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  1. #1
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not

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    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not
    I bought a G4 recently. My first foray into the Mac world. I'm not sure if there is something wrong with it or not, though.

    The first problem I had with it was that, using the original keyboard, none of the keys on the bottom row worked. I seem to have taken care of that by using a different keyboard.

    Next problem is that it has 3 HDDs, maybe, in the 3 to 5 Gig size range and I wanted to change their names. (From Untitled - Untitled 2)

    I didn't have any luck with the installed OS (Panther) so I bought a copy of Jaguar, because it was all I could find at the time.

    I installed Jaguar tonight, and it looks ok, but, if I try to open HDD properties, I get a modal message that says I need to restart the computer, with no real explanation.

    Anyway, I did that, and tried to set the drive name again. I got the same message.

    Since I don't know anything about Macs I need some advice on a next step.

  2. #2
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honduras2811 View Post

    I installed Jaguar tonight, and it looks ok, but, if I try to open HDD properties, I get a modal message that says I need to restart the computer, with no real explanation.
    That's probably a kernel panic. To be sure, we need more information about the unspecific message.

    I that's what it is, and you have not saved a bunch of stuff on there, you might try a clean install with that new disc. If you just did an upgrade install, that wouldn't clean out the corruption.

  3. #3
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not

    Member Since
    Feb 07, 2014
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    The exact error message is "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button for several seconds or press the Restart button." It's repeated in three other languages. At the bottom of the page is a MAC address.

    I really want this to work although there are some things that might be causing problems. I'm using Logitech keyboard and mouse. The computer has two video cards in it, which isn't any big deal, but could a bad video card cause this?

    OS X didn't recognize the hard drive I tried to put in, which has a Windows installation on it. Is there any way to convert a Windows hard drive for use with a Mac or is there some hardware difference?

    Anyway, I re-partitioned and erased one of the original HDDs, and that is the one I am trying to install to.

    One of the mystifying things is that the length of time between reboots and the error message varies widely. Once last night the install process nearly completed before I got the error. Tonight I haven't been able to get past the licensing page.

  4. #4
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    That message in multiple languages in the "user visible" part of a Kernel Panic.

    As toMACsh said, try to do a clean re-install and see if that clears things up..

    Gotta say though, a G4 based Mac is quite old and you're going to get a lot of love from any recent apps. Getting into the Mac world can be done by looking at Mac Mini's from the 2006-2009 range. They are relatively cheap and can run at least OS X Lion which is only 2 versions behind the latest version..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  5. #5
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not

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    How do I do a 'clean' install? Is there something besides re-partitioning and erasing the HDD?

    I know the G4 is old. I'm desperate to get out of the Windoze trap, though. I've tried Macs before, but I think the last time was before OS 9 came out. It's a lot different from an IBM PC compatible, and I was hoping that OS X would be a little more understandable for me.

    I don't plan to put any new current software on it because there really isn't anything I want to do at the moment, except learn how to use the OS, and maybe develop a few applications. So it's actually a computer with training wheels for now.

  6. #6
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    A clean install essentially entails you using the original media, erasing the HD and going through the installation process..

    Understand the OS X has come a long way since Tiger/Panther and if you want to develop software on there, you'd have to find the very old SDK's and IDE that likely isn't available anymore..

    A more recent Mac Mini not only runs recent software, can run recent versions of XCode and has access to the iOS and OS X SDKs and as a starting machine costs very little..
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin



    Be sure to read the Community Guidelines | The more information you provide, the better answers you get, remember GIGO.

  7. #7
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honduras2811 View Post
    I don't plan to put any new current software on it because there really isn't anything I want to do at the moment, except learn how to use the OS, and maybe develop a few applications.
    An old Mac G4 (I'm assuming a Powermac desktop) running an VERY old version of the Mac OS (Panther or Jaguar) is not the try of system to even think about developing apps on.

    - Install current software. This cannot be done even if you wanted to.
    - Learn the OS somewhat...Yes.
    - Develop a few apps...No

    As Raz0rEdge mentioned...you would really be MUCH better off getting something newer (like a 2006-2009 Mac-Mini).

    - Nick

    p.s. If this "G4" is an old Powermac G4...most of these models are worth about $20-$25 bucks. Spend some real cash and get something that will make your experience into the Macintosh/OS X World a positive one.
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not

    Member Since
    Feb 07, 2014
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    One of the problems is that I don't have any spare cash. I can't afford any other computer right now.

    Ok, I have the real Jaguar CDs, and I erased the HDD. So I need to just keep trying until I get a full install?

  9. #9
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not

    Member Since
    Feb 07, 2014
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    I took out one of the video cards and it seemed to help a little. Anyway, it only took me about five tries to do a full install.

    So I went through the configuration and suddenly got this:

    System Failure: cpu=0; code=00000001 (Corrupt Stack)
    Latest crash info for cpu 0;
    Exception state (sv=0x0E40E780)
    PC=0x0009272C; MSR=0x00001030; DAR=0x079D7FFC; DSISR=0x42000000;
    LR=0x0009262C; R1=0x079D7F00; XCP=0x00000098 (System Failure)

    Backtrace:
    backtrace terminated - frame not mapped or invalid: 0x079D7F00

    Proceeding back via exception chain:
    Exception state (sv=0x040E780)
    PC=0x00258EF4; MSR=0x00009030; DAR=0x079D7FFC; DSISR=0x42000000;
    LR=0x00258ED4; R1=0x079D8020; XCP=0x0000000C (0x300 - Data access

    Then there is some backtrace information including kernal loadable modules, then:

    Exception state (sv=0x0E2AD000)
    PC=0x9000150C; MSR=0x0000D030; DAR=0x0E00EFB6; DSISR= 0x40000000;
    LR=0x00003C0C; R1=0xBFFFF3E0; XCP=0x00000030 (0xC00 - System call)

    Kernel version:
    Darwin Kernel Version 6.0:
    Sat Jul 27 13:18:52 PDT 2002; root:xnu/xnu-344.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC

    Memory access exception (1.0.0)

    Then a MAC address and my IP address

    Any suggestions? Should I reinstall again?

  10. #10
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honduras2811 View Post

    Any suggestions? Should I reinstall again?
    What you are dealing with are kernel panics. They are random...and can happen anytime. One time you may get 10 minutes of operation...and the next time 30 seconds.

    Before you purchased this computer...was it operating ok? And if it was...for how long.

    Kernel panics many times are hardware related...and the most common hardware issue is with the ram. Using the bad/wrong/incompatible ram...can & will cause kernel panics. So swapping out the ram & testing...is one way to see if ram is the issue.

    Video cards...or any other sort of "removable/repaceable" hardware can also be a source of kernel panics. Of course...a bad loguc board can also be a kernel panic source...and if this is the case...then the computer is junk (especially an old computer)...unless a VERY cheap exact replacement can be found.

    Maybe you should tell us exactly what model Mac you have. "G4" can be an iBook, Powerbook, Mac-Mini, Powermac. I'm guessing it's a Powermac G4 desktop computer (since you mentioned a removable video card). If so, there were about 25+ different Powermac G4 models...so be specific.

    Also tell us how much ram it has (total amount of ram...and how many "sticks" of installed ram)...aka...number of ram slots filled.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  11. #11
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Also...you mentioned removing "one" of the video cards. How many video cards does it have installed? And...how many cards in total does it have installed?

    Powermac G4's generally came with just one card installed (a video card). So I would suggest (if there is more than one card installed)...remove all of them except one video card. This way the possibility of one of the cards being bad can be eliminated as much as possible (but no guarantee that the one video card that remains isn't the problem).

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  12. #12
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Nov 28, 2007
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    What exactly are the precise specs of this so-called G4? No G4 came with multiple graphics cards and none came with three internal hard drives. Any chance it is an early Mac Pro which can handle four hard drives and two graphics cards?

    Mac Pros have two optical drive doors on the front. G5's have one and G4'sd have one and often a slot for a media disc.
    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!

  13. #13
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not
    chas_m's Avatar
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    The OP says it is a G4. If he's correct, it's not worth wasting any more time and money on for his intended purpose.

  14. #14
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not

    Member Since
    Feb 07, 2014
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    I'd like to go a little farther with this because the next step is memory, and that's pretty cheap.

    How would I determine exactly what model it is? It only had two hard drives, but one had two partitions. After taking out one video card it has 3 open slots. The fourth slot has the other video card in it.

    For memory, it has 4 slots. Each has a 64 Meg PC-100 module in it.

    What I plan to do is take out all the memory modules in it and replace them with 1 or 2 128 Meg modules, then see what happens. Do you think that will be enough memory for testing purposes?

    BTW, I agree that, if the problem is not RAM related, it probably isn't worth pursuing.

    The reason for continuing with this particular computer is that, although it is outdated, and cannot load the latest OS, Macintoshes are a whole new world to me. It seems that everything is different enough from what I am used to that I will need some time to get used to it. If I don't do anything else with it, it will, at least, allow me to practice getting around, and give me some insight into the concept of the OS.
    Last edited by Honduras2811; 04-22-2014 at 02:04 PM. Reason: Clarification

  15. #15
    I'm Not Sure If I Have A Computer Problem Or Not

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    Okay, I've gone a little further. I replaced the hard drives and reshuffled the memory, after ordering some that didn't fit.

    The best result I've had so far was after disconnecting the Logitech keyboard. The system ran for 8 hours yesterday with no sign of problems. But is that a representative test?

    I am bidding on Mac Minis on EBay. Maybe I will get lucky.

    But, keeping in mind that a Power Mac G4 is kind of a dinosaur, does anyone know if it will work as a web server?

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