PowerMac G4 MDD FW800 questions

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by applegeek13, May 18, 2010.

  1. applegeek13 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    #1
    Ok, so, I've had my PowerMac for about 7 months now. I've got some questions to ask, but first I'll give you guys the specs:

    2X1.25 GHz G4
    512MB RAM (in slot 3)
    80GB Boot Drive
    400GB Slave drive
    Superdrive
    ATI Radeon 9000 64MB Graphics
    10.4.11
    23" Apple Cinema HD Display (the acrylics/plastic one, not aluminum)

    Questions:

    Who is a good parts supplier, other than ebay? I have used Other World, and they're ok, but any others?

    Can I upgrade the graphics card beyond what I've got? I've seen some 1 GB AGP cards, but I'm not sure if they're compatible.

    Is there a way to get more than 2GBs of RAM in?

    It likes to kernel panic, I'm not running flash or anything.

    Any tips on how to make this thing run cooler? It's a pretty good space heater for winter, but it's getting to be summer now.

    I'm on a (very) limited budget, so I need to do this upgrade cheaply and probably in steps. What should I go for first? I'm thinking RAM.

    Thanks! -Jake
     
  2. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #2
    You cannot put more than 2GB RAM in an MDD.

    I would say ebay and OWC are the best place for mac parts. Especially older mac parts.

    Kernel panics often mean a bad stick of RAM. I have seen a couple times where some sticks can live a half dead life sort of. Try taking out one stick at a time then boot up and do what you often do when it panics on you.

    There is a great seller on ebay by the name of "tubabug" that sells pretty much just used mac memory for half the price or less of new. I have bought from him twice and will again when I need RAM in the future. His shipping is only $1-2 bucks even for 4+ sticks. I bought 4x 512MB for my G4 Sawtooth tower from him for $97 shipped. Works perfectly.
     
  3. applegeek13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #3
    Thanks! Also, n00b question, the combo drive doesn't burn DVDs does it?

    Can I put in any AGP Graphics card? Or what is the best I can put in?
     
  4. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #4
    nope combo only reads dvd and reads and burns cd
    for burning dvd you need a superdrive , they are not as expensive as the ram upgrade :)
     
  5. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #5
    Correct. A combo drive only reads DVD. It will burn CD-R though.

    I have seen DVD-RW drives on sale at local shops as low as $25 the last few months. Pioneer and LG tend to work best with G4 towers. I recommend Pioneer.

    edit: I have owned an MDD in the past and for a new DVD drive you will need to take the removable face of the front of the drawer. Not the whole drive face.. just the drawer face. I just used a flat head screw driver on the seam where it connects and it popped right off. Keep the face stashed somewhere incase you ever want to put it back on.
     
  6. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #6
    Nope, not "any". You can use real Mac one or flashed one (card must have Mac ROM on it). Most powerful will be 7800GS 256MB (flashed). From "genuine" Apple side it will be 9800 Pro 256MB.
    You can buy preflashed card on eBay or flash it yourself (that's much better IMO, fun factor is bigger). In this second case you got to choose right card - it's base of success.

    About KPs: it could be also caused by bad HDD (or damaged system files on it). Check it with Disk Utility (Verify Disk) and repair if needed.
     
  7. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #7
    I say go for the 9800. Best cost/performance ratio for that class of card. You can get them for around 90-120 on ebay.
     
  8. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #8
    I don't recommend using a flashed card in the AGP slot, because some of the pins will need to be covered in order to work and you will lose compatibility with your Apple Display. If you want to keep using your Apple Display, you will need a card with an Apple Display Connector (ADC). Just pick up a Mac Edition card.

    Your Mac is kernel panicking because your drive is bad, methinks. 80gb, you say? In that case I'm assuming it's the stock from 2003. Mine was going bad so doing anything that involved accessing the drive for several minutes would just crash it or completely freeze it. I recommend trying to repair permissions, verify the disk, then if that fails, install another drive to boot from and test that.

    Install Leopard on this thing, it will run faster, believe it or not. Just throw some more ram in there. With 768mb of ram, Leopard was great on my SINGLE PROCESSOR 1.25ghz, I can't imagine how well it would be on yours with 2gb.
     
  9. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #9
    Good point, MrCheeto! I forgot completely about OP's 23 HD ACD (great display BTW).
    So, max with ADC (G4 compatible) should be this (weird card or photo is wrong, it looks more like 9000 - TSOP RAM Mac 9800 :confused:): http://www.welovemacs.com/102a1360102.html Others with more (and better) RAM are AGP Pro or AGP without ADC (VGA+DVI).
     
  10. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
  11. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #11
    All DP and single versions had ADC support. DC not. G5 ADC cards: GF5200 Ultra, R9600, R9800 and X800XT. All were AGP Pro (G4 non compatible). I think that picture of 9800 64 from welovemacs is wrong (on pic is for 99% 9000Pro). These cards (9800) need additional power which is provided by additional pins of AGP Pro connector. If such a card is "regular" AGP, it should have external power connector.
     
  12. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #12
    I guess the panics could possibly be the hard drive but in my 16+ years of using macs I have never seen that.

    In my experiences it's almost always memory.
     
  13. applegeek13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #13
    Thanks for the support guys! I'm 99.9% sure it's not my hard drive. I've moved the RAM around and it helped, for about two boots and then went back to KP'ing pretty often. I'm going to be ordering some RAM from tubabug this week, so I'll see how that goes. Video card and superdrive are next. I might even get the SD this week too, we'll see if they're cheap.
     
  14. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #14
    Um...it doesn't have to be a super drive. Any DVD writer, or even a Blu-Ray drive with a compatible interface (some form of PATA) will work fine.
     
  15. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #15
    Pretty much every "superdrive" as apple called them was simply a stock pioneer dvd-rw. It's Apple's word for dvd-rw and not a special kind of drive.

    I have a pioneer 112D in my sawtooth and it works 100% with the default OS drivers.
     
  16. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #16
    Sure, but I can not express the number of clients I've helped that unfalteringly believe there are "mac" drives and "mac" ram as there is diesel and petrol fuels.

    People in America are a little thick.
     
  17. applegeek13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #17
    I was saying Superdrve because I can. I know what it is. And, yes, most of us Americans are a bit thick. German heritage, anybody?
     
  18. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #18
    LUL...but I don't get it.

    Any who, I'm sure that after a RAM upgrade and mending your dying disk, you'll enjoy Leopard on that thing. What I would give to have mine back... What do you normally use it for? Is it your main system? How does it hold up?
     
  19. applegeek13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #19
    @MrCheeto - Do you think my main hard drive is dying? And yes, it's my main computer. It holds up ok, considering. Yesterday, however, my mac reset all its settings. The desktop returned to standard, and the dock reset, kicking out all my shortcuts. All my files are still ok, but my dock has shortcuts to applications I've never owned. iPhoto, iMovie HD. What caused this?
     
  20. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #20
    Hm, no idea, there.

    Yes, it sounds to me like your drive is likely having issues. Repair permissions and verify the disk. If in the end you get no errors, try it out for a while and if the crashes continue, it's very likely the RAM or hard drive. You said changing the RAM around the slots made a difference so...
     
  21. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #21
    It looks to me, like you logged into new user account. This could explain default dock shortcuts and wallpaper. You got only one user in your OS? Didn't you changed antyhing in Core Services folder or renamed your account?
    Or it could mean account settings data corruption, i.e. HDD problems.
     
  22. applegeek13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #22
    Ok, so, Im pretty sure my hard drive is dying. I have a slve drive in, the 400gb one. It has a lot of photos on it, but it's nowhere near full. How would I go about copying my boot drive onto it? Will it erase my files? Or can I just use disk utility and copy it over and change the hardware?
     
  23. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #23
    Don't quote me on this, but I've seen aqua-mac using 2GB of RAM in his MDD FW800 using 2 1GB sticks. I'd see if you can find/borrow from a friend or something 2 1GB chips to test this theory.

    I mean, they said the iMac G4 can only take 1GB, but it can actually take 2GB.

    Back when these machines first came out, there wasn't 1GB chips out IIRC.
     
  24. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

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    Nov 2, 2008
    #24
    I wouldn't risk it. It says the max is 2gb, but whether it's all addressable through one slot...needs investigating.

    Besides, it'd be more economic to use four 512mb sticks, I'm sure.

    Anyway, plug in a new drive that you want to boot from and format it as you like in Leopard, or whatever you're running. Then, just use Restore to restore the image of your current drive to the new one. Nothing's lost and you're ready to go!

    Just uninstall the old drive and done. Also know that the REAR two drives are connected on a faster bus ;) ATA100 is the rear, ATA66 is on the front under the optical drives, and ATA33 is the optical drive's bus.
     
  25. applegeek13 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 7, 2009
    #25
    Well, if I install a replacement I'll have to buy a new drive. Is there any way to use the drive I have without loosing the data on it?
     

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