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Thread: G4 Random Freezes And Crashes

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Location
    Canada
    Posts
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    Default G4 Random Freezes And Crashes

    I have a G4 (466) digital audio + GIGA DESIGN UPGRADE 1.2 that has been giving random freezes or crashes since I got it.

    I also have a G4 500 AGP that is working perfectly.

    I have the exact same software installation in both computer.

    The peripheral hardware used are also pretty much the same.

    Extension conflict is not the problem, tech tool tests all passed.

    The machine can work a few days fine.

    Sometimes the computer won't boot on the 1st attempt,
    Sometimes the finder quits and reboot by itself.
    Sometimes an application will simply quit.
    Sometimes it'll just freeze.
    N.B.(this behavior was present before the giga upgrade)

    WHAT CAN BE WRONG WITH THIS MACHINE?

    Any help appreciated...



    Mac OS overview
    Finder: 9.2
    System: 9.2.2 US
    Active enabler: None
    QuickTime: 6.0.3
    CarbonLib: 1.6.1
    File sharing: is off
    Multiple Users: 1.4.1

    Memory overview
    Disk cache: 512K
    Virtual memory: is off
    Built-in memory: 1.50 GB
    Number of empty RAM slots: 1 (DIMM3/J24)
    PC133 CL3
    Location Size Memory type
    DIMM0/J21 512 MB SDRAM
    DIMM1/J22 512 MB SDRAM
    DIMM2/J23 512 MB SDRAM
    Backside L2 cache: 2 MB

    Hardware overview
    Machine ID: 406
    Model name: Power Mac G4
    Keyboard type: Apple USB Keyboard
    Attributes: Low power mode disabled because of PCI cards in slots: SLOT-4
    Processor info: GIGA DESIGN UPGRADE
    Machine speed: 1200 MHz


    Network overview
    Ethernet built-in
    Link: up Speed: 100 Mbps Duplex: full

    Modem
    Name:
    Protocol:
    Version:
    Status: No Apple modem found.
    Open Transport
    Installed: Yes
    Active: Yes
    Version: 2.7.9
    AppleTalk
    Installed: Yes
    Active: No
    Version: Not available
    TCP/IP
    Installed: Yes
    Active: Yes
    Version: 2.7.9
    Personal Web Sharing: is off
    Multihoming: is off
    USB Printer Sharing: Not running (v1.0.2)

    Internal ATA 2
    ID = 0
    Hard drive
    Driver version: 3.2.8
    Mac OS partitions: 3
    Removable media: No
    Vendor: Maxtor
    Revision number: DA620XS0
    Product ID: 52732U6
    Serial number: K60A0W7C
    Size: 27.40 GB (1K = 1000)
    Capacity: 25.53 GB (1K = 1024)

    SYSTEM
    Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
    Capacity: 4.88 GB
    Available: 607.82 MB
    Percent full: 87
    Write protected: No
    Is being file shared: No

    PROGRAM
    Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
    Capacity: 8.93 GB
    Available: 877.33 MB
    Percent full: 90
    Write protected: No
    Is being file shared: No

    AUDIO
    Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
    Capacity: 11.71 GB
    Available: 2.12 GB
    Percent full: 81
    Write protected: No
    Is being file shared: No

    Internal ATA 2
    ID = 1
    Hard drive
    Driver version: 3.2.8
    Mac OS partitions: 2
    Removable media: No
    Vendor: Maxtor
    Revision number: NAR61590
    Product ID: 6E030L0
    Serial number: E17JKDZE
    Size: 30.73 GB (1K = 1000)
    Capacity: 28.63 GB (1K = 1024)

    PROGRAM2
    Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
    Capacity: 20.76 GB
    Available: 1.97 GB
    Percent full: 90
    Write protected: No
    Is being file shared: No

    AUDIO2
    Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
    Capacity: 7.87 GB
    Available: 689.91 MB
    Percent full: 91
    Write protected: No
    Is being file shared: No

    Internal ATA 0
    ID = 0
    DVD-R/DVD-RAM/CD-RW
    Driver version: 1.4.7
    Mac OS partitions: 0
    Removable media: Yes
    Vendor: HL-DT-ST
    Revision number: A102
    Product ID: DVDRAM GSA-4163B
    Apple disc burning: Supported

    No mounted media inserted

    SCSI Bus 0
    ID = 0
    Hard drive
    Driver version: 8.1.4
    Mac OS partitions: 1
    Removable media: No
    Vendor: QUANTUM
    Revision number: A05.
    Product ID: FIREBALLlct0
    Serial number: 8292
    Size: 4.30 GB (1K = 1000)
    Capacity: 4 GB (1K = 1024)

    DRIVE#2
    Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
    Capacity: 4 GB
    Available: 2.64 GB
    Percent full: 34
    Write protected: No
    Is being file shared: No


    PCI
    SLOT-1 (AGP)
    Display card
    Card type: display
    Card name: ATI,Rage128Pd
    Card model: ATI,Rage128Pro
    Card ROM #: 113-72701-130
    Card revision: 0
    Card vendor ID: 1002
    VRAM size: 16 MB

    Display
    Screen Size (pixels): 1024 x 768
    Grays/Colors: Thousands
    Resolution (dpi): 72 x 72
    Additional Information: Main screen

    PCI SLOTS:
    SLOT-4
    PCI Slot
    Card type: Not available
    Card name: pci137a,1
    Card model: -1
    Card ROM #: Not available
    Card revision: 10
    Card vendor ID: 137A
    Ethernet address:

    SLOT-5
    SCSI card
    Card type: scsi
    Card name: UltraTek100+
    Card model: PDC20268
    Card ROM #: 3.2.5
    Card revision: 2
    Card vendor ID: 105A
    Ethernet address:

    SLOT-2
    Display card
    Card type: display
    Card name: ATI,XCLAIM_LTPro
    Card model: ATI,LT-C
    Card ROM #: 113-54104-103
    Card revision: 220
    Card vendor ID: 1002
    VRAM size: 8 MB

  2. #2
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    Default Give this a shoot.

    Copied from a biggles post because I am slacking here... Backup? This can't hurt and by luck might flush some corruption out.
    Try booting into Open Firmware. If it will, reset nvram as described below.

    Restart the G4 and hold down the 4 keys Command-Option-o-f until the command line screen appears. At the prompt type;

    reset-nvram (return)

    set-defaults (return)

    reset-all (return)

    The Mac should now restart.

    Let us know what gives.
    Randy

  3. #3
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    Default

    So this is random? Nothing special that "always freaks it"?

    Make sure the Processor, RAM, Video, other PCI cards all seated really good. Check the cables especially near the doors for small pin holes, pinches. Is it dirty? Good to clean dust bunnies now and then. The fans, air intake/output opening. Cards, memory slots etc. - Randy

  4. #4
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    Default

    SYSTEM
    Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
    Capacity: 4.88 GB
    Available: 607.82 MB
    Percent full: 87
    Write protected: No
    Is being file shared: No
    That looks like it could cause problems to me. Nearly full drives are bad news especially for the OS. Any chance you could free up some space on there or re-partition?

    Random crashes/freezes also suggest bad RAM, or an unstable (too hot/fast?) processor.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
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    Default

    All good points to check out so far.

    I would do the open firmware reset for sure, and maybe replace the battery. Problems with either might cause the "will not boot on the 1st attempt", and other strangeness.

    Bad RAM is one of the most common causes of crashes and panics, so needs to be looked at really closely and tested too.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  6. #6
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    Lightbulb

    To test RAM, use Memtest. TTP won't find bad RAM. iTunes is also very sensitive or intolerant of marginal RAM.

    Do some deep cleaning of cache folders - Applejack or your utility of choice. Applejack is very safe. Also can check for corrupt plists, and remove swap files.

    For the boot volume, 8GB+ free space (more if you use iDVD), and 50-65% free is my rule of thumb. I use about 1/3 of the volume.
    Put /Users on another disk drive is my preference (not on the same IDE bus though).
    I've tried using another drive for 3rd party applications, it didn't help as much as just using one drive for OS/apps.
    Partitions on the same drive that are active (not just static storage) cause more seeks, latency, and work which hurts performance.

    Upgrade disk drives definitely. Why the Quantum 4.5GB drive? they are slow, hot. Just something to look at. Update the disk drives to something larger and with 8MB cache.

    Way too full on some of those partitions. Especially for OS X. And it hurts performance, can result in the partition losing its directory, and with that, your files.

    I would upgrade video card pronto to Radeon 9000/9600/9800. The Rage cards don't off-load or help OS X enough which puts more work on cpu.
    Last edited by TZ; 09-19-2005 at 08:38 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default G4 DA freezes and crashes (suite)

    OK here's my report:

    1-Try booting into Open Firmware
    checked!

    2-Make sure the Processor, RAM, Video, other PCI cards all seated really good
    checked!

    3-SYSTEM
    Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
    Capacity: 4.88 GB
    Available: 607.82 MB
    Percent full: 87
    Write protected: No
    Is being file shared: No

    This is not the disk used for os 9.2.2,
    here's the one:
    DRIVE#2
    Volume format: Mac OS Extended (HFS+)
    Capacity: 4 GB
    Available: 2.64 GB
    Percent full: 34
    Write protected: No
    Is being file shared: No

    4-replace the battery
    will do...
    Bad RAM is one of the most common causes of crashes and panics
    To test RAM, use Memtest. TTP won't find bad RAM
    What is memtest?
    I've tested with Newer technology gauge pro and it reports ok.

    This computer is running on os 9.2.2 exclusively.
    Main use is for audio work.
    Sometimes freezes (locked) occur when playing bits and pieces
    of audio using the sound app utility with the sound
    control panel output set to use the motu pci-324 driver
    (motu 1224 +2408 mk2 sound cards).
    If the sound control panel output is set to Built in,
    IT WILL NEVER FREEZE.

    Other times apps like CUBASE or PEAK that use the pci-324 driver
    will unexpectedly quit or freeze with or without reporting errors like 02,03, 11.

    The app Explorer will also often crash with a #11 error report.

    My 2nd computer, the G4 AGP 500mz is using the same software,
    sound card and driver and is working ok.
    So, the driver and sound card were exchanged but that
    did not solved the problem.

    The main difference between the 2 machines is the
    faster buss (133mz) on the DA.

    Could this be a clue?
    Also could this be a cache problem?
    motherboard or...
    This is out of my knowledge and understanding.

    Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Default booting

    This morning, the machine stopped booting
    after the icon of the first drive appeared.
    Had to reboot a 2nd time to completion.

  9. #9
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    Default Have you tried?

    The Apple Hardware Test CD? At least it will run a comprehensive test of the system and identify the memory as well.

    We have had very good luck with DA machines, and they seem to be the 'most' reliable of Macs built in the past 5 years. Memory is very important when you upgrade CPU's. What might have passed as 'ok' memory with a 466MHz CPU wont be 'fast' enough to keep up with a 1.2GHz.

    IF it were me, toss ALL of the memory and buy 1 new, stick from a WELL known manufacturer (IE, Macgurus, Kingston, Crucial). Test it with that new stick and go from there.
    MacBook Pro Uni 2.4GHz with express card slot

    iMac G5

  10. #10
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    Default computer froze again

    As I was watching a streaming quick time video from
    a web site, the computer froze again.
    So, it seems to have something to do with caching
    whether with memory or disk.
    The problem was existant before the giga upgrade.

    I don't have the apple hardware cd for that machine
    (bought used).
    Does the apple hardware cd from the other machine
    could work? (G4 500 AGP).
    Do you really think the battery can cause that sort of
    problem?

  11. #11
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    Default Chances are..

    I would guess the battery is not the culprit (but its an easy fix) do you have a multimeter to check the voltage?

    The AHT cd is usually system specific, I doubt the AGP Sawtooth version will boot on the G4 DA, but you could try.

    Probably could find on Ebay or even at your local Mac store (if you have?).

    Are all the Dimms the same? (brand / model?) Try pulling two of the dimm's and running with 512MB (just to test)...
    MacBook Pro Uni 2.4GHz with express card slot

    iMac G5

  12. #12
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    Default suite...

    Try pulling two of the dimm's and running with 512MB
    Will do.

    Today while booting, it froze + this message:
    Sorry, a system error occured
    "apple audio extension"
    bus error...
    then after a succesful booting,
    while in explorer, it unexpectedly quits
    + error 11.
    I haven't restart and it is working perfectly
    since then!

  13. #13
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    Default Really REALLY suggest...

    canning Explorer... that software has not been updated in 3 years.

    Whats wrong with Safari, or Firefox? Running X right?

    Camino, iCab, Mozilla... there are soo many better options than Explorer.

    Even if you are running OS 9, you should look at other browsers.
    MacBook Pro Uni 2.4GHz with express card slot

    iMac G5

  14. #14
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    Default suite

    Running os 9.2.2.
    Explorer is working allright in the G4 500 AGP.
    So it should work as good in the DA too.

  15. #15
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    Default

    It seems more and more plausible that the
    problem was caused by the soundcard!
    MOTU 1224.
    The machine would freeze playing
    back audio.
    The driver may not be fully compatible
    with the faster system bus @133mz
    (G4 digital audio).
    the soundcard MOTU 1224 seems to work
    fine with the other computer though.
    (G4 AGP + bus @ 100mz).
    Setting the acceleration cpu card
    at a lower speed also resolved
    other bad behaviors.

    Thanks again!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    35

    Default Mounting Screws

    Hey.

    I didnt completely read all the posts here at this thread but I had some info that *may* be of assistance to anyone that recently installed processor upgrades and is having troubles with random crashes or non booting.

    I just didnt know where to post this tidbit, or if its known or not, so i just put it here.

    The point of this post is to just say that the processor daughter card (at least on quick silvers) is grounded, or powered, through its mounting screws to the board. Check it out, take out all mounting screws and hook an ammeter between the threads of the screws and the metal mounting screw holes on the board. It shows up between 2-3 amps. The computer will not boot or make a startup sound without those screws, and the processor remains unpowered and cold.


    Im not sure about other models, but chances are other apple systems may follow the same design with one of the + or - to the processor being supplied through the mounting screws.


    Perhaps, if all else fails with a problem computer.. check the mounting screws and make sure theyre snugly torqued down to the board, or check the mating surfaces to be relatively sure that theres a good contact for the screws.



    good luck !

  17. #17
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    Default

    You are right ..... A Digital Audio processor has only 3 mounting screws and the Quicksilver's have 4. It is my understanding that the 4th screw the QS uses supplies it's power. So that is why when people have out a QS processor into a DA they need to get a 12 volt power from somewhere.

    I am not sure on all the volts, amps etc on the various designs of the DA and QS's. - Randy

  18. #18
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    Feb 2006
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    Default

    Oh, decent.

    I didnt mean to change the subject of this post, I just wanted to add the hint of perhaps checking the snugness of the screws if theres problems with a recent upgrade.


    now as i remember it, but im not 100% on it, i think that all QS processor card mounting screws act as terminals. Or wait, perhaps the screws supply both + and - power to the daughter board. Very interesting design. haha. I figured that maybe just the - was supplied through the screws, as a ground, such as a negative ground dc system in a car.>> The entire frame acts as the - terminal.


    but anyways, just wanted to mention it


    good forum, guys!

    thanks.

  19. #19
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    Default

    Humm,
    the freezes are back!
    So this is not the soundcard.

    The memory was checked adding the 512 stick
    one by one.

    Giga upgrade checked.(work fine in the 2nd machine)

    The freeze happen randomly when reading (playing)audio.

  20. #20
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    Default

    What would be the sign of a failing logic board?
    What would be the symptoms of a bad pci board connection?

    Freezes stop when the sound output control panel
    is set to built in (instead of the sound card).

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