Panther freezes: Trying to narrow it down

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 16th, 2004 • 3:58 am

I haven’t mentioned my on-going problems with random system freezes in Panther lately, mostly because I am trying to narrow things down by eliminating possible culprits. Since the freezes don’t occur on a daily basis — weekly would be closer to the mark — I have to wait a long time between each step in the testing. And there are other factors that might interfere with it, such as the release of software updates that require a machine restart (like the recent AirPort Extreme update, which, as the name implies, is only supposed to be for AirPort Extreme systems, but ends up being recommended by Software Update even for systems like mine, where there isn’t any kind of AirPort Extreme hardware in sight).

Right now, I am focusing my investigations on USB devices. And it seems that I might be onto something. I spent a whole week using only my keyboard and mouse, without any freezes. Then I plugged in my Griffin PowerWave during the week-end because I needed to digitize some vinly LPs. A few hours later (while the PowerWave was still plugged in), I had a system freeze while working. Coincidence? Not sure… But the PowerWave is unplugged again for now.

Then I spent another week without any freezes. Then yesterday I plugged my Griffin USB audio hub and my Parliant PhoneValet back in. When I came back to my machine this morning, I pressed a key on the keyboard, the displays came back on and… I had the frozen screen saver animation again. Coincidence? Not sure… But the audio hub is unplugged again and the PhoneValet is plugged directly into the computer now.

We’ll see what happens. But I am starting to suspect audio USB here… Either the audio hub or the PowerWave, or both…

What’s for sure is that it’ll take a few more weeks before I can draw any conclusions. Troubleshooting requires a lot of patience sometimes…

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