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Thread: BLINKING QUESTION MARK !

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    951

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    Hi, I have been checking this site for a couple of years and havenn't ever heard of this problem

    I'm trying to link a 9600, scanner, external hard drive, and a 7100 via scsi.
    BTW, both computers don't have to be running at the same time.

    I can link the 9600 to the 7100 (one running at a time), and both will boot.

    Link the 9600 to scanner to 7100, both computers will boot and see the scanner via scsi probe

    Link the 9600 to scanner to ex HD, the 9600 boots and all work.

    Link the 7100 to scanner to ex HD, the 7100 boots and all work.

    Link the 9600 to scanner to ex HD to 7100. the 9600 boots and sees all via scsi probe.

    PROBLEM -- link the 7100 to scanner to ex HD to 9600, THE 7100 WILL NOT BOOT.
    All that hapens is a blinking question mark, which tells me "can't find the start up disk or software".

    If I unplug just the 9600 from the chain, IT WILL BOOT.

    Scsi IDs : 7100 9600
    0. Disk 0. Disk
    1. scanner 1. scanner
    2. ex HD 2. ex HD
    3. CD Rom 3. CD Rom
    4. 4.
    5. 5. iomega - zip
    6. 6.
    7. CPU 7. CPU

    I have ran nortons, tried sarting from 7.6 os software, held the shift key, zapped the pram, rebuilt the desk top, switched the IDs and cables around - NO LUCK !

    I can't figure out if it's termination or mabe a bad scsi switch or what ??

    It's driving me crazy. I have been using Apple computers for about six years and have never had this problem that I know of.

    It could very well be stupidity on my part.

    Please HELP me, I'm fallllllllllllling into the muck.

    Thanks in advance, Hazkell@aol.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    7,056

    Default

    H,

    You may be correct in thinking there is a termination or other SCSI issue. However a couple of other things come to mind.

    1.The 7100 and other NuBus PowerMacs have a boot volume limitation contained in ROM, 2GB or 2048MB and not even one Byte more. I have heard from some others that they are not affected by this limitation, but for best reliability a boot volume no greater than 2GB is recommended. Other volumes can be sized to your choice for the 7100, at least for OS7.6 and later. What I don't know is whether the 7100 just looks at the selected boot volume size or it looks at all of the boot volumes sizes. I suspect the former.

    2.Are all of your volumes HFS or are some or even one HFS+? The reason I ask is that there is a boot volume wrapper limitation of 4MB in RAM. This is where all of the stuff that the system has at bootup for loading drivers, Appletalk, ethernet, SCSI, video, etc. Boot HFS+ volumes put an extra load of info into this 4MB RAM allocation and can put you over the limit which will cause the blinking question mark. Something about the 7100 on startup may be putting you over the limit even tho the 9600 does not. The solution, if this is the case, would be to format your boot volume HFS.

    Anyway, just a couple of ideas. Pretty hard to troubleshoot your situation without hands on. k

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