Powermac G4 MDD problems

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by nigletsyz, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. nigletsyz macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2006
    #1
    I have 4 HDDs installed on my PowerMac G4 dual 1K. When I am encoding video on one of the drives and try to watch a movie at the same time, some of the times the audio from the video i'm watching cuts out or pops and crackles or the video may freeze for a second. This never used to happen, even when I ran everything off one HDD. Also, one of my HDD was having great problems copying files to my other larger drives. It would transfer a ~30MB chunk, then sit there forever before it transferred another chunk. Some files couldn't be completely transferred over and would fail, however, if I transferred them over my wireless network to my laptop, they'd transfer fine. So I deleted that drive, reformatted it, and checked and repaired any errors on the disk. I still can't use it though because if I try to, it slows my computer down A LOT.

    Basically, it seems as though my mac can only handle one process at a time. Enconding & watching video (whether from the optical drive or HDD) creates problems. Watching and video and running aMule, major problems. Running aMule and encoding something = computer freezes up.

    I don't know if my HDD have anything to do with the problems or not, but basically my computer has been running really sub-par for awhile now. It was always fast when new and I dont use it for extensive memory-robbing programs, just encoding videos, aMule, that kind of thing. I am running 1.75 GB of ram as well. I've been trying to just wait for leopard to come out so i can install a fresh copy of the os, but I don't know if I can't deal with this anymore. I am starting to hate my mac. please help
     
  2. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #2
    What are the specs on your drives?...not so much size, but speed and buffer sizes. Are you running them all thru the built-in ATA system or are some of them running off an ATA or SATA PCI card? Sounds to me like you've got a bottleneck somewhere, whether it's the main bus or the hard drive bus I can't say. Also, what graphics card are you using?
     
  3. nigletsyz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2006
    #3
    I've got the stock 80GB ATA drive, a Maxtor 200gb ATA100 or 66 16mb buffer drive (this is the one i'm having major issues with it seems) and a couple newer drives, a 400 gb seagate ATA 166 and a Maxtor SATA 500 GB drive running offf a SATA pci card. all of these are 7200 rpm drives

    Graphics card is the stock one as well, I believe a 32mb or 64 mb nvidia.
     
  4. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #4
    The two drives not running off the SATA card, have you got them running off of the same drive bus? or one on the ATA/100 bus and one on the ATA/66 bus?
     
  5. Keebler macrumors 68030

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    Canada
    #5
    have you run any systems clean up software like diskwarrior or onyx to repair permissions and clean the cache etc...?

    that might very well help you out.

    cheers,
    keebler
     
  6. nigletsyz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2006
    #6

    i'm running the 3 ATA drives off the ATA ports that are built into the computer. I think that the computer only supports ATA 66 speeds, but I could be wrong. I am not good with the technical innards of a computer, so please forgive my ignorance. I do not know what a drive bus is. I am only running the one SATA drive off a pci SATA card I purchased.

    Also, I can transfer data at the normal speed between all of the drives except that 200GB one that I reformatted and (supposedly) repaired.
     
  7. nigletsyz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2006
    #7
    I don't know what these programs are. Are they free/available on sites like macupdate?
     
  8. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #8
    Onyx is available here and is free...it can clear the system caches and run maintenance scripts.

    Disk Utility in your Utilities folder can repair permissions.

    Doing those two things can't hurt.

    Also, any updates to the software you use lately that might have made them more likely to tax the graphics card?
     
  9. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    Jan 25, 2002
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    #9
    The MDD has two drive bays/buses (the bay is the slot, whereas the bus is the connection to the processor)...the rear drive bays can handle ATA/100 speeds and the front drive bays are ATA/66. If the Maxtor is an ATA/66 and you are running it on the ATA/100, that might be a problem (not positive)...It could also be that the Maxtor drive is about to give out on you.
     
  10. nigletsyz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2006
    #10
    wow, i didn't know that the rear drive bays (vertical one) were able to support the higher bus speed. Thanks for that info. I will toss the 200 gb maxtor and see if it changes anything. Do you really think that could be slowing everything down even though its not being used?

    I don't think any updates from the programs I use would have put more strain on the graphics card. I just run VLC, handbrake, dvdbackup and aMule, nothing more than those really.
     
  11. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

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    #11
    Depends...I can't remember how the ATA/100 bus would treat a slower drive (if it turns out the Maxtor is just ATA/66). Anyway...no harm just taking it out and seeing how it works without it.
     
  12. nigletsyz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2006
    #12
    cool, thanks again for the response. I'll remove the drive and run onyx when I get home and report back afterwards.
     
  13. Mechcozmo macrumors 603

    Mechcozmo

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2004
    #13
    Open Disk Utility. Click on the drive in the left-hand pane.

    Look at the bottom. Does it say "S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified"? or "S.M.A.R.T. Status: Failing"?

    If the drive is failing, and you've been experiencing issues, then it means that the drive's built-in diagnostics are warning you that they're about to die. Especially if you've been noticing this behavior; then that confirms the diagnostics.
     
  14. nigletsyz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2006
    #14
    well I disconnected the drive and ran the onyx program (not to sure what I was doing, but I ran some optimization thing). I am still having problems with my mac. I'm having major problems with programs hanging according to my Activity Monitor. aMule was running really really slow; so I shut it down. Currently I'm encoding a dvd from a TS folder on my HD using handbrake and there is a DVD in my optical drive that is stuck. Eject button does not work, I tried opening iTunes and using the eject button in the program and it just causes iTunes to hang severely. Any other suggestions?
     
  15. TheAnswer macrumors 68030

    TheAnswer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
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    Orange County, CA
    #15
    Under Onyx...did you run the Scripts under the Maintenance heading? or did you run the Optimize commands under the Maintenance setting.

    Right now, it looks like the HD issue was just a red herring...so pull out the Apple Hardware Test Disk (should have come with the MDD), and run through the test. Let us know what results come up.

    Also, in the Activity Monitor app, under System Memory...are you getting low in physical RAM available?

    Re: The DVD stuck in the drive...try opening the Disk Utility app in the Utilities folder and see if you can eject it from there. If that is a no go, you can manually open the mirrored flap and there should be a little hole under the tray of the drive, you should be able to eject the disk by putting a straightened paper clip in that hole, but try that as a last resort.
     
  16. nigletsyz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2006
    #16
    just bumping this up to say "thanks" for the suggestions. I ended up backing up my files and completely erased by boot drive, then re-installed the OS. Everything is back to normal now. I haven't experienced any problems like I was having before. Its been about a month since I did the format, so I'm guessing that's all it really needed.
     

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