Power Mac 8500?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by gkgfamily, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. gkgfamily macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    #1
    Hi, I know this is a TOTAL long-shot, but I'm wondering if anyone knows where I could find a really old Mac (Power Mac 8500 or similar) for purchase? I work as a graphic designer, and had an old one that I occasionally used for many years, that died, and still had some very old (but still important) graphics files for longtime clients. I realize it's a total dinosaur and most of you are probably cracking up at this quest, but I'm thinking that I might be able to use my existing hard drive on another machine and possibly be able to access the files. Sorry, I know this sounds pathetic, but just trying to figure out whether anything like this would even be available anymore. Is there a site to buy old Macs? I'm checking Craiglist, etc. but just wondering if there is something known by all the experts who might read this. THANKS! :)
    (by the way, I have the monitor and keyboard, just would need the tower!)
     

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  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #2
    Not an unusual request at all.

    Your existing HDD should be plug and play-just fire it up and and go.

    To broaden your options somewhat, if file access is your only goal, you can also look at an 8600, 9600, 7300, or 7600. A 9500 would also work. The 8600 or 9600 would actually be my suggestion, as they are SIGNIFICANTLY easier to open and work on than the 8500. If you use the A/V functions at all, stick to an 8500 or 8600.

    Even stretching thing a big more, you could get a PowerMacintosh G3 Beige. These are normally set up with IDE drives, but have on-board SCSI so you can transplant your drive into those. I wouldn't use it as a boot drive, but you can still access it. Getting even newer, a PowerMac G3 or G4 with a factory SCSI card(Adaptec 2930CU) will allow you to easily install and read your HDD as long as you're not running OS X Leopard.

    If at all possible, avoid shipping on any of the above systems. The "pillow" G3 and G4s usually ship alright, but this era beige machines will often end up with a lot of plastic pieces on the bottom of the case.

    I'd suggest the Low End Mac swap as a good starting place. You might be able to find one locally, and if you are lucky it will be free or for a nominal price.
     
  3. gkgfamily thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    #3
    --- Post Merged, Aug 26, 2016 ---
    Thank you SO MUCH! I truly appreciate your suggestions and help! :)
    Hooray! I was able to find an old Power Mac 8500/120 (which is the same as what I had), and it just arrived. I guess the trick is to put the old hard drive from my failed 8500 into the "new" computer? ("New" definitely in quotes -- haha) And then I would be able to even use it for awhile longer, as a computer, right? (not merely just access the files) Am I understanding that correctly? Thanks again for any advice or help. As you can tell, I am a graphic artist only, and this stuff is getting way beyond my job skills! ;-)
     
  4. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #4
    To make your life simplest and involve the fewest headaches, you should indeed just swap the drives. Take the cover off both your old and new 8500. It's one or two screws at the back, then slides forward and up(watch the plastic!)

    You should see the hard drive from the front of the computer-it will probably be right under the CD-ROM drive.

    The drive will be mounted on a white-ish plastic sled with a tab on the front. Push the tab up then pull the drive out about a 1/2" or so-you should feel it hit a stop. From there, you can lift the drive straight up and it will be "free" from the attachment to the computer case.

    Once the drive is free, you will need to unplug the 50-pin ribbon cable from the back along with the 4-pin power connector. The power connector can be a real bear, especially since it likely hasn't been out in 15 or 20 years. Hold it by the sides and "rock" it back and forth while pulling-it will eventually come loose.

    Once the drives are free from both computers, you can reverse it to install the old drive in your "new" computer. Make sure the ribbon cable is fully seated, and then hit the power button(I'd suggest on the keyboard) while you still have the computer apart. It should chime and you should be rewarded with a desktop that's just like your "old" computer.

    If you want more storage space, it IS possible to put both the drive from the "old" computer and the "new" one in, but that will require a bit more work. If you're going to do that, please come here and ask. It's not overly complicated, but at the same time you will have to change a couple of jumpers(the small plastic blocks on metal pins) on one of the drives. Otherwise, you will likely end up with neither drive being recognized. For a more technical explanation-all the drives on the 8500(HDD, CD, Zip) are on a "SCSI" bus. A SCSI bus of the type in an 8500 supports 7 devices, although one of those devices is the SCSI controller on the computer. Also, SCSI devices are on a continuous "chain" via the ribbon cable in the computer(and the external devices, if you have any). Each end of the chain must be "terminated." Each device also has an ID number-from 0 to 6-that uniquely identifies it on the bus. For a 90s Mac, the CD drive is normally ID 3 and the boot drive is ID 0. Also, the boot drive is at the end of the chain, so it is terminated(the computer terminates the other end). If you put the drives from both computers in, you will end up with two drives at ID 0 and termination on-and the computer can't read either. The fix is to change one to ID 1 and turn termination off-then everything will work fine.

    All of that aside, you should have no issues just doing a straight swap of the drives. Just be careful with the plastic!
     
  5. gkgfamily thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    #5
    Thank you bunnspecial of Kentucky! :) You are the best! Honestly, very touched by your kindness and willingness to help from afar. Thank you so much for that detailed description. I have a guy here who used to work on Macs but who said he needed to "brush up". I can now just give him your instructions, and I think he will be able to sail through with ease. Thank you thank you!!! Just one more question, if you don't mind. On my "old" Mac, I had two hard drives. One with the system, and a bit of software on it, and another with a few applications and documents. So based on your description above, I'm guessing that putting both of these hard drives into the "new" Mac would be difficult. Is that correct?

    Thank you again! Gold stars in heaven for you, for sure! :)
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    No problem-I'm glad to help as long as I can!

    Your two hard drives in the "old" computer should already be set up similarly to how I describe, so should just as easily transplant into the "new" system provided that you take out the drive already in it.

    Just keep their positions on the SCSI cable the same, or really(and most importantly) make sure the drive at the "end" of the cable in your old system ends up at the same place in your new system.
     
  7. gkgfamily thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    #7
    Thanks so much! I sure appreciate it! That makes sense. I'll report back later this week with the "verdict" on how it all went! ;-) Thanks again for your kind help (and for your expertise! Too bad Kentucky isn't a little closer to California!)
     
  8. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #8
    I can echo this. I got an 8600 shipped from eBay and although it arrived intact with no obvious signs of damage, it has never booted or even chimed. I have stripped it and tested it every possible way but cannot see where the problem lies. Either the logic board got fried, a key trace somewhere on the board broke during transit or the cpu board flapping about en route (it is quite weighty) may have damaged the unit. I have no doubt the seller was honest in describing it as working when shipped but despite being built like a tank, it clearly suffered from motion sickness.
     
  9. gkgfamily thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    #9
    Thanks so much. Oh dang, that is sure rough! I saw this issue firsthand when the guy came to troubleshoot the Mac I'm replacing and the plastic piece attached to the power button (behind it) just cracked and snapped off.

    I was totally worried about having something shipped, but I ended up having to have my "new" one shipped since there wasn't anything anywhere near me, and I just literally prayed it would somehow arrive intact (from Wisconsin to Santa Barbara!). I got it through eBay seller jcisl, and he did an amazing job packaging it. When I first unpackaged it, I kind of gently turned it around a few times to listen for any stray pieces of plastic, and was relieved I didn't hear anything. I then pushed the power button, and it turned on (yaay!), so one big hurdle down - ha.

    But (don't laugh), when I tried to turn it off with the power button, it won't turn off. Can I unplug it? Still waiting for the guy who is going to transfer my hard drive from the old unit, and attach the other stuff (monitor, keyboard, etc.), who is coming later this week. Any thoughts? Also, bunnspecial, if you can still see this thread, what do you think I should do? Right now I've just left it "on" for the past few days because I am terrified to do something that will cause a problem. Is unplugging okay in this case? Again, it's just the CPU, by itself, plugged in, and I turned it "on" to make sure it worked, but now not sure how to power off, since the same button doesn't turn it off (I'm assuming it's tied to the keyboard on and off somehow? Also, it has a working hard drive on it right now.) Or should I just leave it on until the guy gets here to do the transfer and setup?

    Whew! Okay, so sorry to have so many questions. Gaining a whole new appreciation of how well my computer worked for so many years! :)

    THANKS!!!!
     
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #10
    Pulling the plug won't hurt anything at all-sometimes that's the only way to get these systems powered off.

    Did it at least chime when you powered up the "new" one?
     
  11. gkgfamily thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    #11
    Oh good, thanks! Just pulled the plug and finally shut it off. I was afraid to do it. And yes, I think it did chime when I first turned it on. Thanks again for all the specific instructions. The guy who is helping me said it will really help him a lot in knowing what to do! Thank you!
     

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