Hard Drive Tips For Mac OS X Beta, Networks Problems, & iMac DV Crashes September 18th, 2000
Good day, folks! Yes, we've moved Ask Dave to an "every other week" column. It keeps things fresh for you, and gives me more time to get your answers together. That said, the current edition is chock full of good stuff. We discuss some initial plans for installing the Mac OS X Beta, we talk about bypassing that annoying Keychain startup box, and we ponder upon the continual freezing of an iMac DV. So read on, and enjoy!
Glenn Cole writes, "I'd like to give the Mac OS X beta a whirl, but I'd rather install it on its own drive. Trouble is, thus far I have only one. ;)
I have a 6GB 350MHz Blue&White G3 (rev 1) with 128MB of memory (the minimum stated requirement) running Mac OS 9.0.4 . I can bump up the memory, but I recall something about there being a different drive bracket with rev 2, which supposedly could not be retrofitted to rev 1.
Anyway, I'd like to be able to have a dual-boot system (9 or X) since by definition X is not ready for prime time, and I'd rather not taint my existing setup more than absolutely needed."
I have added drives to the plate in the bottom of the B&W G3's (rev. 1) and, while it's not a fun job (since you have to completely remove the plate to mount the drive), I've not had a problem getting it to work. You should be fine in your endeavors.
However, there is talk that Mac OS X Beta will only boot from the FIRST drive in an IDE chain. So if you add a drive here, be sure that you get the second drive running with Mac OS 9, and then just use the first one to boot the beta.
If you want to avoid buying another drive altogether, you can always repartition your 6GB drive. Leaving a 2 GB partition for Mac OS X Beta would probably be enough for your testing purposes, and it keeps you from having the expense of another drive.
Dymyr Winicki writes, "Our office has a Macintosh network using AppleTalk. On our older machines using systems prior to Mac OS 9 we set through the chooser the network drives we want to automatically connect to at startup - no problems. You start up the machine - walk away, make a coffee - come back and you are connected.
With our OS 9 machines (with Keychain) you startup the computers - walk away - come back and at the least you have a dialog box prompting you with keychain stuff and usually with 3 to clicks you are connected. However if you get distracted for little longer when you have started your machine then you come back and no dialog boxes no connection to the network drives. I have tried actually having passwords - no change. Tried not loading keychain - still prompts us with keychain dialog boxes.
I myself do not find this too hard a situation as I just connect manually (it is a bit of a pain), but we have users that are very new to the Macintosh and computers and they can go ahead and continue as nothing has gone wrong but because they haven't connected to these drives when they use the FileMaker Pro dbase to fax, certain attachments cannot be sent and there is no warning.
Is the day of automatic connection to network drives at an end or is there a solution."
There is a solution, but it relies on some additional software, either by way of AppleScript or Shareware. The two pieces that are most popular are Keychain AutoUnlock from ChaoticSoftware and Keychain Unlocker from Carnation Software, both of which are completely free from their respective makers! There are also methods to making AppleScript do this for you, but why bother when there's great software out there that's already been tested!
Brian Duggan writes, "I have a customer who just recently is complaining that her iMac DV is freezing up. I first suggested that she start up without extensions. It started up but when she attempted to do something else it froze again. I next asked her to install a new System file. It froze again. Lastly I told her to do a software install without erasing the drive and it still froze. My next plan of attack would be to do a clean install with a drive reformat. So do you know of any viruses that could cause this or do you think maybe she just accidentally erased a file. FYI there is Virex virus protection installed."
Well, it sounds to me like you've tried all the obvious software-related items. However, a "clean" system install wasn't listed in your attempts. That would be the next thing to try (assuming you haven't), as even starting up with "Extensions Disabled" doesn't necessarily disable all of them. There are still USB drivers and the like that wind up getting parsed as the system gets itself going.
If that doesn't do it, the next thing I would try is a PRAM reset using TechTool. You never know what could have happened to that little memory chip that holds the PRAM, and resetting it is also a safe bet.
Lastly, I would ask her if she upgraded RAM recently? To be honest, her problem sounds like bad RAM, and that would be the first piece of hardware to check (assuming she doesn't have any devices plugged into the USB or FireWire ports). If she's got the original RAM in there, try reseating it or swapping it out with a new chip. My guess is that's where her problems lie.
is President and CEO of The Mac Observer, Inc. He has worked in the computer industry as a consultant, trainer, network engineer, webmaster, and a programmer for most of the last 10 years. During that time he has worked on the Mac, all the various Windows flavors, Be, a few brands of Unix, and it is rumored he once saw an OS/2 machine in action. Before that he ran some of the earliest Bulletin Board systems, but most of the charges have since been dropped, and not even the FBI requests that he check in more than twice a year.
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