Ask Max: My Blue-screened 733 MHz G4 Quicksilver
My 733 MHz Quicksilver G4 is really messing with my head. When I attempt to boot it up (running Mac OS-X v.10.4Tiger) it gets to the point where the GUS (Aqua) starts to load and the blue bar gets about 10% into the process and the screen goes to a solid blue. The machine is totally locked up. I tried booting from all of the usual boot-able utility CD-ROM's and I even tried it after disconnecting both of the internal hard drives and then booting from the System CD-ROM (OS-X v.10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 and Mac OS v.9.2.1) and still the same thing happens, the computer gets about 10% into the GUI portion of the boot-up process and it goes to a solid blue screen. This Mac still has it's original video card in it and I am using the Apple 15" flat panel monitor that I have always used with it. I purchased this combination of hardware as a new system.
If you have any ideas or recommendations that you think might resolve this problem I could really use the help. I guess even us old-timer, long-time Mac users get stumped every once in a while too.
Have you tried a "Verbose mode" startup? You do this by pressing Command-V during startup. Verbose mode will show you what is happening at the startup instead of the grey screen shown by default. Make note of what the last thing it is doing when it locks up. Restart it three more times and see if it freezes each time at the same place. If it is at the same place each time, it should give you some idea of what is going wrong. It could be that you will get past the "verbose mode" screen each time but lock up later in the booting sequence. If that is the case try holding down the "Shift Key" instead of Command-V at startup. That should start you in "Safe Boot" mode, which is a stripped down version of OS X and can get you around some software problems.It could also be a hardware issue. Hardware is difficult to diagnose at home without extra parts. However, if you have two or more sticks of RAM try removing all but one and see if anything changes. If nothing changes remove that RAM and try a different stick of RAM. If excluding a certain stick of RAM solves your problems that RAM would most likely be your culprit. Remember RAM can fail at any point in its life so suspect that first with troubleshooting this kind of hardware problem.