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Thread: Incessant S900 Freezes/Crashes, even when New...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    {{I sure hope you'll forgive my cross-posting here this plea for help which had lain overlooked in the Mac Clone [non-PCC] section for a dozen days or so.}}
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Hello there, folks:

    I would feel so grateful to you for any coaching or clues
    you may care to share in correcting whatever it is that has crippled
    my UMAX S900 virtually from the very beginning:

    The incessant freezing/crashing/object-fragmentation~
    or~flashing-on-the-screen {such as the menu bar, for example}
    I first began to suffer almost immediately after purchasing
    my UMAX S900 only got worse, it seemed to me, after installing
    a 128 MB DIMM I'd purchased from the MacGurus a year and a half ago.

    Although Disk First Aid would consistently report the presence
    of errors beyond its ability to fix them, Norton Disk Doctor would
    usually correct conditions which arise as frequently as every twenty
    minutes or so, with Repair Reports each time providing information
    quite similar to following two {Sep 2002; Jun 1996}:

    *****************************************
    Norton Utilities 3.2.4 Disk Repair Report
    Disk: Larry¬ķs Treasure Chest
    Saturday, September 14, 2002, 11:11:43 PM

    Serious errors were found.
    Some errors were fixed.

    Find Bad Blocks
    This was skipped.

    Scan Catalog
    An error was found in a directory record in the catalog b-tree.
    The disk ¬ģLarry¬ķs Treasure Chest¬ī has incorrect Finder settings that may be interfering with the normal operations of your disk. (node 910) (5,7,19)
    Node #910, Record Offset 1
    The leaf directory record was fixed.

    An error was found in the master directory block.
    The MDB lists an incorrect number of free blocks. (3,2,20)
    The master directory block was fixed.


    File Fragments
    An error was found in the volume bit map.
    The volume bit map does not match the actual state of the catalog and extents b-trees on your disk. (4,0,2)
    The volume bit map was fixed.


    System Folder
    The System Folder is okay.

    Check Files
    This was skipped.


    System Information for the Boot Disk
    Power Macintosh
    System Version: 7.6
    Owner Name:
    Machine Name:
    Boot Volume: Mac¬ō OS
    Processor: PowerPC
    Built-in Memory: 152 MB
    Virtual Memory: off
    32-Bit Addressing: on
    Logical RAM: 152 MB
    ROM Version: $0000077D
    System Heap Size: 2.7 MB


    Disk Information for: Larry¬ķs Treasure Chest
    Media Type: SCSI
    Volume Size: 2,112,740K
    Allocation Blocks start at sector: 19
    Allocation Block Size: 33,280
    Mounted: yes
    Disk In Place: yes
    Driver Installed: yes
    SCSI ID: 0
    Total Sectors of the device: 4,226,725
    Physical Sector Size: 512
    Partition Map Style: new
    Partition Name: Larry¬ķs Treasure Chest
    Partition Type: Apple_HFS
    Partition Valid: yes
    Is HFS Partition: yes
    Partition Number: 3
    Total Partitions: 4
    Total HFS Partitions: 1
    Starting Sector of Partition:1,245
    Number of Sectors in Volume: 4,225,480
    Partition Size: 2,112,740K


    Extensions Folder
    CD-ROM ToolKit¬ō Extension, 2.3.2
    EM Extension, 4.0.3
    Appearance Extension, 1.0.1
    Apple Guide, 2.2
    AppleScript¬ō, 1.1.2
    AppleShare, 3.7.4
    ATI Desktop Video Extension, 1.5
    ATI Extension, 2.7
    ATI Graphics Accelerator, 4.7.1
    Color Picker, 2.1.1
    Contextual Menu Extension, 1.0.1
    Desktop PrintMonitor, 2.1
    Energy Saver Extension, 2.0.7
    File Sharing Extension, 7.6.2
    Foreign File Access, 5.2
    FWB Tools¬ļPE¬ō, 2.0.6
    Iomega Driver, 5.0.3
    LaserWriter 8, 8.5.1
    Mac¬ō OS Licensing Extension, 2.0.2
    PrintMonitor, 7.1.2
    QuickDraw¬ō 3D, 1.6
    QuickTime¬ō, 4.1.1
    QuickTime¬ō MPEG Extension, 1.1.2
    QuickTime¬ō Musical Instruments, 4.1.1
    QuickTime¬ō PowerPlug, 4.1.1
    QuickTime¬ō VR, 2.3
    Shared Library Manager, 2.0.1
    Shared Library Manager PPC, 2.0.1
    Sound Manager, 3.2.1

    Control Panels Folder
    Apple Menu Options, 1.1.3
    AppleTalk, 1.1
    CD-ROM ToolKit¬ō, 2.3.2
    ColorSync, 2.5
    General Controls, 7.7
    Mac OS Easy Open, 1.1.3
    Memory, 7.5.9
    Modem, 1.0.1
    Mouse, 7.5.4
    PPP, 1.0.1
    QuickTime¬ō Settings, 4.1.1
    Startup Disk, 7.6.2
    TCP/IP, 1.3

    System Folder
    Finder, 8.1
    MacTCP DNR
    System, 8.1
    _________________________________________
    *****************************************
    Norton Utilities 3.2.1 Disk Repair Report
    Disk: Larry¬ķs Treasure Chest
    Friday, June 28, 1996, 3:48:58 PM

    The disk scan was not completed because of errors encountered during the scan.
    Serious errors were found.
    All errors were fixed.

    Find Bad Blocks
    No bad blocks were found.

    Scan Catalog
    An error was found in the master directory block.
    The MDB lists an incorrect number of free blocks. (3,2,20)
    The master directory block was fixed.


    File Fragments
    An error was found in the volume bit map.
    The volume bit map does not match the actual state of the catalog and extents b-trees on your disk. (4,0,2)
    The volume bit map was fixed.


    System Folder
    The System Folder was not checked.

    Check Files
    Norton Utilities has encountered some problems it can not repair.


    System Information for the Boot Disk
    Power Macintosh
    System Version: 7.5.3
    Owner Name:
    Machine Name:
    Boot Volume: SuperMac S900 CD
    Processor: PowerPC 604
    Built-in Memory: 16 MB
    Virtual Memory: off
    32-Bit Addressing: on
    Logical RAM: 16 MB
    ROM Version: $0000077D
    System Heap Size: 2.7 MB


    Disk Information for: Larry¬ķs Treasure Chest
    Media Type: SCSI
    Volume Size: 2,112,818K
    Allocation Blocks start at sector: 19
    Allocation Block Size: 33,280
    Mounted: yes
    Disk In Place: yes
    Driver Installed: yes
    SCSI ID: 0
    Total Sectors of the device: 4,226,725
    Physical Sector Size: 512
    Partition Map Style: new
    Partition Name: Larry¬ķs Treasure Chest
    Partition Type: Apple_HFS
    Partition Valid: yes
    Is HFS Partition: yes
    Partition Number: 2
    Total Partitions: 4
    Total HFS Partitions: 1
    Starting Sector of Partition:1,088
    Number of Sectors in Volume: 4,225,636
    Partition Size: 2,112,818K


    Extensions Folder
    Conflict Extension¬ō, 3.0.4
    Apple Guide, 2.0
    Apple Modem Tool, 1.5.3
    AppleScript¬ō, 1.0.1
    Clipping Extension, 7.1.4
    Color Picker, 2.0.1
    Color SW 2200, 2.1.1
    Color SW 2400, 2.1.1
    Color SW Pro, 1.5.2
    ColorSync¬ō, 2.0.1
    Desktop Printer Extension, 1.0.3
    Desktop PrintMonitor, 1.0.3
    Find File Extension, 1.1.1
    Finder Scripting Extension, 7.5.5
    Foreign File Access, 5.1
    ImageWriter, 7.0.1
    LaserWriter 300/LS, 1.2
    LaserWriter 8, 8.3.3
    LW Select 310, 7.0.1
    Norton FastBack Scheduler, 3.2.1
    PrintMonitor, 7.1.2
    QuickTime¬ō, 2.1
    QuickTime¬ō PowerPlug, 2.1
    Serial Tool, 1.0.2a1
    StyleWriter 1200, 2.1.1
    Twin Turbo¬ō Acceleration 2.2.2, 2.2.2

    Control Panels Folder
    Conflict Catcher¬ō, 3.0.4
    Apple Menu Options, 1.1.1
    AppleTalk, 1.1
    Color, 7.1
    ColorSync¬ō System Profile, 2.0
    Date & Time, 7.5
    Desktop Patterns, 7.5.1
    DiskLight, 3.2.1
    File Sharing Monitor, 7.1
    FileSaver, 3.2.1
    General Controls, 7.5.7
    HDT Prober¬ō, 1.7.7
    Keyboard, 7.5.1
    Labels, 7.1
    Macintosh Easy Open, 1.1.2
    Map, 7.5
    Memory, 7.5.5
    Monitors, 7.5.5
    Monitors & Sound, 1.1
    Mouse, 7.5.2
    Numbers, 7.1
    OptiMem, 2.1.2
    PC Exchange, 2.0.5
    Sharing Setup, 7.1
    Sound, 8.0.5
    Startup Disk, 7.5.2
    TCP/IP, 1.1
    Text, 7.1
    Twin Turbo¬ō Control Panel, 2.2.1
    Users & Groups, 7.1
    Views, 7.1
    WindowShade, 1.3.1
    ~ATM¬ō, 3.8.3

    System Folder
    Finder, 7.5.5
    MacTCP DNR
    System, 7.5.3
    __________________________________________________ __________________
    ************************************************** ******************

    Thank you so much for whatever you care to share.

    Larry

  2. #2
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    Larry,

    I think the reason none of us has ventured into this quagmire is the overload of info. I know you are trying to do your best but let me try to break this down with some simple questions.

    1. In addition to the 16MB RAM on the motherboard, you have added one Gurus 128MB stick? Or what else do you have for RAM sticks installed?

    2. How many hard drives do you have? Are they all connected to the internal motherboard SCSI?

    3. Is each drive partitioned into several volumes or is each drive one volume?

    4. Which volumes on which drives have a System Folder, and what is the Mac OS version of each System Folder?

    There are probably many more questions to be asked based on your answers, but let's start with this. If you don't know how to answer a particular question, we can provide instructions. k

  3. #3
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    Is Norton installed on the boot drive, or are you running from a second drive/CD?

    How about testing memory? Several ways to do it, but why not start by yanking the OEM stick and just running the 128? Run it for a while and see if it is better (or worse) then now. If it does not change, swap memory: put the 16 back in and yank the 128 and test again.

    Any other info you can supply? Is the current OS upgraded, and if so, from what to what? HD drivers (Apple or FWB, etc.) Is the crash repeatable, what applications are you using when it happens, etc....

  4. #4
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    Thank You !!

    Kindly forgive my clumsy plastering of that bloated footnote comprising two raw Norton Diagnoses with associated hardware and system software configuration lists appended.

    Thank you so much for the kindness of your two thoughtful replies.
    Here are the answers to your preliminary questions, friends:


    1. In addition to the 16MB RAM on the motherboard, you have added one Gurus 128MB stick? Or what else do you have for RAM sticks installed? Yes. 2 x 8MB (not 2 x 16MB as erroneously cited in this post of 6 Feb).

    ==>>> In addition to the 16MB permanently soldered onto the motherboard
    and the original two 8MB DIMMs in the 8 DIMM slots,
    I've installed the one Gurus 128MB DIMM in one of the six remaining slots.

    ==>>> Presently the 128MB DIMM is in slot #A1,
    and the two 8MB DIMMs are in slots A2 and B2.

    ==>>> Long before and after installing the 128MB DIMM
    I have shuffled the original two DIMMs
    into every possible position I could think of
    among the eight available slots, without any effect
    which I could detect in the behavior of the machine:

    the 128MB stick alone in any one of the eight slots;
    the two 8MB DIMMs in the 1st and the 5th, 2nd and the 6th,
    the 3rd and the 7th, or the 4th and the 8th --
    with or without the 128MB DIMM installed in any one
    of the six remaining slots.


    2. How many hard drives do you have? Are they all connected to the internal motherboard SCSI? Just one.

    ==>>> I have only the original 2 GB (IBM DORS-32160/WA6A SCSI-2)
    hard drive installed, and it is connected as when new
    to the internal motherboard SCSI.

    3. Is each drive partitioned into several volumes or is each drive one volume? One Volume.

    ==>>> Each time I had repeatedly reformatted that drive
    in the course of cleanly reinstalling the original software
    in my futile attempts to drive the demons away,
    I've tried partitioning the drive into two, three, four, and
    five equal partitions just for fun.
    Presently the drive is a single volume.

    4. Which volumes on which drives have a System Folder, and what is the Mac OS version of each System Folder? Only one (v8.1) System Folder

    ==>>> There is only one System Folder.
    I've repeatedly suffered similar problems
    (and similar errors, "fixed" by Norton Disk Doctor,
    but not by Disk First Aid) with each of the
    Mac OS versions: the original 7.5.5 supplied by UMAX,
    7.6.1 also supplied by UMAX, and version 8.1 installed
    variously as an upgrade of the UMAX-specific 7.6.1,
    or else 8.1 installed cleanly alone--followed by a
    manual installation of the UMAX startup-disk-supplied-extensions
    and control panels required (apparently) by the
    Twin Turbo video card and the IBM hard drive [FWB¬ļPE¬ō(2.0.6)]


    5. Is Norton installed on the boot drive? ==>>> Presently, yes , but previously on a CD years back. {I run Disk Doctor now only when booted to the UMAX CD.}
    How about testing memory? ==>>> Over the years exhaustive shuffling's made no difference.
    Any other info you can supply?
    Is the current OS upgraded?==>>> Yes: from 7.6.1 to 8.1 (UMAX snarled when I did that back then then.)
    HD drivers (Apple or FWB, etc.) ==>>> FWB v 2.0.6 (Apple's drivers seem not to know the IBM)
    Is the crash repeatable, ...


    ==>>> Not repeatable as I would use the term, except that the disk errors which crop up are nearly identical over extended periods (though from one period the another the specifics change), so that, for example, the actual numbers in the parentheses remain the same until a reformatting or a defragmentation of the drive, when subsequent error reports cite different parenthetical numbers:

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> An error was found in a directory record in the catalog b-tree.
    The disk ¬ģLarry¬ķs Treasure Chest¬ī has incorrect Finder settings that may be interfering with the normal operations of your disk. (node 910) (5,7,19)
    Node #910, Record Offset 1
    The leaf directory record was fixed.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    ... and what applications are you using when it happens, etc....

    ==>>> sometimes when I'm not using any applications at all except simply renaming or relocating documents, folders and stuff, but most often when running Netscape Communicator, or Nisus Writer, or ClarisWorks, but not ATI xClaim's Video Player or Bullseye Software's SkyFighters 1945.


    Thank You ! ! !

    a grateful Larry.

    {The editing of 24 Feb changes each erroneous reference to pairs of 16MB DIMMs to 8MB DIMMs as actually installed in a pair of DIMM slots.}



    [This message has been edited by Larjess (edited 24 February 2003).]

  5. #5
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    OK,

    Since you have already tested memory, and done your homework, I am gonna throw out a few ideas....maybe not the source of your problem, but fun stuff to try along the way

    #1. Try Apple HD drivers. Once you install FWB drivers, you are correct that Apple Drive Setup won't see your drive anymore. But there are ways to revert. This utility http://attotech.com/software/files/ept282.hqx will allow you to format the drive (backup your data first!) so it is as if new off the shelf; no drivers...then you can try Apple drivers instead of FWB. Not familiar with your video card/drivers, but you are not required to use the FWB HD drivers. We have several differnent clones at work (Umaxes, Motos, and PowerComputing), and all are running OS 9.1 with Apple drivers just fine.

    2# Have you considered OS 8.6? My expereince is that this was the best of the 8 series, and you should be able to get your hands on it cheap, if you can find a source. I would even try for 9.1, unless you have soem software that won't play nice... If you decide to try, it would be the perfect time after doing #1. BTW, some clones don't need the CDROM toolkit drivers with OS 9.1; the Apple drivers work! Of coarse, your milage may vary...


    3# Although I doubt it is the root of the problem, stongly consider using DiscWarrior, and retiring DiscDoctor. DD has has it's uses, but it does on occasion make things worse. If you upgrade OSes, your copy won't work anyway. DiscWarrior currently runs on everything from OS 7.6 to current. You will find many who swear by it around here including me. At the very least trash all installed Norton stuff, especailly Crash Guard (or whatever they call it), and only run DD from the CD

    4# Have you ruled out software conflicts yet? This can be hell in the world of OS 8/9.

    #5 How about just good ol fashioned buggy software? Had a Starmax (running 7.6, then 8, 8.1, 8.5, 8.6..) years ago that would crash and burn running Pagemaker 5. After pulling out much hair and dealing with crashing daily for nearly a year, I latter learned that it was a known bug. Any updates/other versions of apps that you can try?


    BTW, anything else hardware wise plugged in? PCI cards, etc? Is it possible the HD is wonky? Not likely, but it does happen.

    [This message has been edited by newbie (edited 07 February 2003).]

  6. #6
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    Thank You !!

    ____ I feel so grateful to you for your sharing so many marvelous morsels.

    ____ Thank you so very much.

    ____ Now I'll go busily (and gratefully) scurrying around
    to implement your valuable suggestions in this order, I think
    (for the sake of an orderly, sequential diagnosis),
    just as soon as I scrape together the cash:

    ____ 1. get Disk Warrior. [might anyone suggest an optimal vendor, please?]
    _______ purge Disk Doctor. [no part of which had been running in the background]

    ____ 2. get a hefty 2nd hard drive.
    ____________ (not only to back the only other, original 2GB, one up,
    ____________ (but as a new boot drive ¬ó
    ____________ ( to rule out the original drive as "wonky," as you say.)

    ____________ Any Suggestions here on source
    ____________ or selection of SCSI drives?

    ____ 3. Reformat, then install only Apple drivers
    ________ (which, on the 7.6.1 -->> 8.1 upgrade several years ago,
    ________ (seemed not to recognize the freshly reformatted orginal drive);
    ________ retire the UMAX-supplied FWB hard drive software.

    ____ 4. find/get/install MacOS 8.6 or 9.1
    ________ {What kinds of software "won't play nice" ?}


    ________ Thank You !
    ________ Thank You ! !
    ________ Thank You ! ! !

    _________________________ an even more grateful Larry.
    .
    .
    _______ P.S.: All the other PCI slots are empty.



    [This message has been edited by Larjess (edited 08 February 2003).]

  7. #7
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    No problem man.

    Don't thank me until this box is running solid. I have received too many great tidbits around here not to try and spread the wealth.

    As for drives, I imagine that you have the original narrow SCSI, which I beleive is getting hard to find. I think Seagate still makes a narrow SCSI drive, but I suggest you post a seperate question about the drive in the SCSI forum. I do wonder if an ATA controller and a drive to go with would not give you more bang for the buck...ask and see. Plenty of folks who know drives inside and out should chime in.

    I am not aware of any discounts anywhere on DiscWarrior, I get straight from www.alsoft.com

    ----------

    "....which, on the 7.6.1 -->> 8.1 upgrade several years ago,
    seemed not to recognize the freshly reformatted orginal drive..."

    Right. Once you go to FWB, or other 3rd party drivers, you need something OTHER than Apple Drive Setup to get back. Try the ATTO utility I linked to if you want to go back.

    Seems like you need to decide what OS and apps you want to end up with, right?

  8. #8
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    Two related questions, please:

    _____ 1. __ In the matter of a backup/alternate drive to isolate the original hard drive as a source of the problem:

    ____________ Please tell me whether I might be better off installing not an old-fashioned "narrow" SCSI drive on the original bus, but rather the latest, fastest of SCSI hard-drives--on something in a PCI slot, I'm guessing--so that I can transfer such a SCSI drive and its PCI card to a G4 some day, if and when the UMAX S900 gives up its ghost for good, friends ¬ń¬ń and if so, what all should I instal with this in mind, please?

    _____ 2. __ Where do I buy version 9.?? of the Macintosh operating system, and how much should I expect to have to pay for it, please?


    ___________ Thank you!

    _________________________ Larry Jessee

  9. #9
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    Ooooooooooooooooooooooops.

    ______ I think I just posted this parenthetical plea in the wrong section, folks. Kindly forgive and say whether I should clutter yet another section with that follow-up question now.....

  10. #10
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    Thanks to the generous battery of questions, suggestions and specific counsel from each of several of you,
    I may be making some headway (while discovering a few worms crawling in the can once I've peered inside),
    as I'm about to explain at http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/Forum31/HTML/000033.html,
    which I'd foolishly imagined had gone unnoticed for several weeks.

    If you feel moved to offer a bit of your wit or your wisdom, friend,
    please post whatever you feel kind enough to contribute now
    at that original and perhaps misplaced location for my question,
    whither you kind folks have seemed to have migrated now.

    Thank you once again for your helpfulness!

    ________________ Larry
    ________________________



    [This message has been edited by Larjess (edited 26 February 2003).]

  11. #11
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    Consider running the indispensable DiskWarrior {$70 @ DiskWarrior.com} instead of Disk Doctor on your hard drive, then checking the condition of each piece of ram with care with something like XLR8.com's PowerControl utility.

  12. #12
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    Here's another 2¢ given that 128MB DIMMs are less than $30 each, why not buy a pair and try just using those to eliminate memory related issues?

  13. #13
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    For what it is worth my experience has been that EDO is far happier in S900s than FPM - do you know which you have got? I have put FPM into a couple of S900s and after a couple of months swapped them out of unstable machines with huge improvements using EDO.
    Also A4 would be the best slot to put the 128mb, and personally I would stick the 2 x 8mb in the trash, they are going to be 70ns, the 128mb will be 60ns, so the contribution that the 8mbs will be making is to slow down the 128mb.
    OWC (preferred) would be on my list to check out, as would memoryx.

  14. #14
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    what is OWC?

  15. #15
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    please tell me, gregory, where i can buy reliable 128 mb memory for an s900 for less than 30$

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  17. #17
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    Thanks once more to all of you!

    Gregory : Thanks so much for pointing me to such seductive prices, and where to find them. (Thank you Roadrunner and Duct-Tape for reading my mind and asking the questions which Gregory was kind enough to answer.)

    Baggy :
    ________ Thank you for the DIMM slot suggestion.
    ________ (I wonder why the 128mb works best in A4...)
    ________
    ________ The 128 MB DIMM is that which MacGurus recommended and supplied 3 years ago:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> The 5v EDO 2244-compatible DRAM sold on this page is compatible with all listed
    UMAX Power Macs, including those that require "244" or "4244" compliant memory
    (such as those with Newer...
    Qty Description Price Total
    ================================================== ==============
    1 DIMM 128MB, 60ns 5v EDO $199.99 $199.99
    ================================================== ==============<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    Duct Tape:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Consider running ... DiskWarrior ... on your hard drive, then checking the ... ram with ... XLR8.com's PowerControl utility.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    _____ at http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/Forum31/HTML/000033.html I reported my shock and surprise that PowerControl's 30-minute battery of RAM tests reported 82-219 RAM errors if and only if the MacGurus-supplied 128MB DIMM is installed alone -- a DIMM which, when I'd first received it three years ago, had seemed to have intensified the instability the S900 had suffered from the time it was new, a condition I had not dreamed of attributing to the MacGurus RAM, but rather to the fundamental trouble -- whatever it was -- within my UMAX S900.

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