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rt30000
Nov 21, 2005, 09:57 AM
I am not sure where to go/how to fix my problem. I have done a TON of searching the net, and tried every test/solution I could. Its GOT to be a hardware issue I woudl think. Heres the details, ask me if you need to know any further info! TIA!!!

G4 Dual 450mhz Gigabit running OS X v10.3.9

Problem:
Computer WILL freeze up. This is not a matter of *if* it will, but *when*. Sometimes it lasts 2hrs, usually it lasts 15 minutes. The computer just simply freezes. Once it does, you have to wait a while before restarting or it won't work. Its really a gamble.

I am leaning towards hardware problem, such as PS, Mobo, or Processor? becuase I have tried the following which have had NO effect on the freezes:

Fresh/Clean OS X (Panther 10.3.9) installs. New hard drive, clean formats. Removed all extra pci cards, placed factory video card back in. Tried different RAM to check for bad Ram. Ran all Norton and TechTools hardware tests successfully. Verify Disk and also Repair'd permissions from Panther Install disk. Zapped P-RAM, tested battery, followed MANY procedures described on Apple's site (I have been working on this problem for nearly a year so its hard to remember exactly everything I have done off the top of my head). I have ran the computer with a dehumdifier in the room, temperature ranges between 60-85, etc. It definatley seems to run better when its colder, but that may very well just be a perception.

Any ideas PLEEEEASE let me know. I can describe in further details anything you may need to know, or I can look into it. TIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rob

yellow
Nov 21, 2005, 10:04 AM
Get rid of Norton anything would be my first suggestion. That POS is the cause of far more troubles than anything it might "fix". As for the freezes, what do the logs say about it?

rt30000
Nov 21, 2005, 10:24 AM
Well, I just used Norton to help fix the problem. I dont use it on a regular basis to optimize drive or anything like that. I'm just trying every option I have the capability to try, and I was hoping their diagnostic tools would have helped. (And becuase I have reinstalled the OS several times, on multple freshly-formatted hard drives to try to figure this out, I don't think Norton is causing THIS problem)

The Log files are gibberish to me. I can read them to a point, but knowing what it means and what to do about it is beyond me. If its safe to post it (no personal info or anything) I can do that if you know which log file to grab. I have to do it in the evening, of course, because I'm at work right now. Thanks for the quick reply.

IJ Reilly
Nov 21, 2005, 11:07 AM
Once again, we see the utter pointlessness of clean OSX installs. (I don't mean to make an example of you, but this is something people are doing far too often for no payoff.) Otherwise, you've apparently taken all the right diagnostic steps.

Given that you report a variability based on temperature and humidity, I would agree with your assessment. It could be a bad trace on the motherboard, a poorly-seated processor, or similar issue. Possibly even a failing power supply? Since this is such an old machine, I would think you could pick up a replacement motherboard for not a lot of money. Might be worth a try, and possibly be no more expensive than bringing it in for service. (If it fixes the problem, of course.)

rt30000
Nov 21, 2005, 11:41 AM
Once again, we see the utter pointlessness of clean OSX installs. (I don't mean to make an example of you, but this is something people are doing far too often for no payoff.) Otherwise, you've apparently taken all the right diagnostic steps.)

Not a problem, but there were other reasons (unrelated to this freezing issue) for the clean install. The networking and sharing preference panes would not load and this was the only solution that worked. I had tried removing preferences, using another user account to verify it wasn't at the user-level, etc. I needed to connect to a windows machine, so a clean install in order to get the networking functioning was necessary. Like I mentioned, I don't THINK its a software issue but i'd rather have tried and failed vs. leaving it sit here useless, y'know?

As far as picking up a replacement mobo (or PS, etc), thats an option. Im trying to narrow it down or figure this out as much as possible before buying parts I may not need, as I don't have a lot of money to throw at things that may (and may not) fix it. I'd rather have the opinions of more knowledgable users than myself, so I know I'm moving in the right direction ;)

yellow
Nov 21, 2005, 11:50 AM
I'd wait for the next "freeze" (which is odd that it eventually clears up) and then post the console and system log entries that buffer it by 10-15 minutes on both sides.

IJ Reilly
Nov 21, 2005, 11:57 AM
I'd wait for the next "freeze" (which is odd that it eventually clears up) and then post the console and system log entries that buffer it by 10-15 minutes on both sides.

Echo. Several people around here seem to be able to make sense of error logs. I'm not one of them. ;)

rt30000
Nov 21, 2005, 12:02 PM
I'd wait for the next "freeze" (which is odd that it eventually clears up) and then post the console and system log entries that buffer it by 10-15 minutes on both sides.

Okay. I'll turn her on tonite till she crashes, then post the log files. Thx.

yellow
Nov 21, 2005, 12:08 PM
I'd suggest clearing any 'personal' info (usernames, computer names) first..

And please post them as attachments.

rt30000
Nov 21, 2005, 06:17 PM
So, I generated a log report from System Profiler. What information should I remove? Sorry if it sounds ignorant, but I dont want to post any personal info I shouldn't. I have a rich text file (edited in pc, cuz my mac froze...of course. Thats 4 times so far, in the little time i've been home). One time it froze when I plugged in a USB card reader, but that was a first, it has never frozen before when plugging in the device. I just wanted to pulloff a few photos before it crashed...to no avail.

rt30000
Nov 21, 2005, 06:24 PM
Now it won't restart. Sometimes you have to wait a while after it crashes before it will start back up. If you try right away, the front light (on the power button) will light up but it only makes it to the grey apple screen. Sometimes it lights up, but stops at that. The monitor never flicks on, and you haveto hold the button to shut it down). Thats kind of what makes me wonder if its the power supply. Would it make sense if it dropped below the minimum voltage (or whatever) that it would freeze up? Or perhaps it overheats or cannot generate enough power until it rests a bit? The monitor stays on (displaying the frozen screen), but thats not running off the computer's power supply. I'm clueless...

I'll add these crashes to the log report I've already generated as soon as I get the Mac back up and I know it's safe to post. (I'm on the windows machine I built this past weekend at the moment)

yenko
Nov 21, 2005, 07:14 PM
I am not sure where to go/how to fix my problem. I have done a TON of searching the net, and tried every test/solution I could. Its GOT to be a hardware issue I woudl think. Heres the details, ask me if you need to know any further info! TIA!!!

G4 Dual 450mhz Gigabit running OS X v10.3.9

Problem:
Computer WILL freeze up. This is not a matter of *if* it will, but *when*. Sometimes it lasts 2hrs, usually it lasts 15 minutes. The computer just simply freezes. Once it does, you have to wait a while before restarting or it won't work. Its really a gamble.

I am leaning towards hardware problem, such as PS, Mobo, or Processor? becuase I have tried the following which have had NO effect on the freezes:

Fresh/Clean OS X (Panther 10.3.9) installs. New hard drive, clean formats. Removed all extra pci cards, placed factory video card back in. Tried different RAM to check for bad Ram. Ran all Norton and TechTools hardware tests successfully. Verify Disk and also Repair'd permissions from Panther Install disk. Zapped P-RAM, tested battery, followed MANY procedures described on Apple's site (I have been working on this problem for nearly a year so its hard to remember exactly everything I have done off the top of my head). I have ran the computer with a dehumdifier in the room, temperature ranges between 60-85, etc. It definatley seems to run better when its colder, but that may very well just be a perception.

Any ideas PLEEEEASE let me know. I can describe in further details anything you may need to know, or I can look into it. TIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rob

Are the fans running? :confused:

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 08:25 AM
Yes, the fan runs. Is there more than one? Its been a while since I looked, but I hear it and the HD start up, and the light on the logic borad comes on.

I have a rich text file generated from my system profiler that has system specs and Logs that I can post/attach, but I don't know how much of this info is okay to post??? Can anyone help?

Lord Blackadder
Nov 22, 2005, 09:24 AM
Assuming nobody comes up with a brighter idea....

DV Warehouse (http://www.dvwarehouse.com/categories/253_126.html) is currently selling a Dual 450 with 256MB RAM, 30GB HD and a DVD-ROM for $400 + shipping. Not super cheap, but it's a fair market price for a working G4 with a guarantee. And a logic board might cost nearly as much from a reseller.

I suggest you consider getting another similar Mac and keeping yours for spare parts. You can probably get a dual 450 or 500 cheapish on ebay as well.

And there's always the Mac Mini...

Fixing your machine might not be worth the time and money if it is indeed a motherboard failure.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 10:03 AM
Well, when I find out the problem, then I'll figure out which way I will go. I'd rather spend $100 or $200 (used parts) fixing this one than simply buying a replacement for twice that (I don't have the money). Logic boards go on eBay frequently for ~$100, and I can surf other sites for them as well if the source doesnt seem trustworthy. I just want to know what the problem is before giving up on it. Its a great computer, and its got plenty of life left in it assuming I can solve this issue.

IJ Reilly
Nov 22, 2005, 10:10 AM
Now it won't restart. Sometimes you have to wait a while after it crashes before it will start back up. If you try right away, the front light (on the power button) will light up but it only makes it to the grey apple screen. Sometimes it lights up, but stops at that. The monitor never flicks on, and you haveto hold the button to shut it down). Thats kind of what makes me wonder if its the power supply. Would it make sense if it dropped below the minimum voltage (or whatever) that it would freeze up? Or perhaps it overheats or cannot generate enough power until it rests a bit? The monitor stays on (displaying the frozen screen), but thats not running off the computer's power supply. I'm clueless...

I'll add these crashes to the log report I've already generated as soon as I get the Mac back up and I know it's safe to post. (I'm on the windows machine I built this past weekend at the moment)

Do you hear the startup chime? Can you boot into Single User Mode?

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 10:16 AM
Startup chime - Yes (When the computer starts, if it has recently frozen up recently sometimes it wont even get that far into starting up)

I am not familar with 'Single User Mode'

Thx for the replies/help. Im gonna grab my log file to post.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 10:27 AM
HERE IS MY SYS. PROFILE/LOG FILE. If you see info I should remove for security/personal reasons, please let me know ASAP Thank you again for any help! This log file covers at least 3 "freezes" that occured last night. The first of which is when I plugged in a compact flash reader, which has never crashed the computer before. the others are just random freezes. Sometimes its when I'm using the computer, but even when I am not doing anything on it it will freeze up. There were failed attempts to restart it after freezing, but I doubt those got logged becuase the system didn't start up.

yellow
Nov 22, 2005, 10:31 AM
I'm afraid you've made this far more complicated than it needs to be..

What we need is a crash. And then you restart and open the system.log from the Console.app and copy and paste the contents of the logs from the 15 minutes before and everything after (up to 15 minutes) the crash. Then paste all that into a regular text file and post that.

yenko
Nov 22, 2005, 10:32 AM
Startup chime - Yes (When the computer starts, if it has recently frozen up recently sometimes it wont even get that far into starting up)

I am not familar with 'Single User Mode'

Thx for the replies/help. Im gonna grab my log file to post.


1. Start up your computer in single-user mode to reach the command line.?Note: If necessary, perform a forced restart as described in the Emergency Troubleshooting Handbook that came with your computer. On desktop computers, you can do this by pressing the reset/interrupt button (if there is one) or holding down the power button for several seconds. On portable computers, simultaneously press the Command-Control-power keys. If your portable computer doesn't restart with this method, you may need to reset the Power Manager.
2. At the command-line prompt, type /sbin/fsck -fy
3. Press Return. fsck will go through five "phases" and then return information about your disk's use and fragmentation. Once it finishes, it'll display this message if no issue is found:
4. ** The volume (name_of_volume) appears to be OK
5. If fsck found issues and has altered, repaired, or fixed anything, it will display this message:
6. ***** FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED *****
7. Important: If this message appears, repeat the fsck command you typed in step 2 until fsck tells you that your volume appears to be OK (first-pass repairs may uncover additional issues, so this is a normal thing to do).
8. When fsck reports that your volume is OK, type reboot at the prompt and then press Return.

Also: What memory sticks are you using in this machine. Can you give us the specs? :confused:

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 10:36 AM
I do not have a user manual/handbook, etc with this computer. I am not the original owner, I bought it 3 years ago or so used. I've done the fsck thing before, but that was quite some time ago when I first started trying to figure out this problem. I'll do it again this evening. Theres no chance of hurting my my files that are kept in a separate partition is there?

I can get details on the ram. I have like 4 different sticks of RAM, I have tried using different ones to be certain it wasn't an issue with them, but alas I have no clue. I'll found out more this evening when I can look at them and post up what I find. Thx

yellow
Nov 22, 2005, 10:38 AM
So.. the flash reader complains about the lack of power to power the device.

Nov 21 18:45:49 localhost kernel: USB Notification: The device "ImageMate CF Reader/Writer" cannot operate because there is not enough power available
Nov 21 18:45:49 localhost kernel: USB Low Power Notice: The device "ImageMate CF Reader/Writer" cannot be used because there is not enough power to configure it
Nov 21 18:45:49 localhost kernel: USBF: 1165. 79 AppleUSBComposite[0x1005200](ImageMate CF Reader/Writer) SetConfiguration (1) returned 0xe000405d
Nov 21 18:46:12 localhost kernel: USBF: 1187. 96 AppleUSBHubPort: Error 0xe00002ed: getting port status (5)

Your second crash has to do with USB devices as well..

Nov 21 18:47:37 localhost kernel: USBF: 50.228 +AppleUSBOHCI[0x1054800]::ReturnOneTransaction(0x6f490a0, 0x1066edc, e0004051)
Nov 21 18:47:37 localhost kernel: USBF: 50.229 IOUSBDevice[0x1076400]: Error (0xe0004051) getting device device descriptor
Nov 21 18:47:43 localhost kernel: USBF: 56.228 +AppleUSBOHCI[0x1054800]::ReturnOneTransaction(0x6f49034, 0x1066edc, e0004051)
Nov 21 18:47:43 localhost kernel: USBF: 56.229 IOUSBDevice[0x1076400]: Error (0xe0004051) getting device device descriptor
Nov 21 18:47:50 localhost kernel: USBF: 63.228 +AppleUSBOHCI[0x1054800]::ReturnOneTransaction(0x6f48fc8, 0x1066edc, e0004051)
Nov 21 18:47:50 localhost kernel: USBF: 63.230 IOUSBDevice[0x1076400]: Error (0xe0004051) getting device device descriptor
Nov 21 18:47:56 localhost kernel: USBF: 69.228 +AppleUSBOHCI[0x1054800]::ReturnOneTransaction(0x6f48f5c, 0x1066edc, e0004051)
Nov 21 18:47:56 localhost kernel: USBF: 69.230 IOUSBDevice[0x1076400]: Error (0xe0004051) getting device device descriptor

Personally, I'd be wondering what on your USB bus is causing that. Unplug ANYTHING that isn't vital. E.G., leave only the keyboard and mouse. If possible, borrow from someone else and swap them out, just to make sure they aren't part of the issue. If it's still crqashing with stuff like this in the system log, well it could be your USB port(s) on your Mac are flaky. Which is OK, you can get a 3rd party USB PCI card for cheap and use that instead.

Jigglelicious
Nov 22, 2005, 10:40 AM
Sounds to me like your CPU might be overheating. Thats one of the classic signs of a computer freezing up. You might also have a dying hard drive, although that might cause things to freeze up temporarily, not permanently. Try the following:

Open up your case and check the CPU heatsink. Is it covered with dust? Try cleaning it. Is the CPU fan working? It might have gotten clogged with dust and slowed down over the years.

One of the simplest ways to check if its your CPU is to run a processor intensive task and see if that causes the computer to lock up faster. Try ripping a CD into iTunes, converting a DVD into a divx, or some other CPU intensive task. Something I always use is Chess - I set the computer to go against itself, and I set the difficulty to the hardest skill level. This usually heats things up quickly. If the computer locks up right away during these intensive tasks, then you can be pretty sure that something is overheating.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 10:46 AM
Okay, here is a txt file with just the crash log. You requested 15 mins BEFORE and 15 minutes AFTER the freeze up. Fact is, I dont know where to start/end, becuase this log is less than an hour and covers at least 3 or 4 freezes. I hope this is more help than the previous files?

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 10:48 AM
So.. the flash reader complains about the lack of power to power the device.

Nov 21 18:45:49 localhost kernel: USB Notification: The device "ImageMate CF Reader/Writer" cannot operate because there is not enough power available
Nov 21 18:45:49 localhost kernel: USB Low Power Notice: The device "ImageMate CF Reader/Writer" cannot be used because there is not enough power to configure it
Nov 21 18:45:49 localhost kernel: USBF: 1165. 79 AppleUSBComposite[0x1005200](ImageMate CF Reader/Writer) SetConfiguration (1) returned 0xe000405d
Nov 21 18:46:12 localhost kernel: USBF: 1187. 96 AppleUSBHubPort: Error 0xe00002ed: getting port status (5)

Your second crash has to do with USB devices as well..

Nov 21 18:47:37 localhost kernel: USBF: 50.228 +AppleUSBOHCI[0x1054800]::ReturnOneTransaction(0x6f490a0, 0x1066edc, e0004051)
Nov 21 18:47:37 localhost kernel: USBF: 50.229 IOUSBDevice[0x1076400]: Error (0xe0004051) getting device device descriptor
Nov 21 18:47:43 localhost kernel: USBF: 56.228 +AppleUSBOHCI[0x1054800]::ReturnOneTransaction(0x6f49034, 0x1066edc, e0004051)
Nov 21 18:47:43 localhost kernel: USBF: 56.229 IOUSBDevice[0x1076400]: Error (0xe0004051) getting device device descriptor
Nov 21 18:47:50 localhost kernel: USBF: 63.228 +AppleUSBOHCI[0x1054800]::ReturnOneTransaction(0x6f48fc8, 0x1066edc, e0004051)
Nov 21 18:47:50 localhost kernel: USBF: 63.230 IOUSBDevice[0x1076400]: Error (0xe0004051) getting device device descriptor
Nov 21 18:47:56 localhost kernel: USBF: 69.228 +AppleUSBOHCI[0x1054800]::ReturnOneTransaction(0x6f48f5c, 0x1066edc, e0004051)
Nov 21 18:47:56 localhost kernel: USBF: 69.230 IOUSBDevice[0x1076400]: Error (0xe0004051) getting device device descriptor

Personally, I'd be wondering what on your USB bus is causing that. Unplug ANYTHING that isn't vital. E.G., leave only the keyboard and mouse. If possible, borrow from someone else and swap them out, just to make sure they aren't part of the issue. If it's still crqashing with stuff like this in the system log, well it could be your USB port(s) on your Mac are flaky. Which is OK, you can get a 3rd party USB PCI card for cheap and use that instead.

Thanks. I notivced it crashed the first time when I plugged in the USB card reader. I have ran the computer with just a mouse + keyboard, and even went as far as to steal the keyboard from the wife's iMac. It would still freeze up.

Whe you see the low power warning, that was when i plugged the card reader into the keyboard I then plugged it into the back of the computer and it froze. BUT, I usually dont have the card reader plugged in. In fact, it was removed after that freeze, so the next 3 are all without that USB device connected.

yellow
Nov 22, 2005, 10:50 AM
The 1st 2 crashes look like USB. The last crash.. there's absolutely nothing in the logs that indicates a problem. As you can see, there's 30+ minutes of nothing and then the computer is restarted.

Nov 21 18:52:00 localhost xinetd[315]: Started working: 2 available services
Nov 21 18:52:01 localhost SystemStarter: Startup complete.
Nov 21 19:28:30 localhost syslogd: restart
Nov 21 19:28:35 localhost syslogd: kernel boot file is /mach_kernel

yellow
Nov 22, 2005, 10:50 AM
You're not getting any kernel panics, are you?

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 10:55 AM
Sounds to me like your CPU might be overheating. Thats one of the classic signs of a computer freezing up. You might also have a dying hard drive, although that might cause things to freeze up temporarily, not permanently. Try the following:

Open up your case and check the CPU heatsink. Is it covered with dust? Try cleaning it. Is the CPU fan working? It might have gotten clogged with dust and slowed down over the years.

One of the simplest ways to check if its your CPU is to run a processor intensive task and see if that causes the computer to lock up faster. Try ripping a CD into iTunes, converting a DVD into a divx, or some other CPU intensive task. Something I always use is Chess - I set the computer to go against itself, and I set the difficulty to the hardest skill level. This usually heats things up quickly. If the computer locks up right away during these intensive tasks, then you can be pretty sure that something is overheating.


I have strong doubts that it's the hard drive, as I have tried 2 different hard drives with no change in the crashes. As far as processor overheating, thats certainly a possibility. Might explain why after it crashes somtetimes I have to wait a while before it will start back up. I have tried running the computer with the case open, and a big house fan blowing across it. I know, its ghetto, but it eventualy still locked up. Is ther any way to check the operating temp on this Mac like you can on a windows machine?

I don't know that processor-intensive actions increase or decrease the liklihood of a crash. It still locks up if you leave it sitting alone, I don't notice it locking up any sooner or later depending on usage.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 10:57 AM
The 1st 2 crashes look like USB. The last crash.. there's absolutely nothing in the logs that indicates a problem. As you can see, there's 30+ minutes of nothing and then the computer is restarted.

Nov 21 18:52:00 localhost xinetd[315]: Started working: 2 available services
Nov 21 18:52:01 localhost SystemStarter: Startup complete.
Nov 21 19:28:30 localhost syslogd: restart
Nov 21 19:28:35 localhost syslogd: kernel boot file is /mach_kernel


Yes. The first crash DID happen after a usb device was plugged in. It was then removed. The 30 minutes of inactivity is an example of leaving it sit there unused, and it still locks up. That way, I didn't add a bunch of stuff into the log file while still having teh computer lock up. I just used my windows machine while I was waiting for it to freeze :P

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 10:59 AM
BTW, I am very happy (and impressed) with the help I have/am receiving on this site. You guys rule, and will hopefully prove to be lifesavers for this Mac.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 10:59 AM
oops, double-post

yellow
Nov 22, 2005, 11:04 AM
Which is not a good thing.. if it was something software related, you'd miost likely see a splat in the log before it went south. As it is, there's nothing there, and you're seeing a freeze. (No kernel panic, right?)

So, I put forth that it's a hardware failure of some sort. Which makes it MUCH harder to troubleshoot via a forum. My first suggestions would be to pull all but the original RAM and see if it still freezes. Then slowly start adding RAM back until you (hopefully) find the culprit.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 11:04 AM
A few more abnormal things I have noticed in the past year's worth of dealing with this problem. Once in a while when it locks it makes an odd noise, or sound skips, if the audio is being used while it freezes.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 11:06 AM
Which is not a good thing.. if it was something software related, you'd miost likely see a splat in the log before it went south. As it is, there's nothing there, and you're seeing a freeze. (No kernel panic, right?)

So, I put forth that it's a hardware failure of some sort. Which makes it MUCH harder to troubleshoot via a forum. My first suggestions would be to pull all but the original RAM and see if it still freezes. Then slowly start adding RAM back until you (hopefully) find the culprit.

Not sure what kernel panic is, but theres no visible error. Just frozen and requires me to hold the button on the front for 5 secs. And like you mentioned, it doesnt seem to log anything when it goes down...just STOPS and then starts logging upon restart.

I don't know what the original RAM is, if I even have it. I bought the computer used and it seemed to have upgraded RAM. I'm not sure if there are two macthing (brand-wise) sticks. I have 3 or 4 sticks total, tho 2 have been removed during troubleshooting. Is there a particular brand these G4's typically shipped w/?

yenko
Nov 22, 2005, 11:09 AM
Thanks. I notivced it crashed the first time when I plugged in the USB card reader. I have ran the computer with just a mouse + keyboard, and even went as far as to steal the keyboard from the wife's iMac. It would still freeze up.

Whe you see the low power warning, that was when i plugged the card reader into the keyboard I then plugged it into the back of the computer and it froze. BUT, I usually dont have the card reader plugged in. In fact, it was removed after that freeze, so the next 3 are all without that USB device connected.
Not a good idea to connect any device to the keyboard USB port, except the mouse. Connect it at the computer. With the keyboard and mouse connected together, you're at max with the bus power of that USB port. I would suggest using a powered hub for any other connections; i.e., printer, card reader, camera, etc. It also tells me that the card reader may be defective, or the cable may be bad.
Your RAM should be a CL2, PC100. I think you have a CL322, which may cause problems for you. If you use a PC133, you may get away with a CL3; though, in my experience, that has caused problems. Others may have had different experiences, but I can only relate to what I have encountered.

You may also want to check you CPU heat sink to make sure it's seated properly and mounted correctly to the processor, including the thermal grease between the CPU and the heat sink. Not sure of your skills when it comes to playing with hardware components, but I would advise caution in that area.:o

yenko
Nov 22, 2005, 11:13 AM
A few more abnormal things I have noticed in the past year's worth of dealing with this problem. Once in a while when it locks it makes an odd noise, or sound skips, if the audio is being used while it freezes.
A sure sign of overheating. :o

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 11:14 AM
Not a good idea to connect any device to the keyboard USB port, except the mouse. Connect it at the computer. With the keyboard and mouse connected together, you're at max with the bus power of that USB port. I would suggest using a powered hub for any other connections; i.e., printer, card reader, camera, etc. It also tells me that the card reader may be defective, or the cable may be bad.
Your RAM should be a CL2, PC100. I think you have a CL322, which may cause problems for you. If you use a PC133, you may get away with a CL3; though, in my experience, that has caused problems. Others may have had different experiences, but I can only relate to what I have encountered.

You may also want to check you CPU heat sink to make sure it's seated properly and mounted correctly to the processor, including the thermal grease between the CPU and the heat sink. Not sure of your skills when it comes to playing with hardware components, but I would advise caution in that area.:o

Well, I just built a windows machine. I'm comfortable with checking it. I actually already had checked to make sure it was still seatd properly, but i did not check for the thermal grease. I have one of those silly anti-static wristbands for when Im playing inside the box. lol. I'll post the #'s from allmy RAM sticks this evening, and perhaps someone can tell me which one or two to throw back in to test.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 11:16 AM
A sure sign of overheating. :o

So, how can I check if its overheating? What are the posible solutions if so? If I find that it IS overheating, could there be permanent damage to any of the hardware components? As I mentioned way earlier, it DOES seem to work a bit better when its cooler in my house. Sometimes in the summer (no A/C) it didnt seem to work hardly at all. I thought it may be humidity related which is why I got a big dehumidifier. But, its been 60° in my house right now and it still locks up.

yellow
Nov 22, 2005, 11:16 AM
Definition of a Kernel Panic (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106227).

Look familiar?



As for the RAM, just choose a single stick then and start swapping them in and out to try and see if you can find a bogus culprit. Yes, it's a pain in the ass, but it's free for the moment.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 11:22 AM
Any experience with either of these?
http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/12381

http://www.bresink.de/osx/HardwareMonitor.html

Im not sure if my computer is too old to have the temp sensors it mentions, gotta do a little more reading. Also< i ran across this thread: http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum49/744.htm

Any relevance you think?

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 11:24 AM
Definition of a Kernel Panic (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106227).

Look familiar?


YES! I havent seen it in a while. I use to see it ALL the time on this same machine. Nice to know what the heck it's called now! From the link you supplied I just read this:

A kernel panic in Mac OS X 10.3 or later

Mac OS X 10.2 introduces automatic kernel panic logging, so you may not see any visual indication of a kernel panic. You can check the kernel panic log any time that you must force restart your computer, using either the power button, interrupt button, or the Control-Command-power key combination. The kernel panic text is added to the log the next time you restart the computer, assuming that you have not reset PRAM at the same time (the kernel panic text is stored in PRAM until you restart). The file is named "panic.log", and it is located on your startup disk at:

/Library/Logs/



So...I will check that log tonite (unless its the same log that the system profiler pulled and I posted earlier)

yenko
Nov 22, 2005, 11:33 AM
So, how can I check if its overheating?
Put your finger on the CPU heat sink. If you can't hold it there more than a few seconds, that's running too hot.
What are the posible solutions if so?
Remove the heat sink. Clean the contact area of both the CPU and the heat sink itself and apply a tiny amount of thermal grease to the CPU. Re-install the heat sink on to the CPU and fasten it with the clips.
If I find that it IS overheating, could there be permanent damage to any of the hardware components?
Very possible considering the time that it's been happening.
As I mentioned way earlier, it DOES seem to work a bit better when its cooler in my house. Sometimes in the summer (no A/C) it didnt seem to work hardly at all. I thought it may be humidity related which is why I got a big dehumidifier. But, its been 60 in my house right now and it still locks up.
Check to physically see that the power supply fan is actually running. If there is another fan inside the case, make sure it's also running. Don't just listen for the noise; verify it by looking.

Check the RAM by touching it too see if it's hot. It should be fairly warm, but not hot. Hot is bad RAM. Remove it.
I would first verify all the sticks to make sure they're correct before inserting them into the machine. (PC100, CL2) ;)

yellow
Nov 22, 2005, 11:34 AM
I've used TempMonitor, but I don't think there are temp sensors in your Mac. It won't hurt to try though..

IJ Reilly
Nov 22, 2005, 11:48 AM
I imagine you're being overwhelmed with suggestions at the moment, but just to clarify my original diagnosis, I don't suspect that you are "overheating" because there's no reason to think that your Mac is generating any more heat than normal. But what is happening might be heat-related just the same. Repeated heat-cooling cycles inside the machine produces small subtle swell-shrink effects. Even under normal operating conditions, this can cause chips to wiggle out of their seats and weak traces on the board to become open or short. This could be happening in your case. Hard to say for certain, but the symptoms you report do suggest it.

Based on your crash logs, USB also seems to be implicated. Poor USB connections can cause crashes. I've seen it myself. The easiest way to diagnose this as a cause is to disconnect all of your USB devices (including keyboard and mouse), start up the Mac and let it run that way.

Also, if you've had to hard-reboot the Mac, you've almost certainly done damage to the HD directory, which does not heal on its own, and only complicates your problems. You should reboot in Single User Mode after each incident and repair it. Hold down the "S" key on reboot until you see the white characters on a black screen. At the prompt, type:

fsck -f [including the space, then return]

When the disk and repairs (if any) are completed, at the prompt type:

reboot [return]

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 12:46 PM
I imagine you're being overwhelmed with suggestions at the moment,...

A little bit, but I would much rather have more information/guidance than too little!

I am more excited at how helpful you all are. Gives me renewed hope that this problem can be figured out. I can't recall the last time I posted several questions and had some (let alone ALL) of them answered. Thx guys.

So, heres what I will try, feel free to give me additional suggestions or ideas:

(1)Start computer holding 'S' and run fsck.
(2)If still freezing, replace RAM (Probably use a single stick for now, try to find one of the types aforementioned.) Being a dual processor, is it necessary in this model to run matched RAM? If so, which slots are paired?
(3)Run computer without any USB devices. This part I have a question about: How do I know if it locks up if I can't use a mouse or keyboard? I also would have to turn off preferences for screensavers and sleep. Perhaps leave it on a moving screensaver and see if that stops/freezes?
(4)See if temperature monitor can find/use any possible temp sensors my computer *may* have. Refer to "hand-sensing" temp if not. How important is the thermo grease? Would that actually cause this?!?
(5)If still crashing, stab computer repeatedly and blame a higher power. (JOKING)

yellow
Nov 22, 2005, 12:50 PM
Oh.. you have it set to sleep? Then it's not likely to be heat related if it's falling asleep.

I'd make sure that all sleep functions are disabled for the moment and then see if it crashes.

And no, the RAM doesn't have to be paired.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 12:58 PM
Oh.. you have it set to sleep? Then it's not likely to be heat related if it's falling asleep.

I'd make sure that all sleep functions are disabled for the moment and then see if it crashes.

And no, the RAM doesn't have to be paired.

It doesnt go to sleep right away. Usually it freezes up while I'm using it. I never leave it sitting unattended, I start it up while I use it, then shut it down (though RARELY does it stay running long enough to actually "finish" using it without freezing up first). It went into sleep yesterday, but I awoke it so I would know when it froze up. Maybe I SHOULD put it on a moving screensaver and be certain it still crashes while in sleep. Or is a screensaver not the same as sleeping? I know that a lot of times when I leave it for a bit and I come back it is frozen. Man...theres a lot of variables involved. At least I have lots of things to try now. I ran out of the stuff I already thought of.

yellow
Nov 22, 2005, 01:11 PM
Sleep and screensaver are not the same thing..

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 01:19 PM
In that case, I can't be sure it is locking up when its in "sleep". I was thinking about when it shuts the monitor down (or plays a screensaver).

yellow
Nov 22, 2005, 01:21 PM
I would disable all the 'powersaving modes' for the moment, as a troubleshooting step. Screensaver is OK to leave as is.. and one that is moving would definitely help with identifying if it's frozen or not. And then continue as normal.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 01:46 PM
Okay, I will do that. Know what I am going to do? - record everything I do as a user from now on during this troubleshooting; What settings I change, what I try, when it freezes, etc. Might be helpful.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 07:33 PM
This should prove to be an interesting log. I will post it when I have something "conclusive". Most likely in the morning, from work. Thx for reading.

rt30000
Nov 22, 2005, 07:43 PM
Well...here is tonite's activity. ANy clues?

yenko
Nov 22, 2005, 08:48 PM
Well...here is tonite's activity. ANy clues?
Turn off the screen saver and run it that way for a while. Some machines take a few moments to wake up when they go to sleep so no need to get anxious. :p

Removing the SCSI card is a good idea, BTW.

Try adding another stick of RAM into it. Make sure the specs match. ;)

If you tap the space bar or click on the mouse, does the monitor light go green?

IJ Reilly
Nov 23, 2005, 12:04 AM
(3)Run computer without any USB devices. This part I have a question about: How do I know if it locks up if I can't use a mouse or keyboard? I also would have to turn off preferences for screensavers and sleep. Perhaps leave it on a moving screensaver and see if that stops/freezes?

Watch the clock on the menu bar. You could also start up something like the Activity Monitor application, and then unplug the mouse.

rt30000
Nov 23, 2005, 06:30 AM
Turn off the screen saver and run it that way for a while. Some machines take a few moments to wake up when they go to sleep so no need to get anxious. :p
I had the USB devices (keyboard + mouse) disconnected, so how will I know when it locks up?

Try adding another stick of RAM into it. Make sure the specs match. ;)
I only have two brands/#'s that match. That was what I was running earlier. Then, before starting last evening's testing I replcaed it with a single stick of 256MB SD PC133 8IC

The sticks of RAM I have at my disposal:
256MB SD PC133 (looks like "G.S." brand? also says 32x64 on it)
256MB ADVANTAGE SDRAM PC100-322-620
(2x) SAMSUNG PC100-322-620


If you tap the space bar or click on the mouse, does the monitor light go green?
There was no Keyboard or mouse connected, to remove the USB devices as the cause for the crashes/freezes.

rt30000
Nov 23, 2005, 08:39 AM
Watch the clock on the menu bar. You could also start up something like the Activity Monitor application, and then unplug the mouse.
K, hadn't thought of change the clock to display seconds and watching that. I also started activity monitor, then removed usb devices again. Thanks.

BTW, I am home at the moment becuase I SMASHED INTO A DEER this morning. Haven't got a way into work yet for a while. What an interesting morning. I feel bad for the deer :( Car is broke now also. Dont worry, I dont need help troubleshooting THAT~!

IJ Reilly
Nov 23, 2005, 10:17 AM
K, hadn't thought of change the clock to display seconds and watching that. I also started activity monitor, then removed usb devices again. Thanks.

BTW, I am home at the moment becuase I SMASHED INTO A DEER this morning. Haven't got a way into work yet for a while. What an interesting morning. I feel bad for the deer :( Car is broke now also. Dont worry, I dont need help troubleshooting THAT~!

First, you extract the antlers from the grill...

:)

rt30000
Nov 23, 2005, 10:55 AM
There was no grill left after the incident :P

I am at work now. I left the mac running at home, figuring I can check the clock when I get home to see what TIME it locked up at. That is, IF the monitor hasnt shut off. Its just a junky HP CRT monitor or something. One other thing I thought of - it ha san aftermarket/upgraded ATi card. While I have already removed this during the troubleshooting processes earlier in the year, perhaps I should take it back out and put the stocker back in. (even though I highly doubt thats the problem, as of now its apparent i am clueless)

yellow
Nov 23, 2005, 12:54 PM
Meh.. could be. Particularly if it's a flashed PC card.

rt30000
Nov 23, 2005, 06:48 PM
Updated logs with new recent events. Have a great TURKEY DAY guys!

yenko
Nov 23, 2005, 07:45 PM
Updated logs with new recent events. Have a great TURKEY DAY guys!

You're making too many changes at once which will make it difficult to narrow down the problem. :rolleyes:

My suggestion:
1. Plug in the mouse into the keyboard. Plug the keyboard into the USB jack on the computer.
2. Install one stick of PC100 RAM into the machine.
3. Re-install the Radeon 8500 card.
4. Set sleep to>Never
5. Turn off Screen Saver. Set your screen saver to activate via hot corner only.
6. Restart the computer.
7. If the machine boots OK, activate the screen saver via hot corner. See what happens then.

Keep us informed.:o

rt30000
Nov 23, 2005, 09:08 PM
Well, before doing those steps I tried starting it up as is...started up no problem, lists all the RAM and ATI Rage card, etc. After a bit, maybe 5 minutes, it froze up. The light on the mouse turns off, its like they lose power. The power button on teh front of the computer stays on as usual. Monitor is just frozen where it locked up. I'll try that other stuff mentioned above this evening. Thx.

rt30000
Nov 25, 2005, 07:34 AM
Tried the above steps, no luck. Any more suggestions? It doesnt seem like its the video card or RAM. I have an extra cable to run from the mobo to the hard drive if you think I should slap that in? Its probably a long shot, but I have it sitting here brand new unused.

Just did a Logic Board reset after removing cd-rom and internal zip from the power supply and disconnecting from ide connector on logic board. Still display same symptoms as usual, log file is up-to-date.

Thx guys. Hope you had a great Turkey Day. I hit a deer in one car on wednesday, then hit a CAR on thanksgiving with the wifes brand new subaru. What a great start to the weekend, haha. I should give up on driving. :P

The latest and greatest updated log:

rt30000
Nov 25, 2005, 09:40 AM
What are your thoughts on this:

http://www.smalldog.com/newsarchive/techtails_display.php?id=44

Relevant? The power button seems to always turn on and off the computer (when the computer is willing to start). It always lights up (though sometimes upon first pressing it it seems to struggle to light up bright) but always lights up, and the fan, hard drive, and mobo light comes on. Hold it for 5 secs and it shuts down properly as expected.

rt30000
Nov 25, 2005, 01:28 PM
Got a multimeter and tested all this stuff: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=95064

Passed everything fine. Tried again while frozen up, values/voltage remains the same. I also got a heat gun, and can tell the temp of anywhere on the computer. I just dont know what I should check, and whats abnormal.

Processor heat sinks ranges from 65deg-90deg, depending on where you check the temp (between fins, etc). RAM is ~77deg give or take.

Also - i noticed the other side of the fan (intake) has some dust covering it. certainly not enough to block much airlfow, but perhaps enough to allow the box to overheat? I doubt it...but Ill take that side off and clean it.

IJ Reilly
Nov 25, 2005, 01:49 PM
You tried running the Mac with all of the USB devices disconnected?

rt30000
Nov 25, 2005, 02:05 PM
You tried running the Mac with all of the USB devices disconnected?

Yes, actually everytime someone gives a suggestion I try it WITH, then WITHOUT usb devices (keyboard w/ mouse) attached. I also took the case apart where the intake is and cleaned it of dust. ALSO, I checked and bothe the normal fan AND teh power supply fan are working fine. And the power supply seems to be generating the appropriate voltage. Any other ideas?

IJ Reilly
Nov 25, 2005, 02:09 PM
I'm fresh out of brilliant ideas. I'm going to stick with my original thought, a bad motherboard. All the evidence points in that direction.

rt30000
Nov 25, 2005, 02:10 PM
I'm fresh out of brilliant ideas. I'm going to stick with my original thought, a bad motherboard. All the evidence points in that direction.

Unfortunately, I'm leaning towards that as well.

rt30000
Nov 25, 2005, 02:12 PM
Updated log.

IF it turns out my logic board is bad, aside from a direct replacement any idea of my upgrade options (or where I can find that info?). i don't know what compatibility issues there are, but if I could get a logicboard and processor from a faster/newer G4 (perhaps quicksilver) would it work?

yellow
Nov 25, 2005, 02:20 PM
I'm fresh out of brilliant ideas. I'm going to stick with my original thought, a bad motherboard. All the evidence points in that direction.

I've got to agree with this. Definitely hardware realated, whether it's a bad mobo or a bad processor, I'm not sure, but it's definitely beyond forum help at this point. IMO.

rt30000
Nov 25, 2005, 02:30 PM
I've got to agree with this. Definitely hardware realated, whether it's a bad mobo or a bad processor, I'm not sure, but it's definitely beyond forum help at this point. IMO.

Know if there are any ways to determine between a bad processor vs logic board? I dont even know if something like is possible.

Okay, well I appreciate ALL the help you guys have given. At least I know I've done everything I'm capable of doing to this point. As far as buying a replacement mobo...any ideas on where to start? I see them on eBay all the time, but not sure which ones are compatible. Is a single 867mhz or faster better than my dual 450? I would like to make this beast last as long as possible, the faster (within cost-effective reason) the better.

rt30000
Nov 25, 2005, 02:32 PM
Is this one compatible? (http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-Powermac-G4-Gigabit-motherboard-logic-board_W0QQitemZ8727618788QQcategoryZ25439QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

yenko
Nov 25, 2005, 02:48 PM
One last thing you could try before you take the logic board plunge:

Try powering up the unit like you normally do and open the case. Trace the lead that comes from the power switch to the logic board and disconnect it from the board.
Let me know what happens.:o

yellow
Nov 25, 2005, 02:50 PM
Once I get to where I suspect (or know) the mobo/processor is at fault/issue.. it's off to the Certified Apple Repair Center. They have the tools (software testers and whatnot) that can usually ferret out the culprit.

rt30000
Nov 26, 2005, 11:19 AM
GUESS WHAT???

So, on a whim I decided to remove the processor heat sink, and run the computer with the case open and a house fan blowing directly across the chips. Its been running for almost two hours now without freezing up. :eek: Not sure if its the problem, but it hasn't locked up YET... If so, I'll buy some thermo-grease and reinstall the heat sink. It still has some on it, but there are a few bare spots. That would be amazing if that was the problem (overheating chips) and the fix was as simple as thermo grease. I'll cross my fingers. I'm gonna let her run till she pukes. If it doesn't, then despite wrecking two cars and breaking my cell phone this will be a good weekend! lol.

rt30000
Nov 26, 2005, 12:00 PM
2.5 hrs, still workin' like a champ. :eek:

yenko
Nov 26, 2005, 12:14 PM
2.5 hrs, still workin' like a champ. :eek:

......as mentioned in#42 of this post. :p

yenko
Nov 26, 2005, 12:17 PM
GUESS WHAT???

So, on a whim I decided to remove the processor heat sink, and run the computer with the case open and a house fan blowing directly across the chips. Its been running for almost two hours now without freezing up. :eek: Not sure if its the problem, but it hasn't locked up YET... If so, I'll buy some thermo-grease and reinstall the heat sink. It still has some on it, but there are a few bare spots. That would be amazing if that was the problem (overheating chips) and the fix was as simple as thermo grease. I'll cross my fingers. I'm gonna let her run till she pukes. If it doesn't, then despite wrecking two cars and breaking my cell phone this will be a good weekend! lol.

Make sure you clean off all the old residue of grease with a soft toothbrush and reapply a very thin film of non-conductive thermal grease to it. ;)

Without the heat sink on there, I don't recommend you "run till she pukes" or she will and you'll pay for a new CPU!!

rt30000
Nov 26, 2005, 12:27 PM
......as mentioned in#42 of this post. :p

Precisely as mentioned in that post... :)

Becuase the existing thermo stuff was still there and seemed to be okay I didn't try turning the computer on without the heat sink on. Is "thermo grease" something I can get locally? Is ther any particular type, or is it all the same? Thank you thank you thank you. I turned the computer off at 1:26pm. It had been running for 2hr 55 mins without freezing.

yenko
Nov 26, 2005, 12:37 PM
Precisely as mentioned in that post... :)

Becuase the existing thermo stuff was still there and seemed to be okay I didn't try turning the computer on without the heat sink on. Is "thermo grease" something I can get locally? Is ther any particular type, or is it all the same? Thank you thank you thank you. I turned the computer off at 1:26pm. It had been running for 2hr 55 mins without freezing.

The easiest is probably Radio Shack. Check the label to make sure, or try a local electronic parts store. :cool: