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Gil

Fixing up a IIvx

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I recently dug out the ol' IIvx out of the crawlspace. I opened it up and quickly realized why it went in there in the first place. It has no hard drive, and the CD Drive is missing the caddy. I believe i have an 8 GB Seagate SCSI hard drive that i bought for it 2 years ago, but it didn't work with the system or something. I remember being able to boot from the 7.5 Network Access floppy, but that was about all i was able to do. Any tips for fixing it up? Recommendations?

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ditch the CD Caddey drive and get a real CD Drvie, if you want somthign standard with the times a 600i is a good choice. unless the bezzel wont adapt to a tray loading drive. if you need compadible hard drives i can get you a 160MB IBM SCSI drive. (also a company i would have to dig out one of my old Mac Addict Mags to find out sold me a 160MB SCSI IBM dirve not to long ago mabye they still had them) that was standard in alot of the AIO LC and 68k Preforma computers.

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The 8GB drive ought to work; try breaking it up into 2GB partitions, just to be safe.

 

I would also recommend getting a caddy, rather than fitting a new cdrom drive, because finding a replacement drive that fits right off will likely be more trouble than it is worth.

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The best way to fix up a IIvx is to get a Quadra 650 motherboard and swap it in. A tray load CD ROM drive in place of the caddy load drive is also recommended, but you will need a bezel from a 7100 because the slot opening is different .

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I'd vote for following Tom's advice.

 

I wouldn't swap out the motherboard. If it works, keep it in there. The IIvx is such a maligned mac, but hopefully not overlooked by collectors. Despite its milestones, it holds no special place in my heart, so someone needs to keep one in stock condition. :p

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Despite its milestones, it holds no special place in my heart, so someone needs to keep one in stock condition. :p

 

(That was my secret motivation, too.) :)

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The original CD-ROM drive for the IIvx and IIvi was a CD-300-ish (from memory) and was definitely a tray loader. The IIvx/vi was the first Mac to have a CD drive as an official internal upgrade, and is thus noteworthy. If your IIvx has a caddy drive, it is a hack using an older Apple or third party CD drive. Any CD will work in the drive bay, given the correct drivers. However, you can't use a tray load drive unless it lines up physically with the bezel. Unless you remove the bezel.

 

Has anyone out there checked how well different Apple CD-ROM tray load drives align in different cases? SCSI and ATAPI? I doubt it but it is a useful project. All you need is lots of drives and a metal engineering ruler.

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The original CD-ROM drive for the IIvx and IIvi was a CD-300-ish (from memory) and was definitely a tray loader.

 

Are you sure this is true? I've never owned a IIvx, but I didn't think Apple had tray loading CD-ROM drives around the time it was released. I thought those came out around the time the PowerPCs were released. Also, the original Apple brochure for the IIvx show it with a slot loading drive.

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The tray-loading bezel from a Q650 or PM 7100 will fit, but the IIvx-Performa 600 as shipped certainly had a caddy-loading cd drive. I know. I bought one brand new back in the early 90s.

 

Still have it, in fact, and while the machine is much maligned, I managed to write two or three books on it, depending what you count, and used it more or less daily as a writing machine right up until around around 2000.

 

What strikes me now, of course, whenever I start it up (which is not very often) is how painfully slow it is, yet it worked well for what it was, and honestly never skipped a beat. Coming to it as I did from several years writing on a PC/XT from the land of MS-DOS, it was a wonderful tool during the first year or two of use. Then I began to drool over the new PPCs and such, which I could not afford – and which now come to me for nothing like some sort of long-lost loves from my youth.

 

Ah, the joys of retro-computing!

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The original CD-ROM drive for the IIvx and IIvi was a CD-300-ish (from memory) and was definitely a tray loader. The IIvx/vi was the first Mac to have a CD drive as an official internal upgrade, and is thus noteworthy. If your IIvx has a caddy drive, it is a hack using an older Apple or third party CD drive. Any CD will work in the drive bay, given the correct drivers. However, you can't use a tray load drive unless it lines up physically with the bezel. Unless you remove the bezel.

 

Has anyone out there checked how well different Apple CD-ROM tray load drives align in different cases? SCSI and ATAPI? I doubt it but it is a useful project. All you need is lots of drives and a metal engineering ruler.

 

No it wasn't. It was a caddy loader. I bought one from the original owner who I had known for 20 years and the case was never cracked open before I opened it.

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A bit of a situation... I turned it on and attempted to boot with the 7.5 Network Access floppy, and it displayed the Happy Mac, then spit out the floppy disk. Any ideas?

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Best to try a different floppy boot disk. I find that mine are "going off" these days, i.e., they seem to work erratically: in one machine but not another, etc.

 

If booting with the new disk fails, it could be the floppy disk drive itself that is at fault. If it's been in the attic, etc., it may need a little tlc. I seem to recall reading instructions on how to rejuvenate them somewhere out there in cyberspace.

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Grr!!! every floppy disk, every CD doesn't work. Floppies are spit out, CD's aren't bootable. Nothing i try works! I think it might be my hard drive. Its a Seagate ST15150N and i dont think its compatible. I should get an Apple Quantum. I dont see why it wont boot up with anything else! I'm about ready to kill this thing...

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1. Just about any 50 pin HD can be made to work with the right software (Silverlining is a good bet) but this is not needed if the drive has Apple Roms (i.e., iif it has an Apple logo on it). If it is Apple-branded, then it should work straightforwardly with what you've got and allow an install with any of Systems 7.1 - 7.6.1 (base 7.5 is a good bet for the IIvx; 7.1 would be even better, but oddly enough, 7.5 will install more readily).

 

Just be very, very sure that you have the scsi ID and termination on the hard drive and the cd-rom drive set properly, as failure to do this will universally (i.e., in every attempt even to boot the machine) cause all sorts of problems. This is imperative - and has been the source of much confusion over the years, even among seasoned veterans. Best do some googling if this is unfamiliar ground.

 

2. A bad hard drive would not in and of itself cause your floppy to be ejected. That is more likely to be the software itself, the diskette or the floppy drive. In this context, it occurs to me to ask if it is definitely a retail 7.5 disk tools diskette that we are talking about. Not disk tools for 7.6.1 for ppc rather than 68k, or a version of 7.5 that was sold with something like a Powerpc 7500? That would cause your symptoms there: the installers were not all universal. Detail is where the devil is, to paraphrase the proverb, so give us more detail. Where did you get the cd you are talking about?

 

3. If all is well so far, describe exactly what happens when you try to boot with the floppy (does it chime, do you get anything on screen etc.).

 

4. Do the same for when you try to boot from the hard drive.

 

5. Have you re-seated/ cleaned with a pencil eraser contacts on the ram (and vram) chips?

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a regular CD drive tray will not fit through the front bezel of the machine.

 

The caddy or the correct bezel are easy enough to find on eBay. Or trim the bezel you have a get a tray loading cd.

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I have not used the drive in many years, so it's definitely questionable whether the drive is good or not. It does spin up, however, so im assuming its fine. I last used OS 9 on it, so the partition is still there i think. Its a Seagate 15150N 4.6GB, 7200 RPM. Not apple branded. I've tried numerous patches for HD setup and none can recognize it. I'm unsure about the SCSI ID's and termination.

 

As for the software, everything i tried was from Apple's website.

 

As for the bootup procedure, it does its chime thing, loads the cursor for the mouse, then a blinking question mark appears for a second, then the happy mac, then the "Welcome to Macintosh" thing, then it either spits out the floppy, or it gives an error message (if its not compatible).

 

Extremely frustrating, to say the least.

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Why bother fixng a IIvx?

 

I was happy to get one, but using it was slllllllllllooooooooooooooooowwwwwwww.

 

Slowest computer in the world besides the LC/LCII

Mine died. Boots up, no chime,novideo,no nothing.

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I always thought of the IIvx as kind of a IIci (in terms of performance) with the option of having an internal CD-ROM drive. I personally was never a fan of the look of the case, but some people love it.

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No it wasn't. It was a caddy loader. I bought one from the original owner who I had known for 20 years and the case was never cracked open before I opened it.

 

On my part, there are definitely times when not to say *definitely*... My one prevous owner IIvx has a tray load CD drive, fitted at time of purchase. Possibly different things were happening in different regions, or my IIvx was old stock.

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I always thought of the IIvx as kind of a IIci (in terms of performance) with the option of having an internal CD-ROM drive. I personally was never a fan of the look of the case, but some people love it.

 

Alas the IIvx has deliberate limitations in its architecture. The IIvx can be upgraded a bit, but then you wish you were using a IIci.

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I'm not one to trash a perfectly good Mac, but...

 

.. The IIvx is a definite Road Apple. Its architecture is crippled, its CD drive bezel is caddy-loader-compatible only, and IMHO it's butt-ugly.

 

I got a couple of IIvx's a few years ago as part of a large (free) haul of 68kj Macs. Here's what I did with them:

 

- Removed one of the CD drives, put it in a spare case, and used it as an A/UX install drive (A/UX will only work properly with the old Apple 1X and 2X drives, most of which are caddy loaders).

 

- Took a sharp utility knife and sliced the soldered-on 68882 FPU chips off the mobos. These went to good homes in other Mac users' computers (i.e. IIsi's and CC's). It's a little-known fact, but you can indeed just slice these off and use them in machines that take a socketed 68882. And the IIvx is one of the only Macs that (a) has a soldered-on 68882, and (B) is worthless enough to justify slicing it off for re-use in other Macs.

 

- Sold the PSUs to folks who needed them for Macs that used the same form factor (i.e. Q650s).

 

- Donated the mobos to an artist who was making a circuit board sculpture.

 

- Dumped the cases at my local computer recycler - a nonprofit that gets paid for the scrap metal.

 

IMHO, I think this was a very good way to make the IIvx's useful to the Mac universe in a way that far exceeds the actual value and usability of the computers themselves.

 

Best,

Matt

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