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  1. #1

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    I have a 12 inch Powerbook G4 865 MHz with 512Mb RAM running the latest updated Panther.

    I have recently had problems with the computer crashing every 15 minutes or so, sometimes even after I restart with a black box with 4 languages saying "Hold down Power key for a few seconds or press Restart button..."

    It doesn't seem to respond to the Power button, so I've been restarting with Ctrl+Apple+Power.

    I've run the Protection plan CD's TechTool Deluxe and the only thing amiss is that some of the disk volume needs to be repaired. I launched the repair but the computer froze up in the middle of cleaning for half an hour and I'm reluctant to waste that much time again.

    I've disconnected all peripherals and my ethernet/ADSL connection - nothing else seems to make a difference or influence this - it's not a panic, but it is really annoying given everything has been beautigfully stable for the last 12 months.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Jarkman

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Berkeley, CA
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    Jarkman ~

    What you are seeing, the box with the 4 languages, is indeed a kernel panic.

    Go to /Applications/Utilities/Console and check your logs for anything revealing.

    Alternatively (or if your console doesn't launch), you can tail your logs in terminal;i.e.

    tail -f /Library/Logs/panic.log

    "tail" to see the last part of your logs, "head" to see the first part, and "cat" to see the entire log.

    Your logs all reside in /var/log & /Library/Logs & ~/Library/Logs

    Reinstalling the COMBO updater for 10.3.7 may help. Remember to repair permissions both before and after installing the combo updater.

    Beyond that, you can do an archive/install of panther without losing any information.

    Good luck =)

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Default

    My B&W G3 has been doing this recently. I have been putting another Hard Disc Drive into the computer (running Panther) to get X on the stock Hard Drive in the computer, and it KP's. I narrowed it down to be a bad block of Ram, which KP's in my G4 as well.

    This is an email virus for Mac OS X. It works on the honor system. Please start deleting random files on your system and forward this message to everyone in your address book.

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    I hate the smell of RAM in the morning!

    I don't know big heaps about these bad boy apples yet, but it smells a lot like RAM issues I had recently. :blink:

    Edit: typo
    Succesful Trades: Frenchtoast, scopegate

  5. #5

    Join Date
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    The error message you report in my apple tech experience usually indicates dodgy RAM in the machine. If you have 2 dimms, remove one and operate with only one. Try and pin point which one it is. Ultimately if its under warranty go get it checked out.

    Hope you didn't recently add more ram to this machine (as Id suspect the new addition of ram).

  6. #6

    Default

    I had a similar problem - I would get 2 to 3 KP's a day on my powerbook.
    I threw every test I could think of at it - memory, harddrive, ...
    I used the hardware test disk that came with my powerbook, and did an extended hardware test on loop - 10 times and nothing showed up as bad. I even fsck'd it!

    I was forced to conclude that software was my problem. I did a full backup, zerod my harddrive (probably unnecessary) and reinstalled OS X.

    That was a week ago, and since then, nothing. All is good.

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions so far.

    A Kernel panic eh? I knew being yelled at in 4 languages had to be bad.

    (Have since had another one while trying to reply to this forum - dammit&#33

    Thanks to spectre for the console/log tip. This is the last/most recent entry in my panic.log:


    panic(cpu 0): 0x300 - Data access
    Latest stack backtrace for cpu 0:
    Backtrace:
    0x000836E4 0x00083BC8 0x0001EDA4 0x00090CD8 0x000940CC
    Proceeding back via exception chain:
    Exception state (sv=0x2580DA00)
    PC=0x00038EEC; MSR=0x00009030; DAR=0x61646564; DSISR=0x40000000; LR=0x00038ED4; R1=0x0F92BC00; XCP=0x0000000C (0x300 - Data access)
    Backtrace:
    0x002F4FC0 0x0005C344 0x00063DF4 0x00064294 0x0002F88C 0x00211224 0x00211490 0x0021135C
    0x002463C4 0x00094260 0x00730069
    Kernel loadable modules in backtrace (with dependencies):
    com.apple.NVDAResman(3.3.6)@0x4d4000
    dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOPCIFamily(1.4)@0x395000
    dependency: com.apple.iokit.IOGraphicsFamily(1.3.3)@0x49f000
    dependency: com.apple.iokit.IONDRVSupport(1.3.3)@0x4be000
    Exception state (sv=0x2B8DB280)
    PC=0x900235A4; MSR=0x0000D030; DAR=0x8FE55070; DSISR=0x40000000; LR=0x90023598; R1=0xF0080A40; XCP=0x00000030 (0xC00 - System call)

    Kernel version:
    Darwin Kernel Version 7.7.0:
    Sun Nov 7 16:06:51 PST 2004; root:xnu/xnu-517.9.5.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC

    *********


    Anything obvious to anyone in there? (I'm at a loss).


    As to new RAM - no I maxed up my RAM within a week of buying my laptop about 12-18 months ago so I don't think new RAM is an issue. Can't remember if I have one or two sticks (probably one) but I still have my original 128 RAM, so I could do the RAM test suggested.

    "Reinstalling the COMBO updater for 10.3.7 may help. Remember to repair permissions both before and after installing the combo updater."

    Sorry, do you mean off the original Panther disks or via the web?

    By repair permissions do you mean via the TechTool or something else?

    "Beyond that, you can do an archive/install of panther without losing any information."

    I'd really like to avoid that. The whole thing's caught me in mid (belated) backup which has increased the stress level somewhat.

    Thanks again for any suggestions. I'll start digging out my original disks and track down my original RAM while I archiove like crazy.

    Jarkman

  8. #8

    Default

    Have reinstalled original RAM. Interestingly I note the package my new RAM came in says SODIMM RAM (3rd party) which I hadn't noticed before. So far so good but sluggish...

    Dodgy RAM? I don't know - I bought from the Flinders St Apple store.

    I also found this Kernel Panic FAQ

    http://www.macmaps.com/kernelpanic.html

    This seems to suggest that RAM issues aren't all that common in my situation.

    I'd like to still be able to use my extra 512Mb RAM. So I'll try and do the other fixes as well.

    Any thoughts,

    Jarkman

  9. #9

    Default

    Faulty RAM is a *very* common occurance. I wouldn't be surprised if every 1 in 8 sticks of RAM has some sort of fault. Just because it was from an Apple retailer doesn't mean it's invulnerable from defects. They get it from the same places the local PC store down the road gets it from.

    You can always take the stick of RAM back to MyMac, say it gives you kernel panics in 10.3 and they'd probably just swap it over for another stick of RAM. Take the laptop in too to show them what happens with the RAM in, and then again with the RAM out.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Repairing permissions is achieved (in the absence of handy little helper app's like control freak) by booting from the panther install disk 1, running disk utility and selecting repair permissions. (EDIT3: see spectres post below for an easier option - I'm an idiot (also pre-occupied on another mission ATM)) Some installers do not reset these to normal values when they quit and so this can help with a lot of problems.

    I have to say that permissions seems a long shot and as such my guess is that it is the RAM also. However I am not experienced with troubleshooting via log files (annoying for me I must say) and cannot interpret your log (I cannot seem to find the log from when I was suffering from kernel panics too) Fortunately troubleshooting RAM is very straightforward (removal/swapping). Where your log says "panic (cpu 0): 0x300 data access" I'm guessing (90% sure) that points to RAM. Thats how I would interpret it.
    The problem with flaky RAM is that it is not always a clear cut: YES it works, NO it doesn't. It can work SORT OF and when it delivers bad data or does not deliver it in time to the CPU you get the panic.

    EDIT: A possible advantage of buying RAM from an Apple retailer is that it should have a lifetime warranty. Thats part of the reason why you paid a premium. Do what Decryption said; you'll probably find that they are quite good about helping you out.
    To force kernel panics (with dodgy/suspect RAM in place; not necessary but slot 0 if you can remove both chips (guarantees that it will be utilised when testing)) open multiple applications until the activity monitor says that you have almost no free RAM and the do something processor intensive in something like photoshop. Should panic fairly quickly
    EDIT2: You can also get consistent verification failures during CD burning with flaky RAM

  11. #11

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    i can make my machine do this without fail when its too hot.

    All i do, is wait for a 40*C day, and render some huge effect in FCP and walk away, within half an hour this will happen.

    no really i just made it do it...

    Ever since my processor died, and i got that new one, its been really weird.
    Jim
    Know me before you judge me...

  12. #12
    Edge Guest

    Default

    If the culprit is bad RAM, this can also cause corruption on your boot volume, requiring a reinstall. A failing stick of 512MB RAM hosed a 60GB partition on my Cube. Not pleasant.

  13. #13

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    As others have suggested, the problem may be RAM (even if you've not experienced issues before with it). Reseat your RAM chips and if possible, blow the slots out with compressed air.

    To repair permissions, one needn't boot from the panther CD - It can be done two ways:

    in /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility -> Repair Permissions

    or...

    in Terminal by typing:

    diskutil repairPermissions /

    By combo updater, I meant that which you'd download from the apple site.

    http://wsidecar.apple.com/cgi-bin/nph-reg3...Combo10.3.7.dmg

    Combo updates are more stable than mini-updaters.

  14. #14

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    Definitely try re-seating the RAM first, even more common than faulty RAM in Powerbooks are problems with their insertion.
    The discussion has continued at AppleTalk Australia.

  15. #15

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    Again, thanks to everyone for their help/suggestions (esp spectre, kim jong il).

    I originally thought the problem was heat as well as it's been a bit hot in Melbourne lately and I've been using the PB fairly heavily - I'd noticed a hot spot under my PB after a few hours on my desk (it acts as a faux desktop at times). This seems to have been fixed by a pair of metallic coloured Postworx Speedballs (http://www.postworx.com/) that allow air to circulate under the notebook - a great little investment for ~$25.

    The notebook still gets a bit hot under the battery, but I tried it when it had cooled down etc and still got a KP, sometimes after starting up even when cool. I wish it was that simple.

    I've done the following:

    1) Repaired the permissions using Disk Utility

    2) Swapped in my original 128Mb RAM stick (only a single slot in a Powerbook of course)

    I then tried to repair the volume structure using TechTool Deluxe but it seemed to freeze while completing the fifth (out of six) task and I had to reboot.

    I haven't had any more KPs since completing the first two steps. The next step I suppose is to swap back in the 512Mb RAM stick (I don't have compressed air available - where would I get that?) - maybe reseating it will fix the problem.

    Seems odd that it's happened now though.

    Fingers crossed - I think my RAM fits into the SORT OF works category...

    A late Q - if I use the Combo-Updater, will I need to back up all my files or just my System files?

    Thanks,

    Jarkman




  16. #16

    Join Date
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    A late Q - if I use the Combo-Updater, will I need to back up all my files or just my System files?

    Neither - The combo updater will just reinstall system files over your existing ones without touching preference files or any others one would normally backup.

    I buy compressed air at places like Office Depot (or any office supply stores) in small cans and every couple of months, blow out the innards of my macs including the RAM slots.

    Before & After compressed air - http://tribbles.org/mac/view_album.p...lbumName=robby

    also, as my webserver looks now - http://tribbles.org/mac/view_album.php?set...Name=cheap-date

  17. #17

    Default

    OK, an update...

    I ran the Combo updater (with the original 128Mb RAM in situ) - no problems there.

    I then switched the RAM, restoring the 512Mb stick. No compressed air but usual precautions.

    Instant KP when trying to log in. So restart...

    Instant KP (not even login window). So restart...

    Manage to switch off power.

    Now login...

    But now detects extra RAM (total 640Mb now detected). Running as I post this. (Fingers crossed).

    So it sounds like it could be the RAM, eh?

    Plan for tomorrow: trip down to MyMac to discuss replacement RAM...


    Jarkman




  18. #18

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    Sounds very ram

    Am I right in thinking that you have been using that ram with no problems for some time? That's odd that it would suddenly decide to shit itself!? :blink:

    Succesful Trades: Frenchtoast, scopegate

  19. #19

    Default

    I've been using my PB with the "extra" RAM in it for over a year. Last month or so I noticed a few crashes which were KPs in retrospect. Only new hardware was ADSL modem which I've isolated (not the problem) and is working fine regardless of all this.

    Maybe I clunked the laptop (or my son clunked it) - could this unseat the RAM?

    As an update:

    So far so good since switching the 512Mb stick back in.

    I've had the system running for almost an hour and no KP.

    Fingers crossed, I'll leave it on overnight and see what happens in the AM...

    Seems like things have stabilised temporarily after the initial series of KPs on startup.

    Still want to check out swapping the RAM though...

    Jarkman

  20. #20

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    Overheating can be a real issue.
    There are cooling pads you can buy or you can simply find a bit of breathable material. As long as it has definite interconnecting breathe-ways, then it will be a duct for displaced air. If this material is also insulating then it will be of great value .. as long as it does not raise the keyboard to an awkward height. Even a piece of corrugated cardboard will do.
    why are you reading this?

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