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View Full Version : Help a Mac Noob fix an SE/30



Raven
July 3rd, 2010, 10:13 AM
I am a Mac noob. I admit this. Anyway, I finally had some spare cash and bought the long T-15 screwdriver necessary to open my SE/30s. I opened it (yes I know not to touch anything before properly discharging it.. I just looked and then closed it back up.. lol) and looked around, everything seemed OK.

Turned it on, and instantly recalled the problem - floppy drive seems to be dead. That's what I think, anyway. The symptoms are thus:

Turns on to gray screen with arrow in top left, then a floppy disk image appears and blinks, then it goes solid and a ? appears in it. If I glance down, I notice an orange light through the slots (HDD I Imagine) that blinks once every few seconds, then slows to once every few minutes, and it will sit like this until I turn it off again.

I presume it's asking for a boot disk because nothing is on the HDD, but if I put one in it doesn't work - thus my assumption about the FDD.

I have another SE/30 with a screwed up screen - shall I discharge both, and transplant the floppy from the other unit? Perhaps I should try transplanting the HDD, as the other might have it's OS intact (I'm a noob, and haven't successfully installed an OS on any pre-Intel Mac before)..

Ideas? Thoughts?

Unknown_K
July 3rd, 2010, 11:04 AM
Read up on SE30 operation before you go changing anything you have no clue about.

Any 68K mac will look for something to boot from when started up. If the hard drive is damaged or does not have a valid OS for that particular machine and there is no working floppy to boot from it will flash the floppy icon waiting for you to feed it a bootable disk.

Since you were already poking around inside, make sure you did not remove the floppy or SCSI cable. Next get a bootable OS disk to see if the unit will boot from that. You can boot from a mac OS cd (7.6.x or earlier and not machine specific for that model) in an external SCSI cdrom drive (asuming the SCSI ID is not taken by the internal HD) by holding down the "C" key on bootup.

glitch
July 3rd, 2010, 11:18 AM
I've found most problems with 3.5" Apple auto-inject floppy drives to be a matter of lubrication. Take the drive out, remove the old grease with WD-40 (careful not to get it on the read/write heads!) and then re-apply clean grease. Work a floppy disk you don't care about through the mechanism several times, using the mechanical eject button to pop it out. I use white lithium grease for any floppy drive repairs, as it holds up very well.

If you've got a working 68k Mac (seem to remember you do) and a SCSI Zip drive, you can format a Zip disk, install the system drivers on it, and install the OS to that. As long as you choose "For all 68k Macs" in the installation, it should boot the SE/30 just fine. Make sure to mind your termination on the SCSI bus...too much or too little will keep any SCSI devices from working properly. I keep a Magneto-Optical cartridge set up to boot a minimal System 7.5 (system files copied from the network install floppy), which contains the installer images for the versions of the System Software I use with the 68k machines I've got (mostly System 7.1 and 7.5.3).

Raven
July 3rd, 2010, 11:25 AM
Since you were already poking around inside, make sure you did not remove the floppy or SCSI cable. Next get a bootable OS disk to see if the unit will boot from that.

As I said in OP - didn't touch anything inside, and already tried to boot it from an OS floppy (last time I tried the machine).

The ZIP idea seems interesting - I have several SCSI ZIP drives but I've never used them before - will they just function, or am I going to need to transfer some drivers over (my ZIP tools disk, the only one I have, has been used on a Windows box in the past, and they delete the Mac half of the disk when you do that for some reason..)?

tezza
July 3rd, 2010, 11:38 AM
My SE/30 originally had a non-working floppy drive. The problem? The whole unit was full of dust! Having no drive cover and a fan that takes in air through the drive slot, this can be a common problem. A good vacumn and clean got it working again.

Removing the drive can be a bit of a mission in these machines if I remember righly.

Tez

glitch
July 3rd, 2010, 12:10 PM
The ZIP idea seems interesting - I have several SCSI ZIP drives but I've never used them before - will they just function, or am I going to need to transfer some drivers over (my ZIP tools disk, the only one I have, has been used on a Windows box in the past, and they delete the Mac half of the disk when you do that for some reason..)?

You do need a driver, but it's available for free download online. You can write it to a 1.4 MB floppy using another Mac, Linux or Windows with the right tools (never done that before). If you have a hard time getting it working, I can throw System 7.5 on a formatted Zip disk and send it to you for the cost of the disk+shipping (should be cheap since we're near one another).

Raven
July 4th, 2010, 12:02 PM
Tried many times to discharge CRT, but heard no pop. I tried several screwdrivers, several wires, etc.. I assume this model has a bleeder resistor and it's not dysfunctional. Anyway, the FDD is definitively dead. I need to replace it, but these bastards put two screws on each side and I don't know how to get the FDD out as there's a huge board on the one side of the Mac. What's the procedure for replacing a FDD - I'll need to do it twice, once for each Mac (donor and recipient) so I better know what I'm doing..

tezza
July 4th, 2010, 12:11 PM
Raven,

I can't remember the step by step procedure but I do remember having to remove just about everything else before I could extract the drive. I recall it being hard to get to.

Tez

Unknown_K
July 4th, 2010, 12:28 PM
The HD and floppy drive are attached to a bracket held in by 2 screws (should be facing you with the crt towards the table with the back off). Take the screws out and that bracket slides up along with the HD/floppy.

This is going from memory since I have not done work on my SE30's in a while.

Just make sure you do not break the end of the tube taking the drives out.

Raven
July 4th, 2010, 04:29 PM
Oh man do I hope you're right, because I've just been flipping through service manual PDFs and the official procedure is indeed to take EVERY SINGLE THING out before the FDD... Even the motherboard comes out of the case before the FDD! :O

Edit: That works for the HDD but the FDD is held by screws with heads facing the mobo..

Edit: Is it normal to find a rubber band in an SE/30? :P

tezza
July 4th, 2010, 05:49 PM
Edit: Is it normal to find a rubber band in an SE/30? :P

It is, if you had to do what I did (http://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/2008-8-23-upgrading%20ram%20in%20mac%20se-30.htm)! :D

Does it look like the kind of rubber band that turns flywheels under a FFD?

Unknown_K
July 4th, 2010, 07:17 PM
Oh man do I hope you're right, because I've just been flipping through service manual PDFs and the official procedure is indeed to take EVERY SINGLE THING out before the FDD... Even the motherboard comes out of the case before the FDD! :O

Edit: That works for the HDD but the FDD is held by screws with heads facing the mobo..

Edit: Is it normal to find a rubber band in an SE/30? :P

Remove the motherboard (just unplug a few things and it slides out).

No, rubberbands are not in the se30 build sheet.

Raven
July 4th, 2010, 09:20 PM
Other Mac had sploded battery - very dead. Tried that FDD in good mac, no go. Realized that my other macs have same drive, put newer one in SE/30. Drive feels nicer, but still no go. Ever since I switched out the original drive (had busted top drive head) it displays floppy with X on it when tryin to boot from disk.

Edit: Correction - it displays floppy with X all the time, even with no disk inserted.

Edit 2: I accidentally was editing an old post with this info because I thought nobody else had posted after that - bah. Anyway the rubber band was an ordinary rubber band, but oddly this Mac had the same SIMM problem as you linked. It had scotch tape on it to solve that (which I didn't like, even though it seemed to have no ill effects, for static reasons) so I replaced it with electrical tape. Rubber band looks more elegant, though, so if I pull the mobo out again I'll do that fix instead.

Edit 3: The more I work on this the more angry at compact computer designs like this I get. I have a Presario 425 (soon to have two) and they're elegant inside - you unscrew two things and the bottom slides out to reveal essentially a full desktop PC with ordinary placements of everything.. do what you must, then slide it back in and screw it back in - easy... Why does this mac need to have an "analog" board, and why is the PSU in such an awkward and arbitrary location.. if they stuck the "analog" board and PSU functions in the upper case around the tube, put vents on the top, and then partitioned the case, there'd be no need to discharge the monitor, and it would be easier to access the drives and work on the machine. Bah. Perhaps the Color Classic or Classic (non-SE models) are more logical inside..

glitch
July 5th, 2010, 06:43 AM
I've never taken apart a SE or SE/30, mostly because I don't own one, but I didn't think the design of the Mac Plus, Classic, or Classic II was too horrible. The motherboard slides out as soon as the case is open and the cables are disconnected. The floppy /is/ a pain to get out in all of the models...requires a narrow magnetic phillips head drivers, and even then it can be an adventure.

Until you get a known good floppy drive, you should probably try to get some sort of SCSI device up and working. Zip drive would probably be your best bet, since you've got them. They're also great for data interchange once you get the SE/30 up and running. You should also be able to pull the hard drive out of a LC or similar 68k machine and boot the SE/30 with it, as long as the installation was a "for any Mac" installation and not a LC-only install.

Most CRTs do have bleeders on the accelerating supply. The warnings of death and fried fingers are worst-case, and pushed by those who are teaching the inexperienced because it /can/ get you in certain situations.

I don't know about Presario 425s, but I've got a pair of Prolinea/Net 425's that sound similar to your Presario. While it's very simple to get the motherboard/drives out, just try getting to the power supply!

Raven
July 5th, 2010, 08:59 AM
You guys seem to be missing one key problem: this machine has no OS. I can't boot it from a floppy, which means I can't install an OS. Without a floppy drive, I couldn't put drivers for the ethernet or the ZIP drive on it even if I had one. I have lots of known-good FDD units, because I have piles of later 68K macs that happen to use the same drive - the one I put in there should have worked, but I admit it wasn't tested. Do you really think that it's still a matter of the FDD unit being bad?

As for the Prolinea, they look to be identical to the Presario 425 in casing and in specs. As far as I can see (http://cgi.ebay.com/COMPAQ-PROLINEA-NET-1-33-DESKTOP-W-MONITOR-171900-402-/360103261593?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Desktop_PCs&hash=item53d7d3b599#ht_3257wt_1137) the only difference appears to be that this one includes a (at least to me) useless Token Ring card on the motherboard (is it a daughtercard? if so then not so useless as it can be replaced..). What socket do they have, though? Anywho I know this is off-topic but if you'd consider selling a unit I'd like to have one.

mikerm
July 5th, 2010, 09:31 AM
Actually, I think you missed something :)

Mac's can boot off of external drives, so they were saying make a bootable disk (zip, cd, even floppy if you get a hold of an external floppy), plug that all in (and terminate the chain correctly), hold down C when you turn on the Mac and it will try to boot off of anything external that's plugged into the SCSI bus.

As far as the whole floppy drive problem, just double check the data cable is being plugged in correctly, and all the way. When I had mine apart, I didn't quite plug the floppy back in all the way and had to take it completely apart again just to push down the plug a little more. Also, the later SE/30's had high density 1.44mb drives in them, I'm not sure if that makes a difference compared to the 800k ones, but that might be the issue.

Also, are you sure the floppy you're trying is a known good bootable one?

Raven
July 5th, 2010, 02:52 PM
Anything external? So I think they misunderstood my question about the necessity of a driver for a SCSI ZIP drive earlier. I have ZIP drives out the wazoo (many of you have seen my old signature I'm sure) so I should be able to get something going that way then - unfortunately I'd still like it to read the damn floppy disks, lol..

Mine had a 1.44MB in it when I got it, as did the other SE/30 - it's the SE that started with 800K, the SE/30 shipped in the beginning with a 1.44MB. The replacement drive I pulled from an LC III that was dead is also a 1.44MB.

The disk? No - I made it specifically for SE/30 use.. More usefully than sending me anything could someone take a disk image of a 6.0.8 "System Startup" floppy ("any Mac" version) in a PC compatible (rawwrite .img) format for me? These damn .sea.bin things are driving me mad.

jens
July 7th, 2010, 01:49 AM
These damn .sea.bin things are driving me mad.
Can you open them with Stuffit Expander for Win?

Raven
July 7th, 2010, 10:25 PM
Yes - they then produce a .sea file. If I then open that in Stuffit Expander it gives me a file called System Startup which appears to be the disk image. I rename this to sys608.img or what-have-you and write it, producing a disk that I couldn't get to boot (though I can't get anything to boot in the SE/30 yet).

However, it seems that .sea.bin is intended for desktop mounting on a Mac, and it creates it's own floppy using it's install program. I'm not certain if the mounting image is even intended as bootable.

QuantumII
July 8th, 2010, 01:52 AM
.sea is Selfextractingarchive, if I remember correctly, and contains more that just the image.

Linked is an .img of System 1.1, which can be written to a floppy disk with rawrite on a PC and then booted in a mac. Worked fine for my Mac Classic.

Try the img and see if you can get it to boot. As an extra treat you'll be able to play around in the very first Mac OS :-)

(If this breaks a copyright, nuke the link)
http://home.online.no/~t-gutteb/sys1.1.zip