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jessenator

PowerWave weirdness | picky about video card

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So when I first acquired my PowerWave, it had some posting issues which were due to RAM, which were resolved quickly and the machine ran well. However, after decided to upgrade from the "fine" Mach64 with a Rage128 I had sitting around, things got weird: get a chime and then the screen gets a signal briefly, then nothing. not even a black screen, my monitor just says there's no signal.

 

The machine wouldn't post at all, even after a board reset before powering back on. Tried pulling RAM, reseating the ROM, reseating and changing out CPU daughtercards. Nothing. I put the Mach64 and it immediately posts and boots right up. I upgrade/reinstall the ATi drivers, shutdown, replace with the Rage128, reset the board, power on, and after a few seconds it finally posts. Okay, fine, no harm done I guess.

 

Time comes where I have to reset the PRAM. Upon doing so, I'm back to a black screen, no posting at all, nothing beyond the bong. 

 

Would the ROM on the PowerWave just see the Rage128 and not know what to make of it because it's too new? This all seems very odd. Just wondering if anyone has any advice or has had a similar experience.

 

 

Edit: as an addendum, if it really is something about a contemporary (to a PowerMac 85/9500) that it needs as far as a graphics card, what would be a decent replacement for the Mach64? VRAM modules for them are nearly double what you can get a standalone card for.

Edited by jessenator

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Now that I'm thinking more about it, again, not familiar with the particulars of the classic OS loading order, I wonder if the OS would really have much bearing on the card's compatibility. I'm thinking no, but someone correct me.

 

So when I boot I get: 1) chime, 2) the monitor going from standby to actual black (getting signal?), 3) then head seek on the HDD, 4) then back to standby, and it hangs. Is it loading parts of the OS at that time, or is it just reading the ROM and prepping everything to load the OS?

 

I'm loading my questions with a lot of supposition… barring any software snafus, I wonder what other hardware considerations there are to think about.

 

 

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Have you tried placing the video card in a different slot? There may be an issue with the newer card running in that slot. I ask as I am reminded of posts on another site regarding the design of the Umax SuperMac 900 models regarding card placement being an issue. Some folk had issues with card hierarchy, kind of like the scsi addressing system. It had something to do with the bus controller I believe.

"When PowerPC was outlawed, only outlaws had PowerPC. I am a PowerPC outlaw."

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15 hours ago, ppcoutlaw said:

Have you tried placing the video card in a different slot?

I did try that, and thank you for your thoughts.

 

Turns out now that I can't zap the PRAM with alt+cmd+p+r ...that is very odd. When I try it just makes the machine hang on a black screen, no chime, nothing. Maybe that's a bigger issue here :lol: 

 

So so far the only method that works is pull the PRAM battery, put the Mach64 in, boot it, get everything set up, shut down, replace the Mach64 with the Rage128 (no board reset, no PRAM reset). Then it works. But there's something fishy going on here...

 

I'm really starting to wonder if there's something wrong with the foundational aspects, maybe the ROM? Something else?

Edited by jessenator

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4 hours ago, jessenator said:

I'm really starting to wonder if there's something wrong with the foundational aspects, maybe the ROM? Something else?

Edit: this first test was with the 225/45 PowerComputing CPU card

well, I ran TechTool 3 and got some interesting results... it failed on some aspects of the disc, but I can't get the TT CD to boot, so I can't do full repairs on the HDD. No surprises that there would be some after all these years. What was strange was it failed the CPU math test. Don't know what to make of that, to be honest.

r1AEaui.jpg

 

The repair advice mentioned a few things, but basically said a qualified technician would be able to give a proper diagnosis. One thing that was mentioned was bad solder joints... on the CPU daughtercard connector?

 

Edited by jessenator

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I thought I was making progress with my other CPU card (132), and I got the PRAM to zap just fine and booted up. Then I put the Rage128 in and it won't post again. Square one...

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Do you have another PCI mac to test the

rage 128 on? Aside from the test showing a possible issue on the board, from what you have written, the machine works with the original card, but goes toes up with the rage.

It seems likely that it may be that the card

is bad, or it is not a mac card. It is possible that the clone cant see it as it is not there

for it to see.

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2 hours ago, ppcoutlaw said:

Do you have another PCI mac to test the rage 128 on?

Runs just dandy on my 4400 and my beige PMG3. It's a Mac-specific card as well—came from a B&W G3. And, I mean, up until there's a board reset or the PRAM battery is taken out, it runs just fine. 

 

I'm kind of tempted to try it again now that I have my PowerLogix G3 daughtercard working. Part of me thinks something funky was going on with the two 604 cards, as they were not the originals that came with the machine (when I got it). It came with the G3, but was running OS 8.6. Right now it's running very stably, and with 0 issues. When I was doing the diagnoses with the other two cards I would get random freezes every now and again. I think I'll try that next just for kicks.

 

Edit; nope. same story... this is almost to the comical stage for me.

Edited by jessenator

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On ‎1‎/‎11‎/‎2020 at 12:30 PM, jessenator said:

Turns out now that I can't zap the PRAM with alt+cmd+p+r ...that is very odd. When I try it just makes the machine hang on a black screen, no chime, nothing. Maybe that's a bigger issue here :lol: 

 

So so far the only method that works is pull the PRAM battery, put the Mach64 in, boot it, get everything set up, shut down, replace the Mach64 with the Rage128 (no board reset, no PRAM reset). Then it works. But there's something fishy going on here...

 

I'm really starting to wonder if there's something wrong with the foundational aspects, maybe the ROM? Something else?

Seemingly silly question, but are you using a stock Apple keyboard (or a PowerWave branded one) or just some generic ADB keyboard?  I've only got my experiences on it but for whatever reason every single non-Apple keyboard I've used has been crap in terms of resetting PRAM or other startup key combinations.  I'd be holding the keys down and nothing would happen, then I'd switch to an Apple keyboard (using the same ADB cable) and *boom*, all of a sudden the computer is recognizing all the startup key combos.

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35 minutes ago, EvilCapitalist said:

Seemingly silly question, but are you using a stock Apple keyboard (or a PowerWave branded one) or just some generic ADB keyboard?  

Y'know, that's something that crossed my brain and immediately dismissed out of stubbornness/pride :lol: I had talked up the keyboard in my head...

 

I have been using the PCC adb keyboard ever since I got it, and noticed some anomalies, mostly while playing DOOM— not being able to maneuver like I'm accustomed to. I'll test it out with my AEKII. Thanks for the thought.

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I would verify whether this behavior exists when running in your 4400, but here are a couple of my observations in a 9600:

 

I've noticed many of my ATI cards from that era (Rage 128, Radeon PCI, 7000, 8500) will send a short (1-3 second) dark signal to the display before the system is ready to output video. This usually results in:

 

Power on keyboard (num/caps/scroll light momentarily, as the fans/drives spin up)

Startup chime just following startup

RAM test (longer for more memory)

Monitor awake - black screen

1-3 seconds later monitor returns to sleep

2-5 seconds later monitor awakens again, this time displaying the Mac's checkerboard pattern nearly immediately.

 

I've found in cases where something inhibits startup, the ATI card will still wake the monitor the first time, but will remain inactive after the initial 1-3 seconds.

For instance, if I install a 3dfx card alongside the ATI card, the 3dfx card will only allow the system to boot if it detects a monitor itself.

 

With two screens: The ATI card does its initial flash, the 3dfx screen turns on, then the ATI screen turns on.

With only ATI screen (3dfx card still installed): The monitor turns on, displays black for a few seconds, then goes back to sleep. No hard drive activity in the background.

With only 3dfx screen (ATI card still installed): The monitor turns on normally and the system boots. The ATI control panel does not detect any hardware.

 

If your Rage 128 also does the double-wake in your 4400, then I would ignore the symptom of the monitor turning on and just treat it as a normal no-video symptom.

Beyond that I don't think I have any more specific advice, but I would see if those math tests still fail immediately following a PRAM reset. If the presence of the Rage 128 causes the PRAM to become corrupt that would be interesting to know/examine.

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That behavior you’re experiencing is a common issue with more modern ATI cards in old world PowerMacs as far as I remember.

I will see if I can dig up the information from back then somewhere.

 

Solution was basically something along the lines of don’t reset PRAM once you got it working or things will get messed up for no reason.

So just like you already figured out.

Edited by Bolle

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I forgot to add some more info on the s900.

it could pertain to the power clone machines as well.

There was a card population issue. This cars in slot one, that one in slot two, etc. Sometimes the cards would be recognized and run fine, other times the operator had to move the cards around until a workable order was discovered. I.e. video card in the first slot, SCSI controller in the third slot. Might that be something to examine?

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10 hours ago, Bolle said:

Solution was basically something along the lines of don’t reset PRAM once you got it working or things will get messed up for no reason. 

That would make me feel less inane :lol:

 

 

19 hours ago, jeremywork said:

see if those math tests still fail immediately following a PRAM reset.

That only happened with the 225 MHz PCC daughtercard, actually. Not with the 132 or with the PoweForce G3 (currently installed), and hasn't repeated itself. It was incredibly weird though. 

 

 

As far as the other machines I've used it in, I have 0 issues with the card, pre-, post-, or with a PRAM reset. The only OWR machine that's given me issues is the PowerWave :/ 

 

I did experience that sort of monitor wake thing, but I leave it for minutes on end (in the PowerWave) and I get nothing. Part of me wants to get another NWR graphics card and see if it's repeated.

Edited by jessenator

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I remembered something about the powerwave that I read on LEM. I had been looking for info as I own four power computing computers, powercenter, power tower pro, power tower, and I think another power center. Three g3/g4 upgrades, and one has a 210 604e in it. Anyways, the powerwave is a 604 machine, and your 225 CPU daughter card is a 604e. The powerwave may not be able to correctly run the 604e. Kinda like my 8500. It has a g3 sonnet, designed to deal with what most of the PCI powermacs require, but I dont know that it has the ability to run the 604e. I have a 180 mp w that i have thought about testing, but i need a bit more research before i try it.

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14 hours ago, ppcoutlaw said:

don't know that it has the ability to run the 604e

Because the PowerWave was based on the original Tsunami design? So the 604e 85/9500 used a revised design then?

 

On 1/13/2020 at 6:54 AM, EvilCapitalist said:

and *boom*, all of a sudden the computer is recognizing all the startup key combos.

Hooked it up and tried last night—it could reset the PRAM like nothing was wrong to begin with… PCC used to brag that you didn't "have to pay extra for the keyboard" and I guess there's a reason for that!

I was talking it up in my head, with it's wired connection plus TWO ADB ports for peripherals, and the echoes of the EKII on the sides, full extended layout with F-keys and 10-key. But yeah, I can't even move, run, and strafe at the same time in DOOM with the PCC keyboard :/ I need an Apple Design Keyboard to test against, as it was more of the contemporary around PCC's rise to prominence, right?

 

 

I wonder, since I'm not really going to  be using the Mach64 elsewhere, if I should just plop both cards in there for the unlikely event that something goes awry… I still want to track down anything documented about the more modern PCI cards jacking up these 1st gen PCI designs.

 

Edited by jessenator

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With regards to the 604e running on the 85/9500, I can't really say. I believe there is a thread on the board that shows a crossover 8500 prototype running a 604e. It could be a revision change, as they went forward into the next model line, to test out CPU hardware. That board may or may not be modified. Apple always held onto some specs, and didn't let the market know what else their products could do. Like the 1gb limit on later emacs actually being 2gb. Maybe the same for Power Computing?

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I found the thread, it is an 8500 board in a desktop case. The thread is "Odd Power Macintosh 7xxx? Setup" from hyperneogeo. The CPU is an overclocked 604ev, not 604e. I should have gone looking first before blabbing. But that raises a couple of questions. 1. Can the 8500 actually run an ev, or was that board modded like the CPU? And 2. Is there anyone on 68kmla who knows any power computing secrets they are willing to spill...i mean, share?

Edited by ppcoutlaw
correcting autocorrect

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Hey Jessenator, do you have a newer model of powercomputing computer that you could test the CPU in? I neglected to consider that the card itself could have an issue. A power tower pro, i think, might be useful in checking CPU functionality. Some time back i ran across a small list of CPU compatibility between the 604 powers Macs. I didnt save it at the time. I dont know if there is such a list for the clones.

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