G4 Mirror Drive Startup Issues - Help Please!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by anvil102, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. anvil102 macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2008
    I have a Mirror Drive G4 Dual 867, 1 Gig of RAM, running the most up to date version of 10.3.9. Ever since I moved back in January, when I start up my computer sometimes it fails to start up at all (no video signal is sent to the monitors) and the power light blinks red 4 times in 2 seconds, stays normal for a bit, then blinks again 4 times (rinse, wash, repeat). Also, I believe when the problem first started, there was a loud, monotone alert-ish sound/tone from the tower's speaker (if it still happens now, I don't know since I have separate speakers plugged in and they're usually off at startup).

    If I hold down the power button and force shutdown the computer that way and restart, the computer is usually fine. However, sometimes the OS (10.3) hangs and takes forever to load the top menu bar and then my desktop icons (this lag is not always after the above incident, it can happen even when the computer starts up smoothly). What's weird is this startup issue used to happen frequently but has quieted down in the last month and half. It still happens from time to time though.

    I've been running 10.2 for years before 10.3, so I should have all the superdrive and firmware updates (usually software update catches that stuff, right?) I checked the video card to make sure it hadn't dislodged or anything, and it seems firmly in its connectors. FYI, 10.3 was running on this computer long before the startup issue happened. Is this a motherboard issue? A firmware issue? Other?

    Also, on a different note, but maybe related, ever since I upgraded to 10.3 my external Altec Lansing minijack speakers function oddly (if I go back to 10.2 they're fine). What happens is that they start up all blown out and crackly. If, however, after the desktop has loaded I unplug them from the computer output jack and plug them back in, they reset to normal volume. What could be causing that (especially since it seems to be OS related)?

  2. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    You might try a PRAM/NVRAM reset, and hit the CUDA button (I think MDD's have CUDAs..).

    You also might want to try reseating your cards/RAM, etc. A fresh reinstall of Mac OS wouldn't hurt if those fail, and I'd upgrade to Tiger... nicer than Panther with a lot more available software =)
  3. iGrant macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2006
    I had a similar problem to what you are describing about a year ago on my Power Mac G4 Digital Audio. Almost the exact same symptoms however for me it was not the Motherboard, turned out to be my hard drive failing. The blinking lights were indicating that the Motherboard could not find a bootable volume or that there was an unbootable volume.

    I found it odd at the time also that nothing would come up on the screen, that one had me confused. Also I had the same hanging issues that you are talking about when I was trying to boot to OS X 10.4.2 I think it was . . .

    I would recommend replacing the internal hard drive especially if that is the original hard drive from Apple. I use SuperDuper! to clone my Mac hard drives. Its a freeware program that works wonderfully. All you have to do is hook up your new drive and tell SuperDuper! which hard drive is the source and which hard drive is the target.

    I believe that the MDD Power Mac G4 could have an ATA hard drive greater than 137gb because it had the larger addressing. If that is true which I think it is, I would highly recommend getting a Seagate Barracuda 250 ~ 500gb hard drive. They are dirt cheap right now because they are under 100 bucks. I have used Seagate Barracuda drives in all my Macs since 2003.

    As for the speakers, I don't know about that one . . . . sorry

    Let me know if this helps.

  4. anvil102 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2008
    Reset PMU

    reset the PMU. It still lalgs after login. The blinking light issue hasn't happened in forever, and hardware tests on my HD have indicated no problems. Video card and RAM are seated properly.

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