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MAlan Jul 31, 2000 01:34 PM
flashing question mark on a performa 6400
My cousins performa 6400 (80 MB ram, 2.5 GB hard drive, 28.8 k modem)bit the dust this weekend. She was using AOL and was connected to the internet when the computer froze. When she went to reboot she saw the flashing question mark.

She booted up with the system software CD and saw no icon representing the Hard drive. When she went into the the startup disk control panel she could not see the option for booting up off the hard drive.

Two weeks before she used the Norton utilities to defrag her hard drive. The defrag tool reported to her that she had some damaged something or other's....she couldn't be any more specific than that. I have never used norton's defrag tool. In fact I've only used a defrag tool once (on a PC) and had no damaged files.

It is possible that the tool was reporting either a damaged file or a damaged portion of her hard drive. My bet is on the damaged hard drive.

She also tried downloading the latest version of netscape shortly before her computer died as well. There are a lot of possibilities here but I have a feeling her hard drive has just bit the dust. Are there any thought's on my cousin's machine?

She is running out to buy a G4 this week. The other question she had was whether she could transfer the internal Zip drive from her performa into her G4. I see no reason why not?

Dalgo Jul 31, 2000 02:43 PM
Sounds like the hard drive is corrupt. Try running Disk First Aid or Norton Utilities. if neither of those programs can "see" the hard drive, run drive setup to make sure that the computer can see it at all.

I don't know what type of ports are in a performa 6400, but if your internal zip is SCSI, your out of luck using it in a G4 unless you buy a SCSI controller card. If it's ATA, then I see no reason why there'd be a problem. Just remember to set it the opposite of the DVD-ROM drive. Ie, master or slave, and make sure that neither one is set to single.
reader50 Jul 31, 2000 04:13 PM
I agree with Dalgo, this sounds like corruption of the hard drive. Disk First Aid can only work on disks that are already mounted. To get the disk to mount, use Drive Setup.

First, in Drive Setup, turn off the format options to Low Level Format and to Zero All Data. If you let Drive Setup do either of these, you will lose all the data on the hard drive.

Try using the Mount command is Drive Setup. If it works, backup all data, reformat, and restore your data. You're done.

If the drive won't mount, then see if you can get Drive Setup to just update the drivers on the hard drive. If you can, then again try to mount the drive. If it does mount, then use Disk First Aid. If DFA says it has fixed everything, or reports the drive is OK, then you are off the hook. Otherwise, back up all your data. Then reformat and restore. You're done.

If Drive Setup cannot just update the drivers, or Drive Setup does but the drive still will not mount, it gets more painful.

Let Drive Setup reformat the drive (with the Low Level Format option UNCHECKED and the Zero All Data optin UNCHECKED), but be sure to declare your partition sizes and order just the same as before. When the format finishes, do nothing to the now-empty drive. Fire up Norton, and use the undelete feature to get your files back from the apparently empty drive. You should be able to get almost all of them back.

Good luck.

[This message has been edited by reader50 (edited 07-31-2000).]
MAlan Aug 1, 2000 10:52 AM
Thank you very much. Both of you have been very helpful.

mitchell_pgh Aug 3, 2000 05:35 PM
Same thing happened to me... I guess there is a way to get the data back... How did that go... Something like getting an updater or something it was a problem with the 6400's and 63XX's
infiniti Aug 4, 2000 12:35 AM
Regarding the Zip drive, the Performa 6400's upper drive bay is SCSI, so the zip drive will not work in new G4s, as they use UltraATA/66. It would be impossible for the Zip drive in a 6400 to be IDE anyways, as the 6400 uses a special implementation of IDE that supports only one drive.

Good luck,
The Wolfe Aug 9, 2000 04:56 PM
The 6400's had horrible drive failure rates. Actually, most Zip drives in 6400/6500's were ATA, so it should work fine in a new G4.

Eliott Wolfe
Winnetka, Calif
CyberDave Aug 14, 2000 01:01 AM
Originally posted by The Wolfe:
The 6400's had horrible drive failure rates. Actually, most Zip drives in 6400/6500's were ATA, so it should work fine in a new G4.

I don't see how they could be ATA drives. First, the upper drive bay is pre-wired for SCSI in machines that didn't come with a Zip drive. Second, infiniti is right. The 64xx/65xx/6360 series Performas and Power Macs support only one IDE/ATA drive, and that's the hard drive.

Personally, when I get the G4, I would take the hard drive out of the Performa, jumper it to "Slave", hook it up to the G4, and then try to run Disk First Aid/Disk Doctor/Disk Warrior, et. al. to see if they can fix the drive. If they can't but you can get the data off the drive, then back up what you can/need, reformat, reinstall and put it back in the Performa. Just my 2.

Also, I remember Apple posting one or more firmware updates for the hard drives included with certain Performas, some of which may exhibit the flashing question mark problem under certain situations unless the update is applied. That's about all that I can remember, other than that it didn't apply to me. Check Apple's Tech Info Library, Tech Exchange, and Software Updates sections for more info.

Hope this helps,

Dave C
The Wolfe Aug 14, 2000 03:44 AM
You're right about the SCSI Zip drives in the 6400's. I was wrong.

Eliott Wolfe
Winnetka, Calif
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