore, PowerExpress prototypes have 2 spots for the ROM.
1) Soldered on motherboard, between the VCI slot and the ROM slot
2) Sockets, located to the left of the power switch

If the picture above is what you have, it is likely you don't have the prototype ROMs for the sockets, and soldered-on ROMs are not present either. Unless you have a Beige G3 ROM you can test in that other slot, you may be out of luck.

We should check with JT (Trash80toG4) or TiMacLover... they are the only other two who I know have PowerExpress towers, and see about if they made any progress made with theirs (IIRC, JT has a ROM on his EVT2 PEx board.)

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chime

I tried to post an MP3 file of the chime on this site, but I don't know if it posted or not. I used the "upload file" input page under "create content," but if it posted, I don't know where it went. Anyone know how to post audio files?

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Re: chime

Well until it does come online on AppleFritter, here is a mirror on my site:
http://www.captainz.net/site_revision_081604/PEx%20Chime%20-%20Saved%20Company.mp3

Hawaii Cruiser: if you have a digital camera, I'd love to see pictures of your board and any differences you have verses other existing boards. Specifically, I'd like to see a picture of the bottom-left corner, where the serial number and part numbers are listed.

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Pics posted!

I HAVE POSTED PICS OF MY PEx MOTHERBOARD! Click on my ID and click on "view image gallery" to see them. I sent a copy of the chime MP3 to CaptainZ. He has provided a mirror to it above. Thanks CaptainZ!

I tried manipulating the processor as suggested above, but no difference--still getting the repeating chime. I now get the repeating chime with my other processors too. Guess I wasn't nesting them correctly earlier.

So I guess the only hope for boot at this point is possibly getting ahold of a Beige G3 ROM, unless someone's got another idea.

Sorry the pics aren't of the greatest quality. Maybe I'll get some better ones sometime later.

I'm curious if anyone recognizes that 68pin onboard black SCSI connector. I've seen no adapter or cable like that.
I'm also curious if anyone knows about the VCI slot and if there are actually cards that work in it.

Thanks again for everyone's input!

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floppy drive connector?

Oh, there's one more thing I'm curious about. What's that small yellow connector to the right of the RAM slots where the floppy drive cable connector is usually on the 9600. It looks just like a floppy drive connector but it's longer. Possibly a PC floppy drive connector? I'm a Mac user since the late 80's and have never owned a PC!

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to view images

I guess you have to be a registered user and logged in to see my image gallery, so if you're not, join the crowd.

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Hmm...

According to Captain Z's site, it was the new connector for the floppy drive that was based up on CHRP, common hardware reference... something.

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Re: Hmm...

Hokusai wrote:

According to Captain Z's site, it was the new connector for the floppy drive that was based up on CHRP, common hardware reference... something.

I've also heard it is found on some IBM PC's. While my PEx board has the older standard floppy connector, my PEx Manhattan has the MFM floppy connector and drive. The Mitsubishi part number of MF355F. This was implemented on only one other motherboard supposedly, the Apple Logic Board LPX-40

On another note, nice pictures Hawaii Cruiser. I was surprised to see in the pictures that you do have ROM chips present, but there still is the possibility the ROMs have been corrupted or wiped prior to escaping Cupertino. The board information in the corner shows the Apple part number of AP2852-05, indicating a 5th revision board (EVT5). Mine is AP2852-04 (EVT4).

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A trivial note in a very inte

A trivial note in a very interesting thead...
Someone at Apple was obviously a Marathon fan.
I played Captain Z's mp3, and the "kill me" is sampled from the assimilated Bobs in the game.

But on topic: aren't the startup and crash sounds stored in the ROM? Those sounds have to be stored somewhere...if there's no ROM on the board, then where are those sounds coming from?

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Re: Which machines used 3.3v edo?

bobotech wrote:

Which machines used 3.3v edo? I have an old pentium pro dually server mobo at work that i was going to hang on my wall. It has a bunch of dimms on it but they say edo on them. I'm wondering if one of them mighnt work?

None of the macs did except maybe the 4400. Some PC's did. It was rather short lived as SDRAM came out and crushed it (and there was much rejoycing.)

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Re: RAM

moosemanmoo wrote:
Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Shucks, I was thinking Heathrow was a prototype Airport chip. Wink

This I know for sure could never happen. Airport is nothing but rebranded Lucent and Orinoco Cardbus and Mini-PCI cards.

The first one was a rebranded Lucent card. All following models are actual in house apple designs based heavily on the broadcom reference design.

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Re: You've already got some sort of ROM . . .

dankephoto wrote:

Hey drbob, whaddya know about ROM slots, etc., especially those in the PCI Macs.

In this case, he needs a ROM card as the pads for the onboard rom are vacant. This was common on prototypes until apple stopped using printed mask roms with the introduction of the iMac.

http://www.applefritter.com/node/6292

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Re: floppy drive connector?

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Oh, there's one more thing I'm curious about. What's that small yellow connector to the right of the RAM slots where the floppy drive cable connector is usually on the 9600. It looks just like a floppy drive connector but it's longer. Possibly a PC floppy drive connector? I'm a Mac user since the late 80's and have never owned a PC!

It's a PC floppy connector. The original Beige G3 protos also used a standard PC floppy drive connector (didn't ship that way obviously)

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Re: A trivial note in a very inte

eeun wrote:

A trivial note in a very interesting thead...
Someone at Apple was obviously a Marathon fan.
I played Captain Z's mp3, and the "kill me" is sampled from the assimilated Bobs in the game.

Many of us were marathon fans there back in those days. We used to take over cubical farms at night and conference rooms on the weekend just to play marathon.

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Really? I thought for sure th

Really? I thought for sure there were Orinoco cards in there. Thanks for clearing that up.

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Was there any advantage to us

Was there any advantage to using a proprietary connector (besides extra money)?

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StarMax clones

use 3.3v EDO RAM IIRC.

dan k

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Re: Was there any advantage to us

moosemanmoo wrote:

Was there any advantage to using a proprietary connector (besides extra money)?

It's not, it's a standard PC floppy port

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more stuff

I did a little googling and found a couple of interesting related pages:
I didn't realize there already was an applefritter page with a complete Powerexpress motherboard pic:
http://applefritter.com/prototypes/pex/index.html
It looks almost identical to mine except it has the old style floppy drive connector.
I also found an old webpage that might explain the VCI slot:
http://www.electronicsweekly.com/Article6111.htm
I'm now planning to purchase a Beige G3 Rom v.2 off eBay. Does anyone see a flaw in that? I noticed that the 4400 has a ROM card. Any chance of that working for me? I read that the Powerexpress was a composite of many architectures including the 4400's Tanzania which also used the 3.3v EDO.
I also notice that "PowerExpress" is often listed as the codename of the "Powermac G3 Pro"--which is what?--and I get the impression in a couple of places that the motherboard was designed toward a G3 processor.
As far as I can discern or guess at, the PowerExpress and the Gossamer G3 were developed around the same time, and all plans in both architectures were moving to G3 processors, but Apple finally conceded that 6 PCI slots in one machine were no longer an overly important commodity and it was that realization which finally axed the PowerExpress (Powermac 9700).

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The axe that killed the PEX w

The axe that killed the PEX was that the Gossamer design outperformed it handily, and it is a cheaper design to build.

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yes that motherboard.....

yes that motherboard was a prototype for an upcoming 9700. apple would have produced it but the beige (aka grossamer) outperformed it.

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the block for chopping

I guess it's an overly fine point I'm making. From what I've read, Apple continued the development of the PowerExpress all the way to the eve of production, and even AFTER the introduction of the Gossamer G3 because there was still a strong market for machines with 6 PCI slots. People were still buying 9600's after the G3 came to market because they needed the expansion, and Apple had to revive production of the 350mhz 604e processors in order to meet that demand. It must have been pretty dismaying for all those folks with Avid and Media 100 and Voodoo setups to see the better performance in the G3 and then see that it only had two PCI slots. I watched a friend for years tinker with his strained 9500 just so he could squeeze out some more life from his Media 100 setup. And I can sympathize today because I could use a fifth PCI slot in my maxed-out B&W. Apple abandoned a lot of technologies with the G3 line, and the first to go was greater PCI expansion. It left a lot of people holding the cards, so to speak.

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Tanzania

Most of the clones are built around either the Tanzania or Tsunami motherboards. All the Tanzanias use 3.3v EDO.

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Hi everybody!

Hi everybody! My name is Henry. I was the guy who got the other PEx board that was on ebay. Unfortunately, it's in less of a state than the other one, as mine has no ROM chips in it and hence, just sits there quietly when you turn it on. I havent messed with it in a couple days, but absolutely nothing I tried worked. It powers on, but it would appear that without those two ROM chips in the corner, the thing is useless.

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any booting PExes out there?

PLCC eeproms are pretty easy to dupe . . . copyright, schmoppyright!

Tongue

dan k

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Yeah.. I think that in this c

Yeah.. I think that in this context, Apple wouldn't care so much about rom dumping if the NDA is expired.

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Re: Was there any advantage to us

drbob wrote:

It's not, it's a standard PC floppy port

How does that work with the mac's powered eject? Was a special drive made?

I have seen the connector, it is on the beige G3 mobo, it dosn't have the pins (or controller?) connected, however. The 4400 also has the connector, but again, empty holes and definatly no controller, the 4400 is wiered in every respect.

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Beige G3 ROM

Well, I got ahold of a Beige G3 ROM rev.2, installed it, but no boot, nothing different at all, no video output, just the chime. My next bet, and probably my last, is a PM 4400 ROM card that's coming in the mail. According to the Apple Specs, both the 9600 and the 4400 used 4mb $077D ROM, but it says the 4400 used rev. $3A, while it says n/a for the 9600. It should probably arrive monday or tuesday. Burn some incense and slaughter the goat over the weekend an hope we led a vituous life.

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The copyright never expires o

The copyright never expires on Apple ROM's. If you ask them for that, they will likely ask you to return the stolen prototype.

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Stolen?

Stolen prototype? You don't think it just went out with the trash and ended up with a computer junker? There seems to be quite a few of them floating around.

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I'm pretty sure that taking s

I'm pretty sure that taking stuff from trashcans is still considered stealing.

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one mans trash is another man

one mans trash is another mans treasure.

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trash is trash

Actually, filching from trashcans is quite legal as long as one does not trespass in order to do it. A high court ruling to that effect gave birth to the large market in paper shredders, as I recall.

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horsepucky

Aren't some of us being a tad sanctomonious here? Stolen seems a rather harsh way of describing all the ways not-for-release hardware escapes from Apple. And trashpicking is not illegal in most cases.

There must be a zillion ways things escape from Apple's control. Trash, 'enterprising' and thrifty employees, forgotten engineering seed releases, etc. I have 2 EVT PBs, both were probably delivered to 3rd party hardware developers in advance of release. I'm sure those companies signed NDAs which required return of the hardware, but after Apple released the finished model, those EVT pieces became just more computer junk to be disposed of. Stolen? Hardly, just lost and forgotten.

Trash is discarded material, if something hits the rubbish bin intact it is fair game. Trashpickers break no law be fetching something from an unsecured container.

As for duplicating the bloody ROMs, lets get real. Those are Apple's copyrighted code, and duplication transgresses on Apple's legal right to control reproduction of its intellectual property until the copyright expires in 50 years or what ever it is. But in the real world Apple is certainly not going to track down and prosecute ROM pirates who dupe an ancient and rare prototype's ROMs.

dan k

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onboard vram and other postulations

I'm still waiting for the 4400 ROM. I failed to realize, so I didn't mention it earlier, but with the Beige G3 ROM installed, the chime no longer cycles like it did before, it only sounds once at startup, so I guess that's a good sign and gives me hope for the 4400 ROM.
I also notice that the AV slot next to the PCI slots is much smaller than the motherboard AV slot for the AV module on the PM 8500, 8600 models. Another PC infection?
There are eight vram chips (NEC D482444GW-70). I'm wondering how much VRAM that adds up to--probably 2 or 4mb 70ns? And that brings up another question in my mind. Does the speed of onboard VRAM affect the speed of the main memory DRAM in any way? If I've got 70ns VRAM and 60ns DRAM, is my DRAM slowed down by the VRAM?

twiddling my thumbs in the tropics

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foolish, foolish me

Well, the 4400 "ROM" card arrived, except the seller was mistaken! It's not a ROM card, it's an L2 cache card. I should have known better and done my homework. The 4400's don't have ROM cards, they've only got pads for a ROM slot right next to the cache slot. The auction photo was not sharp, so I just took his word for it. I got some more 3.3v RAM with the auction and the cache card and an odd VRAM card, so now my beautiful PowerExpress motherboard has 288mb of RAM and a Beige G3 rev. 2 ROM and an interesting startup chime and no boot and no video output. Is this the end of the road? So many of the PCI Powermacs had ROM slots, but I guess there ne'er was a ROM card made for any of them. Is that correct? I wonder if I should bother taking the time to check the Tanzania clones for a card? Is it possible to flash the Beige G3 ROM card? All I wanted was a motherboard for a computer for my daughter, but I got lured by the mangoed perfume of onboard ultra scsi. I took that chance and got off the boat to pursue that alluring elixir. And now to quote Chef from "Apocalypse Now!": "Never get off the boat, never get off the boat! I've got to remember that: never get off the boat! Hi tiger, bye tiger!" Bitten again.

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I remember that the last revi

I remember that the last revision of the Beige G3 ROM was a pretty different thing than the others. Maybe that would help?

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ROMs

Captain_Z wrote:

We should check with JT (Trash80toG4) or TiMacLover... they are the only other two who I know have PowerExpress towers, and see about if they made any progress made with theirs (IIRC, JT has a ROM on his EVT2 PEx board.)

Yep, I've got the socketed PLCC ROMs on the PEx EVT-2 MLB. I get boot chimes reliably when I use PC133 RAM, but it doesn't go any farther. Should using the RAM specified elsewhere in this thread make a difference?

I'm on hold until I get a G4 accelerator for it, the tech folks said I should have about a 90% chance of success.

jt

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try using 3.3v EDO. That sho

try using 3.3v EDO. That should work much better

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Thanks for the info . . .

. . . gotta find some of that stuff now! Any minimum speed requirements, I'm assuming 70 ns would probably work?

jt

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60ns is probably best, but I

60ns is probably best, but I don't know for sure.

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No joy in PExVille . . .

. . . the new memory (1 SIMM: 32MB EDO 60ns) doesn't seem to have done the trick. I still get the boot chimes every time, and the HDD and CD actually make some encouraging noises now, but no bootup as yet. I'll have to try to find a disk tools floppy, maybe that'll work. One of these days I'll hook up the serial port to another Mac and see if any .txt shows up . . . can't even recall the process name ATM . . . way too tired.

I think I'll just keep saving greenbacks toward a G4 card, the 604e Kansas pro.c card may not be compatable with PEx, dunno . . .

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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OpenFirmware?

Maybe I missed it, but has anyone booted successfully into OF on a PEx?

dan k

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NAFAIK . . .

. . . the only PEx I've ever heard of running successfully would be the one Dr. Bob mentioned using at work. I don't recall seeing any screen shots of ASP info on the 'fritter or ComputerBarn sites or any .txt claiming the systems were operable, for that matter.

How about it, z, have you heard of any PEx system booting reliably?

I can't check those sites myself, ATM, my only web access is the local WiFi hotspots with "beater" my (as yet) unaccelerated 1400c/166.

jt :Smile

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re: OpenFirmware?

Err, I didn't mean boot successfully, but rather just boot to an OF prompt? And not (necessarily) to onboard video, could be over the serial port as well.

OK then, I'll rephrase my question - Has anyone tried booting a PEx to OpenFirmware using a terminal connection through the serial port?

dan k

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Tried it once . . .

. . . unsuccessfully, back when I was using PC133. Gotta give it a try now that I've got EDO on board.

jt

p.s. your question was perfectly clear, I was elaborating about PEx boot blues.

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I was just wondering, were th

I was just wondering, were there any advantages of using apparently hard to find 3.3v DRAM instead of SDRAM?

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YUP!

Dr. Bob said that the PC series SDRAM DIMMs wouldn't work . . . I'd like to hear a definitive explanation as to why! IIRC, terms like "Fast Page Mode" were bandied about earlier in the thread.

jt

p.s. the DIMM I got wasn't ECC enabled, I assume the missing ICs wouldn't matter to PEx . . . is that true?

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SDRAM is faster than EDO whi

SDRAM is faster than EDO which is faster than FPM. On a 66MHz bus FPM is 5-3-3-3 for 60ns, EDO is 5-2-2-2, SDRAM is 5-1-1-1. The chipset has to know how to handle the timings and what features to expect of the RAM.

Is there any chance the things require the of ECC or MAYBE use BEDO (Burst EDO)?

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Still no joy . . .

. . . I get startup chimes with the Kansas proc card (high performance or some such) and with my 9500 proc card, but neither ejects a non-system floppy disk. The system just sits there . . . eventually I'll get the recommended G4 card/carrier to test in it.

Gotta love those 30 day money back guarantees!

jt Wink

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Re: SDRAM is faster than EDO whi

Jon wrote:

Is there any chance the things require the of ECC or MAYBE use BEDO (Burst EDO)?

From memory, non-ECC and unbuffered EDO or FPM 168 pin 3.3v

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PEx Info and Outputting to Open Firmware should be the #1 Goal

Hawaii Cruiser,

You noted on the forum that by the RAM slots is printed "NB DRAM 3.3 VOLTS". I believe this means Non-Buffered (unbuffered) DRAM 3.3 Volts, which some PCs used before PC66 SDRAM was adopted. This RAM has access times of 50-60ns, while PC66 has access times of 10ns. Here is a link to Micron's page for EDO/FPM Modules: 168-Pin Nonbuffered DIMMs.
http://www.micron.com/products/modules/edofpm/partlist.aspx?pincount=100-Pin&version=Nonbuffered&package=DIMM

You definately should not put 5V DIMMs in any slots and probably should not put PC66/100/133 SDRAM in any slot either.

The motherboard bus speed is likely 50MHz, since on the AppleFritter prototype page about the PowerExpress (http://applefritter.com/prototypes/pex/index.html) the anonymous contributor stated the PowerExpress had a 275MHz processor. That would be a 5.5 multiplier. No other bus speed would allow for 275MHz. It seems silly that Apple didn't go to 66MHz, since that is what most comparable new PCs would have been using in 1996-1997 when the PowerExpress was being developed.

The SCSI-3 that is on the board was originally used in the Apple Network Server 500/700. The other SCSI bus is likely Fast SCSI-2, which uses Apple's "Mesh" controller.

Since your PowerExpress motherboard makes boot sounds, that indicates it has ROM. The two chips in the lower-left corner are the developer flash ROMs, which would have been soldered to the motherboard in those blank spots when it came to final production. Apple has always included a ROM slot in every Power Mac 7300 to 9600, but has never put the ROM on a card. Perhaps some Mac clones based of these machines may have had their ROMs on cards.

Putting a G3 ROM or any other ROM into the ROM slot is unlikely to help. Since your PowerExpress already has ROM, putting a ROM card into the slot is likely to confuse the system. An example of this is that when I put a G3 ROM into the ROM slot on a Power Mac 9500, this system will not boot. It makes a startup sound, but will do nothing else. When there is already ROM on the board additional ROM creates trouble.

To determine if the PowerExpress motherboard is working at all, you really should see if you can get into Open Firmware. If the PowerExpress is like a Power Mac 9600 or any other PowerSurge Mac, it likely outputs Open Firmware to the Modem Port, which is the lower serial port of the two. You need to connect your PowerExpress to another Mac with a Mac serial cable. The other Mac needs to be running a Terminal application like ZTerm. When you startup the PowerExpress, hold down Apple(Command)+Option+O+F. If the computer is functioning, it should display the output on the other Mac running the Terminal program.

When PCI based Macs boot, they first complete a hardware check. If that is successful, you will hear the normal boot noise. If not, you will hear the crash noise. Upon completing a successful hardware test, the computer then loads Open Firmware, which is also stored in the ROM. Open Firmware examines all the hardware installed in your computer and generates a Device Tree, among other things. From there, Open Firmware can do two things. It can boot the computer from the "Default device", which is the Mac OS ROM partition, or it can boot into OS X directly if installed.

When booting into Mac OS 9, Open Firmware loads another partition of the ROM, which is the Mac OS ROM, and passes to it the Device Tree it generated. When the Mac OS ROM loads, it displays the familiar grey screen with the Happy Mac Face upon finding a System Folder. From there Mac OS 9 is loaded. In "NewWorld" Macs, Open Firmware loads the Mac OS ROM from a file stored in the System Folder on the hard drive.

Open Firmware can also boot directly into Mac OS X. If OS X is installed, Open Firmware can load a file stored on the hard drive called BootX, which then loads the Mac OS X kernel.

So you see, trying to get your PowerExpress into Open Firmware should be your first goal, since Open Firmware loads everything else. Because your PowerExpress motherboard is a developer prototype, it may stop at Open Firmware by default for debugging purposes. That may be why you never get any video signal. Connect it to another Mac via the Modem Port and see what happens.

I hope this helps.

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What I said! (err, WISH I'd said!)

"powersurge9600" wrote:

So you see, trying to get your PowerExpress into Open Firmware should be your first goal, since Open Firmware loads everything else. Because your PowerExpress motherboard is a developer prototype, it may stop at Open Firmware by default for debugging purposes. That may be why you never get any video signal. Connect it to another Mac via the Modem Port and see what happens.

Word! Cool Mac

powersurge9600, nicely written, very well informed summary.

dan k

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Thanks. OS 9 and X on a PEx?

Thank you for the positive comment Dan.

I would really like to see someone finally get one of these PowerExpress prototypes working. If someone could boot a PowerExpress into Open Firmware, much could be learned about these machines.

Once in Open Firmware, the user can type boot /AAPL,ROM and the computer should attempt to boot the Mac OS ROM.

It seems Apple was not far from releasing the Power Macintosh 9700 before it was cancelled. I think it likely that the computer will boot OS 8 or 9 just as easily as any other Mac. From the looks of DigiBarn's PowerExpress, their machine seems to be fully functional. The inside of the case is filled with dust, indicating that the machine was on a lot. It also has a video card and SCSI card with hard drive installed. Whoever previously owned it appears to have used it.

I also believe PowerExpress Macs are capable of booting OS X. Apple wrote the necessary drivers for PowerExpress Macs to boot OS X. In the System Disk control panel included with OS X Public Beta there is the necessary Open Firmware NVRAM patches to boot OS X on PEx machines. Ryan Remple has included these NVRAM patches in XPostFacto along with a kernel extension for PowerExpress Macs. If someone could boot OS X 10.3 that would be neat to see.

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ROM hunt

Wow, thanks for all the input here. I'll have to reread and reread it all to try and figure out exactly what it all means--more Mac learning and it's all illuminating and fascinating. I'm pretty sure the 3.3v unbuffered edo that I've got is the right RAM. It gives me the chime without the "kill me" crash and it fits nicely and makes sense since a lot of the Tanzania motherboards used 3.3v DRAM. I tried a PM 6100 ROM card, but no luck, which isn't too surprising. A lot of the clones do have ROM cards, and I've got my eyes on the Powercenter Pro and the Powerwave auctions so that I can pick up one. I've been told that the Powercomputing clones mostly used the same ROM card--don't know if that's true or not, but they were all Tanzania based and the Powerwave had the same gestalt as the PM 9500, while a lot of the others were the same as the PM 7200. One eBay seller told me he was about to part out a Powercenter Pro, so I should probably get my claws on a ROM card sometime soon. For some reason the Applefritter site no longer loads up on my computer at home--via RoadRunner--don't know why--so I'm using the library at the moment, but I'll print out and read over the latest suggestions here and let you know what happens. Thanks again.

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Focus on outputting Open Firmware to the Modem Port!

I don't think sticking different ROMs into the ROM slot is going to get you anywhere. Your board has its ROM. The ROM contains code that is specific to your hardware. Sticking older ROM cards from Power Macs 7300-9600, 4400s, or clones is very unlikely to help.

Focus on outputting Open Firmware through the Modem port to another Mac! Since your PowerExpress motherboard makes a proper boot sound and then sits doing nothing else, it is very possible it may be stopping at Open Firmware by default because it is a development board. Open Firmware loads the Mac OS. If you can get into Open Firmware it will be a major step forward.

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ermmm, mebbe ya wanna sell it?

Hey Hawaii Cruiser! Maybe I'm crazy, but am I sensing a reluctance to go much further with this board? If by any chance you decide you want to bail on this project, I'm hereby making an offer to buy it from you. Or trade you for it a working normal 9600 MLB . . . or whatever.

Just wanted to get my offer in, just in case. Laughing out loud

If I'm mistaken, I apologize. Tongue

And now, back to the usual errrrm, stuff.

dan k

(that's -}macdan at comcast dot net{-, just in case . . .)

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taking a breather

Sorry if my enthusiasm has waned a little. I bought a regular 9600 motherboard off eBay back in February, so it's in the 9600 case now amusing my daughter, and the PEx motherboard is in a box on the shelf. I've got the 9600 rigged up in a shelf system with speakers, etc., so it's a bit of a bother to pull out. I thought I would wait until I picked up a Mac clone ROM card before I pulled it all out and tried getting the PEx to boot again and try the Open Firmware suggestions. Unfortunately, no clone ROM cards have shown up on eBay, so I've still just been waiting and keeping myself very distracted by the surf on the southshore.
I'm still a bit mystified about the ROM. Since we get the chime, then there's some kindof ROM somewhere. CaptainZ gets the chime but he says he doesn't have the two pads in the left corner that I have that has been suggested as the location of the ROM that creates the chime. Anyway, none of us have the standard four 1mb ROM chips soldered to our boards, so I don't really understand how this machine will ever boot without some kind of ROM card installed. But, of course, I really don't know what I'm talking about.
So, I'm going to hold out for a little while longer and see if a clone card shows up so I can deal with everything in one swoop.
I have also thought about someday putting the PEx motherboard back up for sale on eBay so someone else can have a go at it. I'll post a heads-up here if and when I do. I've also thought of putting it in a frame and hanging it on my wall--it's a very handsome devil, after all--but I guess that would be rather selfish and not beneficial to posterity. I'll keep y'all posted.

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Forget installing incorrect ROM cards. Try Open Firmware!

Hawaii Cruiser,

I don’t think sticking a ROM card from any Mac Clone is going to work. Your PowerExpress motherboard likely has its ROM in the form of those two flash chips at the lower left corner. Since the motherboard is a development prototype, Apple likely used removable flash chips for debugging purposes. If you stick another ROM into the ROM-slot, the machine definitely won’t boot.

Besides, any ROM card you stick into the PowerExpress will have incorrect versions of Open Firmware and the Mac OS ToolBox. Hard-coded Open Firmware aliases and addresses would be incorrect for the PowerExpress motherboard and the Mac OS Toolbox would lack drivers for that type of motherboard.

If you would attempt to enter Open Firmware that could potentially tell you much about the motherboard. Because your PowerExpress is a development motherboard, auto-boot? may be set to False in Open Firmware instead of the normal default of True. What this means is that the computer may stop at the Open Firmware command prompt, which is likely being outputted to the Modem Port.

Testing this hypothesis would be quite simple. First, plug a serial cable into the Modem Port on your PowerExpress. It is the lower serial port of the two. Second, connect the other end of the serial cable into the serial port of another Mac. Third, use a program such as ZTerm on the second Mac to see the Open Firmware output from the PowerExpress. Fourth, start up the PowerExpress hold down Apple+Option+O+F. If all goes well, the Open Firmware output should display in ZTerm.

I created a webpage with you in mind that explains all about Open Firmware, how to access it, and how to use it.

You can see the page at my Yahoo site here.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/index2.html

If you can’t access Open Firmware then your PowerExpress really doesn’t work. Open Firmware is the first thing to load after the hardware initialization checks. Without Open Firmware, you can’t load any operating system.

I hope this helps.

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Wow!

Amazing, thanks! I will try the Open Firmware, probably next weekend when I have the time.
I was holding out a last hope for the clone ROM because I corresponded with someone who outbid me for a Powercomputing Powerwave motherboard, thinking he might sell me the ROM card, but he said he needed it, and he checked the part number on the card and then compared it with the ROM card in a Powercenter tower he has, and it was the same number and looked identical, so it sounded like there might be some kind of generic ROM among the clones. Anyways, I just won an auction today with a collection of RAM from a 9600 and it also included a ROM card from a Powercenter, so I should have that by next weekend as well and I'll be able to confirm your prognosis, or maybe we'll all be surprised and the ROM card will work. It certainly wouldn't be the first time a computer surprised me. I've found them always full of surprises--usually ones that take days to overcome.
The only question I see in your diagnosis is, CaptainZ says he doesn't have the two chips in the left corner, so how does he get the chime?
I do very much appreciate your interest and time spent.

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ROM chips on the PowerExpress and boot sounds

As far as I have been able to determine in both this PowerExpress thread and the previous one on AppleFritter, ( http://www.applefritter.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.pl?board=apple;action=display;num=1070916360 ), CaptainZ has been able to get the boot chimes on his PowerExpress Manhattan and the EVT2 PowerExpress tower. Both of these motherboards have their PLCC ROMs installed in the lower-left corner sockets. The EVT2 PowerExpress motherboard is actually owned by JT (Trash80toG4). In addition to his PowerExpress Manhattan motherboard, CaptainZ also has an EVT4 PowerExpress motherboard, which does not have its PLCC ROM installed. I have read through both AppleFritter forum threads and can find nowhere that he has gotten the EVT4 motherboard to make a boot chime without its PLCC ROM chips. Additionally, on the first page of this thread, a person going by the username kwikdeth, said he was the other person to purchase one of the two PowerExpress motherboards that you also purchased. According to him, his motherboard does not have its ROM chips and therefore doesn’t boot or make any sounds. He says it just quietly sits there.

I would be really surprised if CaptainZ’s EVT4 PowerExpress motherboard could make any boot sounds without those two ROM chips. If suprisingly it could, then that would mean the hardware diagnostic routines and boot sounds are stored in one of the other many chips on the motherboard. I highly doubt that though.

If your PowerExpress has its ROM stored in those two flash chips, which I suspect, putting another ROM card into the ROM slot will likely not work. Having different ROMs on one motherboard seems to always cause trouble. In the original AppleFritter PowerExpress thread, CaptainZ noted that sticking another ROM into the ROM slot caused the system to produce no startup sound. I have seen this too, when I once put a G3 ROM card into a 9500 just to see what would happen. Doing so causes the system to completely not work.

However, if anything you try brings some progress that would be excellent. I hope to see screen shots one day of your PowerExpress running either OS 9 or OS X. If you can get your PowerExpress into Open Firmware, it will tell you information about the motherboard and take you a step closer to booting an operating system.

On another note, I was recently researching any information I could find about the VCI bus present on PowerSurge Macs and the PowerExpress. From what little Apple documentation there is, it appears the VCI bus is a 64-bit PCI bus that runs at the main system bus speed. The VCI slot connector on your PowerExpress is indeed a 64-bit PCI connector. Because the VCI slot on the PowerExpress does not have access to the back of the computer, I suspect Apple intended the slot purely for a TriMedia DSP card that would accelerate video compression and decompression.

I hope you have success with Open Firmware this weekend.

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Another PEx owner on Applefritter!!!

Hey, I just noticed that there's someone else with a PEx currently on applefritter and he's looking to sell. His has the two chips in the lower left corner. He's in the Marketplace forum. Check it out here:

http://www.applefritter.com/node/7426

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Actually, TiMacLover's PEx Does Not Appear to Have Its ROM

Looking at a side-by-side comparison of Hawaii Cruiser's PowerExpress, which does have its ROM, and TiMacLover's PowerExpress, it seems pretty clear that TiMacLover's PowerExpress is missing its two ROM chips.

Here is a side-by-side comparison

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The Images TiMacLover Provided are from CaptainZ.net

The PowerExpress images TiMacLover provided at ( http://photobucket.com/albums/v212/truthstar/pex/ ) are actually from CaptainZ.net ( http://www.captainz.net/site_revision_081604/EVT4_proto.html ). I do not believe they are pictures of the actual PowerExpress motherboard he is selling. So it remains uncertain whether or not his PowerExpress motherboard has its ROM.

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Open Firmware, first attempt

Well, I got my package of RAM and ROM cards, pulled out the 9600, put the PowerExpress motherboard back in, and first checked it with just the 3.3v DRAM and the 450mhz G4 Sonnet processor card. Like before, I just get the chime, "I say that I rescued this company" repeated over and over and no video output. Next I tried with the Powercenter 150 ROM card installed, got the chime once, and then after a long delay of about 30 seconds, I get the "kill me" (broken glass?) sound.
So I removed the Powercenter ROM and did the setup for Open Firmware, running a serial cable from the modem port on the PowerExpress to the modem port on my 8500. I put ZTerm on my 8500 and first tried to open it per instructions holding the shift key down. It did not open while holding the shift key, so I didn't get the first window ("select the desired port") so instead, I simply opened it and did the Connections settings, then powered up the PowerExpress while holding down command,option,O,F, and then received the prompt in ZTerm on the 8500, thus:

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 >

When I type BYE and hit return the chime starts repeating on the PowerExpress.No new information appears in the ZTerm OF window.

When I type BOOT and hit return the chime starts repeating on the PowerExpress. No new information appears in the ZTerm OF window.

When I type boot/AAPL,ROM, it says "unknown word and returns to prompt.

What next?

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Yeah!! You've got a working PEx!!

Now to read some of the OF docs at Apple. Good starting points include:
Fundamentals of Open Firmware, Part I: The User Interface
Fundamentals of Open Firmware, Part II: The Device Tree
Fundamentals of Open Firmware, Part III: Understanding PCI ...
Invoking the User Interface Via Remote Connection
Open Firmware User Interface Commands and Examples

I'd start by viewing the basic device tree:
0 > dev / ls

then, get a printout of the current OF config:
0 > printenv

finally do complete device tree dump:
0 > dump-device-tree

That last one will duplicate the other two, but it will have so much more stuff you won't know what's important.

Not sure what to do next, but at least that will give you some idea of what you're dealing with.

dan k

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At Last! Open Firmware on a PowerExpress!

At last someone has finally gotten his PowerExpress into Open Firmware! This is a major step forward. It proves your machine has its ROM in those two chips. It also will make it possible to finally boot either Mac OS 9 or X.

First, in order to get Zterm to display the port selection window, you need to hold Shift down once it already begins to load.

Second, when typing Open Firmware commands you must type everything exactly correct or Open Firmware won’t know what you mean. When typing boot /AAPL,ROM there must be a space between boot and the device you are directing it to, in this case /AAPL,ROM.

As dankephoto has suggested, you should type printenv to see the current Open Firmware environment settings. Typing dev / ls will display the device tree so you can see all the devices present on your motherboard (be sure to have all the correct spaces in between the words). Typing dump-device-tree will display all devices one-by-one along with their properties and Forth methods. This will be an extensive listing. Please copy all this information from ZTerm and email it to me in a SimpleText file so I can view it and try to figure out some boot options you might try. Trying to post all the Open Firmware output into this forum will likely result in formatting problems because of various characters that this forum will try to interpret as coding tags.

You may want to review the Open Firmware section of my webpage I created for you titled Working Within Open Firmware to become more familiar with different commands in Open Firmware. It shows how to maneuver through the Device Tree, view device properties, see code behind each word, and numerous other commands.

Hopefully this will help.

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Apply These NVRAM Patches to Your PowerExpress

Hawaii Cruiser,

Applying the proper Open Firmware patches into your PowerExpress’s NVRAM may help to correct some bugs. I tried postings these patches into my previous forum post, but not all of the code was being displayed. I believe the forum was interpreting some the characters as formatting tags. I tried to correct this, but could not successfully. Therefore, I have created another webpage for you that has all the necessary information you need to apply the proper NVRAM patches to your PowerExpress.

You can access it at the following link.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/index3.html

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Open Firmware read dev / ls

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > boot / AAPL,ROM DEFAULT CATCH!, code=FFFFFFF6 at %SRR0: FF80CB10 %SRR1:
0000B070
ok
0 > dev / ls

Children of the node:
FF82DB78: / [AAPL,PEX MacRISC]

Node Adr Node Name Compatible

FF82EF80: /cpus@0
FF82F098: /PowerPC,60?@0
FF82F990: /chosen@0
FF82FAC0: /memory@0
FF82FC08: /openprom@0
FF82FCC8: /AAPL,ROM@FF000000 [AAPL,ROM]
FF82FF10: /options@0
FF8303B0: /aliases@0
FF830580: /packages@0
FF830608: /deblocker@0,0
FF830DD0: /disk-label@0,0
FF831360: /obp-tftp@0,0
FF833DA0: /mac-files@0,0
FF8345B0: /mac-parts@0,0
FF834E88: /fat-files@0,0
FF836898: /iso-9660-files@0,0
FF8373A8: /xcoff-loader@0,0
FF837DE0: /pe-loader@0,0
FF8386A8: /elf-loader@0,0
FF839C90: /terminal-emulator@0,0
FF839D28: /bandit@C9000000 [denali]
FF83B1E8: /gc@10 [heathrow]
FF83C3A0: /adb@19000 [adb]
FF83CF30: /keyboard@2
FF83D8E8: /mouse@3
FF83DB30: /mesh@10000 [mesh]
FF83FC70: /sd@0,0 [sd]
FF840988: /st@0,0 [st]
FF841868: /bmac@11000 [bmac]
FF8438C8: /escc@13000 [escc CHRP,es0]
FF843AA0: /ch-a@13020 [ch-a CHRP,es2]
FF844288: /ch-b@13000 [ch-b CHRP,es3]
FF844A70: /awacs@14000 [awacs]
FF844BC0: /fdc@15000 [pex,fdc]
FF84A130: /sixty6@1C000 [sixty6]
FF84A2C8: /nvram@1D000 [nvram]
FF84A408: /via-cuda@16000 [via-cuda]
FF84B578: /rtc@0,0 [rtc]
FF84BAF0: /power-mgt@0,0 [power-mgt]
FF84BC30: /ata0@20000 [heathrow-ata]
FF84DDB8: /ata1@21000 [heathrow-ata]
FF852D40: /pci106b,11@B
FF852EF0: /ATY,XCLAIMVRPro@E
FF86A4B8: /53c860@11 [pci1000,f]
FF84FEC0: /chaos@F0000000 [chaos]
FF86AA48: /control@B [control]
FF850FC0: /bandit@D9000000 [denali]
FF86C200: /pci106b,11@B
FF86C3B0: /ACARD,6260@D [ACARD,6260]
FF86F058: /disk@0,0 [sd]
FF852450: /fatman@F8000000 [fatman]
FF852550: /open-pic@F2040000 [chrp,open-pic open-pic]
ok
0 >

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Open Firmware read printenv

0 > printenv

VARIABLE CURRENT DEFAULT
little-endian? false false
real-mode? false false
auto-boot? true true
diag-switch? false false
fcode-debug? false false
oem-banner? false false
oem-logo? false false
use-nvramrc? false false
real-base -1 -1
real-size 100000 100000
virt-base -1 -1
virt-size 100000 100000
load-base 4000 4000
pci-probe-list -1 -1
screen-#columns 64 64
screen-#rows 28 28
selftest-#megs 0 0
boot-device /AAPL,ROM /AAPL,ROM
boot-file
diag-device fd:diags fd:diags
diag-file
input-device ttya ttya
output-device ttya ttya
oem-banner
oem-logo
nvramrc
boot-command boot boot
ok
0 >

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Open Firmware read dump-device-tree

0 > dump-device-tree
/
PROPERTIES:
name device-tree
model Power Macintosh
compatible AAPL,PEX
MacRISC
AAPL,cpu-id 39006086
#address-cells 00000001
#size-cells 00000001
clock-frequency 02FAF080

METHODS:
install-denali2 make-cpu-properties make-motherboard-l2-prop
dma-sync
dma-map-out dma-map-in dma-free dma-alloc map-out
map-in
decode-unit close open ?pdm

/cpus@0
PROPERTIES:
name cpus
device_type cpus

#address-cells 00000001
#size-cells 00000000

METHODS:
close open

/cpus@0/PowerPC,60?@0
PROPERTIES:
name PowerPC,60?
device_type cpu
reg 00000000
cpu-version 000C0209
graphics
external-control
clock-frequency 1AD27480
bus-frequency 02FAF080
timebase-frequency 00BEBC20
reservation-granule-size00000020
tlb-split
d-tlb-sets 00000040
d-tlb-size 00000080
i-tlb-sets 00000040
i-tlb-size 00000080
tlb-sets 00000040
tlb-size 00000080
d-cache-size 00004000
i-cache-size 00004000
d-cache-sets 00000080
i-cache-sets 00000080
i-cache-block-size 00000020
d-cache-block-size 00000020
existing 00000000 80000000 80000000 80000000
available 00000000 F0000000 F2000000 0D800000 FF900000 FF700000
translations 00004000 00400000 00004000 00000010 C8000000 01000000 C8
000000 00000028
C9000000 00010000 C9000000 00000028 C9800000 00001000 C9
800000 00000028
C9C00000 00001000 C9C00000 00000028 D9000000 00010000 D9
000000 00000028
D9800000 00001000 D9800000 00000028 D9C00000 00001000 D9
C00000 00000028
F0000000 00010000 F0000000 00000028 F0800000 00001000 F0
800000 00000028
F0C00000 00001000 F0C00000 00000028 F8000000 00001000 F8
000000 00000028
FF000000 00400000 FF000000 00000000 FF800000 00100000 00
400000 00000010

METHODS:
translate modify unmap map release
claim
More [,,q] ?

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to be continued....

Sorry, it's near 3am and I need to get up tomorrow and go buy the Mrs. some flowers for mother's day so I'm off to bed. I'll try to continue tomorrow night. Powersurge9600, I will email you the original Simpletext copy of the openfirmware now. Dankephoto, let me know your email address and I'll send it to you too if you want it. The applefritter format did squish things a bit.

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Posts: 83
Excellent!

Thank you for sending me your PowerExpress's Open Firmware output. It’s rather interesting.

First, I wanted to note that when you type boot /AAPL,ROM, there should be no space between the backslash and AAPL,ROM.
It should look like this:
0 > boot /AAPL,ROM
Not like this:
0 > boot / AAPL,ROM DEFAULT CATCH!

See if this makes a difference when trying to boot the Mac OS ROM.

Second, type devalias (no space in between) to see all the Open Firmware device aliases.

Third, I recommend inputting the NVRAM script into your PowerExpress, which may help correct some bugs. Instructions for that are located here:
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/index3.html

Fourth, the motherboard bus speed is indeed 50MHz.
clock-frequency 02FAF080 \\50,000,000Hz or 50MHz

Lastly, if you would, please dump the entire device tree with the command dump-device-tree. When it displays the message More [<space>,<cr>,q] ? press the space bar to continue displaying more. Please send me the entire output, which will be very long.

Thanks.

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Comments about the PowerExpress's Device Tree

After studying the PowerExpress’s Device Tree and comparing it to the Device Trees of my 9600 and G3 AIO (Open Firmware 2.5, Revision C ROM), I have made some interesting observations.

It appears that the PowerExpress does not use the SWIM floppy controller, but instead uses one identified as /fdc@15000. All other PCI-Macs including Beige G3s use the SWIM floppy controller.

It also appears that the PowerExpress does not use the MACE 10bt ethernet controller, but instead uses one identified as /bmac@11000. It seems likely that this is a 100bt ethernet controller, unlike Beige G3s, which still used the MACE ethernet controller.

The 68-pin SCSI that is onboard the PowerExpress shows up as /53c860@11 [pci1000,f] on the Device Tree and is a PCI device. I looked up the chipset and it is a Symbios Ultra SCSI, 8-bit, single channel chipset that has speeds up to 20MB/s. It is not as fast as I originally had speculated.

Unlike other PCI-Macs, the ADB is not a child of Via-Cuda on the Device Tree. Ultimately what this means I am not sure.

Also, the PRAM strangely does not show up at all on the Device Tee. On all other PCI-Macs, the PRAM and NVRAM show up as two distinct devices. The PRAM would normally appear as a child of Via-Cuda.

Lastly, the PowerExpress has two packages not present on Macs up through the Beige G3s. One is /pe-loader@0,0, which is a CHRP compliant package necessary to open a PE boot-loader. This would be needed to boot Windows NT 4.0 for PowerPC. The second new package is /elf-loader@0,0, which is a CHRP compliant package that is necessary to open boot-loaders in the more common ELF format. Unlike other PCI-Macs, the PowerExpress does not have the aix-boot package.

I have made a second PowerExpress page that displays the Device Tree properly, with comments next to certain devices. You can access it at the bottom of the following page:
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/index3.html

Please supply me with more PowerExpress Open Firmware output!

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PEx continued

It's a no go on the boot /AAPL,ROM. When I type it that way and hit return, the chime on the PEx just starts to cycle, and there's no movement at all in the Zterm.
Where, exactly, in the Zterm readout should I paste the NVRAM patches?

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PEx OpenFirmware read devalias

0 > devalias
mouse /bandit/gc/adb/mouse
screen /chaos/control
tape /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/mesh@10000
ad /bandit/gc/ata/ad
kbd /bandit/gc/adb/keyboard
ttya /bandit/gc/escc/ch-a
ttyb /bandit/gc/escc/ch-b
alias /aliases@0
pci /bandit@C9000000
pci1 /bandit@C9000000
mac-io /bandit@C9000000/gc@10
adb /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/adb@19000
scsi-ext /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/mesh@10000
net /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/bmac@11000
enet /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/bmac@11000
scc /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/escc@13000
com1 /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/escc@13000/ch-a@13020
scca /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/escc@13000/ch-a@13020
modem /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/escc@13000/ch-a@13020
com2 /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/escc@13000/ch-b@13000
sccb /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/escc@13000/ch-b@13000
printer /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/escc@13000/ch-b@13000
sound /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/awacs@14000
fd /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/fdc@15000
floppy /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/fdc@15000
video-out /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/sixty6@1C000
nvram /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/nvram@1D000
rtc /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/via-cuda@16000/rtc@0,0
power /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/via-cuda@16000/power-mgt@0,0
ata /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/ata0@20000
ata0 /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/ata0@20000
ata-int /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/ata0@20000
ata1 /bandit@C9000000/gc@10/ata1@21000
vci0 /chaos@F0000000
pci2 /bandit@D9000000
memory /fatman@F8000000
interrupt /open-pic@F2040000
ok

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One more thought...

A couple of days ago when I tried the Powercenter ROM card there was a long delay before getting the "kill me" breaking glass. Does the delay suggest that the computer was beginning to work with the ROM for a short period before it reached a point where it realized it was unusable, perhaps because it was in conflict with the onboard ROM? I don't remember getting the "kill me" at all with the two other ROM cards I tried, but rather just the chime cycle. Without the RAM, the "kill me" sounds immediately after the chime. I'm just wondering if the clone ROM might work in one of the other PEx motherboards which have a ROM slot but no onboard ROM, thereby no ROM conflict. Perhaps the ROM card from the Powercomputing Powertower Pro or the Powercomputing Powerwave, both very similar to the 9500, might work in one of the other PEx motherboards.

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hardware ROMs

HC, Apple's ROM cards are so machine-specific, you're barking up the wrong tree by continuing to pursue that angle. Those other ROMs have the resources needed for their original target machines, not what's needed for your PEx.

I know you are hoping for an easy hardware solution, but ROM cards just ain't it. Your only real hope of booting this logic board is to accept help (esp. PS96K's!) with decoding the OF output and then using that info to set the boot parameters for a successful boot.

Keep in mind, you would not have gotten to OF if the logic board itself, ROM, the CPU and the RAM all didn't work. You've got far enough for us to know you will almost certainly be able to boot to a keyboard and local video. Whether you'll be able to actually boot into MacOS (or other OSes) remains to be seen, but so far everything looks very promising!

dan k

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ROM

Yes, thanks, I understand. I was just wondering if you thought it was possible for the other PEx motherboards without onboard ROM to build from a clone ROM card?

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PowerExpress NVRAM and Clone ROMs

Thanks for sending the entire dump-device-tree output. It is rather interesting to see.

Inputting those NVRAM patches should be quite easy. First, output your PowerExpress’s Open Firmware to ZTerm as usual. Next, copy all of the NVRAM code from the webpage I created for you ( http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/index3.html ). Then, simply paste all the code right into the Open Firmware command prompt using ZTerm. When you do so, Open Firmware will execute each line of code as it is pasted into the command prompt.

When the code is done being pasted into the Open Firmware command prompt, press Control + C. Then type nvstore to save the contents of the NVRAM. Finally, type reset-all to restart your PowerExpress.

By setting auto-boot? to false, your PowerExpress will automatically stop at Open Firmware every time it starts up. You won’t have to hold down Apple + Option + O + F each time to enter Open Firmware.

Once the NVRAM is configured and you have restarted your PowerExpress, try once again to boot the Mac OS ROM. Perhaps these NVRAM patches will help. Even if you still cannot boot the Mac OS ROM, I believe you have a good chance of booting Mac OS X, which in no way needs the AAPL,ROM.

For PowerExpress motherboards that do not have their ROM chips, I don’t think it is likely any other Mac ROM cards will work. I especially doubt that they would even get to Open Firmware. Though the PowerExpress has similarities to 9500/9600’s, Beige G3s, and other Clones, it is different enough from these other models that ROM incompatibilities are very likely.

As a test to see if the built-in video works on your PowerExpress, you should connect a monitor and type the following in Open Firmware.

[b]

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Ooops?

Well I tried the NVRAM patching. I pasted in the code from your site at the prompt and it whizzed along very nicely. Very interesting, it just goes to the end of the first sentence, and then the last letter in the code of that sentence flips along by itself through code, so the readout is very short:

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > setenv auto-boot? false setenv use-nvramrc? true setenv load-base 600000 se
invalid CONFIG name
ok
0 > de-string " machargs" $a 0 0 1 ck if 0 and else f 3d 0 2 ck if 40 or then t
de-string, unknown word
ok
0 > nvstore NVRAMRC not valid
ok
0 > reset-all

When I saw the "de-string, unknown word" I debated whether I should stop and consult with you, but I went ahead and did the Control+C and the rest of the commands you instructed. Was that foolhardy? After reset-all, the restart just gave me the chime cycle, so I turned off the machine and reopened Zterm and accessed the OF again, tried boot /AAPL,ROM, but got the chime cycle, so I turned off the machine, reopened Zterm, and then tried boot / AAPL,ROM and got the same default line I got before with that command.

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Let's try that again

I am not sure why this did not work for you successfully. I rehearsed this very same procedure on my 9600, using the very same script and it completed successfully. Try it again, but this time copy the code from this text file on my webpage.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/pex-nvram.txt

**Before you paste the script into the terminal, type set-defaults to reset everything to their default values.

Make sure you copy the entire script and then paste it into the terminal.

Once the script is done being pasted into the terminal, press Control + C to exit nvedit. Then type nvstore to save the contents of the NVRAM. Typing reset-all will restart your PowerExpress. Hopefully it will work this time. Afterward, try booting the AAPL,ROM again.

On another topic, try testing to see if your PowerExpress’s built-in video works in Open Firmware. To do this, first connect a monitor to the built-in video port. Then from within Open Firmware type [b]“ vci0@b

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Side-by-Side Clarification

Sorry for the delay in writing this, but I've been busy with finals and projects for college.

The PEx motherboard on the right is not TiMacLover's PowerExpress, but rather a picture of my PowerExpress. As far as I know, TiMacLover hasn't photographed his PowerExpress motherboard (Only one I've seen from him is his Catalyst EVT motherboard)

I plan on trying to do an Open Firmware dump from Manhattan this weekend, since my projects and finals end this week. I'll post more once I get something.

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Success! I think

I think posting that page made the difference. I noticed when I first tried pasting the code into Simpletext it looked like there were some differences in spacing. This time I just selected all, copied, and pasted straight into Zterm and it looks like it worked:

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > set-defaults ok
0 > setenv auto-boot? false ok
0 > setenv use-nvramrc? true ok
0 > setenv load-base 600000 ok
0 > setenv diag-device ok
0 > setenv boot-command 0 bootr ok
0 > nvedit
ok
0 > nvstore ok
0 > reset-all load-partition, huh??

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > boot /AAPL,ROM load-partition, huh??

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > dev /AAPL,ROM ok
0 > words
load open
ok
0 > see load
: load
real_base 400000 <> virt_base -800000 <> or real? or little? or if
10 base ! " FFFFFFFF" " real-base" $setenv " FFFFFFFF" " virt-base" $setenv
" false" " real-mode?" $setenv " false" " little-endian?" $setenv " boot /AA
PL,ROM"
!set-restart cr " RESETing to change Configuration!" type cr reset-all
then
; ok
0 > see open
: open
true ; ok
0 >

I didn't get the chime cycle after reset-all, but rather the chime once and then it went straight to OF. What's the "huh?" after load-partition? Should I try typing BYE to see if it will load the Mac OS? The machine's got a brand new battery and 288mb of RAM. I'll go out to the garage and dig up another monitor next.

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no luck with the video

I tried the " vci0@b" output (that's a zero after vci, right?), got an "ok" and a prompt, but no video output on my old Apple Multiple Scan 15" display connected to the onboard video. I've got a RagePro VR card in one of the PCI slots, and I tried connecting the monitor to it, but no output there either. I also tried typing the BYE and I get the chime and then "load-partition huh?" and it returns to the OF prompt, and I tried BOOT and I get the same thing. The same with boot /AAPL,ROM. The harddrive is an ATA that is hooked up to a Sonnet ATA66 PCI card. I don't have a SCSI harddrive in there so I stuck an OS 9 CD in the CD drive.

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Re: Side-by-Side Clarification

Captain_Z wrote:

The PEx motherboard on the right is not TiMacLover's PowerExpress, but rather a picture of my PowerExpress. As far as I know, TiMacLover hasn't photographed his PowerExpress motherboard (Only one I've seen from him is his Catalyst EVT motherboard)

That is what I thought, but according to TiMacLover it IS his motherboard.

TiMacLover wrote:

Those are the same. I am friends with Captain Z and he wanted to put the pictures of my PEx on his website, if you don't believe me you may contact him for yourself.

You can access that thread here:
http://www.applefritter.com/node/7426

There seems to be some confusion about this.

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In a situation such as this,

In a situation such as this, I would remove any unnecessary hardware devices from the machine (the PCI video card and ATA card). Try to keep as much stock about the system as possible until she comes up, then you can add goodies to it Smile.

I know from experience that my Beige won't drive the internal video when a PCI video card is installed, and it won't drive the PCI video card without the proper drivers. So, unless you pull out the PCI card and install the drivers first, you're kinda stuck.

What kind of CD-ROM drive are you using HC? Is it an Apple-branded drive? I know my Beige won't boot from any CD-ROM drive that isn't Apple branded for some reason. Is it SCSI or IDE? If possible, connect a SCSI CD-ROM drive to the PEx, as well as an ADB keyboard (I assume these beasts have ADB?). When you type the boot /APPL,ROM command, as you hit return in Zterm and hear the boot chime, hold down the "C" key on the keyboard connected to the PEx. That might enable you to boot from CD-ROM.

As an aside, does anyone know if Mac OS 9 loads TCP/IP when booting from CD? Does the PEx have RJ-45 onboard? If the video is being finicky, would it be possible for HC to connect a Cat-5 cable and check the DHCP table of his router to see if the PEx is grabbing an IP address? (My logic here is that to grab an IP address, the Mac OS must have loaded to some extent, therefore there'd be some progress made.)

Cheers,

The Czar

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Re: In a situation such as this,

Your suggestions would be relevant if Hawaii Cuiser's PowerExpress could actually load the Mac OS ROM (AAPL,ROM), but it currently cannot.

Therefore, his PEx is not even getting to the point where it would load the Mac OS. Also, I don't think having the Acard installed along with the ATI Xclaim video card is likely to cause any trouble. It simply appears that the PowerExpress's Control video is nonfunctional from within Open Firmware.

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SCSI

Yeah, I didn't think I was near booting to OS but I thought I'd try anyway. I just remembered too that I didn't bother hooking up the SCSI cable because the SCSI internal port is reversed from the 9600 so I have to twist the cable severely in order to insert it. I'll just go ahead and get the SCSI setup with a SCSI OS 9 harddrive just in case we reach the point of OS boot, and remove as per the Czar's suggestions the PCI cards. I've had that experience before a few times with other computers after a crash that you need to start with the basics before installing peripherals.

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Ethernet

Yes, it has an RJ-45 port.

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3.3v DRAM

On an aside note, I just posted another thread in the Powermacs discussions about some 3.3v DRAM:
http://www.applefritter.com/node/7652

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Look up this Forth word

When exactly does Open Firmware on your PowerExpress display the message load-partition, huh?? Does it display this message as soon as you enter Open Firmware or does it display this message when you type "boot /AAPL,ROM"? Also, go ahead and type see load-partition so I can see what this does.

Additionally, in Open Firmware type the following:
see !set-restart

I want to see what exactly this word does. It is used in the AAPL,ROM device method load.

Also, while in Open Firmware type this too:
dev /AAPL,ROM
load

Tell me what happens when you do this.

Thanks

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Re: 3.3v DRAM

Be careful about putting that RAM stick into your PowerExpress. If it is actually a 5v DIMM, putting it into your PowerExpress's 3.3v RAM slots could draw too much current and damage motherboard circuitry.

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Open Firmware video output

I want to clarify that Open Firmware is only capable of outputting to one device at a time. If you want it to display out to your ATI Xclaim video card, you can temporarily try this with a command such as this:
" pci1/@d" output

This should temporarily switch the Open Firmware output from the Modem Port to the ATI card. Just make sure you direct it to the right PCI slot address.

I had you try the built-in Control video just to see if it is capable of working from within Open Firmware. Apparently it cannot.

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3.3v DRAM

Nope, I couldn't put that DRAM stick in the Powerexpress even if I wanted to, the PEx slots are 3.3v notched. I was thinking I would try it in my 8500. I'd probably chuck it if the chips were some strange brand, but they're Micron chips, so I suppose it should be ok and the seller doesn't seem dishonest.

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load-partition huh?

After I type boot /AAPL,ROM, I get the chime, then there's a short delay, and then the "load-partition huh?" pops up followed by the original OF promps. I got the same thing with "load," as you can see, and as you can also see, the "load-partition huh?" pops up now as the first thing when I turn on the PEx:

load-partition, huh??

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > boot /AAPL,ROM load-partition, huh??

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > see load-partition load-partition, huh??

ok
0 > see !set-restart defer !set-restart
: (!set-restart)
" "(12)uÌä" 0 do
dup i + c@ nv-restart i + nv-c!
loop
drop dup nv-restart cell+ nv-c! 0 ?do
dup i + c@ nv-restart 5 + i + nv-c!
loop
drop ; ok
0 > dev /AAPL,ROM ok
0 > load load-partition, huh??

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 >

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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no luck with video card either

I typed in " pci2@d" output since the video card is in the second pci slot down from the processor, but nothing happened.

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Posts: 83
load-partition

I have realized why you are getting the message "load-partition, huh??". The simple explanation is that your PowerExpress does not have that word already defined, but the NVRAM script I had you install calls for it. Because Open Firmware does not know what this word is, it displays the message "load-partition, huh??"

I believe that NVRAM script, which I got from Apple's System Disk 3.3.1 control panel, is designed for a later version of the PowerExpress that likely had a slightly newer version of Open Firmware. It does not seem that your PowerExpress motherboard was at the final stages of development. The word load-partition should be found under /packages/mac-parts, but it is not in your PowerExpress's version of Open Firmware. I checked my G3 AIO, which has Open Firmware 2.4, and it does contain the word load-partition.

While your PowerExpress does not have load-partition already defined, it does have a very similar word named load-part, which I believe performs the same function. Therefore all we need to do is substitute the word load-part for the word load-partition.

I have modified the NVRAM patch and changed load-partition to load-part. All you need to do is once again re-enter the NVRAM patch. The instructions and text file are located here:
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/index3.html

Hopefully this will work without any further problems.

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Auto-boot?, booting the AAPL,ROM, and video output

Your PowerExpress now automatically stops at the Open Firmware command prompt because auto-boot? is set to false. I set that to be this way in the NVRAM script so you don't have to hold down Apple + Option + O + F every time to enter Open Firmware.

Also, when you type "boot /AAPL,ROM" your PEx makes the start chime because it is restarting. It obviously should not be doing this, but determining why it is happening isn't easy.

Another mystery is why outputting to the ATI XClaim video card isn't working. This procedure should definately work. If you would, type see output so I can compare the code to my 9600 and G3.

Additionally, do you have a copy of Mac OS X? If so, what version do you have?

Thanks.

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Second attempt

Well, I opened up the case and connected the internal SCSI cable and attached an Apple SCSI harddrive and pulled out the ATI video card and the Acard. While I was in there I pulled out the PRAM battery also because I needed it to test another computer and then put it back in. When I restarted the PEx, this time it did not go to OF, but just started the chime cycle, so I restarted it while holding down the four keys and it went to the OF prompt. I figured I was back at square one somehow, so I went to the page with your NVRAM test and copied and pasted it into Zterm and this time all went the same as the first time except that this time there was no "load-partition huh?" Now boot /AAPL,ROM is followed by the chime and a return to the original OF prompt.Here's the see output:

0 > see output
: output
open-dev ?dup if
stdout @ ?dup if
close-package
then
dup stdout ! _stdout @ ?dup if
4c!-be
else
drop
then
else
abort
then
; ok
0 >

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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OS X

I've got Jaguar (10.2) and Panther (10.3), the first versions of each.

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Try installing OS X 10.2

In the interest of making some progress with booting an operating system, I think you should attempt to boot Mac OS X on your PowerExpress. There is either bugs in Open Firmware or the Mac OS ROM itself, which is preventing Open Firmware from loading the AAPL,ROM. I don’t feel it is completely hopeless, but it will certainly take time and much effort to overcome this. If you can boot Mac OS X on your PowerExpress it will be another major step forward, greater than booting the Mac OS ROM. I definitely believe your system will make headway taking this route.

Fortunately, when it comes to booting Mac OS X, the AAPL,ROM is in no way needed. The Mac OS ROM (AAPL,ROM) is only needed to load the classic Mac OS (OS9 and older). Therefore, whatever problem the Mac OS ROM suffers should not affect your chances of booting OS X.

Below I will outline the overall steps you should follow to install OS X on your PowerExpress. If there are no unforeseen problems this procedure should be relatively simple.

First, install your Acard ATA controller and connected hard drive into your Power Mac 8500.

Second, with the aid of XPostFacto, install OS X onto the hard drive connected to the Acard. Try installing OS X Jaguar for now.

Third, once OS X is installed and configured on your 8500, take out the Acard and hard drive and install it into your PowerExpress.

Fourth, install your ATI XClaim Video Card into slot A1 of your PowerExpress and connect a monitor to it. Additionally, connect a keyboard and mouse to your PowerExpress as well.

Fifth, from within your PowerExpress’s Open Firmware, set the boot-device to the correct address such as the following:
setenv boot-device pci2/@d/@0:6 (This assumes the Acard is in slot F2 and the hard drive is set to Master on Channel 0.)

Sixth, from within Open Firmware, set the boot-command to the following:
setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v

Lastly, type boot. If all goes well, your monitor should come on and display the Mac OS X boot screen.

Hopefully you will not run into any problems. 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.

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Wow

Nothing to offer here, really - just wanted to say that this thread is really interesting, and I bet a lot of people are reading it. If booting OS X works here, that would be really exciting.

Thanks to both of you for documenting all this, and good luck!

Best,
Matt

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[quote]In the interest of mak

Quote:

In the interest of making some progress with booting an operating system, I think you should attempt to boot Mac OS X on your PowerExpress.

Just as an unhelpful suggestion... you might try booting a NetBSD install CD on the system through Open Firmware. NetBSD's machine and driver support tends to be as generic as possible, and you'd eliminate any dependency on the Mac OS ROM from the equation. NetBSD also supports console over serial, so potentially at least you could get the machine running without solving your video problems.

Just a thought. If you have broadband downloading the macppc .iso for experimenting with might take less time then installing OS X.

--Peace

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The Mac OS ROM is absolutely not needed to boot OSX

The Mac OS ROM (AAPL,ROM) is not in any way needed to boot Mac OS X. It is only needed to boot the classic Mac OS (9 and older). Open Firmware loads BootX from a hard drive, which then loads the Mac OS X kernel.

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Still no luck

Installed Jaguar on the ATA harddrive--no problem--and proceeded as instructed. After "boot" I get the message CAN'T OPEN pci4/@d/@0:6 and a return to prompt. I tried it for pci3 too, since the ATA card is installed fourth slot down, third slot up. Same thing, CAN'T OPEN... I then disconnected the harddrive and connected it to the PEx's onboard ATA port with a 40wire cable. I tried setenv boot-device ata0/@d/@0:6 but got the same CAN'T OPEN... Also tried ata1
Maybe I should have installed the Jaguar on the onboard SCSI harddrive?

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video

Oh, and with the display hooked up to the ATI card in pci slot 2, there is a short burst after boot. The dispay led goes green for a second, but that's all, no video output is noticeable.

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PowerExpress Manhattan Open Firmware

I finally got around to hooking up Manhattan to my C500 test system with ZTerm to get the Open Firmware. I did the printenv, dev / ls, and dump-device-tree commands, and copied them into a text file for anyone to look over.

http://www.captainz.net/pex/manhattan_firmware.txt

The only parts that were inside the Manhattan while this was being done was 1 stick of 3.3v RAM (64MB), the processor card (XLR8 ZIF Carrier card, containing a G3/350), and the CHRP floppy disk drive that it came with. There was no PCI cards or VRAM sticks installed, nor any hard drives or optical drives. If you think the G3 card is offsetting results, I can test it again with a 604e/200 I can scavenge off a spare 7300.

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Re: Still no luck

The reason it was not booting from your Acard is because of an incorrectly typed boot path.

Quote:

After "boot" I get the message CAN'T OPEN pci4/@d/@0:6 and a return to prompt. I tried it for pci3 too, since the ATA card is installed fourth slot down, third slot up. Same thing, CAN'T OPEN...

The problem was that you typed pci4 and pci3. This is incorrect.

pci1 and pci2 are Open Firmware aliases referring to the two PCI bandit bus chips.

pci1 is the first PCI bus. The first three PCI slots closest to the processor are on this PCI bus. These slots are labeled A1, B1, and C1. Slot A1 is closest to the processor.
pci2 is the second PCI bus. The bottom three PCI slots furthest from the processor are on this PCI bus. These slots are labeled D2, E2, and F2.

If the Acard is in the first slot, which is A1, then the boot path would be pci1/@d/@0:6
If the Acard is in the second slot, which is B1, then the boot path would be pci1/@e/@0:6
If the Acard is in the third slot, which is C1, then the boot path would be pci1/@f/@0:6
If the Acard is in the fourth slot, which is D2, then the boot path would be pci2/@d/@0:6
If the Acard is in the fifth slot, which is E2, then the boot path would be pci2/@e/@0:6
If the Acard is in the sixth slot, which is F2, then the boot path would be pci2/@f/@0:6

Try to boot your PowerExpress again with the correct boot path to the Acard.

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Re: Video and PCI card arrangement

I recommend placing your ATI video card in the first slot, which is slot A1. Since currently in Open Firmware the Modem Port is specified as the output-device, Mac OS X will look for the first video card it finds to display the boot screen.

The order in which it scans for a video card is first PCI bus 1, then the VCI bus, and finally PCI bus 2.

If you put your ATI card on PCI bus 2, Mac OS X might see the built-in Control video and try to display to it. I am not sure though, that the built-in video is functional. Therefore to play it safe, I recommend putting your ATI card on PCI bus 1, preferably in slot A1. This way Mac OS X will find the ATI card immediately.

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Re: The Mac OS ROM is absolutely not needed to boot OSX

powersurge9600 wrote:

The Mac OS ROM (AAPL,ROM) is not in any way needed to boot Mac OS X. It is only needed to boot the classic Mac OS (9 and older). Open Firmware loads BootX from a hard drive, which then loads the Mac OS X kernel.

I know that. I was just suggesting another alternative which *also* doesn't need it. (And is also lightweight, and far more verbose in terms of error and debugging information.)

Anyway.

--Peace

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Acard in slot 2

I've gotten in the habit of spreading cards out thinking it will help alleviate any heat issues. Anyway, I put the ATI video card in the first slot, A1, and put the Acard (with the harddrive reconnected) into the second slot right next to the video card. Here's what happened:

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6 ok
0 > setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v ok
0 > boot DEFAULT CATCH!, code=FFF00300 at %SRR0: 0000000P %SRR1: 0000000ß
ok

I wasn't sure whether there is a space after the r in bootr, so I tried it also without the space and got the same Default catch. As you can see, it ends after the ok with just a blinking curser and no prompt (0 >), so I turn off the PEx and close Zterm and start over.

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Holy Moly!

Powersurge9600, I just checked out your homepage:
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/index3.html
Wow! What a machine! What do you do with all those drives? Or should I ask? How about a rear view of that megalith.

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PowerExpress problems and my 9600

I was really hoping your PowerExpress would boot Mac OS X without trouble. It seems it will fight us every step of the way. No PCI-Mac should be this difficult to boot an operating system, especially loading the Mac ROM and OS 9.

I will speculate on some possible reasons why it cannot boot anything.

First, there may possibly be a bug in one or more of Open Firmware's words, which is causing it to be unable to boot from any device. This would explain why it cannot boot the AAPL,ROM, or boot from a valid OS X drive. Also this would explain why you cannot display Open Firmware to a video card. This is a development prototype system we are dealing with after all.

Second, it may be possible that the system is experiencing serious memory errors, which is causing the system to be unable to boot from any device. As a possible test of this hypothesis, you might try reducing the amount of RAM to one or two sticks. Keep in mind, Ryan Remple's custom BootX requires at least 96MB of RAM to boot Mac OS X.

Third, there could be a hardware bug with the PowerExpress design, which causes these problems. Once again, you have to keep in mind that it is a development prototype motherboard.

I will think of some other things you might try to get some progress.

Also, my 9600, which I have pictured on my homepage, is my main Mac system and a continuous work in progress. As for all the drives, who can have too much storage space? I will take a more recent picture of the rear when I install a new 250GB hard drive I got a few days ago.

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Less RAM

I reduced the RAM to 128mb, but no difference, same DEFAULT CATCH!

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Jon
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For my show of support

For my show of support, I've been lurking this thread for a long time. It's easily on eof the most fascinating threads on AF yet. IT's a technical journey into the unknown capabilities of an abandoned prototype. Quite cool. Now if we could do something about these super long threads under Drupal... Wink

If one uses the custom URL of: http://www.applefritter.com/node/6148?comments_per_page=200 then you will get the whole thread up to 200 posts. Then, make changes as this thing grows...

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Re: PowerExpress Manhattan Open Firmware

CaptainZ,

What does your PEx Manhattan do when you type bye or boot /AAPL,ROM? Is there an error message and does it restart the machine like Hawaii Cruiser's PEx?

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Both commands cause the syste

Both commands cause the system to get stuck in the chime cycle.

I have old copies of the OS X Public Beta (1H39 and 4K17) I could test to see if it will boot. I may try to set that up some time this week.

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68K Mac Liberation Army

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Open Firmware and Mac OS X Public Beta

In Open Firmware, you should set auto-boot to false so that your PowerExpress stops at Open Firmware. This will prevent your PowerExpress from repeatedly restarting. What happens is that when your machine attempts to boot the Mac OS ROM, it restarts. This happens over and over again unless you pause at Open Firmware.

If I am not mistaken, Mac OS X 4K17 was the first developer release following the release of Public Beta that was missing support for PowerSurge and PowerExpress Macs. If you have the retail version of Public Beta from September 2000, that would be ideal for testing.

Your PEx Manhattan's version of Open Firmware is slightly lower than Hawaii Cruiser's and there are differences between them, but since you cannot boot the Mac OS ROM your system will likely suffer from the same inability to boot from any device as Hawaii Cruiser's PEx. There very well might be a bug in one or more of Open Firmware's packages that are needed to boot devices. Some of the packages I am looking at are deblocker, mac-parts, and xcoff-loader. If this is the case, booting from any device may be very difficult..

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frustrations and revelations

In order to install OS X on my harddrive, I took out the PEx motherboard and replaced the 9600 motherboard and installed X using the 9600. One question, does Xpostfacto affect the motherboard? After I installed X, I then removed the 9600 motherboard and replaced the PEx motherboard in order to attempt the boot of X. After the unsuccessful boot of X, I threw up my hands and decided to give the 9600 back to my daughter, so I once again removed the PEx and replaced the 9600 motherboard. Then I spent hours trying to get the thing to boot into any harddrive, or even in a system CD. It constantly bombed at startup at everything I tried, and it wouldn't even recognize the ATA drive on the Acard bus, so I was wondering if the Xpostfacto affected the motherboard. After stripping it way down, I finally got into a system 9 using an old external SCSI harddrive, and inside there it also recognized the ATA drive, so I was finally able to switch back to the disk with the OS X, but I switched back to an OS 9 on that disk. While in OS 9, I tried the suggestions that Powersurge9600 has on his website about how to disable the onboard backside cache via XLR8's Machspeed control and Powerlogix's CPU init, and it worked great. When I went to Gauge Pro, the cache was disabled and my Sonnet 450mhz G4 was cruising along on it's own 1mb cache at 225mhz, and then I checked the memory and it was doing a phenomenal 87mb/sec!!! Wow!! Then I opened CPU Director to doublecheck the stats, and also in there it states that the machine ID is 67 and the Model name is Power Macintosh 9500. That struck me. All this time while I was considering ROM cards and all that, I was of the opinion that the PEx is just a modified 9600. But the truth that hit home is, the 9600 is simply a modified 9500, and THE PEx IS A WHOLE NEW MACHINE! That fact really hadn't sunk in until that moment. So what is the machine ID of the PEx? Anyway, Powersurge9600 has convinced me to perservere for awhile longer, and my daughter will continue on the PM6500 I fixed up for her in the meantime. It's actually better for her since it's got that nice subwoofer that gives Reader Rabbit such a sense of authority. It just doesn't work the scanner that I've also got hooked up to her machine anything like the way the 9600 can do scanning with its 450mhzG4. Well, onward and upward. I will ask some of my Mac friends if they have a copy of the Beta X.

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By the way...

It took me so long to get a boot into a system on the 9600 motherboard, and even harder through the Acard, how could it be any easier with the PEx? In the 9600 right now, I've got all the internal SCSI disconnected and only two PCI cards, the ATI video in slot 1 and the Acard in slot 2, and the external SCSI drive is connected. I should probably do the same with the PEx, except I wouldn't have an external SCSI device, but I'm wondering if maybe I should. The PEx external SCSI connection is HD50. I've got a 4gb SCSI drive I could put in the the old Centronics external case, but I don't think I have a Centronics to HD50 cable. Now here's a thought!! I've got a 68pin external SCSI case, and an Atlas 10k drive that's got OS 10.2.8 on it, and I've got a 68pin M/M cable and a 68toHD50 adapter, so I could hook up the Atlas 10k to the external SCSI port on the PEx. Hmm?

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But of course...

The 10.2.8 on the Atlas 10k wasn't created with Xpostfacto. I created it on my B&W.

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9600 boot trouble

Your 9600 was probably having trouble booting because its NVRAM and PRAM settings were reset. With the NVRAM settings reset, your 9600 would be unable to boot Mac OS X. With the PRAM settings reset, the Mac OS ROM would not know where a blessed system folder is located. It would therefore scan for valid system folders and try loading the first one it found. The problem is, it likely found the phony system suitcase located on the OS X hard drive in System/Library/CoreServices. In the CoreServices folder there is a fake Finder and System Suitcase, which are there to aid New World Macs in finding the necessary BootX file located in the same folder. When a Old World Mac, such as your 9600, tries to load the phony System Suitcase it will restart and repeat this annoying process again. Fortunately, when you connected a SCSI drive to your 9600, it scanned that ahead of the Acard and found a true valid System folder. Once in OS9, you were then able to set everything straight.

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Phony system suitcase and oops

So would it be safe to go into OS X and trash the phony system suitcase? Is that something everyone using OS X on Old World Macs should do just to avoid potential problems?
Actually, I think I may have had a different problem all this time. While on the external HD the OS X harddrive would sometimes be recognized, but more often not, but the CD I had in the CD drive also connected to the Acard would show up, so it finally hit me that I've got a master-slave setup on the Acard with the slave CD drive on the end of the cable and that's why the OS X drive might not be recognized, so I disconnected the cable from the CD drive and have no problem with the OS X drive being recognized. Silly me. Now it's back to reinstalling the PEx motherboard and seeing if it will boot to X without the CD drive connected.

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Fake System Suitcase

On my 9600, I removed the fake system suitcase a while ago and everything works just fine. Here is the Get Info Window of the Fake System.

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Tests for your PowerExpress

Hawaii Cruiser and Captain Z,

To get a better idea of what works on your PowerExpress's, I would like to see if your machines can browse a DOS formatted floppy disk and boot a simple file from it. This is something all OldWorld Macs should be able to do.

First, you will need a DOS formatted floppy disk. Preferably a freshly formatted one.
Second, copy this Open Firmware script from my webpage and paste it into a new SimpleText file. You can access this script here:
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/DOSTEST.TXT

Third, save this SimpleText file onto the DOS floppy disk as TEST.txt.

Fourth, go into Open Firmware on your PowerExpress and insert the DOS floppy disk into the PowerExpress floppy drive.

Fifth, type dir fd:,\
A listing of all the files on the disk should be displayed. You should see the file you created, TEST.TXT.

Lastly, type boot fd:,\TEST.TXT

If this works as it should, you will see a congratulations message. At the end, you will likely see a message that says "state not valid", but just ignore that.

It will be interesting to see if this works.

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Open Firmware video output

Hawaii Cruiser,

I just realized why you were unsuccessful at getting your PowerExpress to output Open Firmware to your ATI XClaim video card. You typed pci2/@d since you had the video card in the second PCI slot down from the processor, but this was an incorrect address. The correct address for that PCI slot should have been pci1/@e.

If you would, lets try this again, but this time put the ATI card in the first slot closest to the processor labelled A1. Connect a monitor to the video card and boot your PowerExpress into Open Firmware. At the command prompt type the following:
" pci1/@d" output (There should be a space after the first quotation mark)

This time your monitor should come on and display the Open Firmware command prompt.

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Re: Tests for your PowerExpress

Just ran the test with a fresh, DOS formatted floppy disk.

First Attempt:

Open Firmware 2.0d11e1
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > dir fd:,\
A.Tra.s 00F 0 -1
TRASHE~1. 010 163 0
TEST .TXT 020 76E DE
A.DS_.S 00F 0 -1
DS_STO~1. 020 345 1804 ok
0 > boot fd:,\TEST.TXT can't OPEN: fd:,\TEST.TXT
ok
0 > dir fd:,\ can't OPEN the DIR device
ok

Second Attempt:

Open Firmware 2.0d11e1
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > boot fd:,\TEST.TXT evaluating Forth sourcestate not valid
ok

I'm not sure why it won't access the floppy drive more than one time every startup. The only way the boot fd:,\TEST.TXT command worked was when it was the first command entered referencing the floppy drive.

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68K Mac Liberation Army

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A follow-up DOS floppy test

Try this next. Download this bootx file and unstuff it.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/bootx.sit

Then copy the unstuffed bootx file to your DOS formatted floppy disk. Boot your PowerExpress into Open Firmware and type the following:
boot fd:,\BOOTX

What should happen is that your PowerExpress should load the BootX file and display the Apple Logo. I don't know if the PowerExpress built-in video is functional, so it may be necessary to install a video card to see this. Preferably the video card should be in the first PCI slot. If your PowerExpress is actually able to load BootX, BootX will not find the Mach Kernel and will display a circle with a slash through it.

The purpose of this test is to see if your machine is capable of loading an XCOFF boot-loader.

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ATI video output works

I reinstalled the PEx motherboard with the ATI card in the first slot and the Acard in the second slot and connected the ATA harddrive directly to the Acard (no slave CD drive), and kept the SCSI disconnected. Everytime I take the PEx out of the case, I also remove the PRAM battery so I can put it in the 9600 motherboard, and when I put the PEx back in again with the battery replaced, the PEx seems to have lost the stop at OF command. I open Zterm and power up the PEx but nothing comes on in Zterm and the chime on the PEx only sounds once, no chime cycle, and then nothing, so I have to restart the PEx while holding down the option-command-OF and it gets back to OF and then I repaste the NVRAM patches and get back to work. This time the Apple display hooked up to the PEx did come on when I did the " pci1/@d" output and then, after that, the OF commands I typed switched to the PEx display and stopped appearing on the 8500 display. Tried setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6 but got the "can't Open" again. I forgot to mention that the ATA harddrive with OS X is actually a harrdrive partitioned into three: 1) Macintosh HD with the OS X and OS9, 2) Fixit HD with OS 9, and 3) an empty Storage HD. So there's 3 Systems on that harddrive. Sorry I didn't mention that earlier. Perhaps I should be using a harddrive with only OS X on it? I do have the 4GB SCSI harddrive that I could wipe OS 9 off of and then put OS X alone on it and hook it up to the onboard SCSI bus. I'd need to know the command to boot in that situation and there are two onboard SCSI ports 0 and 1--don't know which one I should hook up to.
As for the floppy disk stuff. I removed the floppy drive from the 9600 case awhile ago--never use floppy anymore--and as discussed earlier, the floppy port on my PEx motherboard is the PC version and I don't have a PC floppy drive nor any PC formatted floppy disks. I'll have to wait until I find one on the side of the road to try that. Will the PEx recognize a PC floppy drive?

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8500 improvements

While I was at it, I tried changing the processor upgrade card extensions on my 8500 as well. The 8500 has a Newertechnologies 400mhz G3 processor card in it. I had been using the Maxpowr 2.0.5 extension (c. 2000) in OS 9. I think I downloaded it from the OWC website. It also disabled the onboard L2 cache card and I was averaging about 50 mb/sec. with my RAM. I removed the Maxpowr extension and replaced it with both the XLR8 Machspeed extension and the CPU Director init 1.5f6 and now the RAM is averaging almost 58 mb/sec. Thanks Powersurge9600 for that recommendation.

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Re: ATI video output works

Whenever you remove your PowerExpress's battery, it will lose its NVRAM settings and therefore will not stop at Open Firmware automatically.

It is excellent that you were able to output Open Firmware to your ATI video card. Your PowerExpress's Open Firmware is not as dysfunctional as I was beginning to fear.

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Tried setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6 but got the "can't Open" again. I forgot to mention that the ATA harddrive with OS X is actually a harrdrive partitioned into three: 1) Macintosh HD with the OS X and OS9, 2) Fixit HD with OS 9, and 3) an empty Storage HD. So there's 3 Systems on that harddrive. Sorry I didn't mention that earlier. Perhaps I should be using a harddrive with only OS X on it?

Having all those partitions would definately change the boot-path and is the reason you currently cannot boot OS X on your PEx. You could find out the correct boot-path you need by putting the Acard back into your 8500 and then using XPostFacto to select the OS X partition. Pay close attention to the boot-device setting XPostFacto displays in its Settings Summary. You will want to know the partition XPostFacto chooses.

Having OS X on a single partitioned hard drive would have made things easier, but is not totally necessary. At least now there is once again a good chance that your PowerExpress will be able to boot OS X. I would stick with using the Acard instead of the SCSI because I know from personal experience that the Acard is very reliable. The Mesh 50-pin SCSI can be problematic when it comes to booting OS X. The external 50-pin SCSI and internal 50-pin SCSI are the same SCSI bus. Looking at how few Forth words the 68-pin SCSI has in Open Firmware, I doubt that it is possible to boot OS X from any drive connect to it.

Also, the XLR8MachSpeed extension and CPU Director extension work great in combination. PowerLogix should include the ability to disable the motherboard L2-cache in CPU Director like it used to in the older Cache Profiler

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Re: Follow-up DOS Floppy Test

Well, it may be a success on two fronts.

1) It did seem to be loading the bootx thing you put up. No image like you described showed up, though. Here is what it reads out.

0 > boot fd:,\BOOTX loading XCOFF
tsize=24000 dsize=2000 bsize=3A000 entry=5616F78
SECTIONS:
.text 05600000 05600000 00024000 000000D4
.data 05624000 05624000 00002000 000240D4
.bss 05626000 05626000 0003A000 00000000
loading .textCLAIM failed

2) It appears PEx Manhattan's video subsystems seem to be working. I changed the settings to output to the onboard video rather than the serial port (setenv output-device screen), and it does output to the screen. Here's a picture of what the screen looks like when I did the test.

One thing has been bothering me though... I looked at the output shown by the dev / ls command, where it mentions several IC's (Bandit, Grand Central, AWAC, etc.). PowerExpresses use Heathrow instead of Grand Central, and Denali instead of Bandit. Could part of the problems we are having be related to the absence of some of these IC's listed in the ROM?

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68K Mac Liberation Army

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Re: Follow-up DOS Floppy Test

It is good to see that your PEx Manhattan is able to load an XCOFF boot-loader. On my 9600 and G3 Tower (Revision B, Open Firmware 2.0f1), the BootX would display the Apple Logo just after "loading .text". On my G3 AIO (Revision C, Open Firmware 2.4) it would load the BootX, but say "CLAIM failed" just as your Manhattan did.

It would be interesting if you installed OS X on a hard drive in another Old World Mac with the aid of XPostFacto and then installed the drive into your PEx Manhattan. With OS X Public Beta you could try booting the installation CD directly. According to Ryan Remple, his custom version of BootX installed by XPostFacto requires at least 96MB of RAM to load OS X. You would need to add at least 32MB to your system.

Hawaii Cruiser's PowerExpress has a newer version of Open Firmware and in his Device Tree, it lists the names Denali and Heathrow to the right of Bandit 1 and 2 and Grand Central. Whether these name contradictions would affect booting the Mac OS ROM, I don't really know. It may also be possible that the Mac OS ROM on these development prototype boards is simply not complete yet and therefore not bootable.

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OS X second attempt

I removed the old Quantum 4GB ATA harddrive from the PM6500, put it in the 9600 connected to the Acard, reinitialized it with only one partition and installed OS X Jaguar on it via Xpostfacto, so it only has X and no other system. Oh shucks, I just remembered that I didn't remove the fake system from the Core Services...But anyway, I put the PEx back in the case with the ATI card in slot 1 and Acard in slot 2 and tried the boot again, but no luck:

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6 ok
0 > setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v ok
0 > boot DEFAULT CATCH!, code=FFF00300 at %SRR0: 0000000P %SRR1: 0000000ß
ok

Should I go back and remove the fake system and try again? Is it worth the effort?

Captain Z, if you're looking for more 3.3v RAM, here's an auction ending soon:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=11151&item=5195964935&rd=1&ssPageName=WDVW

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Re: OS X second attempt

The fake system only affects when booting the Mac OS ROM. It isn't a problem for your PowerExpress.

When trying to boot OS X on you 4GB hard drive, try first settting auto-boot to true, followed by a restart.
setenv auto-boot? true
reset-all

I have noticed on Beige G3s auto-boot must be set to true in order to boot OS X successfully. Otherwise it will say "Claim failed". This is worth a try on your PowerExpress.

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PC Floppy Drive

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

As for the floppy disk stuff. I removed the floppy drive from the 9600 case awhile ago--never use floppy anymore--and as discussed earlier, the floppy port on my PEx motherboard is the PC version and I don't have a PC floppy drive nor any PC formatted floppy disks. I'll have to wait until I find one on the side of the road to try that. Will the PEx recognize a PC floppy drive?

I suspect a PC floppy drive would work just fine in your PowerExpress. Captain Z's PEx Manhattan has a PC floppy drive and it works. I guess Apple was toying with the idea of making their systems more CHRP compliant by using standard PC components.

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Acard IDE1

So that you are directing Open Firmware to the correct hard drive ID, make sure the 4GB drive connected to the Acard is set to Master and that the cable is plugged into the IDE connector labelled IDE1 on the Acard. This is the IDE connector closest to the LED header on the Acard.

I wanted to make sure of this so that we rule out all other possibilities of why your PEx can't boot OS X.

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true boot

The true boot pursuit route don't give a hoot:

0 > setenv auto-boot? true ok
0 > reset-all no active package

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6 ok
0 > setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v ok
0 > boot DEFAULT CATCH!, code=FFF00300 at %SRR0: 0000000P %SRR1: 0000000ß
ok

I get that "no active package" now after BOOT and BYE too. Sounds a bit emasculated. Harddrive at master in IDE1. Yes, don't rule out the possibility that I'm making all the little mistakes, as I've already shown possible. Computers are such sensitive beasts.

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More Open Firmware exploration

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

I get that "no active package" now after BOOT and BYE too.

Did you start getting that message after your re-installed the NVRAM patches in your PowerExpress? Perhaps when you pasted that script in, something did not go quite right.

I would like to see if your PowerExpress can access the hard drive connected to your Acard and display the contents of the BootX file, instead of trying to actually run it. Try these commands
load pci1/@e/@0:6
load-base
loadsize
dump

If that does not work try this:
" pci1/@e/@0:6" open-dev (There should be a space after the first quotation mark.)
load
load-base
loadsize
dump

If you can get a hold of a PC floppy drive that would be excellent. I would like to see if your PowerExpress can load files from a floppy drive like Captain Z's PEx Manhattan is able.

I finally got around to working on my 9600 and installed my new hard drive. I took pictures of the rear of my case and will put those on my page soon. Additionally, I removed resistor 31 on the motherboard, which has disabled the motherboard Level-2 cache. Now that slow cache is completely disabled and does not even appear in Open Firmware.

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Still no go

I repasted the patches and still get the no package message, and the load commands go nowhere"

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > load pci1/@e/@0:6 DEFAULT CATCH!, code=FFF00300 at %SRR0: 0000000P %SRR1
: 0000000ß
ok

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > " pci1/@e/@0:6" open-dev ok

There's no prompt after the last ok. I repasted the patches and now it's back to Default Catch! for BYE and BOOT, but I still get the no active package for setenv auto-boot? true.

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More Open Firmware commands

I have spent much time examining the Open Firmware on my Macs, specifically looking at the words associated with the commands boot and load. On your PowerExpress, if you would, please look up these words and email me everything that is displayed in a Microsoft Word document.

see boot
see boot|load
(The character between boot and load is the character above the Return Key on your keyboard)
see !set-restart
see (load)
see init-program
see “ load “
(There should be spaces between load and the quotation marks)
see “ boot “ (There should be spaces between boot and the quotation marks)

Secondly, see if these commands produce any useful result on your PowerExpress.
[b]dev pci1/@e/@0:6
“ pci1/@e/@0:6

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lalala

Nope, there's no responsive prompt after the Default Catch. I have to restart at that point. I guess the Public Beta X isn't archived on the web anywhere?

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Re: More Open Firmware Commands

I ran down those commands you listed and posted the results below. So far, I've had no luck getting anywhere with the OSX Public Beta since the system doesn't seem to be able to read the CD-ROM drive (an old Apple 600i)

Open Firmware 2.0d11e1
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > see boot
: boot
" boot " boot|load init-program go ; ok

0 > see boot|load
: boot|load
_reboot-command pack drop ['] (init-program) to init-program carret word
count (load) ; ok

0 > see !set-restart defer !set-restart
: (!set-restart)
" um
" 0 do
dup i + c@ nv-restart i + nv-c!
loop
drop dup nv-restart cell+ nv-c! 0 ?do
dup i + c@ nv-restart 5 + i + nv-c!
loop
drop ; ok

0 > see (load)
: (load)
state-valid off parse-load _load-file 2!
begin
_load-file 2@ bl left-parse-string _load-device 2! _load-file 2! _load-file
@ while/if
_load-device 2@ ['] open-dev catch if
2drop false
then
dup if
dup close-dev
then
else
true
then
until
_load-device 2@ $load ; ok

0 > see init-program defer init-program
: (init-program)
loadaddr " \ " comp 0= if
" evaluating Forth source" type loadaddr loadsize evaluate loadaddr loadmapsize
do-unmap
else
loadaddr 2c@-be F108 = if
" evaluating FCode" type loadaddr 1 byte-load loadaddr loadmapsize
do-unmap
else
loadaddr 2c@-be 1DF = if
" loading XCOFF" type 0 0 "xcoff-loader" $open-package " init-program"
2 pick $call-method close-package
else
" unrecognized Client Program format" type
then
then
then
; ok

0 > see " load "
: "
{0} `next-str dup 0! 1!
begin
22 parse tuck 0 ?do
i over + c@ 1@ i + c!
loop
drop 1@ + 1! getc 2! 2@ bl <= while/if
true
else
2@ case
28 of
begin
getc dup 2! 0= while/if
bad-"
then
2@ 29 <> while/if
2@ h#10 digit if
4 lshift getc h#10 digit 0= if
bad-"
then
or 1@ c! 1@ char+ 1!
else
drop
then
repeat
endof
22 of
22 1@ c! 1@ char+ 1!
endof
bad-"
endcase
false
then
until
0@ 1@ over - state? if

then
; can't OPEN: AAPL,ROM
ok

0 > see " boot "
: "
{0} `next-str dup 0! 1!
begin
22 parse tuck 0 ?do
i over + c@ 1@ i + c!
loop
drop 1@ + 1! getc 2! 2@ bl <= while/if
true
else
2@ case
28 of
begin
getc dup 2! 0= while/if
bad-"
then
2@ 29 <> while/if
2@ h#10 digit if
4 lshift getc h#10 digit 0= if
bad-"
then
or 1@ c! 1@ char+ 1!
else
drop
then
repeat
endof
22 of
22 1@ c! 1@ char+ 1!
endof
bad-"
endcase
false
then
until
0@ 1@ over - state? if

then
; can't OPEN: AAPL,ROM
ok

0 > FFF00300 load-base ok
2 > FFF00300 3000 dump
FFF00300: DEFAULT CATCH!, code=FFF00300 at %SRR0: FF80B508 %SRR1: 0000B070
ok
0 >

http://www.captainz.net/pex/commands_5-19.txt - this link fixes the tabs that are erased posting here.

__________________

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68K Mac Liberation Army

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PEx Manhattan Open Firmware Words and Public Beta

Thanks for looking up those words on your PEx Manhattan. I will compare them against Hawaii Cruiser's PEx and my Beige G3s.

When attempting to boot the Public Beta installation CD, the partition you need to direct Open Firmware to is partition 9. The boot-path should be like this.
boot scsi-ext/@3:9
This example directs Open Firmware to the external Mesh SCSI, device ID 3. Make sure it is connected to the external SCSI bus, not the internal.

Usually Open Firmware works well with the Apple 600i (4X) CD-ROM drive. When installing OS X onto my 5500, the stock 8X CD-ROM drive would not boot OS X, so I switched it with an Apple 4X drive and achieved success. Any boot troubles you experience with the built-in SCSI probably has to do with its Forth methods.

If you have a Mac ATA card or bootable SCSI card that might be useful since they have their own Forth methods which are known to work.

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Re: lalala

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Nope, there's no responsive prompt after the Default Catch. I have to restart at that point. I guess the Public Beta X isn't archived on the web anywhere?

I can probably get you the Public Beta, or maybe even Server 1.0, if you ned it.

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More things to try in Open Firmware

I have some things I would like to try for both Captain Z's PEx Manhattan and Hawaii Cruiser's PowerExpress. Since there are differences between the Open Firmware of the two machines, I will divide this posting in two for each one.

First, Captain Z's PEx Manhattan:

When trying to boot the Mac OS X Public Beta CD, make sure the Apple 4X SCSI CD-ROM drive is connected to the external "Mesh" SCSI bus. The other faster and newer SCSI bus (pci1/53c860@11) has only a few Forth words and I don't believe it is bootable from within Open Firmware. Therefore, set the 4X SCSI CD-ROM to ID 3 and type boot scsi-ext/@3:9

If you have an IDE CD-ROM drive, you should try both ATA buses. The drive should be set to Master and the two boot-paths would be:
boot ata0/@0:9
boot ata1/@0:9

If you have another Old World Mac, you could try installing OS X onto a SCSI or IDE hard drive and then connect it to your PEx Manhattan. If the drive has one main partition, then whatever the ID, always direct Open Firmware to partition 6.

Try copying all the code from the following file and pasting these new word definitions into the Open Firmware command prompt via ZTerm. Then type boot /AAPL,ROM. If the machine reboots, enter all those commands in again and then trying typing dev /AAPL,ROM load.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/cz-boot-words.txt
These word definitions make a few changes some of which to match Open Firmware 2.4.

If none of these things work, try copying this different NVRAM script and pasting it into the Open Firmware command prompt via ZTerm. Once the script is entered, type Control C and then type nvstore. Afterward, type reset-all to restart your PowerExpress.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/pex-nvram-2.txt
Once this is all entered, try booting the Mac OS ROM and OS X again to see if this makes any difference.

Second, Hawaii Cruiser's PowerExpress:

Try copying all the code from the following file and pasting these new word definitions into the Open Firmware command prompt via ZTerm.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/hc-boot-words.txt
Then type boot pci1/@e/@0:6
If that does work enter these word definitions again, but this time type boot /AAPL,ROM or dev /AAPL,ROM load.

If none of this works, try copying this different NVRAM script and pasting it into the Open Firmware command prompt via ZTerm. Once the script is entered, type Control C and then type nvstore. Afterward, type reset-all to restart your PowerExpress.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/pex-nvram-2.txt
Once this is all entered, try booting the Mac OS ROM and OS X again to see if this makes any difference.

If still none of this makes any difference, try setenv pci-probe-list FFFFFFFE
This should tell Open Firmware not to probe the VCI Bus or PCI Bus 2. This will simplify things for Open Firmware. Once you do this, try booting the Mac OS ROM again and Mac OS X.

Lastly, I posted an image of the rear of my 9600's case here:
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/index4.html

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0 > boot pci1/@e/@0:6 CLAIM failed

Hawaii Cruiser,

The "CLAIM failed" message you got on your PowerExpress after putting in the different NVRAM patches is actually better than the "Default catch FF000300" error you constantly were receiving.

On Beige G3s, when you are trying to boot OSX, often auto-boot? must be set to true or otherwise typing boot you will get the "CLAIM failed" message. Stopping at the Open Firmware command prompt on these machines for some reason prevents them from booting OS X.

Therefore try this:
setenv auto-boot? true
setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6
setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v
reset-all

This will set auto-boot to true and when your machine restarts, it will automatically try to boot OS X. If the screen does come on then it probably did not work. In that case restart holding down Apple + Option + O + F to stop at Open Firmware and then type setenv auto-boot? false

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PEx Manhattan Floppy Boot

Captain Z,

I believe I know how to get your PEx Manhattan to actually display something other than Open Firmware. First, if you haven't already, copy this NVRAM script and paste it into the Open Firmware command prompt via ZTerm.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/pex-nvram-2.txt

Once it is finished being entered, press Control C and then type nvstore. Next type reset-all to restart your PEx Manhattan. Then download this different version of BootX and unstuff it. Copy it to a PC formatted floppy disk.
http://www.geocities.com/powersurge9600/BOOTX-2.sit

After you have done this, insert the disk into the PEx Manhattan floppy drive and then type the following:
setenv boot-device fd:,\BOOTX
setenv boot-command 0 bootr

Be sure to have the floppy inserted and then type 0 bootr. If all goes as I believe it will, your PEx Manhattan will automatically begin loading the BOOTX file and will display the Mac OS X boot screen on the built-in video. At least it does on my G3 AIO.

** I edited this post to fix a mistake and to change some of the procedure. I discovered while testing on my G3 AIO that typing 0 bootr instead of boot will eliminate the "CLAIM failed" message at the Open Firmware command prompt. This means you should not have to set auto-boot? to true in order to load BOOTX successfully.

Additionally, if you connect a hard drive that has Mac OS X already installed, you can direct BOOTX to the mach_kernel such as this:
setenv boot-file ata0/@0:6,\mach_kernel (IDE Bus 1, Drive set to Master)
setenv boot-file ata1/@0:6,\mach_kernel (IDE Bus 2, Drive set to Master)
setenv boot-file scsi-ext/@0:6,\mach_kernel (External "Mesh" SCSI Bus, Drive set to ID 0)

This would work best if you use XPostFacto to install 10.2 or 10.3 onto another Old World Mac, and then connect that drive to your PEx Manhattan. Typing 0 bootr should tell Open Firmware to load BOOTX from the floppy drive and then BOOTX will load the Mac OS X kernel from the location you indicated in the boot-file setting.

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Re: Re: 0 > boot pci1/@e/@0:6 CLAIM failed

I'm doing some other stuff with my 8500, so I don't have the PEx setup right now. I'll try this latest suggestion tomorrow (Sunday) hopefully. The 50 million dollar question: why, if the screen does come on, does that mean it probably did not work?

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new pics

I added a few more pics of the motherboard to my image gallery, including closeups of the ROM chips.

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Re: 0 > boot pci1/@e/@0:6 CLAIM failed

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

The 50 million dollar question: why, if the screen does come on, does that mean it probably did not work?

If Mac OS X were actually being loaded, the screen connected to your ATI XClaim video card in slot A1 would come on almost immediately. BootX, which is the boot-loader that loads the Mac OS X kernel, initializes the screen connected to the first video card it finds. If the screen does not come on, you can bet it either has had a "Default catch" or "CLAIM failed" error.

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Re: new pics

Looking at the new pictures you posted, I entered the motherboard's serial number into TattleTech, which says it was manufactured on 3/12/97 in Singapore.

The serial number on the back of DigiBarn's PowerExpress indicates it was assembled on 9/17/97 in Elk Grove, CA. This is interesting because DigiBarn's PowerExpress is newer and yet it does not have the built-in video.

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you say deblocker, I say deblinker...=0

Did the "true" entry et voila:

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > setenv auto-boot? true ok
0 > setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6 ok
0 > setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v ok
0 > reset-all CLAIM failedCLAIM failedCLAIM failedCLAIM failedCLAIM failedCLAIM
failedCLAIM failedCan't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6DEFAULT CATCH!, code=FFFFFFF3 at %SRR0: FF80B6B8 %S
RR1: 00001070

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 >

The video did not come on, but as you can see it returns to the OF prompt after all the deblocker stuff (I did not restart to get back to the prompt, nor did the computer).

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Another NVRAM patch

I think we are making some progress. The last NVRAM patch seems to have made a difference. It came from Apple's System Disk control panel 3.3.1 and was intended for Gossamer Macs, but I made a few changes specific for your PowerExpress.

I have a few more ideas to try. First, stop at the Open Firmware command prompt and type the following:
dev pci1/@e/@0:6
" pci1/@e/@0:6" open-dev
init-deblocker
boot

If this does not get BootX finally loaded, copy this third NVRAM patch and paste it into the Open Firmware command prompt via ZTerm.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/pex-nvram-3.txt
Once this has been entered, perform the usual commands:
Control C
nvstore
setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6
reset-all

Once the machine is restarted, try typing boot. If that does not work, try this command again.
dev pci1/@e/@0:6
" pci1/@e/@0:6" open-dev
init-deblocker
boot

Lastly, if none of the above has worked try setting auto-boot? to true.
setenv autoboot? true

Yesterday, I emailed DigiBarn asking them questions about their PowerExpress such as does it boot the Mac OS? I also explained the current situation with several of the PowerExpress Macs people have on this forum. Hopefully they will respond to my questions.

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Any other PowerExpress owners out there? JT (Trash80toG4)?

So far, Hawaii Cruiser and Captain Z are the only two PowerExpress owners I know of who have gotten their PowerExpress Macs at least to Open Firmware. I know though, that there are other PowerExpress owners out there.

JT (Trash80toG4), have you tried stopping your PowerExpress at the Open Firmware command prompt? Since your machine makes a startup chime, it most likely will make it to Open Firmware. I would be interested in what version of Open Firmware your machine has, its Device Tree, device aliases, and environment settings. Enter these commands:

dev / ls
printenv
devalias
dump-device-tree

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Response from DigiBarn about their PowerExpress

I got a response from DigiBarn regarding their PowerExpress.

Quote:

According to the source who donated the system, who was a very senior Apple manager associated with the project, this system boots a special version of MacOS (7+?). He donated it given my assurance I would not reveal his name "under penalty of.. well, you know".
Let me see if I can get this machine booted. He did say this one was one of 50 complete units made and 49 of which went to the crusher, hence my interest in having it. The donor described it as an attempted "Avid killer".

Apparently, the PowerExpress model DigiBarn has would have been the final version. If this is true, then the built-in video was not going to be included.

DigiBarn said they would get back to me with more information about the system.

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Hmmm...

So there were 50 complete units and now there's only one. I wonder how many prototypes are still floating around and why didn't they also go to the "crusher?" Should I be trying to boot from an OS 7? I think I've got 7.5 and the Powercomputing version of 7.6.1.

Here's the NVRAM patch II results (another no go):

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > dev pci1/@e/@0:6 ok
0 > " pci1/@e/@0:6" open-dev ok
1 > init-deblocker ok
2 > boot CLAIM failed
ok
0 > set-defaults ok
0 > setenv auto-boot? false ok
0 > setenv use-nvramrc? true ok
0 > setenv load-base 600000 ok
0 > setenv diag-device ok
0 > setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v ok
0 > nvedit
ok
0 > nvstore ok
0 > setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6 ok
0 > reset-all no active packagecan't find devicedo-cmd, huh??

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > boot CLAIM failed
ok
0 > dev pci1/@e/@0:6 ok
0 > " pci1/@e/@0:6" open-dev ok
1 > init-deblocker ok
2 > boot CLAIM failed
ok
0 > setenv auto-boot? true ok
0 > setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6 ok
0 > setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v ok
0 > boot CLAIM failed

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A possible workaround for the "CLAIM failed" error

Hawaii Cruiser,

While thinking of possible ways you might finally get at least BootX loaded on your PowerExpress, I figured out how to get around the "CLAIM failed" error on Beige G3 systems when at the Open Firmware command prompt. Hopefully this will work for your PowerExpress too.

Stop your PowerExpress at the Open Firmware command prompt. If you haven't already, go ahead and set auto-boot? to false. Also, make sure the boot-device is pci1/@e/@0:6. Once you have done these things type the following at the Open Firmware prompt:

0 bootr (That's a zero, in case you are wondering.)

I am praying that this simple command will finally get things going. If unfortunately it does not, I have another idea to get BootX loaded on your PowerExpress. I have tested this on my systems and it works.

The Open Firmware on “Old World

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0 bootr

no active packagecan't find devicedo-cmd, huh??

Open Firmware 2.0a9
To continue booting the MacOS type:
BYE
To continue booting from the default boot device type:
BOOT
ok
0 > setenv auto-boot? false ok
0 > setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@0:6 ok
0 > setenv boot-command 0 bootr -v ok
0 > 0 bootr CLAIM failedCLAIM failedCLAIM failedCLAIM failedCLAIM failedCLAIM fa
iledCLAIM failedCan't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6Can't open deblocker package
can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6 can't OPEN: pci1/@e/@0:6DEFAULT CATCH!, code=FFFFFFF3
at %SRR0: FF80CB10 %SRR1: 0000B070
ok
0 >

I have Toast Lite 5.2 and a Sony CDRW and a Que CDRW.

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OMG! Hold everything...

I wanted to test some devices using the 9600 motherboard, so I took out the PEx and replaced the 9600 motherboard, and once I had everything setup, I suddenly noticed that the ATA 80 wire harddrive cable has tears right at the blue connector that goes into the Acard. The first four lines on the redline side and seven wires on the opposite side are torn! Please forgive me for not noticing this earlier. I should make a point of always using bright light to see what I'm doing when inside a computer, but usually I'm down below my desk, so the light's not usually so good. So after I finish what I need to do with the 9600, I'll try everything already tried with a new cable on the PEx. I was wondering if it might be a problem like this. Da*n D*mn *amn!!!

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Re: OMG! Hold everything...

That's alright. The problem with most SCSI or ATA ribbon cables is that the manufacturers do not include straps to safely pull the cable from the socket. When there is no strap, you have to pull on the cable itself, which after several times can tear the cable and break the connector.

In its systems, Apple almost always includes high quality SCSI and ATA cables that have straps.

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Loading BootX from an ISO-9660 CD-ROM

I noticed that your PowerExpress is outputting this message as soon as you enter Open Firmware.

Quote:

no active packagecan't find devicedo-cmd, huh??

I am not sure why it is doing this, but try re-applying the second NVRAM patch again to correct this problem.
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/pex-nvram-2.txt

I created a webpage for you showing how the ISO-9660 CD-ROM with BootX should be set up. I have Toast Titanium 5.2.3, so I am not sure how much your version differs from mine, but hopefully it is similar enough.

Here is the webpage:
http://www.geocities.com/pm9600g4/toast-iso9660-bootx.html

You will need to download the BootX file. This version of BootX comes from XPostFacto 3.1.
http://www.geocities.com/powersurge9600/BOOTX-2.sit

You will need to connect a CD-ROM drive to your PowerExpress. You could try connecting a CD-ROM drive to the Acard, the built-in IDE, or the external 50-pin SCSI. If one bus does not seem to work, try another.

Once you have a CD-ROM drive connected, enter Open Firmware. The boot-device will need to be the ISO-9660 CD-ROM with BootX. Here as some examples of possible boot-device paths.
setenv boot-device pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX (In this example, an IDE CD-ROM drive is connected to the Acard. It is on the second channel and is set to Master.)
setenv boot-device ata0/@0:,\BOOTX (In this example, an IDE CD-ROM drive is connected to the built-in IDE bus 1 and is set to Master.)
setenv boot-device ata1/@0:,\BOOTX (In this example, an IDE CD-ROM drive is connected to the built-in IDE bus 2 and is set to Master.)
setenv boot-device scsi-ext/@3:,\BOOTX (In this example, a SCSI CD-ROM drive is connected to the external SCSI bus and is set to ID 3.)

Once you have set your boot-device, next you need to set the boot-file. Enter this command.
setenv boot-file pci1/@e/@0:6,\mach_kernel

Type reset-all to restart your PowerExpress so that it is freshly started. Then type 0 bootr to hopefully boot OS X. If for some unknown reason it states “CLAIM failed

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retries with new cable 1

I put the PEx back in and connected the Acard with a new 80 wire cable.
I also removed the PRAM battery for about 10 minutes, hoping I could, that way, start again from square one, but when I turned on the PEx it opened OF by itself and it seems to be at the place where I left off, starting with "no active packagecan't find devicedo-cmd, huh??" before the usual prompt sequence. I started going through this thread to see what commands I could retry, but I still get the Claim failed. But here's something exciting: I hooked up the monitor to the onboard video port and tried the " vci0/@b" output and the monitor came on displaying the OF! Cool!
I checked my Toast Lite and it doesn't do the ISO thing.

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ISO-9660 Toast image

See if Toast Lite can burn this image I created of the ISO-9660 CD with BootX. Download and unstuff it.
http://www.geocities.com/powersurge9600/BOOTX.toast.sit

1. Open Toast Lite.
2. Click the Other button and select Disc Image.
3. Then click the Select button and choose the BOOTX.toast image.
4. If it is able to open the image, then burn it to a CD-RW or CD-R.

Remember most CD-ROM drives less than 24X cannot read CD-RW discs. If you try to connect an older SCSI CD-ROM drive to your PowerExpress, you will likely need to burn this CD image to a CD-R disc.

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Unfortunately, there's no "ot

Unfortunately, there's no "other" button in Toast Lite. It's just a button that brings up an ad for Titanium and a link to buying it.

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a question

So, since at this point we have abandoned the attempt to boot into the Apple ROM, does that mean it is unlikely that this motherboard will ever boot into OS 9?

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Re: a question

I haven't totally given up hope that your PowerExpress may actually boot the Mac OS ROM, but it seems to me getting OS X running is more plausible. With both your PowerExpress and Captain Z's PEx Manhattan, attempting to boot the Mac OS ROM causes the system to immediately restart. I am not at all sure why it does this. Perhaps the Mac OS ROM on both machines is incomplete. Both your and Captain Z's PowerExpress have development versions of Open Firmware which seem to be buggy. It is a possibility that these machines were intended for Open Firmware debugging purposes. If your machine was fully functional, we would have had OS X running by now instead of so many "Default Catch" and "CLAIM failed" errors.

I know OS X originally had support for PowerExpress Macs and that Ryan Remple has included the necessary kernel extensions in XPostFacto. All we need is to get BootX loaded from a disk, which will then load the Mac OS X Kernel. If we can get OS X running, then at least you could run OS 9 in the Classic Environment or with a program called SheepShaver.

I would be more excited to have OS X running than OS 9, since it is superior in many ways. Also, since OS X's kernel is open source, overcoming possible problems with your PowerExpress would be easier than overcoming problems in OS 9.

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First Boot BOOTX

Well, I created the CD with BOOTX and put it in my Hitachi DVD drive attached to the second channel of the Acard and followed the setenv command directions above, did reset-all and after the restart and prompt typed 0 bootr. After about ten seconds I hear the DVD drive engage and then the monitor hooked up to the PEx ATI card comes on with the OS X apple (see my image gallery: First Boot BOOTX 5_31_05). Then the OF finishes.

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 loading XCOFF
tsize=1E000 dsize=3000 bsize=39000 entry=561DEF8
SECTIONS:
.text 05600000 05600000 0001E000 000000D4
.data 0561E000 0561E000 00003000 0001E0D4
.bss 05621000 05621000 00039000 00000000
loading .text, done..
loading .data, done..
clearing .bss, done..

At the end of this OF readout, the monitor image gets corrupted with the large bands across the front (see my image gallery: Green BOOTX and Ham). Then that's it, it locks there at that point. A good start, I hope.

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setenv

One thing I was wondering about is, the device on the second channel of the Acard is pci1/@e/@2:, and the device on the first channel is pci1/@e/@0:6. I would naturally think that the first channel device would rather be pci1/@e/@1, or am I misconstruing the meaning of the last number?

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Cool!

Wow - if you're getting the grey Apple and getting to open firmware, and not getting all those previous error messages, that's progress indeed. Perhaps powersurge9600 will have ideas for getting you the rest of the way there.

Matt

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Excellent!

I am very pleased that BootX finally loaded. The next thing you should do is hold down Apple + V immediately after you type 0 bootr. Doing so will tell BootX to be verbose. It will tell you every step it completes and display any errors it encounters. Please write down what text is displayed or take a picture of the screen so I will know what is the error.

Quote:

One thing I was wondering about is, the device on the second channel of the Acard is pci1/@e/@2:, and the device on the first channel is pci1/@e/@0:6. I would naturally think that the first channel device would rather be pci1/@e/@1, or am I misconstruing the meaning of the last number?

The boot-device pci1/@e/@2:,\BOOTX directs Open Firmware to the location of BootX. The boot-file pci1/@e/@0:6,\mach_kernel directs BootX to the location of the Mac OS X kernel. The numbers @2 and @0 are the drive IDs and do not refer specifically to Channel 1 or Channel 2 on the Acard.

A drive that is set to Master and connected to Channel 1 will be ID 0.
A drive that is set to Slave and connected to Channel 1 will be ID 1.
A drive that is set to Master and connected to Channel 2 will be ID 2.
A drive that is set to Slave and connected to Channel 2 will be ID 3.

The fact that you are first booting from drive ID 2 and then from drive ID 0, partition 6 does not matter. These numbers are nothing more than drive IDs and do not have to go in numeric order. The boot-file does not even have to come from a drive connected to the Acard. It could come from a drive connected to the built-in IDE or external SCSI.

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command+v

I tried the command+v after the 0 bootr, but nothing new happens. I wasn't sure if you meant to do that on the 8500 keyboard or the PEx keyboard, so I tried both and nothing new. The video bars still come across the BOOTX and it looks like it hangs there.

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Re: command+v

For now, try using Open Firmware in single machine mode. Enter these commands:

setenv input-device kbd
setenv output-device pci1/@d
reset-all

Now when your PowerExpress starts up, it will display Open Firmware to the screen attached to the ATI Xclaim video card. The input-device will be the keyboard attached to the PowerExpress. Once this is done, type 0 bootr and immediately afterward hold down command + v. BootX should display text informing you what it is doing each step of the way.

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BOOTX via PEx keyboard

Nope, no difference. Did the changes above, and the command+v after 0 bootr. No extra readouts. Just does the same as before except all on the PEx monitor.

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Re: BOOTX via PEx keyboard

That is unusual. Make sure you hold down command+v the entire time BootX is loading. Don't let go until the machine gets as far as it can.

That version of BootX is from XPostFacto 3.1. Ryan Remple made it extra verbose so that when command+v is held down it will display everything it is doing.

How soon after displaying the Apple logo does the screen get corrupted? Does it display the sprocket animation? Is there any indication that the hard drive containing OS X is being accessed? Having a LED connected to the header on the Acard is useful for determining disk activity.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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DigiBarn PowerExpress

I believe it is a G3 for several reasons. First, the processor card is different from both the regular Apple 604e card and the Mach 5 version, both of which I have. Secondly, several years ago an anonymous contributor sent to AppleFritter pictures of a PowerExpress along with information about it. That person said the PowerExpress was going to have three configurations. One would be a single 350MHz 604e, another would be a dual 350MHz 604e, and the third configuration would be a 275MHz G3. Therefore, DigiBarn's PowerExpress likely has the 275MHz G3 configuration. Also, the fact that the processor card says on it "Motorola Engineering Sample" would indicate that this processor card is not the same one Apple was already shipping in Power Mac 9600s at the time. In September of 1997, the PowerPC 750 was a brand new chip and is likely why that processor card was made specifically by Motorola.

That isn't a cache card, it is a ROM card. Notice on the lower-left corner of this picture here that the slot is labelled "ROM". These motherboards have no provisions for a cache card. This ROM card probably contains the Mac OS Toolbox, which is needed to load the classic Mac OS.

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Very Cool!

Wow! I'm salivating over that ROM card!

If that's a G3 processor, would it need a special system extension to enable it, or would that function be built into the ROM? Also, is the .5GB of RAM 3.3V? Very strange that it's got all the onboard VRAM and video chipsets and no monitor port. I believe it was mentioned earlier that this is one of the 50 production models, and the only one that survived, but the missing monitor port would suggest it's still a prototype, wouldn't it?

That ROM card is the most valuable piece of hardware in the PEx universe, if it actually belongs there. It's the only known example in existence.

I wonder why someone bothered to mount a harddrive on the bottom of the case?

I do have a Mach 5 350mhz CPU which I tried early on. I can't remember, I think I may have gotten the chime with it installed.

Sorry for my last long diversion about my B&W troubles. The B&W motherboard did come back to life a couple of days later as if nothing had gone wrong at all. I suspected it would. Motherboards are so funny that way. But I'm still using my 9600 and enjoying it and using the B&W somewhere else. I've been keeping my eye out for a local 9600 or 8600 case in order to resurrect the great adventure, but nothing has turned up yet. One will turn up sooner or later. If we do continue on, we should probably create a PowerExpress Revisited Part II thread. This ones getting pretty long.

Are these DigiBarn people Mac specialists?

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Re: Very Cool!

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

If that's a G3 processor, would it need a special system extension to enable it, or would that function be built into the ROM?

That function would probably be built into the ROM. The original (Kanga) PowerBook G3s were able to run 7.6 and IIRC they didn't need any special system extension for the G3.

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G3, I'd guess

I would guess it's a G3 CPU rather than a 604e. The reasion I say this is that the clockspeed is 275MHz. At the time, the Mach 5 604e's were clocked at 250, 300 and 350MHz, while the first G3's were arriving clocked at 275MHz - remember those never-released PCC and Motorola clone prototype G3 machines? They were both running at 275MHz.

Now, Apple could have simply chosen an intermediate clock multiplier for PEx, running at Mach 5 604e at the in-between speed of 275MHz. But it seems more likely given the above facts that it's indeed a G3 in that Digibarn prototype - with a 604e-style and sized heatsink.

Matt

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VCI

In case it hasnt already been mentioned, VCI is a simple spin of PCI, and means Video Component Interface.

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VCI

Wow, nice to see people are still interested in my old thread here.

So does anyone know if any other computers had VCI slots and if there were any VCI cards ever produced and marketed? Doesn't sound like it. Sounds like it was an idea canned along with the PowerExpress.

In case anyone's curious, I picked up a PM 8600 months ago, but the house is a mess, and I've not mustered the time and energy to rig up the PowerExpress again yet. The motherboard is sitting safely and snugly in a box on the shelf awaiting that day. I've been watching the OS X Beta auctions and hope I can snatch one up cheaply before that.

I wonder what ever happened to DigiBarn's attempts at a boot on their machine? Seemed like a sure thing waiting to happen. He just needed a later OS or something like that.

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Definitely

Macs with PowerPC Processors wont accept an OS earlier than 7.5, and by the age and year
of the Digibarn PEx I would say it needs OS 8 at least.

Anyway, I find this thread very interesting, shame AF let it die out at this point. Just as it
started getting good too.

Anyway, i'm looking for an image of the old PEx rom (it's here somewhere), if I do find it,
i'll run it in to SheepShaver and boot OS 8 on it. I know it can be done, someone managed
to get it to work once.

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Not True...

The first generation Power Macs (6100, 7100, 8100) shipped with system 7.1.2.

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Ah.

Well, the PEx wouldnt be able to run 7.1.1 anyway. It ceased support with some PPC
models.

jt
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I'm still interested too . . .

. . . I just haven't had time to look up some old info. A couple of years ago, an engineer at one of the G4 accelerator manufacturers gave me a 90% probability of getting my board up and running using a specific card/adapter combo. This estimate was based upon my success in getting the boot chimes to sound consistently in one of my test configurations. Considering the 30 day money back gurantee, it still sounds like a good avenue to pursue, when I have the extra $ to throw at the project just in case it actually does work!

My guess at the reason for his optimism is that ROM on the accelerator would instruct the CPU to poll the I/O bus for system software A/O accelerator drivers immediately after the startup test was passed. I'm hoping that my PEx board isn't hanging at too low a level in the boot process for an accelerator to give it a kick in the pants.

Whatcha think of that notion, gang?

jt/Trash80toG-4

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Accelleration...

The fact the PEx is chiming probably tells that it has the power to access the processor.
Dropping an upgrade card in there will likely do it some good, especially if it has On Card
ROMS.

I say, when I find the cash, go for it. 90% probably aren't bad odds.

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OS X Beta or ...

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?

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What does works natively with

What does works natively with old world macs mean? Does 10.1 add support for anything pre-G3?

I was thinking about waxing up the old PEX board and taking it out for a session again (but I've thought that before, so...). I've got some ideas about what went wrong with the attempts at booting before. I screwed up the ROM on the Acard somehow, so I'm hoping to try a boot through the onboard SCSI instead. I've got a copy of OSX Beta which has a PEX kext file, but I think the Beta may be too problematic. If you could get a copy of that CD to me, it would be much appreciated. Personal message me and we can discuss compensation. My zip code is 96822.

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Dont Remember Specifics...

but I had a ... God, what was it, 7200? 7600? Running OS X, via XPostFacto. So, it's in there somewhere, but I don't think that is going to help much where you're at right now.

Maybe once/if you can get into and/or play in Open Firmware? Then you can issue the commands XPostFacto would have in order to get the disc booting.

(The Setup Assistant was quite the pain to get through/around at 640x480, couldnt move it much at all, couldnt tab thru buttons, couldnt use a Windows Alt+O of course... I think I might have force quit it and just gone from there.)

-- Macinjosh

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Re: PEx Manhattan Open Firmware Words and Public Beta

powersurge9600 wrote:

When attempting to boot the Public Beta installation CD, the partition you need to direct Open Firmware to is partition 9. The boot-path should be like this.
boot scsi-ext/@3:9

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?