[rescue] Odd Mac startup problem

Nathan Raymond nate at portents.com
Sat May 1 12:56:30 CDT 2004

On Sat, 1 May 2004, Phil Stracchino wrote:

> I have the cache speed pushed up somewhat to 3:2 instead of the default
> 2:1, but it appears fully stable at that speed.

Don't do this... it can cause stability problems (and sometimes under only
certain or non-consistent condition), and it doesn't actually speed things
up much.  In fact, Mike Breeden over at xlr8yourmac a few years ago tested
a G3 or G4 upgrade that had 1:1 cache, which he was expecting to be the
'holy grail' of upgrades, and the speed improvement was not that
significant.  So I would back that down to stock.

> It has a consistent weird behavior that has been going on for at least a
> month and I cannot for the life of me find the cause.  Power it on, all
> the appropriate indicator lights come on, the hard drive spins up
> (actually, now, both hard drives spin up), but it doesn't boot.  Zip,
> nada, no sad mac, not even a vertical-blank signal to the monitor -- it
> just sits there.  Shut it off and immediately power it back on again,
> and on the second try, it boots flawlessly every time.

When did you last replace the PRAM battery?  If it's not running at a
consistently high enough voltage, it could demonstrate the symptoms you
describe (in fact if the battery were complete dead, you might sit at that
black screen every time).  I don't think it's the hard drive not spinning
up, because at worst you would see a blinking question mark on a grey
screen until it did spin up and the firmware could locate it.

Nathan Raymond

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