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10.4.6 JaS (same with 1.4.7 JaS) native hangs on Thinkpad X31 after about 30 minutes of no input


zbob
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IBM Thinkpad X31, 1.3GHz (non-PAE SSE2 Centrino), 1Gb RAM, 60Gb HD.

 

After some initial trouble (turned out my VmWare Workstation upgrade to 5.5 makes it impossible to install OSX on a non-PAE CPU -:-( ) I managed to install 10.4.6 JaS nativly. Wireless (Intel 2100) as expected does not work and I had to fixup the AC97 audio kext, but now the basics work. I'm very pleased with it speedwise (even Exposé is pretty snappy), but I have one huge problem - the system hangs after a little while. Note that I have not added anything other than the basic patches included on the JaS DVD (Intel basic, SSE2 and so on - no AMD stuff).

 

I always run on mains power, so the battery doesn't seem to enter into it, at least directly. The first time I booted after installation, I became preoccupied with something else for a while and 40 minutes after bootup, the machine froze. The screen is not garbled, but the clock has stopped on the title bar (which gives a pretty accurate "time of death") and no keyboard or mouse input gives any response. Unplugging the mains gives me the normal beep (probably controlled by the microcontroller or perhaps the BIOS), so there is at least some life in the old X31.

 

The second time I booted it I used it for about an hour and a half without problems - intalled my basic OSX stuff and marvelled at having another OSX machine in the house. Then (for testing purposes) I started iTunes and started streaming Proton Radio (as not to be idle), turned down the volume after a few minutes and went to bed, letting iTunes play house music to my couch. As I woke up this morning I found the machine hanging - about 20-30 minutes after I went to bed.

 

I've tried searching for this problem and I see some other person mentioning having hangs on his/her X31, but this was some time back and under VmWare. Others report no problem, but they seem to have another version of X31 - with another CPU version, which might be relevant, and other wireles hardware.

 

 

Any clues, anyone?

 

best,

 

-- zb

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I run a very similar system (except I have Broadcom wireless :angel:) and I think your problem is probably power-management related. In System Preferences -> Energy Saver set your machine to Better Performance when on mains power and this will stop it trying to enter sleep mode (which doesn't work on OS X due to Apple's removal of ACPI power management from the kernel).

 

If you search the forums for ACPI Power Management you will find a thread with a replacement power management bundle that at least stops the crashing and displays the battery status in the menu bar. Also Google for CPUThrottler and RadeonTool: the former will add minor clock throttling (on mine it only swaps between 1.4GHz and 1.2GHz) whilst the latter allows display blanking to turn off the backlight.

 

Unfortunately the lack of power management means that the X31 only lasts about 50 mins to 1 hour on a 4400 mAH battery and when I'm using mine as a mobile system I usually stick a media-bay battery in the media slice as well to get 2 hours of use. This is pretty bad considering the same rig runs for 6.5 hours under Windows :sorcerer:

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[snip]In System Preferences -> Energy Saver set your machine to Better Performance when on mains power and this will stop it trying to enter sleep mode[snip]

Unfortunately the lack of power management means that the X31 only lasts about 50 mins to 1 hour on a 4400 mAH battery [snip]

Thanks a lot for this clarification! I will try it out as soon as I get home. Power management is not something I know much about, but from what I can see CPU throttling seems to be clamped by the Apple kernel to CPU speeds above 1GHz. That sucks seriously on the Pentium M 718, which can go as low as 4W at 600MHz compared to 12W at 1.2GHz (and can only toggle 1.3 vs 1.2 GHz as it now stands and the rated power then doesn't change as the voltage has to remain the same at both these speeds).

 

My X31 sitting next to me, playing MP3s, should be able to do so quite nicely at 600MHz and if iTunes wants to spend CPU on rotating cover art or promote the iTunes Store through eye candy, an adaptive algorithm (like the one in ACPICPUThrottle) should be able to step the CPU up (or more likely, I can turn these graphics off). Off course one has to jump the CPU speed up a few steps once user input is detected, but that should be easy. There must be some reason why Apple chose to do this clamping (if it indeed is Apple's choice, but I could not find such clamping being done in ACPICPUThrottle from the source [v1.02], but I only looked briefly at main.c)...

 

Well, the most important thing for me is that OSX runs on my Thinkpad, secondly it is fan noise and only thirdly battery life. Hopefully your answer fixes the first one and normal idle instructions by the OSX kernel the second (assuming CPU load is reasonable). I was so impressed by how well OSX performed on the old hag (which turned 3 years last month), it now has another lease on life.

 

thanks a bunch for your help,

 

-- zb

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I was so impressed by how well OSX performed on the old hag (which turned 3 years last month), it now has another lease on life.

 

I've been using mine as my primary machine for about nine months now, ever since my G4 PB died. I'm about to buy a new laptop (maybe a MacBook, maybe not) and then play with OS X Server on the X31 :P

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I'm about to buy a new laptop (maybe a MacBook, maybe not) and then play with OS X Server on the X31 :blink:

 

Sounds like a good idea. Update on my X31. Turning off power save while on mains fixed the hanging issue. Installing the power management fixed the battery indicator and RadeonTool fixed LCD power off on lid close. Only artifact I've encountered is that now "System preferences -> Desktop & Screen Saver" crashes every time I open it (after abt. 5 secs), so I can't turn off the screen saver.

 

And... audio worked after fixing the kext permissions. Only WiFi and Bluetooth to go, but I guess it won't be easy. Have given up on the Intel 2100 built-in WiFi, but I have a few PCMCIA cards lying about that might work. Any idea if the PCMCIA slot works? My "About this Mac" - > "PC Cards" has "no information..".

 

thanks - my X31 is restored to glory.

 

best,

 

-- zb

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  • 5 weeks later...

Thought I'd give an update:

 

- Installing AGPGart.kext gave me OpenGL so the screen saver stopped crashing. I could then turn it off.

- Installing IOPCIfamily.kext from 10.4.4 gave me PCCard support

- Adding a Linksys WPC54GS card then gave me Airport Extreme support with WPA

 

Remaining issues:

- Onboard Intel 2100B WiFi doesn't work and will probably never work. I'd use the Linksys PCcard anyway, so it is no big deal.

- No Core Image or Quartz Extreme (the latter is supposedly not possible with this old Radeon). The former should be possible somehow.

- The CPU fan moves a lot of cool air, which means it is running for no good reason. Makes noise.

- I need to make a keyboard map for X31 Norwegian

- The screen darkens when power is unplugged and the keys to brighten it has no OSX support.

 

Also:

- Firewire, USB and Ethernet works out of the box.

- Running OSX from an external USB drive works well. Don't think it is possible to install to a USB drive, but once installed it runs. For some reason X31 has a problem recognizing the USB HD sometimes, but once booting all is well.

 

All in all - I love it. I'd buy it if Apple let me and offered support (I'd even buy a portable Apple if they had one in the same league as the X-series - the MacBooks wiegh a ton). They should make the whole thing open source. It would blow KDE and GNOME away in an instant and become a real threat to Windows. Of course my desktop is a real Apple.

 

 

thanks for all your help,

 

zbob

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