Tips for preventing a G5 crash?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by kirk wilson, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. kirk wilson macrumors member

    May 18, 2008
    I was writing this before, but my G5 crashed before I finished. I am interested
    in any tips to keep this thing from freezing up during normal usage. I have only had it for three days. It is a hand-me-down from my family.

    Dual 1.8 PPC G5, 2 gig RAM, 2 HD's, one is 250gig and one is 80gig.
    There was a clean install of 10.4.11 on it, nothing else. It'll freeze up
    in about an hour of regular use (internet or itunes); no black screen or grey screen, just a freeze up. Restarts beautifully.

    I have:
    -re-arranged the RAM, so it is in like- pairs. One pair of 2 gig sticks and one pair of 512 MB sticks. However, the system thinks that all 4 bays contain
    one 512 mb stick each. A problem, I know. They were arranged differently before, and it read them properly, but it crashed a lot more.

    -pulled the primary HD, because it sounded crunchy, and substituted the
    secondary HD for it. I cloned the OS from my Mac Mini onto it. It worked beautifully, for 2 hours, then froze.

    -installed Apple Jack, and tried to clean out stuff

    -studied the "bad capacitor" issue; don't know whether to disassemble the
    unit yet

    -i have been able to replicate the crash by running itunes, and safari,
    and opening a lot of Flash things on a web page all at once (to tax the itty-bitty processor a bit).. and it immediately freezes.

    However, I left the thing on last night, all night (playing itunes and leaving an internet page up that constantly refreshes), and no crash!

    So, I have got it to where it may not crash for several hours, but it will
    eventually freeze up (no error warnings or kernel panic issues).

    I say "crash" but I mean "freeze" basically. Same thing?

    Have I done everything I can? (short of hunting for bad capacitors on the motherboard?) This computer was supposed to be trouble-free, according to the previous owner. I suspect he pulled some RAM or changed it around when he sent the unit to me. He's a filmmaker, so I suspect he had the maximum amount of RAM, originally. It's the proper type (3200, Kingston)

    So now, it almost doesn't freeze up anymore, except that it just did!

    (does my terrible AT&T DSL connection make any difference?
    it's 0.3-0.7mbps, at best)

    Thanks for any input-

    I tried an archive search for this, but mac rumor's search engine
    continuously took out the "g5"
    and left me only with "mac" and "crashes" ... which is a bit broad.

  2. adcx64 macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2008
    The RAM itself could be bad. Try replacing it instead of trying different slots.
    The fact that the machine thinks there is RAM in empty slots could indicate a more serious hardware problem.

    Try resetting the PRAM.

    After the startup chime hold:
    All at once.

    Hope it helps!
  3. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Another cause for freezes can be the temperature... but it sounds there is something about the RAM or RAM-Slots.

    Try search on google. Type "G5 freeze" or what you would like to search for. Sorry I can't give any real helpful input. I wish you all the best, though.

    PS: the heat thing is a bit more complicated then with an iMac G3, but there is a story I'd like to share. The iMac G3 is convection cooled and when I had it on 3 hours or so I had to open the window in front of my desk and put it so, that the cool air from outside cooled it and ta-da! no more freezes. (It was December :) but I sat in a 14 squaremeters big room in the students house at university)
  4. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth

    Power supply could be marginal or failing. That's how my G5 died - the power supply finally failed.
  5. kirk wilson thread starter macrumors member

    May 18, 2008
    re: Power Supply

    Is there a test for the Power Supply, downloadable, or some Apple Diagnostic
  6. kirk wilson thread starter macrumors member

    May 18, 2008

    Also, I just reset the PRAM, but it crashed again. So, I will buy new RAM,
    and replace the 2 one-gigabyte sticks. I'll leave the pair of
    512's in, for now. They SEEM ok.

    (One other loopy thing it's doing is since I switched HD's... the System Profiler
    thinks that the ATA drive is the CD-DVD-drive, and that the Serial ATA
    is the actual HD. This is backwards, I believe.

    It's a great-looking computer, though!

  7. 666sheep, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    Run your G5 with these 512MB sticks only and see what happens. 1GB is enough for Tiger to run quite smoothly. Give it some heavy load.

    If these 1GB sticks are Kingston and are faulty, they're covered with lifetime manufacturer's warranty. Just find your local Kingston service center and you'll get new pair for free. If it works in my country, it must work in your too ;)

    It's OK. DVD is ATA, HDD is SATA.
  8. kirk wilson thread starter macrumors member

    May 18, 2008
    ..."Run your G5 with these 512MB sticks only and see what happens. 1GB is enough for Tiger to run quite smoothly. Give it some heavy load..."

    I just did, with only the 512mb sticks in the proper slots, and it
    crashed real quick.

    But thanks for the tip; it got me wondering if those were the bad sticks,
    and the 1G sticks are in fact ok. I am now trying the 1G sticks only, and removing the
    I can't be buying any new RAM until "payday."
    (oh wait, I don't have a job)

    One thing I have learned is that when I re-arranged them earlier today in
    the "proper" order, the computer read them correctly as 1G each, rather than
    512mb each.
    So, all the forums in Google that insist that the RAM sticks can be put in
    any order at all... they are incorrect.

    It remains to be seen whether one or all of my sticks are bad, however.

    I'll have them all tested.

  9. adcx64 macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2008
    AFAIK, RAM can go in to a computer in any order.

    If the RAM is not bad, it could be the Logic Board.
  10. max¥¥ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2008
    Over there....
    that depends on the g5 some have to be in pairs (like mine) some can go in any order
  11. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    would "Rember" (a GUI to "Memtest" for PPC-Macs) give any further/reliable info on the status of the RAM?
  12. kirk wilson thread starter macrumors member

    May 18, 2008
    re-installing 0SX 10.4

    I'm wiping everything and re-installing a clean OSX 10.4 and all the updates and all the Flash and Java nonsense.. it's taken all night, and curiously the
    G5 has not frozen up yet.

    I read something about problems with Quartz Extreme, I read something about downloading Cocktail to clean out caches, and I read that I should re-seat the video card.

    Seems like everyone's G5 was freezing up, at some point. What a lemon!

  13. kirk wilson thread starter macrumors member

    May 18, 2008
    End Thread

    I'm ending this thread; I have to get away from this crazy computer!

    It has frozen up with the clean install of OSX 10.4, and almost no
    programs on it (I don't have my iLife disk anymore), and almost no demands made on the processors.

    It was supposed to have been "just fine" when it was shipped to me, in its original box. Maybe bad RAM was put in it at the last minute, I don't know.
    I'll have it checked at some point, but right now I want the G5 to just go away.

    I've had 7 Apple computers over the years, and 4 of them were basket-cases which I resurrected.
    So, I had confidence in my ability to get any Apple
    computer working.

    (I am SO glad I did not actually spend money on this

    Anyone looking for an older PPC should stick to the G4... it is a much more
    reliable and predictable machine. The G5 is just terrible.

    I have this idea that I might rip the guts out of the nice aluminum case,
    and just put my Mac Mini inside of it, and PRETEND that I have a working G5.

    Thanks to everyone who offered advice-

  14. max¥¥ macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2008
    Over there....
    What a pity, those g5's are grate machines if they work, mine has had it's share of problems too (freezing and ramping the fans up to full speed mostly) but has always come back
  15. adcx64 macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2008
  16. Trdinput, Jul 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011

    Trdinput macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2011
    Screen freeze with kernel errors

    :eek: I just purchased a G5 ppc 2.7 dual with 10.5.8 installed. The case is absolutely perfect, it came in original box, the OS and original manual was included as well. I am thinking " what a deal, I only paid $301 including shipping. I find out by opening that it is full of dirt and nicotine. I removed an 8 oz dry measure of dirt and the nico was disgusting. After 4 hours of compressed air, filled an extra dry portable bottle to do so at 90psi. Here comes the moment of truth, beautiful tone and happy Mac, bitchen! With 5 minutes, I get a kernel panic, damn! Oh I replaced the half double A.

    I contacted the seller and talked him into giving me the original OS 10.5.8, after all, that's what he had installed. I can't believe it, he agreed to do it. While waiting for USPS, I order a 1.5 ter and fresh ram. I install it all and reset the pram and smu. The screen freezes while finishing the install, damn, I have to write zeros now. The screen freezes after 20 minutes, damn.

    I start thinking about all that damn dirt. I checked the LCS, no leaks. After it freezes, the fans are taking off like a jet engine. A hard shut down is the answer. What the heck to do? I set a box fan in front of the unit, I write zeros, install the OS, install quark express, adobes cs suite, stat, etc. I think you're getting the picture. I called a repair shop and of course it the motherboard at $1200. This machine runs a full load if the box fan is blowing.
    I ran AHT, TechTool Pro, and had Apple run ASD, all systems check out.

    These machines run 9 fans, dust magnets. If that's not enough, they have an LCS that you must keep an eye on. Remove the plastic pin by pushing from the bottom, cut off the thin plastic with exacto, remove pin completely and slide G5 panel to left. JB weld a nut inside the panel and put a screw where pin was. Do not replace, it's just a hassle.

    Remove everything from the machine and wash the boards only in warm soapy water, that's what the pro do and charge you for a new one. The trick is, dry, dry, dry; do not put even a damp board back in. Air, hair dryer low heat, more air, and 24 hours in front of a box fan. There's that box fan again. Do not wash your drives, CPU's, or ram. Do wash the ambient air sensor board behind the speaker fan assembly, the logic board, and even your video card. Yipes, sounds scary, this guy is crazy; as long as it is COMPLETELY dry, it will work. Ambient Air Sensor Board, hmm... Do you think it might get dirty sitting right in behind the grill in front below your optical drive?, I wonder.

    While your at it, rebuild your LCS for pennies. Also, don't forget the thermal paste that has been washed off the processors heatsinks. In fact, before washing, take a look to see
    how much the pros used. Too much and ouch, too little and ouch, the pads are
    not as effective. Look for paste that has no break in period.

    Assemble and good as new; next time, don't let it get so dirty or just run your box fan if the screen keeps freezing, it's the caveman's way to check, but it works, happy hunting.


    Back to reality, do not let these repair shops dig you for $1200 for something you don't need
  17. Trdinput macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2011
    G4s can be made into G5s

    I took a g4 and put a 1.6 sonnet CPU, updated the firmware, put in a new video card, and a Pioneer SuperDrive. This machine blows a g5 out of the water and is running10.5.8. Harry at knows his stuff and will set you up. Once again, it's far more dependable than the G5 running the same OS and it runs cooler with the extra fan included on the Sonnet, a whisper quiet machine. Send me your G4s, I prefer them.

    Good hunting,

  18. burnout8488 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2011
    Endwell, NY
    "Tips for preventing a G5 crash?"

    Don't turn it on :D:D:D
  19. Tucom macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    LOL at the seemingly premature "G5's suck vs. G4's or just are problematic".

    G5's, esp. the Dual Cores, will easily hands down beat the G4's, far from "blowing them out of the water." Oh and, yeah, a couple of bad problems and they all must be problematic :rolleyes:

    Ok, no diss. intended, but admittedly I think though the earlier 2004 G5's were more problem prone, there are far more working machines than non working, and to gut the machine I think would be drop dead insane, right?

    If anything, SEND IT TO ME! lol, I could even pay for shipping, but to gut it? Do you key classic cars, too? ;) I mean you could gut it and sell the parts actually for a very good price, just trashing them would be ofcourse insanity, no?

    Anyways, G5's over G4's *BY FAR* any day, but/and honestly I'd only buy the last 2005 models ever made, the newer, better designed and more reliable *dual CORE* models (including the Quad) vs. the *dual PROCESSOR* models.

    G5's are beastly machines and still have plenty of life in 'em IMO.
  20. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    I have been around fixing all kinds of stuff. And the best way to deal with it is patience, find the root cause, deal with it, and you will be happy in the end once you find the cause and fix it.

    Whining will not do us any good.

    Theoritically, crashing can be caused by almost anything, like bad ram, bad disk, bad logic board, bad cpu, bad sensor, etc. Best thing to do is to isolate it. There is no fool proof steps in trouble shooting. It all boils down to the knowledge of the person doing it. Research more and don't give up.

    There are no crappy or ****** machines, only crappy and ****** owners.
  21. burnout8488 macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2011
    Endwell, NY
    I agree. Now that G5's are getting older and older, they're getting more and more like old British cars. They need that little bit of TLC once every few weeks, and an owner that knows a lot about them. Once you keep them up, they're great machines.
  22. Trdinput macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2011

    If you had a classic car, you would not key it. If the engine didn't work, you might rebuild the original engine.

    I worked in printing for 25 years, 20 years ago, I was introduced to Macs and eventually bought their first ppc that had 60 or 65 ghz speed, my cousin has that machine and uses it as a word processor, it still works with zero problems.

    In 1999, I bought a g4 with 400 MHz speed. About 2 years ago, I replaced the CPU with a 1.6ghz sonnet, put in a pioneer SuperDrive, a new video card, (ati radeon something), updated the firmware, and installed 10.5.8. This machine has never had a problem, I just bumped it up a bit.

    As for my g4 blowing my g5 out of the water, it does. I have never had the screen freeze or a kernel panic in the 12 years I have owned it. Furthermore, it just a workhorse running the exact same software and OS without a single problem; in fact, It runs cooler than it ever has.

    I am positive that I will isolate the problem with the g5 and be extremely happy with it. You can bet that I'll check the lcs twice a month, it just makes sense. My g4 requires a minor dry air blow every 6 months, I'm just saying.
    Harley or Honda, it depends on your preference, I own both and the Honda just runs.

  23. Nameci macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2010
    The Philippines...
    You know what sometimes it just boils down to the end user. Computers are not that hard to maintain. Most maintenance you could do is blow away dust that is accumulating... :)
  24. Tucom, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011

    Tucom macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2006
    I traded some guy a G5 for a Xbox 360 and PS3 joke.

    It wasn't booting and went through a flood, guy said it booted after the flood, but lately wouldn't work at all. *COMPLETELY* rebuilt it including -

    Taking out ALL components from the case, including MotherBoard and PSU

    Reseating the G5 processors.

    Cleaning out all dust from case.

    Put it back together, and booted fine.

    It was a task, but it really is like working on what I'd imagine a top end, well built car would be like or just a finely built piece of machinery. As in, it was a task but enjoyable due to the build quality, and ofcourse, reseating the processors I've read is the only way to get the G5's booting again, and/or reseating the PCI-X/AGP Pro/PCI-e cards.

    I sold the machine back to him for about $200 or so plus an ADC 17" monitor and have kept it touch for further technical business, but the point is that sometimes there is a required amount of effort for positive results, ofcourse sometimes it's only up to the person whether or not they actually put the effort in.

    Ofcourse, to get up and do anything harder than clicking the "Power" button is way too much effort, right?:rolleyes: (I'd hope not)
  25. mac.tastic macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2011
    You found the problem. Replace your ram modules.

Share This Page