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Off-Topic: G5 Open Firmware instability

This is a bit off-topic but hoping someone may have some advice.

I have a PowerMac Quad Core G5 2.5ghz (late 2005 - updated Panasonic 
cooler, not the problematic Delphi).  I've had it since 2007 and in 
that time it's always run Linux.  I don't have the original MacOS 

Right now it's running 3.0 Linux kernel.   It's overheating.  It will 
boot into X11 and remain up pretty much indefinitely if the load 
average remains under 1.5. If I start Firefox I'll get a spike 
(log warnings from Windfarm that the temp is "overtemp" followed by 
it returning to normal).  If I really load the machine (run a prime 
factoring load test) i'll get a "critical" warning from Windfarm 
followed by an immediate power off.  

Overheating is common and I'm aware of the process to try to fix it 
but my concern is that the machine has also become totally unstable
in Open Firmware (OF). 

Initially OF was stable but I noticed that the machine had stopped 
chiming at power on and in the course of trying the various fixes for 
this OF has become totally unstable.

If I power the machine on from cold (i.e powered off > 2 hours) it 
will hang in Open Firmware after 2 or 3 commands (innocous commands 
like printenv).  

If I try "reset-nvram" it usually causes a hang right after it reports 
"ok". "setenv" no longer updates the NVRAM (confirmed by rebooting and 
running "printenv") but oddly if I boot into Linux and run "nvram" and 
then boot into OF I can see the changed value.

I downloaded ASD 2.6.3 which is the correct version for the hardware, 
converted the dmg to iso. If I boot with 'c' the screen goes all grey
(which seems normal) then the machine hangs.  I can mount the ISO 
from Linux using "-t hfsplus" and the contents seem correct.

I've tested the RAM (4 sticks of PC2-4200) in a PC with MemTestx86+ 
and they are fine.  I've also tried swapping in different RAM.

I've tried all of the usual fixes,  remove CMOS battery, power off 
for a day, clear NVRAM,  boot holding down power key to go thru
programmers tone into OF.  This dinking is what made it worse :)

Has anyone experienced similar?  Maybe I'm wrong but the OF hangs
don't strike me as the same overheating issue.


Tony Jones
SUSE Kernel Performance Team

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