Disaster accelerating Mac computer
I felt this was of general interest as well as for those using older drum scanners, some other scanners, and SCSI devices that often run on older Macs. Sorry for the length, but I wanted to be thorough.
I needed a new hard drive for my Dual 1 GB Mac G4, which is an excellent computer. So i called Other World Computing for a recommendation and bought a drive. I then asked about other possible upgrades while i was at it. The salesman suggested an accellerator and a Video upgrade. He said they were easy, essentially plug and play, upgrades that would update and extend the life of my Mac for a long time and for a lot less than a new CPU. He said the processor upgrade was essentially just removing the old processor and putting on the new one. We settled on Sonnet as probably the fastest, easiest to install, and most dependable, with excellent tech support. Little did I know.
The Sonnet turned out to be extraordinarily complex and messy to install. First, it needed OS9 to update the firmare (CPU hardware), which the salesman had not told me. I did not have OS9 drivers on my Macs anymore. So after a day back and forth to Sonnet, with one technician telling me it would not work and the next technician insisting the first was wrong, and ultimately with a bored, annoyed-sounding second technician leading me through it, i finally had to take an external drive from elsewhere and install a bought copy of OS9.0 on that and boot from that. That didn't work/take, and I then had install the last version of OS9. The last version of OS9 took some doing to find. That worked, but when it came to updating the firmware, the process did not happen right, even though a technician was talking me through it and two non-profit-Anstendig Institute volunteers, one a teacher of technical writing in a major Cal University, were helping me trhough it. The firmware change had to be done with OS 9.2.2.x.
So, after another renstall of the system on another partition, the firmware update finally worked on a second try, so the technician led me through installing the hardware. The two other people had to help install the thing, holding flashlights and looking from different angles, because the connectors on the accellerator are covered by the heat sinks in such a way that one cannot see the connector on the motherboard, into which the accelerator has to connect. It was a mess. But we finally got it in (three men and another unenthusiastic Sonnet technician talking us through it) and turned the machine on. All the accellerator did was that the fans twitched spastically, but did not turn and the CPU would not boot.
The technician hen told us emphatically the device won't work in that computer and I should send it back for a refund.
I called OWC and they were awful. Really awful. They called Sonnet and gave us some ugly story that Sonnet said it should work but they didn't want to waste time with us on the pohone anymore, so I could either send it to Sonnet for them to install or return it for a 15% restocking fee.
In the meantime, after putting my previously perfectly fine computer back together, it wouldn't work anymore.
The upshot is that my compputer went to the Apple store repair and was found to have $1450.00 worth of damage (both the processor and the motherwoard have to be replaced), which just doesn't pay. That means that even Sonnet would not have gotten the thing to work. And I
am eating 15% restocking fee not only for the accellerator that wrecked my computor , but for the hard drive I now don't need and for a not even unpacked video card, in its OWC shipping box, that I now don't need, and I have had to buy a new Mac, the 2.3 Dual-Core G5. A huge loss.
The Sonnet accellorator is complex and poorly designed, not only difficult to install, but dangerous to install. And I wasn't warned of any of that by my OWC Salesman. Nor dids Sonnet. All spoke as though it was plug and play simple. Macs are clearly made from the viewpoint of holding together firmly and not easily being pulled apart or changed by third parties or lay-people, especially not changing/zapping basic motherboard firmware and removing parts attached to motherboards. Any processor change, especially this one, is definitely not a case of easy plug and play. And obviously, third party changes are often not as thoughtfully designed and manufactured as the original computers (unlike the Sonnet, at least we were able to see the connector on the bottom of the Apple processor when we put it back into the CPU after removing the Sonnet). One of the people helping me has a Sawtooth Mac with an acclellerator, bought from OWC, which accellerator had to be returned/exchanged once during what was also a messy installation for that CPU.
IMO, don't accellerate your computer unless you really know and are used to such installations, which are, essentially the same as building a new computer, but even more complex.
And I would stay away from OWC, unless you know exactly what you want and how it works, etc., and cannot get it elsewhere, more amenable to returns and the customer's plight.
And Sonnet I have absolutely nothing good to say about.
Re: Disaster accelerating Mac computer
Sorry to hear about this experience. I am also in the mindset now that I don't upgrade my systems anymore. I just buy a new system. There seems to be something that doesn't want to co-operate with the newer hardware.
Re: Disaster accelerating Mac computer
Yes I agree, even more than you might think.
With the new, dual core 2.3 GB Mac, I bought a Firewire 8090 and Firewire 400 expansion card., called AAxeon, etc.
the thing arrived from OWC, the only place that seemed to have them in stock, and is called anything but AAxeon on the box.
However, John, the technical writing teacher, and I installed it and it was working.
Today, nothing connected to it was working. So we disconnected and tried to connect again, and the FW 800's first connector doesn't hold. I doesn't seem to have any connector left in there.
But the FW 400 connector wasn't working either befofre we disconnected.
So one more defective product that OWC will probably blame on me.
We are in a period of technological meltdown. It is amazing how many things go bad these days, including the OSes themselves for months until the main things are fixed, while many things never are fixed and simply don't work right in the OSes.
Windows may be better at this than Mac these days, as the Mac OS is a Mess (I can substantiate that, but you probably won't want to read another really long post from me).
Thans for replyuing,
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