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PowerBook 170 not playing nice with the RaSCSI.

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
I got a RaSCSI recently, and finally got around to getting it running tonight but I'm having a few issues. I've set it up properly and I've been able to boot my PowerBook 145 from an emulated CD-ROM, but my 170 has not been working nearly as well.

It has a working SCSI hard drive, along with the only working floppy drive of the 2 and I needed to boot a disk tools disk somehow with the patched HD SC utility to format an emulated 500 something MB hard drive. None of my newer SCSI equipped PowerBooks will recognize the emulated HDD (although my 1400c will recognize an emulated CD-ROM) so I figured I give the 170 a go and here's what I get:

No matter what SCSI ID I mount the emulated HDD in (or even without anything attached at all) the 170 initializes my internal hard drive, shows a happy mac and locks up. Booting a patched disk tools disk I created gets further, but it locks up while trying to load the desktop. The floppy boots fine without the RaSCSI attached.

Booting with termination disables either results in the SCSI bus locking up or no drives being detected, depending on what IDs I set. The only difference between the 145 and 170 is that the 170 has an internal SCSI device, and the 145 is missing its drive.

I don't need to get the RaSCSI working with the PowerBook if I can figure out a good way of working with floppy images with the RaSCSI. It seems to emulate a drive but it doesn't support any of the common floppy image formats like .image for example.

Does anyone have any ideas? I must admit I'm no expert when it comes to SCSI so I apologize if what I'm doing wrong is obvious. Thanks!
 

landoGriffin

Well-known member
Hi @3lectr1cPPC ! Just to make sure I understand correctly:
- PB 145: works fine as CD-ROM, but not as a hard drive
- PB 170: doesn't work as either

A couple questions/things to check:
- I'm assuming you have the termination switches enabled on your RaSCSI?
- What version of software are you using? I'd recommend downloading a fresh copy of the SD card image and trying that if you haven't already https://github.com/akuker/RASCSI/releases/tag/v21.12.01
- When you're using your 145, does the HDD show up at all when you run SCSIProbe?
- Have you tried the pre-made disk images from https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/rascsi-68kmla-edition ? The Bootstrap utilities could prove extremely helpful if you can get that working
- Did you assemble the board yourself, or get it pre-assembled? If you assembled it yourself, you might want to try the loopback procedure outlined here: https://github.com/akuker/RASCSI/wiki/Troubleshooting

Hope this helps!!
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
Thanks for the help here!
You’re pretty much correct on what’s working and what’s not. Since I posted this thread I tried using an emulated 20MB hard drive the software says is recognized by the unpatched HD SC tools. I was able to get that drive recognized and formatted, but it's too little space to install System 7.5 on.

I was also able to get a 2GB hard drive initialized via using the later Drive Setup program on my 1400c, but the 145 still wouldn't see it after formatting. This makes me wonder if the patched disk tools disk I'm using is simply having a problem. Do you have a known good image that you've used before? Or should I try to get Silverlining or something like that working instead?

Anyways, here's the answers to all your questions:

1. Termination is enabled. I tried with it disabled as well just in case, but then it didn't work at all, as expected.
2. I'm using the latest software, installed using the easyinstall.sh script. I'd rather not reinstall if I can avoid it as it took a very long time and my Pi kept complaining about undervoltages during the install, so I don't want to push it. (Yes, I've switched to a different power adapter since then and it hasn't warned me since). Does the custom Pi Lite image already include all the required software? I'd consider it in that case but the software seems to be working just fine.
3. I haven't tried SCSIProbe yet. I don't have any way of getting it on there as I have nothing to boot from currently. I was planning on picking up a PowerBook BlueSCSI but they're all out of stock. :(
4. I had no idea those existed! I'll have to give those a go, thank you very much!
5. I got the board pre-assembled.

This definitely does help, thank you! I'll give an update once I've tried some of these things.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
Those pre-made images did the trick! My 145 is up and running with System 7.5 now. Thank you!

The 170 on the other hand? It still locks up at the happy mac. It seems to start to boot off of its working internal hard drive with System 7.0.1, but then locks up almost immediately. The SCSI chip can't be bad because the internal hard drive does work, so why would it be giving me so much trouble?

Edit: Another update!
The pre-made 7.5 image didn't have enough space to install any software. So, I tried once again to get the emulated 500MB hard drive recognized, and this time I used the bootstrap tools image. Patched HD SC Setup STILL didn't recognize any drives, so I tried Silverlining and it did the trick! It's installing right now. Thank you!

One last question - Is there any easy way of mounting floppy disk images with .image or .img extensions? Most software you would want to run on a laptop from 1992 came on floppy and the 145 doesn't have a working drive.

Edit again:
I just saw another thread on the topic and it seems I'll have to fiddle around with using emulators to transfer stuff over. I guess I'll have to do some experimentation on that.
 
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landoGriffin

Well-known member
One last question - Is there any easy way of mounting floppy disk images with .image or .img extensions? Most software you would want to run on a laptop from 1992 came on floppy and the 145 doesn't have a working drive.
Nope, unfortunately not. I'm hoping to add that feature someday, but its pretty far down on the priority list right now.
 
Those pre-made images did the trick! My 145 is up and running with System 7.5 now. Thank you!

The 170 on the other hand? It still locks up at the happy mac. It seems to start to boot off of its working internal hard drive with System 7.0.1, but then locks up almost immediately. The SCSI chip can't be bad because the internal hard drive does work, so why would it be giving me so much trouble?

Edit: Another update!
The pre-made 7.5 image didn't have enough space to install any software. So, I tried once again to get the emulated 500MB hard drive recognized, and this time I used the bootstrap tools image. Patched HD SC Setup STILL didn't recognize any drives, so I tried Silverlining and it did the trick! It's installing right now. Thank you!

One last question - Is there any easy way of mounting floppy disk images with .image or .img extensions? Most software you would want to run on a laptop from 1992 came on floppy and the 145 doesn't have a working drive.

Edit again:
I just saw another thread on the topic and it seems I'll have to fiddle around with using emulators to transfer stuff over. I guess I'll have to do some experimentation on that.
Try using RaSCSI's afp-server over the Pi's WiFi functionality for transferring files. It works great connecting my SE/30 to a modern machine running OS X to transfer .image files across. I then used disk utils from the macintoshgarden.org https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/rascsi-68kmla-edition BootStrap .hda download to mount the .image files.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
Thanks for the ideas - I still have a lot to learn about using this thing. It's really useful!

One note about the 170:

My 145's emulated drive was formatted using SilverLining, so it has the popup on startup. When I try to attach that drive on my 170 and start up, the popup displays, and then it locks up. I guess that means that the external SCSI bus on it is somewhat working.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
I'm still having issues on certain systems so I'm putting out this update in hopes that someone can help.

My RaSCSI works perfectly on most of my PowerBooks, but a few are still giving me issues. Here's a list of systems I've used it with and the results:

PowerBook 170 (System 7.0.1 on Internal SCSI Hard Drive) - Does not work. Booting with the RaSCSI connected (even if no drives are attached in the control page) causes the system to attempt to boot from the internal hard drive. It makes it to the happy mac, and then seeking stops shortly after and the system locks up. Booting a disk tools floppy disk gets further, but locks up when it tries to load drives upon reaching the desktop. If I attach a drive to the RaSCSI that has been formatted using SilverLining, I get the normal SilverLining pop-up on boot, but the system still tries to boot from the internal hard drive and locks up.

PowerBook 145 (No internal drive) - Works perfectly. CD-ROMs don't always mount but I think that's an issue with the CD-Sunrise drivers. The system's boot drive right now IS the RaSCSI and it is completely stable.

PowerBook 180c (System 7.5.3 on Internal SCSI Hard Drive) - Works perfectly.

PowerBook 540c (System 7.5.5 on Internal SCSI Hard Drive) - Works perfectly.

PowerBook 5300c (System 7.6.1 on Internal IDE HDD) - Unstable. It mounts drives sometimes, other times it locks up when attempting to mount drives on startup. Emulated hard drives usually mount, but trying to interact with files stored on them frequently cause the OS to freeze, making me have to force reboot it. Other times it works fine, but emulated CD-ROMs almost never work. CD-Sunrise is installed in the extensions folder.

PowerBook 1400c (System 7.6.1 on Internal IDE HDD) - Same as the 5300c. Its hard drive kicked it recently and I got around to swapping it out last night, so I thought I'd use the RaSCSI to image a new system onto it. I just couldn't get it to boot properly off of it though! I tried 7.5.3 (device not supported error), 7.6.1 (bus error bomb on startup), 8.0 (wouldn't boot), and 8.6 (wouldn't boot (flashing disk)). I finally got it to work by booting off of my Rescue CF Card in the PCMCIA slot (It has 8.1 on it). From there all drives mounted fine and I was able to install 7.6.1 on the new hard drive. After booting into the new install, I encounter the same issues with stability as I do on the 5300c. I'm guessing something about 7.6.1 is the culprit, but what?

PowerBook G3 Wallstreet - Haven't tested.

Any ideas?
Thanks.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
I'm still trying to troubleshoot why it just refuses to work with the 170. I've figured out the instabilities on other systems by the way. I tried running snooper on the 170 and SCSI passed fine. Could it be bad joints on the external connector?

Edit: Forced it to boot from the RaSCSI's ID 6 by holding CMD-CTL-SHIFT-DEL-6 on startup. It boots but locks up when it tries to mount drives. Suspecting the internal hard drive, even though it works fine when the RaSCSI is disconnected.
 
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mg.man

Well-known member
Well... I'm NO RaSCSI expert, but I was loaned one recently by @atommat to check it out. I got it working perfectly on my SE, but when I tried it with my Plus - all manner of issues, lockups, etc. (sound familiar?).

Why am I mentioning the Plus?... well, I know the Plus is really picky about SCSI Termination (and doesn't supply TERM PWR unless you mod it), so I wondered if there was a similar issue with PBs. Guess what, I found this - https://www.macspecialist.org/powerbook-140-145-145b-170/scsi-termination.html

I've been working with Macs since the original 128 (I had one from new) and have lost plenty of hair doing battle with SCSI chains, but I never knew until now that the PBs were quirky as well, nor have I ever heard about terminating both the "start" and end of an external SCSI chain... 🤔 Will definitely be bearing this in mind the next time I run into SCSI weirdness.

As for the 1400C, since it doesn't have any internal SCSI devices (the HDD and CD are IDE/ATA), it might be the same issue there?

So what if the RaSCSI is the only "external" device, and the TERM jumpers are "on"? Well, I spotted that the RaSCSI sold by AmigaKit has a provision for 5V power to be applied directly to it:
Screenshot_20220407-080632_Chrome.jpg

I wonder if it's because the Amiga is also quirky in this regard..... YMMV
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
PowerBooks With an Internal Hard Drive


1 Add one terminator to a single external SCSI device, or


2 Add one terminator to the first device and another to the last when there are multiple devices.
According to this I should be fine in that regard. Also, my 145 doesn't have an internal hard drive and it has worked perfectly. If it needed external power, then why would it work on my 145, which has the exact same logic board as the 170? SCSI is weird. Thanks for the info!
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
because it doesn't have an internal drive? I'll have to see what happens when I eventually add one. How would I externally power the terminator?
 

mg.man

Well-known member
because it doesn't have an internal drive?
No, because you said SCSI was weird! I really don't know why it would work without an internal drive... again... that "weird' thing.
How would I externally power the terminator?
No means the expert here, but as I mentioned that, I'm curious as to why that AmigaKit RaSCSI has a lead for a molex connector to inject 5V. The limited experience I've had with a RaSCSI had it receiving power from the Pi...
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
Mine receives power from the Pi. It's also worked with other SCSI-internal PowerBooks. I'm hoping that whenever I replace the old Connor drive (that I had to open up to tape off rubber that was causing it to stick) with a BlueSCSI or similar, my issues go away. Until then, floppy disks it is!
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
So, I finally figured out what was up with it and why it wasn’t working.

We start when all of a sudden my PowerBook 145 quits booting off of it. It worked before, but now every single boot volume I threw at it threw out some sort of error, whether it be a bomb error, freeze at the desktop, failing to boot at all, or even a sad Mac. I tested with the known good hard drive from my 170 and the 145 booted just fine. Then I had an idea to turn one of the termination jumpers on the RaSCSI off while leaving another on. That’s when I noticed that they appeared to be labeled for termination and termination power. I kept the termination one on but shut off power, and low and behold the 145 boots again.

On a whim, I tried my 170 again and it now works as well. Super pleased as now I can stop dealing with floppies!
image.jpg
(Second drive in this photo is the RaSCSI volume)

So yeah, kind of stupid for me not to think of that until now, but oh well. At least it works now, and it can help if anyone else has this happen in the future. I love my RaSCSI and I hope this sorts out the rest of the instabilities that I’ve had with it that I’ve usually blamed on PowerBooks being PowerBooks.
 
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Skate323k137

Well-known member
Great news. It makes sense setting wise, when testing a BlueSCSI on my 170 it would not run off termimaton power, it needed supplemental power.
 

3lectr1cPPC

Well-known member
What is supplemental power? I'm planning on an internal BlueSCSI upgrade at some point, would I need that or were you using an external one?
 

Skate323k137

Well-known member
What is supplemental power? I'm planning on an internal BlueSCSI upgrade at some point, would I need that or were you using an external one?
External, sorry I didn't make that clear. Just power from a USB cable for the external one.

I have seen someone do an internal BlueSCSI on a 170, so I know it can be done. Internal is probably not really an issue.
 
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