Author Topic: G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED  (Read 1859 times)

Offline Philgood

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G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED
« on: July 22, 2018, 03:20:02 AM »
Hi there.

After many months of not booting up my PowerMac MDD 1.25Ghz i got to the desktop with the date reseted to 1904.
No real surprise here because I always disconnect all the equipment through switched power outlets and I guess the internal battery couldn't hold up.

The problem started when I wanted to decompress a .sit file and StuffIt complained of not finding
the StuffIt engine which I had installed and being active and advised of reinstalling it.
I also tried to start some stand-alone VST instruments as Native Instruments FM7 and Battery
and all where complaining of not finding the authorizations or some needed Libraries.

Is this a common problem and is there something I can try to fix it before I start to reinstall everything...
?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 06:05:24 PM by Philgood »
*G4 MDD 1.25GHz (Single 2003)* with 2x 80Gb harddrives, 1Gb RAM, Tascam US-428 and Edirol FA-101 USB/Firewire soundcards-*iMac G3 DV 400MHz* with installs from OS 8.6-OSX Tiger on different harddrives-*Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz* with new SSD ! Love it.

Offline Astroman

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help!
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2018, 06:02:53 AM »
what kind of memory is installed ? original factory or compatible, possibly extended later ?
I remember an MDD quite well for such absurd error messages after installing a memory upgrade (though specs matched perfectly)
No idea what condition triggers this (no complaints on boot or mem check), but it was reproduceable.
For diagnose you may remove some memory from the machine and/or exchange modules.
Cleaning memory contacts with alcohol is also an option after all those years.

Offline Philgood

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help!
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2018, 07:15:11 AM »
It has 1Gb of ram. I guess there are 4 sticks in it. I have to confirm later.
I will try to narrow down any issues with ram.

Thanks.
*G4 MDD 1.25GHz (Single 2003)* with 2x 80Gb harddrives, 1Gb RAM, Tascam US-428 and Edirol FA-101 USB/Firewire soundcards-*iMac G3 DV 400MHz* with installs from OS 8.6-OSX Tiger on different harddrives-*Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz* with new SSD ! Love it.

Offline paule

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help!
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2018, 08:21:01 AM »
Hi,
first of all: battery inside of the G4 has to be replaced in order to remember the right date. That's not a big deal.
About the authorization prob: Have you changed the internal HD because this is sometimes the reason for some authorizations (especially the NI stuff) who writes authorizations on HD and is complaining if the HD has changed. Maybe another way to try out.

Best, paule.

Offline acelera

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help!
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2018, 11:25:14 AM »
HEY Phil

If you need ram or a psu for your mdd, have some spares juat down the road from you!

Offline Philgood

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help!
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2018, 11:56:47 AM »
Thanks a lot for your kind help and offers for spares!

I didn't change anything. Just didn't use the system in quite a long time.
The internal battery is only some years old and a quality one (Saft) but I will check it.
This night I plan to dedicate some time to troubleshoot it.
*G4 MDD 1.25GHz (Single 2003)* with 2x 80Gb harddrives, 1Gb RAM, Tascam US-428 and Edirol FA-101 USB/Firewire soundcards-*iMac G3 DV 400MHz* with installs from OS 8.6-OSX Tiger on different harddrives-*Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz* with new SSD ! Love it.

Offline Philgood

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help!
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2018, 05:43:14 PM »
It got late and I'm in the middle of troubleshooting .

So far I got to measure the batteries of both my PMG4 MDD towers and there are both flat.
I think this is normal behaviour or there are some leakage going on due to old/faulty components?! Hmmm

I looked at the RAM.
The first has a mix of two different Kingston RAM sticks. Both 512Mb.
Only the first is officially recommended for this machine and I had no issues during runtime through
years BUT I noticed that the second one is specified for 2.6v operation so it got me thinking that maybe it could be an issue...corrupting data on the hard disk?

The RAM from the other machine is ELIXIR. Also both 512Mb sticks but not matched.
There are the same RAM but different revisions.

I will only put in the officially supported Kingston RAM stick from Kingston now and report back.

It won't let me attach the photos I took of the RAM sticks with my phone...maybe too big but there are only some Mb's each.

For reference I will put the module numbers here.

KINGSTON KTA-G4333/512 2.5v (official Apple specified RAM)

KINGSTON KVR400X64C3A/512 2.6v (listing only PC brand motherboards as compatible) Won't use that stick for now.

ELIXIR M2U51264DS8HB3G-5T and
ELIXIR M2U51264DS8HC3G-5T
These ones are in my spare machine and I have them for further testing for RAM issues.
*G4 MDD 1.25GHz (Single 2003)* with 2x 80Gb harddrives, 1Gb RAM, Tascam US-428 and Edirol FA-101 USB/Firewire soundcards-*iMac G3 DV 400MHz* with installs from OS 8.6-OSX Tiger on different harddrives-*Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz* with new SSD ! Love it.

Offline Philgood

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help!
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2018, 06:04:23 PM »
Wow.

Success.
Astroman. You were spot on!

I think it's a RAM issue.
It wouldn't even boot now with the officially supported Kingston RAM stick.
I have the machine muted but I think I get 4 light flashes on boot. I'm sure that means RAM issue.

Anyway. I put in the two Elixir RAM sticks and all problems are gone besides the date issue but that's an easy fix.

Thanks a lot. Will do some testing now and eventually report back.
*G4 MDD 1.25GHz (Single 2003)* with 2x 80Gb harddrives, 1Gb RAM, Tascam US-428 and Edirol FA-101 USB/Firewire soundcards-*iMac G3 DV 400MHz* with installs from OS 8.6-OSX Tiger on different harddrives-*Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz* with new SSD ! Love it.

Offline Philgood

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2018, 04:32:42 AM »
I was under the assumption that these pram batteries are rechargeable but there are NOT it seems so I have to replace them obviously if they are flat.

I bought SAFT LS14250 C the last time which is what they had available around here (I'm located in Spain).
I read a comment that the batteries last a lot less when the machine they are put into is disconnected during long periods of time which sounds reasonable knowing now that they aren't rechargeable.

If you can recommend me any other brand I'm listening.

For sure I will cycle the machines now more to prevent discharging and even take out the battery from the spare machine.

I'm also now searching some RAM replacement.
Can you recommend me where to buy it ?
*G4 MDD 1.25GHz (Single 2003)* with 2x 80Gb harddrives, 1Gb RAM, Tascam US-428 and Edirol FA-101 USB/Firewire soundcards-*iMac G3 DV 400MHz* with installs from OS 8.6-OSX Tiger on different harddrives-*Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz* with new SSD ! Love it.

Offline FdB

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2018, 04:58:18 AM »
I use  Xeno XL-050F (1/2AA type) batteries and they’re about
2-$3.00 U.S. locally. If you search for “1/2 AA battery
you might be able to find less-expensive (than the SAFT’s)
lithium batteries. Even Duracell and Energizer offer them.
(Duracell 2-pack from CDW for $2.99.)

And, as the MDD (and the RAM) worked fine before… you
might want to get a new battery before buying any new RAM?
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Offline Philgood

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2018, 06:40:12 AM »
Thanks Fury!

I think i saw that brand on amazon so i will get whatever they have here locally.
If the batteries are not rechargeable I'm not much concerned about quality as they will have to be replaced anyway sooner than I was thinking.

I will just look for used RAM I think just to have some spares.
*G4 MDD 1.25GHz (Single 2003)* with 2x 80Gb harddrives, 1Gb RAM, Tascam US-428 and Edirol FA-101 USB/Firewire soundcards-*iMac G3 DV 400MHz* with installs from OS 8.6-OSX Tiger on different harddrives-*Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz* with new SSD ! Love it.

Offline acelera

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2018, 08:00:48 AM »
As I said, I have some sticks kicking around. I got a second MDD that came with an ATX psu mod and that will be the running machine now. Certain have at least 1gb you could have.

Offline Astroman

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2018, 09:35:18 AM »
And, as the MDD (and the RAM) worked fine before… you
might want to get a new battery before buying any new RAM?
such RAM errors don't relate to bad or worn chips - it must be some slight difference in operation.
The MDD on which I experienced the same as Philgood performed flawless with Photoshop, Office Suite, eMail and everything. Only when a certain database was called up, it complained about some drivers missing.

I put the drive into another machine and the error didn't show up.
Freaking as hell - then considering recent changes I remembered the memory upgrade, removed the Dimms and the error was gone. Put them in again - error back.
The Dimms were returned and replaced by 'Apple certified' versions and everything was fine.

The annoying part of the game is that there are no crashes, it just posts a somewhat reasonable error message, but in an absurd context. You'd never guess 'hardware' when this happens... ;)

Offline DieHard

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2018, 11:43:27 AM »
Any reason you guys don't boot to the G4 MDD diag (Which has been here for 5 years) and run the RAM test ?

I mean, easy enough to swap out, but the test will clinch any suspicions, run the "extended test"

http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,822.0.html

Offline FdB

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help!
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2018, 01:02:50 PM »
Thanks DH. That would be far too easy. Besides, where’s the fun in not getting all freaked out? And then there’s Knezzen’s quandary where his MDD wouldn’t even power up / boot. http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php/topic,3870.0.html He replaced the battery and… Cello!

And AHT doesn't report that you've poor contact... it just reports "Bad RAM"... when removing and then reseating the RAM may be all that is necessary (especially with a weak or dead battery).

Unaware that any changes had been made to Philgood’s MDD, other than it sitting unplugged for some time. Had a similar situation here, where after sitting unplugged… upon boot, got RAM error tones and flashing power button. Changed RAM and then noticed time/date error upon boot. Installed fresh battery, adjusted time and rebooted. Shut down, replaced previous old RAM back into the MDD, zapped the PRAM on boot… and no tones or flashing light. Rock solid stability since. (I did run the AHT extended test on the old RAM after it had booted with no tones and the old RAM = good.

Certainly RAM can fail or connections can become poor (contact oxidation?)… yet before going to the expense and wait time of buying new RAM (especially if no changes have been made) a simple battery replacement is an inexpensive first step (especially if they test flat). And acelera has offered to provide RAM from “just down the road”. (He even offered a PSU!) “Tip o’ the hat” here to acelera.

Seems that all too often, we’re prone to “throw money” when it’s unnecessary... and in doing so, completely ignore Occam’s razor. But yes, we do get freaked out when these old workhorses seemingly falter.

From here on out however, I vow to hold up an AHT CD and threaten my MDDs with that first and then... check the battery. ;)
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Offline refinery

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2018, 01:56:31 PM »
i have a lot of DDR ram laying around, im in the US but if you wanna pay the postage id be happy to send a few sticks your way
G4/MDD 1.42 (9), G4/GB 500DP (X), Beige G3 400 (upgraded) (9), PBG4Ti 1Ghz (X), PBG3WS 300 (9)

got my mind on my scsi and my scsi on my mind

Offline Philgood

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2018, 03:11:15 AM »
Just to give some more information.
I give the contacts of the apple-specified Kingston RAM stick a little clean and put it into the spare MDD and it's working there without any complaints at boot up.

I won't use again the 2.6v stick just in case.

I plan to use the AHT on the cleaned Kingston RAM stick and will report back.
*G4 MDD 1.25GHz (Single 2003)* with 2x 80Gb harddrives, 1Gb RAM, Tascam US-428 and Edirol FA-101 USB/Firewire soundcards-*iMac G3 DV 400MHz* with installs from OS 8.6-OSX Tiger on different harddrives-*Powerbook G4 1.67Ghz* with new SSD ! Love it.

Offline DieHard

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Re: G4 MDD in need of help! SOLVED
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2018, 04:43:09 PM »
Quote
He replaced the battery and… Cello!

There's a clown born every minute :)

Quote
Certainly RAM can fail or connections can become poor (contact oxidation?)… yet before going to the expense and wait time of buying new RAM (especially if no changes have been made) a simple battery replacement is an inexpensive first step (especially if they test flat)

Remember, a can of Electronic Contact cleaner is absolutely essential when working with these old units; as mentioned before it costs about $40 a can, but a good alternative is CRC QD electronic cleaner (from an auto parts store) for about $10.  Spray a paper towel and rub on RAM contacts... and Cello like brand new, non-conductive, and dries immediately with no residue.

Offline FdB

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MDD Solvent
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2018, 06:11:52 PM »
Sacrébleu… clown ehh? Ha HA!

Surely recent changes at the EPA will relax restrictions on chlorofluorocarbons and Electronic Contact cleaner will recede in price…
and maybe we’ll all be toasty-tanned in the process. But sincere thanks for the heads-up on the CRC QD electronic cleaner.
(Whether you’re a fan of string quartets, or not.)  ;)

Original… or extra crispy? :o

Sorry, been too quiet around here lately. ::)
(When six of us... so far, respond to Philgood.)
Guess er’body else is outside playing in the sun. 8)
The horse latitudes...
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