PowerMac G4 (QS) Issues...lots of them

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Daedalus256, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Daedalus256 macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It has been quite a while since I've been here. Recently, I picked up a G4 Quicksilver from my job since they were basically going to throw it out. It appeared to work just fine and when I took it home I had ever intention of throwing a fresh copy of at least Tiger on it and enjoying it. None of that has happened.

    Lets start off with the specs:
    Dual 800mhz G4
    512-1.25GB RAM (Believe one of the sticks is bad so lets just say 1GB for now)
    32MB Geforce 2 MX
    80GB WD Drive
    CD Drive of some nondescript variety.

    I do know that the dual 800mhz chip was an upgrade card but that's really all I know about it. Moving on

    Bring it home and I get three beeps, reset the PRAM, PC boots up just fine into whatever it was running before (I think it was Tiger, didn't look) and since I want a fresh install, I reboot it into startup disk selection.

    I'm installing Tiger from a firewire drive that has the full installation on it. First time I attempt to boot from the drive, it starts and then I just get a black box across the Apple logo. Second time, it does the same thing.

    I finally get tired and pull the drive, reinitialize it with Win7 on my gaming PC and plop it back in expecting it to fire up fresh, which is does. I boot from the Tiger drive and BAM! Installation works! It goes through the entire installation and restarts, when it restarts I get three beeps again and well...crap. So I reset the stupid PRAM again and do a little more research on the POST code. While I'm researching the G4 is trying to start up, it gets to the Apple logo and hangs, nothing else happens.

    After research I find out the POST code is because the machine can't recognize the memory, so I pull the smallest stick out (256MB) and bam! It boots! Consistently! Does this matter? No, I reinstall OSX and this time zero out my drive. It goes through installation and restarts and nothing again.

    So I then start from scratch. I reset the PRAM and even go into Open Firmware, perform the NVRAM reset codes and try to boot off the OSX Tiger firewire drive again and I once again get a big giant NOPE. This time it doesn't even try to load off the drive. Repeat this for about 10 (Not joking) attempts of resetting the pram, nvram, and trying to boot.

    I've now gotten to the point where the stupid thing will not boot off of the firewire drive and will not load anything via whats already on the internal drive itself. I am completely out of ideas. Can anyone help?

    Oh and almost forgot to mention, somewhere in there I tried to boot off of a Panther CD, it recognizes the CD in startup but never does anything.
  2. Daedalus256, Aug 8, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012

    Daedalus256 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Holy CRAP. Verbose mode here was the key! Here's what ended up working (Somehow):

    Boot using verbose mode, noticed a hang, it said "Unresolved Kernel Trap" so I look that up. Found this thread on Apple's discussion boards (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3884678?start=0&tstart=0) that states that this can be caused by not only drives, but bad peripherals as well (including graphics cards). I had actually removed the previous GFX card before any of this started to occur and replaced it with one from another Mac that we had lying around the office.
    Turns out that replacement card was not only the issue apparently, but it only had half the memory of the one I replaced (Problem card was a GeForce 2 MX 32MB, Other card was a GeForce 2 Twinview 64MB). Once I returned the original graphics card in the tower it booted up consistently using the OSX Firewire drive I have. Installation failed a few times because I'm an idiot and trusted installer to erase a drive and once I just used Disk Utility everything fell into place!

    So after over 6 hours of fiddling with RAM, CUDA buttons, Open Firmware, Firewire drives, CD drives, etc I FINALLY have a fully functional Dual 800mhz G4 tower!

    I'm updating this in case anyone ever needs to reference this in the future.

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