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FWB NuBUS Jackhammer Incompatible with Fujitsu 2.3G MO Drive

olePigeon

Well-known member
I figured I'd fiddle around with my Jackhammer. Tried out a 15k RPM SCSI drive. Was insanely fast. Funny watching it format and then create 16 2GB partitions. :p

Unfortunately, I discovered that so long as the Jackhammer card is installed, my Fujitsu drive won't mount any MO disks. I even tried erasing them with FWB HDT and using the FWB driver, but no go.

There is a list of specific MO drives in the manual that it says it's compatible with, but I was very disappointed to learn that it won't work with my MCR3230SS Fujitsu. :(

At first I thought maybe it just didn't like the 2GB cartridges, but I tried a 640 and 230, and nothing but problems. 640s behaved the same as the 2Gs, but the 230s would at least mount. They wouldn't copy files without freezing the computer, though.

Everything works perfectly fine when the Jackhammer card is removed from the computer. Interestingly, if I hold down Command-Option-J to disable the Jackhammer card, it will freeze the computer while the Fujitsu drive is connected.

Really weird.

I was going to try my 230 drive to see if it worked, but I had lost the will to continue as I had spent a solid 2 days troubleshooting. Very, very unfortunate. :(

The card does have the latest 3.2 firmware. Unless there's a newer firmware floating out there, but I couldn't find one. I'd love it if there's an updated firmware someplace to support the newer Fujitsu drive.

Unless someone wants to hack together a working firmware? :)
 

slomacuser

Well-known member
Mine card has 3.2.2 firmware and when I open JackHammer Control Panel which is ver. 3.2. complains that I should use the software that came with the card or update probably back to 3.2? You can option click the version number in control panel and update firmware. But I couldn't find the newer version of control panel than 3.2. (the one on the garden). There is version 3.2.6 on PowerComputing update release 2.2. but I can't find that cd online ...
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
@slomacuser Interesting. You can update the firmware by option-clicking on the Firmware version number, which I think it draws from the Control Panel to patch the hardware. That might be why yours is complaining about mismatched versions. Your card's firmware is newer than the Control Panel, and it wants it to be matching versions.

Hopefully someone has 3.2.6 somewhere. I'd love to update my Jackhammer and see if it fixes the issues I've been having. After tasting the sweet, sweet speed that was Ultra Wide SCSI, I wanna go back. :D But I'm too dependent on my MO drive for backups.


Incidentally, I was modifying the HDT Lightshow control panel to make a custom blinky light (the default one is pretty bad), and I've discovered some funny eastereggs in the resources. For one, there's a smiley face animation with a bullet hole in the forehead, dripping blood. I have no idea where that animation comes from, but it's apart of the same group of icons for HDD status lights. So I'm wondering if there's a secret click somewhere to get the bloody smiley face as a HDD light.

The second one is a resource labeled, "MOM." When you open it, it has an entry called "Hi, mom!" with some code in it. Might be a picture? But I'm not good at deciphering HEX.
 
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trag

Well-known member
I'm not at home to check my archive, but I have some version of JackHammer software here:

https://www.prismnet.com/~trag/Mac_Drivers/

Depending on what host machine and system you are using, SCSI Manager might be loading twice. I think the JackHammer has SCSI Manager in firmware and there is an option to not load it.

You might try adjusting that setting.

This is all based on memory from 30 years ago, so, grain of salt.
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
@trag Thank you. Unfortunately it looks like the same version as mine, version 3.2. I looked on FWB's website on Archive.org, and they have version 3.2 as well, but their website goes dark shortly after they got bought by some other company. So I suspect that any further updates were handled by the new company (or OEMs like PowerComputing), but I couldn't find any references to the Jackhammer.

I'll look through the manual again and see about disabling SCSI Manager. I didn't recall seeing that option.

I have one possible lead on an updated version, thanks to @slomacuser . User "semvalidade2006" on Macintosh Garden apparently has a copy of the Power CD 7.5.3 revision 2 CD. Looks to contain some SCSI Jackhammer software. I'm hoping it's a newer version than 3.2. Clearly newer firmware revisions exists. Just need to find them.
 

trag

Well-known member
I have a PowerComputing Corp. 7.6.1 CD at home somewhere. I don't know if it had JackHammer software on it. I'll try to remember to check.

Also, there was a PCI JackHammer. Did they use the same control panel?
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
No, different software. I downloaded one of the 7.6 CDs, but no Jackhammer software on it. But that's not to say yours doesn't have it. It would appear that PowerComputing made a significant number of "Power CDs" with all manner of different bundled software.
 

trag

Well-known member
I have two or three PCC CDs at home. I just remember the 7.6.1 one specifically, because it's my goto when I need to install 7.6.1...

I'll see if I can find anything useful. If I can remember to check.
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
Awesome, thank you.

So I tried my known-bad JackHammer card, and it exhibits the same issues (except this one occasionally freezes the computer on boot in addition to all the issues my "good" card has.)

I also tried the card in my NASA IIfx, and had the same issues.

Incidentally, I also tried connecting it directly to the JackHammer card with the "non-disk SCSI support" turned on. Same issue.

Edit: I just had a thought. I think my Fujitsu drive has a jumper setting for toggling SCSI-III mode. The JackHammer only does SCSI-II or older, even though I believe SCSI-III to be backwards compatible. It's a small chance, but I'll research it.
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
Nope, I must be thinking of my HDD. The MO drive doesn't have a SCSI mode switch and is only SCSI-2. But it did have a cache jumper that was supposed to be shunted by default. I really, really doubt that's the reason, but I'll give it another go.
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
@trag @slomacuser Just out of curiosity, does your computer also freeze when you hold down command-option-J to temporary disable your JackHammer card? My IIci hard freezes. My IIfx seems to never get past the gray screen with mouse cursor.
 

trag

Well-known member
I haven't used my NuBus Jackhammer in several years, but I remember it as relatively trouble-free. The main issues I had with it were related to compatibility with the Turbo601 I had in the IIci for a while. Also, there's some Retrospect oddities.

Back in the 90s I called Dantz for one of the problems and they told me about an undocumented menu in Retrospect and how to access it. I think it was called Cousin IT or something like that. I'm pretty sure it involved holding down the opt key. But that's not really relevant. Just reminiscing on old JackHammer issues at random.

Anyway I don't remember ever using the C-O-J command to disable my JackHammer. I think that if I ever did, it must have worked, because I think I'd remember it if there was an unresolved issue like that.
 

trag

Well-known member
I checked my archive. All my saved JackHammer software is ver. 3.2. There's a FAQ from FWB which includes questions about both the PCI and the NuBus JackHammer and it states that 3.2 is the latest version. There could have been an update after that, but that FAQ is pretty late in the game for the NuBus card since the PCI card is in play.

I think I have a copy of ver. 1.4. :)

My PCC 7.6.1 disk is for a PowerCenter Pro. It doesn't have any NuBus software on it. I can't find my other PCC disks. They should be in the CD organizer but they're not. Sigh.

It seems to me that if PCC shipped JackHammer software, it would have been with their Power120 computer because that was their NuBus clone of the 8100.

But I wonder if something got garbled and maybe that elusive 3.2.6 (assuming it exists) is on the disk(s) Radius shipped with their Radius 81/110. Radius was more into the high end of cloning with their 8100 clone shipped with Video Vision Studio and JackHammer already installed. I'm not sure PCC shipped the Power120 with a JackHammer.
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
@trag One of their PCCs does have the JackHammer software on it as an optional NuBus card installer, but it's never been uploaded anywhere. Frustratingly, "semvalidade2006" posted about his 7.5.3 Rev 2 PCC disc, but several people erroneously said it was the same as the regular 7.5.3 disc and that he doesn't need to upload it.

It took me three seconds to verify that the disc contents are completely different. He did post to Macintosh Garden some time in June this year, so I posted a note to his guestbook. I hope he logs in soon and reads it.
 

trag

Well-known member
It took me three seconds to verify that the disc contents are completely different. He did post to Macintosh Garden some time in June this year, so I posted a note to his guestbook. I hope he logs in soon and reads it.
I hope so too. Keep us posted. I'll let you know if I find my other PCC disks. They should be around here somewhere.... I just can't imagine where. I don't usually let data CDs wander all that much. They're not free range.

I did purchase a refurbished Power120 from PCC back in the 90s, so I should have the disk that came with the Power120. I don't what JackHammer software, if any, is on the disk though.
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
@slomacuser Unfortunate, but also a relief to know that I'm not the only one. :)

According to the manual, cmd-opt-j disables the card so you can better troubleshoot.

Mine also freezes if I disable the card via the Control Panel. I then have to clear PRAM to get it to boot again, as it won't boot with the card permanently disabled.
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
As @slomacuser already knows, someone found a 3.2.3 firmware on a German Macworld CD. It's intended for Targa 2000 users, but who knows. It might fix other issues as a side effect.

I'm going to look around Pinnacle Micro related stuff. See if I can't find some CDs. I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that Pinnacle Micro bundled a JackHammer card with one of the MO drives. I'm also going to see if any more MacWorld CDs are online from around that same time period.

The hunt continues!
 

trag

Well-known member
I found my other two PCC disks last night (well, three, but one was a demo disk) and no joy on either one. One was a 7.6.0 disk for the PowerTower Pro, so no surprise that it lacked anything NuBus. The other was a 7.5.1 disk, with no machine labeled, probably because the Power 80/100/120 was the only model they sold at the time, but it didn't have any JackHammer software either. FWB HDTK and CDTK, but nothing Jackhammer'y.

Sorry.
 
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