Sometimes computers are very mysterious machines, I bet you'll agree
once you read the following story:
Some time ago I bought a Rev. C ROM module from OWC for my Rev. A Beige
G3 Minitower (AV) to be able to attach a second slave drive, instead of
At about the same time I also bought Diablo 2 (the game) and enjoyed it
When I finally decided to buy a new HD to work as a master (an IBM
75GXP, very nice) I hooked up the WD Caviar 6GB OEM drive as slave
(properly configured and all).
At about the same time I also updated Diablo 2 to version 1.05b, up from
1.04 which always worked fine.
Now the story begins:
The slave seemed to work just fine, but I rarely ever used it, because
teh 45GB master drive is so big...
I tried installing VPC though and that always failed. I thought maybe it
doesn't like slave drives (as it has to host Windows, which also prefers
master drives I believe). Diablo 2 however stopped to work at all.
The symptoms were very strange. The game usually locked up during the
loading process (joining or creating a game), or also randomly during
gameplay (if I managed to join successfully). I thought it might be the
change in the code somehow conflicting with something I had installed,
the Voodoo3 card for example. I then made hundreds of test, testing on
different driver versions, graphics cards, reinstalling, deleting prefs,
cache files etc etc etc, nothing helped. Then I approached Blizzard with
the issue and all they kept telling me were the most basic
troubleshooting tips I had already done 200 times. I even spent some
hours waiting in line for the online Tech support. All I got to hear was
a very cocky supporter who answered my question "Do you know about
supporting Macs" with "Yes", and then went on telling me to install the
latest Voodoo4/5 drivers, seeming VERY certain that my beta11 drivers
were the issue. I told him the issue also appeared if I used the ATI
card, but he was aparently so ignorant, he told me to do what he said or
leave it be. 20 other mails to both Mac support and d2restore didn't
I went on trying his bogus suggestions just to find them not improve the
situation at all.
Then I started to observe the Mac when it was crashing, namely before it
did (listening and thinking).
I soon found that the mac always crashed after accessing the harddrive
to load a component of the game, for example a sprite of a new monster.
This led me to the conclusion that something with my HD setup had to be
What was special about it? - The slave drive.
I detached the slave drive and booted up, started Diablo and it worked.
No more freezes anywere.
Now I told myself that Diablo 2 was somehow accessing the slave drive
during loading (although there was no relevant data on there at all) and
that it must have a problem with that. In the same time I discovered
that .jpg files tended to become corrupted when moved from the master to
the slave. As I currently also have a B/W G3 Rev A at home (with serious
data corruption troubles on the slave drive), I began to understand.
Using the HD corruption test application from your site I soon noticed
that the slave drive was experiencing heavy data corruption.
Interestingly enough only Diablo 2 ever accesses that drive and freezes
upon a misread. About 50 other games and apps never froze.... (wtf is
Blizzard doing on my Slave drive?)
I thought this might be an issue reserved to the WD drive, but tests
with an old 800MB IBM drive and a newer 27GB IBM drive also reported
heavy to extreme data corruption, so bad teh app actually crashed during
veryfication of the 27GB drive....
Now what I'm trying to tell you and your readers here is that if you
have a similar setup and can't play Diablo 2 because it keeps locking
up, it's your slave drive having corruption.
And the second, more important question is: Is that normal? Do all these
upgraded Macs actually mess up the data on the slave drives? Or is this
just my setup with the 75GXP, or is it my cable or something?
I'd welcome some reader feedback from readers with similar setups.
Download that app (can you provide the link, Mike) and make a quick
test. If all those Macs suffer from corruption, the ROM upgrade is
completely worthless. I went back to the floppy drive today:)
Thanks and I hope you all don't have this problem,
Updated Report/Solution: (Bench later wrote)
You can add my report as well:)
I today changed the cable and took a shorter one (standard length it
seems) and I found that the cable I had been suing so far was really
extremely long. This didn't catch my notice when I first installed it,
but it actually was about 150% the length of a normal IDE cable.
Using the other, shorter cable the corruption is gone and Diablo 2 is
also working with the slave drive attached now.
So the report is now no longer on the corruption that is a problem, but
on Diablo 2 refusing to work if you have data corruption on the slave
drive. as this is certainly the problem with most Rev A B/W G3s using a
slave drive on the built-in bus, this is worth noting.
I'll send Blizzard my latest findings today, as I have already promised
Good to know the cable was the problem and I didn't spend al the money
The data corruption tester is linked in the FAQ's Apple G3 section or click here to download it. See the doc with the download for more info. The test application has to be run from the drive being tested. If you've got a Beige G3 rev A with updated ROM dimm and can run this test on a slave drive, let me know if the tester reports errors. Include your system/drive/OS version/drivers in any reports. Thanks.
Note that overclocking can also cause data errors, but in cases like that they should show up on the primary drive also. Other sources of problems can be the IDE cable (connector issues, very long cables, etc.) but I'm curious to see other Beige G3 upgraded ROM dimm owner reports on their slave drives.
Other Reader Test Results: Several readers replied with results of their tests. For those that do have a problem, it may be cable related or jumper settings/drive mix related. (The above updated report and others below noted the issue was cable related.)
After 10 iterations of 100 meg. each, the corruption tester app did *NOT*
report any errors on my machine.
G3/233 DT rev. A, upgraded to rev. C ROM.
OS 9.1, 384 meg. RAM
Maxtor 60 gig. HD (model 96147H8) connected as slave to factory cd-rom.
maybe bensch is not aligning the proper (usually red) side of the cable
connector with pin 1 on the drive?
Glenn D. Tiffert
Normally the cables are keyed (notch or a blocked pin), but I asked if he'd
verifed the cables were good etc.
This reader noted his corruption problem was due to cabling.
I recently upgraded my beige G3 to a Rev. B ROM, removing the
standard internal hard drive and adding two other drives in the
process: a 75GB IBM Deskstar 75GXP, and a 40GB Quantum Fireball AS.
Initially, I had the same data corruption problems that your other
reader experienced. Corruption occurred almost immediately when the
slave drive was attached to the same bus with the CD-ROM; if placed
on the same bus with the other hard drive, it wouldn't necessarily
show up immediately but it would never take more than 15-20 minutes
to run into errors.
As a last resort, I threw out the two-drive IDE cable I'd been using;
since one part of it was stretched somewhat precariously across the
motherboard, I wondered if that was the source of the problem. I
replaced it with a specially made 36-inch cable from Mann
(http://www.mann-va.com); it was similar to the cable I'd been using,
except that I had it split into 17-inch and 19-inch segments, where
the old one was split 12/24 like every other cable I've seen.
I installed the cable, reformatted the slave, and crossed my fingers
as I copied 20GB of data from the first drive to the second: no
errors. I waited a couple of hours and repeated the process: still
no errors. I ran the test program on your site... and STILL no
errors. This was a month or so ago; when I saw the note on your
site, I repeated the test, and again it passed with flying colors.
Norton Disk Doctor, TechTool Pro, and DiskWarrior also ran flawlessly.
For what it's worth, I have a beige G3/266 desktop (no accelerator...
yet!) with 448MB of RAM running MacOS 9.1. And the cable was $15,
though because Mann requires a $30 minimum on orders I ended up
buying two; with shipping the total bill came to $34, and now I have
a spare cable just in case.
Hope this helps!
Beige G3, rev A changed to rev C ROM, put 4 Gb stock drive as slave to
stock CD-ROM drive. No problems.
Changed stock CD-ROM with a Yamaha 10x16x40 CD-RW...severe corruption of
the slaved stock drive (have to, basically, dismount the drive in order to
continue using the 'puter).
I haven't had the time to fiddle with this, yet. I have several
troubleshooting options to try in order to resolve this issue. The most
obvious would be making the CD-RW the slave and the HD master.
I asked if he had tried a HD slave on the primary bus.
(HD master, HD slave on the primary ide bus)
I had a similar problem with 2 IBM Deckstar 45GB
SOLUTION- a high quality cable rated for high speed
data. I got mine at Fry's. About $25.00.
It solved all data corruption problem and all is fine.
Beige G3-B- 400MHz(OWC) 640Ram.
The Beige G3 is only an ATA/3 interface (onboard), but this is not the only
report that corruption problems were solved by cable replacments. (defective, too long, etc. cables)
I have a Rev A beige G3 desktop with a rev C ROM from OWC installed
several months ago to allow me to use a slave drive. Both of my IDE
drives are Maxtors. I haven't had any problems with this setup, but
after seeing the report today, I tried the corruption tester. I ran four
iterations using the maximum (2047M) file size and four verification
passes on the slave drive. This took quite a while to complete, but I
got no errors. I didn't try it on the master drive, which is the one I
boot from and use mostly.
My system has been remarkably stable running
OS 9.0.4 with no mysterious problems whatsoever.
Jumper Settings Notes: Although most of the problems seem to be cable related typically, a reader also sent a reminder to double check your drive settings for drives that have separate Master with slave settings and single drive settings. Most Western Digital drives and some IBM and Quantum drives have settings like this. If the drive label is not clear, check the vendor's web site
for jumper setting info. If the drive has a "single drive" setting, that's for when there's no slave present (no 2nd drive on the same cable). Use the "master" (which means Master with slave present) on such drives if there's a 2nd (slave) drive on the same cable. (This is noted in articles here and in the FAQ.)
(Thanks to Fredrico for the IBM and Quantum Jumper settings page links.)