Author Topic: problems with G4 DA and Newer Tech CPU upgrade  (Read 1486 times)

Offline mopar300m

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problems with G4 DA and Newer Tech CPU upgrade
« on: January 07, 2022, 08:12:08 AM »
Hello everyone, I'm new to the board. 

I recently bought a PowerMac G4 Digital Audio with a Newer Tech Dual 1.6 GHz CPU upgrade module.  It had sat in a basement for years and came with a dead PRAM battery.  The computer would boot (strangely) to OS X before the battery replacement but not to OS9.  After the battery replacement I can't get any OS or install disc to boot.  I found a copy of Newer Tech's firmware CD and followed the instructions but it never got to the firmware upgrade screen.

Do I need the original CPU to do the firmware upgrade, or is there a way to upgrade the firmware with the new CPU module?

Offline FBz

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Re:G4 DA & Newer Tech
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2022, 09:55:31 AM »
Before ever even attempting to upgrade the firmware OR anything else… try zapping the PRAM.

From a cold start… hit the power button (boot) and hold down the [command + option and p and r] keys. Hopefully you’ll get the boot chime and if so, wait for two more chimes before then releasing those four keys. If it then does not chime (or eventually boot completely after that release) you may have to reset the PMU on the motherboard. (Cover that possibility only AFTER the PRAM zap.)

AND even before the PMU reset, but after the attempted PRAM zap… simply unplug the machine and hit the power button… that should light up momentarily, then after a minute or two, plug in the power cord and attempt to boot again. If no change, then PMU ritual.

If it does boot after the zap… reboot holding down the option key until you might get a choice of boot sources to choose from. Choose OS 9. Again however, if it doesn’t boot after the ZAP, this option key boot attempt is moot.

I’m assuming that all was well with this machine previously and the firmware had already been upgraded (before storage) and that OS 9 was already resident on the HD with OS X?

Report back with your results BEFORE you attempt any possibly unnecessary firmware upgrade.

Offline mopar300m

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Re: problems with G4 DA and Newer Tech CPU upgrade
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2022, 01:13:57 PM »
I was unable to zap the PRAM.  I hear the startup sound and then get dropped into Open Firmware.  At the top of the screen it says "WARNING!  MSSCR values mis-match".  I get a prompt where I can boot the mac or shut it down.  If I type mac-boot, I get the blinking smiling folder and question mark icons. Nothing happens, it just keeps blinking.

Offline Cashed

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Re: problems with G4 DA and Newer Tech CPU upgrade
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2022, 02:04:56 PM »
Welcome mopar300m

I see FBz is already tackling your issue. You have come to the right place.

Please have a seat until a technician replies. If you would like something to read while waiting then,
here are some "WARNING!  MSSCR values mis-match" readings.
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=3795.0
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Offline FBz

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Re: G4 DA & Newer Tech
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2022, 02:13:18 PM »
That perpetual blinking signifies that it cannot find a bootable drive / device.
(I know… elementary.) ::)

Have you tried booting from an OS install disc (OS 9 or OS X)? Or any external drive or device?

If you can’t get the CD tray open to insert such a disc, open it through the front pinhole with a paper clip to then place the disc. THEN boot while holding down the “c” key AND if that doesn’t work try again while holding down the Option key with CD still in. This is all due to the possibility that your HD has problems that need be diagnosed (and possibly repaired) with Disk Utility on an OS installer disc. This would tell you if your HD is beyond repair OR even if it is the problem.

IF you can get it to boot from some other source (CD or external drive) then you may be able to recover or repair your existing HD.

If none of the above is possible, then you may have to install a new (or different) bootable drive.

I know it seems weird, but HD failures and corruptions usually happen at the most horrible times. In this case, very possible in a machine that’s been dormant for some time?

NOW, with all that said… I’d blow out (dust) the machine and check all of the internal plug-in connectors for the HD, mobo, and video card, etc. and maybe give it one more try. (The dead battery had not leaked at all?) Closely check visually for any leakage. But it does present like a failed HD. Hell, I’d even re-seat all of the RAM and pull all but basic necessary PCI cards. (Leaving the video card only.)

AND if you do have to install another HD - you may need to find a suitable original-type CPU in order to once again update the firmware (maybe) for the NewerTech CPU.

A bootable firewire drive with OS would be very nice right now for you if you can’t get it to boot from an installer disc… to run Disk Utility on your internal HD.

Can you send a pic of your internals? One HD or two / more inside? SCSI card or other added enhancements present?

Offline FBz

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Re:G4 DA - boot cd:,\\:tbxi
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2022, 03:42:55 PM »
AND if you can't get it to boot from a CD in the tray...

BUT you can get to open firmware (with the CD still in the tray).

At the Open Firmware prompt, type in...   boot cd:,\\:tbxi    (and then hit enter)


Offline mopar300m

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Re: problems with G4 DA and Newer Tech CPU upgrade
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2022, 06:31:29 PM »
I have an update.  Removing a SCSI card made the computer work properly.  It instantly found and booted the copy of OS X on the drive.  I was unable to boot the 9.2.2 install CD (blank screen) so I booted the Newer Tech CD and was able to change the NVRAM setting for OS 9 without going into programming mode.  The install CD boots now but switches to a resolution my monitor doesn't like, but that's a different issue.

Thanks for the help!

Offline Cashed

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Re: problems with G4 DA and Newer Tech CPU upgrade
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2022, 03:07:26 PM »
Glad to hear mopar300m

Try 'SwitchRes 2'
It shows you all available resolutions of your video card, not just those limited by your monitor.
https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/switchres
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Offline FBz

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SCSI CARD / Mopar
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2022, 06:42:59 PM »
Happy to hear that your machine is now again functioning and yet, as we seem to be encountering very similar problems cropping up here lately with others’ machines - there are a few questions that you might answer in order to possibly help us all with any future possible, similar situations.

Most questions below might serve anyone seeking help with a problematic Mac - if they provide answers to them in their help requests. Along with specific machine type. (i.e. DA, QS, MDD, G3, G4, iBook, iMac  etc.)

1. Was this machine new to you, as in “recently acquired”? Or…

2. Was it always yours… but just stored away until recently?

3. Did its’ hard drive have both OS 9 and OS X already installed and working before storage?

4. If both 9 & X were already on the hard drive, were they installed on separate bootable partitions?

5. OR were they both on one single hard drive, un-partitioned?

6. Was there only one hard drive present? Type & size?

7. How many GB - each HD? Or on just the one? How much RAM installed?

8. What other cards were installed in the machine when you had boot problems?

9. Did you originally install an aftermarket CPU upgrade, or someone else?

10. Any other external devices connected? If so, please list.


In the last couple of years it seems that more older Macs have been taken from storage or more recently, “otherwise acquired” and there’s a resurgence in their resurrection or simply a renewed interest in these older machines. Consequently, many have ignored, or simply never knew that Apple OS installation instructions nearly always recommend the removal of all but the basic, ordinary function cards (i.e. video) be removed before any attempted added OS installations or devices. There are many reasons for this.

BUT SCSI cards “left in” seems to be one of the top sources of problems, lately.

And then there’s the notion that whatever might still be on the old hard drives might just be “pure gold” so no way I’m gonna erase all that and start from scratch. But if that were actually the case, it is simple enough to move that “gold” to another backup drive, external drive or even a USB thumb drive. Point being that most of us have accepted (often kicking AND screaming) that a dual-boot machine (with OS 9 and OS X) is best to be "built" on freshly re-formatted drives featuring at least two partitions. One for each OS installation. OR even divided between two, bootable internal drives if possible.

Whichever path is finally taken, then with a fresh & clean installation of both Operating Systems… some of that “gold” can then possibly be moved back onto whichever OS partition (or drive) is preferred.

In effect, the clean OS installs effectively take out all of the accumulated trash from previous years of use.

THEN one can begin sourcing any necessary (often newer & updated) drivers for other cards or devices - to then be reconnected or installed with / within the machine. Might seem like a lot of work in some instances, but time (and often many headaches) might be saved in the long run / BIG PICTURE.

Guess maybe I should move my question of “Do you have a SCSI card still installed in your machine” up the list of questions asked when first attempting to blind troubleshoot some of these problems?

Many of these machines are now way past 20 years old and for some reason, many think that you can just plug ‘em in, and fire ‘em up… just like it’s 1999.

“I was dreamin’ when I woke up…”

You know… like yesterday?

Happy 2022 everybody!
« Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 07:03:07 PM by FBz »

Offline robespierre

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Re: problems with G4 DA and Newer Tech CPU upgrade
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2022, 11:39:08 AM »
I recently bought a PowerMac G4 Digital Audio with a Newer Tech Dual 1.6 GHz CPU upgrade module.
There is a prior problem/solution thread about this here.
MSSCR is a register on G4 CPUs related to multiprocessor and chipset communication. This error occurs in OS9 when the Sonnet/Newer's dual processors are enabled without special versions of enabler files.

Offline mopar300m

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Re: SCSI CARD / Mopar
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2022, 04:07:05 PM »
Happy to hear that your machine is now again functioning and yet, as we seem to be encountering very similar problems cropping up here lately with others’ machines - there are a few questions that you might answer in order to possibly help us all with any future possible, similar situations.

Most questions below might serve anyone seeking help with a problematic Mac - if they provide answers to them in their help requests. Along with specific machine type. (i.e. DA, QS, MDD, G3, G4, iBook, iMac  etc.)

1. Was this machine new to you, as in “recently acquired”? Or…

2. Was it always yours… but just stored away until recently?

3. Did its’ hard drive have both OS 9 and OS X already installed and working before storage?

4. If both 9 & X were already on the hard drive, were they installed on separate bootable partitions?

5. OR were they both on one single hard drive, un-partitioned?

6. Was there only one hard drive present? Type & size?

7. How many GB - each HD? Or on just the one? How much RAM installed?

8. What other cards were installed in the machine when you had boot problems?

9. Did you originally install an aftermarket CPU upgrade, or someone else?

10. Any other external devices connected? If so, please list.


1 & 2: The machine is new to me, I bought it from someone who lives about an hour from me.  It was in his basement for several years.  A 15" Apple ADC CRT monitor and a Pro Mouse came with the G4.

3 & 4 & 5: The master drive had a single partition with OS X 10.4.9 and Mac OS 9.2.2.  Mac OS 9 was never used on the machine, OS X added a bunch of stuff to OS9 when I fired up Classic mode.

6 & 7: Two hard drives were installed, an 80 gb as master and a 250 gb (?) as slave.  The 250 gb drive was blank.  1.25 gigs of RAM is installed.

8: The only cards installed were an ATI Rage128 video card and an Adaptec fast SCSI card, both with Apple part numbers on them.

9: The CPU upgrade came with the computer.  It's a Newer Tech MaxPower dual 1.6 GHz.

10: All I had connected at the time was a USB-VGA KVM switch.

When I got the computer hooked up for the first time it was flaky, but did boot into OS X.  It did not boot normally.  I would get the "shut down your computer" error box, but if I waited 20 seconds or so I'd get a spinning circle and OSX would boot the rest of the way.  I thought this strange behavior was from a dead PRAM battery but when I put in a new one the really bad flakiness started happening (freezing, not booting at all, dropping into open firmware).

 


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