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Hi, I have an eMac 1.4 ghz on which someone had installed a PC3200 Ram chip in, instead of a PC2700. This caused constant crashes/software problems/freezes. Once I had discovered the rogue chip had been installed, I removed it, and decided to erase the machine & rebuild it from the ground up (a task I have done hundreds of times on various models of Macs with very few problems). I inserted the Tiger DVD, opened the Disc Utility programme and erased the hard drive (Zero all data), and then tried to reinstall Tiger. It will not install it, it freezes constantly in the installation process at varying times. It will not let me run Disk Warrior, Disk Utility (Mac) or TechTools Pro 4. I have zapped the PRAM, reset the PMU, checked the battery, swapped out various RAM chips (that I know to be sound) and checked the capacitors for the Apple leakage problem. I tried to use Apples Hardware Test CD to boot the machine, but all that did was boot me straight into Open Firmware (Something beyond my current capabilities!). I have been looking after/servicing over 60 Macs for the last 5 years (IT Mac Support) and this is the first time I've ever come across anything this troublesome. The Mac in question ran out of warranty on the 24/08/06! It is an Apple eMac 1.42Ghz G4 / 17CRT / 512 / 160 / Superdrive, it originally had Panther 10.3.9 installed on it, now it's just a barren wasteland!! Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

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Last Post by Dave Cowen
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Have you tried using Target Disk Mode to simply run the eMac off another computer's hard disk for awhile? It sounds like you have tried all of the obvious (and then some!) things to fix the problem, so it is down to a process of elimination to see what it is. You know that the RAM you have installed now is good, so the current RAM is not the problem. You would eliminate any hard disk concerns by using Target Disk Mode on another drive.

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Hi Dave, first of all thanks for the response! The problem i now have is when I try and boot up this darned emac it won't let me do anything until I finish installing an OS. I can't do this because it crashes mid install. So as soon as I try and do anything it asks for installation Disk 2! and won't let me go any further. Since my last posting I've done a File System Check that says everything is OK and reset the NVRAM. I've also tried booting it up in target mode and dragging an OS off a similar machine, and then trying to upgrade the installation! It still freezes. I am now getting to the point where Napalm seems the only option. If it crashes on installation of the OS, would you think it more likely to be a HD problem rather than the logic board, as it's not actually doing any complex mathematical stuff?

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Sounds like a mess! So you booted off another hard disk and/or computer using target disk mode. Did you try using it for awhile like this or immediately attempt to copy/upgrade to OS. I am under the impression you cannot simply copy/paste the OS in the Finder because this does not copy some of the underlying unix files that are required. I would think that if the eMac would run fine for a somewhat extended period of time via target disk mode it would imply that the logic board is ok. When you are in target disk mode and you open Apple's Disk Utility does the S.M.A.R.T. status of the eMac's hard disk look good?

All this being said, I purchased an iMac G5 about a year ago that had some frustrating issues similar to what you are describing and the more I try to use common sense to narrow down the problem the more things became confusing. In this case it was the logic board, and once it was swapped out things returned to normal. I could not reliably boot off another computer in target disk mode, so that is the reason for my line of thinking.

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