Need your input. Do I have bad onboard RAM? (ibook G4 mid2005)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Cox Orange, May 5, 2017.

  1. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    I experienced an issue on my mothers 12" 1,33GHz ibook G4 (1GB RAM, 160GB Samsung HM160HC). Some videos that play without problems on my identical ibook (only difference that it has 1.5GB RAM, and a 320GB WD3200BEVE) play flaky on hers. Encoding them with only a resolution of ...x320 (using h.264, which is not recommended anyway, I know) usually solves the problem, but still I was wondering, why both act differently.
    There is one video with a low bitrate of 500kbps and 640x480 resolution, where grey artefact blocks appear at scene changes (like one knows them from when a computer can't keep up with the flow of data, though usually one knows them having colours).

    I pulled out the extra RAM and ran memtest on the stock RAM that is soldered to the Board. See the attachment.

    Is my assumption correct, that I can't do anything from here on or is there something I forgot? Can these RAM issues occur because of other underlying problems?

    Excuse the quality of the picture.

    Thanks in advance.

    IMG_20170502_184403.jpg
     
  2. MagicBoy, May 5, 2017
    Last edited: May 5, 2017

    MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #2
    Tried running AHT?

    Yeah, you're pretty much stuck. Might be bad cache RAM somewhere, but it's unlikely.
     
  3. Cox Orange thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #3
    I will try AHT as soon as I have the time for. Thanks. I haven't so far, because I forgot about it having memtest at hand.
     
  4. KawaiiAurora macrumors 6502

    KawaiiAurora

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Location:
    Europa
    #4
    I'd say the onboard RAM is failing :/ I'd suggest you keep the extra RAM stick in there and maybe ask some more experienced members on here if you can insert some blank file in the onboard RAM section of your RAM to avoid issues.
     
  5. Cox Orange, May 10, 2017
    Last edited: May 10, 2017

    Cox Orange thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #5
    The idea with the blank file is interesting, thanks!

    For now I have to report no good.

    Before I ran AHT I checked disc utility and it said "key out of order". So it means the file system is broken. But I doubt, that this is the reason for memtest finding the RAM not working properly. Tried to repair the file system via disk utility. Couldn't repair. So I thought, well probably I will have to boot into the install DVD to be able to repair it.

    Before I did this I worked with / booted the ibook some times, because I had to look for some things there.

    Then I ran AHT. After 26min. it was ready and stated every hardware was ok. Hm, so why did memtest then find write/reading errors in the RAM? It seems the wide spread opinion that AHT usually finds nothing has some truth, I was thinking.

    I then used disk utility from the DVD and it repaired b-tree structures, but couldn't repair the "key out of order".
    Since then, I tried
    a) booting the OS via the start volume selection in the DVD = did not show the internal as volume at all
    b) booted holding down opt. key. internal HDD was selectable = it booted, showing the apple, showing some circular movement under the apple and then just went off and black.
    c) started, connected to my other ibook, holding down "T" for target mode = my other ibook didn't show the defective ibook's HDD. Disk Utility however showed the Volume, but said the Mac OS partition was not "activated".

    I then googled for Disk warrior and saw that it costs 120,-USD. Also I would need Version 3 for Tiger, which I didn't find.
    So I thought I give Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery for Mac a try again (I prefere cgsecurity's Testdisk actually). I wondered, if it has some rpeair routines like Disk Warrior, too. No it doesn't but, I was able to get a list of the stuff I had installed on the "defective" ibook. So I with this list I can reinstall the content putting it together from older backups.

    Regarding a) and b) Stellar says that the volume is bootable and ejectable, so I wonder, why it can't boot or can be activated in disk utility.

    I would like to have the log files of what the user did in the last days. What file do I have to recover (will do that with Stellar or Testdisk), to get this log file one can look at in Console app?
    I guess it is not just any file that's named "log".

    IS THERE ANYONE THAT HAS AN IDEA what to do, before I just format the drive and reinstall the OS
    and then go back having a look at the RAM issue again?
     
  6. KawaiiAurora macrumors 6502

    KawaiiAurora

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2016
    Location:
    Europa
    #6
    I highly doubt how a defective HDD can cause RAM issues but anything can happen. I've never been too fond of repairing disk errors myself. I'd suggest you back up what you need and nuke the HDD if it's not too much of an issue. Alternatively, you could try some tests from a Linux live CD. DiskWarrior 3 is available from shady (you know what I mean) websites if that's your thing tho
     
  7. Cox Orange, May 10, 2017
    Last edited: May 10, 2017

    Cox Orange thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #7
    Thanks for encouraging me on my view here.
    Yes, "nuke" it, is probably the best decision, since stuff on the disk isn't important (also have them on other disks and rescued them) and it's not worth investing more time into it. I was just hoping there is some way accessing the comsole log file. Backing up the console app from the defective Volume didn't help, the console app is not opening on my other ibook.

    I now had the idea to connect an external drive with a Leopard install on it I have laying arround. The drive is spinning, but I don't get it as an option upon holding down opt.-key. It shows up on my other Macs, though.


    PS: I wasn't able to boot the external drive via opt.-key, but now I succeeded booting first the DVD and then in the DVD go to Utilities -> Startdisk and select the external drive.
    However, the external driv open the Console app on the defective drive, but it won't show me its log, but the log of the external drive.
     
  8. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #8
    More likely to be the other way around as most data that is written to disk is stored in RAM while worked on. Bad memory or cache on a CPU can cause havoc!

    I recently had a DIMM go faulty in my gaming PC. I'd had sporadic corruption of user data files and the odd system file (most likely updated by Windows Update) for a couple months that had to be cleared up after. Luckily it never badly broke the file system.
     
  9. Cox Orange thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    #9
    Thank you.

    It seems meanwhile I had success repairing the file system. What did I do?

    1. connect firewire drive with Leopard on it (important, since Leopard is more likely to let you read form unmountable drives!) and power it on
    2. power on ibook and put in install DVD, hold down the opt.-key
    3. select the install DVD (selecting the external Leopard install will not be successful for some reason, but you can try)
    4. select your language. Then ignore the install window, look at the top bar and select "utilities" and select "startupdrive"
    5. select the external firewire drive with Leopard
    6. wait a bit. You get a message, that "Macintosh HD" needs to be repaired, but can't be repaired with Leopard (because it has Tiger on it). Click "ok".
    7. Connect a second external empty(!) HDD and power up
    8. open SuperDuper (if you don't have it, install it from shirtpocket. Obviously not to your defective drive)
    9. in SD, choose the broken drive as source, and the second external HDD as destination. Choose "backup all files" and hit copy. Type your password. - SuperDuper backs up files file after file, this way it does a defragmentation and it is also the reason it takes a bit longer than other backup tools. I assume this way it also needs to set new directories etc.
    10. When it is ready and you get a message. Close the App. Unmount the backup drive and mount it again. If you like you can now open Disk Utility in the utilities folder in your application folder and test, if the backup is ok. Mine was ok then.
    11. I now used Disk Utility to erase (which also partitions/formats) the wonky internal drive. I don't know, if this is necessary, since SuperDuper does this, too before it starts copying
    12. Use Super to clone the backup back. Choose backup as source and select internal as destination and "backup all files" and hit "copy"

    Now I only need someone who writes me a script that puts a file in my onboard RAM, so it can't be used anymore... :D
     

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