My G5 is locking up like crazy.

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by MattG, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. MattG macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #1
    My Dual 1.8ghz G5 locks up all the time, and it's getting progressively worse...Lately, I've been having to shut off the computer by holding in the power button at least once a day, then restarting. It's 7am here right now, and I've already restarted the machine twice.

    I'm not sure what's causing it. I've done a full OS reinstall. I've done permission repairs. It'll lock up at random. It locked up when I tried to turn the iTunes visualizer on this morning (twice). It locks up sometimes when I use my mouse's scroll wheel in Safari. It locks up sometimes when I show "All Windows" with Expose'.

    I don't have anything third-party in the machine. The RAM is from Apple. No PCI cards installed. Time to call AppleCare?
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Might as well. High probability that it's hardware related.

    Have you unplugged any peripherals (FW drives, cameras, printers, etc) that you have hanging off of it? Have you taken out any PCI cards (sound, SCSI, etc) that you might have in it?

    Are you fscking after doing a hard reboot? Hard reboots are tough on your file system.
     
  3. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #3
    Could someone please tell me what fscking is and how to do it?
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Pretty easy to Google for.. anyway..

    -------------------------------
    • fsck is File System Check.

    For more information, open the Terminal and type:

    man fsck

    -----------------
    • To do an fsck:

    Reboot holding down Command+S

    At the prompt type:

    /sbin/fsck -fy

    When it's done, if it indicates that the file system was modified, run it again. Keep running it until:

    1) it indicates everything is OK, no problems were found, then reboot by typing:

    reboot

    2) You've run it 5 or 6 times in a row and there's always the same problem. This means your filesystem is probably screwed up beyond your repair, and you should be looking to use a repair utility like DiskWarrior or TechToolPro. Norton Futilities is NOT advised.
     
  5. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #5
    Awesome. Many thanks to yellow!
     
  6. Sayer macrumors 6502a

    Sayer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    Reset the Motherboard

    Sounds like it may be a hardware issue.

    Have you tried to reset the motherboard (PMU, PRAM, whatever you want to call it)?

    Or maybe pulling out a RAM module one pair at a time? Macs are very sensitive to RAM nowadays.

    Force-restarting can mess up the electronics as much as the data on the hard disk. When you restart a "flood" of electricity hits the circuits, any variances can randomly mess up some component like the PMU or even RAM.

    Once you eliminate the "easy" stuff like resetting the PMU or clunky RAM modules, you can move on to the more destructive/complex troubleshooting such as reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling everything incrementally.

    Here's a lot of info on dealing with the hardware of a G5:

    G5 Hardware Troubleshooting

    Also note that G5 1.8 GHz and only 1.8 GHz have serious problems with Mac OS X 10.3.5 apparently, so stop at 10.3.4 if you reinstall.
     
  7. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #7
  8. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #8
    As also posted in the same other thread:

    When this happened to me, it turned out to be due to my 20" Apple Cinema Display. Disabling the buttons on it (see here) fixed the problem for me.
     
  9. titaniumducky macrumors 6502a

    titaniumducky

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    #9
    Run the extended test on the Hardware Test CD. Whether or not it tells you anything, it's definitely time to call Apple.
     
  10. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #10
    Thanks for all the replies, everyone.

    In response to several of your responses:

    Yes, I have removed all PCI cards. The only things I have plugged into the keyboard are the keyboard, mouse, Epson R200 printer, Lacie USB 2.0 hard drive, and a USB Bluetooth dongle I purchased from Apple. I've tried disconnecting all this stuff...still get the lock-ups.

    I will run the extended hardware tests the next time I am able to go into work (we're under a hurricane warning at present!).

    Resetting the PMU: I'll try that as well.

    As for removing RAM...I thought the RAM in the duals had to be added in pairs? If that's the case, I won't be able to remove any (I've only got two sticks of 512).
     
  11. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    I suggest using only the Apple keyboard, Apple mouse, and monitor with no other peripherals at all just to make sure it's still panicking. Here's a good memory tester, IMO the Apple Hardware CD is worthless. In all the years I've worked with Macs, not ONCE has it accurately found a hardware problem.

    memtest

    Let it run for a LONG time, like many hours. The longer it runs, the more repeated tests it can perform on your RAM, especially since you cannot take it out.
     
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #12
    Good idea to strip it as bare as possible. Remember, though, that my problem turned out to be my monitor. If you can use any other monitor (if it's an ACD one) and/or keyboard and mouse (in case they're the problem), it might help to isolate the problem to your G5.

    Still, regardless, call Apple. And tell them the system is as it was when purchased (i.e., stripped). And, when you call, get a case number so you can refer to it with each additional call.
     
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #13
    I wouldn't say that; it's not the best test suite in the world, but the one time I did get a bum unit (iMac with a functional but flaky hard drive), it did correctly identify the problem, and made dealing with AppleCare much easier. The copy of Techtool that ships with AppleCare isn't too bad, either.

    A note on fscking after a kernel panic or forced restart: As far as I can tell, it is not necessary to boot into single user mode (command-s) and do this manually.

    As with previous versions of the MacOS (and Windows), OSX (at least the newer versions) seems do a behind-the-scenes disk check if it didn't shut down properly. This happens at the grey spinner screen, so there's no feedback and you don't realize it's happening, but you might notice that after a forced restart it sits at that screen MUCH longer than it usually would, because of the check it's running.

    I noticed this during some troubleshooting of Azureus (a lot of Kernel panics) because it would seem that this automatic check correctly deals with recovering using the journal on a journaled disk; when you force restart, if you boot into single user mode and do an fsck, it finds errors and you need to force it to recover using the journal if the disk is journaled. If, however, you let it start properly (taking unusually long), then do a disk check, it checks out fine, implying that OSX does what it needs to do on its own.

    Please, somebody correct me if I'm interpreting this behavior incorrectly.
     
  14. BWhaler macrumors 68020

    BWhaler

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    #14
    These are all good suggestions, but I would save the time and just call Apple.

    If you check out the discussion boards on Apple.com, there are quite a few issues with the 1.8 G5. Odds are you got a bad machine, since there seems to be an issue in 1.8 batch, IMHO.

    Good luck.
     
  15. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    You are interpreting it correctly. When booted, the system does a preen, which means a cursory fsck that skips any file system that was marked clean, as in unmounted correctly. With a forced reboot there's no such beast, so the system attempts to do a more through fsck of the disk/file system. But it'll only do a single pass. It's possible that if there's more then one error, it'll be ignored because there won't be more then 1 fsck pass. This could cause more errors down the road, leading to a cascade of file system problems. Ultimately, I prefer a more granular control, I want to see what it happening in greater detail then a spinning wheel.
     
  16. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #16
    Well guys, just for the hell of it I took both RAM chips out and put them in different slots. The computer hasn't locked up in several days now. Maybe they just needed to be reseated?
     
  17. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    NH
    #17
    Hey, that's good to hear. I looked at my original 2x128MB "Apple" RAM sticks this weekend and the vendor sticker was from a company I had never heard of. After taking out the 2x128MB sticks of weird-named "Apple" RAM I didn't have any kernel panics. Maybe I'll reseat it in the empty slots and see if the panics re-occur. I figured I'd just yank it and live without.
     
  18. MattG thread starter macrumors 68040

    MattG

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Fletcher, NC
    #18
    It's been 9 days now and I haven't rebooted the computer once! I haven't been able to do that for a long time!
     
  19. continuum macrumors 6502

    continuum

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2004
    Location:
    Beautiful Lake Tahoe
    #19
    I've had sporadic system freezes...same thing with the Expose' - it would freeze with multiple windows up. I usually knew it was coming though because my screen saver would change from one pic to the other and remnants of the previous picture would hang on the screen. I just upgraded my memory and added a gig about 20 minutes ago. In the process I removed the factory memory and reseated it in the additional slots and put the new memory in where the factory memory was. If I'm lucky maybe I'll get the good results.
     

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