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Powerbook 540c has problem with external SCSI2SD


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I've got my trusty 540c that I've been using for a while to archive floppy disks.  It's got an internal SCSI2SD Powerbook edition that it boots from, either into 7.6.1 or 8.1, and an external SCSI2SD v6 that I use for storing the archived floppy images for easy copy to my modern Mac. 

 

Some time ago, a couple of months, I was no longer able to copy data to the external SCSI2SD.  It just seems to fail on quite a few file copies.  Take for example three disk images I have.  I copy the folder with them, each about 1.5MB to the external SCSI2SD.  It will sit there for a while, trying, and then eventually give me an error "The file "file name" couldn't be written because a disk error occurred.  Do you want to continue copying?"

 

I am running this on my PB540c with an external power source, and I've verified that termination is enabled. 

 

What I've tried:

 

- Different HDI-DB25 SCSI cable

- Different v6 SCSI2SD card that works fine on my Lombard

- Running TechTool on the drives on that SCSI2SD - it found some file level issues but nothing substantial

 

So basically, both of my v6 SCSI2SD's run fine on my Lombard and I can copy to my hearts content on and off of them, but on the PB 540c, it has a problem every time. 

 

I suppose my PB540c might have SCSI issue, but the internal drive works fine.  I could swap everything into a different 540c and see if that changed anything; I'll probably do that. 

 

Anyone have any other ideas? 

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Is it possible that your 540c ever went into sleep mode before your attempted disk access?  If so, your 540c may have attempted to spin down the SCSI2SD.  This causes a known problem where subsequent disk accesses fail.  The good news is, there is a fix thru a firmware change on your SCSI2SD.

 

See this old thread with my recent resolution with help from codesrc:  

 

 

Edited by Crutch
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So, the thing is, my internal SCSI2SD is flawless.  I've never had issues with that one.  It is only when trying to copy to the external v6 on that It has issues.  And the system is never trying to sleep, as I have that turned off. 

 

I can't help but wonder if I flashed a newer version of the firmware a couple of months ago and that is what started this problem.  I suppose I can try to flash older versions of the firmware, look for something a year or more old, to see if that fixes it. 

 

I did fire up another 540c and it has the same problem.  So this is some type of compatibility issue with the 540c not a 540c hardware problem it seems. 

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I know I said “sleep” above but IIRC spindown is separate from sleep. I believe the PBs attempt to spin down all HDs, not just the internal one. So I still think you may be experiencing the problem I mentioned, especially if multiple 500s are acting the same. Depending on the timing and version of the bootloader that happened to get installled, your internal SCSI2SD may be immune. 

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Ok, so, a couple of things to report.

 

The good:  I downgraded the v6 firmware from 6.28 to 6.25 and now I can copy to it from the 540c.  I'll let codesrc know.

 

The bad: I played around with two other 540c's and _just_ swapping the ram boards seems to have borked two of them.  Not sure WTF is going on, but on one of them, it now starts up with a gnarly sound, and the other, my goto one for some time, simply won't boot; does nothing when you press the power button.

 

Anyone aware of any sensitivity around replacing the RAM board and how to deal with the issue? 

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  • 3 months later...
On 4/2/2020 at 4:56 PM, pcamen said:

The bad: I played around with two other 540c's and _just_ swapping the ram boards seems to have borked two of them.  Not sure WTF is going on, but on one of them, it now starts up with a gnarly sound, and the other, my goto one for some time, simply won't boot; does nothing when you press the power button.

 

Anyone aware of any sensitivity around replacing the RAM board and how to deal with the issue?

I know I'm late here, but I experienced a similar problem on my 540c with NuPowr PPC upgrade, wherein any RAM expansion I installed would cause a weirdly distorted chime and no boot -- the screen stayed dark.  The only difference was that everything was normal if I ran it without a RAM board, but with only 8 MB of onboard RAM.  At least it booted at all, though, because replacement PPC upgrades aren't exactly easy to find!

 

After much staring, I discovered that that somehow a pin had gotten bent inside the socket on the NuPowr board, which was apparently shorting against an adjacent pin when a RAM board was installed.

 

After carefully straightening the bent pin, the problem was solved!

 

So perhaps see if there are any bent pins anywhere?

 

c

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  • 4 months later...

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