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Using a 3rd Party USB Card in a PowerMac 7300

Category: Hardware , Mac OS 9 , USB
Composed by: TeKnoZiz
On: 2019-02-06 16:25:11

Instead of being continually frustrated with SheepShaver, although an amazing piece of emulation software, I decided to resurrect my old PowerMac 7300. The problems I had were that the CMOS battery was dead, and the hard drive was tiny, only 6GB. The battery was replaced with one from Amazon for about $8.00 

I had a stack of older hard drives, luckily one that was IDE and 120GB in size. Under OS 9, the OS needs to be installed in the first 6GB of the drive. I partitioned it into two, one 8GB, one 111GB and I was set to go. I copied the OS 9.2.1 folder from the old drive to the new and I was ready to go.

Much of the software I owned already so installed from orginal CDs or backups. I had to contact a couple of vendors to recover my serial numbers. Pangea Software was unbelievably quick and I received a response via email in under 10 minutes. Sadly, as of this writing, I still haven't heard from Ambrosia, whose site functions for logging in, recovering codes and even contacting them were no longer functional. Tweets were also not returned. Too bad, because they had some great software.

I also purchased a stack of CDs to make disc images of some games that needed hard copies as copy protection, like Tomb Raider.

I got to a point where I wanted an easier way to get files onto the system, so I decided to try a PCI USB card. I turned first to Sonnet, who had a host of products including replacement processors and host cards. They had the Tango and Tango 2.0 PCI card that had both Firewire and USB ports on it. I found a used Tango 2.0 on eBay. But, as they say, you get what you pay for and when I received it and popped it in, it prevented my Mac from even booting, same with a Dell PC I tried it in. So I asked that-ben about it, and he recommended a couple of third party USB 1.1 cards, one of which I purchased. Belkin 4-port 1.1 USB.

I just got it today and popped it in, and voila my machine booted. However, the USB thumbdrive and joystick did not appear. Once again, I checked in with that-ben and he suggested I tried a re-install of the OS 9.2.1 update. Apparently, OS 9.2.x does support USB cards, but not until it actually sees one will it add the necessary extension, called USB Card Support. I performed a custom install and only selected that extension under the Network and Devices section. Restarted and boom! everything was recognized and functional!

Hat's off to that-ben for the support. Hope you found this useful.

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