This page was archived in 2023 as part of the Mac Hut archive and is no longer updated.

Most of the site pages were last updated around 2003-2004, as such various information may be out of date. The forum and equipment for sale sections have not been archived.

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This page contains past Just Updates that I feel are too important to just archive on my HD. This is sort of my FAQ section. Maybe some day I will make it a real FAQ section :)

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BYTEmark benchmarking software4/30/98

Since the G3 has become so popular BYTE magazine has made a version of there BYTEmark benchmarking software available for the MAC. Using this program you can compare your MAC to G3's as well as Pentiums up to the new 400 Mhz Pentium II. A link to the BYTEmark download page is on my Updates & Upgrades page. Below are some numbers I got from MacInTouch as well as my own results from my 6400/180 and 6400/220.

BYTEmark Results updated 3/2/1999
Floating Point
400 MHz 604e 9600 Mach5(clocked from 350)
333 MHz G3 PowerMac
300 MHz G3 PowerMac
300 MHz G3 PowerMac (clocked from 266)
300 MHz G3 Sonnet 6400 w/1M cache (mine)
240 MHz G3 Vpower PF 6400 (mine)
233 MHz G3 PowerBook w/512k cache (mine)
300 MHz 603ev 6500
250 MHz 603ev StarMax 5000
400 MHz P2 Compaq Deskpro 6000
400 MHz P2 NEC Powermate Enterprise
350 MHz P2 IBM Intellistation
220 MHz 603e 6400 (mine)
180 MHz 603e 6400 (mine)
233 MHz P2 Gateway
RealPC v1.0.3 on my 6400/220
90 MHz Dell Pentium (index machine)

All scores are from fastest to slowest using the Integer column. As you can see, the 603ev holds up pretty good to even Intel's fastest. Check out the StarMax 5000. Damn good! The 603ev is very good at integer calculations and the 604e is good at FPU. The G3 is based on the 603 and this is why it hauls butt at integer scores and is only slightly faster at FPU then PC's. Keep in mind that's comparing a 300 MHz G3 to a 400 Mhz P2. I ran tests with all extensions ON and tried it with extensions disabled and being disabled only made a 1/10th or 1/100th of a difference so go ahead and leave your normal system running when doing the tests. I would appreciate any scores you can send me so I can start a comparison going.

RAID setup review5/31/98

Well this is not actually my review but for anyone interested in what a RAID system is then read on.

Here is a link to a review on the Insanely Great Mac site that explains just about everything you ever wanted to know about setting up your own RAID system. For those that don't know what RAID is (and I don't mean the bug spray), it is Redundant Array of Independent Drives. It used to be Inexpensive drives but the drives used today are anything but inexpensive. Basically it's taking a couple or more drives and making the OS think its one large drive. This lets the system store data across multiple drives at once speeding up transfer rates. Or they can be set to mirror each other creating a backup of everything you do as its done. This is good for network servers or people working on extremely important data. Check it out, I think you'll like it.

Would you like to have a G3 upgrade for your non-upgradeable Mac?5/23/98

UPDATE: several vendors are selling G3 upgrades for the 4400, 5400, 6400 as well as clones based on the same.

400Mhz cards on a 6400: I thought I would just repost this info as a lot of companies are starting to post wrong info. The 6400 cannot run a G3 at 400Mhz due to the limit of the bus multiplier. The current line of G3's can go as high as 8x which for a 40Mhz bus means 320Mhz. The 400Mhz cards will only run 400Mhz on a 50Mhz bus system like the 6500. I suppose those of you that have changed your MB crystal to get 48 or even 50Mhz bus speeds may get lucky and the card will run at 400Mz (or close to it).

Update 9/23/1999: PowerLogix told me that their 400Mhz G3 will run 400Mhz in the 6400 because it has a 10x bus ratio!

Update 9/13/2000: Now all G3 upgrades that are in the 400 to 500 Mhz range use the 10x G3 CPU's so all the 400Mhz L2 G3 cards will run at 400 in the 6400 :) The 500Mhz cards meant for the 6500 will only run at 400Mhz in a 6400 :(

L2/G3 comparison page: I posted a L2/G3 comparison page which shows the differences in all the version shipping or discontinued. This page also has links to all my L2 G3 info.

Year 2000 Issue6/9/98

Here's a message posted at Apple about the Year 2000 issue and the Mac. Basically we have not much to worry about for say another 27,000 years. Just thought I'd easy your mind :)

6/10/98 Year 2000 Issue update: Well I guess it couldn't be totally true. Even thought the Mac ROM may be Y2K compliant other software may not. I just heard that some programs will have problems in the new millennium. Programs that don't call the Macs Toolbox to get date and time info may fail. One person tried changing the date in his Date & Time control panel and then leave it and come back and it changed from 2009 to 1909. This also happened with 2019 back to 1919. He said to fix this just change the date format to include the century. To do this goto your Date & Time control panel and select date format. Then choose show century. Now your date will appear with 1998 and so on. This should solve Y2K problems with apps that refer to the format used in the Date & Time control panel. I already changed all the Macs I use to show the century.

Update 1/7/1999: Here is another web site that is collecting info on apps that are and are not Y2K compliant.

Hacking Apples Drive Setup 1.5 to make it initialize your non-Apple drive6/29/98

I just found this web site surfing through MacManagers site and it has a hack that will allow you to make Drive Setup initialize drives that normally it would not. basically you use ResEdit to modify the FSCR resource to make it think it has a profile on your drive. I tried it on an old Maxtor 340M SCSI drive and it worked great.

If you open up the FSCR resource you will find a list of all the HD's it can recognize. It has generic profiles for all ATA drives (that's probably why if worked on my Maxtor 5.7G IDE drive) and generic SCSI profiles on Quantum, Conner, IBM, Seagate, Micropolis, and DEC. It has custom profiles for certain models of each of these as well as others. If you noticed I did not mention a SCSI Maxtor profile so how did I do it? I figured that Conner drives are pretty old like my Maxtor so I created a new resource and copied all the info from the "Conner,*" resource into my new one and then named it Maxtor,LT-340S. I used Apples System Profiler to get the vendor NAME, MODEL#. All this is explained on the above link. Warning! Using ResEdit can damage or destroy files if used incorrectly. Do this at your own risk and always work on a copy I ran SilverLinings Time Drive before and after and found that it actual improved performance a bit:

As you can see, write transfer rates increased from 1497kbps to 1850kbps and read transfer rates increased from 1850kbps to 1966kbps. Apples generic Conner profile must do something better than LaCie's SilverLining 5.8.3 does. If you would like me to try and hack Drive Setup 1.5 for your drive then just email me the NAME and MODEL# as they appear in your Apple System Profile report. I will not be held responsible for any damage this may cause to your HD or Mac. I assume this will have to be done whenever a new version of Drive Setup is released in order for you to update the driver again. I don't know if Apples OS installer will update it either when installing a new OS.

Cheapest way found to scan in 35mm slides with your flatbed scanner9/7/98

Dave found a gadget on HP's web site that will let you scan 35mm slides with your flatbed scanner for much less than the cost of getting one of those adaptors. I just might try it! Thanks Dave.

9/22/2000 Update on HP slide adaptor for scanners: VESPark sent me some more info (based on info I posted 2 years ago above from Dave) on the HP slide adaptor for their scanners for use with other scanners. Thanks VESPark.

[Perhaps you would like the info listed below in case someone inquires about a less expensive slide adapter for a scanner, we do not know for sure if this adapter will work on all manufacturers scanners. I am going to order the C7180A because it is for 600dpi scanners, my scanner is an Epson ES-1000C 400dpi, not sure if dpi makes a difference but I picked the C7180A for the lower dpi? I will let you know the results, that is if works or does not work???

Scanner Accessories HP
Slide Adapter for ScanJet 5200, 6200 and 6300 $19.95 C7191A-ABA
Slide Adapter for ScanJet 5300 $19.95 C7691A
Slide Adapter for ScanJet 3c, 4c and 6100C Scanners $19.95 C7180A

Ordering info below:
Click on the link above and then do a search for the part number listed above your interested in. I cannot make direct links :(

Below is an image from one of the tutorial on the adaptor. It is hard to read but you get a good idea of what the thing looks like.

HP slide adaptor image

Connectix's Virtual GameStation on a G3 excellerated 64002/19/1999

I know a lot of you were waiting to hear this as well I was. I just recieved my order for the VGS and loaded it right on on my 6400 with Sonnets 300/1M G3 and ATI's VR Rage II card. Connectix has advertised since day one that this program was not intended to run on non Apple bread G3 Macs as it highly utilizes the sub systems (IE: mother board) and that all non Apple systems had just too slow a sub system. Apples G3's are the only Macs to have a 66Mhz bus or higher and all the rest have 50Mz or lower. The 6400 has a slow 40Mz bus in comparison so I was somewhat skeptical if it would be playable at all. Some of you may say that the new B&W G3 is using a PCI graphics card too and not running on te 100Mhz bus but remember that the ATI Rage128 card is running in Apples special 66Mhz PCI slot.

Well I do have a PB G3 which Connectix says it will run on also so if it didn't work on my 6400 it wouldn't be a total loss for me. I picked the 6400 I installed the 300/1M G3 in just to see what would be the best performance I could et would look like. People with Rage Pro's or the soon to be released Rage128 should see even better performance.

I didn't have much time to test as I had to leave town for personal reasons but I did go out and rent Disney's A Bugs Life game (of course!) and loaded it up. The movies scenes played real smooth and the game did for the most part. There were a few times it slowed down when I ran into walls (I guess I need to be more carefull). The only dissapointment was that the screen was full of artifacts. they looked like interfearance lines that the emulator was not quite printing graphics in the correct places. It didn't hinder game play just the overall look of it. Movie selections showed perfectly so this may be due to 3D rendering techniques? I'm sure with a few updates that Connectix can clear this up. They did mention that there will be some problems with some games and that it will take time to get all the bugs out. I can wait :)

I will also try it with the 300/512k and both Vimages and Sonnets 240/512k G3 cards for comparison.

Go visit Mac's Only Connectix VGS Watch page that has many titles listed with ratings on compatibility and also visit Connectix's Recommended Games page. It doesn't show a ratings but does show many titles that they tested as being compatible.

2/26/1999 Macs Only CVGS review: Here is a link to Macs Only review of Connectix's Virtual GameStation.

3/21/1999 CVGS on the 6400: I just tried Grand Turismo on my 6400 with Vimages 240/G3 and with all my extra extensions disabled and VM OFF its not very playable. It skips many frames and during game play the sound is horrible. I only have ATI's Rage II card and maybe a faster card will do better with a slower G3? It did however play OK with Sonnets 300Mhz/1M G3 card. Its still not as smooth as my PowerBook 233 with onboard Rage Pro but it is playable. I have ordered ATI's new VR Rage 128 and will test the game again once I get it.

6500 users may get better performance due to thier ATI Rage II chips being on the 50Mhz MB bus. Mine is on a PCI card which has a 33Mhz speed so its much slower and Connectix has said over and over that it has highly utilized the 66Mhz MB bus speed of Apples G3's. I still think that a Rage Pro or better is needed as the graphics on my Rage II have many artifacts in certain scenes which do not appear on my Power Books Rage Pro.

3/6/1999 Review of CVGS found on Accelerate Your Mac: I found this review and thought it might be informative to any of you thinking of buying it.

5/14/1999 JoyPort for using other companies game controllers on a Mac: Tom reminded me of a company named Kernal which has a product called the JoyPort which allows the use of Sony Playstation, Nintendo64, Atari, and other companies game controllers to work on a Mac. They have both a USB and ADB version from my understanding. Thanks Tom.

1/8/2000 CVGS info page: Here is a web site that has lots of good info on Connectix's CVGS.

11/3/2000 CVGS on a G3 upgraded 5500: Justin writes with some nice comments on running CVGS (playstation emulator) on a 5400 upgraded to a 5500 with a G3. Thanks Justin. I suspect his good performance is due to the 50Mhz system bus? Connectix really presses the issue that this product needs a fast system bus. I was able to play games on my 6400 with a 240Mhz G3 upgrade but it was not close to actual PS performance :(

[Hi Tom, Just wanted to let you know how I am going with VGS 1.4.1 (full version - not demo) on my 5400 upgraded with a 5500 motherboard and Sonnet L2 G3 250/512 (Mac OS 8.6, 64meg RAM).. Generally I have been very impressed with performance ..I have tried demos of Gran Turismo 2, Sold Metal Gear, and the commercial version of Tomb Raider II. All of these titles have played close to the performance of a playstation...only occasional slow down at times when a new sound track is about to play etc..also in Tomb Raider II game froze at the very end of the first level. However, after pausing VGS, ejecting the CD, putting the CD back in and un-pausing VGS, the game continued. Also I should mention that a great site to go to for VGS info, reviews and saved memory card files is VGS Heaven (
Regards, Justin]

Info on the TV/FM system for the 64006/10/1999

FLASH 12/16/2002: Apple info on running the TV system with a third party video card installed: Here is a link to Apples info on using their TV Tuner with a third party video card. This info also goes for the video input card and video out ports as well.

Basically you need to have a monitor attached to the stock port or your TV hardware will not be turned on. You can also fool the stock port by plugging in a Mac to PC monitor adaptor which will make your Mac think it has a monitor attached. The draw back with this is just like actually running dual monitors and trying to view the video on the monitor attached to the video card. Performace will be degraded and you will drop video frames.

6/10/1999 I have recieved a few letters about the 6400's TV/FM video system and also found some info myself from Apples web site so sit back and enjoy :) Thanks everyone for replying.

To answer Mitch Roberts question about the TV card for A/V Macs, there are two of these, the Apple TV card and the Apple TV/FM radio card (M4586LL/A). I know of no way to upgrade the TV card.


[The 6400 (and all A/V Macs) come with the Apple Video card. This allows you to input audio and video to the Mac. Using the Apple Video Player, you can view and even record it. The connectors for this card are right next to the ADB and serial ports on the back of the 6400.

As far as I know, no A/V Mac came with a TV card standard. This card goes in the top of the case (not on the motherboard assembly) next to the monitor connector. The TV/FM card came out later than the TV only card and was expensive. I could've bought a real TV and radio for what it cost and plugged them into the video card.

Nowadays, you can buy the TV card for around $50, but the TV/FM card is nowhere to be found. It's been discontinued by Apple and people that haves 'em keeps 'em.

you will find it on the MacOS 8.5 CD. Start the Installer, choose Custom installation für MacOS 8.5 and at multimedia you will find Radio/FM!

Steve mentioned that the 6400 came with the video card which will also have the Avid Cinema card so you could do video recording and the Avid card allowed for video compression and video out. Not many 6400's did though so don't be fooled and think you should have got one :) The 6500 had some versions which came with the TV/FM tuner card and this is the card that works in the 6400.Which type you can buy right now (TV/FM or TV only) would be a mistery? Make sure to ask whomever your buying it from what type their selling. Here are a few TIL article from Apple that might interest you.

As Joey mentioned, you can find the FM player on the OS 8.5 install CD. Infact its supposed to be on all the OS 8 series install CD's from OS 8 to OS 8.5. The problem is that the it will not install it unless the installer finds a version of it on your HD where it expects to find it! This can be solved by doing a custom install and look for the Multimedia section as Joey said. I also remember reading that it may even be on the original 6400 System CD. DO NOT try a system install from this disk or it will revert you to the original OS 7.5.3 but if you browse thru the folders on the CD you might find it? Other TIL files I found do mention that you need the latest version available at the time of each OS's release for compatibility so I suggest which ever OS CD you have that you look for it in the Custom install section there. I could not locate it anywhere on Apples FTP sites.

If anyone has trouble finding the FM player then let me know as Tom was nice enough to send me the latest version he has and I'll send it to you guys. Thanks Tom.

5/6/2000 Request for info on Apples TV/Video system in a 6400: Ross would like to know what versions of this system will work in a 6400 well. If you have this info then please email me. Thanks.

Update on the differences between the revisions of Apple video I/O cards: David sent some info on what he thinks is the difference between the older rev A, B, C and then D of Apple video card. His opinion seems to fit nicely with the info I found in that the revD card has a 60pin connector to work with Avids card as it has a 60pin connector also. If this is all thats really different then the older cards should work fine if you don't care about using Avids card. Thanks David

IBM SCSI HD issues and fixes12/24/1999

I have had a few readers mention they had trouble getting an IBM SCSI HD to run in their 6400's. Here are a few clips I found about IBM drives in Macs. I hope this helps.

The 1st is from the 6400 forums and the second is from MacFixIt

AirPort, Configuring a Base Station With a non-AirPort-Capable Computer 2/26/2000

Here is an Apple TIL on how to configure an AirPort Base Station with non-AirPort Macs. Looks like they removed the need for AirPort Macs only :)

7/22/2000 Using the Airports 56k modem with a 6400 connected via Ethernet cable?: I have a request from a reader who wants to know if anyone has tried to use the 56k internal modem on the airport base station connected to a 6400 via ethernet cable for online access? The TIL I have posted below says it should work but I was just wondering if anyone has tried yet :) Thanks.

7/29/2000 Update on using the Airports 56k modem with a 6400: I have received a few letters from users that say you can use the 56k modem with the 6400/6500 just fine. Thanks guys. Here is one from Bob.

Apple 15" multiscan monitor issues1/16/2000

I have not ever posted info about this issue on Apples 15" multiscan monitor that many people bought and still own for use with their 6400's. There is a major problem with these monitors that may or may not ever come about for some users. There are some cold solder joints that over time can come loose and cause the monitor to loose one of its color guns so your display colors get distorted. In the past Apple was replacing or fixing them but has since dropped support of these monitors. Some users have been able to convince Apple to fix theirs and some users have not ben as lucky. Here is a letter from Larry that states the entire issue and includes some tips on how to approach Apple. Thanks Larry.

8/4/2001 Apple 15" Multisync monitor out of focus issue and fix: Dan sent me a letter that he had sent one of the posters on my forums. It is in response to a question asking how to fix an out of focus Apple 15" Multisync monitor.Thanks for the info Dan.

[Just fixed this problem the other day, here is the email I sent him. Hopefully I caught him before taking it in to be fixed. BTW, I have a number of the 15" Multisync monitors for sale in the original box. They have the focus problem, or brightness. They obviously didn't check them at the factory and they place that sold them could not return them to Apple per their agreement (silly agreement if you ask me). Anyway, thought I would give you a heads up. Later, Dan. --

"AAAAAAAAAhhhh, I hope you haven't taken the monitor in yet as I just fixed the focus problem on one of my many 15" the other day and I am pretty sure I can tell you how to fix it. It requires taking the back off of the monitor. It is very safe, just a pain to take the top part off. I can talk you thru it if you want to call me. The top you have to be careful when pushing the tabs, because you cannot see them, and they will and do break and then you have to get some long screws to hold the top of the case in.

The fix is inside the back cover. it is (when you are facing the front of the monitor) on the bottom left corner. There are 2 black turn knobs, the top one is for the focus, the bottom for the brightness, errr, or vice versa. Anyway I fixed one of these for the first time 2 days ago and it looks great. Now I can start working on all the other brand new monitors in the box I have with the same problem!

Call me if you need help. Dan."Dan's Great Deals! Surplus Surprises, Macintosh computer parts and MORE!
Dan Batson
1012 W. Elm Arcade
Springfield, MO 65806

Apple TIL on installing Mac OS on 21G or larger HD partitions 6/4/2000

Apple released a TIL stating that although the Mac OS can see and use very large HD's, the OS installers can't! All this means is that if you wish to install OS 8.5 or older on say, a 40G HD, you have to make sure at least one partition is 20G or smaller. Oh the pain! I wish I had one HD that large :)

Plugging in/out headphones to unfreeze your 6400 7/16/2000

Lars and Tiong both sent me their experiences on the use of a headphone to unfreeze their 6400/6500. Thanks guys

HardDrive drivers from 7.5.3 not being updated unless the disk is initialized? 9/22/2000

Michael also sent some info on an issue he had with his hard drives drivers not being updated from the ones installed by OS 7.5.3 no matter which version of Apples Drive Setup he used until he initialized his drive. Once he initialized the drive with a newer driver, subsequent driver updates worked fine. I don't recall having this problem as my OS updates all reported fine as he noted his did but I never checked to see if the driver was actually updated. My HD has been formatted awhile ago so I can no longer check. If this is true then some of you having problems with newer OS's might try initializing the HD if you never have as your HD driver may be outdated? Thanks Michael.

[My 6400 had 7.5.3 installed from the start, and I already had the Mac OS 8 CD when I got my 6400 and so obviously wanted to put Mac OS 8 on there.(I had been running Mac OS 8 or maybe it was 8.1 on my 6200 already.) The installation of Mac OS 8 worked flawlessly--and it even SAID that it updated the disk drivers during the installation. But guess what? Clicking on the hard disk one time, then getting information on it revealed that it still had the OLD disk drivers! No matter how many times I used Drive Setup to update the disk drivers, no matter WHICH VERSION or on which machine since then (both mine and others), a Mac formatted this far back had to be Reformatted again if the newer disk drivers were going to take hold. Since my 6400 was brand new way back then anyway, I went ahead and formatted it, and by the time I had Mac OS 8.1 installed it had the proper drivers. Even installing later drivers without installing later OSes worked at that point.(And it never did before doing the format.) There is a TIL that tells all about "Why isn't my hard disk driver version updating" or something to that effect over at that details this very thing.]

The HD version as noted in the GetInfo window of my HD for my 6400 with OS 9.0.4 is version 3.2.5. This is using Apples DriveSetup 1.9.2 from OS 9.

TAM HD size limits 10/6/2000

Well it seems that the Twentieth Anniversary Mac may have some HD size limits not known by many? Here is some info I found at Accelerate Your Macs web site.

[Important Note on 20th Anniv. Macs and Large Hard Drives: - Several readers replied to the OS X install problem report from a 20th Anniv. Mac (aka TAM) owner in the 9/25/2000 news with an important note regarding drive size limits with the TAM.

I saw mentioned (by no less than Steve Wozniak) on the PowerList that TAMs have a firmware bug that doesn't allow them to handle drives bigger than 4GB. He did mentioned that he had partitioned a 5GB drive to 2 and 3GB sections before installing it in a TAM, but a >4GB volume was a big problem, making the computer appear dead in short order (though not always right away). The TAM/OS X disaster was after the guy put an 18GB drive in it. That may be the true source of the problem. Phil]

I'm pretty sure this is not a problem for 6400/6500 users as many of us have used extremely large HD's now, but if anyone has had this issue please email me. Thanks.

10/20/2000 TAM HD size limits revisited: Harry read my last post where I had a warning I found on another site about not using large partitions on a TAM system. The person reported that the computer may not even recognize the drive? Harry had no problem with an 18G HD on his TAM. So maybe that other info is false? Thanks Harry.

I have an 18GB IBM, 4200 rpm HD in my TAM which also has a G3/500 MHz L2 Sonnet upgrade card. I am running Mac OS 9.04, but have installed 7.6.1 and 8.6 in other partitions. I have 18 GB HD partitioned with a number of 650 MB partitions, and one large 12 GB partition (all partitions are HFS except for one 650 MB partition which is HFS+).

I have had no hard drive problems except with the original 2 GB HD which failed about 6 months ago which prompted me to buy the 18 GB HD.

I have also installed an ADS FireWire card on the TAM which allows me to mount FW HDs and capture DV. A sweet set-up so far!

No option to select HD location for 6400's Restore CD? 11/3/2000

Bill found that when he tried to use the 6400 Restore CD (which restores your 6400 to the factory software settings) he could not choose which HD or partition to install to? Apparently Apple must have never considered that we might install more HD's or partition the stock one. Bad Apple! Here is the info he found on how to get around this. Thanks Bill.

[Thanks for reply Thomas. Yes have tried installer but no option to select installation disc is given. A ClubMac Australia member found the solution from the Apple TIL library. I did look but didn't find it myself so here is the answer to the problem. - - There are two methods that Apple recommend.

1) Transfer files from restore CD to desired disc after booting from restore CD.


2) Boot from restored disc and trash the mounted volumes you don't want the restore to go to. Since it will not see the trashed volumes the restore software will then go to the mounted volume. - Then of course remove the trashed volumes again from the trash.- Fairly obvious I suppose so I should have thought of it myself. {Tom - Actually you cannot remove unmounted volumes from the trash. You either have to reboot or use DriveSetup to mount the volumes again}

I have posted this on the Macfixits site for all Performa users knowledge.

How to Move System and Desktop to a New Hard Drive and Re-bless 1/13/2001

Ralph sent me some good info on how to move your System folder to a new HD and have it work correctly. Yes just copying the folder to the new HD will work but a lot of your aliases and other items associated with the original HD will not change. Ralph just did this not to long ago and has some tips for the reset of us on the process. Thanks Ralph. I made it a text file as it was rather long. Also he is a little more info he sent to help out.

[Rich also added that as a temporary measure, and if you had a SCSI hard drive available, most older Macs can swap out the CD-ROM drive for a SCSI HD and you can use that as your temporary startup drive and when your done just put the CD-ROM back.]

HD formatting tips 8/4/2001

I found a wonderful article on how Apples Drive Setup handles SCSI and IDE drives when you select to format one. It turns out that if your IDE HD has bad sectors that just initializing the drive won't change anything. Either will running Disk First Aid or any other disk utility. You actually have to run Drive Setup and tell it to "zero all data" and the IDE drives firmware will weed out the bad sectors. It turns out that IDE drives are supposed to do this when they encounter a bad sector and save this info on firmware and SCSI drives do this when low level formatted or when told to by a disk repair utility and save the info on the drive itself. Very interesting reading!

9/14/2001 HD formatting tips from Accelerate Your Mac: I found a link to Accelerate Your Macs web site with info on HD formatting tips. I thought some of you might be interested in this :)

Dual IDE HD's will not work on the 6400/6500 without a PCI-IDE card or SCSI-IDE adaptor 9/20/2001

I thought I would finally make this a permanent post. The IDE bus controller cannot run master/slave IDE drives. If you want more then one IDE drive in your 6400/6500, you will need to use a PCI-IDE card and SCSI-IDE adaptor. Click here for more info on these.

4/3/2003 Master/Slave IDE drives on a 6400, Possible?: We all know for the longest time that its not possible for the 6400/6500 family of Macs to run master/slave drive setups on our stock IDE bus. But Terry writes that he is able to run master/slave HD's on his UMAX C600 under OSX! These systems are very similar to the 6400 but actually have a processor upgrade slot which lets them install G3 upgrades the proper way and not through the L2 cache slot. At one time I remember reading that OSX supplies its own IDE bus drivers and may not use the bus controller but rather does it in software? I don't know if that is true or possible but if so then maybe there is a way to get our 6400's to run master/slave drives? Anyone care to speculate on this :)

[I have two bits of news on older PowerMacs. The first concerns Beige G3s and the second is about a clone (Umax C600) of the PowerMac 6400.

After much frustrating experimentation I postulate that Beige G3s can boot off of their slave ATA drives (if they have rev. B ROM or later) in pre- OS X but not in OS X. My experience with two Beige G3s - non-Rev. A - is consistent with this hypothesis. How un-Mac-ish ! Gone are the days when an address is just an address.

On a lark I tried installing an additional (slave) in my Umax C600. This machine has been running OS X.2.3 for quite some time thanks to Ryan Rempel's XPostfacto. This clone is fortunate to have a ZIFF slot in which I have put a Mactell 280Mhz. G3 with 1 MB L2 cache and hence can run Jaguar with pre-3.0 Xpostfacto. Anyway, much like a Beige G3 Rev. A, when you boot off X on a master drive you can work with your slave drive.

I will end this note with an open query. I wonder whether it is possible to increase the utility of slave drives on these machines via open firmware. Perhaps someone more technically adept than me can will answer this.

- Terry]

4/24/2003 Master/Slave support on a UMAX C600 does work in OSX!: Terry wrote back with more info on his C600 setup confirming that he can now use Master/Slave drives on his system but only in OSX. In fact he is now able to install OSX from a SCSI CDROM drive by replacing the stock drive with a Ricoh drive! Thanks for the info Terry.

[Hi Thomas:
It's Official. You CAN install OS X (X.1 or X.2) from a SCSI CD drive. You just need the right drive.

I wanted a CD-RW drive for my C600 so when I saw a Ricoh RW7060S SCSI CD-RW for US$20, I bought it. It is a bootable drive for OS 9. I have found Toast 5.11 to work well in OS 9.1(no virtual memory) with it but have had coasters when I use Toast in X.2.

Yesterday I tried to install X.2 from the drive using Xpostfacto 2.5 . It seemed to work. Today I put in an IDE drive I didn't care about and indeed I installed X.1 from the Ricoh drive. I then booted up from the X.1 IDE partition.

I have since tried to install X onto a SCSI HD from the Ricoh and from an Apple IDE drive. Both attempts failed. I might point out that Xpostfacto writes some files onto the target drive which are then read as part of the initial boot of the CD. This MIGHT be where the failure occurred as my target drive was a SCSI.

From previous posts of mine you know that the C600s IDE controller works with both master and slave drives. My Apple ATAPI CD-ROM also works as either master or slave on that bus. In fact I have booted an OS 9 CD from it. The shortcoming seems to be that slave support is not turned on by default and - so far - it is only turned on by OS X.

I should also point out that OS X, AT LEAST ON BEIGE G3s does not boot off of a slave IDE drive. Why not is still up for debate. It could be that the slave support code in Rev. B and later Beige G3s comes AFTER the open firmware code .

I could go on but my hands tire :) I suspect what I have written is true for 6400s also. I hope I have helped the cause of keeping these machines useful.
Thanks - Terry]

So it seems that if someone could figure out how OSX bypasses the IDE drivers that won't allow Master/Slave drives on our systems, we might be able to finally get that supported under OS9! I'm not going to hold my breath though. That sounds like a whole lot of work. Also the other problem is how to get a Master/Slave cable in our Macs?

There is no VRAM on the 6400 mother board! 10/5/2001

This might take some of you some time to ponder but it has come to my attention that the 6400 has no dedicated VRAM on the mother board. Now before you think I have gone crazy check out this link I found on The reason I searched for this info is because Endymion started a very long discussion on how the 6400 has more audio issues then the 6500 because the main memory is being accessed by to many subsystems at the same time. I didn't believe him at first until he sent me the below message which got me searching the web for more info.

[Find it on the board. You can't because it isn't there. The Valkyrie chip organises the RAM, from the main memory, used for video and directly sends it to the RGB/VGA out. The Valkyrie video processor does not contain V-RAM.

Thanks Endymion for not giving up on my doubts :) Most all other info I found, even on Apples web site states there is 1M of "dedicated" VRAM in the 6400. I can only assume that they really mean that there is 1M of the onboard 8M main memory dedicated to VRAM. Could this be why the 6500 has no onboard main memory? It has 2M of SDRAM for VRAM on the mother board so there was no reason for Apple to place the standard 8M chip on the mother board also. This really makes the differences in the 2 mother boards a bit more clear as to why they are different.

Main memory being used for VRAM causing the audio issues on the 6400?: Endymion also states that just by upgrading to a 6500 mother board fixed all his audio issues and that it was due to the way the main memory is used as VRAM on the 6400. I personally still disagree with this for basically one reason. The issue does not manifest itself the most until you install an ATI Rage128 card. Yes there are other reasons for the audio issue but the Raeg128 card (and specially with a G3 upgrade) causes audio issues almost 100% of the time. So this throws out the VRAM issue in cases where you have a video card since you are not using the main memory for VRAM anymore.

4/27/2002 Update - Does the 6400 have dedicated VRAM?: I thought we closed this topic stating that the 6400 did not have any dedicated VRAM and shared 1M of the main memory on the mother board for VRAM. Well Alec sent me some info that made me curious as to whether this was correct or not? He noticed some chips on the back side of the mother board that turn out to be DRAM chips. These are located in 2 areas on the back. One set looks like its the 8M on board memory and the other set is very close to the little video out slot by the PRAM battery (but on the back side) so it could be VRAM? Below are pictures from my 6400 of what I am talking about.

image of the back side of the 6400's mother board

The above picture shows both areas marked. The 4 chips on the left I believe are the 8M on board DRAM. The 2 chips on the right I believe are the VRAM.

closeup image of the assumed DRAM chips

The above picture is a close up of the left side 8M DRAM area.

closeup image of the assumed VRAM chips

The picture above is a close up of the assumed VRAM chips.

image of Mitsubishi's memory chip specs

The above picture shows Mitsubishi's specs on the assumed VRAM chips. They do appear to be some kind of RAM. Here is the link I found this image at.

Now Alec does not have the same chips as I do? Mine was the M5M44260CJ but his are KM416C256BJ-6 on one 6400 he owns and HY514260B JC-60 on another 6400 he owns. So clearly Apple has more then one source for these parts. All show as some kind of DRAM when searched for on the web and a few sites even note these as used for VRAM on PC compatibility cards! And on older PC systems such as the item talked about at this link.

So does the 6400 have dedicated VRAM? I'm going to have to say I'm 90% sure it does but I do not have enough proof to be 100%. If anyone knows anything about memory and would like to add to this discussion, please email me your info. Thanks.

5/23/2002 Update on VRAM in the 6400: I am still not 100% sure the 6400 has VRAM but some info Endymion sent me does create a bigger mystery? Endymion sent me a link to MacGurus web site showing a diagram of the 6400 mother board. They show the 8M of DRAM right next to the CPU and next to that is a ROM slot? I had noted earlier that I thought the 8M of DRAM was under the mother board. Now lets examine their diagram a bit closer.

The first thing that came to my mind was "Hey, there is no ROM slot on my 6400s mother board?" I went to go check again and in the location they show a ROM slot are a bunch of connection points to solder a slot into. So maybe at one time Apple had intended to put a ROM slot on our Macs? Now lets look at what MacGurus is calling the DRAM chips. I see that the part numbers on mine are 341S174 and 341S175. Under the mother board and in the same location are 341S172 and 341S173. Each chip is made by Apple and I could not find any info on these from the web. This leads me to think that they are the actual ROM chips since there is no reason to use Apple proprietary chips for RAM. These must be the ROM chips. I have been told that the ROM on the 6400 is 4MB in size so its probably 1MB per chip?

I think MacGurus diagram is in error. The plot has thickened :)

6/7/2002 Final info on the 6400's VRAM, hopefully: Daniel sent me an Apple spec PDF document that clearly states the 6400 has 1MB of VRAM soldered on the mother board. I am not sure if Daniel other statement about Apple not using main memory for VRAM on any Mac is true or not as I noticed the 6100 does not show any VRAM soldered on the mother board? But its more food for thought and unless more evidence showing that this is false can be shown, I'll have to say the 6400 does indeed have 1MB of VRAM soldered on the mother board :) Thanks Daniel

[Hi Thomas!

The 6400 has 1MB of VRAM soldered on the motherboard. The 6400 doesn't use
some part of the 8MB RAM on the motherboard to stock video data. I think
that Apple never used this poor technique in the past on any model.

Please check the attachment file of this message. It includes all memory
configuration for the Mac for models up to 06/1999. Under the Performa
section you will see "soldered VRAM = 1MB" for the 6400. It's an Apple
official guide and I don't think that it's restricted. You can post it on
your web site. Others could have a more recent version of this file.

Have a good wee-end!


The entire PDF is to large to post but below is a picture of the 6400 page. Note the area I highlighted about the VRAM.

6400 memory guide image

Here is a link to Apples site where you can download the entire PDF document. Now remember, Apple could have made a typo. But for now, this stands.

Largest IDE HD's are not being recognized to full capacity 11/18/2001

I just found this info on MacFixIt's web site. It seems that Maxtor has produced a 160G IDE HD but only 128G or so are usable on older IDE buses. You need at least an ATA/133 card to use the entire drive capacity.

[Maxtor 160GB drive does not format to full size

Two readers confirm that the recently released Maxtor 160GB drive will only format to about 128GB. One reader explains:

"This is due to a limitation of the ATA/IDE interface. Apparently this isn't a machine-specific problem, but rather an any ATA machine problem, and Maxtor (according to a press release on their site) is working on new ATA interface designs which will allow the use of drives larger than 128 GB (or 136.9 GB in base 10 numbers). This new technology though isn't due out until next year sometime."

Update: The Alchemy ATA 133 PCI card (available now for the Mac) supports drives larger than 137 GB (128GB). The Alchemy web page states: "ATA 133 is the only standard that supports drives larger than 137 GB (128 GB in real terms). If you install a very large drive on a ATA 66 or ATA 100 bus, it will only be partially recognized." The MDJ adds: "If you already own a Miglia Alchemy ATA100 card, you're in luck: the Alchemy Firmware Update 2.0 boosts the firmware on the ATA100 card to ATA133, adding nifty new features at no additional cost."]

PC card support software available for free! 2/9/2002

Discovery Software makes PCSetup software that allows Apples PC compatibility cards work in newer OS's. Previously you had to stay with OS 8.1 or older to use your PC card but not anymore. If anyone tries these, I would like to know how they work. Thanks.

  • [PCSetup now free; developer Apple for permission to open source. February 1, 2002 -- As of today, Discovery Software is making PCSetup 2.1.7 available as a free download <> . The software enables the Apple's old Pentium cards, the Apple (and Radius/Reply) DOS and PC Compatibility cards, to full function under Mac OS 8.5-to-9.2 pcSetup was previously sold for US$39.95 with support; the free download does not have support. Discovery Software also said it would like to freely distribute the source code of PC Setup 2.1.7, and has asked Apple permission. (Apple still owns the technology.)
  • Discovery software has just provided us with the free license codes to use pcSetup for free:
    AuthorizationCode: UEV-EVZ-7TU
    LicenseName: FREE
    LicenseSite: 469
    As of Friday, this information was not at the Discovery web site, but will be soon.]

Here is more info that was posted the next day from the person above who tried it.

[I should have added this caveat. The software works well in light of its purpose--to provide the 32-bit support so that for , for example, long names in PC CDs appear. Also the cards no longer run in "DOS Compatibility mode" so they should be faster.

But the software is still buggy. There are problems I've seen so far with 1) sharing folders--trying to do so can lead to hard crashes; and 2) if, before booting Win 95, you delete an extra driver (a D: drive) that the computer locks up looking for D:. Or seems to. You can work around this but still, there are problems....

But the forum (sadly not searchable) details some of the bugs going way back. It would be great if Apple (which was apparently never very helpful) let them open source it. There are still a lot of these cards around and there are apparently many uses for them in "lab" situations etc.]

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This page last updated 12/12/2003