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PowerBook G3 Pismo Ethernet issues and self-assigned IP


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I recently picked up a Pismo (400MHz, 512MB RAM) and I'm having issues getting it to connect to my network via Ethernet. On both OS 9 and X, TCP/IP reports a 169.x self-assigned address rather than the 192.168.x I would expect. Running a browser or engaging Network Time does not kick the connection into gear. Manually entering an IP address and related information matching my network was unsuccessful. I've tested the same setup with a nearly identical Lombard (400MHz, 128MB RAM), and everything works well (as it does for all my other new and old machines). So, I've ruled out my network itself (despite having reset both my DSL modem and wireless router to see if that would help). However, I'm uncertain if there's a problem with the Ethernet port/card in the Pismo itself. Apple System Profile reports that the built-in Ethernet 'link' is 'down'. I've run an extended Apple Hardware Test, and it's not reporting any logic board issues (see photos). I'm running out of ideas about how to troubleshoot this problem and any help would be appreciated. Please see the included photos for more information. Thanks!

 

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AHTPASS.thumb.jpg.3ecffb8ec4331984bca088d0476323b8.jpg

 

Edited by LazarusNine
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Do link lights illuminate on the distant end or do they stay dark? If they light and flash a little, that would indicate that your electronics are probably OK and that it's a software problem. Try reinstalling the OS, or at least boot from the CD to see if anything changes.

 

If there are no lights, it could still be a software problem but it's more likely that you have a hardware fault. Check to ensure you have no damaged pins or crud in the port. You may need to disassemble the computer to see if anything is visibly damaged near the network port on the logic board, maybe check a fuse or something with a multimeter. I don't have a Pismo handy to offer too many other suggestions.

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Thanks for the response. Yes, I'm increasingly thinking it's hardware related. There isn't any discernible activity on the ethernet router. I've just completed an installation of OS 10.4 (my OS 9 installation was fresh as well) and 'Ethernet' doesn't even appear in the available connections within 'Network' preferences. I'm not really looking forward to dismantling this thing and, even if I replace the RJ45 connector, I may not have solved the problem! Anyway, we'll see how things go.

Edited by LazarusNine
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I disassembled the Pismo to get at the RJ45 port. Ran a continuity test using a multimeter and didn’t discover any problem areas. There was clear indication of current across/between the 8 connections. I unfortunately can’t test the two capacitors, as my multimeter is pretty basic. So, in the end, I don’t think it’s the actual RJ45 port or a loose solder job (I may top it up anyway). I’ve pulled the pins up a bit as well just to ensure a good connection with the cable. I doubt reassembly will fix the problem, but I’ll get to that stage and think things through. Any more thoughts would be welcome!

 

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Edited by LazarusNine
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4 hours ago, Franklinstein said:

You may need to disassemble the computer to see if anything is visibly damaged near the network port on the logic board, maybe check a fuse or something with a multimeter.

Well, after all that - including adding a bit more solder to the connecting pins of the RJ45 port - I'm happy to report that Ethernet is seemingly back in action! I'm just glad it wasn't anything to do with the logic board. Thanks again for suggesting disassembly and testing with the multimeter. In doing that, I was able to at least rule out that specific hardware fault.

 

IMG_4400.thumb.jpg.cd4200efb5b3cd0ffa5fccac1b5b9ded.jpg

Edited by LazarusNine
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  • 1 year later...

This issue has annoyingly reared its head again. I’m not getting any Ethernet connectivity in Mac OS 10.4.11 or 9.2.2. OS 9 just self-assigns an IP (169.xx) and OS X doesn’t show ethernet as being connected at all. Any thoughts on what the culprit could be? I’m guessing hardware at this stage, but I’m at a loss as to what it could be.

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