Sunday, March 18th 2007


Removing OS 9 (Classic) from an OS-X upgrade system on an iBook
posted @ 2:32 pm in [ Fixing Things -iBook -Technology ]

We’ve recently adopted 3 G3 iBooks, largely for testing new websites on Mac browsers, but also to use as light weight wireless email machines for the team.

As they’re pretty low spec. (500MHz, 14Gb hard disk, 128Mb memory as standard) we upgraded them to OS-X and helped them on their way with an extra 1/2 Gig (512Mb) add-on memory which improved performance considerably.

What I didn’t notice until we’d upgraded the second one, was that there is an option during the OS-X install, to not just perform an upgrade, but to remove any existing O/S from the iBooks and just have OS-X installed.

So, the question then was, how can we remove OS 9 from the other iBooks that we’ve already upgraded as we’d actually quite like the disc space it was using back?

1. Don’t start like this

Our first approach was to drag the OS 9 Applications out of the Applications folder to the trash, and the same for the OS 9 Desktop. Bad idea. Basically the machine then refuses to reboot (we guess as it is still trying to start some OS 9 files that aren’t there).

2. Do start like this

2.1. Boot into single user mode

The right way of doing this is to boot into single user mode by holding Apple + S during startup and mount the disks as per this article – http://www.westwind.com/reference/OS-X/commandline/single-user.html

2.2. Remove the OS 9 files

With the file system mounted as read/write, then you can start to remove the OS 9 system from the machine and all associated files. What’s really interesting here is that the removal of the “Classic Startup.app” is what fixes the problems we created by just deleting all the files using the desktop – more information here – http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20030418104032267




Sunday, March 18th 2007


Laptop overheating and sudden shutdown (HP Pavilion ZD7000)
posted @ 9:06 am in [ Technology ]

My HP Pavilion ZD7000 CTO laptop has been a great work horse since I first got it about 2 years ago when we were setting up Skywire properly.

Basically, having the power of a desktop in a laptop body is fantastic and the machine can cope quite happily with the work we need to do in our agency day to day – programming, graphics, ftp everything seems to run just fine which is great.

Now obviously there is one big disadvantage of putting a desktop PC, including desktop specification Pentium 4 processor, into a laptop is that it is going to generate a lot of heat. A huge amount of heat in fact.

This is normally fine, as the bods at HP that designed the machine have included 2 fairly huge fans in the bottom, and a series of heat sinks to draw away the heat from the processor and to pass it out through the sides of the laptop case into the normal world to be cooled down again.

However… what they didn’t really do very well is stop the intakes in the bottom of the machine where the fans suck in the cool air they need to keep the laptop happy from sucking in with it dust and general rubbish that gets into the air in a normal, un-airconditioned office.

So, what happens is over time the fans grab this dust, spin it around at high speed and then try and throw it out again through the heat sinks, where obviously it gets stuck and begins to accumulate.

Fine you think – that’s a bit annoying but I guess I can live with it.

Well unluckly no! The specification on the machine is so high that basically the processor can run really hot if you start doing CPU intensive applications such as PhotoShop and if it can’t keep itself cool, then the emergency break comes in and the machine shuts down. Straight away. No warning. Really annoying.

So it’s time to start cleaning your machine.

Phase One: Remove the fans

So I started by removing the cover to the fans (8/9 small screws easily undone with a watch maker’s screwdriver) and then the fans themselves (3 screws a piece) and pulling out the clumps of dust I found in there. You would have thought this was where most of the dust was however on re-assembly the machine still kept shutting down, so onto phase two.

Phase Two: Cleaning the heat sinks themselves.

Luckily HP have allowed relatively easy access to the heat sinks – there are 7 screws that hold a silver metal plate that can be removed after the fans (I had to use some pliers with the screw driver to open these as they were very tight) and this is where everything gets interesting….