Help: Constant system freezing

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rumorsdan, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. rumorsdan macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #1
    Lately I have been having constant system freezers.

    I'm using os 10.4.11 on a powermac dual 2 ghz, 2.5 gig ram.

    The system either totally freezers, mouse light active but not the keyboard. Or... the system freezers then the screen gets a grey tint that swipes down from top to bottom and a black box window in the middle of the screen with white text telling me to restart.

    The freezers are random. Sometimes I'll get several a day or I might go a 1-2 days at the most before it occurs.

    I've already run an extended hardware test and it showed no faults. Repaired permissions, no probs there.

    Can anyone offer any suggestions or advice?
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    Montreal, QC
    #2
    What you're experiencing is known as a kernel panic. It is normally caused by hardware problems, but can sometimes be software-based. You may be able to fix it by running an archive & install from your computer's restore disks, but if that doesn't work, it'll have to go in to the shop.
     
  3. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for the reply.

    As a guess, what sort of hardware prob would it be?
     
  4. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #4
    I can't tell much from the complaint that a machine "freezers". Kernel panics can indicate any number of hardware problems, some of which would be picked up by AHT, but it's not perfect.

    It can indicate graphics issues, memory issues, processor issues, just about anything on the logic board... I can't say. Leave the hardware diagnosis to the folks who know what they're doing, rather than a bunch of online yahoos. Software is easy enough to diagnose and fix, but it's pretty hard to diagnose computer hardware from half a world away.
     
  5. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #5
    Did an archive and re-install. Updated system software and CS 2 unfortunately. So far so good... *crossed fingers*
     
  6. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #6
    If it happens again, boot your computer from the DVD that came with it while holding down the D key. This will run the hardware test.
     
  7. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    I did that before the re-install. It showed no probs.
     
  8. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #8
    Spoke too soon. Just got another freeze.

    This is so frustrating!!!:mad:
     
  9. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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    #9
    Have you done the basics with os x? Repaired Disk permissions, Verified the hard disk? Have you done the apple diagnostics?
     
  10. Baunkjaer macrumors 6502

    Baunkjaer

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    #10
    Could be one of your RAM stick´s.
     
  11. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #11
    I've repaired permissions and verified. Run hardware test. All passed fine.

    What's apple diagnostics?
     
  12. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #12
    I have a 100gig mobile usb drive. Would it be ok to install OS X on that and try to boot from it?

    I secretly feel it might be the HDD which has the problem. But that's just a wild guess.
     
  13. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #13
    I think toolbox is referring to Apple Hardware Test, which you mentioned you'd run.

    Sure, go for it.

    I doubt it.
     
  14. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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    #14
    Yeah thats what i was referring too If your machine is constantly freezing a reinstall will highlight the obvious that you may be dealing with a software problem.

    If it still freezes after you have done a clean install, then look at hardware. Software is a pain in the ass to trouble shoot
     
  15. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    #15
    Another small problem i've noticed. When I watch youtube videos or basically any video, there's no sound until I touch one of the volume keys on the keyboard. Maybe this is a memory thing...? :confused:

    Next stage: i'll install the os on another drive and see how it goes. Not feeling very confident though :rolleyes:
     
  16. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

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    #16
    The volume thing could be a PRAM issue. Try rebooting while holding command+option+P+R from the first startup chime until you hear it a second time.
     
  17. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    #17
    Sounds like broken RAM to me, or maybe if your lucky just loose RAM, i assume you've opened your computer, removed the RAM and pushed it back in thoroughly again?

    Its perfectly safe to do that and best to just be safe and check it, or every time you tap or type on your computer loose fitting RAM could be coming loose and causing your computer to freeze.

    Next run a memory test to check the RAM's healthy.
     
  18. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #18
    thanks. will try that.

    I actually don't like touching the ram sticks. I always find it hard to get them to clip back in.

    How do I do that?
     
  19. kastenbrust macrumors 68030

    kastenbrust

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    #19
    Thats how they're supposed to be, just push hard, its pretty hard to break them, and you shouldn't worry about touching them, if your really worried then wear rubber gloves so you cant do any harm, you just end up looking like a dishwasher lady.

    Have you ever upgraded your RAM? because this sounds suspiciously like a cheap RAM upgrade to me. Im fairly sure the Powermac didn't come with 2.5GB RAM, because RAM is usually always sold in even pairs, so someone, somewhere along the line has added a 512MB or 2GB stick...
     
  20. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #21
    yep. maybe 2 yrs ago. Bought 2x1 gig sticks from crucial. Had a tech guy put them in.
     
  21. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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    #22
    Have you tried running the computer with just one ram stick in it? see if it locks up?

    Are all the fans spinning? It could be getting hot?
     
  22. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #23
    The fans are fine.

    Ram needs to be in pairs so 1 stick won't work. I've opened up the case and checked the ram. It's all sitting in nice and secure. A bit of dust but that's nothing unusual.

    Installed the OS on the 2nd hdd, so we'll see if that makes any difference.
     
  23. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #24
    The two most likely ones are a faulty RAM chip or a faulty hard drive. If you can borrow or buy an external drive, install the OS on the external drive, boot from it, and see if the problem goes away. If it goes away, it is likely the hard drive.

    Then remove half the RAM and see if the problem goes away. If it does, you got the problem. If it doesn't, try removing the other half of RAM. Obviously your computer will slow down when you have half the RAM only.
     
  24. rumorsdan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #25
    Well, I've now booted up on the 2nd HDD. System is 10.4. I don't have any of my Adobe apps loaded. Just be browsing and watching some eyetv stuff. Will see how it goes....but i'm kinda hoping I do get a freeze cos that will most likely mean it's hardware, not software.

    Are there any apps or things I can run to push the CPU a bit?
     

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