Cube white screen vertical lines

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by altoidboy, Jul 12, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    #1
    I just bought a secondhand Cube (G4/500) and Apple 15" Studio Display from someone here in town. Generally I'm really excited about it!

    I removed the factory 40GB drive and put in a 160GB WD drive. (I've already read the CubeOwner.com FAQ's regarding that, and was only able to get the Cube to recognize 128MB of it. Bummer. But it's the only drive larger than 40GB I have.)

    I promptly installed Jaguar from my CD, and did Software Update all the way to 10.2.6. The Cube is running pretty well, with one exception.

    I am getting a disastrous number of white screens. Sometimes the white screens have lots of vertical lines across them, sometimes not. It always happens after a simple mouse click (not every mouse click, obviously, but randomly.) It happens across different apps, not just one. Most notorious for causing it is using either Safari or IE to access VersionTracker. That almost always does it.

    Sometimes when I get the white screen, I can still use the mouse. It doesn't look like the mouse; it looks like a square blotch. But it moves with my mouse. The computer doesn't stop working; iTunes continues to play my CD. It's just a screen thing.

    Any ideas on what could be causing this? I'm stumped and it's serious enough that I've got to do something about it!
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    Flowbee

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Alameda, CA
    #2
    Did it do this before you replaced the hard drive?
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2002
    #3
    iBooks and PowerBooks have sometimes got similar vertical stripes. Normally the problem was / is either the logic board, or some cables coming from the logic board to the screen. My guess is it could be the cables from logic board bringing the screen infos being switched or getting disturbed by something (e.g. that bigger hard drive).
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    NC
    #4
    A solution...

    I, too, have a Cube/500 running 10.2.6 (though I'm the original owner) and was having the same problem as you. It even started around the same time as your post.

    It was very difficult to distinguish whether this was a software or hardware problem as the vertical lines showed up at inconsistent times - sometimes right at the beginning of the start-up process; sometimes after I'd been working for a while just fine. They even appeared when I'd start up from my Norton CD. At that point I was convinced it was a hardware problem.

    On a whim, however, I used my Jaguar CD to reinstall 10.2 (using the Archive/Install option). Voila! No more problem. At this point I've updated to 10.2.4 with no ill effect and suspect that 10.2.5 will work fine, as well. I believe the problem is associated with 10.2.6 as it wasn't until that update that the problem appeared. (I must mention, though, that the vertical lines didn't appear _immediately_ after the 10.2.6 update. This indicates that the problem could be a combination of 10.2.6 and something else.)

    So, try a slightly older OS version and let us know what happens.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #5
    Similar problem

    I had a similar problem with a cube 450 and it was the video card. It was the original Rage pro 128 AGP card, and I swapped it for the Nvidia series that was also shipped in the Cubes.
    Though I wouldn't rule out software, I'd try swapping the video card with another AGP card to see if it is still happening.
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    NC
    #6
    Re: Similar problem

    FYI to altoidboy and AnotherMortal: I'm using the nVidia GeForce2 Mx that came with my Cube.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    #7
    (Original poster here)

    It was the video card. Guy at the Mac shop says the video card fan was acting flaky -- sometimes spinning sometimes not -- and probably way overheating the card. He replaced it with another video card and all was well.

    I suspected the video card all along. I had done two different installations of OS X and still had the problem.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #8
    Video Card

    The Rage Pro 128 AGP cards had two styles, one with fan, and one with a heat sink. When ordering a replacement part from Apple, they send you the part with a heat sink instead. Apparently the fan was a little overboard and not necessary on the video card itself. (though, I wouldn't mind going overboard in the cooling department on a Cube!)
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    LimeLite

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #9
    Well, apparently this is a problem with every video card that the Cube shipped with, because I have the same problem with the ATI Radeon. I bought the cube knowing that though, cause I had originally planned on putting in a Radeon 7000 with an s-video out. (The PC AGP with flashed ROM, I know that the mac one was only made as a PCI). But oh well. Kind of weird that all three cards had problems, but maybe it is just cause the Cube has a lot of heat going on.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    The Valley
    #10
    I work as a apple technician and i've seen 2 cubes with video card problems, different cards too.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Location:
    Central Iowa
    #11
    Cube video and cooling

    Glad to hear that you got your cube running,

    I have a 450 DVD cube, and I recently updated to the GeForce 2mx from a quicksilver, and although it has the same heat sinc as my ati rage did, it is rotated 90 degrees. it still seems to cool well, even though it looks contrary to airflow.

    At first, I didn't install a fan, and noticed the thing getting pretty warm, and I was planning a fan anyway, so I finally got, and installed a panaflo 80mm x 80mm x 15mm fan, with the lower 2000rpm (other version is 3000rpm) speed at 12 volts. the DC board has a 12v header (j3) that was meant for the fan, a standard (but somewhat difficult to find) 1.25mm female molex plug is all that is needed.

    now it runs cool as a cucumber. the 80GB Western Digital SE drive is louder than the fan, and that is saying quite a bit. Plus it is ready to get a 20" Cinema Display, and a processor upgrade to 1.2 GHz.
    for anyone wanting to upgrade their cube, or just for insurance against heat-soak in the components, the panaflo is the way to go...

    BTW: my cube is running 10.2.6 with 320 MB ram, and luckily never had video problems. (knock on wood)
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    #12
    Hey Hip2BeSquare,

    That sounds great. Is there any chance you could document (preferably with pictures, but even without is OK) exactly how you did this, for a non-tech head? I've done soldering, but I wouldn't know where to get the fan, how to mount it, or how exactly to connect it.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #13
    guys it is definitely overheating.

    The stripes you desribe are something that is pretty common in the PC world when you "try" to OC your video card. When the vid card overheats, it craps out and starts displaying artifcats in games (i.e. any kind of weird objects that don't belong there) or the stripes at desktop that you described.

    Since you aren't even OCing, you hit it on the nail that heat is the culprit. Probably the addition of just a single 80mm fan will stop the problems from forming.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    Location:
    NC
    #14
    I spoke to soon (see my first post above). I used my system - with a fanless GeForce2 MX - just fine for most of a day after "downgrading" to 10.2.4. But, by the end of the day the vertical lines had returned. As everyone has mentioned, it's got to be the video card.

    However, I did have one question after reading the following post:

    If it is overheating, why have I sometimes gotten the vertical lines upon starting first thing in the morning? Isn't it more likely that something on the card has failed rather than a heat problem?

    Thanks.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    In a world where LPs are made like pancakes
    #15
    I've got a Fanless GeForce2 MX in my Cube that came out of a tower. And it doesn't have any problems over-heating. That's also with a 120GB Seagate hard drive in there. So I doubt it could just be over-heating immediately on startup.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    Mav451

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Location:
    Maryland
    #16
    hmm yeah vertical lines on startup?? that's very bad :(

    but it's definitely the vid card...have you swapped it out with an alternative card to compare?

    I'm pretty sure b/c my Matrox g400 used to be fine until i start overclocking it. Pretty soon, i didn't even have to enter a GAME and it would fudge my desktop (vertical lines, the works).

    Consider this an opportunity to upgrade :)
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #17
    Cube are great, except for heat issues

    Though I have read of fan modifications on the top of the Cube where the vent is. Might be worth looking into if you want to get a processor upgrade/video card upgrade. Don't wanna fry your $1000 investment! :)
     
  18. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2003
    #18
    I was thinking that too (fan mods). Reading at CubeOwner.com, it seems like there are some really cheap solutions just to add a little airflow under there.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    Baltimore
    #19
    mm Cubes

    now if only I could get my hands on one! lol.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #20
    My next project for my Cube is to install a 12V Panaflo 80mm fan inside on the base (Apple left a spot available for one - it seems they thought that the Cube would be around, in one incarnation or another, and wanted to have the option of cooling faster processors...)

    I've already done the Hard Drive upgrade (Seagate Barracuda 0.7 120Gb - VERY quiet!) and the Radeon 7500 (acquired from eBay - what a difference!). So this is essential to extend the life of my little baby.

    :cool:
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    ZildjianKX

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    #21

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