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Thread: Plextor RW no longer lets the system boot.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
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    35

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    I have come to the end of my resources. The Gurus are the last resort.

    I have a dual 500 G4. Internal 80 gig Seagate as Master and 40 Gig IBM as Slave. The 80 Gig has 2 partitions the smaller one contains Jaguar just for testing the rest is storage. The IBM is purely a drive for Audio.

    In PCI slot 1 is an Adaptec 2930U card with a Quantum 4.3 gig Fireball SE connected and terminated as ID 0. This disk is partitioned in 2 halves. Mac OS 9.2.2 resides on the first partition, Mac OS 10.1.5 resides on the second partition. Mac OS 9.2.2 on this SCSI disk is my main boot. The Card has been set to "Automatic termination" via the power domain control panel. I have noticed something very unsusual. My once loved Plextor CDRW 12/4/32 external drive is terminated and set to ID 3 when connected to the Adaptec card will no longer allow the system to boot from Mac OS 9.2.2 on the SCSI disk. It seems to stall for some time then Jaguar boots from the ATA disk. Unfortuanely once in Jaguar the CDRW is no where in sight.

    Ok great but it gets funkier, i have another Adaptec 2930U card as a spare. I decided to put this card into slot 3 and boot my machine. Interestingly the machine will not boot at all, it hangs on the grey screen an the alternative OS on the disk ATA will not take over. It is only when i turn off the Plextor that the Mac OS 9.2.2 SCSI disk will boot to the desktop.

    This second Adaptec card has no devices connected to it internally, Its termination is set to auto and its ID is 7 as is the other card. I also tried to set the termination of the card to "Enabled" but there was no change the machine refuses to boot when the plextor is turned on. I have tried the Plextor on different ID's no effect. I tried turning of Parity..no effect. The cable should be fine since i have used the plextor with this machine several time previous with the same cable and it worked flawlessly. Unfortunatley now is a different matter.

    I have an old SCSI external drive i connected it to the second adaptec card and terminated set to id 4. The machine booted to 9.2.2 no problems an the disk mounted on the desktop. I then unterminated the external disk and chained on my SCSI Zip to the thru port of the external drive and unterminated that, ID 5 was set, i then hooked up the plextor on the end ( i was testing for cable issues since i only had 1 x MD50 to MD50 cable), i terminated the Plextor an left it on ID 3. Again machine wouldnt boot it just hung. I removed the plextor an terminated the zip. Again the machine wouldnt boot and just hung. It was now obvious that the MD50/MD50 pin cable was not an issue since it was eliminated in this last test. I decided to connect only the Zip to the 2nd adaptec card..left it on ID 5 and terminated it. Machine refused to boot an hung like before. It is somewhat strange since i have had all these devices working before in harmony.

    Maybey there are more issue at hand here? Since the machine boots from the SCSI disk that is connected to the Adaptec card 1 then surely the card isnt faulty. To back this up the socond card exibited the same behaviour. 2 cards cant be faulty since the other has resided in its static bag for well over 1 year without use.

    I have run Mac Test Pro CD on the machine an the logic board checks out with no errors. I know the it doesnt test 3rd party cards but it does at least test the PCI slots i presume thus if it does these check in fine. I have done all the usual Open Firmware re settings, and the PRAM reset.....no effect.

    I have simply run out of ideas.

    Maybe the Gurus here have a few ideas?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Mobius Strip
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    13,045

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    What firmware revision is on the Adaptec? There are problems with the 2930 judging by posts on MacFixit and XLR8yourmac forums when it comes to Jag. Also, mixing 10.1.5 and Jag can have interesting interaction (I think due to the way Jag modifies the system boot blocks and open firmware but I could be wrong there).

    Zip drives do not have really good termination and 10.2 is very picky - 10.1 was more stringent on RAM and SCSI also. Cabling that worked or seemed to work in 9.x doesn't. You might want to look into an active terminator to help chain and tame your bus. What are you using to terminate the Plextor, passive terminator? Also, have you checked to see if there is a firmware update for it? Seems like I've seen reports on www.xlr8yourmac.com drive update database and on the main page.

    This all begin when you installed Jaguar? Can you disconnect the Seagate and set the IBM as master, or just try with both of them disconnected and see what happens?

    Gregory

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    35

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    Hey G,

    Both Adaptec cards have bios version 4.2. I unplugged the ATA drive that contains Jagwire. The startup disk is 9.2.2 on the SCSI disk. Still it hangs and wont boot when the Plextor is connected to the external SCSI connector. The Plextor is an external with its own terminator. The Plextor has the latest firmware. BTW the Plextor works with no problems when it is connected to my Keyboard Sampler/Synthesiser. Like i mentioned i have an identical second Adaptec card. I put this in another slot and connected the plextor to it so that only the main Adaptec card hosts the start up disk. Even still when this plextor is connected and turned on the machine hangs at a grey screen and won't boot.

    This plextor used to work with out issue with the same configuration. tho i havent used it for months on the G4.

    I have done a few things with the system since the last time i used the plextor.

    Maybe there is something wrong with the logic board.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
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    9,119

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    k,

    ?Try an Open Firmware reset to reset NVRAM. Hold Command+Option+O+F keys during startup, at the '>' prompt type:

    >reset-nvram
    Hit Return
    >set-defaults
    Hit Return
    >reset-all
    Hit Return and your computer will resume normal startup. This should clear any changes that 10.2 might have made to your NVRAM and PRAM.

    ?You should also run Disk Warrior on all volumes. www.alsoft.com.

    ?From your description I can't tell why you have ruled the 50 to 50 cable to be not the culprit, it seems you are saying that anytime it is hooked up your computer will not boot.

    ?We're thinking, and I'll bet we all figure out a way to get this all working again. Not being an Adaptec aficionado I need to ask, is the 2930U OSX compatible?

    Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    35

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    Hi Ricks

    Tried the OF and Disk Warrior things no effect. I even disconnected the ATA drive with Jagaur on so there was no ATA disk connected at all. I even erased the Mac OS 10.1.5 partition on the SCSI disk that is connected to the adaptec card....at the time of doing the OF resettings and the Disk Warrior bizo. This answers your other question, the Adaptec card is compatible with X since i installed X directly onto the SCSI disk connected to the Adaptec. Btw there is an 2930U kernel extension in X. Im in Australia and Adaptec are pretty much the only SCSI cards available for Mac's here.

    The reason why i think its not the cable (tho not completely ruled out) is because i decided to connect an external drive to the adaptec card using a different cable. It was a 50 pin MD to 50 Centronic's. From here i connected a 50 centronics to a 25DB to a zip then then a 25 DB to 50 pin MD to the Plextor and i had the same problem. Since i dont have a spare 50 Cent to 50 MD i cant connect the plex to the the external drive that iis connected to the card.

    "From your description I can't tell why you have ruled the 50 to 50 cable to be not the culprit, it seems you are saying that anytime it is hooked up your computer will not boot."

    When its turned on it wont boot. When the device is off but connected it will boot.

    Mind you connecting the ZIP directly to the card exibited the same problems as the plextor.

    On Saturday, i shall take my lone SCSI disk that contains now only 9.2.2 and the adaptec cards and the cable and try it out in a mates G4. If it works then i figure my logic board is fried or if it doesnt work then ill look at the cable again.

    I will let you know what i find out soon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    35

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    Well it seems like it was a cable after all. We had a MD 50 to DB 25 cable and placed a 25->50 adapter on the cable hooked it up and the machine boots with the Plextor now wooohoo. Must say i am happy with the result. But im left wondering why my cable suddenly no longer works. It was relatively new 2 years old but hardly used. The last time i used it some 6 months ago it worked fine. Bizzare how it decides just to stop working.

    Anywayz, thnx for the replies.

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