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Thread: Temperamental PowerMac 7500

  1. #1
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    Default Temperamental PowerMac 7500

    I have a PowerMac that is so temperamental tonight, it's not even funny.

    Here's what it's doing.

    First of all, the plastic case has become very brittle inside, that I have to be super careful now, and I had it apart to try and make some repair to the plastics.

    So I get done, put it back together, and no boot. It does the chime, but nothing.. I take it apart, pull all PCI cards, and it boots, but now I'm using the onboard video.

    So here's the specs.
    Sonnet Crescendo G4 1GHz
    1GB RAM (8x 128MB FPM RAM)
    ATI Radeon 9200 128MB PCI
    Sonnet Tempo Ulta 100 PCI
    40GB IDE HD
    DVD-RW IDE Pioneer Drive

    So, with that in mind, PCI cards removed, it booted, but like I said, on the onboard video. So I put just the video card in, no boot. I try then with only the Tempo card, it boots. Fine, it's just a video card then, so I grab my other card that I have out of my G3 mini tower, that still works, same card. No boot then. At that point, I'm confused. What the heck??

    I then try hooking TWO monitors up, one to onboard, one to the ATI.. It boots! And on both screens.. But why is it doing this now? At this point, I try resetting the CUDA and PRAM. With the ATI, PRAM won't reset, but without, it resets. Oookkaaayy.. Anyway, still acts the same.

    At this point, I'm drinking beer and cussing the thing out, and just give up and put the cards back in and hook it up the way it should be hooked up, and literally said "If you don't work your in the trash tomorrow", and what do you know, it BOOTED UP. And not only that, is playing Unreal Tournament without any lockups.

    What in the world was THAT all about? It's never been that hard to boot before?

    Oh, and during all my troubleshooting, I did get a odd mac system error on boot one time, when I had the two monitors attached, the onboard video showed a system error at the top right of the screen, halfway OFF the screen, and it said: "Sorry, a system error occurred: divide by zero"

    Any ideas? I'm afraid to shut the machine down as if it's going to do this again.

  2. #2
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    Remove your onboard video ram blow the dust out of the sockets and firmly reseat the video ram.

    Wouldn't hurt at all to do the same to the system ram.

    When was the last time you changed the motherboard battery?
    Damien,

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damien View Post
    Remove your onboard video ram blow the dust out of the sockets and firmly reseat the video ram.

    Wouldn't hurt at all to do the same to the system ram.

    When was the last time you changed the motherboard battery?
    I changed the battery about 3 weeks ago.

    I'll try cleaning the RAM and see what happens. I honestly wouldn't even care if there was no video RAM installed, I'd prefer to not use the onboard video at all if possible.

  4. #4
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    I'm beginning to think this may be DVD drive related.

    With the power cord to my DVD burner in, the computer intermittently starts up (but when it does the drive reads fine), when unplugged it always starts up fine. Hmm.

  5. #5
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    If you get it running on the video card you can remove the onboard ram completely and it won't hurt anything.

    Could be the DVD drive, do you have a spare you can swap for a test? Could also be a symptom of a failing power supply. I had that happen once. On a Mac that old you never know, it could be anything.
    Damien,

  6. #6
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    Only spare DVD drive I have can't read CD-R's...

    I'm noticing a few kinks in the IDE ribbon, it might be time to just replace the drive and ribbon alltogether, and maybe the PSU too.

  7. #7
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    I'm noticing something right now while it's booted ok..

    When playing a game, whenever the hard drive is accessed, the audio skips.

    Is this a limitation of it's wimpy PCI bus? Is the onboard audio on these things even PCI?

  8. #8
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    Very likely you are hitting the wall of what the 7500 is capable of. You could also be experiencing the signs of impending failure of a highly stressed logic board/PSU. Frankly I'm amazed it's still going. Time to think about moving to more modern hardware IMHO.

  9. #9
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    I have modern hardware, MacPro early 08 with 32GB RAM and 8 cores, and a early 2011 MacBook Pro 15" (stock specs)...

    But none of these machines are OS 9 capable.. I have a Beige G3 mini tower, with a 300MHz overclocked to 433MHz, with everything else stock, but that doesn't have the G4 my 7500 does.

  10. #10
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    So you're screwing with this thing strictly for the challenge then? OK.

    I personally have never seen the point in upgrading a x500 or x600 PowerMac to a G4, but that's just me.

    You gotta admit you've got your money's worth out of that old 7500, and then some.

    Good luck.

  11. #11
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    The onboard audio is not PCI.
    Damien,

  12. #12
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    To Brane's point......

    G4s are going to waste every day around here. Free to anybody that needs one. Might make sense to scrounge a killer OS 9 box like an early model MDD, or a late model QS.

    Fast and parts are still (relatively) easy to find.

    Just a thought.
    "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

  13. #13
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    Well made point. I have several G4's, one is a Quicksilver with Dual 1.2 GigaDesigns processors. Just sitting for the last 4 or 5 years. Heck, we gave away all but one of our G5 towers, that one is the latest model Dual Core and is too noisy to give to anyone :^)
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damien View Post
    The onboard audio is not PCI.
    True that, but maxing out the system bus will cause the audio to glitch. A full load of PCI cards, and a processor that's frequently waiting on instructions will have that old RAM working overtime to keep up. Sometimes it can't.

    Also I'm sure anyone here who remembers the OS9 upgrade heyday also remembers ATI drivers. They didn't always play nice or even work for that matter.

  15. #15
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    I'm on the 7500 right now, posting this from it.. I got a new DVD dual layer burner drive, new IDE cables, and now it turns on every time and seems to not be locking up so far. Even played some Unreal Tournament in 1440x900 at full quality with little slow downs. (Only some slow downs but that was because a LOT redeemers were being fired at one point).

    What I'm noticing, is that the video card doesn't glitch the audio at all, but the Sonnet Tempo IDE card does.. For example, in Unreal Tournament, when playing, the audio doesn't glitch, but if the hard drive starts reading according to the LED installed, the audio glitches.

    Odd glitch, but only the IDE card is causing it. I would imagine the Radeon 9200 would cause more load on the bus, but maybe I'm wrong.

  16. #16
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    PCI ATA cards causing audio glitches on Beige Powermacs is a known issue from way back.

  17. #17
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    Is there a fix? Or just something I'll have to live with?

    I never knew of this and couldn't find anything on it.

  18. #18
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    Looks like a bus timing issue to me.

    http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/IDE/stutt...audio_fix.html

  19. #19
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    Tried the download on that site, but as the site mentions, it's a OS X version.. I can't get my Sonnet Tempo to boot any OS X (or OS 9) CD at all, so I can't actually install OS X on this machine.

    I tried looking for the OS 9 version on Google but couldn't find anything, but I'm not completely worried about it, I mostly stream iTunes from the net anyway, and since I have 1GB RAM, Virtual Machine is off..

    Only issues come from gaming mostly..

  20. #20
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    I found the OS 9 version, but it won't load.

    Says: "ACARD IDE or RAID card not found!".

    Well that sucks.

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