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Thread: Are there any tools to analyze kernel panics in G4 iMac?

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  1. #1
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    Jan 2011
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    Are there any tools to analyze kernel panics in G4 iMac?

    Folks:

    As I posted over on the "Suspend from sleep" thread I've got a G4 iMac set up to boot OSX & Xu/Lu 12.04 that has been hit with a plague of kernel panics, first it seemed like they were only happening in Xu/Lu, but then they started happening in OSX as well. I ran the Apple Hardware Test disk several times and it shows OK, I've repaired the disk with Apple's DU, and used Onyx to clean up the system, I've even installed a fresh OSX 10.4.6 on an Ext HD and booted from the Ext HD and the kernel panics continue. I'm thinking "hardware" but so far nothing has shown to clearly show that. Would there be some Ubun/Linux tool that could analyze the system such that it might point out what the problem is? A GUI app might be better for me, but if a CLI app is out there that could be tried with a little help from the forum . . . that would also work. I'd like to keep the iMac going, it's got ten years of data and it serves to check email and get around the web well enough. Any thoughts?

    Last post from the other thread from earlier in the month, no replies offered:

    @abtabt:

    Appreciate the follow-up, just letting you know the latest situation, looks like my horsie is again pulling up lame and will be a DNF once again. I just tried to boot the Xu 12.0.4 system to check on lsmod and wound up with multiple problems, problems getting Yaboot window to show up, problems getting gdm log in window to stay, problems with once getting passed gdm log in then mouse didn't work and no toolbar, problems then getting passed xubun splash window with subsequent kernel panic, problem with kernel panic before the Yaboot window . . . problem with showing a single user window that wouldn't accept my password to get into CLI . . . went thru 5 cold boots essentially ending in kernel panic. Gave up, when I tried to boot OSX, there also was a kernel panic and had to restart . . . thought it might be the old iMac giving up its life force, but seems like it's OK for now . . . don't know why kernel panics in Xubun would carry over to OSX? But, this has been the history of trying to get anything in the Linux realm to run on the iMac for longer than a few months, seems to be doing OK, then the system seems to start degrading?? kernel panics start and eventually the CLI even goes away. There was something about "starting pbbuttonsd 0.7.9 Unknown powerbook; speech-dispatcher disabled, edit; starting NTP-server-ntpd-kernel panic 3 or 4" on the Xubuntu splash window.

    I did do an update/upgrade on Friday night, couple night back using "sudo aptitude" and I rebooted then and everything seemed to be OK, I can't remember if I installed "powerprefs" in the iMac following a comment in the PPC FAQ about either getting suspend to work, but I didn't adjust anything in the GUI powerprefs window when it opened . . . so I don't know if somehow one of the upgrades has messed with my "nv" driver compilation . . . but once again there is a problem. Seemed like Xu/Lu 12.0.4 got me closer to something stable . . . will have to see on another day if I can get it working, if it's a hardware issue, or just try what will be the 6th or 7th re-install . . . . Maybe Tuesday I'll again have a moment to play around . . . the sound issue goes to the back burner for now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Hidden!
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    Lubuntu Development Release

    Re: Are there any tools to analyze kernel panics in G4 iMac?

    It could very well be the memory. Don't trust the apple hardware test because it only skims the surface of how to properly test memory. It's a very weak and incapable utility to say the least.

    Use Remember to fully test your RAM. It can take 1-2 hours.

    Another thing to consider is that you have an iMac and all models from the G4's to the newest Intel machine all sacrifice hardware health and longevity to look pretty. Because of this the iMacs all tend to die after a few years. The G4 towers on the other hand live forever because they don't sacrifice hardware health for design.

    You would have been far better off using a tower and printing a high res pic of the pretty computer for your wall. Remember that a computer needs to be a tool before anything else. When you choose impractical computers like an iMac you're then stuck with all the headaches that come with it.

  3. #3
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    Re: Are there any tools to analyze kernel panics in G4 iMac?

    Quote Originally Posted by powerpcliberation View Post
    It could very well be the memory. Don't trust the apple hardware test because it only skims the surface of how to properly test memory. It's a very weak and incapable utility to say the least.

    Use Remember to fully test your RAM. It can take 1-2 hours.

    Another thing to consider is that you have an iMac and all models from the G4's to the newest Intel machine all sacrifice hardware health and longevity to look pretty. Because of this the iMacs all tend to die after a few years. The G4 towers on the other hand live forever because they don't sacrifice hardware health for design.
    @powerliberation:

    I was in the middle of typing out my last post and missed yours, thanks for your time . . . it might well be RAM, although I did run Rember and could only get thru one round before the computer crashed, but in the LiveDVD last night we lasted over an hour until I got tired. On the "design" . . . right, it was my first foray into computers, but it has lasted ten years, so I can't complain . . . . Any thoughts for the screen rez in the LiveDVD??

    e.e.p.

  4. #4
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    939

    Re: Are there any tools to analyze kernel panics in G4 iMac?

    At the yaboot prompt type:

    Code:
    live video=offb:off nouveau.modeset=0 single
    This will freeze or give you a blank screen. You will have to judge blind when the machine has finished booting which can be longer than you think. Type the command (you won't see what you type):

    Code:
    modprobe nvidiafb
    Text should now appear on the screen.

    If it doesn't reboot (type reboot), but this time use:

    Code:
    modprobe rivafb
    You can start the desktop with
    Code:
    start lightdm
    EDIT: In 12.10 you may have to force a higer colour depth. For example "modprobe nvidiafb mode_option=1024x768-16"
    Last edited by rsavage; November 5th, 2012 at 08:56 AM.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2011
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    414

    Re: Are there any tools to analyze kernel panics in G4 iMac?

    @rsavage:

    Thanks for your attention to my problem . . . it looks like you are providing a way to run the Lubun LiveDVD in such a way that the screen resolution will be improved???? Rather than giving me a way to somehow analyze or repair the "2 bad sectors"??? Certainly if I can see the screen more clearly it might help, but then are there any tools loaded in the LiveDVD that can "analyze" why the kernel panics are happening in both the internal HD running Xu/Lu 12 and the OSX side? If I could somehow "deep clean" the HD would that fix the kernel panics?

    I can certainly try out your commands from the LiveDVD and that might get me to a read-able GUI and then I might find the DU "repair problems" tab??? It's not that I'm looking to run my computer from the install DVD all the time, but how to figure out why it's crashing ????? HD dying or "bad sector"???? Don't know . . . but, thanks for the guidance . . . so far the Xu/Lu has been the best in the iMac G4 . . . but, again, now some issue with kernel panics.

    e.e.p.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    414

    Re: Are there any tools to analyze kernel panics in G4 iMac?

    @rsavage:

    Ran those commands using my Lubun 12 install DVD, waited until no more Op drive sounds, entered the "modprobe" . . . nothing happened . . . tried the second modprobe rviafb . . . nothing, no text. Then I typed "start lightdm" the Op drive made a few sounds . . . . I'm looking at a greyish screen with three vert lines, two yellow, one blue on the left third of the screen . . . . Is there a flashing boot prompt? Can't see it.

    e.e.p.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    414

    Re: Are there any tools to analyze kernel panics in G4 iMac?

    Folks:

    The continuing saga . . . I got a hint to try booting the Lubuntu 12 LiveDVD which I was able to do last night and the computer ran for well over an hour . . . I got into DU and ran the "self-test" and it cam eback with "Two bad sectors" . . . . The problem is that the screen resolution is probably at 8 and it's very difficult to read words that are in boxes. Can someone help me out with some boot parameters that might improve the screen resolution, so that I might be able to find where the "Repair bad sector" function might be? I used "videoofonly=0???? (whatever is listed) and "nouveau.modeset=0" . . . . It's interesting that the machine ran OK in the DVD, but doesn't from the int HD, I have SMARTReporter in the OSX side and it still shows OK. Mousing over some of the "Self-test" results in Lubun DU, showed phrase, "Failure means imminent demise of the HD due to old age . . . " . . . something like that . . . but I couldn't tell if that meant that failure was indeed imminent, or if the word "Failure" had to be listed as a result--which it wasn't . . . just two bad sectors. In OSX DU has been run from the clone to "repair disk" . . . would a "bad sector" possibly survive that repair work, or would a bad sector in Xu/Lu "reach" over and cause crashes in the whole computer?

    e.e.p.

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