Previous 1 2 3 4 Next 45 Replies Latest reply: Jul 29, 2012 6:42 AM by Allan Jones
Sue San Level 1 (0 points)

I have a problem that is very annoying if not potentially serious and it is recurring.  Seems to start with Systems Profiler.  When i open it there is a good chance it will freeze and i mean freeze. Nothing will make it quit. Won't force quit from either the force quit window or clicking the dock icon and choosing force quit from there.  Each time the cursor goes across the system profiler window it turns to the coloured wheel.  Firefox crashed about the same time. Can't remember if it happened that way before but FF is crashing a lot.

I found info in a book so opened Finder to access Activity Monitor but Finder froze too.  I had opened Safari but that froze and wouldn't force quit either. The time stopped ticking on the dial up connection and the phone symbol ( for connection/disconnecting) also went inactive.

Had no choice but to disconnect the power.


I had hoped it wouldn't happen again after the other time but it has and i don't know why. None of the suggested remedies work. I hope i can send this message before any more problems surface. I'm using Safari however an older Safari is not as good as an older FF. But recently FF crashed 5 times in 20 minutes.


Can you please help. Out of 3 eMacs this is the only one i've had trouble with.  Has it got anything to do with having 10.5 installed? i have heard its not a good idea to  put 10.5 into an old eMac due to whatever is going on in the background.


Hope to read your answers tomorrow morning

eMac G4 PowerPC, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Firefox 3.6.28
  • roam Level 6 (13,565 points)

    Hi Sue,


    It may simply be that 10.5 is putting too much demand on the eMac hardware, as you have mused. I found 10.5 on a 1Ghz eMac with the maximum 1Gb RAM for my model, to be under maximum load a lot of the time. Not so much the RAM because it can swap out onto the disk if it wanted to, but the CPU was always screaming near full on just sitting 'idle'.


    I formed the opinion that the amount of data caching that 10.5 does compared to 10.3 was the cause for the heavy CPU load. It is that kind of activity which can precipitate the rainbow wheel / freeze.


    I am wondering which model your eMac this 10.5 is on. The fastest were 1.42 Ghz CPU and that model could take 2 GB RAM, double the original spec.

    About this Mac  can provide that info.


    What you could do if you haven't already, is disable Spotlight, as that can be resource intensive while it builds its database.


    To turn Spotlight Indexing off, Open the Terminal app and run this command:

    sudo mdutil -a -i off

    Copy and pasting it is a good idea, press return, supply admin password, and press return.


    This may not be crucial, but should help a little bit, and Find Any File is a great substitute if you don't use Spotlight.

    If Firefox is freezing up, maybe disable any extensions (Add-ons) it has, just in case one of them is being a bit too busy in an already busy environment.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,700 points)

    Hello Sue,


    Please look at at my reply in this eMac thread:


    emac osx problem, blank home page, missing icons.


    See if your serial number falls into one of the ranges I posted (but don't post your serial number here).


    I worked on an eMac in the affected range of numbers and had exactly the issues you describe--clicking on most apps caused a hard freeze. The problems affects only 1.25ghz eMacs and the fairly rare "edu-only" 1.oGhz eMacs built on the 1.25's logic board (not the more common 1.0Ghz models built with a USB 1.1 logic board).

  • Sue San Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Roam... thank you for an excellent and understanding answer, i also had Allan's response and both have offered appreciated information.

    Earlier this morning i turned on 10.5 and it went into free fall, i was able to read the 2 answers then ultimately nothing. Safari wouldn't launch, FF crashed every time i tried then the inevitable big freeze took over.

    Thankfully i have 2 eMacs so back to trusty 10.4.

    I had researched just enought to realise that Leopard might not be a good thing so didn't install on my other eMacs but gave into temptation and bought one with Leopard already on with whizz bang stuff like 4 microsoft programmes which i don't need but wanted to see. Advertised as fastest ever eMac but i'm sure it is 1Ghz which is the same as my others.   You mention a 1.42 ghz.. it isn't one of those

    Have played around with RAM a bit, couldn't get proper answer as to recommended level of ram. It came with 2x 256 which i was later told is bare minimum to run system, i now have 1x1gb and 1x256.( ok or not?)

    I noticed that it was slower or no faster than my Tiger and seller said it would be to do with ram but it didn't improve it that much.

    I'm hoping you and/or others will guide me through this.   I would like to try disabling Spotlight, didn't know about  Find any File so will look that.

    When you say Copy and Paste is that from your email or is it something that will come to light when i do the process?

    When it freezes i can't do anything so i need a plan to keep it running.... would it help to not attempt to open browsers and just concentrate on other stuff... i want to get photos onto disc, haven't done it before but i had set up Burn Folders 2 days ago as i felt trouble looming..... will it let me burn to disc with its current behaviour?

    That would the first thing i want to do then disable Spotlight and what about the MS stuff?

    About FF add ons are these something i would do myself or could they be automatic.. i haven't added anything by plan. 

    I have always felt the system needed to be as lean as possible and i don't require some extra things or more to the point i don't go looking cos dial up is so slow, i almost can't stand it any longer.

    I need to try the disablement first ,or whatever might help, as long as you think itis worthwhile, if it isn't worth it then i need to abandon Leopard and install Tiger which i presume i can do? 10.4 will override the 10.5?

    Very depressing when i think of updates needed by any basic system that is installed ( dial up again)but then what i've got is worse than depressing.

    Thank you for your patience and i will be looking for your advice as i go through any steps, if i should scrap 10.5 please say so but i would like to get the photos onto disc first.

  • Sue San Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Allan, thank you for this and i will certainly have a look.  At the moment this is consuming far too much time not to mention sapping my energy. I have had computers for only 4 years, starting with the little G3 iMacs that had been cast offs but were excellent at getting me established. 

    With dial up ( as i was saying to Roam) everything is difficult, even waiting for the Apple page and going through to Communities and Sign On takes a few minutes, feels like an hour.

    Irony is that i couldn't look at your link on a computer that won't work but i have two, just as well.  I'm not going to use the Leopard one except for trying to sort it.

    I actually have a 3rd eMac, had 10.3 but i have installed 10.4 and put it up for sale so i hope my struggling one doesn't give up the ghost.  There is already a bid on the one for sale so too late... Murphy's Law.

    People buying eMacs are interested in specs and i wonder if they want to put 10.5 on them and make profit..... not necessarily a good idea. I need an Intel machine now ( alongside the eMac !)

    Thanks for help

  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,700 points)

    Irony is that i couldn't look at your link on a computer that won't work


    Good point; I understand. Here is what the other thread mostly covered. Many 1.25Ghz eMacs suffered a serious logic board defect that could cause the computer to freeze with almost any app shortly after launch.


    The serial number ranges for the affected models are:


    • G8412xxxxxx- G8520xxxxxx
    • YM412xxxxxx - YM520xxxxxx
    • VM440xxxxxx - VM516xxxxxx


    and you can find the serial number on a sticker inside the optical drive door:




    The problem is not practically fixable today. The Apple program that covered this defect expired about two years ago, and having a third party repair shop do the logic board replacement costs several times what a used eMac is worth. The only option for a fix costing under US$150 is if you live within driving distance of Eugene, Oregon, USA.

  • Sue San Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi again Allan, the serial number starts with YM521xxxxxx so it might not be one of the affected ones. Its really starting to look like 10.5 is too much for it.  I doubt its worth spending money on , as much as i love them, but the PowerPC is limiting.

    I can look up your link on this (my other) computer.

    I enjoyed your comment about if i lived within driving distance of (anywhere in) Oregon, I am about 35ks from Wellington in the lower half of the north island New Zealand.  quite a drive !

    I paid $NZ50.00 for the eMac which is about medium but i mostly paid for the 10.5 system , a disappointment if i can't use it however it has been a great learning experience.

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,655 points)

    am about 35ks from Wellington in the lower half of the north island New Zealand.  quite a drive !



  • Sue San Level 1 (0 points)

    Now that is cool.... just need lots of sunshine, a good turbo boost and a reliable GPS and i'll be over to Oregon in no time.  Might just bring the eMac

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,655 points)



    Dump the hubby & you could take 3 or 4 or eMacs with you!

  • Sue San Level 1 (0 points)

    A bit of humour survives amid the technical stuff. Ex husband and i are in different countries these days but you make a good point and i still have 3 eMacs at the moment so i wouldn't even have to choose between them, all the family together and they might even be flotation devices if things get a bit rough.

  • roam Level 6 (13,565 points)

    Hi Sue


    If in the two slots you have 1 Gb and another 256 Kb, it sounds like you could swap the 256 for another 1 Gb. That depends though on the model.

    If you click on About this Mac  how much RAM does it say you have?


    Sorry to confuse you about the copy and paste; I just mean copy that code and paste it in Terminal to save mistyping anything.


    When it freezes, don't open anything else, to give it a chance to finish what it was trying to accomplish  and hope it will return to functioning normally.


    If you have not added any FF extensions, then there won't be any there to worry about. You could try running this 10.5 eMac offline, to see if it is the browsers that are locking things up.


    Out of interest, did you get a 10.5 DVD with the eMac? If so that is worth the $50.

  • Sue San Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello.... yes i  know how to find out how much RAM it says is in it and it says the 1Gb and 256, my son put it in, I did have the 1gb and a 512 of same type but different speeds in it for a time and it was acting up so we put matching speed ones, i don't think it will change things to add more, just a gut feeling.   It has become so bad, i have waited and waited for it to come right but it doesn't, i think the spinning wheel even goes away but it jams whatever way you look at it.  It has become prgressively worse and has been unusable the last two times i've tried to use it.

    I have decided to try the disablement you suggest (when i pluck up the courage to turn it on) and should i remove the Windows programmes? failing that can i install 10.4 over the 10.5?

    No there wasn't a disc with the computer otherwise i would agree it was worth the $50, i have since bought a disc for about $90, usually they sell for over $100, the auction finished late and i think the other bidder dozed off.

    There has been ongoing niggly problems for awhile for some reason it has become unmanageable.

    I will run it offline as you say but if the browsers are locking it up it sort of defeats the purpose.

    The computer i am now using ( 10.4)has not had one FF crash and never has had, it has to be something with the other computer that is causing it.

  • roam Level 6 (13,565 points)

    I agree it will not be much use offline, just a temporary suggestion to see if it will run without FF snagging it up.


    Open the Activity Monitor app, found in Applications/Utilities.

    It is a diagnostic tool of sorts that will list everything currently running, including a lot of background system type processes. Also it will show memory usage of RAM as well as CPU usage.


    I don't know what effect these Microsoft programs would have, I presume they are built to run on a Mac, but in general any software that is not running, is not doing anything except sitting passively on the hardrive.


    Activity monitor will show you what is actually running, whether a program launched by you, or something running in the background. Only processes / applications using massive amounts of RAM are of interest to you here with this freezing issue.


    If you could post some screen shots of Activity monitor windows would be useful, even just extracts from the lower panels tabbed CPU | System Memory | Disk Usage.


    To take screen shots, pressing SHIFT and Command and number 4 key will change your mouse to a cross hair which you can drag over the screen , release it and the screenshot should be copied to your Desktop. Several screenshots of the various  Activity Monitor lower  panels would be good info.


    Bummer about being on dialup. You must be very golden given all that required patience.


    And to your Q, about putting 10.4 back on, yes you can do that if have the Tiger disk or even by connecting two eMacs together and cloning one over to the other is another method.

  • Allan Jones Level 7 (33,700 points)

    it says the 1Gb and 256, my son put it in, I did have the 1gb and a 512 of same type but different speeds in it for a time and it was acting up so we put matching speed ones,


    I'm beginning to think you may still have a RAM mismatch. If you put in two 256 modules and it only reports a total of 256, then something is not right. It is typical of hi-density PC RAM to report as half its rated capacity if installed in a Mac needing standard density RAM.


    Also, even though older eMAc have a 100mHz logic board, for some reason they required PC 133 RAM. There were reports early on of people struggling with user-added RAM that was PC100.


    Still. 256MB is way too little RAM for Leopard and that could be the problem. Too little RAM can crash he computer.


    To nail down what version you have, can you please post just the LAST THREE letters in the serial number. These are config codes and do not give away anything personal. I can look up for you which exact logic board version you have from a chart on the Apple site.


    Early eMacs held a max RAM of 1G ( 2 x 512MB) but later ones unofficially can hold and use 2GB (2 X 1 GB). Our last gen eMac 1.42Ghz currently is running 256 MB RAM MORE than the original out-of-date specs say it can run.


    I am about 35ks from Wellington in the lower half of the north island New Zealand.  quite a drive !


    Well, it was worth asking, as your profile didn't show a geographic location! Now we know.

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