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Thread: PM G4 (MDD FW800) acting crazy... freezing

  1. #1
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    Default PM G4 (MDD FW800) acting crazy... freezing

    Hi. In spite of having a killer Mac Pro, something about PM G4s enthrall me. Anyway, I recently decided to sell my perfect running - heavily upgraded Quicksilver in favore of a dual 1.42 MDD FW800. I got the MDD today. At first I started it up and it ran really well. At that point I pulled the few pci cards that were in it (A MOTU audio card and a SIIG USB 2 card) and then pulled all my cards out of my QS to put in the MDD and do a zeroing of the drive (previous owner had tons of junk on there) and install 10.4. I put in my Seritek/1SU, my Sonnet Tempo ATA133 and my ADS USB 2 card. Popped the cd in and installed Tiger. All went fine until the intro part of the install where you type in all of your personal info... then the G4 froze. Did a restart, got through the intro part and it froze the second that Software Updte popped up. After several restarts and several freezes, I pulled all of the PCI cards. It seemed to run ok for a while then. So I decided to start adding cards back in 1 at a time to find the culprit (if any). First was the Seritek card (one of the originals modded for G5).. it froze again. So, I placed it into another PCI slot... froze. Pulled it and put in my Sonnet ATA133 card.. another freeze. Opened up the PM, pulled that card as well. Went to start up again and got a crazy static noise alog the startup chime... it was a "bonnnn+tssssssst+nnnn+tsst+nnnn+tssssst+nnggg ".. more than the usual bonnnnnnnnnngg that I get with my Macs. After thet, Airpot failed to be recognized and only 1 of my 2 gbs of Rm showed (no freeze that time). I shut down, opened back up and reseated the airport card and moved the ram modules around.. then on restart (still have the crazy static noise) I only had 1.5 GB of ram. At this point there was 1 x 512 Apple (Micron), 1 x 512 Samsung, 2 x 512 Crucial (Micron). I pulled the non Apple ram and it ran fine for a while... also there was a normal startup chime. I then added the two Crucial sticks and it ran fine fr a while.. right now, with those three stick, I am running memtest, if all is well, maybe I will pull it all out and put in the Samsung stick and see how it tests out.

    I forgot to mention that after the initial freeze (at the 1st intro), I reset the PSU, reset OF and PR. Also I did another PSU reset after the first time Airport wasn't recognized... I tried to download the Apple Hardware Test image from Apple, and burned it (twice, once with toast and the second with Disk Utility) and couldn't get the mac to recognize it by either holding down the "c" key at startup NOR would it show up in "Start Up Disks" in the Sys Prefs.

    It ran great before I did a reinstall though I only used it for about 6 hours...

    Does anyone have a clue as to what this could be? I hope it's a memory stick and I hope to isolate it. But I won;t know till tomorrow cause the memtest is running and I am running out of gas (it's 5:30 AM).

    Thanks, Gurus!!!

    Eric
    =======================
    MacPro 1,1 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 10.5

  2. #2
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    How is the internal physical condition? Any evidence of extreme moisture and/or dirt? How are the fans? Do they actually move air or just make noise? Airflow is critical on MDD.

  3. #3
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    The interior, actually, was fairly clean... some dust that I had to knock out with some canned air, but I've seen worse. The fans move air, but it's not a massive amount, they kick up when they need too. I am using it right now, I set it up to run memtest on the 1.5 GB of ram that I left in there and it has been running since since I started the test (at 5 am)... just woke up a few minutes ago (at 10:30 am) and memtest said it passed everything... so I rebooted and here I am.

    So far so good, but it's only been a few minutes.

    Thanks.

    BTW, I just noticed that there is a red led light up between the ram and the video card... any knowledge as to what it's for?
    =======================
    MacPro 1,1 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 10.5

  4. #4
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    Lightbulb

    Memtest, when run from Terminal, you can multiple copies and just specify "nnn" MBs (I like 256MB) and then specify 5 or more loops for each.

    Probably want to boot into Safe Mode to disable as much as possible, although I once noticed the system was using a huge amount of memory - perhaps VM is or was disabled now in Safe Mode?

    PCI cards can conflict. And the QuickSilver was fussy over what it refused to cooperate with. MDD is pretty forgiving.

    ATTO recommended a nvram-reset any time you moved or added (or remove) a PCI card. Same with FirmTek card, and there you might want to force extension cache to rebuild (anything that uses and loads driver extensions).

  5. #5
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    I bought memtest last night and ran it from Single User mode (started up with "control+s" and ran it from there.. looped three times using 1440 mb ram... it took some time and let it go while I went to bed. All of the ram passed according to memtest when I woke up this morning... again, this is after I pulled the 512 mb of Samsung... I've been using the computer now for about an hour and it seems to be running great. I think I will try to add my seritek sata card now and see what happens.

    So I will reset nvram after I put it in.

    Thanks,
    Eric
    =======================
    MacPro 1,1 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 10.5

  6. #6
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    That red LED light, my recollection, The LED is always ON when power is present (in power on modes) and OFF when the machine is powered down (but still plugged in). I forget whether or not the LED is ON when powered ON and the video card is removed. k

  7. #7
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    ok, so I put the seritek card in and reset-nvram and so far so good... been running now (with no drives attached) for about 20-25 minutes.. I almost can't believe it.

    Maybe I got lucky by pulling the Samsung ram? I don't know, I'm not convinced yet.

    I'll run it for a while longer then I'll start adding more cards (resetting nvram each time).. I suppose I should learn how to rebuild the extension cache.. doing that now.

    Any other ideas? Did I maybe just stumble on the answer? I pulled the Samsung ram because if a stick were bad, it was the Samsung that I was hoping would be bad.

    Thanks,
    Eric
    =======================
    MacPro 1,1 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 10.5

  8. #8
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    Well, although I havent added any drives yet or added any more cards, the system is running great. It has been about an hour and a half... I guess I will try adding drives now.. but I'm scared.


    ****EDIT****
    So I added drives and zereo one of them and the MDD has been running nicely.. ready to add my sonnet ata133 card soon...

    Should I pull all the ram (after pulling the drives off the seritek again) and add that 512 Samsung ram in to see if it crashes? Maybe memtest it? I am a bit reluctant to do so since it is running good now so far, but I also want to convince myself that I dont have a "touchy" system and finally rule out if there is a problem...

    please advise if you can.

    Thanks again,
    Eric
    Last edited by klinger2004; 08-11-2007 at 12:44 PM.
    =======================
    MacPro 1,1 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 10.5

  9. #9
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    Maybe plan on a time when you can pull the other RAM, and memtest that one stick. Shouldn't take longer than overnight, and then you'd know for sure if it was the perp.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.Brane View Post
    Maybe plan on a time when you can pull the other RAM, and memtest that one stick. Shouldn't take longer than overnight, and then you'd know for sure if it was the perp.
    Thanks, for sure I will do. As for this moment, the computer has been running great all day long.. until it freezes again, and / or until I get time to test the other ram (which will be Sunday or Mon night) I will consider this problem solved... on to the next!

    Thanks much!

    Eric
    =======================
    MacPro 1,1 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 10.5

  11. #11
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    well, I ran the memtest on the samsung 512 stick. Started in Single User mode and ran /Appplications/memtest/memtest all 5 -L (five loops) and it came up with no error! It ended up testing 468 out of 512 mb.

    So now what? I can't accept a "ghost in the machine" theory... that it was just freezing like crazy and now it wont. The previous owner claims to have had these memory modules installed for over a year without any issues... but then again i did buy it on ebay.

    But again, it ram great when I first got it with his old installation on it.. then when I reinstalled 10.4 on it (retail), thats when the problems started.

    Any ideas.. anybody?

    Thanks,
    Eric
    =======================
    MacPro 1,1 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 10.5

  12. #12
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    Once in a while two brands of memory, or batches from same vendor (incl Micron) can fail to 'get along.'

    Can't offer why or what happened. 10.4 does put more stress - makes better use of more memory. Pre-existing software issue - even iTunes has been known to be sensitive to, and cause k/ps

  13. #13
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    Thanks TZ.. I just added the other 1.5GB back in the system... I am going out for a while later, so assuming that it is still running well (as it is now), I'll run a 5 pass test on the whole 2 GB.. do you suggest testing using the "all" argument? or is there a better argument to use.. I know earlier you said you like to test with 256 MB.. do you know if memtest will yake ram from each module?

    Thanks
    Eric
    =======================
    MacPro 1,1 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 10.5

  14. #14
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    Well, it's been a few days now with all of my software installed and the full 2 GB running. Got all of my cards in there.. ata133 card, sata card, usb 2, card. I ran memtest overnight .. on "all" available ram.. ended up being something like 1.8 GB, 4 loops... took several hours and all came through fine. G4 is running great. Would like to run hardware test in loop but it didn't come with the computer.. maybe another thread.But for now I suppose I have to call "case closed", let the seller know that all is well and leave him good feedback (ebay purchase).

    Thanks for all of your help.

    Eric
    =======================
    MacPro 1,1 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, 10.5

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