Display Problem - G4 Cube + 17" Cinema Display

cp005e

Registered
I have a G4 Cube with the OEM ATI Radeon card that Apple offered. It has been running great for several years, with a 17" flat-screen Apple Cinema Display purchased just a couple months later. I am running Mac OS 10.2.8.

But lately, I have started having a bizarre problem with the display. Basically, the screen just goes blank -- not black, but usually either gray or whatever color the desktop background is. Sometimes there are white/gray vertical lines running down the screen, and the mouse is visible and a big (approx. 1") square that moves around the screen. I can fix it temporarily by hitting the touch-button on the front of the display to force it the sleep, and then wake it up. Unfortunately, this happens very frequently - sometimes before I can even finish logging in after I boot the system. It does usually seem to be correlated to me DOING something, like typing or click the mouse.

I re-installed the OS 10.2.8 update last night, and was able to go for a few hours without it happening again, but when I came back to the computer this morning (I didn't shut it down), it only took a few seconds before the screen died again. Any help would be much appreciated!
 

mattao

Registered
Hi a friend of mine give me an old cube.

I got exactly the same problem as you.

Do you got an answer siince august?
 

Satcomer

In Geostationary Orbit
A friend gave you a cube? That's a good friend! First you should try to reset the PRAM and see if that helps. If it doesn't then you might have a bad video card, it is not beyond possibility.

A great up grade store for many Cube upgrades is OWC. You can get, cheap OS X upgrade disks and better video cards for the cube. If you can get that Cube going it could go for some serious money on Ebay because working Cubes are now collectables.
 

cp005e

Registered
I still don't have a resolution to this one. I've been booting in Safe Mode (press shift during boot and hold it for a REALLY LONG TIME until the boot window pops up and says 'Safe Boot' at the bottom under the progress bar), which is annoying because I have no sound, but otherwise alright.

Lately, though, I've been seeing the problem even in safe mode when the Energy Saver puts the display to sleep (since I have no sound, I've been sharing out all my music to the other 2 computers in the house, so I set it up to never put the machine to sleep). I've reset PRAM and all that jazz, switched monitors, to no effect. So I'm now looking for an inexpensive video card on Ebay to see if that fixes the problem.

Of course, my Windows-centric husband wants me to do a clean re-install, but backing up and restoring 100GB of music and movies isn't a process I relish. ;-)
 

cp005e

Registered
Just in case anyone finds this thread -

When I opened up the Cube and watched it while I booted up, I saw that the fan on the ATI Radeon video card was not spinning. I remembered that it had been noisy a few years ago, and when the noise went away I forgot about it. In fact, the noise going away meant that the fan wasn't spinning at all! So I am pretty sure that the card got damaged due to excessive heat.

I found an ATI Rage 128 video card on eBay that did not need a fan and bought it for about $40. I replaced the bracket on the new card with the one off my existing card, installed it, and voila! Problem solved. I mostly use this box as a file/music server now, so I really don't need the extra graphics capabilities - but you can find fancier graphics cards that will work in the Cube.

Hope this helps someone!
 
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