TWO Cubes!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Goftrey, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Goftrey, Sep 7, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014

    Goftrey macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #1
    Hey guys, I've been following a few G4 Cubes for a while now and just haven't been able to justify the ridiculously high prices they're going for.

    However, I've been watching this one for a while and and have been hoping that it could be salvageable. The machine boots up and chimes, but then proceeds to a completely blank, white screen - as opposed to a sad Mac, flashing folder etc.

    I've never come across a Mac that's thrown up a blank white screen before - do any of you know what the issue could be?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    Jan 24, 2010
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    Inside
    #2
    Reseat the video card and video card riser board, then reset the PRAM. Do you have the Cube speakers and hear it chime?
     
  3. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
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    Wales, UK
    #3
    I haven't bought the Cube yet - it's currently at auction. If it was in my possession that'd be the first thing I'd do.

    I've been contacting the seller for a couple of days now and he said the machine's been in storage for 8 years, was working when it entered and now it's not. He's not fussed on touching any of the internals as he's afraid he'll break something. The most I could get out of him was the fact that it chimed (through the Cube's speakers) and proceeded to a blank, white screen.

    As it's been in storage for so long honestly it could be anything, I'm just hoping it's (as you said) something as simple as a loose GPU.
     
  4. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #4
    Because it chimes, I think it's easily fixable.
     
  5. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #5
    Are you by any chance using an ADC display?

    I've had issues(why, I don't know) with G4 machines having issues booting into OS 9 when the USB ports were dead on an ADC display. The symptoms were much as you've described.

    On the systems where I've had issues, there was never a problem booting with (only)a VGA display connected, nor was there a problem booting into OS X with the ADC display.

    I don't know why that particular combination gave me the problems it did, but just something that I've observed on more than one G4 system.

    Incidentally, somehow or another the USB ports on my 17" Studio Display started working again, and I now have no trouble with that same display and OS 9 on any systems where it formerly had problems.
     
  6. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

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    #6
    Alrighty then! I'll go for it - will report back tomorrow if I win.
     
  7. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

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    May 20, 2011
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    #7
    I won the auction! Including postage it's cost me £55, which is a pretty damn good deal, even if I can't get it working.

    Should be here within the week.
     
  8. havokalien macrumors 6502a

    havokalien

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Kelso, Wa
    #8
    original video card

    The original video cards are notorious for dying in those. I hacked in a g4 tower card and it runs cooler and supports the 17 inch display that the original card does not.
     
  9. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

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    May 20, 2011
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    #9
    Okay, I've just gone a little trigger happy on eBay this last week but this one I just couldn't turn down, I've now got (along with the aforementioned Cube) a 1.2GHz, upgraded (and fully working) Cube, complete with Studio Display, speakers, the lot. All for £50 ($80).

    I'll probably end up now taking the better parts from each and frankenstein them together.
     
  10. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #10
    That's a good deal. The G4 upgrade in that Cube alone is worth more than what you paid for it. The display and speakers make it an even better deal. I hope you didn't pay too much for shipping.
     
  11. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

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    #11
    Only a tenner ($15) for shipping. Looks like it's packing this CPU.

    Let's just hope they both arrive in one piece.
     
  12. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #12
    I have one of those, a 1.6Ghz model, in one of my towers. It runs well. Much better than the OEM 500Mhz G4 that was in it.
     
  13. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #13
    Good deal. There is another similar setup going for £50 minus the cpu upgrade. Curious as to what the CEX receipt relates to in the photo.

    Prices are starting to fall on these. I have seen a few under the £100 mark this last month or so.
     
  14. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #14
    Right, the 1st Cube turned up yesterday.

    It turned up, well packaged. Every thing was where it was meant to be and the Cube itself on first inspection was in good condition. I plugged it in, and booted it up, to see the status quo. And as per the description, it booted up to a blank, white screen. I couldn't hear the hard drive spin up either.

    I then notice a red LED on the logicboard, labelled 'DS2' - after researching I've still got no conclusive answer, hard drive or video card by the looks of it though.

    So I flip the Cube around and start digging in to the system, first things first, smack a new hard drive in.

    On my way I noticed the optical drive was bent, with a disc jammed inside. I ripped that out and there was a Tiger DVD in there. Guessing whoever owned it lasted tried reinstalling the OS before everything went tits up.

    I continued to swap out the 20GB (original) Apple drive with a 160GB Maxtor drive. I put everything back together and again, white screen. Nothing.

    So then I decided to swap out the Rage 128 GPU that was in there with a GeForce 2MX. Easy enough, everything back together and AGAIN, nothing. White screen. And still the HDD wouldn't spin up.

    So I dug back in to the Cube and this time moved the hard drive over in to the optical drive bay. Again, put everything back together, and again, white screen. HOWEVER, the hard drive did spin up this time.

    I reset the PRAM, still no change. I held down Option to get in to the drive selection screen and it did proceed to that screen, however everything was unresponsive (ie. timer icon stuck and mouse not working). I tied booting up into Target Disk Mode to see if the PowerBook could see it but it refused to boot in to TDM.

    Is there anything else I can do? What does the DS2 LED mean?

    UPDATE: I'm into Open Firmware! The keyboard is working, however I how idea how this can help me. Is there anything I can do here to help the Cube out?
     
  15. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #15
    There are two LEDs on the Cube logicboard. One shows that the logicboard is receiving power and the other is a hard drive activity light. Cubes often don't work in Target Disk Mode unless their firmware has been updated to 4.1.9f. I think you can see the version in OpenFirmware. Also note that only the hard drive set as master on the primary IDE controller, there's only one controller in a Cube, will be seen over Target Disk Mode. If there isn't one or OpenFirmware can't see it, the machine will shut down instead of staying in a blank Target Disk Mode state. In OpenFirmware, try resetting the NVRAM and other settings by typing "reset-nvram" and"reset-all" pressing return after each. Then try to boot the system normally.
     
  16. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #16
    Reset the PRAM and NVRAM, to no avail.

    The firmware version is 4.1.9f - still refuses to boot in to TDM.

    The second Cube turned up today, again, packaged really well. Plugged everything in and booted it up - everything is working without a hitch! Massive score, the Cube itself is in near mint condition, inside and out. Same goes for the monitor, speakers, keyboard and mouse.

    Just as a last shot, I tried the GPU, RAM, PRAM battery and HDD from the working Cube in the faulty Cube, and still no change. I did the reverse (GPU, RAM, PRAM and HDD from faulty Cube in working Cube) and it booted up perfectly, which leads me to think it's almost definitely a logicboard or CPU issue.

    At this stage I'm going to cut my losses on the first Cube and sell it as-is (should breakeven at £50 to be honest), and I'll keep the second Cube around. Gorgeous machine. I'll get some pictures when she's all set up.
     
  17. Goftrey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

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  18. CYB3RBYTE macrumors regular

    CYB3RBYTE

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2014
    Location:
    Midwest
    #18
    So sad to see such a beautiful machine not working. At least you were able to save the other, though! Make sure you take care of those, they're quite literally getting rarer by the minute. I wouldn't mind taking that non-working one off of your hands though... maybe a new cpu would do the trick...
     
  19. Mnowell69 macrumors regular

    Mnowell69

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    Location:
    Bedford, UK
    #19
    i got mine for £70 inc postage and then proceeded to spend another £50 on a 120gb diamondmax plus9, a 32 mb geforce mx2, and a set of original software disks.
    Would love to get a display to go with it. An excellent computer that is used as a media player and looks fantastic.

    Good luck with your purchase, it's fantastic
     
  20. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    #20
  21. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
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    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #21
    Part out the internals of the non-working Cube and stick an Intel NUC Hackintosh in the case!
     
  22. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
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    #22
    That CPU will not fit in a Cube. It is too tall. If it was put into a Cube you would run the risk of burning out the VRM board.
     
  23. JohnnyH1012 macrumors member

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    Jul 12, 2014
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #23
    Wow Goftrey, those were some extremely lucky finds! I can't wait to see some videos covering them!
     

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