Need help diagnosing MDD issue

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by abbotkinneydude, May 26, 2015.

  1. abbotkinneydude macrumors member

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    #1
    Hello everyone,

    My trusted MDD G4 Dual 1.25 failed at booting a few weeks ago and, despite my best efforts, it wouldn't boot into anything without displaying a kernel panic. The only exceptions were Target Mode and Volume Boot (Option at Startup). I got a used motherboard off Ebay and it worked perfect for a couple of hours then it started to display the same issues again. I'm starting to believe it's not the motherboard but the processor which is the issue. I did a few Safe Boots and took a few pictures of the screen once the process had stalled. Please let me know, after looking at those, if anyting catches your attention. Thank you.
     

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  2. abbotkinneydude thread starter macrumors member

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    #2
    More Pics

    More Pics. Please note the MDD is down to 1GB of Ram, 1 Radeon 9600 (tried the 9000 but it made no difference) and an OWC SSD for boot (using a regular PATA boot drive made no difference either).
     

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  3. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #3
    I'm going to take a wild guess here and say your install of OS X is corrupted. In that case, I would first back up any important files and then I would reinstall the OS.
     
  4. mikiotty macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #4
    Do you have any PCI cards installed in the system (especially S-/ATA controllers)?
     
  5. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #5
    I'm not very "fluent" at Unix, but some of the errors I'm seeing seem to correspond to corrupted permissions and/or a corrupted install.

    Try one or both of the following if you can:

    1. Boot the computer into TDM, and then connect it to another computer running the same version of OSX. Load disk utilities, then repair the permissions on the volume in your MDD.

    2. Boot the MDD into single user mode(command+S). If it boots, it will boot to a command prompt. Once you see this, type /sbin/fsck -fy . It will take a few minutes to run. If, when finishing, you get the message "FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED" run fsck again and keep doing so until it doesn't return this message.

    If neither of these work(do both if you can), archive and install is probably going to be your best bet.
     
  6. for this macrumors regular

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    #6
    My MDD didn't recognize all the RAM, and often had KP/erratic boot when the power supply was bad.
     
  7. abbotkinneydude, May 26, 2015
    Last edited: May 26, 2015

    abbotkinneydude thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    MMD Update

    Hello everyone,

    First and foremost - I want to thank *everybody* who looked into those screen captures and took the time to respond. Much, much appreciated. :)

    @Gamer9340: "I'm going to take a wild guess here and say your install of OS X is corrupted. In that case, I would first back up any important files and then I would reinstall the OS."

    Despite the new motherboard, the MDD won't boot from Install DVDs of LEOPARD or TIGER (AHT doesn't' work either). This happened with the previous motherboard too. I have a spare OWC SSD; I'll clone on it a clean install of an MDD Master Boot Partition I made for all my MDD stations and see if it works. Reminder- please note that the MDD in question booted perfectly for a couple of hours with the new motherboard and then started to show issues (hence my belief that the processor might be the issue).

    @mikiotty: "Do you have any PCI cards installed in the system (especially S-/ATA controllers)?"

    I removed everything but 1GB of Ram (2 Sticks - fresh off OWC), one RADEON 9600 (again also tried with the factory RADEON 9000 but no difference) and the OWC SSD (2 months old). Everything else is unplugged.

    @bunnspecial: "1. Boot the computer into TDM, and then connect it to another computer running the same version of OSX. Load disk utilities, then repair the permissions on the volume in your MDD."

    I did that early on. Target mode worked. Connected my Black Book via Firewire, saw the MDD OWC SSD, fired up Disk Utility, verified / repaired the boot drive (it said it was in great condition, etc.) but no change at the next boot.

    bunnspecial: "2. Boot the MDD into single user mode(command+S). If it boots, it will boot to a command prompt. Once you see this, type /sbin/fsck -fy . It will take a few minutes to run. If, when finishing, you get the message "FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED" run fsck again and keep doing so until it doesn't return this message."

    Didn't think of that one. Will do this. Thank you.

    @for this: "My MDD didn't recognize all the RAM, and often had KP/erratic boot when the power supply was bad."

    Power Supply is brand new (pic below). It's only 380W but that should do easily for a simple MMD setup (media player). Note that the newer 430W and 500W P/S from Antec do not have a dorsal fan (only a side fan) and it makes for a difficult install in an MDD.
     

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  8. for this macrumors regular

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    #8
    380w PSU should be fine, the original is just 360w. :)
     
  9. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #9
    Just to make sure, is your Blackbook running the same OS as the MDD? Depending on when it was made, it would have shipped with either Tiger or Leopard, and, again, depending on the model can be upgraded to either Snow Leopard or Lion.

    Repairing permissions from a different version of OS X is a good way to really screw things up. If your Blackbook and MDD are both running Leopard, for example, you should have any problems(it's actually possible to boot an Intel Mac with a Leopard install cloned from a PPC Mac and vice-versa, although many folks will tell you this won't work).

    With that said, since it KPs on the install disk also, that makes me think it's most likely a hardware problem.

    Also, you mentioned that you've taken it down to two 512mb sticks of RAM, but it's entirely possible that one of those is bad. MDDs will boot with a single RAM stick(unlike G5s) so I'd try taking it down to a single stick and trying each in turn absolutely eliminate RAM as a problem.

    One last thing-for troubleshooting purposes, I'd stick with the Radeon 9000 as it's(probably) the shipping card for your computer(or at least it was for most MDDs). If you're using a 9600 PC&Mac, it introduces an additional level of complexity. On a good, running system, it should be fine(at least in an MDD), but it's one less thing to worry about when trying to track down a problem.
     
  10. mikiotty macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #10
    Was that pic taken before or after the troubleshooting you did?
     
  11. abbotkinneydude thread starter macrumors member

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    Venice, CA
    #11
    @ mikiotty: "Was that pic taken before or after the troubleshooting you did?"

    The picture was taken before disassembly. It was included to show the P/S. The unit is down to the Graphic Card, the OWC SSD and 1GB of Ram.

    @ bunnspecial: "Repairing permissions from a different version of OS X is a good way to really screw things up. If your Blackbook and MDD are both running Leopard, for example, you should have any problems(it's actually possible to boot an Intel Mac with a Leopard install cloned from a PPC Mac and vice-versa, although many folks will tell you this won't work)."

    The BlackBook has 10.6 but I do have an iBook G4 with 10.5 installed. Let me use this instead in Target Mode.

    As for the RAM, I just ordered another 2 sticks from OWC. Will use those in my next round of test (and yes will go down to 1 stick). Duly noted about the RADEON 9000 - will have it in there instead of the 9600.

    Thanks everyone - much appreciated.

    ----------

    BTW- Quick question re: RAM Sticks.

    How do you call the metal (or plastic?) protections / casings you sometimes see around RAM sticks in various hobbyists builds?

    Thank you.
     
  12. for this macrumors regular

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    #12
    Heat spreader?
     
  13. abbotkinneydude, May 30, 2015
    Last edited: May 30, 2015

    abbotkinneydude thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    Single User Mode

    bunnspecial: "2. Boot the MDD into single user mode(command+S). If it boots, it will boot to a command prompt. Once you see this, type /sbin/fsck -fy . It will take a few minutes to run. If, when finishing, you get the message "FILE SYSTEM WAS MODIFIED" run fsck again and keep doing so until it doesn't return this message."

    Hi Bunnspecial,

    I got some new, new ram from OWC yesterday (+ retroverted to the RADEON 9000) and attempted to log into Single User Mode but it's again total fail. It either freezes or brings a Kernel Panic. I actually had some success earlier this week booting from the OWC SSD and the LEOPARD DVD but KPs happened within minutes. At this point, I'm waiting for a new Dual processor in the mail and see how it goes from there.

    Pics from Single User Mode are below.
     

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  14. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    #14
    from what I can tell looking at your kernel panic Leopard is crashing on your ATA bus... so It would seem something on your ATA bus is causing issues (not the first time I have seen an MDD with a dead ATA bus) and I see still waiting for root device. this means OS X cant find the HDD its booted from... make sure all your Jumper settings are correct and you don't have a broken ATA cable.
     
  15. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #15
    Need help diagnosing MDD issue

    Better yet, OP, Try switching the HDD to a different drive Bay and see if it works there as opposed to the one it's currently in.
     
  16. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    Jan 13, 2013
    #16
    Gamer, I don't think that G4 towers have slots like the mac pro with an equipped sata connector, especially since this is IDE.
    Do you mean moving the connector from one HDD to another.

    Also, try another IDE cable.
     
  17. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #17
    MDDs have three ATA busses.

    The "main" bus is ATA/100 and the cable is normally routed to the cage under the PSU.

    The secondary bus is(I think) ATA/66 and is routed to the hard drive case under the optical drives.

    The third is ATA/33 and goes to the optical drive(s).

    This allows for a total of 6 installed ATA devices.

    The computer will boot off a drive installed at any position in any of these busses, so the suggestion to move the drive to one of the others is a good one.
     
  18. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #18

    What Bunn said above is what I was referring to.
     
  19. abbotkinneydude thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    Hello everyone!

    I was able to boot from the AHT disc and ran 2 test (long / short). In both cases, the motherboard seemed legit. When I tried to boot into my original MDD Install Disc (same as AHT but this time I booted into Panther), I again went into total KP land. Note that I swapped the boot drive from ATA Bus to ATA Bus with no success. I just got a used dual 1.25 processor in the mail yesterday. Will install it today. In addition of the fresh new ram, that should hopefully resolve the situation.

    As always, I'm including a few screen captures (AHT test results + safe visual boot mode) for the curious.

    Cheers.
     

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  20. abbotkinneydude thread starter macrumors member

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    #20
    Hello everyone! I installed the new processor last night (picture below) and it seems to work so far. :) Never thought a processor would die before a motherboard... I will post more pictures once I'm done with the (re)build. If anyone needs an MDD P/S, I'm getting rid of the previous ANTEC 500W I was using on this build. It's using an MDD connector so works out of the box (it needs a little love - some of the solder joints are showing their age). PM me if interested.
     

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  21. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

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    #21
    @abbotkinneydude In my Dell Dimension XPS T500, the old ZIF-type Pentium 3 died before everything else in the computer did. Luckily, I found a Pentium 2 with the same slot connector, so the computer now works again :)
     
  22. comda macrumors 6502a

    comda

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    #22
    Hmm. Interesting. I wonder if it overheated. My QS will not chime at all i wonder if the 1Ghz DP is dead...?
     

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