PowerMac7,3 Boot Issues

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by smartyhall, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. smartyhall macrumors newbie

    smartyhall

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Cleveland, TN
    #1
    I just recently picked up a PowerMac7,3 with the dual 2.3 GHz PowerPC 970FX option. It was missing its drives, so I dug out an older SATA drive, stuffed it in, and went to boot a Tiger install disk. The install disk boots, sees the drive, and completes the install. However, it won't actually boot after the install — sort of… I got it to boot successfully once, but after the initial setup and installing the first set of Tiger updates, it went back to the previous behavior when it needed to restart. I just get a purple screen with with looks like a "System Folder Missing" icon like I would expect to see on an older Mac. I also tried booting into target disk mode, and my other Mac can see a disk in the optical drive fine but not the hard drive.

    On the bright side, I can at least use it as the most contrived external optical drive ever for my cheese grater, since it's drive died. lol (Actually, the Windows XP box in my living room that drives my dot matrix printer is probably the most contrived "external" optical drive possible, but it causes issues when I need to see a Mac partition on a disk. :p )
     
  2. Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502a

    Eriamjh1138@DAN

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    BFE, MI
  3. smartyhall thread starter macrumors newbie

    smartyhall

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Cleveland, TN
    #3
    That was actually the first thing I did to the drive before I even put it in the Mac. Then, just in case something went wrong with that, I used Disk Utility from the install DVD to reformat it again. I'm going to try and dig up another drive to test sometime today.

    Also, I tried resetting the NVRAM and the SMC, just in case, but that didn't seem to help any.
     
  4. reukiodo macrumors regular

    reukiodo

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Location:
    Earth
    #4
    Try using the existing disk on the other SATA connector and see if the results are the same. I'd still hope it is a dead drive rather than a bad cable or logic board connector.
     
  5. smartyhall thread starter macrumors newbie

    smartyhall

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #5
    I ended up fitting a drive I just pulled from my laptop when I upgraded to an SSD recently. Out of laziness, I just plugged it into the bottom connector instead. It ended up working correctly. Since I now have a system that's booting, I have been able to do some further testing on the other drive, and it seems to be the source of the issue. It's not showing a valid S.M.A.R.T. status, but it is working reliable once the system is up. I will end up trying the drives the other way 'round, because my curiosity outweighs my free time at the moment. lol
     
  6. smartyhall thread starter macrumors newbie

    smartyhall

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Cleveland, TN
    #6
    So, swapping the position of the drives shows that it's an issue with the full-size drive. The connectors for the top bay work fine with the drive that was working in the lower bay. I guess my next job is to find another drive in my collection that I can use, instead of having that laptop drive just dangling. Maybe I'll just get a cheap SSD and an adapter.
     
  7. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #7
    Drive might just need a full nuke, depends what it had on it before. As a last resort I tend to use a Windows 7 or higher machine, and do a clean from the diskpart command line utility. It nukes all data, partitions and signatures.
     
  8. B S Magnet macrumors 6502

    B S Magnet

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2018
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    don’t read my status message
    #8
    Another consideration:

    I find that the PowerMac7,3 (what I have) can be very finicky about the kind of SATA HDDs used, as Drive bays "A" and "B" were only ever engineered to operate SATA I (1.5Gbps) rated HDDs. In practice, what this means is sometimes one bay might read a SATA II or III-rated drive sometimes or it may not read it at all. Most of the spinning rust I have (all-Western Digital) was made on or after 2009, and all are rated for SATA III.

    In the end, I found that I needed to throw on jumpers (as I recall, for pins 5 and 6) for both HDDs in "A" and "B" to slow the data throughput rates. Once this was done, the G5 stopped having problems with recognizing/reading/booting from the newer-than-2004 SATA drives.
     
  9. smartyhall thread starter macrumors newbie

    smartyhall

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2019
    Location:
    Cleveland, TN
    #9
    It came in a box of drives that I got from a thrift store. From the way it looked with I first connected it to a computer, it was once part of a RAID array.

    I usually end up doing basically that from a Linux box or a VM on my Mac when I have a drive that is acting oddly. I also need to run SpinRite on it, but that's another matter all together.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 22, 2019 ---
    I should have thought about that. I'll have to see what speed the drive is rated for and go from there. Since the laptop drive is working perfectly, I am very tempted to just put some gaff tape on it to hold it in place or maybe get one of those drive size adapters.
     

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8 April 17, 2019