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Just Updated 11/2/2002

OS9 Helper on my 6400!: Since so many readers had great success with OS9 Helper I decided to try it myself :) I didn't follow my own suggestions by installing while booted to a CD or installing to a backup partition but instead I just installed it right on top of my currently running OS. Needless to say the install went perfectly! I am now running OS 9.2.2 on my 6400 with the Vimage G3 320/1M card just fine :)

To install, all I did was download OS 9.2.1 and OS 9.2.2 .smi files to my desktop. Then while booted to OS 9.1 I ran OS9 Helper and told it to install OS 9.2.1. It then hacked the installer and started it up. After the install completed and I rebooted to now OS 9.2.1, I then ran OS9 Helper again and told it to install OS 9.2.2. It hacked the installer again and then installed OS 9.2.2. After I rebooted I was now happily in OS 9.2.2 :) no issues at all. No PRAM zapping needed and the Vimage card works fine. One thing I should note is that my 6400 had a fresh install of OS 9.1 and Vimages drivers as I wiped the drive clean awhile ago. So its possible that third party apps have caused the slight hiccups that other owners have had while trying to install OS 9.2.2?

One thing no one mentioned to me was that the Mac bootup splash screen now has a little blurb about you running OS 9.2.2 OldWord Support in the lower right corner of the Mac image. That way you know how that OS was installed :)

Caution upgrading to OS 9.2.2 if you depend on a lot of older apps!: Walter sent me his experience with OS 9.2.2. Basically the install went very smooth but he found some older apps that just don't work anymore :( Thanks for the info Walter. In general, this should be a concern with any OS upgrade.


I meant to email you earlier about this, but have been so busy I haven't had a chance. I did try the Mac OS 9 Helper and, in fact, was successful on both the 6400s I tried it on. I brought both up to 9.2.2. I ran into a show stopper, though.

But, first things first. The installs were both as smooth as butter. Before installing, I updated my Retrospect backups of the System Folders, just to be safe. It turned out to be a wise move.

I noticed the bootup process took a tad longer after 9.2.2 was in place, but it proceeded without incident on both machines. I then proceeded to test all the various software applications I normally run. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until I hit Mac Write Pro. Now, understand that I also use Office 98, and most of my newer documents are done in Word 98, but I have thousands of documents in MacWrite Pro format, some of which do not easily translate over to Word 98 using MacLinkPlus. I had the same problem on both machines on which 9.2.2 was installed.

I tried everything I could think of, including a complete reinstall of MacWrite Pro, removing some of its components, especially the XTND things, experimented with the AddIt stuff, etc. Nothing helped. For some reason, 9.2.2 (and I presume 9.2.1) running on the 6400s breaks MacWrite Pro. For me, that was the show stopper. After restoring the old 9.1 system on one of the machines, updating the HD drivers with the older drivers, and rebooting, all was back to normal, with the single exception that bootup takes more time...specifically, once the desktop appears, the wait is longer before all drives are mounted. Aside from that, I'm back to normal.

However, one of the installs of 9.2.2 was on an external drive, and I have kept that intact. When running 9.2.2, the 6400s seemed to have a slightly more snappy feel to them, but I'm not sure if that was real, or just my wishful thinking. I did not run any benchmarks. My hunch is that MacWrite Pro wasn't the only application that might have been broken; it was just the one I ran into first.

No problems with Retrospect Desktop 4.3, FileMaker Pro 4.0v3, Conflict Catcher 9, Toast 5.x, Quicken 2002 Deluxe, Office 98, Hermes II (my bbs application), MacKennel (my fidonet mailer), BBEdit, Netscape 4.7.x or 7.x, Internet Explorer 5, Fetch 3.0.3, AOL, Keep It Up Classic 2.5, Quit It, DataComet, GroupWise, OffHook, Sonnet Crescendo 1.4.7 extension (or any other extensions I have on my system), MacLinkPlus Deluxe, Norton SystemWorks, DiskWarrior, etc. ClarisWorks 4.0 worked fine, too, but no, it isn't a good substitute for the more feature-laden MacWrite Pro, at least for me.

So, while it was definitely a thrill to try out OS 9 Helper, and I was amazed at how smoothly it worked, I'm back to 9.1 until or unless I can figure out a way to make MacWrite Pro work under 9.2.2. The primary machine I tested is a 6400 with L2 G3 300/1MB Crescendo card, xclaim 3D+ video acceleration, comm slot II ethernet (Farallon), 136 MB RAM, 120GB 7200 RPM WD IDE HD, 6.4 GB 5400 RPM SCSI, stock CD -ROM drive, etc.

It would be great to have a compatibility list for applications that do and don't seem to work on the 6400 under 9.2.2. If I could find a way to make MacWrite Pro work, I'd probably switch back!


Alpus 3000 OSX install success story!: Nils wrote to say that he was able to install OSX on his Apus 3000 (6500 clone) with great success using the Alchemy hacked XPostFacto I have on my site. Thanks for the info Nils!

[Dear Thomas,
you might be interested to hear that I was successful in installing OS X (10.1.5) on my machine with the help of the patched XPostFacto-Version posted on your great site! With copying the Install CD to a separate partition on my IDE hard disk (as described on your site as well), disconnecting all SCSI-devices and pulling out my USB-card and using a modified version of XPostFacto (available at it worked like a charm.
Both my 32x Nec CD drive and my CDRW Philips as well as my SCSI-drive, my USB-mouse and my modem are recognized and are working! The performance is actually better than I would have thought, not much slower than under MacOS 9.1. It is so good that I am seriously thinking of switching permanently to OS X.

The only things that are not working at the moment are my SCSI-Scanner and my old Stylewriter II printer.

My configuration:
Apus 3000 with G3 300 Mhz Zif upgrade with 1 MB backside cache (which
makes a huge difference!)
144 MB RAM
MP 750 grafic card by Village tronic
14 GB IBM-IDE drive.
No name USB card
4 GB SCSI IBM drive


He later wrote that he started with OSX 10.0 and then used XPostFacto again to upgrade to 10.1. From here he just used the software update feature in OSX to upgrade to 10.1.5.

It seems that the 6500 and 6500 clones are working better and better with OSX now. One thing I should note is that only clones with G3 upgrades that are not L2 slot based can have the G3 used under OSX. Also you must have a G3 upgrade install for OSX 10.2 to run at the moment. Apple removed support for non-G3 based Macs in OSX 10.2 :( So this means that the 6400 and 6500 cannot run 10.2 at the moment!

Samy, who was able to get OSX installed on his 6500, tried the hacked version of XPostFacto without success. Below is his info. Thanks Samy.

[Hi, it's me again Samy,
As you propose I tried the David patched xpostfacto_Alchemy utility in my 6500 /250 mhz with G3/L2 300 mhz sonnet processor upgrade card.

I let the default setting and I restarted the computer. This time I didn't get a blank screen but the machine refused to boot into Mac OS X, instead she went back to Mac OS 9 (the system from where I started). So I changed the setting to autoboot? : false; input: keyboard; output: my onboard ATI card (ATY 26...) then I pressed the install button When I got the open firmware (OF) prompt I typed "boot" then "return", appears on the screen the following message:


I ignored it and tried "boot" again, I get from OF a "CLAIM failed" response, I repeated the same command, I got the same message and so's obvious, xpostfacto fail this time to install Mac OS X and using either X.1 or X.2 doesn't change anything.

It's very important to note here that the result described above is not specific to the patched Xpostfacto_Alchemy but Xpostfacto 2.2 and Xpostfacto 2.2.3 when I tried them lead to the same issue whatever the media I booted from (hardrive or CDROM drive).

Until now and regarding my computer it seems that only ver 2.2b9 of Xpostfacto succeed in booting and installing Mac OS X. If I use other version of Xpostfacto I will run always into trouble, so I recommend 6xxx users specially if they are going to install Mac OS X for the first time, XPOSTFACTO 2.2b9.

Best regards.

My OSX install attempt on a 6400: Well, not to be left out of all this fun, I decided it was time to try again on my 6400 :) I got much further then I did the first time but I am still unable to fully boot into OSX and install it. I did most of my testing with the Alchemy Hacked version of XPF as that actually got me further then the 2.2b9 version did contrary to what Samy found? Samy later informed me that the versions of XPF 2.2 and later fix an issue with the older verions that required old world Macs to have the onboard video active or the install would fail. This means placing a monitor or a monitor adaptor on the stock video out to fix it. The Alchemy Hacked version I have posted is 2.2.2 so this should not be an issue anymore?

The 6400 in use was stock except for having 88MB of RAM and my Vimage G3 card installed. The HD had only OS 9.2.2 and the Vimage drivers installed.

The first thing I did was to install my old Micropolis 2G SCSI HD to try and install OSX to that straight from the OSX 10.1 install CD using XPF. In XPF I set autoboot to false and input to keyboard and output to monitor. I then told XPF to boot from the install CDROM and install to the SCSI HD. Upon reboot it dumped me into open firmware and I typed "boot". Then nothing happened? It seemed to lock up so I rebooted. It went to OF again and I typed "boot" but this time it gave me the "claim fail" error. I then got this error over and over no matter how many times I rebooted so I zapped the PRAM and it booted back to OS9. OK so SCSI is still not able to install OSX on a 6400 yet.

I moved my entire IDE drive contents to the SCSI drive and rebooted to that drive. I then wiped the IDE drive and partitioned it to one 700MB partition and the rest into roughly 1.3Gigs. (it was the stock 2.4G HD). Now following Samy's instructions, I used Apple Software Restore to copy OSX 10.1 installer CD to the 700MB partition. I then used the hacked XPF to boot from the 700MB partition and install to the 1.3G partition with the same settings as before (autoboot=false, input=keyboard, output=monitor). This time it actually got past the OF prompt after typing "boot" so OF really has a bug with booting to SCSI drives with non Mac systems on the 6400. It went so far and then just stopped while the gray screen with the gray Apple was still showing. It never got to the blue screen where the installer app is actually launching.

I then rebooted and held the "Apple" key and "V" key to boot into verbose mode. This shows you all the text that is normally displayed to the screen by unix that Apple is hiding. I found that the startup was hanging after a long cycle of "bytes transferred" was displayed? I also saw many other errors like Apple Mac IO Self Test Failed and Mesh Chip Not Responding. Samy told me that these errors are also seen on his 6500 so they are not an issue I guess. But why was the startup stopping after these bytes transferred lines where displayed? Samy suggested that it may be my video card or lack there of. OSX uses a lot of VRAM and uses ATI and Nvidia graphics chips. The 6500 has the really old ATI Rage II but the 6400 has nothing! So I tried to get an ATI PCI card. I was able to barrow an ATI Radeon 7000 card :) So lets try again.

With the ATI Radeon 7000 installed I re-set the XPF settings to autoboot=false, input=keyboard, and output=ATI. There was some other info after ATI but I don't remember what it was but there where actually 2 choices for ATI? Both identically named except one had an "A" and one had a "B" at the end of the name. I chose the "A" version. I made sure the boot drive was selected to the 700MB partition and the install drive was selected to the 1.3Gig partition and I then selected install again.

After typing "boot" in OF I pressed the Apple-V keys again to get into verbose mode. Now the bootup made it past the bytes transferred but didn't get much further and now I get "the installer quit with a type 1 error. Hit return to restart the system" :( This error was preceded with "Root Power Domain Receiving Initial Pref" and several "KCGErrorFailure: CGSServer Connection Cannot Connect to Server" errors. This is where I am stuck now. Still not to the blue screen but very close. Samy thinks its still a video card issue since the Radeon 7000 is not supported until OSX 10.1.5 and I am trying to install from an OSX 10.1 disk. He does see the bytes transferred during his bootup but did not see the Root Power Domain and KCG items. He did note that about this time the blue screen kicks in meaning the installer app is launching so I am very close!

I either need to get an older ATI card or I can try to extract the ATI drivers from my OSX 10.2.1 installs and put them in the system folder of the ASR restored partition. Anyone else have any suggestions? Please email me if you do. Thanks.

I wanted to note that I can leave autoboot to true so there would be no need to boot to OF and type "boot" every single time but this way makes it easier to get back into OS9 without a PRAM ZAP. But you must make input=keyboard and output=your video card or it may not work at all. I no longer had any issues with starting the OSX bootup as long as no SCSI drive was involved. If I tried to boot from or install to a SCSI drive, I got the claim failed errors. The drives may work once OSX is installed, but you just can't boot to or install to them.

ATI Radeon 7000 and Vimage G3 don't work together: Well I couldn't resist since I had the card for testing OSX. I tried it with the Vimage G3 enabled and after the soft reboot Vimges drivers force, I had no image and the monitor appeard to go to sleep? It was hung and I had to reboot with extensions disabled. Oh well, it was worth a try :)

Remove Sonnet G3 card when installing new IDE hard drives?: I don't know how serious this issue is but Ben has found that with his Sonnet G3 card installed, he was unable see his new HD to be able to initialize it and use it. Thanks for the info Ben.

[I really enjoy your site. Keep up the good work. I made use of the take apart manual to install a larger IDE hard drive in place of the existing drive. The instructions were very helpful, and the job went off almost without a hitch. I did have one problem though. I will warn others with a Sonnet G3 card that the hard drive won't mount correctly unless you remove the Sonnet card prior to installing the drive, format the drive, and install the Sonnet drivers. Reinstall the Sonnet card after you've done this, and the drive will mount. It took me awhile to figure out that this was the problem and that the drive was fine.


Like I said, I don't know how serious this problem is as I have not heard of this issue before. But, I have heard from 6400/6500 owners having trouble installing a new IDE HD where it just would not show up on the desktop so you could not use it. I have no idea if these where related to having a G3 card installed but this is good tip to remember when its time to upgrade that HD.

Another solution to fix Enternet DSL issues. Using a router: I had noted on a previous update that a DSL user had issues with the Opentransport software I have posted because it interfered with his Enternet software. Reinstalling the Enternet software fixed it for him but VRic has a more permanent solution that is good for any cable/DSL user. Thanks VRic.

[I suggest you advise your reader with software ADSL problems to consider hardware solutions if he can afford it.

I too had major problems using Enternet on my 6400/Sonnet G3 (would freeze at any unexpected connection drop, which would be often since France Telecom's entry ADSL subscription cuts the connection every 24h).

Since I also hated the idea that Enternet modified some system files, I soon looked for an alternative.

Updated (but not free) versions of Enternet seemed to improve things, but nothing near what I finally did:

- for some time I hacked my ADSL modem (Alcatel SpeedTouch Home -- technically identical to the "Pro" version) to activate it's pro features (including PPPOE, PPTP, DHCP client AND server, DNS, NAT, firewall) in the modem itself, which would then act as a router: no more connection matters on the Mac at all, so no more problems

- when I came to need a shared connection, I bought a hardware ADSL router+swith (Asante FriendlyNet 3004, which I highly recommend since it is VERY easy to set up for newbies, unlike some competing products). This allows for the use of a normal unmodified ADLS modem (Ethernet, not USB, nobody should accept a USB ADSL modem anyways), and handles any connection matters in hardware, and more (router, 5 port switch, firewall, etc.)

From then on I've strongly advised anyone using ADSL to consider the hardware approach (even under Mac OS X which doesn't need Enternet).

Not only does a hardware solutions make any software problem impossible (since there is no software: no need for Enternet, just network settings in the TCP/IP control panel), but it also suppresses connection latency, as the connection is always up wether the macs are running or not (the router handles reconnections when the line drops), so the user never waits for network negotiation, unlike when using Enternet, which would negotiate connections slower than my Sagem ISDN pod (up in 4 seconds using Sagem ISDN PPP).

And if rock-solid stability, time gains and peace of mind aren't enough, there's even more benefits as it lets you connect ANY computer with an ethernet port to the Internet with almost no setup nor reboot, be it supported by the ISP or not, regardless to it's OS or age (all that is needed is a TCP/IP implementation, which qualifies almost anything -- I didn't try Macs from before 1989 and system 7.5, but there's no reason older shouldn't work). - FriendlyNET FR3004FLC Internet Router with Firewall


Basically this is good info for any user that needs special software for an internet connection with Cable or DSL services. The software is basically used for what is called PPPoE which means PPP over Ethernet. This allows for authenticating the user on the ISP's network. By doing PPPoE in hardware via a router, you get rid of the need for special software and no longer have to worry about that when doing any OS upgrades. Also for those with multiple computers, a router can allow all of them to share one IP address which can save you money :)

Fix for issues opening images downloaded via AOL: Art has been in contact with me trying to fix an issue with opening downloaded images via AOL. No other app was able to open these images. Not even Photoshop. It turns out that the fix was quite simple but not obvious. Read on to find out how. Thanks for the info Art.

[Hi Tom....well, I finally found out what was preventing Photoshop from opening Photos downloaded from the "Net". Under the AOL (Web) preferences, there is a selection block that states "use compressed images" (pages load faster when on)....I turned that "off", and Photoshop now opens everything without any connection or reference to the AOL Browser....There's one for the books! Thanks for all the suggestions......Art]

When I first read that I thought it was kind of strange that this setting would affect other apps. I had figured you could still open the file but it would not look as good as it could have been since it was compressed by AOL to save load time while browsing. Perhaps AOL uses a proprietary compression that Photoshop has no knowledge of and that is why it could not open these images?

Some HP Printers do work on USB PCI cards: Awhile ago a visitor wrote to say that their HP printer was not working with a USB card in a 6400. HP told them that they do not support their printers on USB cards. Ben just wrote saying his HP printer works fine with a USB card so I guess your mileage may vary. Thanks Ben.

[A lady wrote and reported that HP printers will not work with PCI USB cards. This is simply incorrect. I use my HP Deskjet 920C printer with my Keyspan USB card with no problems. I have not had a single issue with this configuration on any Mac OS through 9.2.2. There might be issues with OS X, but I have no way of knowing that.


Audio stuttering fixed by using a USB audio out device!: Luc just wrote to say that his audio stuttering problems have been fixed by using the audio output from his iMic. Thanks for the info Luc.

I've just bought an imic for my G4/osX and I had the good idea to try it on my old 6400 running G3/400 sonnet card, keyspan usb card, picasso 540 pci card and ethernet comslot II card. My audio issues disappeared completely using the imic audio out instead of built in.
I can move my windows, scroll, do anything, no more problem ! The imic is quite good in audio out, I haven't tried audio in yet. It is quite inexpensive too and it is a good way to solve this "CENSORED" audio issue ! and to have audio in my G4 too :))
I hope this will be useful for others...
Bye ! thanks for your site !]

I asked him if he had to switch the audio out in the Sound control panel or if it did that automatically. Here is his reply.

[We have to switch in the sound control panel.i have choice. For my in and out devices. No drivers required but if I remove the apple audio extension, the imic is not recognized by the system.

I hope this will help others, I'll have to test audio in to be sure. With imic no more problem with itunes and other audio apps, whatever we do. But we have to test imic with other video cards to be sure.

Bye ! if I can help you, mail me I will be pleased to answer.]

Please email me if you try this yourself. Thanks.

Ethernet card page added: Jeff wrote to tell me about his success in using a D-Link ethernet card in his 6400 and also suggested I start an ethernet card page. So click here to see my new ethernet card page :) Thanks Jeff! I also moved my Farallon card info to this page.

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CD containing The 6400 Zone plus past history for sale 9/3/1999

I was wondering if anyone would be interested in purchasing a CD with my entire up-to-date site as well as my 6400 Take Apart Manual? Plus, many of the past Just Updates included! I think this would be a great idea for anyone who hasn't been able to keep up or never saw my site until recently. Also for those of you with Sherlock, the CD is even better cause you can tell Sherlock to index the CD and then you can do a search on any topic, and if I ever talked about it, you'll find it! I have info as far back as mid 1997. I'm asking $10 US which includes shipping, and I will even include a few surprises! To make this offer even juicier I can add some download that you've been trying to get but just couldn't for some reason. Lets put my cable modem to work :) I will accept money orders and personal checks but I won't mail out the CD till it clears. I can now accept credit cards through PayPal as well!, books and more 7/2/98

I found a great way to earn some money while getting great deals to you on Macintosh books and software plus they have all kinds of other books, music, and more. Please click on the link on the top of this page whenever you feel like purchasing something to help sponsor this site. If you're unsure of what you want and wish to get a list of Mac related items, just type Macintosh in the search field on their home page and you will be presented with many choices to select.

The 6400 Zone is created to help you gain access to useful software updates and great shareware programs that add functionality to your system. It is also a one stop road map to other informative sites for answering your questions. Most of the info here is geared towards the 6400, but it is useful for all PCI Performa models and even the 6500 and all-in-one Macs based on the same. It's even useful to other Mac systems. I will be referring to my 6400/200 clocked to 220Mhz as just 6400/220, OK.

I will keep it updated as often as I can but I don't have much free time to work on it, so I suggest you check back at least once every other week. That should be sufficient. If you don't see something you would like to see here or have your own software / web site that would benefit the Mac community, please write to me at and I will check it out.

I use a Performa 6400/Vimage G3/320 OS 9.1, two B&W G4/500's OS 10.2.1 Server, iBook Dual USB OS 9.2.2 / OSX 10.2.1, PM 6100 G3/240 OS 9.1, Dual G4 800 OS 9.2.2/OSX 10.2.1, and a PowerBook DUO 270c OS 7.5.5. If I encounter any problems, I will post them for all to read and respond to. Likewise, if you are having any problems and would like help just email me and if I can answer it I will, or I will post it here for others to read and respond to.

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This page last updated 11/2/2002

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