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Thread: Mac B+W configuration w/ Cheetahs

  1. #1
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    Hello,

    From past experience,I know that you are the ones who will finally be able
    to help me.
    Here's my set-up:
    B+W G3 400, 320 MB RAM,OS 8.6, two monitors, 2 internal 9-gig Cheetahs
    (purchased from you).
    Purpose : video editing (Premiere 5.1c) and education-related
    things:word processing, web browsing.

    Because I was having so many stability issues a few months ago, Apple
    actually replaced my original G3 after a year of troubleshooting.
    It is now 5 months later and I am running into the same problems as before
    on the new computer: constant, random quits, freezes-- errors type 11, 2,
    3...

    The only thing that I have not looked at very closely are the Cheetahs, and
    I suspect that I may have a configuration problem.Can you help me?
    Is there an ideal set of software/extensions and control panels that is going to put an end to the problems that I am having? Is there something that I have not
    set up correctly?Would you want to see an Apple System
    Profile?

    First, I think, unless you tell me otherwise, I would like to install OS 9.04, especially for the info capability for upgrades.
    Please, you guys are experts--I know you have G3's that are stable and that
    that have Cheetahs connected to them...
    Can you walk me through all of this? Would you want to see an Apple System
    Profile?

    Thanks for any help that you can give me. I would like to start getting a
    good night's sleep.
    Sarah Spring

    > sspring@mail.hs.falmouth.k12.me.us (at school)
    > sspring1@maine.rr.com (at home)
    >
    >
    >

  2. #2
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    First, tell us what two video cards you have, what SCSI card is hosting the Cheetahs, which firmware and software version you are using with the SCSI card, and what other PCI card you may have.

  3. #3
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    With the errrors you list, a software conflict or problem is of the first order of suspicion. Please also describe your software troubleshooting resources and previous tests/results.

    Regards

    [This message has been edited by MacMikester (edited 12 October 2000).]

  4. #4
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    Here's what I have:
    PCI cards: for the Cheetahs: Initio, MilesU2W
    Monitors:ATY, Rage 128 and ATY, XCLAIM LTPro

    Internal ATA, ID=0:hard drive
    driver version 3.2.2f1

    SCSI Bus 1 ID=5 Cheetahs
    MacOS partitions:1
    Driver version 2.4.1

    I do not remember SmartSCSI or SoftRAID being used during set-up a
    few months ago, nor am I able to tell what firmware I am using with
    the SCSI card. (I was not the one who configured this. I did not feel
    qualified to do so at the time.)

    Crashes,freezes and hanging have been occurring with every
    application: Netscape, Eudora, Clarisworks, eClass Grades, and
    especially Office 98 (the latter was what my school wanted me to
    use.) Things were slow before MS Office, but became deadly slow after
    intallation, so I removed the application and all of its extensions
    and prefs with the utility included with the program. With all of the
    troubleshooting, I have not been able to work with Premiere at all--
    Even though I have a separate extension set for it, it seemed as if I
    would just be adding more variables to an already baffling mix.

    I have also spent a fair amount of time scrutinizing my other
    extension sets, without much success at tracking down the culprit(s),
    except for partial blame put on Office98 extensions, as well as some
    USB. It took over a week to get my USB CDRW to work.Even now, I hold
    my breath whenever it or the USB floppy is connected; all things USB
    appear to cause erratic behavior, and I have yet to appreciate its
    hot-swappability.

    I am prepared to do what it takes to create stability on this
    machine. Will even start over if necessary. Thanks in advance for
    your insight and direction.

    Sarah Spring

  5. #5
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    I think it is definitely software.

    a clean install would be the first place to start. Just to verify, though...find something that definitely crashes the machine, every time, and then boot off your CD-ROM and duplicate the act. If it does not crash you know you have extension problems.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for your reply.More questions:
    -When I do the clean install,would you recommend upgrading to OS9.04 to further reduce issues of stability?
    -In the devices and applications that I mentioned, are there items that should raise suspicion?
    -Does the fact that the Cheetahs were initially configured using Apple's drive set-up (I believe) contribute to any of the problems? I noticed that you do not recommend this in your general advice pages.
    -What driver versions should I be using with the devices that I listed? I realize this is awfully general, but if software is my problem, then I need to look at that.
    Looking forward to a stable, happy G3.

    Sarah Spring

  7. #7
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    Sarah,

    "...2 internal 9-gig Cheetahs..."
    "SCSI Bus 1 ID=5 Cheetahs"

    Just a question. Are you saying that both Cheetahs are at ID5 on SCSI Bus 1? k

  8. #8
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    install OS9, then use the SoftWare Update control panel to update to 9.04 with all other updates. Don't forget to update QuickTime to 4.1.2.

    use the revision of Drive Setup included with OS9.04 (it is 1.9.2) to update your drivers.

    all other stuff you install.....before you install anything, make sure you have the latest revision. If not, do not install it.

    also....there is a utility around here somewhere on the FTP site I believe written by Darin Ames that helps you identify which resources are installed by which applications. Either use that, or ConflictCatcher, or some other method, to ensure that you are not installing obsolete, incompatible versions of system resources over your clean install.

    I strongly suspect that your software is just a mess. Starting from a clean install, and then installing only those things you absolutely need, the latest revisions, keeping track of what those things put in your system folder, will probably leave you better off than you are now.

    If you are using shareware, or third-party utiltiies, be very cautious. Ask us here first before installing. I have a gut-feel that your system folder is just messy.

  9. #9
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    Hey S,

    The Apple driver (Drive Setup) should be fine, it's a speed thing, other drivers may be faster.
    Your two drives should definitely have different SCSI ID numbers (even recommended if they are on different busses as a matter of good practice). Question: are you comfortable with making jumper changes and switching hardware configurations with our help?

  10. #10
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    Thanks so much to all of you who are responding.
    The Cheetahs are on SCSI BUS 1, ID 5 and 6. Is that OK?

    Based on what all of you are saying, for diagnostic purposes, I should boot up first from my 8.6 CD to see if I can recreate a crash/freeze/error message--At the moment, Netscape and other browsers quit frequently doing mundane tasks like
    hitting the back/forward button, filling out forms, sending , downloading, etc. (It quit just after I posted my last message to you.)

    After I do that, I will install OS9.04, but will check with you and take it slowly with updates, drivers, etc.

    I'll check into the FTP site Darin AMes utility that you mentioned. Also, on the MacGurus Pages of Doom, you list utilities that you find essential. Aside from DIsk First Aid and TTool Pro 2.5.3 I do not own any of the other apps. (I ran a demo of Conflict Catcher a few weeks ago, but it didn't find any problems.)
    I am willing to get anything that I need to keep things running smoothly, and if following the Gurus protocol is what does the trick, that's what I'll do.
    Will check back with you shortly. Thanks again.
    Sarah Spring

  11. #11
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    I find the XClaim LT Pro odd. I thought that was an ATI video chip used in PowerBooks, iBooks and iMacs.

  12. #12
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    The video card User's Guide says that it is the XCLAIM 3D Plus. The Apple System Profiler says that it is the XCLAIM_LTPro, model ATY, LT-C. All installation
    procedures are for MacOS PCI-based tower. Do you think this card may be incompatible?

  13. #13
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    No; it's just that I didn't realize that the old XClaim 3D had that video chip. That's the card prior to the ATI 128 series.

  14. #14
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    at the risk of weighing in and complicating matters. i would say. if you suspect the card, pull it and try. but i would encourage you to do what magician recommended.
    sounds like you have a seriously messed-up sytem folder or even a corrupted one. in general, the kind of error messages you mentioned and the kind of crashes are related to software issues.

    if you can, go on the internet and purchase Alosoft Disk Warrior, and the latest version of norton utilites. then, run the utilites 2 or 3 times in a row. iuntil there are no more problems. then run disk warrior to fix your directories. try to see if that helps. if not, then first back up all your important files. then boot off your Mac OS disk. this will startup your mac with only the essential extensions and apps loading. try to repeat the problems you were having. if they disappear then you know it is software. if not, it could be that your HD is corrupted. you might need to wipe it clean and start over. in any case, i would suggest that you start fresh anyway. pull all your essential info, do a clean install of OS 9, and then color code the OS extensions and Control panels. (there's a nifty little script on the gurus ftp site that will do it automatically) then start reinstalling your programs. after each new program is installed, try to repeat your problems. if everything is OK, color code that programs extensions and inits, and move on to the next. that way you'll know which app is the culprit.

    it's tedious, i know, but it is the only way to identify a software problem. you'll also learn more than you ever wanted to know about the software in your mac.

    M

  15. #15
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    Just finished doing a clean install of 8.6--and my first visit to your site ended in a type 2 error/quit of Netscape. Was unable to install OS9--could not boot up from the CD, which made me wonder about the firmware on the Miles2 card.
    I admit to being frustrated after 8 hours of this...
    In anticipation of needing to update firmware , I downloaded the updates to SmartSCSI and SoftRaid. SmartSCSI would not launch (type 1 error), and would not allow upgrade.
    Perhaps it is the fatigue associated with the unknowns, I am no longer clear on what I need to do next, and in what order. Is it time to do all the 8.6 updates
    recommended by Apple on their tech info update page? At what point should I be updating the Miles2 card?

  16. #16
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    Type 1 is a bus error; Type 2 is an address error; Type 11 is a misc. hardware error.

  17. #17
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    First thing you need to do is shut off your computer, and either go out for the evening, see a movie etc. or grab a beer and watch the game or whatever else you like to do. then come back at it tomorrow. remember, when trying to dientify a problem, the onlyway is to go back to an earlier time when the problems did not exist. start with a simple, clean system and work up.

    tomorrow, simplify the equation. pull everything but the the miles2 card or what ever card runs your boot drive and the 128 graphics card. see how that works. then try to install OS 9 from the CD. if holding down the c key doesn't work, sometimes you can boot off the CD by holding down the shift ,option,command,delete buttons. that should force your mac to bypass the internal drives.
    then install the OS 9. color code everything in your new system folder. that way you'll be able to identify easily any new extensions or CPs etc.

    see if things run well. do the upgrades. (the miles card should run with the 1.06 update and softraid needs 2.2.2. ) also, the ati extensions that the OS 9 installs in your computer are newer than the ones presently in your computer. then reinstall your other cards. see how things work etc. follow a systematic plan and you should be able to identify the culprit/s.

    but before you do all that, take a break. you need it. things will seem clearer in the morning.

    M



    [This message has been edited by Michael (edited 14 October 2000).]

  18. #18
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    Michael has the right approach; go back to square one. I think that I would go a bit further back than Mochael. I would pull the Miles 2 card and unplug the Cheetahs. Try to get the machine as close to original as possible to give it a fighting chance of booting from a System CD. If that works, try to boot from the IDE drive and get it squared away. Go in steps of complexity.

    BTW, bad RAM can be the Great Pretender. Have you ever run a RAM test? Did you keep the RAM from the original machine?

  19. #19
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    I have the same RAM as in the other machine--and put it through TTPro tests when I was having problems with the first G3. Nothing showed up. But we stripped the first G3 down to its original configuration,took out the added memory, removed the Cheetahs, took out the Miles2 and the XCLaim--and also a Miles Bluenote . This took place over a period of weeks and months. We did clean installs, erased the HD, started over; things seemed stable, so the Cheetahs went back in along with the Miles2. Troubles reappeared, but they were random, as now. Apple had me take the computer in for service, and they were never able to pinpoint the problem but figured that it was time to do something more specific, so they replaced the computer with an identical one.
    Will tackle this again tomorrow when I'm feeling better about it.
    Quick question--how do I access the gurus FTP site?
    Thanks again to all.

  20. #20
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    It's ftp://ftp.macgurus.com/ . It's best to use Interarchie or Fetch.

    While you're there, look under XLR8_stuff and download MSG3 Control w/PowerPack. Try running the PowerControl RAM test all night. Tell Energy Saver not to let anything sleep (except you). It's one of the better RAM tests.

    Since this is the same RAM as was in the earlier machine, we have a common link.

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