New Cube Owner

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by eddjedi, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. eddjedi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #1
    I have just picked up a 450mhz G4 cube. I've wanted a PPC Mac again for a while to relive the glory days, and am glad to be back in the fold. Will probably have lots of questions so please bear with me! I am running 10.3.9 currently. Three to start with:

    1) It has an Airport card but I can't connect to any networks. It can see various wireless networks, but then just refuses to connect with a generic error. Is this likely to be a hardware issue, or just that the old card can't connect to networks with modern security?

    2) The cube powers off whenever I lift it up or tilt it. It's not an instant power loss which makes me think it's not a loose cable, it's like it shuts down. Quite annoying as I need to tilt it to swap USB sticks etc. Is this a feature or a problem? I'm not accidentally pressing the power button (that only sends it to sleep when on anyway.)

    3) The DVD-ROM reads discs but won't eject. Is this fixable?

    Any help appreciated!
     
  2. tdbmoss, Jan 30, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2018

    tdbmoss macrumors 6502

    tdbmoss

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    #2
    The original AirPort Card (not AirPort Extreme) will only connect to WPA, not WPA2, networks, so you may need to drop your encryption level down or set up a separate network for it. Also they do not like some newer routers/the default settings on them, you might need to try settings that are for compatibility with older devices. Or use an ethernet to WiFi bridge like a flashed WRT54 router running in bridge mode, Powerline adapters, etc if you can't or don't want to change any settings, or still can't get it to work.
     
  3. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 7, 2011
    #3
    OK thanks, I thought that may be the case. Ethernet is fine. Any idea about the shutting down when tilted?
     
  4. d-oost macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    #4
    Those DVD-ROM drives tend to fail to eject, and I haven't heard of someone being able to fix it. The slotloading iMac G3 drives are compatible, so you could look for one of those. I have one that I would give away for the price of shipping it (don't know if it works or where I have put it for the moment, but I could check), but I don't know where you are located, and if you're in the US, shipping from the Netherlands might make that more expensive than simply buying the part from eBay.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #5
    There are a few threads on here about cleaning and repairing the slot loading drives used in Cubes. For the shutting down, it could be caused by the touch sensor. Remove the cube's core and put a piece of paper over the touch sensor at the top of the core then give it a try.
     
  6. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #6
    OK thanks that's good to know, will try that. After a bit more playing around I have a weird issue - I have put an OS 9.2.2 "System Folder" on the root of the HD from the Apple Netboot DMG, and Classic mode now works. However OS 9 won't boot (shows floppy with question mark) and also weirdly if I then hold ALT at boot I don't see OS X, only OS 9. The only way I can get back in to OS X is from the install DVD and changing the startup disk. Is this normal? I like the idea of running OS X and OS 9 from one partition if it works reliably and I can switch between the two at boot.
     
  7. CooperBox macrumors 65816

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #7
    1- With routers available today I've never had sucess using the old airport card in the Cube, and stick to Ethernet via a Devolo 1200 PowerLine adapter which works a treat.

    2- For the Cube powering off when touched, mine goes to sleep if I inadvertently touch some parts of it. I initially added the thin paper or scotchtape trick to the touch sensor as it wasn't very sensitive. Now works well, perhaps too well......
    Ensure that the Power Button gasket is centred correctly. See HERE (page 19-20). Also whilst you're at that location, remove the gasket and turn it over so that it may reseat and make better contact with the power button metallic ring.

    3. Anyone finding a Cube today with a perfectly ejecting DVD-ROM drive has a rare bird indeed. I've recently salvaged compatible drives from two slot-loading G3 iMacs. Only one ejected the CD, albeit sluggishly. I attempted to recondition it and did improve the ejection, but the time & trouble required to disassemble the drive rails/rubber sleeves is somewhat of a pain.

    Misc teardown info HERE & HERE

    Here are a few long forgotten posts relating to the G4 Cube.
    http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2001/01/19/cube.html
    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/cube/dual_g4_cube/dual_g4_cube.html
    http://www.smalldog.com/techtails/46/
     
  8. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 7, 2011
    #8
    Tonight I'm trying to install Tiger, but keep getting this while booting from the DVD. I have managed to get to the setup screen a couple of times but haven't dared format the drive in case the install fails and I 'brick' it (if I can't install from DVD I have no other way of getting an OS on there.) Anybody know what this error is? The Cube seems a bit unstable at the moment.

    kernel.JPG
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #9
    What does that Tiger disc that your trying to boot from look like? For OS 9, it sounds like your cube does not have the OS 9 drivers installed. You'll have to erase the hard drive in order to install those.
     
  10. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 7, 2011
    #10
    I don't have an original, it's just a 10.4.0 ISO I downloaded. It does sometimes boot so I don't think it's the disc, more likely the drive.

    Sorry could you elaborate on installing OS 9 drivers?
     
  11. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #11
    Well sadly it looks like this thing might be scrap. The USB ports intermittently stop working, I need to unplug and re-connect the keyboard and mouse repeatedly. Also, the DVD drive won't boot at all if the Cube is upright. If I lay it on its side so the disc is facing up as it should be, after about 10 minutes it eventually gets to the 'welcome' screen, but can't get any further than that.

    Without a working optical drive it's pretty much useless as I can't think of any way to get an OS on there.
     
  12. FNH15 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    #12
    Target Disk Mode?
     
  13. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 7, 2011
    #13
    I don't have another Mac with Firewire. I don't particularly want to spend $50+ on either an external FW HD or optical drive on the slim chance it might work.
     
  14. d-oost macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    #14
    I know TDM works between FireWire and Thunderbolt, so if you have any Mac with TB, that, along with a TB to FW cable/adapter, could be an option.
     
  15. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #15
    I do have a 2016 MBP with TB3, would that work? Also how would I go about installing a PPC OS from an Intel Mac?
     
  16. v1597psh macrumors regular

    v1597psh

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Location:
    London
    #16
    Take the drive out. Plug it to another Mac via IDE to USB adapter and restore an image of installed OS to it.
     
  17. d-oost macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    #17
    That would probably not work. The MBP probably is too new to boot the Leopard installer, and has no optical drive it can share with the Cube. The only option that would work, is to somehow create a virtual machine that uses the physical Cube HDD either in a USB enclosure or over TDM, and then install it in that. Remember, Leopard is an Universal OS, so if you install it on an Intel Mac and move it over to a PowerPC Mac, it will work fine.
     
  18. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 7, 2011
    #18
    I want to retain classic mode, so 10.4 is the highest I can go.
     
  19. d-oost macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 10, 2016
    #19
    Same goes for that. But then a lot of Intel Macs will probably not boot Tiger.
     
  20. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
    #20
    Could be a long shot, but can you dismantle the cube, grab a free (or borrowed) PC IDE DVD drive, plug it into the logic board, connect it to 12v and then boot from it? I don’t know what kind of restrictions the cube would have on this...

    I’m fortunate to have a couple of Firewire 400 IDE /ATA enclosures which have come to the rescue quite a few times.
     
  21. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #21
  22. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 7, 2011
    #22
    For anybody interested I have found a work around. You can't boot a Cube from a USB optical drive, but you can install from it once already booted! So I used the faulty internal optical drive to (slowly) boot to the install screen, then in disk utility I ejected the disc, and then put it in my external USB drive and carried on with the installation. Works like a charm :)

    However it looks like the HD is faulty as I can't get the install to complete, it keeps failing at various stages. I've ordered a new HD (managed to find a NOS 80GB 7200RPM drive for $10 on eBay) so will try again when that arrives.

    EDIT: Forgot to add that the hardware test CD passed just fine.
     
  23. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #23
    its also a good idea to make sure the BootROM of your G4 cube is fully up to date :)

    having an outdated BootROM can cause a whole host of issues especially if your trying to boot Leopard, the Latest BootROM Version for the cube is 4.1.9 :)
     
  24. eddjedi thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 7, 2011
    #24
    Thanks, from memory the boot rom is version 4.1.9f? Not sure if that's latest
     
  25. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

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    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #25
    yeah thats the latest version :)
     

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48 January 30, 2018