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Thread: Installing the OS on a Powerbook 145b

  1. Default Installing the OS on a Powerbook 145b

    I got a 145b for free today. It works but it has no system on it, as the previous owner formatted it ages ago to erase sensitive data.

    I managed to get it to boot with the Network Access Disk 7.5 (I have no access to other Apple systems, so I unpacked the image file with Stuffit and wrote it to disk with WinImage), but I hit a snag.
    I downloaded the 7.5.3 system floppy images (all 19 of them) from the Apple site and read the instructions: I have to copy them on the mac's hard disk and execute them from there, so they mount and I can use the installer to put the actual system on the disk. That's nice and all, but how the heck do I get the system images on the hard disk if the floppy drive is already being used to run the network access disk? I tried ejecting the floppy and the computer promptly asked me to put it back before being able to do anything else at all.

    I have no internet access on the powerbook (no ethernet, obviously no wifi, and no way to add either) so I can't download them directly.

    Edit: the hard drive seems to have failed. It ran 2 or 3 times this afternoon, as I could hear it spin up and it showed in the Network Disk's system; then I left it off for a few hours, and now the disk has completely vanished and doesn't even spin up (I can no longer hear the noise and the Network system doesn't display its icon). Possibly a bad drive, though I'd expect it to at least spin up and then be unreadable rather than be completely dead altogether. Don't really know what to do, apparently the 145B has a SCSI internal interface and finding disks using that is practically impossible around here.
    Last edited by Fallingwater; July 24th, 2012 at 07:15 PM.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallingwater View Post
    I got a 145b for free today. It works but it has no system on it, as the previous owner formatted it ages ago to erase sensitive data.

    I managed to get it to boot with the Network Access Disk 7.5 (I have no access to other Apple systems, so I unpacked the image file with Stuffit and wrote it to disk with WinImage), but I hit a snag.
    I downloaded the 7.5.3 system floppy images (all 19 of them) from the Apple site and read the instructions: I have to copy them on the mac's hard disk and execute them from there, so they mount and I can use the installer to put the actual system on the disk. That's nice and all, but how the heck do I get the system images on the hard disk if the floppy drive is already being used to run the network access disk? I tried ejecting the floppy and the computer promptly asked me to put it back before being able to do anything else at all.

    I have no internet access on the powerbook (no ethernet, obviously no wifi, and no way to add either) so I can't download them directly.

    Edit: the hard drive seems to have failed. It ran 2 or 3 times this afternoon, as I could hear it spin up and it showed in the Network Disk's system; then I left it off for a few hours, and now the disk has completely vanished and doesn't even spin up (I can no longer hear the noise and the Network system doesn't display its icon). Possibly a bad drive, though I'd expect it to at least spin up and then be unreadable rather than be completely dead altogether. Don't really know what to do, apparently the 145B has a SCSI internal interface and finding disks using that is practically impossible around here.
    There are some complicated ways to make Mac disks from a PC, easiest of them would be to install some kind of Mac emulator (vmac,Basilisk II, Executor, etc..) on a PC with a 1.44 floppy drive and write the images out to disk using that.

    It is also possible, if you get the disk images in a raw type of format, that you can write them with winimage (or the like), however the images downloaded from apple and most other sources are in stuffit and then a proprietary disk-image format inside that usually.
    My Vintage computer/blog site
    Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.

  3. Default

    Still doesn't spin up - I can't even hear the telltale sounds of a drive that's trying to spin up under stiction from the heads. The spindle motor seems to be completely unpowered. Is there any chance the fault is electrical, like old connectors or something like that?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallingwater View Post
    Still doesn't spin up - I can't even hear the telltale sounds of a drive that's trying to spin up under stiction from the heads. The spindle motor seems to be completely unpowered. Is there any chance the fault is electrical, like old connectors or something like that?
    I would say the fault is likely the drive, MANY of those old 2.5" SCSI drives have failed now, but you could always pull it and apply power to its power terminals and see if it spins outside the laptop.

    If I were in your shoes (and I may be when I get around to working on my PB-100) I would be looking at one of these to replace the hard drive, it lets you install a CF card in place of the internal hard drive, unfortunately being a SCSI>IDE converter, its quite spendy, but its a better option than tracking down some other 20+ year old 2.5" SCSI drive, that's also likely to fail soon.
    My Vintage computer/blog site
    Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallingwater View Post
    Still doesn't spin up - I can't even hear the telltale sounds of a drive that's trying to spin up under stiction from the heads. The spindle motor seems to be completely unpowered. Is there any chance the fault is electrical, like old connectors or something like that?
    Well, have you opened it up and had a look? I don't know the age of the PowerBook or the way it's built, but things can work loose over time. Have a look at the hard disk connection, and make sure it's not dirty or loose.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWallmow View Post
    I would say the fault is likely the drive, MANY of those old 2.5" SCSI drives have failed now, but you could always pull it and apply power to its power terminals and see if it spins outside the laptop.
    I managed to revive a hard drive in a Powerbook 165 I have by slamming the whole machine against the carpet covered floor a few times. Your mileage my vary with percussive maintenance, what do you have to lose?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by njroadfan View Post
    I managed to revive a hard drive in a Powerbook 165 I have by slamming the whole machine against the carpet covered floor a few times. Your mileage my vary with percussive maintenance, what do you have to lose?
    2.5 drive sticksion?

  8. #8
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    May be stating the obvious, but have you tried resetting the power management unit (PMU)? Also checked/replaced the PRAM battery? Very likely the battery is dead, and many old apples just won't boot at all if the ROM detects no battery power. Starting up a few times might have just finished off the battery - I've had that experience a few times with systems that have been unused for years.

    If you're lucky the disk will come back to life without taking a baseball bat to it. I'd also recommend finding a disassembly guide online and following it through to the point where you can be sure the thing is not full of dust, mud, or orange juice (I've found all of these recently).

    Plenty of howto's online for these operations.

    Rick

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    That I can recall at least with my 180, the main battery serves double purpose as the PRAM battery with a small supercap assisting between battery swaps.
    The SCSI drives in the powerbooks are really unreliable these days. Out of a batch of 6 I got, only one actually worked (the rest either crashed or would not spin up) but failed in Drive Setup.
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