View Full Version : Herky Jerky

04-07-2001, 12:47 PM
I'm getting the following strange behavior on my "modified" PowerWave (OS 9.04, NewerTech G3 300/512, JackHammer PCI, Rage Orion graphics card, Firewire Direct USB combo card): This behavior is an intermitent, rough sort of herky jerky mouse behavior coupled with windows and dialog boxes that open and close in slow motion (you can see the concentric rectangular outlines of them as they slowly open and close), plus delayed response to keystrokes and mouse clicks. As stated, this behavior is intermitent and I never know when it is going to start or end. Sort of comes and goes in waves. As I'm writing this note, there has been several bouts of it occuring where my keystrokes are not immediately displayed, then suddenly they come up on the screen (including the mistakes).Very irritating!

I've tried: Rebuilding the desktop, Zaping the PRAM, multiple Zaping of the PRAM followed by an immediate restart with extensions off and the trashing the Finder and Display Preferences followed by regular restart. Replacing enabler files, changing startup drive, etc., etc., etc. Problem goes away for a short while after each of these remedies, but then it comes back.

Could this possibly be caused by the incompatability between MacOS 9.04 and the JackHammer PCI? Or possibly the Rage Orion starting to fail? Any help will be much appreciated.


04-07-2001, 02:01 PM
It's possible that it could be the JackHammer. It is not supported beyond 9.02. Are you using JackMammer 1.4.5?

What disk and CD drivers are you using? If you haven't updated to something campatible with 9.04, that could be a problem. The OEM FWB 2.xx drivers are way out of date.

The entire Apple OpenGL 1.2.1 Update package drives the Orion better than ATI's Universal Installer.

Do you run DiskWarrior and NUM?

04-07-2001, 03:56 PM
>It's possible that it could be the JackHammer. It is not supported beyond 9.02. >Are you using JackMammer 1.4.5?


>What disk and CD drivers are you using? If you haven't updated to something
>campatible with 9.04, that could be a problem. The OEM FWB 2.xx drivers are way >out of date.

I'm using InTech's HardDisk SpeedTools v.3.1.1 and InTech CD/DVD SpeedTools v.5.6.0 Had to replace the OEM SCSI ribbon with a Granite teflon one to get the Intech drivers to work properly.

>The entire Apple OpenGL 1.2.1 Update package drives the Orion better than ATI's >Universal Installer.

Okay, I'll give that a try.

>Do you run DiskWarrior and NUM?

DiskWarrior 2.1, yes. NUM? Do you mean Norton Utilities? If so, no. TechTool Pro v.2.5.5 is what I've been using instead of Norton. I suppose I should upgrade to version 3.x?

04-07-2001, 05:02 PM
Okay, I installed Open GL 1.2.1. The problem persists. I guess the next step is either Norton or pull the JackHammer card.

04-07-2001, 05:35 PM
If TTP says your system files are OK, I would next do a formal extension conflict investigation (easier with Conflict Catcher). You at least need to know if the problem occurs with a minimal extension set (Mac OS + any necessary hardware drivers). Other folks report running a JackHammer fine with OS 9.0.4.


[This message has been edited by MacMikester (edited 07 April 2001).]

04-07-2001, 08:10 PM
I hate problems like this. Opened Conflict Catcher, chose a mimimal set, restarted and the problem seemed to disappear. Reopened CC and went back to original extension set in preparation for a conflict test, then restarted. Now I can't get the darn thing to misbehave. However, based on how this problem has been working, I'm pretty sure it will be back. But for right now it's running fine.

04-08-2001, 03:18 PM
Sure enuf, the herky jerky behavior returned this morning. So I immediately ran a conflict test with Conflict Catcher. Of course CC could not pin it down so it deemed the problem "inconsistent." Funny though, after running the conflict test, the machine is running smoothly right now. The problem will, most likely, return again--with little or no warning.

I guess the next step is to pull the JackHammer PCI card and see if things settle down.

04-08-2001, 04:49 PM
Hey Yo,

Your description of the problem sounds like something periodically running in the background using up a lot of CPU cycles. Something like Sherlock doing indexing or TechTool Pro doing preventive maintenance scans or some hardware driver polling busses for something it can't find (due to a conflict or other problem). USB software is very suspect in the latter category. Do you have the FWD FW and USB drivers as well as the latest Apple FireWire and USB extensions? Do you have the latest version of Apple's InputSprockets? Have you run Apple Software updater recently?

04-21-2001, 02:05 PM
Well, the problem still comes and goes inconsistently. I followed some of MacMikester's logic and, using Conflict Caticher, disabled all the USB, FireWire and the JackHammer PCI extensions. The problem persisted. Then, a few days ago with USB, FW and JH extensions disabled, I Zapped the PRAM and the problem went away for quite a few hours. Then it came back this morning. Zapped the PRAM again. Problem gone. Seems like something is polluting my PRAM.

Any thoughts?

04-21-2001, 06:55 PM
Hey Yo,

I don't know what's causing your problem so everything I suggest is a long shot, but here's two more ideas:

First, when you zap PRAM, do you shut the machine down, then boot up (cold restart) and hold the PRAM zap keys for three chimes. This is one way to reset NVRAM, which is in the low PRAM registers which are not reset by a warm restart and PRAM zap.

Which brings me to a second way to reset NVRAM, that is by removing your PRAM battery. Can you test your battery (preferably under load)? Even if not, I think I would try simply replacing the battery. You should be able to match it up at Radio Shack.

TechTool and TechTool Pro will supposedly clear upper and lower PRAM registers, as will holding the CUDA reset for at least 10 seconds. Louie knows alot about the PCC machines and can confirm for you whether the PowerWave should show 3.6 V under load like most other PowerPC machines.


[This message has been edited by MacMikester (edited 22 April 2001).]

04-21-2001, 10:15 PM
Okay. So we went out to an early dinner Saturday, but before we left I pulled the battery out. Our local Radio Shack was still open after we finished eating, so I stopped in and bought a new battery. The PowerWave is up and running now, with its new battery installed, and it's behaving. Time will tell...

When you pull the battery for a few hours does that reset both upper and lower PRAM registers?

04-21-2001, 10:21 PM
Yes. But in your case, if the new battery does the trick, it was not so much that your PRAM was corrupted as that some necessary values weren't being held in the registers.

Good luck with it http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

04-22-2001, 12:33 PM
Okay, thanks. This latest "fix attempt" has not withstood the test of time, though. I'll keep you all informed on the progress.


04-22-2001, 01:29 PM
Something is corrupting your NVRAM. JackHammer past 9.02 is iffy; so is Newer software and FW Direct stuff.

Have you actually flush NVRAM? Cold start, holding CMD-OPT-P-R for three bongs?

04-23-2001, 12:04 AM
After your questions I did the following: Cold start NVRAM flush (three bongs) followed by extensions off then trashed the Finder Prefs and Display Prefs. Using Conflict Catcher the following are disabled: JackHammer PCI, FireWire Direct FW/USB card, all USB extensions and the Newer MaxiPower Extension. All this plus the new battery I installed yesterday (after the old one had been removed for several hours). I'm just using this machine for www-surfing and e-mail right now, but eventually would like to get back to using it for Photoshop too. It's behaving nicely right now, so for now it's just a waiting game to see if the problem reappears. If it stays stable for a few days, I'll slowly start turning things back on one by one.

04-23-2001, 12:27 AM
Maybe it will hold. It seems more and more things lately effect NVRAM. Did you update your Orion drivers to OpenGL 1.2.1. Also be sure you have all the automatic updates and the QT updates. The FireWire Direct combo card and drivers would be suspect for me.

04-23-2001, 09:36 PM
OpenGL is updated to v.1.2.1. I'll check on the other stuff. If FireWire Direct drivers are causing the problem, then boy am I disappointed in them.

Thanks--as I mentioned, I'll keep you all informed.

04-23-2001, 10:07 PM
Is it still working right?

04-23-2001, 10:35 PM
Yes. So-far-so-good. Have not turned on any of the disabled drivers yet. This machine is kind of a weekend warrior--only gets used weekends and evenings. So, based on past experience with this problem, it needs to run a few more hours to make sure the nastyness doesn't rear its ugly little head again.