Unstable Mac! Advice for testing RAM?
April 4, 2007 11:15 PM Subscribe
My Mac is totally messed up! Help! (Hardware issue, probably ram chips, maybe HD)
posted by anonymoose to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Powermac G4 tower running 10.4.9. 2x 232GB Harddrives("A" and "B", 1 160GB HD "C". 2 GB Ram (4x 512MB).
Drives A and B are in a mirrored RAID array created by Softraid 3.3 (Have been for about a year now). My computer starts getting crazy unstable. Crashing, kernel panics abound. Try Diskwarrior on Drives A+B. Crashes during Diskwarrior treatment. Try Disk Utility. Computer keeps getting more unstable until it won't start up off of Drives A+B. OK, fine. Starting up off of Drive C
Running off of Drive C. Much more stable. Decide I'm going to reinstall Tiger on A+B. No luck. Tiger won't install because Drives A+B can't pass their Disk Utility Check. Run Diskwarrior. Works this time. Try to install tiger. No luck. Installs most of the way to the end, and then says "There were errors during the installation...Please try again." OK fine. I get rid of Softraid, split the mirror in half, and initialize one of the drives with Apple Disk Utility, zeroing out all the free space to catch bad blocks. Try installing Tiger again. Same problem.
According to http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106693, this is likely a RAM problem. I tried fiddling with the RAM in the beginning, swapping out chips and not noticing much more stability, but I wasn't systematic enough about it to categorically say that I tested every chip. Techtool checks of my RAM all came up fine. Unfortunately, my computer is too stable right now to test this theory without trying to install OSX 4 times with just 1 stick of ram in it each time (as the only reproduceable symptom is the failed OSX install). Can I figure out which is the broken stick some other way?
Is this even likely to be broken RAM, since my computer is basically working off of Drive C? (There have been scattered stability problems [none of which come to mind at the moment, unfortunately], but nothing like last week)