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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

G4 Graphite (AGP / Sawtooth) - CUDA re-set routine not working


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espi

 
Member Since: Jun 08, 2011
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Hello all - my first post here (and rather a long one, I'm afraid!)

I have a G4 Graphite (AGP graphics / Sawtooth mobo) PowerMac with the following spec:

OS: OSX 10.3.9 Panther (I know...don't laugh! )

CPU: 1.4GHz Sonnet upgrade card (installed years ago and running flawlessly ever since)
RAM: 2GB PC100
Graphics Card: Rage 128Pro AGP
Optical Drive: Pioneer DVR-118L
System Drive: 80GB ST380011A (HFS+ Journalled) with 60 GB free space

Storage Drives:
1 x 120GB Maxtor 6Y120P0 (HFS+ not Journalled) with 53GB free space
1 x 120GB Maxtor 6Y120L0 (HFS+ not Journalled) with 98GB free space

External Drive:
640GB Hitachi 0A38114 SATA HDD (HFS+ Journalled) in a USB2 drive caddy. Approx 340GB free space.

The machine also has a Mac-compatible PCI card providing 4 x USB2 sockets. The external HDD caddy is connected to this.


Here's my problem. I have done a lot of searching both on this forum and generally on the web, but so far have not found a solution.

I live in London, UK. Last week we had a thunderstorm, and a lightning bolt struck very close by - we estimate just a couple of streets away. Frightened the living daylights out of us!

Fortunately there didn't appear to be any immediate after-effects: mains power was still on and all of our domestic electrical devices were still working. I had to re-boot my Draytek Vigor 2600 ADSL router to re-establish connection, but otherwise all seemed fine. I carried on working at my Mac (which is powered via a surge protector)

As I worked, I realised that the machine could no longer keep track of what was happening on the external 640Gig HDD. Shortly after, I got the dreaded grey curtain with the "You need to re-start your machine" message. I did so.

On re-booting, I found that the external HDD was not mounted. Disk Utility could see it, knew exactly what it was and could identify its volume. I was even able to run a disk repair on it and it said that the file system was fine, but using the "Mount" button had no effect.

By connecting the 640Gig drive in its caddy to my partner's Windows laptop and using a handy freeware utility called "HFS Explorer" (which provides read-only access to HFS+ volumes), I was able to see all of the drive's contents and back up all of the really essential stuff across my network to one of the Mac's internal storage drives - phew!

However, I was still stuck with the fact that the Mac would not mount the external drive. I did hours of research and the only advice that offered any real hope was to do a complete power down and CUDA re-set routine - so that's what I did. I even went so far as to remove the PRAM battery, discharge the Mobo capacitors (by holding in the power button) and leave the machine for half an hour before putting the PRAM battery back in and pressing the CUDA button.

According to Apple's instructions, this procedure should have re-set everything, and I'd be able to tell because the system clock would say 00:00 on January 1st 1970 - but when I hooked everything back up and re-booted, the clock showed the correct time and date - and, crucially, I still can't mount that external drive.

I'm left wondering just what damage might have been done by that lightning strike. I don't know whether my Mac now has damaged hardware, damaged firmware, or whether the external drive has somehow lost the block of data that enables the Mac to see it as a mountable volume.

One thing I haven't yet tried is to connect the external drive and its caddy to somebody else's Mac and see if that machine can see it as mountable. I plan to do that in the next few days - at least that will help establish whether it's the drive (or caddy) that's iffy or whether it's my beloved venerable 12-year-old G4 baby that's compromised (sniff).

If anybody has any wisdom they can throw at this, I'd be very grateful for any help you can offer.

Cheers,
Ken
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harryb2448

 
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G'day and welcome to the forums.Scary ain't it?

Not if some corruption occurred. Got the Panther install discs? Boot from that holding down 'C' after the chime and run Repair Disk from Disk Utility under Utilities in the Menu Bar.

Also possibility the logic bard has been damaged by such a powerful surge.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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espi

 
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Hi Harry, and thanks for the reply.

Yes, I must give the "repair System Drive" thing a go. It'll have to wait a bit though. As luck would have it, we've got our house on the market right now and the majority of our possessions are packed up in storage - and guess which idiot managed to pack his Panther install discs along with the rest... Don't ask me to guess which box they're in!

I've definitely got my fingers crossed that the logic board is unhurt. If it has been compromised, though, then I guess there'll be no alternative but to retire my beloved G4 and move on to a 2nd hand Mac Pro. I'll miss her, I can tell you. What a machine: 12 years of unblemished service, day in, day out - and it takes a lightning bolt to make her miss a beat. That's what you call build quality!

Tomorrow (Thursday) I'm going to take the external HDD and its caddy to a friend's office and plug it into his iMac. If it mounts, we'll know...

Oh BTW, I think I may have been hasty in saying that the CUDA re-set "didn't work". I've just realised that when I booted the machine up afterwards, I had the ethernet cable plugged in. I've got the clock set to "Set date and time automatically". I've funny feeling that the OS must have immediately gone online and set the clock before I even saw the desktop!
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Having made 15 career moves throughout rural NSW can well understand the problem. Now my lad that is an excellent reason to move on to a Mac Pro. There will be a ready market for the upgraded CPU on auction sites such as eBay etc.

To get the clock up and running one would think the OS had kicked in however.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Also as an afterthought did you actually reset the PRAM and holding down the Command, Option, P and R keys all at the same time until the third chime, release and see if there is a boot on the external?

Also guess it is possible the Firewire/USB connectors and/or the PCI card has been damaged.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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dtravis7

 
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My guess if the external drive works elsewhere is the PCI USB2 card got damaged by the lightning strike! That would be a cheap fix if true.
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espi

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
...and holding down the Command, Option, P and R keys all at the same time until the third chime, release and see if there is a boot on the external?
Er... just checking that I'm understanding you here: this procedure would test to see if the external drive has a healthy boot sector, yes?

Re. the PCI card: it appears to be OK. I've checked all of its ports and it's connecting fully with other devices (flash drives, scanner etc.).

This morning I did a command-S and ran Applejack on the system drive, and all went well. The machine appears to be working perfectly - it just can't mount that external drive - so it is starting to look like it's the drive or possibly the caddy that's compromised.

Thank you both for your continued input on this, it's really helping.


ADDED LATER:

I am now at my friend's office and have plugged the external drive into his iMac, running Snow Leopard. At first it didn't mount, so I went into Disk Utility and hit the "Mount" button. A dialogue box came up telling me that the drive (or was it the volume?) could not be repaired, and that it would be mounted "with limited functionality" (at least I think that was the wording - I tried to get a screen grab, but the message disappeared before I could). Also, another box came up asking if I wanted to backup the drive with Time Machine.

The drive then mounted. I opened it and tried doing some write functions on a few unimportant files - and so far, all my file modifications appear to have been successful. Interesting! Clearly Snow Leopard is pretty good at making compromised drives accessible. I'm not sure what the "limited functionality" is, TBH, as everything I do to files on the drive appears to succeed.

I've just tried "Verify Disk" and "Repair Disk" on the volume, and it tells me all is fine. I'm not getting up any false hopes that this has somehow magically fixed the drive - no doubt when I get it home, I'll find that Panther still can't mount it - but at least I now know that it is the drive that's got the problem, and not my Mac!

...or at least, let's hope it's just the drive...
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espi

 
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NOTE: This post was made before I had visited my friend's office to try his iMac (see above) - it had to be approved by a moderator before appearing. However, its original contents are fairly irrelevant now, so I'm going to edit it with the latest developments.

I have now returned home, plugged the drive into my G4 and....

IT MOUNTS!

Just for the record, then, this is what my Mac's Disk Utility said about the external drive's volume, before and after the fixit session at my pal's workplace:



I think we have a result!
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Sounds great. I wonder how the lightning corrupted the drive? Anything is possible though with Lightning!
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espi

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
Sounds great. I wonder how the lightning corrupted the drive? Anything is possible though with Lightning!
Good question. My main worry was that it might have permanently damaged the chips on the drive, but it appears that the spike (or momentary outage) must have just messed with some of the data that enables the OS to make sense of it as a mountable volume.

Fortunately, it would seem that Snow Leopard's Disk Utility is cleverer at dealing with these things than Panther's. Maybe the very act of mounting the disk in SL (albeit with the supposed limited functionality) was enough to enable this data to be corrected. Mind you, my knowledge of how file systems work could fit on a postage stamp...

Final thought: given that my machine has survived the experience unscathed, does this mean that my ageing G4 is now officially Thunderbolt-compatible!
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Plug in a Thunderbolt device and find out! hahahaha


On Panther Vs Snow Leopard, I am not too shocked the Disk Utility in SL is better that Panther. OSX has come a long way since 10.3.
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espi

 
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BTW, dtravis7, I notice that in your list of gear you've got a G4 PowerMac with a 1.8GHz CPU - which I'm guessing is an upgrade card - what version of the OS is it running?
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It's a G4 Digital Audio that originally was a 667 Mhz G4. Now has a Giga Designs 1.8Ghz G4. Quite fast for an older Power Mac. I have two versions of OSX installed. 10.4.11 on one drive and 10.5.8 on the other. 10.5 Leopard is quite fast on the machine.

The Video Card is an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. The main downside with your older Sawtooth is the 100Mhz Bus compared to the 133Mhz Bus in the DA and Quicksliver. Also the IDE controller is faster in the DA and up, but a PCI IDE card would fix that.
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