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New mini G4 install has sudden graphics problems

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Of course this thing had to wait until I'd spent days getting it set up to fail on me!

I had bought a 1.4ghz mini a year or two ago, tested it briefly to see if it worked. Internal optical drive is borked so I installed Ross' v8 CD and everything seemed to work. But the hard drive was tiny and I had other things going on, so I put the project away until recently. Scored a cheap NOS 160GB Seagate, installed that, then loaded Tiger and OS 9 systems. It has run well for about a week, as I have been organizing and installing various bits of software.

Until tonight! I'd restarted after installing Logic and at first I couldn't get mice to work. Any of them, in any port, in 9.2 or 10.4. So I started it in target mode and checked the drive and filesystems, which verified. Except since then when I start the mini, the graphics get corrupted and it hangs. In Tiger I get the initial gray screen, then the blue screen with the progress bar. Looks fine until the actual desktop, as soon as the menu bar and dock appear, it either freezes as-is or the display breaks up into vertical lines. Starting OS 9 it looks fine until it starts loading extensions and then just hangs - mouse still moves but boot has stalled.

Any ideas? Seen such behavior before? I'm stumped at the moment. And frustrated that I've maybe been setting it up for nothing.

gfx chip going?


--- Quote from: smilesdavis on September 29, 2022, 11:28:21 PM ---gfx chip going?

--- End quote ---

That's what I'm afraid of. I've used lots of macs through the years with their built-in graphics chips, and never had such a problem before. Even on systems like my 1400cs and 1GHz TiBook that have always run worryingly hot. If so, I guess I could still find uses for it booting only to a command line. But I wouldn't have bought it for that.

Next time I pop it open, I guess I could see what's up with its heatsink and thermal conductivity. Even if it doesn't save this one, maybe it will be preventative maintenance for the next one. And here I was thinking that since there's only 32MB of VRAM that I was never going to tax it with games or video.

except for GL the GPU in the minis can easily compete with the 9700 from the last generation powerbooks for many games and eventually even with the geforce 2 MX AGP.

that is is not repairable seems to be the bigger problem. :)

and of course the internal speaker and the max RAM limit are also not ideal.

IIO I also dig graphics cards of this vintage. Mainly for Quake3 and N2+0 back in the day, which might be pushing it with 32MB RAM. It might be an excuse to play with a local solder rework station, see if the ICs are removable without disturbing anything else. But that's not an immediate project. If I figure out how to bypass the graphics in OpenFirmware, I don't know what OS 9 would even do. But I suspect Tiger would start OK. I might be able to finagle RX and TX lines from the modem port to operate it remotely.


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