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jraust

Macintosh XL Help Needed

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Hello, this is my first post so please forgive me if some of my questions have already been answered. I did try and look them up to see if they have already been solved. Anyway, I just purchased my Macintosh XL the other day. Everything seems fine with it except it will not boot from the hard drive. It is the most updated version of the Apple Lisa. It reminds me more like my Macintosh Classic. It has a 800k floppy drive and an internal hardrive. The internal hardrive is an upgrade. I think this was one of the last line before they hit the garbage dump. 

 

Anyway, I start the computer and it will not load from the internal hardrive. It gives me a blurry screen asking to load from hard disk or floppy. When I put the macworks disk in the screen clears up and it eventually loads to the picture that I have attached.

 

Does Macintosh XL have a utilities disk like the regular Macintosh's? Is there any compatability between the disks from the other macintosh's? This thing has the same floppy drive as my Macintosh Classic and probably a better internal hardrive. I really just want to test the internal hardrive and see if it works. I don't want to assume anything because I don't know what I'm doing. If you guys/gals could advice, I would really appriciate it. I just want to preserve this system and make it fully functional.

post-2697-0-18979500-1423194356_thumb.jpg

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It looks like it boots up just fine with the floppy drive; but the hard drive is kaput.  It doesn't get mounted on the desktop.  Nor does it ask if the hard drive should be formatted... it simply doesn't see it.

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Yes, I was thinking the same thing. Maybe I can try some of my vintage hardrives, and see it one will work. Is there any particular hardrive that will work with the updated control card?The card says Sun Controller Rev F?

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Well if there are Sun parts, then its a Sun Remarketing unit. I am not sure what drives they used off hand. A pic would help. If its still one of the Widget drives, it might be brought back to life with something as simple as a brake adjustment. Google can help a little, I dont have the info on hand.

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Sometimes, cleaning the connectors on the PB of the harddisk can ensure that it works again.

I did restore the HD of my SE: it was not seen by the system at all, but after a good cleaning (it was REALLY necessary after many years in a garage!!!) and just a little contact spray here and there, it was working again.
 

It's a long shot and it may not help, but it worked for me....

 

med_gallery_2364_10_2029967.jpg

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Yes, well its worth a shot to clean and see if I can get it to work. Yes, I looked it up and it has a MFM hardrive. There actually pretty reasonably priced online. So, I'm sure I can find one under $50. I'm actually pretty happy I have one of the last versions of Macintosh XL. I can get replacement 800k drives forever, and MFM hardrives are pretty reasonable also. Also, this thing is better equiped then my Macintosh 128k. I think this is a good platform to start before I get another earlier version of an Apple Lisa. Heck, maybe I can even get it on the internet. ha ha. Thanks for your help!!

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I really need a photograph of the drive/disk assembly. You either have an original Widget, the Widget/MFM daughterboard or you have a SCSI card in the back of the machine and a more common SCSI disk. If it's the latter I seem to recall that HD SC setup would work for initializing a new drive, mind you, unless the utility is patched it will ONLY see apple branded drives. If the former, you might have a level of luck using the format utility provided on Sigma Seven Systems' Basic Lisa Utility (BLU), else the drive is dud.

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Sun Remarketing also had a 10mb or 20mb drive that was MFM based but had a custom controller.  I have one but it works and I don't know how to format that drive.  I don't think you can use BLU or an Apple created tool.  Maybe MacWorks XL can do it because it's from Sun Rem.  Again, I don't recall seeing a tool to do it though.

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The Sun Remarketing Macworks Plus install disk does give you the option to reformat the drive. Unfortunately, it will not detect my hard drive. So, either the controller is bad or the hard drive. I don't know how to get it to detect the hard drive. I have another MFM hard drive. but it will not detect that also. I don't know if that one works either. I also don't know if they have to be formatted in a certain way before the system will detect them.

 

If I get another known working MFM hard drive will the controller detect it without anything special being done to it? The hard drive that is in their currently spins and the light comes on. But it is not being detected buy the system. Thanks for any help that you can provide.

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Do you happen to have an old 8088 computer (like an IBM PC XT) that can use the MFM drive?  Yo might try to low level format it there and, at least, see if it's recognized.  I'm not sure if this will screw up the possible use in the Lisa but at lease you know if it works.

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Do you happen to have an old 8088 computer (like an IBM PC XT) that can use the MFM drive?  Yo might try to low level format it there and, at least, see if it's recognized.  I'm not sure if this will screw up the possible use in the Lisa but at lease you know if it works.

 

That will completely screw it up for the Lisa, even if it does pass a format. Remember that no two MFM controllers (or adapters) are alike.

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Actually, if he buys another MFM drive, I think we can both bet that it won't be formatted for a Mac XL so since the current hard drive is "no good" on the Lisa, it's worth a shot just to see if the drive is good at all.  If it can be low level formatted, than it's like putting in another MFM drive in; you just don't have to buy it first.   It's useless right now so there's no loss.

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lol well that does not sound good at all. I have a compaq portable from 83 that might use the same hard drive. I know the hard drive spins. I can hear it and see its light blinking. It is just not being detected by the computer. If I can't get that hard drive to work, what other options do I have?

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Hello, I tried to use the installation one last time. it shows my HD and it tries to format the drive. First it says installing MacWorks on HD. The last part says making HSF file system on device. Then it says error occured during the installation. Is there anything else that I can do? Obviously the disk works to some extent. Is there another way that I can get this ready for my Macintosh XL to use the hard drive?

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Try it a couple of times and see if you get further.  The big issue is: do you need to do a Low Level Format that re-writes the track and sector markers as the SunRem controller expects.  If  you have to do this, you may be out of luck.

 

Here's an excerpt of the "Apple Lisa/Macintosh XL Do-it-Yourself Guide Sun Remarketing -- ca. 1990" with my comments in brackets:

 

Fix one involves double-reformatting the drive---first under Lisa OS, then under MacWorks
XL. Double-reformatting the drive is time-consuming and it only applies to unmodified
computers. You can't use this method with a Macintosh XL Screen Modification Kit unless
you pull the 3A ROMs and reinstall the old ROMs. Also, double-reformatting doesn't always
work.
 
(note: I have done this in the past with Widget/Profile drives but not with a SunRem internal MFM drive.  Doing this alone may help).
 
Fix two involves reformatting the drive with MacWorks Plus version 1.0. 18 or later. Holding
down the Apple and the left Option keys while double clicking the MW Install icon opens the
program in the expert mode. Expert mode recognizes most unmountable drives and gives the
option to you to reinitialize them. Afterwards, the drive may or not be bootable.
 
(I have not tried this before but I have the tools to low level format the Profile/Widget drive and BLU is the software that does it.  I looked at BLU and it doesn't appear to handle SunRem internal MFM drives.)
 
Fix three involves sending your drive to Sun Remarketing. Using a special machine, Sun
technicians can do a low level format, which rewrites the boot blocks, then a high level
format, which installs the latest version of whatever operating system you've been using
(Lisa OS, MacWorks XL, or MacWorks Plus). This method always works and it's a lot less
painful than having to buy a whole new drive. SCSI drives can be repaired by using utilities
such as Norton Utilities.
 
(Obviously, you can't do this and nobody, to my knowledge, has figured out how to low-level format these drives.  People have taken apart the firmware but the low-level format routines are said to be unfinished and attempts of fixing these drives usually ends there).
 
At least you are seeing some life on the drive which means your controller is probably okay.  Watch the light on the drive and see if you can see a series of flashes.  This will sometimes indicate issues with the drive but it all depends on the drive manufacturer.  You can then try to find information about specific drive errors (if this is the case).
 
Good luck!

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Denus,

 

Is that a Miniscribe HDD? Does it suffer from the common 'stiction' problem?

 

I have one that works but the stiction renders it useless.

It was a kind of metallic dust type of dirt.

I managed to clean the HD and the surface of the motor (which you can see on the pic...), and it's now fully operational.

 

There's a garage database on the HD with many license numbers, details regarding car repairs etc... from 1991 till 1994. 

That explains the state of the SE when I got it...

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