• Hello, Guest! Welcome back, and be sure to check out this post for more info about the recent service interruption and migration.

G4 cube becomes unstable when ethernet is connected

lobust

Active member
In this thread; https://68kmla.org/bb/index.php?threads/unexpected-surprise-in-a-g4-cube.38554/

I noted I was having problems with the machine locking up with a spinning beachball and had attributed it to disk problems.

After a bit of tinkering I found out that the machine is actually rock solid stable, right up to the point that I plug in an ethernet cable. After that it will work for a minute or so, ethernet included (can browse in safari normally), but then it grinds to a halt.

It doesn't appear to be anything physical with the connector as plugging in a disconnected cable doesn't cause problems.

Anyone have any clue how to go about troubleshooting this?
 

davidg5678

Well-known member
Here are a few troubleshooting ideas I had:

If not sure if this is a hardware problem, but in case it is software-related, maybe trying a different install of the OS could help rule this out? This would certainly be the fastest way to troubleshoot things.

I recall that you have a power-hungry accelerator CPU installed in your Cube. Web browsing is an incredibly resource-intense task on this machine, and I wonder if the issue could really be unrelated to the ethernet cable at all, and more about power draw. Have you tried other CPU-intensive tasks yet? Do they harm the computer's stability? I would recommend trying lots of different computing tasks so that you can be absolutely certain that the ethernet is the problem, and not just a symptom of something else.

To test ethernet without web browsing try these: Does pinging a web server (with the terminal command "ping www.google.com") cause the computer to have any problems? How about doing large, local file transfers between networked machines? (this would also test out your SSD.)

What is the condition of the tiny metal pins inside of the ethernet socket? I wonder if they were bent (so that they were shorted together) would cause issues.
 

lobust

Active member
Here are a few troubleshooting ideas I had:

If not sure if this is a hardware problem, but in case it is software-related, maybe trying a different install of the OS could help rule this out? This would certainly be the fastest way to troubleshoot things.

I recall that you have a power-hungry accelerator CPU installed in your Cube. Web browsing is an incredibly resource-intense task on this machine, and I wonder if the issue could really be unrelated to the ethernet cable at all, and more about power draw. Have you tried other CPU-intensive tasks yet? Do they harm the computer's stability? I would recommend trying lots of different computing tasks so that you can be absolutely certain that the ethernet is the problem, and not just a symptom of something else.

To test ethernet without web browsing try these: Does pinging a web server (with the terminal command "ping www.google.com") cause the computer to have any problems? How about doing large, local file transfers between networked machines? (this would also test out your SSD.)

What is the condition of the tiny metal pins inside of the ethernet socket? I wonder if they were bent (so that they were shorted together) would cause issues.
Thanks for your thoughts, I really appreciate it.

I am 99.99% sure it's just the ethernet. If the machine is just idling on the desktop with nothing running it will sit like that indefinitely, sleep and wake no problem, launch applications and go back to idling etc., but when I plug the ethernet cable in it will freeze up maybe 30 seconds to a minute later, even if it's still just idling with nothing running. Having a lot of stuff running at the time or not, it doesn't seem to change the behaviour.

The OS is a tricky one, I have tiger installed fresh, I apparently cannot install an osx older than tiger because they don't support the cpu so that just leaves leopard to try I guess. I haven't been able to get any os 9 to boot to desktop so far, I don't know if that's because of the cpu or some other issue, but every os9 boot media I have tried freezes after it's finished loading extensions just before it launches the finder.

The ethernet socket physically looks fine...

If there was a hardware fault with the ethernet card I can't see that it would actually work for that short period of time before it locks the system up...

I removed the artmix/stratos vrm and put the stock one back in to see if it made any difference, but it behaves the same with both of them.
 

herd

Active member
I've only seen this happen on a quicksilver, and it turned out to be the CPU. It would also lock up doing large file transfers. If you have a large folder, like 30GB, then duplicate it in Finder, does it complete that task?

One easy thing to try is remove all but one RAM stick, then rotate out sticks to eliminate that possibility.

Are you in the USA?
 

lobust

Active member
I've only seen this happen on a quicksilver, and it turned out to be the CPU. It would also lock up doing large file transfers. If you have a large folder, like 30GB, then duplicate it in Finder, does it complete that task?

One easy thing to try is remove all but one RAM stick, then rotate out sticks to eliminate that possibility.

Are you in the USA?
No, I am in the UK.

Well, I have an update. I did the large folder duplicate and it worked fine.

I have some cheap wifi bridges/endpoints laying around that I use at work so I decided to try one of those. It's on a very short (about 15") ethernet cable.

With that it is running just fine. Been online long enough to do a software update to 10.4.11 and download tenfourfox, and I am typing this on the cube right now. Everything seems to be working normally.

Previously I was trying a direct connection to the router (A Billion BiPac 8800NL R2) with a very long cable due to the location of the router which is in the hallway at the other side of my house. I don't know if the cube couldn't deal with the long cable or the router itself, and it's not easy to test right now, but I will update when I have checked.

Thanks for your input!
 
Top