G4 Cube Firmware Update Issue

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by corataylorx, May 1, 2015.

  1. corataylorx, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015

    corataylorx macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I have searched far and wide for an answer, and I am new to the forums so please excuse me if i'm in the wrong place.

    I have a Power Mac G4 Cube:
    450mhz G4
    64mb RAM
    ATI Rage 128 Pro 16mb
    Running OS 9.2.2

    All was well, working fine, however, I ordered some new RAM, and in anticipation of upgrading to 10.4 Tiger, I updated my firmware to 4.1.9, which I read was necessary. The system works fine except for one caveat. I can no longer boot from optical media. The drive still works, and in the multiboot menu (Holding option at boot) the media still appears,but when I press return, the devices disappear and it does not boot from the disc.

    Anyone know why this may be?


    UPDATE:After reading around online, it seems a dead PRAM battery can cause this issue; mine just died recently. Maybe before the firmware update. But it was still connected to mains, so it didn't immediately show symptoms. This makes sense, as a firmware update wipes PRAM. Hmmm.. I have my doubts, but I'll replace the battery and report back.
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #2
    When I have a computer where the optical media will mount but the computer will not boot from it, the first thing I generally do is clean the optical drive.

    This will cure the problem about 90% of the time.
     
  3. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Hmmm... I guess no harm in trying. I just find it fishy that it was working fine before the firmware update.
     
  4. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    So I completely disassembled the slot-loading drive, cleaned all the gears, laser, etc. Drive mounts. Won't boot.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #5
    Have you ever booted your Cube from that disc? Is it a retail or restore disc? Does the disc boot on other Macs?
     
  6. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Yes, on many occasions. To be truthful, my OS 9isn't an official disc, but I know that isn't the issue. Because it's not booting from ANY discs that it used to boot from. Like the ppc Ubuntu Mate disc, or even my tiger disc that would simply say "can't be installed on this Mac" or something similar because I tried and didn't know about the RAM limitation. And the fact that the OS 9 disc booted initially. More than once. I genuinely believe my new firmware is at fault. But I can't revert.
     
  7. DeltaMac, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015

    DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #7
    You say that the option-boot does not let you boot to an optical disk.
    It doesn't work for you when you press the Return.
    Did you also try clicking on the right-facing arrow in that option-boot screen, instead of pressing Return?

    Does the standard boot key for a CD work for you? (boot, holding the C key?)

    Your list of hardware for your Cube shows 64MB of RAM.. Is that still true?
    You can't boot (or install) Tiger with only 64MB.
    You'll need 256MB minimum for Tiger.

    You also won't install from a Tiger install that is on a grey DVD, or a copy of a grey DVD. That will work ONLY on the Mac model that it originally shipped with, and won't install on different Mac models. That's where your reported message "can't be installed on this computer" comes from. You have to use the commercial Tiger DVD, which is a black DVD, with a big X across the label.
     
  8. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    I understand the minimum for Tiger now, but my point is, the disc still booted at one point, even if it did just complain about the limit. Now I want my OS 9 disc to boot so I can wipe it clean. But the disc won't boot and neither will any other. I've tried every form there is to no avail. Holding C, choosing from the Multi boot menu, and even typing "boot-cdrom" into open firmware. all of this was working fine before the update.

    I'll probably record a video of my issue, upload it to YouTube, and share it here of that helps anyone.
     
  9. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #9
    Have you tried a PMU reset?
    Is your battery good (more than 3.3 volts?)
     
  10. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Nope. The battery is bad. I took it out until I can order a new one. But.. PMU reset? that button that's hidden under the top plate on the main board? or those OpenFirmware commands? I've tried all that, too. no dice. it's been booting from the discs even without a battery, though.
     
  11. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #11
    Have you tried a PRAM reset?

    Hold down :apple:+option+P+R before the computer chimes, and wait for it to chime a second time(or if you're missing the speakers for your Cube, just hold it down immediately on start-up and keep them held down for 15-20 seconds).

    I seem to recall my Sawtooth having a similar problem at one point(would not boot from the optical drive), but a PRAM reset cleared it up.

    One other thing-it's entirely possible that your optical drive is simply bad. The Cube drives are a bit difficult to find. They use a standard laptop ATAPI connector, but to be fully correct they should work as a slave drive. Most laptop drives are set for Master. One the Cube drives I've had a part, there's a small switch on the back to choose between the two.

    I bought a refurbished DVD drive for a decent price(I think around $40) back in January, although I don't remember where exactly. The same site also sold a Superdrive upgrade-I think it was $60 if your Cube had a CD-RW and $100 if it had a DVD. I've actually toyed with buying one, as two of my three Cubes have CD-RWs.
     
  12. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12

    I've already tried a PRAM reset as well. It's a CD/DVD combo. I've already tried another drive set to slave. again, same issue. mounted but will not boot. I'm stumped. I usually don't use forums like this. but I signed up because the web simply had no answer

    on a side note. I'd love a power mac g4 tower. especially a dual CPU. I thought about selling my Cube and cinema display to buy one.
     
  13. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #13
    I have to admit that I'm stumped also. My only other suggestion would be-as I mentioned earlier-to try the ROM update again.

    And, although this isn't necessarily a fix to your underlying problem-if you have another PPC Mac that can run Tiger, you can always boot the Cube into Target Disk Mode(hold down T on booting), connect it via Firewire to the other Mac, and then run the installer on the other Mac. Just select the Cube hard drive as your destination.

    I do know that I had one Cube that ran Tiger fine on the old firmware (3.5.something, I think). I installed Leopard on it(via Target Disk Mode to bypass the clock speed check on the installer) and it would kernel panic on booting. Updating the firmware fixed that problem.

    As for a G4 Tower-these are cheap(if not sometimes free) and a lot of fun. I've spent a fair bit of time learning the minutia of them, and have managed to put together a collection of every major variant of them(9 variants, although I have duplicates of quite a few).

    If you want a dual processor, in my experience the most common are:

    1. Gigabit Ethernet with Dual 450mhz or Dual 500mhz

    2. Quicksilver with dual 800, or the Quicksilver 2002 with dual 1ghz(a personal favorite of mine, although one of the less common ones)

    3. Most original MDDs(2002) and FW800s, with the exception of the lowest end FW800(single 1ghz). Quite a few of the MDD2003 models-I'd go so far as to say most that I see-are single 1.25s.

    There are also DP versions of the Digital Audio, but in my experience they are fairly uncommon. I have three Digital Audios, but all are the base model 533mhz.

    There are always aftermarket CPUs also. I have a Quicksilver 2002(originally a single 800mhz) that has a Gigadesigns Dual 1.8ghz card in it. That's a bit of a cantankerous beast, and I'm actually third owner among folks who frequent this forum. It uses a pair of 7447A processors(a laptop processor) rated from the factory at 1.25ghz. The previous owner had it running stably at 1.73ghz, but had cooled the snot out of his system, including things like punching a hole in the bottom of the case for another fan. I lapped the heatsink(which was covered in machining marks) and it's rock stable at 1.6ghz with more-or-less stock cooling. I can't get it stable at 1.73.

    I also have a Sonnet dual 1.8 on the way from Germany. Sonnet has a great reputation for aftermarket CPUs(I'd go so far as to say they're the best) and I'm hoping it will actually run at its claimed speed.
     
  14. corataylorx, May 1, 2015
    Last edited: May 1, 2015

    corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Thing is, I don't have another Mac. At all. I tend to dislike Apple,but I've ALWAYS wanted a PowerPC-Based Mac. The iMac G4, Power Mac G4, and Power Mac G5 are all very attractive to me. I'm aware of the compatability issues but they just seem like so much fun to me. My friend had this G4 Cube, he got it along with an old IBM thinkcentre from a friend. and so I traded him my Inspiron 530 for it, seeing as I never used it anyway, and he wanted it as bad as I wanted the cube lol. Anywho, If you could link to a reasonably-priced Power Mac G4, I'd appreciate it. This Cube is in great condition, and I even have the ADC 17' Apple Studio Display to go with it, If you know someone who'd want one. I may put in on Ebay, but I'd like to secure another PowerPC mac first.

    This boot disc issue is beginning to be damn pain, though. Oh and I forgot to mention-I tried the firmware update already. It said It was already installed and wouldn't allow me to proceed.
     
  15. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #15
    The cube does boot to the internal hard drive, right?
    Insert the DVD. Does it mount this time?
    Go to your System Preferences/Startup Disk pane.
    Does the DVD show there as a bootable device? Can you select it?
    What happens when you restart then?
     
  16. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Yes, hard-drive is bootable. The DVD still mounts. Already tried that. it shows the question mark finder face. then falls back to the HDD.
     
  17. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #17
    But, you can select that DVD from the Startup Disk pref pane?

    I think (or just an educated guess, to be honest), that you booting situation is related to the absence of a working battery. In the past, I have seen some older iMacs, with the same sort of firmware update applied, that would not boot from an alternate drive until the clock was set. When you unplug everything, the time&date also reset to firmware defaults.

    Boot to Open Firmware (restart, holding Option-Command-o-f (the o is the letter not the number zero) You'll see the open firmware screen. Type the commands, and press enter after each is typed.
    reset-nvram
    set-defaults
    reset-all

    After pressing enter on the last command, let your cube boot normally,
    Open System Preferences. Set time & date. Set your Startup Disk.
    Restart a second time.
    After the second restart - try to boot to your DVD.
     
  18. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Thanks for the feedback-followed your instructions to the T, no go. Maybe a battery is mandatory? I'll have to order one.
     
  19. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #19
  20. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Thank you, but I can order one online for 5$, and end up getting it sooner than if I'd driven to radios hack. lol
     
  21. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    To update those who it may concern--Iv'e circumvented my issue. A bootable USB flash drive. Created it by making an ISO of the bootdisk, and writing it to my drive via Transmac. Turns out, the cube doesn't enable the ADC Monitor's USB ports until an OS loads, so, I had to use a USB hub for my keyboard, mouse, and USB drive. It worked rather effortlessly.

    I appreciate those who've helped, and i'll stick around the forums to learn more, and also (attempt to) return the favor. I'll be ordering a new NVRAM battery tomorrow, and I'll let you guys know if it worked when it comes in.
     
  22. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #22
    I'm glad that it's working, but I think that you have something strange going on with your ADC display and/or Cube.

    I have three Cubes, and it's rare that I don't use them with ADC displays(IMO, it's one of the best design pairings Apple has made, and it really tidies up the cables under the Cube for better air circulation). I've used them with plenty of other Macs, too, both plugged into an ADC card and with the A1006 ADC-DVI adapter.

    At least on ADC displays with working USB ports, I've never had issues entering any start-up commands with the keyboard plugged into the display. In fact, if you have an optical mouse plugged in, you can see it turn on almost as soon as the computer is powered up.
     
  23. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    I should've mentioned, that's a new issue as well. Since that firmware update, the cube's start-up sequence has been rather wonky :( I won't complain though, I had the hub laying around.

    Any reason my ADC Display has the short,short,long flashing LED? It mean backlight issue. But it works fine :p
     
  24. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #24
    Have you tried doing a PRAM reset now that you've figured out that the USB ports weren't initializing on start-up?

    Often times, this can clear "wonky" start-up issues.

    BTW, the LED on the display should be steady from the time it turns on. The only time I've seen otherwise is a rapid, almost stroboscopic effect during firmware updates.
     
  25. corataylorx thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #25
    I have. But I'll wait until my PRAM battery comes in before I get too irritated with it.

    And I know-As I said, the flashing is an error code. The code it's displayin indicated a backlight error, but the display works fine :confused:
     

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