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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2012
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    Smile I am in the possession of a 1994 Power Macintosh. How do I get this thing running?
    As I said, my friend dropped by my house today and dropped off this 18-year-old behemoth. It's a 6100 (stated on the motherboard), and according to various websites, the first Mac to use the PowerPC RISC chip. It's also the DOS/Windows 3.1 compatible version if that helps. Now as with any free PC (or Mac in this case) there are some "flaws". It didn't come with an HDD, nor is it fully assembled. I think I can cover the assembly (just what seems to be the video card/processor and some plastic), but the HDD thing is confusing me. I'm a PC user normally, so I've got quite a few HDDs sitting around. They are all IDE and circa 2000-2004. Will those work?

    Also, he may or may not have included the boot floppies. Any work-around for those? Preferably a boot disk? All my machines are newer and don't have floppy ports. The 6100 has a CD drive by the way.

    One last thing: How am I going to connect this to the internet? It doesn't seem to have an Ethernet port, but maybe I'm just too young to recognize one of the many ports for what they are. No modem either from what I see.

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koitous View Post
    ...but the HDD thing is confusing me. I'm a PC user normally, so I've got quite a few HDDs sitting around. They are all IDE and circa 2000-2004. Will those work?
    Nope...at least not directly. The Powermac 6100 used SCSI hard drives. If you can find an SCSI to IDE adapter...then you may be able to use those drives. But...a possible other issue may be...the 6100 shipped with a 160 or 250 MEGABYTE HD. So if those IDE drives you have are too large...the 6100 may not know what to do with it (too large).

    Quote Originally Posted by Koitous View Post
    Also, he may or may not have included the boot floppies. Any work-around for those? Preferably a boot disk? All my machines are newer and don't have floppy ports. The 6100 has a CD drive by the way.
    Maximum OS for this computer is OS 9. So your best bet is to find an OS 9 install CD (e-Bay)...since OS install floppies are going to be next to impossible to find.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koitous View Post
    One last thing: How am I going to connect this to the internet? It doesn't seem to have an Ethernet port, but maybe I'm just too young to recognize one of the many ports for what they are. No modem either from what I see.
    I'm pretty sure it has an ethernet port. Ethernet was pretty much standard on all Mac's by 1994. But the 6100 was the low end model...so ethernet could have been optional.

    If it doesn't have ethernet...then you will need an ethernet card (probably next to impossible to find)...and once you have ethernet...getting on the internet will be next to impossible or at least very difficult...since you will not be able to find any modern browser versions.

    You haven't even mentioned how much ram it has. If it needs ram...again...good luck!

    Finally. You should know that this computer is worth about $10 bucks...and that's if you can find someone who will pay $10.

    Hey...nothing wrong with trying to get this computer running...but getting on the internet is not going to be as easy as you think...and financially...you'll be surprised how much money you can sink into this...and in the end...you will have an EXTREMELY slow computer.

    - For about $20-$25 bucks...you could buy a 1998-2002 400mhz G3 iMac which would run circles around the Powermac 6100.
    - For $30 bucks you could buy a 2001-2002 733mhz Powermac G4
    - and recently...I saw someone purchase a 2003-2004 dual cpu Powermac G5 on e-Bay for $55 bucks!

    A 2003-2004 dual cpu Powermac G5 compared to a 1994 Powermac 6100...is like comparing a snail to a Saturn 5 rocket!!!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2012
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    I did some more research. Turns out there IS an ethernet port. It's just an AAUI Ethernet port, which needs an adapter (~$10). I know this thing isn't worth anything, but I love old technology. I'd LOVE to get a hold of an old PowerBook Duo, just to say "Yeah, I've got a laptop from 1995".

    Now as for the OS 9 disk, how would I go about booting from it? I'm new to Macs, and thus don't know how to get to the boot screen.

    All of the drives I have are SCSI, but I don't have one less than 40gb. Do you know of a place where I can get low-storage HDDs?

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koitous View Post
    Now as for the OS 9 disk, how would I go about booting from it? I'm new to Macs, and thus don't know how to get to the boot screen.
    Once you have an OS 9 CD to boot from...you simply hold down the "C" key during the boot process.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koitous View Post
    All of the drives I have are SCSI, but I don't have one less than 40gb. Do you know of a place where I can get low-storage HDDs?
    Quote Originally Posted by Koitous View Post
    I'm a PC user normally, so I've got quite a few HDDs sitting around. They are all IDE and circa 2000-2004. Will those work?
    In your initial post you said that all of your drives were IDE.

    But if you have some SCSI drives...great! As far as sourcing smaller SCSI drives...e-Bay is the place.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2012
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    Sorry about that; I always thought they were IDE. Turn out I've never even seen an IDE drive. xD I've been working with SCSI and SATA all my life. I guess I need to wipe this 40gb and try it out.

    EDIT:
    Scratch that, they're all IDE. I was totally wrong. The part that confuses me is my CD drive is IDE. Or that's how it seems. There are no other connectors other than the IDE and power to the motherboard. Well, It's worth a shot I guess. I may be wrong once again.

    EDIT:
    You've got to be kidding. I'm wrong again. The CD drive is actually SCSI. I just assumed one was the other due to their similar appearances. So I've actually never even seen an SCSI drive. Boy, this is getting confusing.

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koitous View Post
    Sorry about that; I always thought they were IDE. Turn out I've never even seen an IDE drive. xD I've been working with SCSI and SATA all my life. I guess I need to wipe this 40gb and try it out.
    Sure thing...give that 40gig drive a try...maybe it will work.

    The reason why I mentioned some Macintosh computers have a max drive limit size is...Powermac G4's from the 2000-2002 time frame had a 128gig HD limit. Since this computer you're dealing with is from 1994...it could have a significantly lower maximum HD size limit.

    By the way...how the heck did you skip having experiences with IDE/PATA hard drives?? Going from SCSI straight to SATA is quite a bit of time. Were you frozen or stranded on a desert island for those "IDE Years"??

    Good luck,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7

    Mac SK's Avatar
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    If you lived next door to me ...we would have that puppy running. Try to partition a large SCSI drive into small 10g sections. You use Drive Setup on the OS boot CD. The problem is the browsers for OS9 like Netscape are getting were they freeze up on some web sites. Forget about Utube etc.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jun 11, 2012
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    Sorry for my manners; I never thanked either one of you for your help. You guys are awesome! I'm glad we can separate our differences and work to get this thing running!

    P.S. My friend dropped off two containers full of floppies. One has Where in the World is Carmen San Diego Discs 1 and 2, Doom, and a Flight Sim, the other having Hypercards and The Mac OS 7 boot floppies. Boy is it going to be fun playing Doom on this thing once I get an SCSI drive!

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koitous View Post

    P.S. My friend dropped off two containers full of floppies. One has Where in the World is Carmen San Diego Discs 1 and 2, Doom, and a Flight Sim, the other having Hypercards and The Mac OS 7 boot floppies. Boy is it going to be fun playing Doom on this thing once I get an SCSI drive!
    Sounds like you have some good goals for getting this thing running. Just like "Mac SK" mentioned...if you lived near me...we would have this thing running in no time!

    Good luck,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10

    Ramimac1's Avatar
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    I think I have an older 68 pin 36gb scsi 10k rpm drive at home let me look. you could then get a 60 to 50 pin adapter
    Old time Computer Hardware Tech
    Ohh My Typing Sucks Live with it

    Snoopy is the Man !!!

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