Powermac G4 Sawtooth with no serial number and blank Board Serializer 3T106

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by LightBulbFun, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #1
    ok so this is going to be a long post. well some time ago (about a year ago) I got my first PowerPC mac a 450Mhz Sawtooth one thing I took note of at the time was that in about this mac and system profiler the serial number did not show up now I put this up to the Mac just being too old for it to retrieve the serial number But today I was doing some internet browsing when i came across this : blank Board Serializer 3T106. now with some googling and this post http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1524529 I found out its a Bootble CD for setting the serial number on a Blank Mac Logic board (and like intel says in that post if you boot it on a mac with a number it will not let you change it) so it struck me what if I try booting this on my sawtooth? it has no serial number and low and behold it booted up and after some clicking put me at a enter a serial number prompted now here is where i ask what do i do? Do I set a serial number what do you think I should do with this sawtooth Logic board should i set a serial number? (the case was beaten up so i stripped it out the sawtooth is just a Logic board with PSU etc on my desk atm)

    all in all I found this rather interesting I have a PPC mac with no serial number so i decided to share it on here (bellow are some pics i took if you are interested heh)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey/ North Virginia, USA
    #2
    Well, I personally wouldn't do anything since I'm guessing it is rare to have one without a number, so why not leave it that way.
     
  3. LightBulbFun thread starter macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #3
    I was thinking that heh. Im just wishing I had not taken it apart now (i guess if i find another sawtooth i can transplant the Mobos around. but the case it was in was quite beaten and scratched up) oh if ur wondering the case sticker does have a serial number.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    Looks like you already tried to enter a serial number, or some previous user tried to do that.
    That utility (as one of your pictures shows) is for blank boards only.
    Apparently yours has a saved serial number, and it is, unfortunately, blank (no characters). That is NOT the same as a blank board. You have a serial number, but it is empty, or <null>, but the board is not blank.

    The Blank Board Serializer will not work on a board unless it is blank, and it thinks your board is not blank.
    I know that there is a method to clear the firmware, and "zero" the board again, but I don't know what the trick is.
     
  5. LightBulbFun thread starter macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #5
    no the one pic where it says it already has a number is from my Macbook i put it in there as an example. the rest of the pics I took from my sawtooth (i did not put in a number i just hit cancel)
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    Then - the purpose for that utility is to give the option to have the system serial number burned on a replacement logic board.
    If it accepts the number, you could put anything there that you like. I *think* it will only accept the total characters for your particular system, 11, IIRC.
    There's no particular reason to have a "real" serial number, unless you are going to sell it at some point. But, it's 15 years old (and who cares about the serial number anyway :D )
    If you are going to use the logic board for your own use, then something apropos to you! (I would likely use something like "THEG4MASTER" or something unique to you.
     
  7. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #7
    I wish there was a(known) way to "blank" a board. I have an MDD in which I replaced the logic board, and would like to the system serial number on it.

    Does anyone know where the SN is physically stored on the board? If it's a ROM chip, I'm wondering about swapping the chips between my old board(which I still have) and the replacement board.
     
  8. LightBulbFun thread starter macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #8
    I do believe its stored in ROM... so i think if you switched the ROM chips over it would carry over the serial number (Im sure intel knows the real answer heh)
     
  9. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #9
    I can't speak to PowerMac G4s, but in most "PC" Intel-based boards, the serial number is stored in onboard flash memory. (As is the MAC, and most other hardware-type addresses.)

    Last time I worked at Intel, we got a batch of late-prototype motherboards that all arrived "blank". No serial number, no MAC address. They had to be delivered to testing sites within the week. I had to figure out a way to quickly throw serial numbers and MAC addresses on (along with a few other values - such as the actual stored value for "model of motherboard"!)

    We had the Intel Desktop Board firmware-equivalent of that utility. I set about scripting it, and was given a sheet of Intel-assigned MAC addresses to put on them. When we were done, we still had a dozen MAC addresses left over. So now I have "spare" MAC addresses to reassign my personal system, should I need to. :-D
     
  10. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    Location:
    don’t read my status message
    #10
    I just received an A1138 found cheaply on that internet auction site.

    I’m working through things which have problems on it (fairly minor overall, though seller warned it was kernel panicking). Once I got it up and running with Leopard, I discovered in System Profiler that the PowerBook lacks a serial number and order number — specifically, these are blank.

    I’m certain the logic board is a replacement, and the RAM bridge with the logic board serial is about 15 weeks newer (14th week of 2006, or W8614…) than the serial number found inside the battery compartment (53rd week of 2005, or W8553…).

    upload_2019-6-1_2-50-38.png

    Provided I get the minor problems up and working, I think I’d like to keep this machine. I do feel some kind of limited imperative to assure System Profiler has a serial number to display which meshes with what the system plate shows.

    So I suppose the purpose for my revival of this thread is: does this "blank Board Serializer 3T106" function with PowerPC systems or is it solely an Intel Mac-based utility?

    Also, provided I can locate it, should I even bother?
     
  11. LightBulbFun thread starter macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #11
    ahh this thread brings back memories :)

    for anyone wondering, I noticed that it seems like most early Sawtooths dont have the serial number encoded in ROM so i dont think my Sawtooth is anything special in that regard, I wonder if the early firmware on the early sawtooths initially did not support the feature then added it with a later Firmware update.

    as for your quires, the software I used is universal and boots on PowerPC and intel Macs :)

    (I also since making this post discovered another bit of internal apple software that lets me change the Serial number and colour code of a PowerPC Mac even if its already set :) )
     
  12. swamprock macrumors 6502a

    swamprock

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2015
    Location:
    Michigan
    #12
    I replaced the mainboard in my 1.5ghz 15" Powerbook G4 with an eBay find, and it didn't have a serial number either. I just left it as-is, but this is interesting nevertheless...
     
  13. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    Location:
    don’t read my status message
    #13
    Yeah. This took me by surprise, because I’d never seen anything like it before.

    I’m not totally sure, but I think the board was new old stock for servicing.

    There’s another, partially obscured sticker on the RAM bridge next to the 2006-era serial which denotes a 2011 date. I can take a picture of that if anyone’s interested.

    The previous owner seemed to have used the PowerBook until at least around mid-2012, based on files left behind on the HDD. I’m pretty sure the combo AirPort/Bluetooth card is faulty, which is what likely is causing kernel panics on startup (and what wouldn’t have necessarily been noticed in the hardware test, which passed).
    --- Post Merged, Jun 1, 2019 ---
    Oh that’s interesting! This would cover the G3 iMacs, clamshell iBooks, and “domino” MacBooks. Obviously I’m not going to wonder where you got it, but that would be a fascinating utility to have handy, even if it almost never gets actual use. :)
     
  14. LightBulbFun thread starter macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #14
    I would not mind seeing pictures :)

    im not too surprised by your mobos lacking serial numbers, all logic boards from apple made for replacement purposes come blank with no serial number, whoever replaces the logic board in the apple store etc, is meant to then use their tools and input the serial number of the machine they are fixing :)

    indeed thats what its for :) its a PowerPC only tool tho not for intel macs

    but it does mean you could set an iBook G3s colour code to flower power or something like that if you really wanted too LOL
     
  15. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    Location:
    don’t read my status message
    #15
    As ought to be apparent, the actual Ethernet MAC and the one reported on the plate also differ, which leaves me to wonder whether, along with the serial number being blank, changing the MAC on the logic board to match the plate is even possible.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. LightBulbFun thread starter macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #16
    yeah indeed that DLSD seems to have had a replacement lobo, and whoever did it, forgot to serialise the board!

    the MAC address is always unique to the logic board, and when an apple store does a logic board change they are meant to put a sticker containing the new MAC address over the old one

    (its how I can tell my G5 Quad has had a replacement logic board at some point for example :) )
     
  17. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    Location:
    don’t read my status message
    #17
    Ahhh. Which probably means this PowerBook was repaired by a party outside the Apple Authorized Service network. ::inverted smileyface::
     
  18. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
    Location:
    don’t read my status message
    #18
    Update! I found the board serializer and plugged in the appropriate serial to match the plate inside the battery compartment. Everything went smoothly. Thank you again with your help! :D
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Raging Dufus, Jun 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019

    Raging Dufus macrumors regular

    Raging Dufus

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2018
    Location:
    Kansas USA
    #19
    So, I'm presuming this is some bit of software? Or open firmware commands, perhaps? Would you mind sharing?

    EDIT: Never mind, I re-read LBF's post at the beginning of this thread. I really am a dufus.
     

Share This Page

18 April 6, 2015