Lombard Won't Run OS X

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davintosh's picture
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Hey all:

I just purchased a PowerBook Lombard 400MHz, and am unable to get it to run OS 10.2 reliably. It runs OS 9 like a champ, but I really need it to run OS X, preferably 10.3. When running 10.2 it would seem to run ok for 10-15 minutes or so, then it will lock up tight. Sometimes it will fade the display and show the power button graphic with the "You must restart..." thing, but usually it just freezes completely; no response to anything but the three-finger salute. So far I've gone through and re-seated the RAM, the processor card and the hard drive connector -- everything I could reach without tearing the case apart -- and got no joy.

The problem seems really similar to a problem I had with a 600MHz iMac some time ago where it would freeze after running for a short time. The problem there turned out to be the processor not making good contact with the heat sink. One thing I did notice is that there isn't any thermal grease between the heat sink and the white doodad under it. Anyone familiar with Lombards know how things should look under that heat sink? Should there be a bit of thermal grease there?

The guy I bought it from (through the LEM Swap List) says it ran 10.3 just fine before he wiped the drive and installed 10.2 on it (to match the disks he was shipping with it), and while I don't really have any reason to believe him, at this point I doubt he's trying to pull a fast one. He's responded to my emails asking about the issue, and while I'm hoping to be able to return it for a refund, there is the chance I'll be stuck with it. It's also in nice cosmetic condition, so if it's fixable -- and I think it is -- I'd really like to fix it.

Thanks for any advice or experiences you can share.

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Jon's picture
Jon
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Do you have any spare RAM you

Do you have any spare RAM you can swap out to test with?

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davintosh's picture
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Good thought...

And yes, I've got another set of RAM chips in a Wallstreet. I'll give that a go tonight.

Thanks Jon!

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Joined: Jun 28 2005
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Lombard problem

OS X is VERY picky about RAM on the Lombard; even the latency must be correct. Or it could be cache failure (a known issue). My Lombard (with a G4 processor upgrade) ran Panther just fine and now runs Tiger adequately as well, with the right memory chips.

unknown1's picture
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Have you done the Firmware Update?

Have you done the Firmware Update?

Although if you haven't, Apple says it will cause irreparable damage to your Powerbook to install OS X, so that is probably not the problem.

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davintosh's picture
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Yup, Updated

The guy I bought it from had run the firmware update; the installer files were still on the drive when I got it.

Just an update; I tried the 10.3 installer with another set of RAM chips in place, and it still locked up. It almost completed this time, but still failed twice.

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davintosh's picture
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Update:

Well, I've done a lot and I'm still not much closer.

I swapped out the RAM sticks I had in my daughter's Wallstreet and got pretty much the same symptoms. I've been trying to install 10.3 on it and it did get a little farther with the other RAM sticks in it, but the installer still either stopped with an error or the machine froze up entirely.

Still believing it might be a RAM issue (the ones I was using were mixed sets) I bought a pair of 256MB sticks from OWC; same thing.

Oh, I also put a dab of thermal grease between the processor and the heat sink... Didn't help.

So it seems I've ruled out RAM issues and processor heat; what am I missing?

Here are a few thoughts I've had:
bad RAM slot?
problematic hard drive?
flaky logic board?
flaky processor?

But the thing that doesn't square with anything I've experienced is that the previous owner says it ran OS X fine before he shipped it to me (I've been in contact with him and still have no reason to disbelieve him.) What do you all think? Anything else come to mind? I've been thinking it might be time to pull a page from my old SCSI troubleshooting routine and sacrifice a goat. Or maybe something larger.

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resman's picture
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Cache RAM failure?

I had the exact same symptoms when I wanted to upgrade my Lombard 333 MHZ processor module with a 400 MHZ module. The first one I bought would run 9.x just fine but crash 10.3. I believe you can still find the Powerlogix cache control program for their G3 upgrades (will work on standard G3s too) that allow you to completely disable the cache. Try that and see if 10.3 runs, albeit slowly. You might be able to find another good 400 MHz module on eBay.

Dave...

davintosh's picture
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Sounds Close...

I did a little research on the cache issue, and it sounds like it may be a winner; strange though that it will run for a time then lock up. Tonight I'll try the PMU reset trick & see if that can get me past the install errors so I can run the Cache Control on it to disable the cache.

Question on that; if I disable the L2 cache with Cache Control, will that setting hold through a restart and booting from the installer CD? Just wondering if it will help me get past the errors on installing 10.3.

Thanks!

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resman's picture
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Cache disable

The memory is a little dim in regards to the cache control app. I think it may have installed a small openfirmware routine to ensure it ran before any OS. What I found interesting is that 9.x ran fine. Does that mean that 9.x ran with the cache disabled? I also tried Linux but it crashed faster than OS X. I think the cache control app ran from 9.x so there wasn't an issue getting it going. Again, the memory banks haven't been refreshed on this subject in awhile, so if I'm wrong I apologize in advance.

Dave...

Jon's picture
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It may be that OS X and Linux

It may be that OS X and Linux make much heavier usage of the cache than OS 9. OS 9 wasn't really a memory hog the way OS X is, and Linux is known for taking all the hardware it can to make use of to gain performance.

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madmax_2069's picture
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i would check this fix out, e

i would check this fix out, even tho its for 10.2.8 it will also work in 10.3 and 10.4

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25564

my Beige G3 did the same thing, it has something to do with the GPU not being properly supported in OS X. they say its for having more then 190+mb ram in the unit but i think its a driver issue myself, i tried going below the amount and switching sticks and not fix the issue. but these 2 terminal commands did the trick.

once i did this fix i never had a lockup or screen blackout on my AIO ever again in OS X.

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davintosh's picture
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Still Wrestling...

Still wrestling with this guy -- not constantly, but persistently when time allows -- and not getting anywhere. So, here's an update with a couple of questions...

It booted up fine on an OS 9 CD & installed OS 9.2.1, and it runs like a champ there. Used it for a couple of hours with nary a hiccup (made me realize how much things have changed on the Mac since the advent of OS X; IE5 is truly awful on modern sites!) But I had no success in installing 10.2 or 10.3; it will get part way through the install then lock up.

I did get a working 10.3 install by putting the drive in an external firewire case and using a G4 tower to do the install. After putting the drive back in the Lombard, it boots and runs
fine for a half hour or so, then invariably locks up.

I tried using the PowerLogix Cache Control app, but the newest version (2.3b6) fails to install one of the files it needs to run, and won't run. The only other version I've found (2.3b4) throws up an error -- Failed to read PVR in RegisterAccessorX! -- when it's launched.

Question: Anybody know how to get this app to run, or where I can get an earlier version of it?

Question: Are there any alternatives to the PowerLogix app that will also disable the L2 cache?

I bought two new 256MB RAM sticks from OWC, and behavior is no different than with the original RAM complement.

I tried the ATIDriver.bundle move trick from the Apple support page that was suggested, and the machine booted up in a rough grayscale display mode, and apparently thought it had a second monitor attached; neither the dock nor the menu bar were visible, and new apps launched ended up off screen. Thankfully there was a window open with a sliver of it showing on the left side of the screen; I was able to drag it over, navigate to Terminal, launch it, then click & drag at random to bring the window over to where I could see it. Yikes. I suppose I could've just typed the command to move that bundle back to where it belongs, but...

I read somewhere that you can get around the cache problem by hitting the PMU reset switch before booting, but that didn't seem to help things either.

I'm about at the end of my patience with this thing. Anybody interested in a Lombard that runs OS 9 exclusively?

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dankephoto's picture
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tried XPostFacto?

Have you tried using XPostFacto to disable the L2? Dunno how it does it, but there it is amongst the options.

dan k

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