Accessing Operating System in PowerBook Duo 280c

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Ih8reno, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. Ih8reno macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    #1
    I recently came into possession of a functioning PowerBook Duo 280c however am stuck at the log in screen. A program called Magna is showing a message that Registration is temporarily disabled. This PowerBook had very few ports and is supposed to have a dock which ads them. It has no floppy drives either. Does anyone know of a workaround so I can actually use the machine?

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. ThisOldMacHead macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Location:
    South Jersey
    #2
    Have you tried booting with extensions disabled? If that doesn't do anything... That old Duo should still have a serial port on the back... You could always try setting up a LocalTalk connection with another Mac, but chances are good that you won't have a proper config to initiate networking on the Duo. If all else fails, short of buying a Dock, you can always yank the hard drive, toss it into another machine, and throw a fresh install of System 6 or 7 on there.
     
  3. MikeatOSX macrumors regular

    MikeatOSX

    Joined:
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    Austria
    #3
    The PowerBook 280c has a SCSI hard drive interface.
     
  4. Ih8reno thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    #4
    The serial connection may indeed work but it won't let me do anything with the PowerBook and boots directly to that screen where I am effectively locked out.

    As for the interface here is the only connection besides the modem and serial port. I have nothing to connect this to.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. MikeatOSX macrumors regular

    MikeatOSX

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    #5
    Booting with extensions disabled did not work?
     
  6. Ih8reno thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    #6
    Doesn't help unfortunately. Still asks me to allow the program to run. If I cancel it the machine shuts down if I go to register it says it's an unknown user

    [​IMG]
     
  7. MikeatOSX macrumors regular

    MikeatOSX

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austria
    #7
    Interesting protection software.
    Did you read this?
    ftp://ftp.st.ryukoku.ac.jp/pub/security/ciac/secdocs/virus/reviews/pt-38.txt

    BTW: I would replace the internal SCSI hard disk. These are expensive, but I would buy an defective PowerBook with SCSI HD (see MacTracker), which could be much cheaper.
     
  8. MikeatOSX macrumors regular

    MikeatOSX

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    Austria
    #8
  9. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #9
    That security software is likely drive-level protection, or may need connection to whatever the original network was ...
    Some of that kind of software can be disabled by starting with extensions off.
    If you still get the same message with extensions off, then it is either drive-level, or network-level.
    If you don't know the password, or are not connected to THAT network, then there's little that you can do, without erasing/reinstalling, or replacing the hard drive.
     
  10. Ih8reno thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

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    Aug 10, 2012
    #10
    Yeah I got this second hand and it looks like it was a from a government source.
     
  11. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #11
    Get a dock. There are 3 versions. A micro-dock with just floppy and ADB ports, a mini-dock with HDI-30, floppy, ADB etc and the full sized dock that the PB slots into to become a desktop. Everything else becomes painful without them as the Duo is pretty much locked.
     
  12. Ih8reno thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

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    Aug 10, 2012
    #12
    I'd like one but funds don't permit that kind of buy, was hoping there was another option. Got it practically free and was hoping to try it.
     
  13. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    Phoenix • 85037
    #13
    My mom used to have one of those way back when. She bitched royally about it being useless without the dock. She didn't have it for very long as I recall.

    Sorry to say, my only experience with this machine.
     
  14. Ih8reno thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

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    Aug 10, 2012
  15. weckart macrumors 68040

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    Nov 7, 2004
    #15
    It was Apple's overreaching itself trying to be "thin" before the technology was really ready for it, resulting in half a computer until you add in all the (expensive at the time) accoutrements.

    Duos mainly sell today to people looking for a cheap source of 50 pin SCSI laptop drives. Usually much cheaper to buy and gut a Duo than buy a bare drive.
    The micro-docks can be had fairly cheap: typically about $10 or less, if you want to persevere. You will need a HDI-20 floppy drive, though.
     
  16. Ih8reno thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

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    Aug 10, 2012
    #16

    There are none in my area unfortunately on craigslist or kijiji. Checked eBay and it would cost about $100 to get one.
     
  17. barbu macrumors regular

    barbu

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    ott.on.ca
    #17
    I ran my Duo 2300c for quite a long time without a Dock. Mine came with the Floppy dock but i didn't have a floppy drive to use with it! So I got a lot of use out of the onboard 33.6 modem, shuttling files around with email or FTP. However, in your case, you seem to be blocked by some protection software. Can you get your hands on a floppy drive? If so, you could possibly update the SCSI drive and/or load a fresh system. I would be willing to loan you my floppy dock if you like.

    Amazing, i didn't realize Bruce was active that far back, thanks for the link!
     
  18. Ih8reno thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

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    Aug 10, 2012
    #18
    Is there a way I can connect another older Mac with ADB connections to reinstall the os?
     
  19. barbu macrumors regular

    barbu

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    ott.on.ca
    #19
    Nah. ADB is for keyboard/mouse. The other port (combo print/serial) can be used to network to another Mac but it is not possible to boot up off the port.
    Like i said, if you can find a floppy, I'll loan you my floppy dock. Or if you want, I could sell you my Duo Dock plus, but shipping costs could be rather painful :eek:

    Edit to Add: Ah, it appears you are in Montréal. I am right next door!
     
  20. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #20
    You still need a dock to get ADB connectors on the duo - but IIRC, that isn't a function supported by the ADB bus.
    You do have a serial port, so you could connect through a simple Appletalk network.
    But, again IIRC, you won't reinstall through Appletalk either.
    You will need, at the least, a floppy drive, with THAT connector.
    'tis not easy, until you get some of the gear that you need.
    Sounds like barbu can be a good source :D
     
  21. Ih8reno thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

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    Aug 10, 2012
    #21
    Sounds like a possibility, if not this will stay a great looking paperweight!
     
  22. tulsamal macrumors newbie

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    May 3, 2011
    Location:
    Vinita, OK
    #22
    I've got a 270c and just about every possible accessory. Big dock that a monitor sits on. The dock that goes on the back. And the little one. I haven't booted it in several years since the battery won't hold a charge but I think everything still works. It was a great little laptop and ahead of its time.
     
  23. Ih8reno thread starter macrumors 65816

    Ih8reno

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    Aug 10, 2012
    #23
  24. barbu macrumors regular

    barbu

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    Jul 8, 2013
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    ott.on.ca
    #24
    Well, per @MikeatOSX's link, updating the SCSI driver removes Empower's lock. So it may be recoverable in its current state - which would be cool since it is always fun to see what's on these old things. I purchased my Duo from a pawnshop and it was registered to DreamWorks and had some password protected files that i could never manage to open. Sadly i think i lost them when i upgraded the disk (note to self, check that old 750 MB for mysterious files :)
     
  25. barbu macrumors regular

    barbu

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    Jul 8, 2013
    Location:
    ott.on.ca
    #25
    whoops yeah, sorry. One serial port and one modem port, no ADB without some sort of dock.
     

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