Possible problem with clamshell Ibook

Garyed055

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Feb 15, 2018
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hi guys

I downloaded the three CD images for 10.3 from Macintosh Garden and when after burning the cd's I tried to install them but the clamshell couldn't read the CD's, said they were invalid. could the optical drive be dying?

Gary
 

bobesch

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Oct 21, 2015
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Kiel, Germany
hi guys
I downloaded the three CD images for 10.3 from Macintosh Garden and when after burning the cd's I tried to install them but the clamshell couldn't read the CD's, said they were invalid. could the optical drive be dying?
Gary
If you've installed an OS on that Clamshell try e.g. an audio-cd to check, if the optical drive is ok.
If there's no OS installed on the Clamshell AND you've got a FireWire-Clamshell set the Clamshell into Target-Disc-Mode (press "T" while booting), connect to another Mac via FireWire and try to access the optical drive via FireWire.
Or connect the Clamshell via FireWire to another Mac in Target-Disc-Mode with your installation CD in it's Optical-Drive...
If you've got an early clamshell without FireWire the optical-drive is mission-critical.
 
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B S Magnet

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If you've installed an OS on that Clamshell try e.g. an audio-cd to check, if the optical drive is ok.
If there's no OS installed on the Clamshell AND you've got a FireWire-Clamshell set the Clamshell into Target-Disc-Mode (press "T" while booting), connect to another Mac via FireWire and try to access the optical drive via FireWire.
Or connect the Clamshell via FireWire to another Mac in Target-Disc-Mode with your installation CD in it's Optical-Drive...
If you've got an early clamshell without FireWire the optical-drive is mission-critical.
It is possible to boot from a USB image with the Rev. C clamshell. What I have not tested is whether this is particular to the firmware ROM revision 4.1.7 or whether it is applicable to all versions of the system firmware (e.g., v3.3.3). If this is a stumbling block, the method for updating the firmware is to run it from a OS9.1–9.2.2 boot only.

One possibility is to use another machine to clone a mirror of OS9.1 onto a USB key and try holding down Opt upon power-on. Alternately, it may necessitate running a few Open Firmware commands to get the system to boot from a USB source.

Without more information about this particular machine, it's tough to know what is certain about its current parameters.
 

Garyed055

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Feb 15, 2018
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Canton Georgia
More info..

Its an early 300 Mhz tangerine clamshell with one USB and no firewire. I tried the burned CD's again and this time after bumping and grinding for over 5 minutes sounding like an old typewriter the drive managed to read the 1st CD. so I think the drive is failing.

Gary
 

B S Magnet

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More info..

Its an early 300 Mhz tangerine clamshell with one USB and no firewire. I tried the burned CD's again and this time after bumping and grinding for over 5 minutes sounding like an old typewriter the drive managed to read the 1st CD. so I think the drive is failing.

Gary
You may be right. Or the old drive may not be up to the task of reading the dyes on the burned discs (as they're fundamentally different from the pits in pre-pressed CDs).

Try a USB stick clone (with Disk Utility or Carbon Copy Cloner) of the first installation disc. Insert the USB stick and try an Opt-startup to see whether it comes up as a booting option. This may take an unusually long time, but if the grey screen and dark grey apple appear, go take fifteen minutes to work on something else as it slowly pulls things up. If this works, then installation via USB stick (or even a USB-powered external CD/DVD drive unit) may be your best route, shy of removing the drive and using another machine to install Panther.

Patience here is paramount.
 

bobesch

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[booting from USB-stick] ... may take an unusually long time, but if the grey screen and dark grey apple appear, go take fifteen minutes to work on something else as it slowly pulls things up. [...]
Patience here is paramount.
Thanks for telling that! I wouldn't really be that patient without knowing these details... :(
Certainly slow USB1 is one of the reasons.
Bringing FireWire to the USB1-Macs must have felt like haven on earth at that time!
 
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B S Magnet

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Thanks for telling that! I wouldn't really be that patient without knowing these details... :(
Certainly slow USB1 is one of the reasons.
Bringing FireWire to the USB1-Macs must have felt like haven on earth at that time!
Knowing that USB booting *is* possible is one thing, but yes, to have Firewire on a clamshell is a blessing of time!

Also, since by default I want to see the verbose boot, it's possible to see why parts of the booting from USB (or even optical disc) takes the amount of time it does.
 

Garyed055

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Feb 15, 2018
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Well swapped in a different CD-ROM drive from another clamshell and same result, neither drive can easily read the CDs. I think its either new discs on an old and previous standard drive or cheap CDs
 

bunnspecial

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I've found many touchy CD-ROM drives of this era can work better with a cleaning.

Cleaning CDs use to be very common. I have a few kicking around, and all of mine have a very fine, soft brush attached to the surface. They contain several audio tracks that instruct you to advance to certain places on the disk-presumably this is to move the lens in line with the brush, and allow the spinning disk to sweep dust and dirt off the lens.

I've had many drives that, when I first got them, would be stubborn to boot(sometimes even with pressed disks) and flaky all around with burned disks. DVDs are often even worse than CDs because of the higher track density, but CD-Rs can still be problematic. A few cleaning cycles would often get them booting 100% with a pressed disk, and sometimes nearly as reliable with burned disks.

I'll also add that I think that if you're going to be playing with PPC Macs much, having pressed originals on hand is a very valuable investment. I generally work from my burned copies(except Leopard-I have had miserable luck burning DL-DVDs) to avoid the chance of damaging an original, but on a marginal drive a pressed disk is almost always more reliable.

I will add the caveat, though, that many of the "official" Tiger CDs(the white label kind) are burned-I understand that Apple would exchange a DVD for CDs at the store, and I almost wonder if the CDs were burned on demand rather than Apple sending copies to the stores. I DO have a set of pressed Tiger CDs, and my Xserve G5 also shipped with a factory boxed copy of Tiger Server on(pressed) CDs. Xserve G5s actually didn't ship with DVD drives, although mine has one now :)
 
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B S Magnet

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I've found many touchy CD-ROM drives of this era can work better with a cleaning.
I mean, there will obviously be exceptions, like the 1996 Kodak CD-R I used for a music mastering project, burned with a dedicated, purpose-built CD-R burner (and not players) running at 2x or 4x. And in 2019, it still reads anywhere I try it, likely because it used a stable phthalocyanine layer (as opposed to an azo dye, the "bluer" variety) and burnt by a fairly rigorous-tested CD-R burner at the time. Then again, the blank was noticeably more costly than even alternatives for its day.

@Garyed055, have you tried to run these discs with an external unit which can be connected via USB?
 
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Garyed055

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Feb 15, 2018
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Canton Georgia
I mean, there will obviously be exceptions, like the 1996 Kodak CD-R I used for a music mastering project, burned with a dedicated, purpose-built CD-R burner (and not players) running at 2x or 4x. And in 2019, it still reads anywhere I try it, likely because it used a stable phthalocyanine layer (as opposed to an azo dye, the "bluer" variety) and burnt by a fairly rigorous-tested CD-R burner at the time. Then again, the blank was noticeably more costly than even alternatives for its day.

@Garyed055, have you tried to run these discs with an external unit which can be connected via USB?
Yep I hooked an external CD drive to the Clamshell and they read fine. They also read fine on my other three Macs

Gary
 

weckart

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As well as the dyes fading on cheaper burnt CDs, the lasers in CD drives can weaken over time making reading CDRW discs and many CDRs one task too many for the clapped out hardware but even more prevalent is the azimuth setting being a tad off. I remember the Teac drives in the PowerBook 1400 tended to go skewiff in this way.

Advice at the time was to adjust the lens setting via a little screw on the lens track but this meant shutting the system, removing the CD drive, making a quarter turn adjustment and then reassembling, rebooting, testing, rinse, lather, repeat. Laborious trial and error stuff especially if you turned the screw the in wrong direction to start with.