Currently Being ModeratedApr 6, 2013 12:47 PM (in response to ShadowServer)
If the PRAM battery is dead and that causes the computer to forget some settings, it could be casting about to find a bootable volume. As you've used Startup Disk to select your HD, it could be the battery.
Are you cutting power to this computer when not using it? That means unplugging from the wall or using a power strip or backup power supply to turn it off. If so, stop. When turned off normally but on an active wall circuit, the computer gets a small trickle current thay bypasses the power supply so the PRAM battery does not have to work to preserive normal settings.
The symptoms you describe suggest that the computer is having times every day when no power can get to it. In spite of insistence by environmental types that you must unplug your computer when not is use, doing so is hard on many Mac desktop models.
I order my PRAM batts from these guys:
You replace the battery through the same door through which you change RAM.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 6, 2013 5:24 PM (in response to Allan Jones)
Sorry about my delay in response. Your suggestions were great, but these are not what's causing my issue. I checked my outlets. All good. My router is on the same strip as my eMac, and if there is a strip failure, my router beeps loudly. My router has not indicated a failure since January, and this has been happening since November of last year.
The PRAM battery is fine, I replaced it on February 25 this year.
Any other suggestions?
Currently Being ModeratedApr 6, 2013 5:55 PM (in response to ShadowServer)
It may be a failing HDD or other component, but...
Have you done a PRAM reset, CMD+Option+p+r...
In fact, do 3 in a row, takes a bit of time.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 9, 2013 12:58 PM (in response to BDAqua)
Don't worry, I know plenty about AHT, but unfortunately I don't have the disks. I fixed the machine up with a hard drive from another and there was already an image on it.
Currently Being ModeratedApr 17, 2013 2:00 PM (in response to BDAqua)
Well, ASD didn't come up with anything, but I did figure out the issue.
Seems like for some reason, if any sort of external drive is connected, it tries to boot from that, then from the internal hard drive. When all external drives are disconnected, the time taken to boot normally is greatly reduced, and when the CD drive is removed, it works flawlessly.
I left the CD drive in, because it's takes the least amount of time to go to the next boot device, but why does this happen?
Currently Being ModeratedApr 18, 2013 10:22 AM (in response to ShadowServer)
Tough to tell why, but one thing we haven't tried yet...
Does it boot into Open Firmware with CMD+Option+o+f ?
reset-nvram (press Enter)
set-defaults (press Enter)
reset-all (press Enter)