Beachballs, freezes and other fun stuff...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pmac, May 30, 2006.

  1. pmac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Location:
    NZ
    #1
    Hi all,
    Just wondering if I could get some ideas what my problem may be. My powerbook G4 (1.33, OSx10.4.6) has gone downhill rapidly today. Started off with plenty of beach balls and kernel panics doing normal type work with photoshop, texshop, and omnigraffle and has progressed this evening to barely being able to launch the finder.

    I am a bit afraid my harddisk is on the way out so am frantically trying to backup to my iMac over a network cable. Was gonna run hardware diagnostics from my startup dvd but just to add a bit of spice the combodrive on my powerbook gave up the ghost a few months ago. Am trying to overcome this by making a bootable dvd image on my ipod (will probably come in handy when I have to try to reinstall which I presume may be my next option!). Am currently running memtest to check on ram and suspiciously this is only requesting 529Mb memory (I have 1Gb) but I'm not exactly sure how memtest works and can't get too much from the website. Also making me think it may be the ram is that it seems to be alright when I first boot up then deteriorates, and quitting programs leaves them often not responding. With my VERY limited knowledge of how the bits work inside seems it may be ram filling up/not clearing......?

    Any suggestions of what I should be trying next? I'm currently writing my PhD thesis so if my powerbooks out of action I may be forced to stay home from varsity and work on my Imac, which isn't so bad but its nice to have the option of a change of scene!

    (Apologies for the long post)
     
  2. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bookshop!
    #2
    CanadaRAM may be able to correct me, but from what i understand, a major cause of kernel panics is bad RAM. It sounds like one of your RAM modules is gone/going.
    A computer as recent as that probably shouldn't have a dying HDD. my 667MHz Powerbook is still on its original HDD and i've given it a bit of a workout.
    Have a look in the Apple System Profiler to see how much RAM the system thinks there is.
    If you can't even open up the Finder, take one stick out, try again, if its still bad, swap them.
     
  3. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #3
    Have you tried the usual items:

    Repair Permissions: Finder>Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility>Select Drive>Repair Permissions.

    Reset the PRAM: Shut down computer>Restart and hold down CNMD-OPT-P-R during startup until second POST chime is heard, then release.

    Run CRON scripts: Finder>Applications>Utilities>Terminal>Open Terminal>Type in "sudo periodic daily weekly monthly" (sans quotes) and quit when finished.

    Reset the Firmware: Shut down the computer, and on restart, hold down CMD-OPT-O-F and type in "reset NVRAM" and then "reset-all" (sans quotes) when prompt line appears.

    Make sure you have a backup.
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #4
    These symptoms sound like bad RAM. I endorse the advice already provided of removing as much RAM as you can and running the PowerBook that way for awhile. Running memtest is also good. After so many forced reboots, I would also strongly recommend running fsck from single user mode -- you probably have some hard drive directory damage, and this can complicate matters for you. But by all means, please, do not reinstall OSX. This will only cause you more grief, and has almost no prospect of fixing any problem you are likely to have.
     
  5. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #5

    The todhiba drive (80gb 5400) in my 1.33Ghz pbook went after 18 months.

    The signs so far point to memory probs though.
     
  6. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    #6
    fsck might be a bad idea if it really is the RAM that is bad, but it doesn't show up in the memory test (which is possible).

    One idea, remove the RAM and lightly rub the contacts with a normal pink pencil eraser. Then put the RAM back in their slots. Sometimes the contacts can get corroded and aren't making contact properly. It's an easy and safe thing to try.
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #7
    How do you figure? Single User Mode demands very little RAM, and I've never heard of anyone having a problem with fsck.
     
  8. pmac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Location:
    NZ
    #8
    Following up

    By way of something of a follow up, memtest failed to show up problems and "about this mac" still realises that I have 1Gb of ram.

    I had already repaired permissions but following the rest of iGary's instructions definitely seems to have improved things, have just tried to recreate my problems by opening up plenty of apps this morning and haven't seen the beach ball once yet. Will persevere and see if it deteriorates before I worry about anything else like removing ram modules.

    Thanks all for your helpful advice and especially iGary for filling me in on normal procedure. Hopefully the simple-fix has done the trick........
    touch wood
     

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