help with powermac G4 450mhz

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by maxterpiece, Jan 23, 2006.

  1. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #1
    Okay, a friend of mine has a 450mhz G4 tower and is having issues.

    If he tries to boot up regularly, the computer just goes right to a screen that says "you have to restart your computer" in lots of languages.

    If he tries to start up from diskwarrior, the he gets to a screen where it asks him to choose a boot disk, but his mouse doesn't work.

    If he starts up in safe mode, the computer will boot to the desktop, but if he tries to open anything, he just gets an endless spinning beachball. Interestingly, in this situation the mouse works fine.

    He has tried swapping out his ram chips, but the problem persists.

    Before all this happened, all programs were crashing often and randomly.

    Can anyone diagnose what the problem is here?
     
  2. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Is it a Sawtooth or Yikes? Also, what version of the OS is the HD/disc warrior disc? With the older G4s, when all else fails I tend to try booting into OS9, either from HD or from the original install discs.
     
  3. maxterpiece thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #3
    he has tried booting from classic on the HD, but he gets a beachball there too.

    From what i can tell, yikes only went to 450mhz. If i'm wrong, then how do i tell the difference?

    I'm just curious if anyone could speculate if what kind of hardware malfunction these symptoms might add up to.
     
  4. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Yikes did only go to 450mHz (they were 350, 400, 450, though lowendmac.com doesn't list the 450 for some reason; it's possible the 450s I've encountered have been overclocked). The next model, the Sawtooth, was available in 400, 450, and 500. So there were two models of G4 available in 400 and 450.

    The easiest way to tell them apart is the graphics card. Open up the G4 and look at the graphics card; if it is in a PCI slot (identical slot to the three below it), then it is a Yikes. If it is in an AGP slot (shorter, different than the three below it), it is a Sawtooth. The heatsinks is also quite a bit larger on the Sawtooth, and there is no set of adjustable DIM switches near the processor (the Yikes are also ZIF processors, the Sawtooth are not).

    It's more than likely a Sawtooth.

    I would suggest zapping the PRAM to start. There are two ways to do it: with a keyboard (apple+option+P+R at startup) or by pressing the small botton next to the battery on the motherboard. I also suggest pulling all the RAM and using a stick from a working machine, as you never know (there are also weird RAM inconsistancies in the late G3/early G4 range--I've had sticks of RAM work in G3 b/w machines that would crash my G4 Sawtooth). I'd also open it up and make sure that everything is connected properly, and that there isn't any spillage/damage anywhere.

    NOTE: ALWAYS USE ANTI-STATIC PROTECTION when working inside a comp, as you can completely destroy a motherboard without it. This may seem like a "duh" statement, but your friend might not know to...
     
  5. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #5
    This is a common symptom of a flaky CPU, either one that is suffering from overheating or simply malfunctioning.

    There could be other causes, but without a second CPU to test it with it will be nearly impossible to diagnose.
     
  6. maxterpiece thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #6
    Can the CPU be upgraded/replaced?
     
  7. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #7
    In that Model, yes. Go to OWC to find a bunch of processor upgrades for it.

    EDIT: I just checked myself and upgrades start at about $200 for a 1Ghz G4 card and goes up to $600 for a dual 1.8Ghz G4 card. Looks to be about the same for both the Yikes and Sawtooth models except the Sawtooth and be upgraded more than the Yikes.
     
  8. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #8
    If you (or he) are willing to spend the cash, I recommend following yippy's advice. Here is OWC's list of Sawtooth-compatible CPU upgrades. I personally recommend the OWC units, but Powerlogix and Sonnet upgrades will also work fine.

    If you swap out CPUs and the problem continues you can always return the CPU . It may have motherboard issues in that case, but at least you'll know.
     
  9. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    I use a Sonnet 1gHz that I bought new for $160 a couple months ago and it works perfectly. That's my suggestion.

    Oh, and my favorite Powermac G4 site: http://www.power-mac-g4.com/

    Also, you can probably find a motherboard or whole tower replacement on ebay for not that much.
     
  10. maxterpiece thread starter macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #10
    Thanks for the help guys. I think he's gonna buy a mac mini - then he'll be under warranty.
     
  11. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    Probably a good call. Does he want to get rid of the tower? I could use it for parts, as could a lot of people...
     

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