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G4 locks up at the sniff of a network connection

1264 Views 11 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  CanadaRAM
Hi folks, I'm looking at a G4 for a friend which freezes with the spinning beach ball of death whenever any app. requiring a network connection is launched. This lasts for 5-10 seconds before total paralysis sets in followed by a restart and much cursing. I ran 'remember' to test the RAM and that came up good. The spec is G4 1.25Ghz, 766MB Ram, OS X 10.4.
Anyone have any ideas, I'm a mac newbie and I'm seriously confused - thanks in advance!
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topcat, let's look at it logically. Tell us about your connection first. How is it hooked up to the internet now?

Which types of apps are causing the beach ball? Internet browsers?
cheers for the reply Macfury.

He was reporting problems using safari. I don't know what connection he has but I just hooked it up to a Dlink614+ router and it ran fine!!!! I just unplugged the router and I noticed the Mac locked up again. Is this a standard response from this machine when a network connection drops out? If so I'm pretty amazed/horrified.
I'm no expert, but it sounds to me like you simply have one program not responding. Next time you see that spinning beachball hold down the Command key (Apple symbol key) and the option (alt) key down at the same time and then hit the escape (esc) key in the upper left of the keyboard. The system will ask you if you want to "force quit" the offending program which will show as (not responding) in the menu window that appears. Do so and your Mac should not require a restart, but you will know for sure which program is causing the problem.
Unplugging the internet connection usually results in the browser telling you thast "You are not connected to the internet" and nothing more.

SINC's idea is good. You can also try to do something else on the computer--operate a second program to see if it's the program or the computer that's in trouble. Just move the cursor to a second program window.
I appreciate the help fellas, I tried SINCs idea to force quit Safari but didn't work. I downloaded firefox to see if the same thing happened with that app. to eliminate the possibility of Safari being naff. No problems for a while, I even disconnected the router again and it didn't freeze, then 10 minutes later it froze again so maybe it's not just a network issue. I downloaded ClamXav to try and see if there is a virus issue here and when I tried to launch it the system crashed again. I had application monitor open and couldn't see any RAM or CPU issues before the freeze - they seem to just come out of nowhere. Any ideas or diagnostics tools that you may be able to suggest would be very very welcome, once again thanks for the help so far!!
Just noticed the CDs the guy has given me for this G4 eMac are actually for a G5 powermac, I'm guessing the OS contained will be the same but, the drivers are going to be wrong surely, could this account for the machines errataic behaviour?
Yes, if the end user succeeded in installing an OS for a different model, stability is out the window.

Also check for hard disk catalog damage with DiskUtility and or DiskWarrior.

There was a problem a while back (I think it was confined to 10.3.6 or something) where a network error would be generated if a process went out to the internet and could not immediately connect. THat was solved with a .3.x upgrade IIRC/ But it does point to the possibility that it is a program in the background (Software update? something else?) that is hanging when it attempts to do network access and either hits no network, or damaged network software (a la G5 OS)
If you haven't tried already try setting up your DNS entries for the openDNS servers (google or search on here there are lots of posts with that info in them). It may be trying to do things like connect to the time server to sync your time, or check software update .. also lots of programs try to check for an update on launch ... if any one of those try to connect to a DNS server that's not there or working properly you could see this problem.
topcat: There are relesaes of the OS that are general and can be used on any machine and then there are the releases that are specific to the machine they came with. I would start with a proper installation of the OS. Usually machine-specific OS's refuse to install in the wrong machine.
The guy who asked me to look at this mac told me that he had reinstalled it himself before giving it to me, after reading what everyone's told me I tried to reinstall using the disks he gave me - just as an experiment - and it would not install!! Don't you hate it when you're trying to help someone and they lie to you. (After a career in pc support for IBM I should be used to this!!)

I'm going to give it back to him and let him sort it out himself, thanks to everyone who gave their time to help, it's much appreciated! Maybe one day I might be able to return the favour.
I'm going to give it back to him and let him sort it out himself,
Tell him to buy a legitimate retail copy of OSX Tiger and start again.
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