Macintosh SE Troubleshooting

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by bunnspecial, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    I was given a Mac SE today. It's the FDHD version with a hard drive.

    In any case, when I power it on I get a beep from the speaker, a blank gray screen, and an amber "access" light on the hard disk. After a few minutes, it will beep again, the amber light continuing to flash.

    I'm not at all familiar with 68K Macs-is this just an indicator that there's no OS installed, or is something more serious possibly wrong?

    Once I can get a set of system disks written(I'm guessing System 6 possibly) I'm going to try booting with a floppy, but would appreciate any suggestions of other things to try.
     
  2. David Schmidt macrumors 6502

    David Schmidt

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Southeastern USA
    #2
    Do you hear the hard disk spin up? (I can't remember if the SE FDHD has a fan or not... if so, it would be a separate motor noise from the fan). If the drive is stuck from stiction (a very common problem), that would keep it from booting and make the disk access light do various things.

    Things to try:

    1) boot from floppy. If it works - it's the hard drive.
    2) pull the machine apart and pull out the drive. Rotate it sharply about the spindle axis to free the platters. Reinsert the drive and try again.
     
  3. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #3
    Thanks-I left it at work, but will play with it some more tomorrow and report back.

    I have a set of System 7 disks, but can't put my hands on them at the moment. I've downloaded both System 6 and System 7, and have been trying this evening to write these to a floppy. Unfortunately, the only thing I have(at least at the moment) is a USB LS-120 drive that I've been trying to use under OS 9.2.2 with both my Quicksilver and my iMac G3.

    I'm guessing that I may need something with a built-in floppy drive. I have a couple of those(beige G3, 8500, 7100) that I can try tomorrow and see if I'm able to write to the floppy.
     
  4. David Schmidt macrumors 6502

    David Schmidt

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Southeastern USA
    #4
    You won't absolutely need it since the SE has a FDHD, but you'll have the best luck with native Mac floppies all around. It's just simpler.
     
  5. tdiaz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    #5
    The SE came with a fan from the beginning.

    If there were no OS installed, you should see the blinking question mark on a folder icon.

    I'd hedge to bet that that hard drive might be stuck .. if not just plain dead.
     
  6. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    I have all the files on a USB stick, so I think that what I'm going to do is use my Quicksilver to copy the images onto a ZIP disk, the use the beige G3 to go from the ZIP disk to the floppy.

    Come to think of it, I've never actually tested the ZIP drive in the G3, so hopefully it works :). In the worst case, I can burn everything to a CD and then hopefully go from there on one of my floppy-equipped systems.
     
  7. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    Okay, I think I'm getting somewhere-I'm just not sure if that somewhere is in the right direction!

    I found my System 7 install disk set. I popped Disk 1 into the drive and fired it up.

    After a minute or so, I got a gray screen with a cursor. A few minutes later, I got the picture of a disk in the middle of the screen. After that, the question mark appeared in the middle of the disk, and then went away. Then, the screen when black and I got the "sad mac" icon.

    I'm wondering if I'm possibly dealing with a dirty/broken floppy drive or else possibly a bad install disk(I've not used this set of disks before).
     
  8. David Schmidt macrumors 6502

    David Schmidt

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2006
    Location:
    Southeastern USA
    #8
    Ok, that sounds pretty normal - it's the power-on self test working. It takes a while.

    It's crashing on bootup. The numbers at the bottom of the sad mac will tell you what problem it thought it encountered.
     
  9. RichardOwens macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    #9

    6.0.8 might be better.

    Hard drives will go stuck after a few months or so in storage.

    I believe but not successfully I may add that getting the hard drive out and spinning it back and forth to loosen the drive might make it work. Generally once they are stuck it is the end.

    One of the local Apple Clubs might have an OS but finding a floppy ?

    If it has a single floppy drive copying stuff will be a nightmare.

    I did run applications without a finder just a system and the application on a floppy if that is any help.
     
  10. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #10
    I downloaded the 6.0.8 images from Apple's website, put them on a Zip disk, and had zero issues using Disk Copy on my Beige G3 to make floppies. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance for a few days to play with the computer any more.

    I do have an external drive Superdrive, although I couldn't get it to do anything when plugged into the floppy port on the back of the computer.
     
  11. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #11
    I think I may be getting somewhere.

    As it so happened, I was going through some boxes, and came across a Hard Disk 20 that I'd forgotten about. I picked it up a few months back, but had never done anything with it as I didn't have a computer with the proper ports to hook it up.

    In any case, I hooked it up to the floppy disk port, powered the disk on, and then the computer. A few minutes later, the computer booted into a System 6 desktop.

    I couldn't see the internal hard disk, so I'm guessing it must be dead. So, the next step I suppose is to break it open and see about replacing the hard disk.

    The only spare(internal) SCSI drive I have lying around is a 512mb that I took out when I upgraded the drive in my 7100/66. Is there any chance of this drive working in the SE, or do I need to try and find something closer to the original capacity.
     
  12. RichardOwens macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    #12

    Might also be worth looking at the PRAM? battery which might not be any good ?
     
  13. bunnspecial thread starter macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #13
    I suppose I should probably replace it while I have the computer open, but would that cause the issues I'm having? Specifically, would it cause the computer to not recognize the internal hard disk? I've never had a dead battery cause that sort of issue, but then this is my first experience with any 68K based Mac(most of mine are PowerPC)
     

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