Hello out there!

I've got a fairly large problem with my G3 iMac (Summer 2001-slot loading, 600 mHz, 1 GB RAM). It started off innocently enough with Safari and Mail crashing "unexpectedly." At first I assumed it was the usual culprits, so I'd delete preferences and caches, repair permissions, etc. Soon, not only were the crashes quicker and more frequent, but they also began taken down the system. The finder would crash, then I'd get kernel panics.

I should note that I believe this started happening after an upgrade from 10.2.6 to 10.2.8. I'm not exactly sure if it was before or after, but I started thinking I was a victim of the dreaded 10.2.8.

I then tried doing various clean reinstalls of Jaguar. Same thing-Mail/Safari crash leading to kernel panics. Then, during some installs when booted off the CD, the installer would unexpectedly quit, which led me to believe it may be a hardware issue. I took out RAM chips to see if it was bad RAM. I unplugged all peripherals, cleared PRAM, NVRAM, and flashed the firmware with the Open Firmware reset commands.

Just for grins and more out of desperation, I backed up all my data and did a complete software restore from the original iMac CDs. Same result-crashes on Mail and Safari. So then I zeroed the drive and started small, reinstalling 9.2 first. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer in 9.2 also crashed and occasionally took down the 9.2 Finder.

These things only seem to happen with the internet apps, so now I'm wondering if there's an issue with my ethernet port slowly degrading and now getting to the defect point. Cable modem works fine with my G4 Powerbook, so I can't blame that.

Anyone have any ideas before I bring it in for service?