Logic board, or processor?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by RDM, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. RDM macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #1
    I've got an older G4 Quicksilver model, 2002, with the dual 1Ghz processor. I've updated to 1.5GB RAM, added a USB 2.0 PCI card, and a 160GB hard drive over it's life, and I don't use the machine for anything major, just web browsing, email, and iTunes. Currently running OS X 10.4.6. I do not rely on it for the heavy stuff some of you guys do, it's really just an internet connection for me and it does more than it's job of that, so it's a perfect computer as long as it always works. That's why I'm here.

    I get the infamous 'black screen' asking for a restart, at completely random times, off and on for nearly a year. Usually it's when I power it up from cold (turned off for say a long weekend) but it does it too at times when waking up from sleep. I had a guy clean it out a few months ago and he suggested it was a HD issue, hence the new one I installed. It got better and a lot of the other weird issues like not going into sleep automatically, Firefox hang ups, and other things were fixed, but I would still get the restart screen at times. Last week I had the case open and still on (I know, I'm an idiot) and when I closed the door the video card shorted to the bottom of the power supply. I bought a new one and reset the machine, works fine again but the restart screen is now even more prominent, sometimes it takes up to a dozen shutdowns before it finally comes on and stays on.

    Problem is no one in the Atlanta area will touch an older Mac. The Apple store here has sent me away each time I've called and once when going in, they don't seem to know a thing about old models and refuse to assist me with service, tech support, or repair. Local computer places all say it's junk and just buy a new model, but I can't afford a grand for a machine I won't even get to use to it's full potential. I'm now leaning towards either a damaged logic board or processor, as there isn't much else it could be, one of the fans went bad a while back and I replaced it, temperatures were hovering around 116 degrees and they're now maxed at 108, don't know if that was an underlying issue all along but I'd like to hear opinions of those who know more about these and even service them, or if you know of someone who would listen to (or read all this) and not laugh in my face for trying to fix such a 'dinosaur'.

    I just want it to work well and be able to use it daily without shutting it down several times.
     
  2. Mattww macrumors 6502

    Mattww

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #2
    kernel panics like you are experiencing can be due to software (corrupt operating system/bad driver) or faulty hardware. Given that you replaced the hard disk and I assume have a fresh known good install of Mac OS X then it sounds like a hardware issue. If so you should remove any non-essential add-ons like your USB card and extra RAM and run the computer in its most basic setup - with just the mouse and keyboard. If the issue persists you would need get a donor machine to test components like the Logic Board and Processor module etc.
     
  3. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #3
    The "black screen"... Is there any text at all that goes into detail?

    Just curious, stuff like that is always helpful. BTW, are you reporting in Fahrenheit? Celsius is the way we roll. :D If that was ºC, you probably wouldn't have a machine - but always good to ask.

    EDIT - BTW, Mattww does speak wisdom.
     
  4. RDM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #4
    I thought about that, but the issues began before I ever put the USB card and extra RAM in, when the machine was stock. Those were the first upgrades I did, I added the RAM simply for more headroom, the USB card so I could leave my camera cable connected and plug in an external hard drive, as this model only has two USB ports, both 1.1. Trying to transfer files took forever, the card brought it up to 2.0 speed and allows me to leave it all plugged in and fly through transfers and camera downloading. Neither of those seemed to effect the machine any worse, I'd like to say it was less finicky after the RAM upgrade. My only question there was everyone said to replace RAM in pairs, but it's a three slot unit and I already had two slots full.

    Anyway, the restart screens started before these upgrades and it was first suggested on here months ago to try repairing the disk with disk utility, then bumping up the RAM, to see if that would help. Those changes didn't do anything so I had a local guy go through and just 'clean things up' he said, but it was his notion that the hard drive was failing from possible heat damage. Replacing it fixed a lot of the side problems like I mentioned (refusing to go to sleep) but it still has the restart errors. The screen is like found on Apple's site, it's black with the restart instructions in numerous languages.

    While I will try removing the RAM and USB card, they didn't seem to add to or increase the problems that were already existing, so I don't think that's it. If I found a donor, how would I go about isolating the processor or logic board as the actual problem, just replace one at a time and see how it reacts? Seems like to me buying both new and just replacing them anyway would be the better choice since I don't have access to any donor machines besides buying a used (and questionable) one off craigslist or something. I'd rather not end up with more parts that aren't up to par.

    And yes, that's Fahrenheit.
     
  5. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #5
    Hi,
    You added or exchanged RAM? I mean: do you have that stock RAM stick installed? If so, take it out and test your machine. RAM also could be tested with Memtest or Rember for errors.
    Second: for CPU and logic board test, you don't need exactly that same machine. You can simply put your CPU onto every Quicksilver lobo, or put every QS CPU on your lobo. Maybe someone of your friends have any working QS and can help you? Any CPU stress test software should be good for that.
    Also check your machine for overheating. It could be a reason of KPs. I recommend to use digital thermometer for that - there is no thermal sensor on CPU card. Dual Quicksilver daughtercards are quite hot. This new fan is one with thermic controller? It should be, as original is.
     
  6. RDM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #6
    Added. It came with two 512MB sticks, I added one more. I have no clue what Memtest or Rember are but I'll do some scouring. But again, I don't see the RAM being an issue since the problems were there beforehand.

    No one I know has a Mac. No one I know can afford one really, they're all PC lovers.

    As mentioned, the temperature monitor program has seen as high as 116F, but now rests at about 108F at the longest run. I try to put it in sleep when it gets up around there. Both fans run when the machine is on, regardless of temp.
     
  7. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #7
    You added only one 512, what about those 2 that came with machine? If you don't test, you'll never know ;) Test every stick separately, only one at the time (like Mattww wrote). Rember and Memtest are RAM testing software (Rember is GUI, Memtest is command line tool): http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/15837
    Temps: you must know, that Quicksilvers don't have any temperature sensors onboard (CPU or logicboard). So that what you get from Temperature Monitor it's only SMART sensor read = HDD temperature, nothing more, so you still don't know how hot CPUs are.
    Fans: of course, they will run when machine on, but those with thermistors (small blue or red "thing" near fan's center) will spin faster when temp will raise = will draw more air. QS is factory equipped with thermal controlled fans.
     
  8. RDM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #8
    I downloaded Rember, and immediately doing the test with just one RAM stick installed it comes up "Stuck Address" and does not continue testing. I've swapped sticks and I get this with all three. Dang.

    Memtest is a purchase only item through paypal, and I don't like anal rape so I don't use paypal.

    I'm going to fool with a few other things but I'm near my wit's end and ready to throw the entire thing in the trash. I have always talked nothing but praise about Macs, but it's truly irritating to have an ongoing, neverending problem that cannot be found. Anyone else with suggestions, I'm listening. Er, reading.
     
  9. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #9
    "Stuck Address" is one of performed tests. What is in Log window?
     
  10. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #10
    Now available from your local Macrumors. Can also be shipped in a discreet box.

    Just FYI.
     
  11. RDM thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #11
    I realized that after letting it sit for a while. Doh. I assumed a test wouldn't take over an hour either but then when I came back in and saw 'Walking Ones' I figured it was weird coding stuff and just let it be.

    Anyway, tested each stick separately, then all three together, and they all passed fine. Took all night but that's over with. So it's not a memory issue. Oddly enough it's been working fine the last two days except the mouse won't wake it up from sleep. I have to manually hit the power button. But there's been so many weird issues related to all this I'm not surprised there's still some floating around.
     

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