: Emergency!! - My Dual G4 is DOA


simon
Jun 1st, 2006, 11:58 PM
Earlier today I was playing a game, the first time in months as I have been real busy (MOA), and part way through the game the computer stuttered and then I had a kernal crash. My system has been rock solid for three years and this was probably only the third kernal panic I have had.

Anyways, on restart the computer went through the startup apple screen then jumped to a blue screen and then nothing - it just sat there. Thinking that I may have caused a hard drive issue on the hard restart I rebooted to my emergency externall firewire HDD and it did the same thing. OK, starting to get worried - so I found my OSX 10.4 install DVD and started up holding down the C to boot from the DVD, which it did OK. Using the disk utility I fixed the boot HDD (which had a few header errors) and tried restarting - which the same issue happened again. Tried booting from the DVD again and this time installed a new system on a second HDD and then rebooted - to the exact same problem.

Now this is getting scary! I have tried removing all memory and using one known good stick (but all were known to work OK before anyways). Removed all PCI cards, all USB attachments, ethernet connection and all internal HDD and DVD drives. On every reboot I get the same damn thing ... a apple boot screen then a blank blue screen that stays and doesn't go away.

What the heck to I try now? Any suggestions and clues will be greatly appreciated.

Strimkind
Jun 2nd, 2006, 12:05 AM
I'm not an expert but that sounds rather similar to leaking capacitors that I had on my PC. I know it doesn't relate in that way but the symptoms are very similar as it boots to a point and freezes.
What that means is you need a new mainboard if it is true. It may be low output voltages in your powersupply but I think it may be your capacitors. Get some place to check it out that does estimates for free.

Orion
Jun 2nd, 2006, 01:29 AM
Are you able to boot in single user mode (hold command-S at startup)? If so it may indicate an OS problem rather than hardware. If it is always failing at the same point during bootup it is less likely to be hardware unless there are bad sectors on the hard drive; something which you eliminated by booting from other disks.

You could also try verbose mode (command-V at startup) which will show a whole pile of unix-y command line stuff :). If it freezes during that then at least you will be able to note where it locks up.

MacDoc
Jun 2nd, 2006, 08:22 AM
We've seen quite a few processors go on these :( Sounds like another and there is no good option third party.

simon
Jun 2nd, 2006, 09:05 AM
We've seen quite a few processors go on these :( Sounds like another and there is no good option third party.


Would a dead processor allow for me to install a new copy of the OS on a second drive? Why can it boot OK from a DVD but not the HDDs?

I have tried the internall HDD on all IDE channels, tried booting from a good external firewire HDD with nothing attached internally - hangs at the same point without further HDD activity (the blue screen right after the apple screen). The only thing I haven't tried is the video card but that doesn't make sense as I can see it working when I boot from the DVD - which will allow me to do a full install of the OS without issue but refuses to boot further than the blue screen.

TCB
Jun 2nd, 2006, 10:54 AM
I had a dual 533 that one of the processors died on....it let me use it as well....but had kernal panics all over the place when I stressed the processor load.

MacDoc
Jun 2nd, 2006, 11:32 AM
Failing processors do cause very odd results tho the install is a puzzle.
maybe a bad IDE cable??? They can have a small break and heat up but work when cold.

simon
Jun 4th, 2006, 08:52 AM
OK, not so much of an emergency any more as I was forced to buy another system to get back to work but I still want to fix the G4.

Here's another stumper. If I boot from the OSX DVD I can see all the internal drives, fix permissions and repair them (done that a few times) but I still can't boot off anything except the DVD. Since this system is the last OS 9 bootable system - I dug out my OS 9 CD and booted from it (OK too) but now I can't see any of the internal drives. Now none of these internal drives have OS 9 drivers (so I can use them in OS 9) installed but shouldn't be be able to see them in the Drive Setup Utility and have the option to format them?

Any more ideas? I am open to all suggestions now

jat
Jun 4th, 2006, 09:31 AM
try Disk Warrior and see if it fixes the problem.I was having tons of problems with a new G5 and nothing would fix it except this software............

simon
Jun 4th, 2006, 09:56 AM
try Disk Warrior and see if it fixes the problem.I was having tons of problems with a new G5 and nothing would fix it except this software............

It's not a HDD problem - the problem is I can't boot from any HDD

simon
Jun 4th, 2006, 04:15 PM
OK, It's even stranger now and I am getting more and more confused (and frustrated)

I found my original boot DVD with the Apple Hardware Test. I was able to successfully run both hardware tests - including the extended test and all hardware including the logic board passed with no errors.

I still can't boot off anything besides the OS DVD and the HDD I had in the G4 boots fine in my temporary replacement computer. By-the-way I have tried the HDD on all IDE channels including the optical drive IDE channel with no luck.

So I am still stumped and looking for some more hints - all will be welcomed and tried

CN
Jun 4th, 2006, 04:26 PM
Did you try a new IDE cable, like MacDoc suggested? They're pretty cheap (less than $10) so it'd be easy to try...

simon
Jun 4th, 2006, 04:33 PM
Yep - I have tried all suggestions

Rob
Jun 4th, 2006, 05:14 PM
Booting from a system CD or DVD usually means that there are only a basic set of features/devices running. This would be similar to running with extensions disabled in OS9. I'm not sure how to do this in OSX. Have you tried Orion's suggestion to start up in verbose mode to see what operation is crapping out during startup?

simon
Jun 4th, 2006, 05:43 PM
Booting from a system CD or DVD usually means that there are only a basic set of features/devices running. This would be similar to running with extensions disabled in OS9. I'm not sure how to do this in OSX. Have you tried Orion's suggestion to start up in verbose mode to see what operation is crapping out during startup?


Nothing is crapping out in startup (watching in Verbose mode). It completes that portion of the startup and then jumps to a blue screen (which I used to see normaly before the background and menu bars, icons, and dock showed up) and just stays there with no disk action

Orion
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:07 PM
Rob's recommendation of using Safe Mode (hold the shift key at startup) would be the next step.

When you booted the HD in another computer did you run any utilities to check it?

Do you have anything like the Apache server that is set to run on startup?

MacDoc
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:14 PM
I assume you have cleared the motherboard entirely.
Perhaps remove the battery and power cable and let it sit for a day.

Bosco
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:19 PM
I know it's obvious, but have you checked the PRAM battery voltage? That's been the problem with 3 Macs for me.

simon
Jun 5th, 2006, 02:28 PM
I know it's obvious, but have you checked the PRAM battery voltage? That's been the problem with 3 Macs for me.

Did that - voltage was A-OK

I assume you have cleared the motherboard entirely.
Perhaps remove the battery and power cable and let it sit for a day.

That I haven't tried ....

simon
Jun 6th, 2006, 09:46 AM
Left it for the day without the battery as per MacDoc's suggestion and on reinstall and boot it made it to a new BLACK screen with mouse action but that's about it.

And now it's becoming even weirder. Not the type of guy to give up so easily I thought I would give Yellow Dog Linux 4.0 a try and guess what? It worked and booted just fine. Any suggestions from this new turn?

MacDoc
Jun 6th, 2006, 12:33 PM
I still suspect the processor board - perhaps the L3 cache - Linux may not access it so boots through
These can real bears - been there - done that :(