Power Mac g4 MDD (8570): troubleshoot, or gut?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Greffe, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Greffe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #1
    I've got a non-working Mirror Drive Door Power Mac, and I'm trying to decide whether to make the most of it in its current state, replace the HDD and maybe install Linux, or take most of the components out and try to shoehorn in a new logic board/motherboard, since it's such a solid, nicely-designed case.

    If someone has an idea what the situation is with the hardware, I'd appreciate it. It powers up and usually produces its booting chime, and sometimes sends the 'missing folder' image to the monitor. Sometimes, it then goes to an apple symbol with the little ticking circle of bars under it, but although I've loaded up the Leopard install DVD, it's never searched for an install volume. Other times, there's no signal to the monitor, and the noisy fan comes on immediately. Also, occasionally, after the apple symbol, it gives the "You need to restart your computer" message. I'm not sure what to make of all these different results at the boot stage.

    I'd like to do the best possible job getting this old machine running, but if it's not possible, I'll try to salvage the case and maybe the PSU. Any thoughts? Thanks, Marlon
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    Not knowing anything about the history of this Mac, I'd start with a new hard drive. At the very least, if you can, confirm that the old hard drive is good. If the drive checks out or you get a new hard drive and the Installer DVD does not see it (after formatting the drive) then there may be other issues.

    If you boot from the install DVD and then go to Disk Utility (it's in one of the menus in the menubar) does Disk Utility see the drive?

    It just seems like the drive is failed. The flashing question mark means the Mac cannot find an OS to boot from. The fact that it does load to the Apple logo and the spinning circle means that there is (or was) a bootable OS at one point. But the cryptic messages you get that tell you to restart is what's called a Kernel Panic. That means that the kernel (which runs everything) has received instructions it either does not know how to process or cannot comply with and so booting stops.

    If you can see the drive and the drive is not bad, you may be able to repair the installation. You can try that from Disk Utility by selectiong the drive and clicking on Repair Disk.

    If DU won't handle it you could try getting a copy of DiskWarrior, booting from that disk and repairing. However, if the damage is bad enough you may have to reinstall altogether. But this is all assuming the drive is still good.
     
  3. Greffe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #3
    Thank you for replying. I should have clarified that there is no hard drive currently. This computer was sitting out next to the recycling bins and the HD had been removed. I connected an external one, hoping it would attempt to install the OS there.

    My MacBook's HD failed this summer, so I've seen what that looks like, and if I remember correctly, running the install disk from DU would give the option to use an external drive.
    I've got an old HD taken from a PC that I'll try out to see if that makes any difference. Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  4. Greffe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #4
    Connected the HD, and immediately got the install screen. It's in the process of installing right now--so far, so good!
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    Awesome!

    Keep in mind that what you "know" as far as Intel Macs does not necessarily apply to PowerPC Macs. A lot of PowerPC Macs will not boot via a USB external drive for example.

    One of these years I AM going to encounter the thrown away Mac and make a rescue!

    So far, no one around me has ever tossed out a Mac that I can see.
     
  6. Greffe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #6
    lucky recipe

    Thanks for the advice about specifics of Power PC Macs. I see also that this won't run Snow Leopard, which helped the MacBook's performance.

    On the whole, though, it's lucky this Power Mac seems to be running correctly, with the exception of the Airport Extreme connection (the ethernet does work), and the old HDD happened to be the right type, IDE/Ultra ATA to connect smoothly. I may install a new, faster one and upgrade to 2gb RAM.

    This may be for a different forum, but I wonder whether I can install a Linux distribution via USB. 10.5.8 can't run the Flash update for a lot of video content, but it seems that Linux may be able to.
     
  7. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Location:
    The Philippines...
    #7
    If you are using Safari, you can change the user agent to iphone, ipod or ipad. Then you can view the videos thru html5.
     
  8. Greffe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #8
    Hi there, Could you explain further? I changed the use agent to iPad, but Flash videos aren't working. I get a message saying the video doesn't work on my device.

    I also tried updating from the Flash website, and got this message: "This content requires Adobe Flash Player, which is not supported by your device."
    Any thoughts?
     
  9. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
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    Phoenix • 85037
    #9
    The latest version of Flash that any PowerPC Mac can use is version 10.something. There is a hack that alters the version number to show as 11.something so that it can fool websites, but the version is still 10.something.

    You can use Safari, but a lot of people also use TenFourFox. TenFourFox is a fork of Firefox developed specifically for PowerPC Macs. Right now the unstable version is 24 and the stable is 17. Both those numbers are equivalent to Firefox 24 and Firefox 17.

    If you use TenFourFox, make sure to get the right one for your G4. You want the 7450 version.

    Note that you cannot use Chrome as that's Intel only. Also, the stock version of Safari is insecure. LeopardWebkit would be recommended if you want to keep using Safari. LeopardWebkit is based on nightly builds of webkit and is therefore a secure browser.

    Attached you will find my hacked version of Flash. Keep in mind that Flash on PowerPC Macs is not going to be anything like the Intel Macs. Even if you can get it to run smoothly (good luck) your processor is going to peg at 100% cpu. Mactubes, which is an app designed to play YouTube video may be a good alternative.
     
  10. Greffe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #10
    I feel this is moving forward, and thank you for this detailed reply and your Flash file. I wasn't able to open it using Safari or TenFourFox, though. For the moment, Youtube plays video with no problem on the PowerMac, but I'd really like to get it running streams or video from the BBC iPlayer site, e.g.http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ml0q2

    Still, I'm glad to see Office 2004 working smoothly, and am just installing iLife to give it a test. Thanks so much for the replies.:)
     
  11. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #11
    Forgive me if you already know this, but the file I linked to is zipped. You need to uncompress it and place it here: Macintosh HD>Libary>Internet Plugins.

    Then restart your browser if it's not already closed. Note that the Flash plugin is disabled in T4Fx as a security measure.

    Locate plugin.state.flash in about:config (in T4Fx) and switch the value from 0 to 1

    Yep, Office 2004 works and guess what. So does Office 2008. The Adobe Creative Suite 4 also works as well, though there are some individual apps that are Intel or G5 only.
     
  12. Greffe thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #12
    Also, Youtube video runs on Safari, but not TFF. I'm downloading Leopard Webkit now.
     
  13. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #13
    See my reply above to get it working under T4Fx.
     
  14. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #14
    Don't forget plugins only work up to the now outdated and insecure TenFourFox version 17.
     
  15. Greffe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #15
    More trouble.

    Right, so, although the MDD was working generally well, I next tried installing Debian (jumping in at the deep end), realized I hadn't set it up correctly for dual-boot, and reinstalled Leopard afterwards to start from scratch (with 3 partitions).

    One strange thing is that this time, Airport Extreme works perfectly, whereas before, I couldn't get it to connect, so it remained 'unconfigured.'

    I am also getting lots of crashes in Safari, and some kernel panics, and when I try to install the various add-ons for Safari (see previous posts, nothing downloads correctly, with a wide range of different error messages.

    Picture 4.png

    When I was running OS 10.5.8 on a MacBook, I remember lots of Flash-based content not working, but not causing crashes. Is this just because of the PPC processor? I could try reinstalling the OS, but wondered if you all might have some insight. Thanks.
     
  16. Greffe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #16
    Narrowing the situation

    Update: I looked inside and noticed one of the RAM modules looked slightly out of place, pushed it in and this seems to have stopped the crashes and kernel panics, for the moment. The download failures are still as before, though.
     

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