Panther freezes: New twist!

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
May 29th, 2004 • 7:37 am

Well now… Just as I had pretty much decided that my recurring Panther freezes had to be related to Mac OS X’s display sleep feature, I just got hit by a system-wide freeze right while I was writing an e-mail message!

This changes everything. It means that the freezes are not related to the sleep feature, as I had concluded earlier today.

It also means that it could very well be that my stock IBM internal hard drive was not faulty after all! The primary reason why I replaced the hard drive in the first place was that I strongly suspected that it was the source of the majority of my freezes.

The number of freezes did diminish substantially after I physically removed the drive from the machine, but I was still getting a few, while the computer was asleep, so I suspected a separate problem.

Now that I have just experienced the same kind of freeze while the computer was awake and being used, I have to rethink the entire troubleshooting approach. The old hard drive might be OK, but that’s not much comfort. I need a stable computing environment!

It might be a hardware problem — a RAM module that’s suddenly become defective, or worse, something on the motherboard itself. I am afraid getting a new computer is not exactly an option at this point!

It might also be a USB device. So I’ll remove them all except for the absolute essentials (mouse, keyboard), and I’ll see what happens. But if it is one of my USB devices, I’ll have to wait several weeks in order to make sure. This is definitely going to be a very long troubleshooting process — and one that will deprive me of useful tools for a long time. I guess I just have to face the fact that these devices are not all absolutely indispensable.

If the USB clean-up doesn’t eliminate the problem, then I’ll have to suspect a defective RAM module. That too is going to be a bit painful — although I can test them one at a time, and hope that only one of them is defective, if any.


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