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NeXTStation does not boot : what to do ?

 
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aschmitt



Joined: 04 Mar 2017
Posts: 1
Location: Paris, France

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:32 pm    Post subject: NeXTStation does not boot : what to do ? Reply with quote

Hello,
I tried to power up my NeXTStation that had been sitting in the basement for years. The last time I tried, it booted fine. Now, it does not start at all.
I'd like to at least get be able to read the hard drive data and get a copy on my Mac. But if I could revive the NeXTStation altogether, I'd be more than happy.
What steps should I take ?
Thanks
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krazycat



Joined: 18 Feb 2017
Posts: 18
Location: Europe

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be the dead battery.
Or it could be a broken hard disk: try to disconnect the SCSI cable connected to the internal hard disk, then start the NeXTstation.
HIH
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Mike



Joined: 03 Feb 2017
Posts: 83
Location: Canada: Oshawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well..... I'm no expert, having owned a NeXTStation for just over a month, but since you are asking for suggestions, and no-one else has chimed in, I'll jump in.

The same thing happened to me about three weeks ago, just a week after I got my NeXTStation, and the gentlemen on this Forum helped me out. My NeXTStation was working fine and then... it was dead. Before I got it the computer had sat for about a decade unused...

In my case, it turned out that the internal SCSI Quantum hard drive had simply died. The Quantum HD was only 105MB, an indication that it had probably been original equipment and possibly in the computer since 1991. No wonder it was tired.

With that in mind, I'll tell you what I would do.

First off, I would connect the monitor, mouse and keyboard to it and open it up and see if the FAN comes on when the power button is hit on the Keyboard. At least that will indicate that the keyboard & keyboard cable and cable from the monitor to the CPU are all OK.

Touch the internal Hard Drive to see if it has any vibration or indications that it is spinning. If it is warm but silent, that might be good. My 105 Quantum was silent.

I connected a good SCSI drive to the Molex (power) cable and held it in my hand. When I turned on the computer with the power button I could feel it suddenly spin up right away and heard the hard drive mechanism click a few times erratically seeking across the platters.

So.... internal HD silent: connected HD noisy.

In my case that was enough to correctly start to diagnose the problem being simply a dead hard drive. Maybe you have the same problem. Maybe not. It is possibly easier to replace a hard drive than fix a serious problem with (shudder) leaky capacitors or power supply...

I think that just about every member of this Forum has more experience with NeXT hardware and NeXTStep than I do, so lets watch to see what else the Forum comes up with.

Luckily for you, you appear to be in a big city where it may be possible to locate other NeXTStep users who will be able to help out.

Mike
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bobo68



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 194
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check the battery first. It should have 3V.
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Mike



Joined: 03 Feb 2017
Posts: 83
Location: Canada: Oshawa, Ontario

PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

krazycat wrote:
It could be the dead battery.
Or it could be a broken hard disk: try to disconnect the SCSI cable connected to the internal hard disk, then start the NeXTstation.
HIH


When mine died, the first thing I suspected was the battery, especially knowing from my exposure to older Macintosh computers that sometimes a dead battery was enough to prevent a 68030 or 68040 Mac from booting.

Anyway, the price for Panasonic Lithium BR-2/3A 3Volt batteries for these computers is all over the map. I found brand new CR123A listed as replacements for the old BR-2/3A 3Volt Panasonic batteries in the internet (eBay) for about US $1 each ($1.50 Canadian). I replaced the battery before I replaced the HD, just in case, but it did not solve the problem.

Like krazycat says, it could be something as simple as a dead battery. Definitely worth a try, especially if the computer has been sitting for a long time...

Mike

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