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Need help deciphering my Macintosh Portable Sad Mac Code


Well-known member
I have a non-backlit (5120) portable that was running a while back, but now...
It starts with a bad chime and a sad mac with the following code.

From this, I get a 'major' error of 173E and the tables that I find don't provide a way to interpret this.
(have included a link to one below, but they are all pretty much the same information)

If I am missing something really simple and just overlooking it, please be gentle in pointing it out ;-)

Sad Mac Codes for Portable

I'm looking for help with deciphering the sad mac code.

It has fully charged and working batteries.
It has a working (tested) charger.
It has been re-capped (several years ago).
It was working fine about a year ago. (It has the original hard drive installed, but I tried starting it with/without the hard drive connected)


Well-known member
My Google search (sad mac "0300173E" 00001FFA) returns very little, but it does come back with this apparently Japanese technical developer note, which contains a reference to my specific error in a portable - it could just be another person with the same problem or a some clue to the issue, but I cannot decipher it at all. Here is the link. Can anyone translate? I have attached a pdf of the website as well.


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Well-known member
Google translated,
The tragedy came suddenly ...
One day, when I started Portable (non-backlit / RAM 2MB / HD 40MB / System 7.0.1), which had not been started for about a week, "Sad Mac" suddenly restarted .... many times. The same is true. Even though the HDD is rotating properly .... It is invalid even if the boot floppy disk is inserted. Maybe the floppy disk does not come out and I hurriedly ejected it with a clip.
It doesn't work even if you remove the battery. You can't boot from the battery by removing the AC adapter. By the way, the backup battery (9V laminated battery) is also new.
This Portable was introduced relatively recently, and although the appearance was fairly clean and there was no problem with operation, only one point was introduced and the volume was maximized from the beginning. I was a little worried that the speaker would only make a mosquito-like sound, and that the hum would always be heard while the power was on. When I was using it for a long time, there was also a miscellaneous sound like "Rattling, rattling". "I wonder if something is wrong with the sound output power system. Let's repair it someday." However, there was no problem with the operation itself, so I left it. This hum sound continues to sound this time. Thanks to that, I can not hear the arpeggio well. Still, when I listen carefully, C moll immediately after startup It was found that the Japanese sound of A-Cis-EA was sounded, followed by the ascending arpeggio called A-Cis-EA, with A (“la”) near 440 Hz as the main sound. Even if I know the tone of the sound, I don't understand what it means. (Explosion)
Take a second look and look at the sequence of numbers under "Sad Mac". The top is 03001300 or 0300173E, the bottom is 00001FFA. I looked at the Developer Note for Portable, but again I don't know. (Sorry ...) While doing so, there was no response when I tried to start it, or even if the HDD started to rotate on the "Sad Mac" screen, it stopped immediately again. It started to move, and finally the rotation of the HDD stopped and the screen disappeared.
"Somewhere the logic was physically broken." I thought so.
On TS's site ("TS Factory"), "Even if the power is turned off, current is always flowing in the power supply section of the Portable logic, and the deterioration of the capacitor there causes him to fail. I remembered that it was written that it was said.
"Let's disassemble it anyway", I started to open the abdomen of Portable. The body of Portable has almost no screws. It is made by fitting parts.
1 of 2 9/15/21, 6:50 PM

PORTABLE REPAIR http://square.umin.ac.jp/~itoh/portable_repair.html
However, depending on the location, this meshing is so tight that it does not come off easily. If you try to open it forcibly, it may crack, so be careful, but press down on the hard parts as much as you can to make your fingertips red. I managed to pull out the logic board while swelling. And I observe it closely. According to the information of "TS Factory", the capacitors of C17, C22, C27, C28 (these are small gold with a diameter of about 5 mm). It is said that the metal can deteriorates (16V, 47μF). If you look closely at that area ..., oh, the feet of C22 and C27 are green. "It may be fixed by replacing this." A few days later, when I went to Osaka at a conference, I wandered around Nipponbashi firmly on the way back and bought a new condenser. Pressure resistance I used a 25V, 47μF electrolytic capacitor to give some room to the swelling. Now, I'm fighting with logic again. , I attached a new condenser half a day. Then, I temporarily assembled the main parts and started it. A moment of tension ....
After all, "Sad Mac" and arpeggio .... Certainly, the rotation of the HDD no longer stops, but it does not start.
The same goes for the sequence of numbers under "Sad Mac".
Next, I replaced the C28, which looks okay at first glance, but the result was still the same. The C17 looks okay, but this one has parts. I gave up the exchange because it is in a busy place, because there is a possibility that something else is wrong.
Well, at this point, I don't know what's wrong now. (T_T) So this non-backlit Portable is still dead now. (T_T) (T_T)
If there is any progress after that, I will write more. (^^ ;; (June 15, 1998)


Well-known member
To me this looks like a possible combination of error codes.

The 00001FFA makes me think it could be related to the interrupt (NMI) lines, like this Reddit person mentions: https://www.reddit.com/r/VintageApple/comments/gmb9kw
Check IPL0, IPL1, and IPL2 on the mac portable schematic, check that they connect properly. If something's wrong there, fixing it will help clear up this possibly OR-ed together sad mac code.


Well-known member
mac portable schematic,
Is there a copy of the Mac Portable schematic somewhere handy? That is a very similar error code and I like your interpretation.

So this non-backlit Portable is still dead now.
This story did not end well - thanks for getting the translation - it was entertaining to read, even if it didn't contain the clues that I was hoping for.


Well-known member
I hope these help.

That minor error code pops up a lot it seems, everything from RAM to PMGR related problems. Fingers crossed it's something straight-forward!


  • Macintosh Portable Schematic.pdf
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