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Thread: Mini Knows Morse Code???

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    69

    Default Mini Knows Morse Code???

    Hey all:

    Now this is very strange. Yet another friend has given me a dead mac. This one--seemingly like all the others I get--wouldn't do anything: no boot, no fans, no light. It seemed as though it was getting no power, I was told.

    So, I received the machine this morning after it had been sitting on a shelf for a few months (not plugged in). The first thing I did was to plug it in and hit the power button myself, to ensure that nothing happened. To my surprise, it powered up, but sans chime. I wasn't expecting this, given what I'd been told. I slipped my Tiger installation disk in (this is now a problem for reasons that'll become clear presently), and listened. The happy sound of spinning/reading and a bit of HDD crunching. I (rather rudely, I confess) shut it down via the power button.

    It's a mini and I have a MDD, so can't hook up a monitor. Thus, the above was a matter of flying blind. I figured that, since I got power, I'd try the mini in target mode. I plugged in a FW cable (leading to my MDD) and a keyboard, held down the T-key, and hit the power again. This is where it gets weird. No chime, no DVD spinning, but . . . the power light (I swear!) was flashing an SOS! At first it took me a minute . . . seemed just like solid flashing, until the short flashes. I left it on and watched. Sure enough, it cycled through an SOS (... _ _ _ ...). I thought, "huh."

    Rudely shut it down again, opened it up--quite a trial, that--and started searching for the PMU reset. Nada. Researched to discover that for this model, one must plug in the power cord, while holding the power button to reset the PMU. No joy.

    I have since removed the RAM, the battery, and let it sit for an hour or so. Tried for a chime, before restoring the battery and RAM. Nope. Put the battery and RAM back in, reset the PMU (if one believes Apple about this spooky PMU reset action) . . . nothing.

    Any ideas? What about that strange (lighted) call for help??? I'm a Morse geek, fluent in the language of dits and dahs . . . I was not imagining this.

    I should say that, unlike my other requests for help with my altruistic antics, this one is IMPORTANT: I get to keep the mini. So, if I can get it to boot, I've got a 1.25GHz PPC mini, free of charge! In short: ... _ _ _ ...

    Thanks guys,
    em

    PS Any way to manually retrieve my Tiger DVD? (Doh.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    1hr N/W of LA LA Land
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    3,318

    Default

    The only Guru I can think of off the top of my head that has experience with Minis is unclemac. Hopefully he'll have some ideas.

    That SOS thing is quite bizarre, but not suprising knowing Apple.

    Perhaps it's a serious hardware issue?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    Howdy,

    Got maybe 20 PPC minis at work, and never seen this.

    Does remind of some of the G3 imacs....they would have the power button flash out a different sequences/speeds when there was a hardware problem, during a firmware update, etc.

    No time right now. Let me ponder and dig on this for a bit.....stay tuned.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    200

    Default hey unc please ponder this

    THe G3 imac that sent me the speakers for is acting similar to the mini. This machine had run fine several months ago minus speakers but the other night I install the speaker powered it up no boot chime no error beeps everthing powers up harddrive spins sounds like its reading data, steady green LED but no boot chime or screen. Power checks out at the normal pin locations, if I pull the ram I get 1 error beep for no ram installed, I can power up with the keyoard, but have to power down with the main button, I have reset the PMU, no luck, tried to boot of an install disk, no luck,

    Any thoughts before I pull the top cover off, and is there a way to force the video to te VGA out just to confirm if the CRT has crapped out

    Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
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    Default

    Mini:

    Been pondering this, and doing a bit of digging too. Sorry for the delay, not enough free time these days.

    To review, you did a PMU reset, and pulled the battery, which mean you cracked it open, correct?

    Just in case, and for those playing at home here's how to do a mini PMU reset.

    The flashing light makes me think of firmware updates, and is most certainly related to firmware. Here is some evidence for minis....

    Firmware updates

    From time to time, Apple has provided firmware updates to address certain issues that cannot be addressed in updates to software. On earlier computers, the programmer's switch was used to install a firmware update.

    Follow these steps in the event that a firmware update is needed for these computers with no programmer's switch:

    1. After downloading and running the firmware update, shut down the computer.
    2. Wait until the computer is shut down and the power light is off.
    3. Press and hold the power button for several seconds.
    4. The computer will signal that a firmware update is ready to be installed by making a steady tone and the power button light will quickly flash several times for several seconds.
    Is it possible that somebody was hacking around trying to flash the firmware on this mini? Not sure where to go from here even if we assume that is the cause.

    Assuming the firmware updater file is trying to run, it is running from the HD. I wonder if it might be worthwhile to pull the drive, and try a second HD, or maybe try to boot to target mode with no internal drive?

    The only other time we usually see a flashing light is when a startup hardware test fails, but that is usually associated with a series of beeps too.....like this. You reported no beeps, so assuming the speaker is working, this is probably not the right path to pursue.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    Oh, forgot to ask... So why can't you hook up a monitor? Minis are std. DVI and come with a VGA converter. Maybe you didn't get the converter.

    Oh, maybe you have an Apple monitor with ADC only......yes? Can you scrounge a DVI unit for testing, or take the mini to a DVI monitor?

    Still pondering the SOS lights in target mode. Never seen that. Use target mode almost daily to image all sorts of machines, including PPC minis, and never any trouble.

    If it was firmware related, I would expect to see the light show regardless of target mode, though target mode is certainly a function controlled by the firmware.

    Hmmmm.....
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

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