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Shawn
Shawn, Computer Engineer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 275
Experience:  15 years of Mac software and hardware troubleshooting experience, 10 years of programming experience
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Randum lockups while running excel on an old quadra 610. Now

Customer Question

Randum lockups while running excel on an old quadra 610. Now 8 chimes of death . black screen. PRAM Battery replaced with no change. Tried option/control/P/R with no change. Tried power on with shift key pressed and saw no change.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Shawn replied 7 years ago.
Hello,

The error you're getting is probably caused by bad RAM. Try removing any third-party (non-factory) RAM that you have installed and see if you can boot the machine then. Alternatively, if you have any other RAM for the machine that you can put in, that would be helpful.


Let me know how that works for you. Happy new Year!

Shawn
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
There is no third-party RAM that I am aware of. This is the first time the machine has ever been opened, as best I know. I do not have any other RAM to install. This machine was a hand-me-down from our daughter after she finished with it at school years ago. I do recall an "error 25" appearing while I was running the spreadsheet.
Expert:  Shawn replied 7 years ago.
Hello,

Okay - if it's never been opened then it is probably pretty dusty inside. That dust could be causing the problems that you're encountering.

I'd like you to unplug all of the cables from the machine, open it, and then use a vacuum with a hose and a brush (or a can of compressed air) to get rid of the dust inside, particularly around the RAM. Be careful not to brush too hard - the goal is to suck the dust off, not scrape it off (which can damage the chips because of static electricity).

Once you've done that, put some rubber-soled shoes on, ground yourself (by touching something metal that is grounded, like a faucet), and then remove the RAM modules from the motherboard. Do NOT touch the gold connectors on the bottom of the RAM, but clean off any additional dust that you find on the RAM or in the slots where it was present (I recommend canned air for this, but you can blow the dust out too). Then, put the RAM back in. Make sure you keep track of which slots each SIMM came from, and put them back in the same slots.


Then close it back up and give it a try. Let me know how things work for you.

Kind regards,

Shawn
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks Shawn. I will give the cleaning route a try. When I replaced the battery, it all seemed quite clean inside.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I removed/reinserted the (two) RAM cards. Zero dust inside. Only two (highrest numbered) slots are populated. Still no change in the 8 tones of death: four up/four down!
Expert:  Shawn replied 7 years ago.
Hello,

According to Apple, the symptoms you're seeing are caused by bad RAM.

http://support.apple.com/kb/TA21601?viewlocale=en_US


Your machine is pretty old. Do you have to get the old machine working again, or might this be a good time to consider upgrading? You can get the data off of your old drive.


Kind regards,

Shawn
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I will talk to the Geeks at Best Buy tomorrow to see if they have any replacement RAM in their pocket. I get the impression that the Geeks don't know much about these old machines. There are likely some Mac folks (useres group?) in the area as well, but I don't know any at the moment. If I can't find replacement RAM (to try) at a decent price, it may be time to have them scrape the data to a disk that my Windows 98 (not cutting edge here) will read. I will let you know in a day or two how it progresses. Thanks for your help so far. Hope you had a good start for 2009!
Expert:  Shawn replied 7 years ago.
Hello,

Yeah, it's unlikely that the Best Buy geeks will be of much help. They are primarily trained to work on PCs, and they know a bit about new Macs. Also, the RAM used by your machine hasn't been used in years, so they probably don't stock it.

I just looked up the specifications on your machine and it has 4 MB of RAM sitting on the motherboard. You might try taking out the SIMMs completely and booting the machine - this will tell you instantly whether or not it's a bad SIMM or something else in the machine. We can do some further debugging from there.

As you look for new RAM, know that your computer handles a maximum of 68 MB of RAM in the form of 72-pin SIMMs that run at a speed of 80 ns. You might see if you can find some on eBay - or if you can find an entire Quadra 610 that you can use for parts. Here's some more information on the RAM for your machine:

http://lowendmac.com/ram/610.shtml

I hope this helps! Let me know how things go, and I'll try to help. Happy New Year! :-)


Shawn
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Shawn, I can't accept your answer. So far, nothing has worked to start up this computer or to change anything. I've located the following link that is showing four SIMM cards. Any idea as to which (or any) would be suitable to order? I have no clue as to what works with this machine. Looking at the four slots, I find two cards (highest numbered slots) that are designed to be at a slight angle. the next slot is empty and the slot closest to the front of the chassis is in vertically. I have not messed with this upright card because it looks different than the other two. EGAD
http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Upgrades.cfm?sort=pop&model=46&type=Memory&TI=1323&shoupgrds=Show+Upgrades
----- Original Message -----
Expert:  Shawn replied 7 years ago.
Hello Egad,

Darn, I'm sorry to hear that it is not working yet. I found the official Apple Service manual for your computer online:

http://oldsite.auburnschl.edu/Technology/protected/applemanuals/quadra.centris_610.ws_60.pdf

If you look on page "Power Mac Upgrade - 26", there is a diagram of your motherboard. The two slots that are close to each other are the RAM slots, and the single slot that looks different is the video RAM slot.

Have you tried pulling out the RAM (leave the video RAM in) and see if the machine boots that way? There is 4 MB of RAM on the motherboard, so that would tell you instantly if the problem is the RAM or if it is the logic board.


As for which RAM to buy, I would buy two of these to max out the RAM on your machine:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/72PS32MBE/


Let me know how this works for you and I'll help as I can. Kind regards,

Shawn



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Earlier in our discussion I did remove the two SIMMs, but still got the tones of death upon start-up. Nothing has changed in the symptoms. It seems the machine should have started with just the 4 MB, if the fixed RAM was operating properly. Is this 4MB RAM on a plug-in?
Expert:  Shawn replied 7 years ago.
Egad,

No, the 4MB RAM is soldered onto the motherboard. According to Apple's troubleshooting instructions removing the RAM and still receiving the chimes means it's a deeper hardware problem with the remaining hardware (most likely on the logic board), so simply replacing the SIMMs won't fix it.

My recommendation is to buy another Quadra 610 on eBay, like this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-Quadra-610-System-7-1-16-MB-RAM-230-MB-HD_W0QQitemZ290278446655QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

and then either move your hard drive over to that machine or move the logic board from that machine to your machine.

If you have any electronics component surplus stores in your area they also might have some Quadra 610 computers around. They were popular in schools once upon a time.


I hope this helps! Keep me posted on how things go. Kind regards,

Shawn
Shawn and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks Shawn. I accept your answer and must say you REALLY earned your fee!

EGAD