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#1 2016-02-19 03:16:03

macuserman
Member
Registered: 2016-02-11
Posts: 11

Power Tower Pro Operating System.

I've got a Power Tower Pro and I'd like to be able to run a newer operating system on it, however currently I can't get anything newer than OS 8 to boot. I've tried 8.5 8.6 and 9.1 and it just ignores the install media, but as soon as I put in the OS 8 disc it boots perfect. They are all retail discs, is there some special trick to getting it to recognize something newer? I have memory maxed out at 1GB and a XLR8 G3 card in it and it is working just fine with that setup on OS 8. I'd really like to bump it up to something newer but I'm stuck on this. Any tips? Thanks!

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#2 2016-02-19 18:36:48

cc333
Member
From: North S.F. Bay Area, CA
Registered: 2014-05-23
Posts: 562

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

Hmm, how mystifying!

Being a PowerPC machine, it should support everything up to and including OS 9.1, and yet it's acting like it doesn't.

Have you tried removing the G3 card and replacing it with the stock CPU? It *shouldn't* make a difference as far as I know, but since it might be messing with the ROM somehow, it's worth a try?

c


Main Macs: Early '09 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 13"
Secondary Macs: Early '08 Mac Pro, Mid '12 MacBook Pro 15"
Playthings: Mac SE/30, 3.0 GHz Mavericks-based HackServe, Many others....
Desired: Lisa, Kanga PowerBook G3, Apple IIc, Apple II, Spare parts, etc.

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#3 2016-02-19 19:03:04

MacOS Plus
Member
Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 92

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

My only guess is it has something to do with the non-Apple-ROM CD drive.  Apple officially dropped support for the Power Tower Pro after 8.1 I believe.  This may have ended up in some way breaking the boot support in later versions, but is not necessarily the reason.  If you had a spare Apple-ROM drive you could probably use it temporarily to get things going and then switch back after the install is done.  All the clone computers I've owned were often a major PITA when it came to reliably booting anything because of the third-party SCSI CD drives they used.  I went out of my way to source an official Apple 24x SCSI drive for my 9150/80 specifically so I could improve speed but not sacrifice compatibility.  Now I wish I'd bought them for ALL my machines!

  Your only other realistic option is to install to the target hard drive using another computer and then move it back to the Power Tower.  If it's not an Apple-ROM hard drive either then you also may have problems even mounting it on another machine without appropriate 3rd-party disk tools.  Makes me so glad this proprietary non-sense pretty much ended for a long time with the move to IDE in the Apple motherboards.

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#4 2016-02-20 03:45:21

ClassicHasClass
Member
From: Electron Alley
Registered: 2014-05-26
Posts: 1,083
Website

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

I don't (necessarily) think it's that, because if so, it should at least initially boot the nanokernel and then bomb. His statement implies that the boot ROM doesn't even acknowledge the disc.

Have you tried booting it from OpenFirmware "manually"? What happens with a quick

boot cd:,\\:tbxi

?

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#5 2016-02-22 00:22:45

macuserman
Member
Registered: 2016-02-11
Posts: 11

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

Ok so it turns out that the problem was indeed the cd rom drive. Works great to boot OS 8, but nothing else really. I sourced an Apple blessed cd rom from my WGS 9150 and it boots all of the discs perfectly! Awesome! Except for my 9.1 disc is scratched apparently so I'm stuck on 8.6 for the time being. It's a work in progress though so little steps. I would love to have a 24x Apple CD Rom, but I didn't see any on eBay and my WGS has like 2x I think. Ugh! Anyways it does work so as soon as I can figure out how to burn a "blessed" 9.1 disc or if it's even possible using my 2012 iMac with El Capitan I'll be one step closer.

My goal with this computer is to build a custom classic computer. I've always been jealous of PC users custom build computers and whatnot and how I was never able to have anything like that. So this is just for grins and because I have some cool classic software I want to run, and because I think I can push it all they way up to Tiger maybe even Leopard with significant work on my part. Way back in the day I saved a couple of Power Tower Pro motherboards for this purpose and a bunch of upgrade cards and things specifically for this purpose. I chose the Power Tower Pro because it uses standard ATX connections and it makes it easy to drop into a custom case. I don't have any of the original bits from the Power Tower Pro other than the motherboards. Currently, I'm just trying to get the kinks worked out and stuff up and running. I have the motherboard installed in an old PC case, (I am planning to source a flashy, bling bling LED one), a 450W ATX Powersupply, xlr8 G3 card, and a radeon 9200LE graphics card. Currently it runs 8.6 pretty well, I don't have a good scsi HD anymore, so it is installed on a 80GB IDE drive using a Sonnet Tempo 133 card.

It's kind of a mess atm, but will get more cleaned up as I go. Does anyone know where I can find the dip switch information for the xlr8 card? I have the ZIF socketed card and I'd like to optimize it for my bus settings, while I'm waiting for my Sonnet G4 800 card to show up.

Thanks for your help so far!

I don't know if you guys like pictures but here are a few of my progress/mess so far.


IMG_8033.jpg

IMG_8036.jpg

IMG_8037.jpg

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#6 2016-02-22 05:02:01

MacOS Plus
Member
Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 92

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

Glad I could help!  It's funny you should mention the 9150 because this evening I started trying to get a 9150/120 back in service and it isn't playing nice.  I'll be posting about it in the power mac section.

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#7 2016-02-22 05:07:23

mcdermd
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 940
Website

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

Dem casterz doe


Daily Drivers: 27" iMac 2.8 GHz Quad-Core i7 (Late 2009), 21.5" iMac 2.7GHz Quad-Core i5 (Late 2013), 11" Macbook Air 1.6 GHz i5 (Mid-2011)
See the restored heroes here.

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#8 2016-02-22 17:14:57

macuserman
Member
Registered: 2016-02-11
Posts: 11

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

MacOS Plus wrote:

Glad I could help!  It's funny you should mention the 9150 because this evening I started trying to get a 9150/120 back in service and it isn't playing nice.  I'll be posting about it in the power mac section.

Hmm, I'll have to track your progress, mine has issues as well, I've never been able to get it to do much for me either.

mcdermd wrote:

Dem casterz doe

Don't hate on the casters! The casters are awesome for lugging the big heavy computer around. It's an ugly old case, but it is huge and the casters are the best part. I'm going to get a more aesthetically pleasing case before I'm all done. smile

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#9 2016-02-22 22:56:31

MacOS Plus
Member
Registered: 2015-12-09
Posts: 92

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

The casters are awesome and practical!  I had to build a rolling base once for one very large server because it was too monstrous to handle otherwise.  Not only did it have quad processors well before that was common, it also had two RAID5 SCSI drive sets internally.  Externally it was hooked to two massive SGI fibre-channel RAID enclosures that were far bigger and heavier than the drives they contained, also with stock casters.  The computer had redundant power supplies, as did each of the external fibre-channel enclosures.  So that's one system, twelve casters!

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#10 2016-02-23 01:00:15

macuserman
Member
Registered: 2016-02-11
Posts: 11

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

MacOS Plus wrote:

The casters are awesome and practical!  I had to build a rolling base once for one very large server because it was too monstrous to handle otherwise.  Not only did it have quad processors well before that was common, it also had two RAID5 SCSI drive sets internally.  Externally it was hooked to two massive SGI fibre-channel RAID enclosures that were far bigger and heavier than the drives they contained, also with stock casters.  The computer had redundant power supplies, as did each of the external fibre-channel enclosures.  So that's one system, twelve casters!

That's pretty sweet, I'm tempted to transfer the casters to whatever new case I come up with just because it's so much easier to just roll it around or out from under the desk or well just in general the casters are nice.


In other news, I got my Sonnet 800 G4 card today borrowed the floppy disc drive from the 9150 and installed the sonnet encore software from the floppy. Fired right up so now I have 8.6 running on the G4 card, pretty soon all the internals from the 9150 will be out! I'm going to start putting them back in soon. I need to find a donor 9600, that I can steal the faster cd rom drive out of and floppy etc. I found one in Minneapolis on craigslist, but the owner isn't willing to ship, it's a steal if any of you guys live up that way.

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/s … 91264.html


Anyone have any ideas on how I can burn a 9.1 image that is bootable using my very very modern mac? I'm stumped so far, I've tried to burn the iso from Mac OS9Lives multiple different ways, but nothing is working so far.

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#11 2016-02-23 01:10:06

macuserman
Member
Registered: 2016-02-11
Posts: 11

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

Some more pictures just because I am excited.

IMG_8044_zpsenfibepl.jpg

IMG_8045_zpst6fkvwfb.jpg


I tried to run one of my older programs, Wacky Jacks, but it said Macromedia player doesn't have enough memory. That isn't true so I'll have to see if I can sort that out, but definitely a lot of progress it's super quick with the G4 card running 8.6.

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#12 2016-07-19 09:18:47

trag
Member
Registered: 2015-01-07
Posts: 12

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

If you go to http://www.prismnet.com/~trag and browse down to PTP_template you'll find a template for cutting a rear IO panel (AKA IO Shield) for the PTP logic board in an ATX case.  IIRC, PTP_to_ATX has some discussion on using it or cutting it out of sheet metal or something.  It's been a long time.

Back in the day, there were instructions for burning bootable CDROMs such that they would work on third party drives.  I don't remember any of the details but back in the clone daysit was a common need.  You might hunt aroundin the LowEndMac archives for Power Computing users or whatever the relevant list was.  It's really too bad that PowerWatch is dead and buried, though there was an archive.  It might still be available.  The principal, Jeff Keller, has a digital camera blog, dcresource.com so you can probably contact him to ask if there's still a Powerwatch arcive somewhere.

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#13 2016-07-19 17:33:35

macdrone
Member
From: Rainier, Or
Registered: 2014-05-25
Posts: 222

Re: Power Tower Pro Operating System.

You can "allot" more memory to the program in get info about the program as i remember.  The issue was the change in the OS required more than the default size.  I had to do it with all non powerpc native apps back in the day with my B&W G3.

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