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Pmconaway Jul 6, 2000 09:35 AM
6500/250 help needed
OK, I have a big problem. My 6500 started locking up constantly last night. I think it has given up the ghost this time. I get finder quits/restarts often. The machine also locks up during boot up. I've tried deleting preferences relating to the OS. I've started up from another system folder on another disk. I've started up from the OS9 CD and still have lock ups. The error message most of the time is a bus error. type 10. I have also zapped the pram and run Norton Utilities without any luck. I left the computer off last night and turned it on this morning when I got up and it seemed to run for a longer period of time at first before I started locking up. (I'm assuming a component needed time to warm up and fail)

I'm thinking that I have memory that has gone bad but I removed one of the simms and the problem didn't go away. My other thought is that the powersupply is starting to go flaky. I'm also thinking that this is a hardware problem since there haven't been any recent changes.

I need some ideas on what to do to resolve this!!!

My local dealer will take at least 2 weeks before he can look at.

Particulars of the system
Mac OS 9.04, 96mb RAM, 4 Gig internal drive, 4 gig scsi drive, SCSI CDRW on adaptec SCSI adapter, External 56K modem, zip drive, internal CDROM, TV Card (fits in upper bay right below the lid), USB card.

Thanks for any help.

andi*pandi Jul 6, 2000 01:32 PM
will it start with extensions off?

where exactly does it pause upon restart? (at a certain extension, or before any extension shows?) A crash/freeze before the extensions show on the screen could mean bad memory.

Otherwise, when did you upgrade to OS9? I didn't think the older PowerPC's were compatible.

My sister has same model.
Pmconaway Jul 6, 2000 02:11 PM
>where exactly does it pause upon restart? (at a certain extension, or before any extension shows?) A crash/freeze before the extensions show on the screen could mean bad memory.

Otherwise, when did you upgrade to OS9? I didn't think the older PowerPC's were compatible.

The problem is that it doesn't exactly pause in the same place twice. Sometimes it is before the extensions show and other times at different extensions in the load process. Sometimes it gets to the point where it is going to display the background picture and the finder icons and locks. I have conflict catcher loaded and I don't think it is an extension conflict.

I've had OS9 since it came out and I have had problems with it off and on. (Deep Sleep problem - computer won't wake up) Nothing that I haven't fixed up. I've started with no exentsions and still have the problems. Also this started suddenly which leads me to believe that it is hardware related.

dobru Jul 6, 2000 08:01 PM
I think the 6500 is one of those "funky" machines.
Seriously though, I don't know if OS9 is a good idea, keep in mind that you have 603 and not a 604 chip and some other issues that may affect overall performance.
Another thing:
What kind of RAM are you using, you said something about "simms" .....!

[This message has been edited by dobru (edited 07-06-2000).]
reader50 Jul 6, 2000 08:38 PM
When was the last time you changed the battery? A battery near death could mess up the boot sequence at different places, and randomly change pram settings, even after zapping.

Run Disk First Aid on all drives/partitions. Corrupt disks could cause all the symptoms you have reported. Norton may have covered this, but it doesn't hurt to check.

Check all plugs/connectors inside the case. A connector that has vibrated loose enough to give only intermittant contact on one or more pins could do this. Not too likely, most connectors lock into place, but it is quick & easy to check.

Are you plugged into a good surge suppresser? Power surges could also account for all problems.
Cipher13 Jul 6, 2000 08:44 PM
I have OS 9 (not 9.04, just 9) on my 5500/250 (exact same computer, just yours is a tower and mine is integrated) with the original stats, and it runs fine (well as fine as it can with 128 megs of VM).
I reckon maybe your bus is overheating. How is the cooling fan? Still okay condition? Open the comp up during use (or just after shutdown) and see how hot the heatsink is. It shouldn't be too hot.
Try all that out - if not, maybe one of your peripherals is screwing with the system?

The Wolfe Jul 7, 2000 03:32 AM
Contrary to popular belief among the many bozo's out there that claim to be Apple Experts or technicians (CompUSA is the worst), the Performa 6400 and PowerMac 6500 computers are compatible with OS 9. A 225MHz (the slowest of the 6500's) PowerPC 603ev processor is plenty of horsepower to run OS 9. The 6500's did however have very funky IDE controllers and hard drives. If you have access, try installing OS 9 onto an external SCSI drive and using that for a while. I had a friend who could not use her computer because her 6500 would not accept OS 8 way back when. After several HD swaps and much analyzing we found out that her IDE controller was defective and was screwing up her HD's. It works great with an external SCSI drive plugged in, so instead of getting a new logic board or getting a new computer, she just got an external SCSI drive and is still able to use the machine today.

The 6500 is one of the machines that was a great embarrassment to Apple due to many reasons. Apple customers put up with a lot of grief over them and it was unfortunate.

Eliott Wolfe
Winnetka, Calif
Pmconaway Jul 7, 2000 08:52 AM
Thanks for all the replies.

my answers to questions asked in the replies.

SIMMS- I'm using the correct memory in the 6500. I'm a old time computer users and I often refer to RAM as SIMM chips regardsless of what type of memory they are. Sorry about the confusion.

Running a system off an SCSI drive. I have tried that also. Still have the same problems.

I will check the heat sink fan, never thought of that. But I really don't think that is the problem. As for battery, wouldn't the clock not keep time while the computer is off?

More info. - I have been leaving the computer off at night and now I seem to get a standard boot but computer locks a couple of minutes after boot. (Could be overheating). Thanks for all the help. If anyone has anymore suggestions please send them my way.

Jeep2000 Jul 7, 2000 12:02 PM
Did you run a conflict test with Conflict Catcher? What version CC do you have? The most current is 8.0.7. I had some random crashes in OS 9 at different times during startup and was able to find the culprit with CC.
It could also very well be an issue with overheating.
I guess I was lucky. I had a 6500 and never had any problems with it. Well, I take that back. The fan was replaced, but that was while it was still under warranty. Now my 6500 is being used by my grandmother, with no problems other than operator error. But, it's also still running OS 8.1.
MacOS761 Jul 7, 2000 12:02 PM
I agree that it is probably a hardware problem. At the office we had a 6100 or something close to that which got VERY flaky about two years ago. We had to power it up, then it would freeze at some random place in loading the extensions (sometimes before that). Then we had to let it sit and warm up for 10-15 minutes, restart, and hope it would start up all the way. The reason was that the motherboard was warped from so many things connected to the back - it was two-headed, plus the main monitor was mirrored to a HUGE monitor across the room for presentations, Zip drive... it was torture to the board. You could try disconnecting some of your peripherals, let it sit overnight, and try again, in case motherboard warping is your problem. Otherwise, it's probably about time to get a new Mac - hardware problems are tough to fix. Do look into RAM more, though, that could save you some cash, time, and your computer!
The Wolfe Jul 8, 2000 05:19 AM
Cheap memory could be you problem, as it can cause all kinds of havoc... As said previously, it could be your power supply too. That would be bad :-(

Eliott Wolfe
Winnetka, Calif
Pmconaway Jul 10, 2000 08:36 AM
Update on the 6500: I have cleaned up all the dust on the computer and the problem takes longer to manifest. I have narrowed it down to either the memory or power supply as Wolfe suggested. I have also found another local dealer that works on Macs and I'm planning on taking the computer in today to have them test it. I will let everyone know what they find. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Pmconaway Jul 12, 2000 01:10 PM
Ok, I got the bad news today from the repair center. The motherboard has a problem. They didn't have any specific information on what exactly was bad. Oh Well, I guess it is time for a new computer. Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions.

Zwilnik Jul 12, 2000 04:49 PM
If cleaning off the dust helps, then heat buildup might actually be a cause of the problem. Try running the machine with a room fan (as powerful as possible) blowing air over the motherboard (with the 'lid' off, as a 6400 owner, I know how difficult this is ) and see how well it fairs. (we had a similar heat problem with a Fairlight CMI, enough internal fans to make it almost hover and the damn thing still needed to be placed over a high speed 12" fan). Overheating symptoms typically include crashes, failure to reboot, generally 'everything going wrong' type stuff (and possibly long term motherboard and/or cpu damage).
If the room fan works, then you might be able to keep the old girl going by fitting some reasonable size cpu fans internally, although a new machine is probably your best long term solution, at least you'd have a spare email/legacy devices machine.
MacOS761 Jul 14, 2000 03:24 PM
Or you could try a nitrogen cooling system Sorry about the computer... like losing an old friend, huh? You'll like whatever Apple comes up with at MacWorld... get one of those, uh, whatever they'll be's.
Pmconaway Jul 17, 2000 08:45 AM
Yes, it is kind of like saying goodbye to an old friend. Unfortunately, I don't know what component is going bad on the mother board so I wouldn't know what to cool. I'm keeping my eyes open for what comes out of mac world this week.

this might help you Jul 21, 2000 10:06 PM
have you tried the site? there are forums there that delve deeply into this sort of I read often is called something like "troubleshooting 904-mouse hangs on startup" (problem with my powertower pro 225 running 904/three monitors)

good luck,

Vobistdu Jul 25, 2000 12:01 PM
Do you know/trust the repair place that gave you the "bad MB" diagnosis? Did they give you any specifics on what/where the problem is on the MB?

It's easiest, and most profitable, for any repair facility simply to say "bad motherboard". It shuts most people up immediately, and filters through only the profitable suckers/Mac lovers who will pay $$$ for simple repairs.

I'm not saying you have a simple repair, just that this great and general diagnosis may not be worth more than you paid for it---zero?

Good luck,

Pmconaway Jul 25, 2000 01:09 PM
Tom, yes, I trust the repair place. I have been using them for a long time. Also It never crossed my mind about them trying to bilk me for money. I will keep that in mind next time one of my macs needs repairing.

I'm currently waiting for a new motherboard to arrive. I purchased one from a used dealer (MacResQ) They were very helpful and so far things have gone smoothly.

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