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Zapping PRAM in OS X (to restore Appletalk?)

Message #1 - Posted 2004/08/17 - Bloomite

I got a strange problem at work. The Macs in the Graphics dept. running OS 10.2.x can see the Appletalk Zones and have no problem printing to two Xerox DC 12s running off Fiery servers and an HP 5si/MX.

If you put OS 10.3.x on one of the Macs and print through IP printing to the Xerox DC 12s, they either spew out pages of Postscript code, or have the print jobs continuously stall in the Printer Setup Utility no matter how many times you restart them, or else give the message "will retry connection in 10 seconds". About 10% of the time you actually print what you want. I have the latest Fiery XP12 service pack 1 PPD's on the Mac.

The HP 5si spewed out Postscript pages until I found that the previous tech had set it up with the 5si Mopier PPD. Using the regular 5si PPD seemed to fix that.

Trying to print via Appletalk as a workaround doesn't work as 10.3.x doesn't see the Appletalk Zones, even with it active in the Network panel and Director Access.

This is repeatable, 10.2.x does see the Appletalk zones in the Graphics area and 10.3.x doesn't. The weird thing is, today I did a clean install of 10.3 on a laptop and connected it to a port in Graphics. It saw the Appletalk zones! Even with Appletalk unchecked in the Directory Access app but with it active in the Network Panel I could add a Printer in the Printer setup utility seeing the Appletalk zones. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to try to print through Appletalk as I immediately had to take the laptop to another building. I plugged it in a wallport in that other building and it displayed the zones. I can pretty much consistently see the zones in the this other building running OS 10.3.x, it's the graphics location that is the problem. Don't know enough about networking to know if there's some protocol in the graphics building that 10.3.x doesn't get along with.

So in conclusion, I bring the laptop back to graphics and of course it doesn't see the zones again, where it did right after the clean 10.3 install earlier. Now when I go in to the Network utility and tell it to Display Saved PRAM Appletalk information it keeps showing the last zone name as the other building where the Appletalk zones work fine (not the Graphics zone). I keep trying to zap the PRAM in a desparate attempt to make the Mac forget that zone and perhaps recognize the graphics zone, like it did ONCE.

So I'm looking for a utility in X like Techtool that will zap the PRAM completely, because holding down the 4 keys at startup aint doing it.

As you can see I have several problems to deal with and zapping the PRAM completely is probably the least of them. But before I contact Network Services to see if there's something strange with the graphics network I want to try everything possible at the desktop level.

Any comments are welcome. I can't find any similar behavior in Apple's Tech Notes, Macintouch or Google.

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