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First post, snagged an S900 in great cosmetic shape, but with problems

macuserman

Well-known member
The LCD is where it is giving the issue. However, I had it set to 1280x1024 and that was what it was set to when it actually worked. I have removed all the extensions and the control panels and this still happens. When I boot with SHIFT held down, it comes up. After removing all the extensions and control panels, it now does the same thing with the bar at the bottom of the screen at about 1/20 complete. I also tried plugging into my old HP CRT and it did the same thing there. As for the video card, it looks like a PCI card with a standard VGA port next to the old MAC video port.
Do you have a different video card you can try? Kinda sounds like the card might be locking up.
 

Angelgreat

Well-known member
Hello everybody. This is my first post here.
Today at an estate sale, on a shelf in a garage was an original S900 box. I figured it to be empty but it looks like there's a unit, dusty but otherwise in great shape on the outside. They wanted a whopping $15 for it. Anyway, I got it home, plugged it in and nothing. Battery is most definitely flat, so I'm trying to test the PSU. Are these flaky? I find an article on how to convert an ATX power supply but I'm a little scared to do that because I don't trust my skills much in this respect, also it looks like mine only has three connectors, a really long one and then a short one, and an even shorter one. Is there something I can to to test the PSU? I tried jumping the two outside pins on the three-wire plug but nothing happened. I opened the PSU and I only see one fuse, but it tests ok. What is the next thing I should check? I'd really like to get this working again.
Any chance you can photograph and upload the pictures of the S900 box?
 

kruuth

Active member
Do you have a different video card you can try? Kinda sounds like the card might be locking up.
Not really. What cards can I use? Would just a generic pci video card work? Also, isn't it an indication that this is a software thing if it works when I zap the PRam and boot with extensions off?
 
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macuserman

Well-known member
Not really. What cards can I use? Would just a generic pci video card work?
As long as it's a mac card then you'll be fine, any old rage card or something like that will work just fine. I'm sure I have something cheap if you can't find anything. But there are tons of options, you just need something so you can eliminate it as an issue.
 

kruuth

Active member
As long as it's a mac card then you'll be fine, any old rage card or something like that will work just fine. I'm sure I have something cheap if you can't find anything. But there are tons of options, you just need something so you can eliminate it as an issue.
I'm prone to believe this is a software issue if booting w/o extensions works. I'm waiting on a new battery that will be here in a few days among other things.
 

CircuitBored

Well-known member
I'm prone to believe this is a software issue if booting w/o extensions works.
Don't be so sure. It's worth remembering that the software you are disabling is responsible for fully utilising the hardware. If the software is behaving normally but the hardware is defective then running the software will cause trouble. I'm not saying your hunch is definitely wrong but it's worth keeping your mind open.

It sounds like you have a Twin Turbo graphics card by your description of the ports. My Twin Turbo behaved erratically (much like yours) before I removed its ROM chip and deoxidised the legs. I recommend that you do the same. My card would also only boot properly with extensions disabled until I cleaned the ROM.
 

kruuth

Active member
Don't be so sure. It's worth remembering that the software you are disabling is responsible for fully utilising the hardware. If the software is behaving normally but the hardware is defective then running the software will cause trouble. I'm not saying your hunch is definitely wrong but it's worth keeping your mind open.

It sounds like you have a Twin Turbo graphics card by your description of the ports. My Twin Turbo behaved erratically (much like yours) before I removed its ROM chip and deoxidised the legs. I recommend that you do the same. My card would also only boot properly with extensions disabled until I cleaned the ROM.
Ok I'll give that a shot. I take it you mean the socketed chip on the board? How did you clean yours?
 

kruuth

Active member
OK, popped the rom. Cleaned it with contact cleaner. Same thing. I have to wipe the Pram for it to come up. Is it possible this is because I don't have a battery in there? I pulled the battery b/c the mfg date is from 1996.
 

Byrd

Well-known member
The PRAM keeps settings like screen resolution, so yes, replace.

I'd switch off all video-sounding extensions you have installed as it sounds like something is screwing up video output/features on boot. Have you reinstalled the OS, completely fresh - what's the video card, it might not be properly supported or you have the wrong driver.
 

Byrd

Well-known member
The PRAM keeps settings like screen resolution, etc so yes, replace.

I'd switch off all video-sounding extensions you have installed as it sounds like something is screwing up video output/features on boot. Have you reinstalled the OS, completely fresh?
 

kruuth

Active member
The PRAM keeps settings like screen resolution, etc so yes, replace.

I'd switch off all video-sounding extensions you have installed as it sounds like something is screwing up video output/features on boot. Have you reinstalled the OS, completely fresh?
I'll try that next. I only have cd-rw discs though. That's another mess Does this CD-rom even read cd-rw?
 

Byrd

Well-known member
I'd pick up a pack of CD-Rs to be honest, CR-RW are fragile things and can have problems being read on some drives.

Go Mac OS 9.1 for the S900
 

kruuth

Active member
Ok. Not 9.2.1? I just dropped a new battery in and it's doing the exact same thing. Not sure where to go from here.
 

kruuth

Active member
Is there something up booting the CD on these? I tried holding C down, but it won't do it. I only have CD-RW discs so that might be an issue.
 

kruuth

Active member
Ok, had a buddy come by, burned a cd and tried booting with the C key. Interestingly enough, it started up for a bit, but didn't boot the CD. It almost got to the desktop, but then the screen resolution changed again. It looks like it went from 800x600 to 1280x1024 to this weird res. Any ideas?
 

kruuth

Active member
Ok well, I tried switching to the first PCI slot. No luck. It does the exact same thing.

Can I just stick any old PCI video card in there?
 
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