G4 Sawtooth won't boot

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by riciad, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. riciad macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #1
    Here's what I'm having a problem with:
    G4 Sawtooth
    Encore ST G4 1.4 GHz processor upgrade
    Sonnet Tempo Trio PCI Adapter Combo ATA 133
    with Maxtor 200Gb 7200
    1 Gb memory

    OS 10.3.9 is installed on the Maxtor drive
    OS 9.2.2 on a drive that came with the G4 originally.

    I upgraded this machine about a year ago for my son. Also installed new graphics card, wireless card and dual layer DVD-RW. Absolutely no problem with the upgrades and it's been working great since. Until today.

    Now on booting up, the chime sounds, the apple appears, the gear wheel goes around but then a circle with a diagonal bar across it appears and the gear wheel keeps going around but nothing else happens.

    I reset PRAM, and pushed the button, still no go.

    Won't start from safe mode either. Also tried booting from external firewire back-up. When I got to the choose boot screen only the internal drive with 10.3.9 and the external firewire drive with 10.3.9 showed up. The drive with OS9 on didn't show.

    Could the problem possibly be that the drive with OS9 on has failed? The sonnet CPU upgrade requires the last version of 9 to be present, if I remember correctly.

    If this is the problem should I be able to sort it out by getting hold of a 9.2.2 system CD, booting from that and installing 9 on the Maxtor? I don't have one as the Mac originally came with 9.0 (and God knows where they are now) and I upgraded by downloads.

    I hope somebody manages to read this far!
     
  2. moooosedude macrumors member

    moooosedude

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2004
    #2
    with my g4 sawtooth, after installing the processor upgrade, a few weeks later, i had the same problem...i would get the loading screen for osx, but then a black rectangle would cover the apple and spinny thing.

    for me, the processor just was a little loose in the conector....just a little push , and the next time i booted it, it has worked ever since.

    hope this could help, and good luck!
     
  3. macomposer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    #3
    Have you checked the logic board battery? I have a Sawtooth that freaked out a few weeks ago, and after trying everything else I popped out the battery and replaced it (about $15 at Radio Shack). Everything is fine now.

    Take the battery with you to Radio Shack: they carry one that looks *exactly* like it (assuming yours is the same as mine, like the purple one on the page linked by the URL below). My wife found it faster by just shuffling through the racks than the RS supergenius did trying to look it up.

    http://www.academ.com/info/macintosh

    Good luck!
     
  4. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #4
    moooosedude,
    I'm pretty sure the processor card is seated OK and I don't get get any black rectangle. I gave it an extra push just to be sure but no good.

    macomposer.
    I'll try that when I can get hold of a new battery but there's no Radio shacks around here. The last time I replaced it I had to order it from the UK.

    Thank you both for helping.
     
  5. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Have you tried running disc utility on the OS9 drive? You might also try downloading a SMART reader from Sourceforge and running that on the OS9 drive (if it has SMART, which it probably does)...
     
  6. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #6
    Problem is I don't have OS9 Boot CD and while OS10 boot disk and TechTools disk show up on boot chooser screen, the same thing happens as when trying to boot from OS10 on drives.
     
  7. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Hmm. Well, you can try booting from an OS9 boot disc (if you can't find one, you can probably find a disc image you can burn online, but it's illegal to download [my advice would be try to find one, if you can't find a physical one then download one, try it out, and destroy it once you fix the machine]). OSX does use virtual memory automatically, but I doubt boot discs do, so it's unlikely that that is part of the problem (especially with a gig of RAM). If you still have the original processor, try dropping that back in and see if that makes a difference?
     
  8. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #8
    I'm going to see if I can find an OS9 boot disc but I doubt if I'll be lucky around here; Macs were few and far between until a few years ago. I might get a friend who has broadband to have a look on-line. It would take forever on dial-up.
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.
     
  9. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    Hey, no problem. I'm a late G3/early G4 guy, love to help others keeping them in commission. ;)

    You can create an OS9 boot disc if you have a working OS9 bootable Mac and a version of OSX that includes a bootable version of classic. They say that you can't create OS9 hds or partitions with it, but you can. I'll dig up instructions on how to do it if you need (I think I've posted them here before, actually)...
     
  10. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #10
    I feel the same as you when it comes to old Macs. When I got my iMac G5, I couldn't bring myself to sell the sawtooth. Had to keep it in the family.
     
  11. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    I skipped G5 entirely, and will probably skip the first gen intel as well. I like modding my box, it's more fun and I love when people use it that have newer machines and don't notice a difference...00
     
  12. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #12
    Can understand that. My son does wedding and amateur sports videos as a sideline and the upgraded G4 does a great job of editing them. A lot better than a much newer Dell we had the misfortune of owning for a while.
    My problem is that I fall in love with every new model that comes out so I scrimp and save and manage to afford a new one every 4 or 5 years.
     
  13. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #13
    Heh, I can understand that. But the G5 did nothing for me; sure, I drool a bit at the new quad, who wouldn't? (perhaps someone who had a life) But in general, not more impressive looking, and the 64-bit hype never appealed to me (and appears to be totally abandoned by Apple without ever really utilizing it). Though if I did video editing I'd consider it, as the G4s even with upgrade aren't the fastest (though my video editing became error free after upgrading from the 400mHz stock processor).

    Oh, btw, I just posted this in the other Sawtooth thread, but while working on your son's comp, read through this site:

    http://www.power-mac-g4.com/

    I've found a ton of answers on that site.
     
  14. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #14
    I'll have a look at that site when I get a chance. I've had to put the G4 problem to one side for the moment as I have a deadline to meet on Friday and if I get stuck into the G4 I won't be able to stop till I have it sorted out.
     
  15. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    Just checking in on this. Let me know if you want to do some modding/upgrading to your Sawtooth, I can link you to some good articles...
     
  16. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #16
    I still haven't had a chance to get stuck in at fixing it, but I I'm 99% sure the drive with OS9 on is dead. I've ordered a 9.2.1 disk which should be arriving in a couple of days and hopefully I'll have a bit of time to tinker with it then.
     
  17. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #17
    Well, I finally got a chance to attack this G4. After removing all the upgrades and with much zapping, fscking, accompanied by its close relation, etc., etc., etc., I finally got it to boot.

    After repairing permissions, I'm now backing up the main drive. However, I still have a weird problem. The first time time I got it to boot, I inserted an OS9.2.1 install disc and got the message that it was unreadable by any Mac. Clicked ignore and and the system crashed. Booted again, same result, clicked eject this time and crashed again. Same result with 9.0.1 disc. This is when I decided to back-up before trying anything else.

    Anybody have any idea why this would be happening? There's definitely nothing wrong with the discs as they mount fine on my i-Mac. I tried them in the both the upgraded DVD burner and the G4's original CD/DVD read only drive. No joy with either.

    Any suggestions welcome!
     
  18. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #18
    The problem with the CDs sorted itself out after a reboot, OS9 installed on a borrowed HD alright, the main disk is fine and I replaced all the upgrades one at a time and everything seems to be working OK now, fingers and toes crossed.
     
  19. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #19
    Any idea what was causing the problem? This is one of the weirdest tales I've heard about a Sawtooth, I'd be interested to know what the root of it was...
     
  20. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #20
    Not really certain. Both the old drives (the orginal 40Gb from the sawtooth and a 10Gb with OS9 on it from a 9500) were dead and the back-up Firewire Maxtor drive seemed to have been corrupted.

    At first I thought it wouldn't boot because OS9 wasn't installed and the Sonnet G4 1400 required 9 to operate but on re-reading the Sonnet documentation it would seem that 9.2 is only required to perform a firmware update before first installing the processor.

    I was getting absolutely nowhere until I removed all the upgrades and returned the G4 back to its original configuration and was able to get to the command line.

    I honestly couldn't tell you exactly what I did to get it going again as I tried so many different things and it was 3 in the morning here when I finally got it to boot and having only got 4 hours sleep the night before, I was getting rather befuddled. I was very, very, very happy when the desktop appeared. As to the issue of it reporting the OS9 install discs as not readable on any Mac, I haven't got a clue. When the back-up of the main drive was finished, I rebooted and they worked fine.

    We would have been satisfied at getting the data off the ATA133 drive. (I was going to buy an external enclosure for it if I couldn't get the G4 going again as my son had 2 wedding videos nearly completed on it which he hadn't backed up. He wasn't looking forward to starting from scratch again.) Getting the G4 up and running was an added bonus.

    It's possible our erratic electricity supply might have contributed to the problems. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=179560. I have ordered 2 UPSupplies so hopefully things might run smoother from now on.
     
  21. nargot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #21
    not to sound condersending but have you verified all the ata jumper setting are correct? you can get boot issues due to incorrect jumper settings, incorrectly seated pci cards etc but you prolly already have checked that
     
  22. riciad thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #22
    As I said in the post above, I did get everything working OK again. The old hard drives were definitely done for.

    It worked fine for a couple of weeks, then odd things started happening again which seemed to be possibly logic board based.

    As a last ditch effort, I picked up a stock Sawtooth off ebay for £130 and put all the upgrades in it one at a time and everything flying now, running 10.4.5 no problems.

    Pretty sure it was our electricity supply that caused all the problems and we hopefully have that sorted out now.
     

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