PowerExpress Revisited

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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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 :-).

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 >

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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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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 >

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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!

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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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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