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G4 Mystic - USB 2 problems (SOLVED - THANK YOU)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by fivegrand, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Trying to get USB 2 usefully installed in my old G4. Yeah, I know it's old, but there ain't nothin' wrong with it and other than this issue, I have no reason to upgrade hardware at this time.

    So I buy a USB 2 pci card (forgot the brand) and installed it, System Profiler sees it, but doesn't see anything connected to it.

    I figure it might be the port configuration, the connectors touch the case when plugged in. That doesn't seem right, but oh well, that's the way it is.

    Ok, so now I have a critical project that requires USB 2 connectivity in order to get done this year (an exaggeration - but I can't wait 7 hours each to burn and print DVD's on a rented robotic duplicator - which was tested and works perfectly where it came from).

    So off to the store I go to try another USB 2 card. This time I get a Q-Store card, which states on it that it's Mac compatible (requires G3/10.2.6/64mb, I have G4/10.4.11/960mb). No problem, right? Wrong.

    Same thing. System Profiler sees the card but doesn't see the device connected (except for one fleeting instant never to be repeated).

    I'm at my wits end here. I NEED functional USB 2 on this machine RIGHT NOW and I KNOW it can be done but I have no idea why it doesn't work.

    I know there are sleep issues with some USB 2 pci cards on this series machine - I don't care about sleep issues. I care about USB 2 that works.

    I'm open to any and all suggestions toward a solution, barring purchase of a new computer.
  2. macrumors 68000


    Which model G4? Try resetting your PRAM--search the Apple docs for your model; I know in the Sawtooth and Gigabit models, there's a switch on the motherboard. It's small and grey if I remember correctly; press it ONCE (twice or more will possibly confuse the board and not allow it to reset itself). Then reboot. This might work; otherwise make sure you run the gamut of usual suspects (repair permissions, do a hardware test, boot into single-user and run diagnostics, run Cocktail, etc.). If all else fails, you could try a fresh install of OSX (or try booting into another partition if you have one).

    Good luck! I got a $6 cheap-o USB2.0 card working in my Sawtooth without a problem, so it should work in theory...
  3. macrumors newbie

    Thanks disconap. It's the Mystic model, the short-run AGP graphics model right between Sawtooth AGP and Gigabit/DA.

    I have ran Cocktail and had a couple little things repaired (no difference), I have NOT zapped the PRAM. Hardware test is good, SU diagnostic is good. The card is there, the machine and system know it's there, just doesn't recognize anything connected to it.

    Thanks again...
  4. macrumors 65816

    Actually, "Mystic" was the codename for the 400 MHz single CPU Gigabit Ethernet model. Medusa2 and Snakebite were the dual 450 and dual 500.

    Anyway, zap your PRAM like he said (cmd+optn+P+R during startup). Resetting your NVRAM isn't a bad idea, either; go into Open FirmWare (cmd+optn+O+F right after your restart) and type init-nvram

    Edit: Holding down Cmd+option+P+R and waiting till you hear the boot chime two times in a row apparently resets the NVRAM on the second chime. You can do that too.

    Some USB cards don't play well with certain types of Macs... and no PC cards would work. Could be the first was a PC card and the second isn't playing nicely if none of this works.

    Another thing to try if the PRAM/NVRAM reset fails, is to put it in another PCI slot. Also make sure it's properly seated.

    And do a CUDA reset, holding the button down for 15 seconds before releasing.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Problem solved. I took the first card out, it was a VIA chipset, as was the second card that I just bought. I bought a SIIG card and everything's rockin'.

    Thanks for your help guys!
  6. macrumors 68000


    Glad it worked out for you!

    And Firefly--while the "no PC card will work" is sound advice (as you'll definitely get a working card if you buy one designed for/stated to be compatible with OSX), it isn't entirely true. It just depends on the chipset and a bit of luck; the card in mine specifically said Windows Only on the box, but it works just fine (I researched the model on the web, possibly even here, before plunking down my hard-earned $6). I have a bunch of little bits in my G4 that technically shouldn't work with a Mac but do, including the FX5200 I flashed with a Strangedogs Mac ROM (it technically shouldn't have taken the ROM, it wasn't on any list of compatible cards I could find). If it's not your primary machine and you have time to dabble, it's sometimes worth messing around a bit with "incompatible" parts (though I would NEVER do that with my G5 as long as it is my primary, as I make my living on it). ;)
  7. macrumors member

    Glad you got your problem figured out, and I'll remember this if in case I ever have a similar problem.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Huh. I would have thought you had to flash a PC card for it to work in a Mac (but didn't wanna complicate things further). Maybe they had Mac drivers installed anyway?

    This is interesting though, about the SIIG card... I tried swapping an ATA/66 ACARD AHARD PCI card in my computer with a SIIG ATA/133, and it didn't work... at all. I had some trouble getting it back up and running.. which involved a bunch of restarts and DiskWarrior after booting OS 9.... hm.

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