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Mighty Jabba

PowerBook 2400c questions

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I recently got a PowerBook 2400c (from eBay but I think the seller may be a member here), and I've had a few issues with it. It has apparently had a Cardbus mod performed on it to allow the use of various PC cards, but I haven't had a huge amount of luck with them. I have a 802.11b-based network that I have been using with my older computers, but the wifi card that I was given will only work if I turn encryption off entirely. Otherwise, it just gives itself a self-assigned IP address and nothing happens.

 

I also have a USB card that will work some of the time (although only one port out of two seems functional -- a problem that others have mentioned). But if I attempt to copy anything to a USB flash drive, the system locks up. The system also locks up if I try and copy anything to CF card or microdrive in a PC card adapter, although copying things from those cards appears to work fine.

 

Someone in an old thread here mentioned something similar regarding locking up when copying to PC cards, and said the only thing that works was going back to Mac OS 8.1. I'd be willing to do that, but when I try to install to another partition using the disk images included on the drive, it always fails for an unspecified reason. I have no SCSI peripherals (aside from a SCSI2SD) and no appropriate cables, or I would try using target disk mode. Can someone point me to the appropriate cable to use for that? Or do people have any other input about these issues? I'd just like to be able to copy files to and from the computer without everything freezing.

Edited by Mighty Jabba

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What's the wifi and USB card you are trialling in your 2400c?  I've had success with a MacAlly 2-port dongle USB card and Orinoco Gold wifi card in mine.   Try also formatting the USB drive on the 2400c first, instead of on a more modern machine.

 

Wifi on OS 9 is pretty limiting considering limited encryption support, I'd suggest getting a USB to wifi adapter such as the Vonet branded one and letting this connect to your modern wifi instead.

 

With enough RAM, OS 9.1 is the sweet spot IMO for the 2400c.

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3 hours ago, Byrd said:

What's the wifi and USB card you are trialling in your 2400c?

They are both by Buffalo. The wifi card is an AirStation card (WLI-PCM-L11GP) and the USB is the IFC-USB2CB.

 

Regarding the freezing while copying to PC cards, I have found that I can actually use an 8 and 16MB CF card with no problems, but it doesn't like my 340MB microdrive or 16GB CF card. The smaller CF cards are the oldest ones I have so I don't know if there is something about them that is different from the other cards.

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It shouldn't have any issues copying to a PCMCIA CF adapter card; these devices predate CARDBUS.  I'd look inside the card cage for any pins displaced, dust/fluff or clean the pins with contact cleaner spray. If no improvements, the usual PRAM reset, and check over the internal HD for errors - I'd say you have a hardware issue.

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I didn't think to try this before, but booting with extensions off lets me copy things to my 16GB card with no issues. So I think I'm looking at an extension issue (which is kind of relieving). Any ideas what it could be? I'm just running what the machine came loaded with, so I would think it's nothing too exotic, but looking now it seems that there are 160 items in the extensions folder. It's been quite a while since I've had to do this kind of troubleshooting. :D

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I was trying to narrow down which extension might be the problem, but couldn't seem to pin it down, so I tried rebooting normally but with all of the extensions in the Extensions (Disabled) folder. When I try to copy a file this way, it still freezes, even with no extensions. What else does turning extensions off at boot do?

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I have two partitions on my 2400c, so I did some experimentation by booting off of the second partition. First, I tried making a minimum OS 9.1 system folder by copying the main system folder and deleting anything that didn't seem essential, but I still had freezing if I booted into it with extensions on (even with no extensions).

 

Then I tried installing Mac OS 8.1 onto my 16GB CF card in a different computer and copied it from the CF card to the second partition. When running 8.1, I have none of these freezing problems (but of course I also can't use the USB or wireless cards). At this point I am very tempted to just stick with 8.1, since things like Wifi and USB aren't really usable anyway, and at least I can copy things to and from the PC cards. But I would like to know what the issue is with 9.1, especially since Byrd and others apparently are able to run it without any problems.

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1 hour ago, KnobsNSwitches said:

You can do usb in 8.6 so there’s that. 

Yeah, plus I think it can support Airport, and thus probably Wifi in general (this primarily because I guess since the first iBooks, which had Airport, ran 8.6).

 

I don't know if any of that can be retrofitted into 8.1 or 8.5, but frankly, I don't see why not since they're all rather similar architecturally (though 8.5 and 8.6 do have less native 68k code).

 

Case in point: CarbonLib 1.6.x (and thus numerous Carbon-based applications) is somehow compatible with all 8.x and 9.x versions (which begs the question: would it be compatible with 7.6.x? much farther back would probably be a stretch too far, and probably only with Appearance Manager).

 

c

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Do you know what Cardbus mod was done? Of the six or so 2400c machines I've come across (mixture of Japanese and US models), each one I did the "resistor removal" mod to get Cardbus enabled.  I've not come across the "yellow wire" 2400c models that needed that wire to be cut - they sound like an earlier model which perhaps is not fully Cardbus compliant?

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13 hours ago, KnobsNSwitches said:

You can do usb in 8.6 so there’s that. 

I found this thread from last year where you talk about experiencing the same exact freezing issue that was only solved by downgrading to 8.1. Did you ever figure anything out about that?

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7 hours ago, Byrd said:

Do you know what Cardbus mod was done? Of the six or so 2400c machines I've come across (mixture of Japanese and US models), each one I did the "resistor removal" mod to get Cardbus enabled.  I've not come across the "yellow wire" 2400c models that needed that wire to be cut - they sound like an earlier model which perhaps is not fully Cardbus compliant?

I don’t know what the nature of the mod was, although mine is a Japanese machine. 

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On 11/8/2019 at 10:51 AM, Mighty Jabba said:

I found this thread from last year where you talk about experiencing the same exact freezing issue that was only solved by downgrading to 8.1. Did you ever figure anything out about that?

Sorry, I missed your question here. I actually...don't remember exactly what I did. But my 2400c is on 8.6 right now. I seem to recall doing a clean install of 8 - 8.1 - 8.6 on a different CF card than I was originally using, rather than moving System Folders back and forth. But I didn't write down the exact fix.

I admit I'm a little fuzzy as my 2400 died and I got a parts machine and pieced things back together, I don't remember where the OS copy issues got solved in there. So not a super helpful answer I suppose.

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