b. Meanwhile, Olivier Karfis had some email discussions with Chris Heatherly of Power Computing concerning Adaptec issues. Chris points out that, even though the Adaptec card includes an external Ultra SCSI connector, the card is intended to be used only for internal drive support. Power intends to move to a card which does not have an external connector once it becomes available. Consistent with this, Power's advertisements only promise internal Ultra SCSI support. The external port may work (especially if you use a very short cable), but Power does not certify this. All of this is not due to any special limitation of the PowerCenter Pro, but is a general SCSI limitation and affects all Mac OS systems.
a. This seems my week for reporting 'blinking question mark" startup problems. Kevin Callahan writes that he had this symptom with his Power Computing PowerCenter Pro clone - the model that ships with an Adaptec PCI card already installed - after he zapped the PRAM. The short-term solution was to reboot from his system CD-ROM and then reboot again from the internal drive. The long-term solution is to move the Adaptec card from the slot closest to the motherboard to the outside slot. Kevin says Power Computing confirmed this.