A Midsummer Night's Nightmare

The continuing G5 memory saga…

Having failed to find any used RAM that would work in my G5 1.6 I finally bit the bullet and went to Crucial and bought 2 x 1gb brand new sticks. Model was checked out with their online scanner and over the phone with their rather good sales department in bonny Scotland.

So all looked good and sticks arrived today after ordering yesterday!

But they don’t work.

The G5 powers up but the white power light just blinks slowly and nothing appears on screen. Tried the memory in all different positions, with/without other sticks, in banks 1&2, then 3&4…dead.

Pop the 128s back in and off it goes!

What the heck is going on? I need memory!!

A very frustrated Hugh.


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Yes, you do need memory, but there may be something wrong with the Mac. I would a) make sure everything looks okay inside, no loose connectors, etc., b) check Apple’s support site for similar issues in their knowledge base and discussion forums, and c) consider taking it into a shop that can diagnose the issue.

Oh, and since Crucial was to helpful, maybe ask them first. They might have some ideas of what to check.


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Hi Joe,

Will indeed be straight on to Crucial when they open Monday.

I’ll have a look around the Apple forums but I dread spending time in yet more forums…sigh

It’s a peculiar business: the 128 sticks are two ‘different’ pairs, one pair is PC2700, the other PC3200. But they’re quite happy in any arrangement. Stick anything else in, matched 512s, matched 1gbs, and the machine ain’t interested.

But b—er all use if my max RAM is 512. I’m surprised at its performance on 512 actually, it makes a good fist of it.

Sheesh…


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've been told on the Apple forums that I probably need to reset NVRAM so that the Mac can rebuild the device tree. Then it might recognise the memory.

Trouble is, I can’t get into a screen to type ‘reset-nvram’…!!!

The Apple forum tip was to reboot holidng down command+option+o+f, but that doesn’t work. Nor does holding in the power button.

Anyone know how to get in to this level?

ps. I notice when I replace the friendly 128 sticks and power up again that a message says my clock is not set right and certain programmes may not work. I have to reset the date every time.

There’s a big pink battery slap bang in view when you open the G5 and I’ve tested this battery and it’s fine. Why is my date being forgotten?

Hugh


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What kind of keyboard are you using? Is it the stock Apple keyboard, or a third party unit? And for the mouse? Also make sure that other USB devices are disconnected. Then, reboot the Mac and hold down the keys mentioned until you get into the Open Firmware screen, which will look frighteningly like DOS. :wink:

Sometimes, batteries will test at the proper voltage, but under load will not be able to hold that value. Check the battery and the carrier for dirty contacts (it might be worth it to clean them anyway) and consider replacing it anyway. You may also want to reset the parameter RAM (PRAM).

“Reset the PRAM by restarting the computer while holding down the Command, Option, P, and R keys until you hear the startup sound a second time.”

I also found this link while poking around Apple’s support site.

Power Mac G5: Keyboard commands don’t work during startup
http://support.apple.com/kb/TA23401


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Hi Joe,

Keyboard and mouse are stock Apple items - black extended keyboard and black Pro mouse. Other USB devices had been disconnected.

But rebooting refuses to get any screen, nor any chime…nothing. Just the start up whir of fan and then the slowly blinking power light.

I read that thread at the Apple forum, too - but nothing there works either.

:frowning:


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Sorry, call me Stumped.


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On 10 August2009, at 5:49 AM, hugh wrote:

The Apple forum tip was to reboot holidng down command+option+o+f,
but that doesn’t work. Nor does holding in the power button.

That's not what I learned.  I learned ð+option+p+r.  I believe that  

is correct because the pr would stand for pram. The problem is that
you might have to practice this a while to be able to press those
four keys at the same time.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379

Good luck.


							Peter

I’m losing track of the number of times I’ve disconnected everything and taken the side panel off the G5…over 30 anyway!

So, do I reset the PRAM and then change the sticks out?..or change the sticks out and then start up (with fingers hugely crossed) holding down command+optio+p+r…?

Hugh


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Basically I can’t open the Mac in open firmware mode…so I can’t reset the nvram…so the Mac can’t rebuild the device tree…so it won’t recognise the new memory…

So that’s that. Might as well chuck it in the skip.


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SOLVED!

I do hate myself sometimes. Mind you, I hate Apple too. This was so simple and yet so easy to miss…it turned up vaguely in a manual I downloaded:

The PAIRS in which the memory has to be installed are NOT the same as the twinned banks or slots you see when you look inside the Mac. What you visually see is so obviously pairs (esp. in my machine which has two banks of two slots) - but what you see is not what you want!

Installing a pair means putting one stick of your ‘pair’ in the upper bank and one stick in the lower bank in mirrored positions.

I know someone’s going to say “Didn’t you know that!”…and the answer is no I didn’t! And it was hard to find.

Makes me think that the inside of the big bit of tin I’ve had to take off the mac about 30 times could be beneficially used to hold some simple instructions for such a common upgrade.

So I now have 2.25gb of RAM. Thank you everyone for your patience and thougthful contributions.

Hugh


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On 12 Aug 2009, at 11:48, hugh wrote:

Basically I can’t open the Mac in open firmware mode…so I can’t
reset the nvram…so the Mac can’t rebuild the device tree…so
it won’t recognise the new memory…

So that’s that. Might as well chuck it in the skip.

Any chance of getting your money back Hugh?

best wishes,

Paul Bradforth

http://www.paulbradforth.com


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Sometime around 12/8/09 (at 07:25 -0400) hugh said:

I know someone’s going to say “Didn’t you know that!”…and the
answer is no I didn’t! And it was hard to find.

It is obvious… to a technician, not an end user. I’m so glad to
hear you solved it!

k


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Really. Congrats! Now you have a fast Mac with plenty of RAM - Enjoy!


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Fast?

Well I wouldn’t say it’s any faster than before, but at least P’shop didn’t all over at the 500mb file…

:wink:


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