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Thread: Memory for G4 (AGP) 450 with OS X and newest Firmware

  1. #1
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    Question Memory for G4 (AGP) 450 with OS X and newest Firmware

    I saw this on this site...
    512 MB PC133 Low Profile DIMM 512G4-133
    ...And just wanted to double check to see that it would work with the G4 Power Mac (Single) 450 (AGP) with OS X. I need two 512MB modules.

    I originally ordered memory from Crucial and the Mac wouldn't even boot. So I then tried Kingston and it would only work in OS 9. In each case I used their site's brand locate features to find system specific memory and in each case the specs appeared to match. If I can be absolutely certain the above listed memory will work I will gladly buy from here.

    I tried every module configuration, PROM resets and anything else I could think of. In each case the original memory module I got with the Mac worked fine but with the additional modules added or alone, I got the above results.

    After all of that, I did more extensive research and found that between firmware updates that make memory acceptance more picky and learning that OS X is even finickier than OS 9... well, I am getting frustrated trying to find somewhere than can confirm that their memory will certainly work.

    Sorry if this has already been addressed. I searched the forums and read a lot of threads including, "Reasons RAM may not be detected" and looked in the following places...
    http://www.macgurus.com/products/mot...mbppcg4agp.php
    http://www.macgurus.com/products/ram/yosemitesdram.php
    ...and though i did see a bit about firmware i did not see info on OS X compatibility.

    I just don't think I can take a third strike so I hope you understand my need for confirmed reassurance. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I just need to find somewhere with memory that I know will work.

    Thank you!

    P.S.
    I also sent this inquiry through the contact form here at the site.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Welcome to the Gurus Forums. Your choice looks correct to me. OSX and particularly as it has evolved has become pickier about RAM. I can only say that the Gurus RAM I purchased for my GigaMDD and iBook G4 1.42GHz have worked flawlessly. I'm running 10.4.8 in both. k

  3. #3
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    Some things we've learned:

    Reset nvram on the first restart after installing new RAM.
    Try with just the new RAM.
    RAM - even from the same source - can vary enough to not get along.
    No two anything when it comes to electronic parts is a perfect DNA match.

    Install Applejack custom option to add Memtest. Run Memtest.

    I would guess there was another DIMM, older, that Crucial didn't co-exist with.

  4. #4
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    Default

    thX for the replies. I did in fact try every module configuration that I was able to as I wrote above. Sorry that I did not elaborate more on that though. I tried the new memory alone both individually and together and individually/together with the original memory.

    I also typo’d in my first message, PROM => PRAM. I did try a reset and sadly it did not work.

    I did neglect to mention that the Mac would ‘start’ to boot with the Kingston memory installed when the original stock memory was there too in OS X but it would always stop part way with an error message box that stated, “You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button for several seconds or press the Restart button.” Occasionally it would even stop with some sort strange characters and error codes filling most of the screen. (It would boot in to OS 9 this way though) When I booted with the Kingston memory alone it would not boot at all, the same as with the Crucial memory. However, I had the Crucial memory first so I may not have tried as many possible solutions and module configurations as I did with the Kingston. My methodology has gotten much more thorough now with the Kingston since it was a second effort.

    I have pretty much communicated all of this to MacGurus also and they are pretty confident that their memory will work so I will prolly give them a try. I just need to build up to actually giving this another go. At this point I am not looking forward to ever doing hardware work on an older Mac ever again.

  5. #5
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    Default

    It's not just older Macs, I've had very good luck with all the Ram I've bought until I got a G5. I've been pulling my hair out trying to figure out why I've been having Panics, finder freezes and incomplete boots. After installing the latest Security update it wouldn't boot past the blue screen. I guess it was just a coincidence but booting from the Hardware test DVD one 1 gig chip showed as bad. Hardware test prompted me to reboot remove all externals and run the long test. I did that and everything passed. Funny on restart I got the blue screen again. I opened the G5 up took out the 2 one gig chips and tried a boot. Not only did it boot up it runs like a new Mac and didn't exhibit any of the issues I was having. Fortunately the Ram I bought had lifetime warranty so I returned it and the replacement chips seem to be working. But I think I may just reinstall AppleJack and the Memtest and see for sure.

  6. #6
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    Default Welcome to the wonderful world of hardware.

    That sounds just about right. RAM can be a booger.
    "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

  7. #7
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    PROM?

    The best way to reset NVRAM is from Open Firmware.

    > reset-nvram
    > set-defaults

    Which should be done when removing, adding or changing memory; when replacing SATA drives (G5 issue only).

    I never know what "tried everything" means unless someone said they read the G5 RAM FAQ and followed all the recommendations.

    The G5 never realized its potential bandwidth. Not sure what caused the problems, but seems it was more like 50% what was expected. And with each new G5 revision, there were new issues with memory (the first months in Fall '03 though were terrible for some).

    I hate places that only have 30 days for full refund. No name but that really "takes the cake" and isn't acceptable.

  8. #8
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    I already stated that "PROM" was a typo... "PROM => PRAM". (meaning the PROM was meant to read PRAM)
    More here and here.
    If i have further problems though, I will also be sure to try resetting from the Open Firmware as you suggest.

    I never said that I tried 'everything'. I only stated what things I did try. The only time that I used the term 'every' was in reference to that I tried every 'module configuration', which I did. There are only so many ways you can arrange the memory and only so many combinations alone or together, etc. I tried all orders, combinations and placements. Maybe the term that I used, 'module configuration' was misleading. I am a PC tech (just getting back to my Mac roots for the first time in a long time) and in the PC world 'module configuration' often just refers to the order, combination and placement of memory modules and that is the terminology that I am more accustom too. But as it often easily means much more than that, sorry that it likely led to confusion of what I meant.

    I do appreciate all of the suggestions from everyone. I will most likely order memory from this site soon and am crossing my fingers.

  9. #9
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    I saw "prom" and I laughed. I should have put

    One of my pet peeves was with RAM vendors and the horrible state of standards compliance and complexity that I saw 7 yrs ago when it was impossible to know and get what you needed.

    My first little "faq" was on the subject of memory as a result of trying to save me from RSI/CTS trying to help others avoid some of the problems and know what to buy and do and what they might need to know.

    Clearing nvram causes a new device tree to be built, and for some reason, that became necessary.

    What I thought your typo was, Zapping PRAM/NVRAM via a keyboard (command - option - p - r) is less effecitive but easier for some (and habit for others) but led to these "urban legends" that you had to do it 4-5 times to work too. And what a lot of people want to do. THAT is what I thought

    Some people have no idea what I've said or written. I had one person at work "imitate" and listen as I tried to train them and there was a day when, like with a foreign language, he could think or dream in "computer-ese" for the first time. Otherwise, it was all "gibberish" to him.

    I found that understanding a little about Open Firmware also helped diagnose and fix some hardware problems. NVRAM can get corrupted, which leads to kernel panics or problems. And just the act of swapping memory or PCI cards is enough.

    Even though I grew up on mainframes, I have had little contact or need to know or use PC or Windows (and 286 was the last I used, DOS and Win 3.1?) though I do have Vista RC1 on my MacPro now.

    MacGurus FAQ: Guide to Open Firmware

  10. #10
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    Gotcha.

    Thank you again for your suggestions. Hopefully this next time around, things will be less painful, hehe.

  11. #11
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    I finally got back to this and just ordered my memory from MacGurus. Looking forward to trying it out when it comes.

  12. #12
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    Default So, what if I do have a memory mismatch?

    Does that mean I have to buy all new memory to match the new and toss out all the old? I've got 2 512's in the system now. I just bought a third from MacGurus, and guess what? I can't open the big files: I work with PS files that are upward of 300-400mb.

    They open just fine with the 2 512's and the 128 cards that were original hardware with the machine (867MHz single processor Quicksilver.) With the new 512, when I try to open one of those mega files, I get a message saying that there's a hardware error and some of the data is corrupt.

    Is there any way to get them to work together or am I just S.O.L? If I were to buy two more new cards, to go with this new one, is there any guarantee that they will all work?

    Thanks for the help,
    kc

  13. #13
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    Try with just the one new DIMMs (in first slot). Put slower RAM in first slot (by CAS Latency) can help. Try running Memtest too.

    And run something like TechTool Pro 4.5.2 and Disk Warrior 4 for any problems.

    I have seen where new additional RAM can sometimes "take getting use to" or worse.

    I would run Applejack and let it remove cache files AND swap files. A good way to run Memtest (v. 1.4.3 you do a custom install).

    Most 128MB SDRAM in its time were anywhere from wrong to slow and surpsied you had any in there and working. 400MB+ files for CS2? Time to move beyond G4 unless you've got dual 1.6GHz, just maybe? CS2 and OS X ask/need dual+ cpu and more. And faster disk drives as scratch to make up for the lack in both departments.

    PC133 is suppose to be backward compatible to PC100, your 100MHz front side bus, but not always, and not always mix PC100 and PC133 in the same system at the same time. Did you try with JUST the Crucial? they should have asked you to try that.

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