Jump to content
Baldung99

PowerMac 4400/200 chime but nothing else.

Recommended Posts

So... I've got this PowerMac 4400/200 that I can't seem to get working. I've tested what I can (RAM, HDD and CD-ROM drive) and confirmed these parts work. I've measured each and every output of the PSU and they check out. I've replaced the PRAM battery too (although it's just a battery holder with 3 AA batteries).

 

First of all it chimes. However it only does so after I manually turn on the PSU and let it run for a minute like that. I suspect funky capacitors somewhere... but all the ones I can see are surface-mounted and I only have a soldering iron.

 

Problem is, I highly doubt the chime means anything at this point. It chimes with no RAM installed, it chimes with no RAM and no VRAM DIMM... no beeps or anything. I can hear the HDD seeking when I power it on and everything is plugged in as it should be, which is something, I guess.

 

Only apparent damage I've seen is one of the motherboard support studs is rusted through, some connectors (speaker, power switch, PRAM battery) are ever so slightly green and there's a hell of a lot of flux residue in the PSU board. I'd love to just throw in a new motherboard and forget about it, but I can't seem to find any (only complete units).

 

Where do I go from here? How can I troubleshoot it further?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 4400 was the only Apple Mac to use that style of board but a number of clones did. Notably the StarMax 3/4000 series and associated models from APS, PowerCity, and a few others. They clones also could come with 604s instead of 603s, so there’s that. However clones are usually harder to find and more desirable than the 4400 so that’s probably not much help. 
 

Anyway it sounds like your original PRAM battery leaked. If it’s not severe you can try washing the board in cleaning vinegar for up to an hour or the blue/green corrosion disappears, whichever is first. Agitate the affected areas gently with a toothbrush. Then a hot water rinse and let it dry for a couple days. 
 

Also try booting without drives attached. Sometimes bad CD drives will prevent boot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Franklinstein said:

Anyway it sounds like your original PRAM battery leaked. If it’s not severe you can try washing the board in cleaning vinegar for up to an hour or the blue/green corrosion disappears, whichever is first. Agitate the affected areas gently with a toothbrush. Then a hot water rinse and let it dry for a couple days. 
 

Also try booting without drives attached. Sometimes bad CD drives will prevent boot. 

I don't think the CD Drive is bad... if I remember correctly it worked on a PC I tried... but I'll try again just to be sure, I suppose. Couldn't the floppy drive be the issue though? I have no way of testing that.

 

I also don't think I've got enough white vinegar to soak a board. I hope red vinegar is fine. There's also some residue around some bits of the board. I'm not sure what it is... but I get the feeling this board was thrown in an ultrasonic cleaner or something at some point, which (obviously) wasn't a magic bullet, then it was tossed away. Were ultrasonic cleaners common around 1994? I don't even know.

 

Once I figure out how to get the stuff to show well on camera I'll post some pictures.

 

Also I tried putting the HDD in my PowerMac G4 MDD with Dual 1.25GH CPUs, running Mac OS 10.4. It seems to read it fine otherwise, and even some installed apps launched fine in Classic mode. That should mean it's running Mac OS 9 or something right? It didn't show up in the boot menu but... I think that must be because it's a 1994 drive in a 2004 Mac. About half files and folders had corrupted names, but I think that was because there must be some missing fonts or something, but it seems most OS-critical files are fine. There's a file named "System Enabler 825" which... I have no idea what even it's supposed to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

System Enablers are system extensions which allow newer models to use the OS without a complete OS upgrade. Your Mac likely won't boot without the System Enabler there.

 

http://www.savagetaylor.com/2015/11/23/macintosh-system-enablers-for-os-7-1-to-7-5-5-current-versions-and-change-history/

 

According to this, a 4400 should use System Enabler 827, 825 is not listed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/13/2020 at 6:23 AM, Baldung99 said:

I also don't think I've got enough white vinegar to soak a board. I hope red vinegar is fine.

I would not soak the whole board in vinegar, if it were me. If you must, try to find distilled white vinegar. I would find any places that might've been leaked on by the alkaline clock batt and go to town with a toothbrush, and NOT LET IT SIT for long, then do a water (preferably distilled) and dish/washing-up soap all over with a distilled water rinse, or IPA rinse, but good luck finding any rubbing or cleaning alcohol anywhere these days...

 

2 hours ago, joshc said:

According to this, a 4400 should use System Enabler 827, 825 is not listed.

Also, in my experience this Mac/clone is one of the more finicky models regarding which disc it will actually boot from. The best luck I've had is from burning an image of either the original PM4400 System 7.5.3 media restore disc (small business restore), or if you want System 7.6, the Motorola Starmax CD, or if you want to go to 7.6.1, the Power Computing PowerCD 7.6 (which actually has the 7.6.1 update on the disc—the Motorola CD does not). This and all Tanzania-based clones have a very restricted System Software selection, which is why I only linked to those above.

If you actually want to go with Mac OS 8.0, the Power Computing PowerCD 8.0 might work, but I'm not entirely sure—haven't tested it myself, because I'm not bothered. I wouldn't recommend Mac OS 9.0 either, as it's far to sluggish on the 603e/v machines, even with a decent cache installed.

 

According to Apple Spec, these are the only versions supported, though I have gotten 9.1 installed (via my iBook restore CD) , but it was terribly sluggish.

Quote

7.5.3 * 7.6.1 * 8.0 * 8.1 * 8.5 * 8.6 * 9

As mentioned, the Motorola CD didn't have the 7.6.1 update, and they are the same base hardware as the 4400... and I was also unable to find an 8.5 or 8.6 disc that would boot, so take that with a grain of salt :shrug: 

 

Also, @Baldung99 if you're interested in a motherboard (if you can't resurrect yours) and you're in the states PM me and we can work something out.

Edited by jessenator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you tried replacing the battery? I believe this is one of the models that won't boot without a known good one. I have a 4400 that acts similarly and haven't been able to source a replacement just yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/15/2020 at 7:02 AM, Scott Baret said:

Have you tried replacing the battery? I believe this is one of the models that won't boot without a known good one. I have a 4400 that acts similarly and haven't been able to source a replacement just yet. 

yes, actually. I bought a 3xAA battery holder, cut off the original cables from the battery, soldered them to the battery holder and presto, backup battery

 

On 4/14/2020 at 7:15 PM, jessenator said:

Also, @Baldung99 if you're interested in a motherboard (if you can't resurrect yours) and you're in the states PM me and we can work something out.

I found one locally... right after I resurrected my own! And the funniest thing, dude lived right across the street from me. Now I have a spare, I guess... And yes, it was bad caps. Also your links get either Error 403 or Error 522.

Since an ADB keyboard (and mouse) I ordered arrived in pieces, that it works now isn't really getting me anywhere. So now I need to either find a way to get PCI-to-USB card working (which - the card - I'm not even sure works) on it when I'm unable to actually control the thing or to make an adapter for USB/PS2 to ADB (since the ADB port looks just like an S-Video plug and I've got a bunch of those cables laying around).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! I was just prowling through macintoshgarden myself and only managed to find floppy sets, which would be inconvenient. But for now I'm fine, I suppose. It works, boots into some version of something-older-than-MacOS-9 with no hiccoughs. There's also the whole "actually interfacing with the thing" problem to tackle first, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK... a recap to what I messed up this week - and the week isn't over yet: the CD-Drive wasn't reading stuff properly so I threw in a cleaning disk. It now doesn't read at all. The PowerMac 4400 floppy drive is possibly dead and keeps the thing from booting. Turns out a PCI-to-USB card I was trying to use sends my PowerMac G4 into an absolute conniption (it shows a garbled "you must restart" message) and Windows (98 through 10) don't notice it at all - so that doesn't work at all. ADB keyboard and mice are so horribly overpriced it's not even funny. Makes me want to ditch the PowerMac 4400 and get a 486.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can use nearly any period (read: basic 8-32x CDROM only, no CDR or DVD) ATA CDROM drive in a 4400, but you'll most probably need something like CDROM Toolkit to get it to work once Mac OS loads; it should still boot from CD regardless. Try to go with brands such as Matsushita/Panasonic, Sony, Hitachi, Pioneer, Toshiba, or NEC for best compatibility; sometimes drives from less common brands such as Mitsumi, Lite-on, Philips, and cheapies like ACER drives don't work well in a Mac, and some brands like Yamaha and Ricoh have weird drive trays and buttons that don't line up with the Mac's bezel properly.

What brand of USB card are you using? Macs will only use OHCI-compliant cards. The safest bet is a USB 1.1 card with an OPTi FireLink chipset since this chip was used onboard several Macs. Anything with an NEC chip should work, too. Avoid anything from VIA because they don't work at all in a Mac (and often don't even work properly in a PC either). This also goes for FireWire cards: try to use Agilent/Lucent or TI chipsets and avoid anything from VIA because they aren't going to work.

Did you try posting in the Trading Post for a keyboard and mouse? Someone may be able to get you a set for a reasonable sum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/4/2020 at 7:47 PM, Franklinstein said:

You can use nearly any period (read: basic 8-32x CDROM only

well crap, all I have is 52x stuff.

 

On 6/4/2020 at 7:47 PM, Franklinstein said:

avoid anything from VIA

well my card does indeed have a VIA chip on it, so I guess I'm screwed until I find another one

 

On 6/4/2020 at 7:47 PM, Franklinstein said:

Did you try posting in the Trading Post for a keyboard and mouse?

No. and I don't think I will. Nothing good would come of it, since it seems to me that most users who post there are from the US and since I live in Greece, unless someone was to offer ne a working set for like $20, it doesn't make financial sense to me to even bother. I'll probably get an adapter for it (it's called a Wombat and costs about 70€ without shipping, but allegedly works with any USB keyboards/mice).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A 52x or CDR or other optical drive may work but you'll likely need driver utilities for them (CDROM Toolkit, D2 CD, Toast, etc) before they will mount a CD and they don't always work for booting. I recommended the older drives because sometimes they'll work fine without the extra utilities.

 

Can't help with the VIA card though; just have to replace it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×