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Just Updated 11/20/2002

Mac OSX on a PowerTower Pro: I know the PowerTower Pro is based on an 8500 or 9500 and not the 6400/6500 but I thought Craigs install info may be helpful for some. Thanks Craig.

[Dear Thomas,
I am a regular reader of your great site, and have been helped immensely by the great tips I find therein. I recently used your recommendations to upgrade my PowerTower Pro 225 to OS 9.2.2 using OS9Helper. Worked like a charm!

Since I have seen lots of activity around installing OS X with XPostFacto, I thought I would share my experience on the PowerTower Pro 225 in case it helps one or more of your readers.

I used XPostFacto 2.2.4, Intech's Hard Disk Speed Tools, the OS X 10.0 install CD, and the OS X 10.1 upgrade CD. The most critical thing is that you can't have any hardware that OS X does not recognize as being pure Apple. This presented problems because my PowerTower could not be updated with Apple's HD Drivers and I have a non-standard CDROM.

I solved the HD problem by updating my HD drivers using the Intech's HD Speed Tools (these are apparently similar enough to the Apple approach that OS X is still happy). Without them the installer just keeps booting into OS9.

Solving the CDROM issue was more difficult. I took the approach similar to some of you other readers by creating a 700MB partition, moving the CD contents to that partition (more on this later), and telling XPostFacto to treat that partition as if it were a CD Drive. To get the complete CD moved to the partition was a pain. First I booted into OS 9.2.2 (which has a driver for the CDROM) and used Disk Copy 6.3.3. To create a CD Image of the OS X 10.0/10.1 Install CDs. I then ran the "Scan for ASR" script (available on the net) to prep the images for Apple Software Restore. I then restored the images to the 700MB partition and told XPostFacto to use that partition.

The weird thing is that this step alone was not good enough. The install boot failed! I had previously tried to just copy the CD (select all and drag and drop) to the 700MB partition This too resulted in a failed attempt at running the installer. Since I knew that using disk copy would ensure that any hidden files would be captured, I kind of figured the drag and drop approach would not work and disk copy would. At that point I guessed that some files were not translated properly during the Disk Copy/Software Restore process (maybe I goofed somewhere?). What happened next was a pure lucky guess. I once again restored the same CD image using Apple Software Restore and then manually (DnD again) copied all the visible files from the CD over the top of the restored image. This did it! The installer booted perfectly and OS X 10.0 and then 10.1 were up and running. I don't profess to understand exactly what the problem was, but evidently one or more of the visible files had been somehow mangled. The only issue I have at this point is that OS X does not see my CD Drive. I am going to try replacing it with an old Apple CDROM. This process took many hours over several days and had me near giving up. But I am happy now and so are my kids (it is their computer).

I hope my experience is of value to someone out there. Please let me know if you have any additional insight into my approach.

Best wishes and keep up the great work,

NewerTech L2 G3 may never be supported in OS 9.2.2!: Here is a reply Phil got from Newer about the issue of Newer's L2 G3 not working on a 6400/6500 in OS 9.2.2. Thanks Phil.

[Here's the answer I got from Newer... Not very promising...

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, November 18, 2002 6:50 PM
Subject: Re: Newer Maxpower L2 G3 card on 6400 running OS 9.2.2

> I doubt that we will have any new drivers for 9.x, but I will keep you in
> mind for 10
> Rick
> Pres, Newer Systems Technology Inc.
> 7777 E. Osie Suite 304a
> Wichita, Ks. 67207
> 316 691 1585

So unless Newer releases the source code or some brilliant hackers finds another way, NewerTech L2 G3 users are stuck in OS 9.1 :(

Downgrade Sonnets L2 G3 driver fixes boot crashes: Bob was unable to get his Sonnet L2 G3 to stop crashing during bootup until he followed some of the hacks I have posted to fix it. One being downgrading the Crescendo extension back to 1.4.1. I had noted this before but just incase I didn't here it is :) Thanks Bob.

[Hi Thomas,

Well, I finally got my G3/L2 Crescendo/1M to boot on my 6400/180. Here's how I got there.
1. Went to the extensions manager and disabled-
Contextual Menu
2. Down loaded the older crescendo driver 1.4.1 instead of the 1.4.8 driver (this did not work) that came with the card.
3. Added a blank space in front of the name Crescendo in the control panel, so it would load first.
4. Restarted the computer.

It booted up very nicely and I have had no problems so far. It is a pleasure to work with it again, since I work on a G4 at work.

Thanks for your advice and your great website.
Best Regards,

SOMobjects may have been the major problem though as this file is not needed in OS's 8.0 and newer. Some older apps keep installing it though so its good to check and remove this file if found on newer OS's!

User upgrade info on a 6400: Here is one users story on all the upgrades he installed. He has tried a lot of the newer PCI cards so I though his experiences might help others make some buying decisions. Thanks Michael.

[Hi Tom,
I've been getting some very useful info on your site for quite some time now, and thought I let you know about my experiences with USB and FW/USB Combo cards. Started out with a generic USB 2.0 card about a month ago which turned out to be a bust, said it was compatible with Mac OS X so I figure I would give it a shot, turned out it was not compatible with Mac OS 9, Apples drivers didn't work nor the drivers for Mac on the installation cd that came with it, It did have two sets of drivers, one for Mac OS9, and another for X. Bought a Logitech optical mouse at the same time downloaded drivers from their site and no success with the card, mouse would light up but no movement.

Two weeks ago I had decided to try the Sonnet Tango card,(bought at for $71.00 plus shipping), everything went well with that, with the exception of the audio stuttering when playing mp3's, video or streaming media. The fixes you had mention before about putting a CD in did work on all of the above mentioned, but I still was not a happy camper. Sonnet should post this info about there card having some issues with certain legacy Macs. Emailed Sonnet and there response was that they know about it, and to simply return the card.

I went back to your site to see what was next inline, and saw the feed back about Evergreen's combo card, got the card a couple of days ago, (slightly higher price at the same site I got the Tango card), and I am happy to report that I have had no Issues with audio, video, or any streaming media over the net. The card I purchased was fireLine FW/USB 2.0 card, part# 90-FLCC-AA2. The only issue I have had was that the Logitech mouse won't hold it's settings with virtual memory turned off, with it turned on it holds my settings, don't know if its the mouseware software (latest version from Logitech). or Mac OS 9.2.2 . Installed 9.2 over 9.1 once I read about OS 9 Forever on your site, only issue I've had with it so far is Microsoft Office Manager caused crashes when using IE 5, the latest version.

My system is:
Performa 6400 w/Sonnet G3 300/1MB Mac OS 9.2.2 136MB of Ram ATI 3D card w/8MB of Ram Farallon CommSlot II Fast Ethernet card Evergreen FW/USB 2.0 card

The only thing I have plugged into the Combo card at this time is the optical mouse, and I am shopping around for an FW CD-RW, and will let you know how I make out with that plugged into the card.

Another note is that my floppy drive does work, just doesn't mount quickly kind of hangs before I see the icon.

You do have a great, and informative site about my old dinosaur, keep up the good work, and hope this info helps others with the same who want to upgrade and keep there legacy Macs up and running. Thanks for the site.]

Kingston PCI Ethernet card works on a 6400: Sam wrote to say that he has a Kingston Ethernet card in his 6400 and its works fine. Thanks Sam. I'm not sure how old this card is but I'll add this to my Ethernet card page.

[Here is something I thought your readers might want to know. I have a Power Macintosh 6500/225 to which a previous owner has added PCI Ethernet. The card says "Kingston" on the bottom and "10/100 Mbps" on the top. In the middle is the ethernet port and four lights labeled "Link", "Act", "100", and "FDX". I am running Mac OS 8.1, and there is a "Kingston PCI Fast Ethernet" extension in my extensions folder. The card works great!]

Does the iPod work with the Sonnet Trio?: Matt wants to know if the iPod will work on a Sonnet Trio card. The Sonnet Trio has USB, Firewire, and IDE buses.

[I have been searching the web for a few days now and your site seems to have the most information available for what I am looking for yet the one question I have still goes unanswered. Will the Trio work with iPods. If you happen to know this would you let me know or where I can find out a definite answer to my question?

Thanks -matt]

That’s a good question? I am pretty sure the iPod works with just a FireWire card so I see no reason why it shouldn't work with this trio card. The big issue is power use. You should check with sonnet to see if they have an auxiliary power input on the card to handle powering drives like the iPod over the firewire bus. If not then plugging in the iPod may cause the Mac to go into over current and the power supply will hopefully shut down before any damage is caused!

I checked Sonnets tech page on the trio and found this

FireWire Port Power

  • 12 Watts/port (12V at 1A)
  • Each port can provide power to or draw power from attached devices as needed

Power Management

  • Power is closely regulated throughout Tempo Trio, so devices drawing different, specific voltages on the FireWire and USB busses are delivered optimal levels at all times

I did not see and place to plug in a power cable like what a HD uses so I am not sure how they are getting their extra power. The PCI bus does support 15W max and Sonnet says they support 12W so I would check the power usage of the iPod to make sure.

MacWrite Pro does work in OS 9.2.2: On my previous update, I noted one user had issues with MacWrite Pro not working after he tried OS9 Helper to get his 6400 up to OS 9.2.2. Keith writes that he has tried OS9 Helper and his MacWrite Pro still functions fine. Thanks Keith. Perhaps there is some other conflict on the last readers Mac?

I saw the comment about MacWrite being "broken" on a 6400 running MacOS 9.2.2. Just wanted to say that I used MacOS 9 helper to install 9.2.2 on top of 9.1 on my 6400 with Sonnet G3 400 card (actually the 500 model but it runs at 400 in the 6400). Installation was easy and every worked afterwards, including MacWrite Pro! I have the British 1.5 version and so far everything has worked no problem - no reinstallation or anything.

Just my 2 eurocents worth.

Issues setting SCSI ID numbers with drives in removable trays: Howard was having a big problem getting some SCSI HD's to work on his Mac without crashing it! They are mounted in external removable drive sleds. Below is his solution. Thanks Howard.

[A Kingston DataSilo external enclosure for SCSI drives in removable trays is the one that was causing the Mac to freeze whenever it was connected to the SCSI chain.

I finally realized that the SCSI chain was reading the device ID not from the external drive enclosure, but rather from the jumpers on the drive itself. This was a surprise to me, because in the PC environment I took the drive enclosure from, it ignores the drives and reads from the enclosure. My guess for why that might happen is that it is a SCSI 2 enclosure, with 4 bit addressing. Since the Performa is only SCSI 1, maybe it ignored the ID the enclosure was sending because it had too many bits.

At any rate, once I set the SCSI ID using the jumpers on the drive itself, the drives were recognized, and I was able to format and mount them using FWB Hard Disk Toolkit PE. I did a few more tests to make sure everything worked well, and then secured everything with mounting screws.

To my surprise, at this point one of the drives stopped working. Since the only change I made between things working and things not working was mounting the drive in it's tray with mounting screws, I tried taking the screws out. After that, the drive worked again. I put the screws in again, but didn't tighten them much, and the drive still works. I'm guessing the problem was I'd tightened the screws to much, putting some sort of stress on the drive frame that caused the failure.

Thank you again for your help.

I to have one of these removable drive sleds but I never tried the SCSI jumpers on the tray itself and just set the ID's from the drives jumpers. It has always worked this way. Possibly our older SCSI bus does not support the method used on these trays to set SCSI ID?

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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.

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I use a Performa 6400/Vimage G3/320 OS 9.2.2, two B&W G4/500's OS 10.2.2 Server, iBook Dual USB OS 9.2.2 / OSX 10.2.2, PM 6100 G3/240 OS 9.1, Dual G4 800 OS 9.2.2/OSX 10.2.2, 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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