HELP! Dual G4 dies mysteriously, now it won't boot

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Mike Teezie, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #1
    I was yapping on iChat with a friend and reading this very board on my PM Dual G4 about an hour ago. I went to the kitchen to grab a soda, came back, and the cursor was frozen, no programs or keystokes would respond, so I turned the computer off and tried to reboot. Now, it tunrs on, I get the white/grey APple screen withthe little spinning circle, which it does for about three-four minutes until a "no" sign replaces the apple.

    I tried to boot from my Panter disc, to no avail. It just does the same thing. It doesn't sound like the CD in the drive is even spinning.

    I'm going over to search the Apple page for answers, but its a terribly slow and painful experience trying to do it on my girlfriend's ancient PC. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
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    Yahooville S.C.
    #2
    remove anything new, peripherals,firewire drives,pci cards,new memory and try again. Have any thunderstorms recently?
     
  3. Vlade macrumors 6502a

    Vlade

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Meadville, PA
    #3
    One time my G4 froze while shutting down (I gave it like 3 mins and it was stuck), and when it tried to start up it took forever, try giving it like 10 minutes to start up.
     
  4. Mike Teezie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #4
    I removed everything - the only thing I left plugged in was the mouse and keyboard.

    I let it run for about 10 minutes, but the circle keeps spinning under the grey "NO" sign.

    When I turn the computer on, should my caps lock or num lock keys light up when pressed? Becasue they won't now, and Im thinking that might be the reason my computer wont boot from CD.

    Man, I really hope this is nothing serious, I'm starting to get worried. It's so strange that it just locked up like that under no real strain at all, just iChat and Safari were open. And now, it won't get past the grey screen.
     
  5. Mike Teezie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #5
    I tried resetting the PRAM, but nothing changed.

    I really feel like the keyboard isnt working....
     
  6. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #6
    Have you unplugged your mouse and keyboard and try a reboot?
     
  7. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #7
    If everything was running fine and then all of a sudden it crashes for reason and then won't boot up, then it sounds to me like something internally failed. I would say its probably something on the Logicboard since it won't boot from either the HD or the Optical drive and everything was running just fine a couple of minutes beforehand.

    You could of had a RAM DIMM go bad on you as well. Try booting with only 1 stick of RAM in there. If no luck, then take that one out and try the other stick if you have one. Although I'm sure if that would keep it from booting, but its worth a try.

    If that doesn't work then it may be time to give Apple a call. Hopefully you have AppleCare.
     
  8. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Location:
    My house!
    #8
    Do you have another keyboard you can try, or know of a friend with a USB keyboard? Any USB keyboard should work just fine though you may not have an Apple key if you use a PC keyboard.
     
  9. Mike Teezie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #9
    The keyboard seems to be working, because I can reset the PRAM and get the second startup tone. But then, it won't boot from CD.

    Isn't there a reset switch on the Logic Board?

    And no, I don't have Applecare. Can I still call Apple tech support?
     
  10. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
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    Location:
    How'd I get here? How can I leave?
    #10
    You have to bolt up from your chair howling at the top of your lungs and tear your shirt off. Then hop around the room like a crazed rabbit.




    I'm sorry. I can't help myself. :D
     
  11. Mike Teezie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #11
    Since I'm not on Apple care - if I have to get the Logic board replaced, about what will that cost?

    Oh yeah - is there anyway the hard drive could have failed, and that's why I'm getting the Prohibitory sign at startup?
     
  12. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    #12
    Logic board replacements can be $800.

    Post your concerns over at www.thetechpub.com/phpBB2 and state:

    -->Your computer, with OS version number (10.3.2, for instance), amount of memory, and hard drive space
    -->Exact to the point, what you were doing before the issue occured (browsing, stepping away from computer)
    -->The issue itself in as much detail as possible (color, size, and location of the "NO" etc.)
    -->EVERYTHING you've tried to do to get around the issue
    -->Any extra information (i.e. have you installed 3rd party RAM, or a new Hard Drive, or a video card...)

    The guy running the site is Adam (a.k.a. Akira), and, given his status as the most informed technition of all the people he works around, he should be able to assist you.
     
  13. JesseJames macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Hold on chief. Do you have any disk utility sofware? Like Diskwarrior or Techtool Pro 4? I heard those software can get your ass out of a sling.
    Don't get Nortons Utilities. It sucks.
     
  14. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #14
    What about the 3rd startup tone? Or 4th? Have you reset the firmware? These things will cure a lot of problems--can't hurt to try here. Yes, there is a reset switch on the logic board. Press it once and once only. You can still call AppleCare, but they will charge you.
     
  15. Mike Teezie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #15
    I have only gotten two startup tones - only after resetting PRAM at the startup screen.

    How do I reset the firmware?

    Thank you all SO much for helping me, seriously!
     
  16. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #16
    Mike,
    1. Unplug it and leave it alone for several minutes. Then plug it in and RESTART first without the CD and then with, if that does not work.
    2. Where is the nearest Apple Store? Instead of talking to Apple Care, see if you can talk to someone at the Genius Bar, and maybe take it with you.
    3. Apple Authorized Repair shop? Have them run hardware diagnostics.
    4. Hardware diagnostic disk may have come with your Mac, check.
    5. Panther or Jaguar installed?
    6. Full 12 months since purchase, one year is definitely up? If not, (a) call (b) sign up for 2 more years.

    Could be RAM, just as suggested, I'd pull all but one out, try again.
    No, then swap another RAM stick until you've checked them all.
     
  17. gbojim macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2002
    #17
    It is possible that the HDD or optical drive failed and is locking up the IDE bus. Try disconnecting one and see if you can boot from the other.
     
  18. Dippo macrumors 65816

    Dippo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #18
    Here's somethinf from Apple's Website:

    Power Mac G4: Computer Beeps Twice
    Article ID:
    Created:
    Modified: 95051
    7/18/00
    4/23/01
    TOPIC

    The Power Mac G4 computer beeps twice at startup. Two beeps means that incompatible RAM types may be installed.
    DISCUSSION

    This article covers repair procedures for authorized service providers on selected Apple products, but we have published them in the Knowledge Base for the general public for educational purposes. At this time, there are a limited number of repairs that a customer can perform and these are covered under the customer installable parts program http://www.info.apple.com/installparts. If you have not been authorized to perform these procedures, please contact Apple (800-APL-CARE in the USA) or your local authorized service provider to schedule a repair.

    Symptom

    The Power Mac G4 computer beeps twice at startup.

    Products affected
    Power Mac G4
    Macintosh Server G4
    Macintosh Server G4 with Mac OS X Server

    Solution

    1. Verify that only PC-100 SDRAM DIMMs are installed and not EDO memory.

    2. Replace the existing SDRAM one DIMM at a time with known-good PC-100 SDRAM DIMMs.

    3. Reseat processor module and try again.

    4. Replace processor module and try again.

    5. Replace logic board.
     
  19. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #19
    When you are flashing PRAM, the computer will restart and gong for however long you hold command-option-p-r. I did this on the phone with Apple once and they had me hold it for 4 gongs. 3 is the minimum number i've heard suggested.

    To reset open firmware: Start up while holding command-option-o-f. You will boot into a white command line screen. At the prompt type reset-all and then reboot as per the directions on the screen. i think you just type restart and hit enter but it's been a while since I've done it so I'm not 100% on that.

    Gut feeling: The fact that it starts/gongs at all makes me doubt that it's a logic board problem. Something got screwed up on your hard drive most likely--or the drive itself died.
     
  20. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #20
    yep i agree with horror taxi 100%.
    it sounds like your hd-crashed.

    open you case and listen to what your hard drive sound when you boot up.
     
  21. MacRAND macrumors 6502a

    MacRAND

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ USA
    #21
    If you eliminate the RAM, it does sound like a Hard Drive.
    You should have plenty of room inside for a 2nd 80 to 160 GB 7200 rpm HD; IBM/Hitachi, Seagate, Western Digital, or whatever turns you on, have a good price and/or mail-in rebate, local Fry's Electronics or online store. In California, you have
    http://www.ZipZoomFly.com of Newark, CA 94560
    www.macmall.com of Torrence, CA 90504
    http://eshop.macsales.com/ Other World Computing of Woodstock, IL 60098

    Re-install Panther on the new drive, then see if you can access your data on the original drive.
    The one thing that bothers me about blaming the hard drive is that you cannot startup on the Panther Install CD, which is independent of the HD. That is why it seems more like a RAM problem than a Hard Drive.
     
  22. Mike Teezie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #22
    update:

    I installed a brand new HD. Nothing.

    I still cant boot from CD. So I can't run the hardware check disc anyway.

    Could it be the RAM? I can try to make it up to office depot to buy another stick of 512.

    EDIT: Update #2 - I went to office depot, picked up some new RAM. Installed it. Still nothing. Still can't boot from CD. Upon turing the machine on, it the CD sounds like its spinning furiously in the drive, and then it slows, then gets extremely quiet, but I think I can still hear it spinning in the drive.

    SO - I've tried new RAM, a new HD, and the thing still won't boot into OS X, or boot from the CD. I'm getting hysterical at this point, because I know I can't afford to replace the Logic Board....
     
  23. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #23
    Let me direct you back to resetting PRAM (let it gong 3-4 times) and open firmware. A lot of people suggest doing this when you install new hardware anyway.

    Just for fun, remove anything that didn't come with the computer--PCI cards, RAM, drives, USB devices, etc. Check inside the computer and make sure all the drive cables are plugged in. Plug the mouse into the keyboard and make that computer look like it did out of the box. Then reset everything and see if you can boot from the CD.

    I still don't think it sounds like a logic board.
     
  24. jap4n macrumors member

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    Aug 10, 2003
    Location:
    wellington, nz
  25. Mike Teezie thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #25
    This is so strange.

    I reset the PRAM and Firmware, then the computer won't even get to the grey screen, it just sits there for a few seconds, then the fans all start humming wildly.

    I pull out a stick of ram, and my normal problem occurs.

    Is there anyway I could hook another Mac up to mine, and try to run Disk repair from that computer?
     

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