Howard was having issues with his internal 9gb SCSI Seagate 7200rpm drive mounting at boot time on his 6400. I was able to help him solve it but the fix is not the best for everyone?
The issue comes about do to the high RPM of some SCSI HD's. 7200 RPM and specially 10000 RPM HD's can be affected. The reason this happens is because the drive just takes to long to spin up and send a ready signal to the bus. Therefore, the OS does not know the drive is ready and does not mount it. Just running any drive mounting software can mount the drive but what happens when you try to boot to a drive that is to slow? Well, the mother board rom looks for the system folder you selected in the Startup Disk control panel first. If it does not find that, it then looks for the next system folder it can find. If you select to boot to the SCSI HD and it does not send a ready signal in time when the rom is looking for a system folder, the rom will give up and search for the first ready drive with an active system folder. This will most likely be your IDE HD.
There are 2 fixes. The one mentioned above where you must physically remove the System file from the system folder on the IDE drive so it is forced to wait for the SCSI HD, or move the SCSI HD to an external case so it may be powered up before you turn on the Mac.
Here is a letter I got from Steve, who says he can now run in millions of colors on his TAM system when before it would not. Thanks Steve.
I was searching www.sunrem.com the other day and came across something that may interest 5400/5500 owners. I found a video out cable that allows you to use an external monitor. I am not sure where it attaches but I think it is to the little slot just behind the PRAM battery on the mother board? Below are links to the cable and the plug/shield needed to hold the port on the back of the case.
The cable is listed in stock but the plug is on back order. I bet it will work without the plug. You just might have to be creative on installing it :) I assume it will just allow video mirroring. It may also work with the 6400/6500? If anyone tries this, please email me how it goes. Thanks.
2/28/2004 Apple PDF document showing how to install the External Video cable for a 5400: I found this PDF manual on Apples web site and it shows how to install this cable on an LC 580, 5200/5300 series Mac, and even a 5400 series Mac. The 5400 series instructions will be the same for a 6400/6500 as well except for the mother board removal. This card is for video mirroring to another monitor but was most likely used for connecting to a projector.
Click here for more info on this cable.
Alec sent me some info on obtaining the s-video out card for our Macs. Thanks Alec.
Later he sent me info from the place in Europe where he found them. Thanks.
Here are the sunrem links for the same parts. They are on back order here at the moment.
This should use the same slot that the above external video out card uses. So you can't have both installed at the same time. If anyone tries these. Please email me your info. Thanks
6/7/2002 Update on S-Video / Composite out card: Alec had sent me some info on this card awhile back and he finally got one. He says it works great except you must run in 640x480 at 60Hz or you won't get any display on the TV. Click here to read his experience with this card. 640x480 at 60Hz is the standard used for displaying a computer video signal on a TV. Todays technology in newer Macs allow for higher resolutions but you still must set the refresh to 60Hz or it will not display on the TV. Usually the newer software does that for you.
John was having issues with his SMC 10/100 ethernet card until he installed it in the A1 (lower) PCI slot. Thanks for the info John. I believe this is a bus master issue and you can read my reply below for more info on that.
Later he sent this.
I replied to him with this.
Another reader earlier told me that Asantes ethernet cards are susceptible to interference and for some reason, placing the card in the A1 slot fixes this? I think its the bus master issue myself. I hope this info helps others.
Alec wrote in reply to confirm a question I asked regarding using an S-Video cable (normally used for video between say a TV and a VCR) as an ADB cable on a Mac. The pins line up perfectly. The opposite also works. Thanks Alec.
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.
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?
Tinman wrote to say he was able to use a cheap PC card on the Mac and it works except for booting. Thanks Tinman. Thierry also adds that you can use the PC version of the Adaptec 2940UW and flash it to work on the Mac. Thanks Thierry.
Awhile back I had posted info on whether it was possible to replace the IDE HD with a SCSI HD and then place an IDE CDROM on the stock IDE bus. Originally one person had trouble with this setup but then one or two others wrote in to say it does work. Here is a letter from Goran who also states it works. Thanks Goran.
If you visit this link and scroll down to a posting on 7/14/2002 you will find the previous info I have on this topic.
I know most of you know this already but a few had questioned this info stating that the 6400/6500 actually had 10MBps SCSI-2. I finally found a link to a KB article (#12315) on Apples web site that clearly states the SCSI bus is only 5MBps. Fast SCSI (as well as dual SCSI buses) started with the 8100 and then not again until the 7500 came out according to this page and that was for the internal SCSI bus only. Bascically none of the Performas had dual SCSI buses.
A lot of you probably know what these are but there are some who do not. These will let you use a PC monitor on your older Mac such as the 6400. They convert the Macs larger plug to the PC's smaller plug. Another thing they do is try to tell the Mac what resolutions are supported. The Mac gets a signal from a Mac monitor telling it what resolutions are supported which is how it knows what to present you with in the Monitor control panel. PC monitors don't all do this so you need to have a way to fake this signal. Most of these adaptor have dip switches (like the ones below) or rotary dials to allow you to custom configure them. Good ones with have instructions as you can see printed on these but others have none making them hit or miss setting up. I recommend getting one with instructions printed on it like these so incase you loose any paper work, you still have the dip switch settings available.
A word of caution! Just because you get your PC monitor working and you see a whole bunch of possible resolution and refresh rate settings in your Monitor control panel, does not mean they will all work! Please refer to your monitors user manual for resolutions supported by your monitor. The wrong refresh rate could damage your monitor! Most have no trouble supporting 85Hz and lower but an older monitor might not even go over 60Hz refresh rate?
Anthony wrote to let me know that his 6400 refused to boot up or even power on until he replaced his PRAM battery. This is a similar issue that older Macs like the 6100 have but usually the system will power on but not find a bootable disk or just sit there at a grey screen. Well his did nothing? Thanks for the info Anthony!
In the past I have been told by one or two others that the 6400 is immune to this problem and to demonstrate it they removed their PRAM batteries and it still booted. Maybe the issue is not having a dead battery but just a low battery? If the battery is at a point where the contents of the PRAM cannot be stored properly but there is enough power to keep some data (possibly corrupted) there, then this may be an issue. So if you are having issues with bootup then please check the voltage of your battery! You can find instructions on removing the battery here.
5/27/2003 More on PRAM battery related bootup problems: Michael write with more info on what happens with a dead PRAM battery. Thanks Michael.
Here is another letter from Ronald on the same issue. Thanks Ronald.
7/20/2003 Texas Macman help site posts new page on PRAM info: Tom wrote to let me know he posted a new page on his help site with lots of PRAM battery info. Thanks Tom. Nice name by the way :)
Site to buy new PRAM batteries from: Phil sent me a link to OtherWorld Computings web site where they have PRAM batteries for about $10. Thanks Phil.
I found this topic on my forums and it brought back memories of my own troubles booting my 6400 one time. Frank found that his 6400 would not boot due to a stuck mouse button! Thanks for the info Frank.
My problem was a bad keyboard so these two items should be checked if you have trouble booting your Mac. If you don't have another keyboard/mouse to test then just try removing the mouse and bootup or just plug the mouse in and not use the keyboard. To boot without the key board you can use the little button next to the monitor port in the back. If you visit this link and scroll down to the rear image of the 6400 you will see an arrow pointing to this Stand By Power Button.
French web site showing an ATX power supply in a 6400!: Francois sent me a link to a french web site that shows a 6400 owners instructions on how to install an ATX power supply. Thanks Francois. It looks like much more work then most would want to take on but if anyone tries, please let me know! Also if anyone wants to do a good French to English translation of the site, I would highly appreciate it :)
I found this on MacInTouch the other day and hope it only has to do with their extra large HD's which aren't compatible with older IDE buses anyways?
I'm not sure which HD's they are referring to but if anyone has more info on this then please email me your info. Thanks.
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This page last updated 5/25/2004