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iMac (g4 700mhz) freezes up

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok guys/gals.... here is the deal. I bought my wife an iMac back in Feb. and we can't figure out why it'll freeze up when we play games. So far it has completely frozen up with the following games:
Starcraft
Galactic Empires
Alice,
and now today, Warcraft 3!!!

all of these are played in 10.1.5, and we've got 384 megs ram.

This is the ONLY time that the computer ever hangs up, and it has become completely annoying. Does anybody have an idea on what I can do to fix this problem? I am thinking that I'm gonna do a new system install, but that is gonna be a BIG undertaking.... she has got a LOT of stuff on here, pluus we have four different user accounts going.......

anybody?
:confused:

todd
post #2 of 14
[quote]Originally posted by fishboi:
<strong>Ok guys/gals.... here is the deal. I bought my wife an iMac back in Feb. and we can't figure out why it'll freeze up when we play games. So far it has completely frozen up with the following games:
Starcraft
Galactic Empires
Alice,
and now today, Warcraft 3!!!

all of these are played in 10.1.5, and we've got 384 megs ram.

This is the ONLY time that the computer ever hangs up, and it has become completely annoying. Does anybody have an idea on what I can do to fix this problem? I am thinking that I'm gonna do a new system install, but that is gonna be a BIG undertaking.... she has got a LOT of stuff on here, pluus we have four different user accounts going.......

anybody?
:confused:

todd</strong><hr></blockquote>

Can you elaborate on "freeze up?" Does it literally freeze in OS 9/Winblows fashion (mouse, keyboard stop working, all processes stop)? Or does it kernel panic? Does it just spin endlessly?

Sounds like it could be related to the GPU since its happening only on games that run fullscreen as such, and no other time.

I would try the usual stuff:

--Run "update_prebinding" in terminal. As I always say, this SHOULDN'T fix anything, but it sometimes does (go figure)

--Reboot the machine and zap the PRAM as you do so
(As soon as you turn it on, hold down Command-Option-P-R (thats 4 keys) until you hear the chime--that's once....I'd hold it down and zap the PRAM 4 times (4 chimes) to be safe)

--If this doesn't fix anything, reset the Open Firmware:

Boot the machine into Open Firmware by holding down Command-Option-O-F (again 4 keys) as soon as it turns on. When you see the Open Firmware prompt, let go. Type the following:

reset-nvram (hit return, it should say ok)

Then type

set-defaults (again, hit return, should ok)

Then finally type

reset-all (hit return)

And the machine should restart. Do not make any typos in these commands. They are very important.


FINALLY if this does not work, find your Apple Hardware Test CD (in iMac CD bundle) and boot off this and run the full test to make sure there are no hardware issues. Beyond this and knowing nothing about its "freeze" (see first thing I said) this is all I recommend short of a format-and-reinstall.
sudo rm -rf /*/*microsoft*
REMOVE ALL TRACES!
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sudo rm -rf /*/*microsoft*
REMOVE ALL TRACES!
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Whoa! Talk about a quick reply!
Yes, the machine literally comes to a grinding halt! After months of convincing my wife she REALLY needed a mac vs. a dell, she gets a mac, only to see it act like a pc
Anyway, I am printing out your tips now, and will let you know how it goes. Thanks for your time!

Todd


QUOTE]Originally posted by The All Knowing 1:
[QB]

Can you elaborate on "freeze up?" Does it literally freeze in OS 9/Winblows fashion (mouse, keyboard stop working, all processes stop)? Or does it kernel panic? Does it just spin endlessly?
post #4 of 14
Does the freeze tend to happen after about the same time or is it totally random? That is, does it sometimes freeze 10 seconds into the game or is it always 15 or 20 minutes into the game?

I'm thinking this could be a heat problem. Games exercise the whole computer a lot more than standard programs so there is more heat to get rid of. My kids used to leave a blanket over the top of their blueberry iMac. After about 30 minutes it would freeze up. I also have a powerbook with a poorly attached heat sink (long story, pilot error). I use thermoindock to monitor the temperature. I can see that most things only raise the temperature a little but playing QT movies stresses the CPU a lot and raises the temperature till it finally siezes up. I don't think you can use Thermindock on the iMac as the newer G4 chips don't have a temperature sensor.

Check that you don't have the vents blocked (top and bottom). Check that the fan turns on and speeds up as the machine is used. There is also a remote chance that the heat sink came loose in shipping. If nothing else fixes this then call Apple support. You should still be under warranty. You also might try raising the iMac slightly to give it more clearance underneath.
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
It'll freeze at random times...... some days it locks up, and some days it doesn't. I thought at first it might be a network related error, because we were always playing a game of Starcraft and the imac would drop out, or on some occasions freeze up. You can be 45 minutes into a game, and it will just lock up. You can't quit or even force quit...... you have to restart it by using the start button on the back of th machine. This is HIGHLY annoying. It is not a Starcraft issue, because I recently bought Galactic Battlegrounds, and it locked up during my second game. Also, yesterday I bought Warcraft 3 (woohoo!) and it locked up on me last night.

Now I've printed out the tips from The All Knowing 1, and did the PRAM last night......and I played a game for over an hour afterwards, and all was well. Since this doesn't occur on an everyday basis, I am not sure if zapping the PRAM fixed the problem or not....We'll being checking out Warcraft over the next couple of days, so I'll let you guys know if the problem is fixed or not.

Thanks again!
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, no luck....... I did everything you guys mentioned, and ran the Apple Hardware Test CD. It didn't find any problems. My son had been playing Warcraft 3 all evening w/o a hitch, so I figured I'd give it a try...... and the !@#! locked up on me! I am going to try a different mouse just for the hell of it, and I guess do a system reinstall this weekend....groan <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" />
post #7 of 14
[quote]Originally posted by fishboi:
<strong>Well, no luck....... I did everything you guys mentioned, and ran the Apple Hardware Test CD. It didn't find any problems. My son had been playing Warcraft 3 all evening w/o a hitch, so I figured I'd give it a try...... and the !@#! locked up on me! I am going to try a different mouse just for the hell of it, and I guess do a system reinstall this weekend....groan <img src="graemlins/oyvey.gif" border="0" alt="[No]" /> </strong><hr></blockquote>

It's possible that you have some bad/cheap memory, since it seems to happen most often when playing games. Try removing the additional RAM and see if your problems persist.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, I bought it thru MacZone or MacConnection..... I can't remember off the top of my head, but they installed the extra ram since it was a free upgrade. I would've hope that it is not ddue to cheap ram, but that is something I'll have to look into. And yes, the crashes have occured almost always during game play.

[quote]Originally posted by pasta:
<strong>

It's possible that you have some bad/cheap memory, since it seems to happen most often when playing games. Try removing the additional RAM and see if your problems persist.</strong><hr></blockquote>
post #9 of 14
just off the top of my head, i know that there is a firmware update for some specific iMacs. have you also run all of the software updates available. at one point there was a release of new nVidia drivers, not sure if you've got those yet or not, but probably considering your OS version.

these are all running in straight OSX mode, or are you playing them in classic within OSX? (i have WC3 but play on my PC instead of my iBook, although it's installed on both.) i assume these are all in straight OSX mode.

next time it locks up totally, try unplugging all of the USB devices and plugging them back in. this includes any USB hubs you might have. I've seen those do some really weird things.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, I have software update check on a daily basis, but I am not sure about the firmwire update. I that would be updated during software update, then I've done that. At this point, I have given up and this morning started the lovely process of formating/reinstalling. This imac was running entirely in OS X, even during game play. Well, I hear this OS X music playing now, so my install is now done........ hopefully things will work out now. I'll let you fellas know later on today.


Todd
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, I am seriously pissed now....... I have spent the last 2 hours doing a complete reformat/reinstall, which didn't exactly go as smooth as it should have. Software update failed 90% into 10.1.5 update, and would not complete. I had to restart and try software update again. It told me the system was up-to-date......grrrrr....... restart again, and it showed me the list of updaters available, including 10.1.5. ok, let's try it again. selected 10.1.5 and started the install....... failed AGAIN! I ended up having to reinstall OS X again. Then go thru the whole process of system updates. This time everything worked as it should have. Luckily, my wife has been asleep this whole time because I've done nothing but brag about how awesome macs are, and convinced her to get an imac. How embarrassing this is becoming....... anyway, software update is now complete.....the iMac is completely up-to-date..... let's reinstall Warcraft 3 and check it out. Guess what..... @$%#$%#%@ freezes not even 5 minutes into the game. So either it is due to the ram, which if I take out the macmall ram, will only leave 128megs, or it is something more serious. I have already run the diagnotic cd that came with the iMac, and everything checked A-OK. So I am at my wit's end........I give up for today........
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well..... I am an addict........ I MUST fix this problem now....... so much for giving up

So now I have taken out the 3rd party ram and so far Warcraft 3 hasn't crashed. Runs like hell, mind you since the system is now running on 128megs, but running is a good thing....freezing is not. So it will be further tested by our in-house software tester (my gaming fanatic son) and hopefully, all will be good. Looks like I am going to need to budget for some new ram.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Once again, Warcraft 3 crashed last night (128 megs ram in OS X)

I am hoping at this point, it might be due to LACK of ram.... I am going to order 512 megs, which should be in later this week. So let's assume that the whole crashing bit will be over and done with ..... if not, you guys will hear about it

Besides, if I keep this thread up any longer, I might reach "member" status
<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Just got the 512 meg stick installed.........damn computer froze up 5 minutes into Warcraft 3

So I guess it's going in for some professional attention....... maybe the original factory installed ram is bad? I don't know what it is, but I've reinstalled the OS twice, and replaced ram....... I give up.
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