: 9500 boot problems

Dec 13th, 2005, 09:10 AM
Hi, all

I've run into problems with my 9500 (OS9.1, g4, ATI Radeon Mac edition 32MB). Over the last two weeks, it started freezing sporadically on startup at my desktop. The hard drive icon would appear, then nothing. The watch would freeze, and I'd have to hard restart. But it would restart. On Saturday, it wouldn't get past that point even on a hard restart, then video disappeared. OK, I thought, the battery's toast. So, off to the Source I went to replace the battery. Did that this morning, sounds like its booting fine, but still no video output. I tried starting with extensions off, zap pram, nothing.

Any ideas? )I know its pretty vague, but....)


Dec 13th, 2005, 09:55 AM
Is your 9500 upgraded to a G4? (As seen in your signature)
(Before doing this, It might be a good idea to make sure it will boot from the onboard video)
Upgrading the system to 9.2.2 and installing updated ATI drivers should fix it:

The above link will take you almost all of the way to the drivers

The rest of the way is:
Mac OS Drivers and Software->Mac OS 9.x->January 2005 ATI Retail Update for Mac OS 9.2.2

You'll have to use the onboard video card to perform the updates.

Other questions:
Did you install any new utilities?
Who makes the upgrade card (Assuming there is an upgrade card in the 9500)

Dec 13th, 2005, 10:11 AM

Thanks for the reply. I put the Radeon in last winter. Its been working with a Benq 15" LCD flawlessly for nine months. I've installed nothing new since then. This problem began over the last couple of weeks, which is what led me to believe it was battery related. The G4 is a Sonnet; its been working flawlessly as well for, I think, 18 months. And, the 9500 has no onboard video. It requires a PCI video card.


Dec 13th, 2005, 12:50 PM
I think bad ram can do that as well,
I seem to remember reading about bad ram in a 9500 on LowendMac.com being a culprit.

BTW: I forgot that these machines had a video card originally, But you threw me off
a bit when you said it was an ATI card, Didn't the 9500 have an iX Micro card
originally?, Oh well...Not important)

Dec 13th, 2005, 01:06 PM
try reseating the video card or place it into another PCI slot

Dec 13th, 2005, 02:26 PM
HI, all

Thanks for your replies.

Dolawren, you are correct. The 9500 did ship with an ixMicro. I replaced it with the ATI, and put the ixMicro in my 8500.

I did put two 128 MB dimms into the 9500 (and one into the 8500) last winter. The 9500 hasn't given me a problem, but the 8500 stopped recognizing the PCI USB card and SCSI cdrw within about a month of installation of the single dimm.

Strimkind, would the video card work itself loose? I haven't been poking about in awhile! I will, however take your advice and see what happens.

Thanks again.


Dec 13th, 2005, 04:51 PM
I had a similar problem with my Beige G3 whereas it wouldn't bootup completely anymore,
(after I had switched the power outlet for it)
It kept stalling and couldn't find the hard drive. (I Got that flashing question mark)

I ended up plugging in the computer to an isolated a/c outlet and found it booted up fine again.

It looks like it didn't like sharing the same power outlet as the 32" T.V.

Dec 13th, 2005, 04:56 PM
There's a way to to a CUDA reset on the 9500 (be careful, can be bad if not done right). It should be a small red or silver push button (on a small silver box). Power down the machine, pull the power cable right out while holding down that button. Leave the power cord out for a minute or so... plug it back in and power up.

It's similar to zapping PRAM, but at a hardware level from what I remember. This solved similar issues for me on several similar motherboards. Good luck.

It also might not hurt to try taking out all the PCI cards before doing this, then re-inserting them in different slots. From what I remember there are 6 slots in the 9500 -- 2 are run by one chipset, the other 4 by another. I don't remember which is which but video cards run much better on one bus than the other :)

Dec 13th, 2005, 07:24 PM
I've had the video blackout on my 9500s, 9600s, and PowerTower Pro when using a Radeon PCI card.

The problem seems to be unique to Radeon PCI cards. I can't explain why it happens but the easiest way to resolve it is to use another PCI video card to run your monitor as an interim step. For some reason the Radeon doesn't get recognized during boot up. This may happen if you zap the pram, reset the cuda, or remove the battery.

Here's what you can try.

Install the original PCI video card in an available slot and attach your monitor to it. Don't remove the Radeon card. Start up your Mac. There are a couple of things that might happen so here's what to do in each case.

1) You should get video on the monitor but it may be showing a blank desktop instead of your normal desktop. This indicates that the original PCI card is providing output as the "second" monitor rather than the primary monitor. If that's the case then carefully switch the monitor cable connector from the original card to the Radeon (while the computer is still running). With any luck the Radeon card will provide normal video output. At this point you can shut down and restart. On restart the monitor should work fine from the Radeon card. Once you know it's working you can shut down and remove the original card. You may find that your screen resolution is incorrect and this will have to be changed back to normal using the monitors control panel.

2) You get video on the monitor and it looks like your normal desktop on startup. This indicates that the original PCI card is providing output as the "primary" monitor. If that's the case then open your monitors control panel and drag the mac happy face from this monitor to the other one. This switches the primary monitor from your original card to the Radeon card. Then carefully switch the monitor cable connector from the original card to the Radeon (while the computer is still running). With any luck you should have video from the Radeon card that looks like your normal desktop (but possibly at the wrong resolution). If the resolution is wrong then go back to the monitors control panel and change the resolution to the correct one. When that's all done then shut down and restart. If it boots normally from the Radeon card now you can shut down again and remove the original card.

My guess is that the Radeon card doesn't communicate the resolution settings properly to the computer during boot. It will default to the monitor preference settings unless those got changed (due to pram zapping, cuda reset, or battery removal). I always have to reset the monitor resolution after doing any of the resets above. When the resolution gets changed it creates another problem in that all your desktop icons get "jumbled up". I use a neat little shareware program called "Desktop Resetter" to remember all my desktop icon positions. It's a must have program if you're using a Radeon card on an old PCI Mac.

Feb 1st, 2006, 07:29 PM
Hi, all

My problem is now worse than before.

I finally got around to inserting the IxMicro from my 8500 into the 9500. That restored video, but now I got the dreaded flashing question mark on start up. I hooked up a spare HD with OS9.1 in an external case, got the system started. Profiler sees the onboard 4gig HD, but won't mount it. SCSI Probe asks if I want to initialize it, since it is unrecognizable.

Profiler does not see my Radeon card, so I figure I should install the software on the external drive. When I pop the CD into the CDRom drive, I get the "do you want to initialize?" message again!

I checked the SCSI cable; it is firmly connected to the motherboard.

I can't understand why RAM problems could be so long in showing up. I installed one 128 MB DIMM into my 8500; after two or three months, the USB card and the internal SCSI cdrw were rendered unrecognizable. Now, nearly a year after installing two 128's in my 9500, a dead battery has seemed to leave my system unusable.

What do I do: remove the three 128's and see what happens? Or are there any other suggestions?

Thanks for any ideas you can toss my way.