Power Mac G5 freezing

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
My new to me PM G5 has recently experienced some issues freezing. When I got it I put a fresh copy of OS X 10.4.0 on it. I've since upgraded to 10.4.1. There has been no common thread as far as I can tell as to program usage at the time it's happened, and it's been once every couple days that it's happened. A reboot fixes the problem, but I'd much prefer it doesn't happen at all. I've verified and repaired the disk permissions each time it's happened, but yesterday it happened for about the 4th time in the 2 weeks I've had the machine.

If any of you can give me any advice on how to remedy this, it'd be appreciated.

It's the SP 1.6 machine. I've kept everything stock so far except adding an airport card and 2x256MB sticks of RAM to bring the total to 768MB. It has occured to me it might be a RAM problem, but with it happneing so infrequently (relatively), I think it would be impossible to tell unless someone has a "memtest" for Mac...
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
Do this...
Eniregnat said:
Hard Drive ->library -> logs -> panic.log
Click on Panic Log
Console will open (its an application)
Select text, copy (command-c)
Post in this forum, paste is (command-p)

Good luck.
 

spinne1

macrumors 6502a
Ryan T. said:
I've kept everything stock so far except adding.....2x256MB sticks of RAM...
How to tell if the problem is your added ram? Take your ram out, run it with 256mb. See if the problem occurs (give it a good three days). If not, voila, problem diagnosed. If so, move the slots the ram is in (simply move each one to a different slot). It will likely do nothing to fix it but it can't hurt to try.
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
Damn, it just happened again, and still no kernel panic log. The thing just freezes. No errors or anything like that.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Was there a CD that came with your Power Mac called something like Hardware Test CD? Give that a twirl.

Also, what are you usually doing when it freezes? Is it the same app each time?
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
Sorry, second hand PM, no hardware test.

The only app I think was open everytime was a special G5 build of firefox. I just uninstalled that, and will use Safari for a while. Maybe it was that.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Oh yeah, and from this thread I found the Memtest for Mac but apparently, according to our resident RAM guru, CanadaRAM, it's not great for G5s and Tiger just yet but they're working on a new release to overcome current problems. Maybe keep an eye on this site for a while.
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
mad jew said:
Oh yeah, and from this thread I found the Memtest for Mac but apparently, according to our resident RAM guru, CanadaRAM, it's not great for G5s and Tiger just yet but they're working on a new release to overcome current problems. Maybe keep an eye on this site for a while.
Doesn't seem to work on my system :(

Well, maybe it is the RAM. I suppose I should rip the aftermarket out and replace it. It's just PNY regular RAM. I HATE how this machine runs with 256MB though.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
Don't know, as long as the two big reasons for unknow freezes are eliminated -- Nortons and HP all-in-one printers (or another USB/FW device.)

I have no idea, except to say -- reseat the airport card.

---

But don't rule out reinstalling the OS (not asking you to) --- and try booting into safe mode (holding the shift key while it boots.)
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
Sun Baked said:
Don't know, as long as the two big reasons for unknow freezes are eliminated -- Nortons and HP all-in-one printers (or another USB/FW device.)

I have no idea, except to say -- reseat the airport card.

---

But don't rule out reinstalling the OS (not asking you to) --- and try booting into safe mode (holding the shift key while it boots.)
Well I've considered re-installing Tiger, but I'm working on what is almost a fresh install now. If I do, will an "upgrade" work (rewrite the system files), or should I format?

Also, I've eliminated the possiblity it's the RAM I added. It froze while running just the stock 256MB. I've now got my RAM in there and the stock RAM out.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
Alright, update!

Took out the original apple 2 x128MB sticks. The computer has been freeze free for 3+ days.

Just goes to show that it's not always 3rd party RAM that does you in.

Side note: Tiger needs more than 512MB to run smoothly, I have to buy more RAM!
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
HELP!!!

Ordered 2 x 512MB from Crucial:

Put them in the outer banks with the 256x2 (non-crucial) in the inner banks where they have been for 2 weeks without any freezing. here's what happened:
It froze. Again. I took it apart, switched the DIMM locations and it registered as 512MB for some reason. I switched the DIMMs back, and it's reading 1.5GB now (runs awesome) and hasn't frozen since yesterday evening, but this wasn't something that happened often when it was happening before, maybe once a day. They only thing I can think of is that the PM is just being really picky and doesn't want 2 different brands/sizes of RAM in there. Is there a chance one of my banks is broken?
 

XNine

macrumors 68040
A small chance, but none the less, a chance. IF it's registering the RAM as two different sizes, then that's just kooky talk. Try pulling the memory out of one of the sockets and run for a while, if it freezes, use the other socket. See if it does it on that. Is this machien still under warranty? Did you buy Applecare or get it transferred fromt he orginal owner?

If not, make sure you purchase it in the future on other machines. IT's well worth the initial investment if the machine's logic board goes out within the 3 years... (save you about 700 bucks)

Also, make sure you are using the correct RAM (DIMM, SO-DIMM, Whatever it is).
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
Onizuka said:
A small chance, but none the less, a chance. IF it's registering the RAM as two different sizes, then that's just kooky talk. Try pulling the memory out of one of the sockets and run for a while, if it freezes, use the other socket. See if it does it on that. Is this machien still under warranty? Did you buy Applecare or get it transferred fromt he orginal owner?

If not, make sure you purchase it in the future on other machines. IT's well worth the initial investment if the machine's logic board goes out within the 3 years... (save you about 700 bucks)

Also, make sure you are using the correct RAM (DIMM, SO-DIMM, Whatever it is).
Ok. First, no applecare. The original owner didn't get it and I didn't have the option. Second what it's doing is if I place the larger pair on the inside, its just not reading it. It's simply reading the two RAM chips in the outside banks, which is technically impossible for a PowerMac to do.

I'm not going to pay to replace the logic board. At worst, I'll run it w/ a gig of RAM on the two inside banks, or run it as is and put up with a few freezes. The machine to me is not worth a replacement of that magnitude.
 

hcuar

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2004
1,065
0
Dallas
What are the actual brands of memory installed in the PM. I had conflicts between Apple's originally installed memory and memory that I purchased from Crucial... I ened up purchasing Apple RAM and still had compatibility issues. It seems that the first set of DIMMS from Apple (something that begins with an N) were incompatible with most other brands. It caused very similar problems to what you are describing. Apple sent a new set of 256MB DIMMS that were Micron, and the problem i fixed up.
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
hcuar said:
What are the actual brands of memory installed in the PM. I had conflicts between Apple's originally installed memory and memory that I purchased from Crucial... I ened up purchasing Apple RAM and still had compatibility issues. It seems that the first set of DIMMS from Apple (something that begins with an N) were incompatible with most other brands. It caused very similar problems to what you are describing. Apple sent a new set of 256MB DIMMS that were Micron, and the problem i fixed up.
The more I think about it the more I think this might be the case. The original RAM is out of the computer because I think it was bad, or at least causing problems.

Now I have 2x256 of PNY and 2x512 of Crucial. Could this be what's causing the conflict?
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
Basically what I'm really itching to know is if it's possible this is a logic board problem (doesn't seem to me, b/c it's so sporadic), or a memory problem. Memory I can deal with, if it's the logic board I'll be upset.
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
Did it last night. This time I have switched the DIMMs so it goes bigger to smaller inside to out, not that I think it'll make a difference. It does at least regisiter as 1.5GB.

Is there any chance this is just a case of the Apple not liking 2 different brands of RAM, or should I resign myself to my Mac having a "quirk" and lose the 512MB and just use the 1GB in the inside DIMM slots?
 

hcuar

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2004
1,065
0
Dallas
Ryan T. said:
Is there any chance this is just a case of the Apple not liking 2 different brands of RAM, or should I resign myself to my Mac having a "quirk" and lose the 512MB and just use the 1GB in the inside DIMM slots?
Correct... Apple probably doesn't like the two brands of RAM. I'm guessing the PNY memory is not completely compatible. Welcome to the world Mac. :eek: If you want the 1.5GB, you could always buy another two stics of Crucial memory, or even purchase another two 512MB DIMMs and upgrade to 2GB.

Apple is very, very picky about memory. The conflicting DIMM that Apple replaced from my PM had a different cache latency range than the new memory.
 

Ryan T.

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
599
27
Rochester, NY
hcuar said:
Correct... Apple probably doesn't like the two brands of RAM. I'm guessing the PNY memory is not completely compatible. Welcome to the world Mac. :eek: If you want the 1.5GB, you could always buy another two stics of Crucial memory, or even purchase another two 512MB DIMMs and upgrade to 2GB.

Apple is very, very picky about memory. The conflicting DIMM that Apple replaced from my PM had a different cache latency range than the new memory.
Okay. I thought I was okay with two brands that Apple recommends (PNY and Crucial). I just find it odd that the PNY worked when it was alone in my machine, but as soon as you get the Crucial in there, probelms spring up. So you're saying if I buy another 1GB of Crucial, it should work fine?

In your opinion, whats the chance this is a logic board failure with the symptons I've described?

I really appreciate your help.