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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > G5 crashes repeatedly....

G5 crashes repeatedly....
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suemcc
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Sep 10, 2003, 08:33 PM
 
Hello,

Yesterday I received my new G5 (OS 10.2.7) and I've spent much of the last 2 days installing various programs, etc. I am having a number of problems that have reoccurred many times. They include:

1) I am experiencing very bizarre crashes in which, while using a variety of programs, the screen (a 20" cinema flatscreen from Apple) suddenly goes blank and the hard drive sounds like it is whirring. Sometimes the screen reactivates spontaneously then goes off again (accompanied by more whirring/grinding sounds fromt he hard drive); other times nothing I do (Control-Alt-Esc, Esc alone, pressing Shift, whatever) will reactivate it and I have to restart the computer by pressing the power key for >5 sec. This has happened repeatedly and without warning. I haven't noticed a particular "trigger" yet...

2) Various key commands seem not to work. For example, I was trying to boot the computer from a Norton Utilities 8.0 CD and neither holding down the "C" key nor the "option" key enabled me to boot from the CD. Also, the Setup Guide that accompanied the computer said that clicking on a program icon while holding down some other key (I've forgotten which, would have to look it up) would reveal the various folders that support the program. This didn't work.

Are others experiencing these nightmares? Did I get a dud??? Help!
     
Bbazzarrakk
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Sep 10, 2003, 09:04 PM
 
2) Various key commands seem not to work. For example, I was trying to boot the computer from a Norton Utilities 8.0 CD and neither holding down the "C" key nor the "option" key enabled me to boot from the CD.
Well, I'm no expert and my G5 hasn't shipped yet, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that the G5's firmware won't boot off an OS lower than 10.2.7. Apple has done this with machines in the past. If the G5 doesn't absolutely REQUIRE the 64 bit additions in that version, other versions could still make it look quite poor performance wise. Apple would want to avoid that, I'm guessing.

Baz
     
tony21
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Sep 10, 2003, 09:10 PM
 
1) I am experiencing very bizarre crashes in which, while using a variety of programs, the screen (a 20" cinema flatscreen from Apple) suddenly goes blank and the hard drive sounds like it is whirring. Sometimes the screen reactivates spontaneously then goes off again (accompanied by more whirring/grinding sounds fromt he hard drive);

Ive hade a 1.6 G5 for a couple weeks, I also have a 20' cinema . For the first week I noticed that same thing happening where the screen went blank and the hard drive made a noise. It turns out I was bumping the touch sensitive power "light" on the lower right side which made the computer go to sleep...
     
rlmorel
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Sep 10, 2003, 09:26 PM
 
I am pretty certain you would be unable to boot from the Norton CD. I think it highly unlikely that it could have 10.2.7 on it, which is what you need...

"An argument isn't just saying 'No it isn't'!" "Yes it is!" "NO IT ISN'T!"
     
reader50
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Sep 10, 2003, 10:27 PM
 
...
1) I am experiencing very bizarre crashes in which, while using a variety of programs, the screen (a 20" cinema flatscreen from Apple) suddenly goes blank and the hard drive sounds like it is whirring. Sometimes the screen reactivates spontaneously then goes off again (accompanied by more whirring/grinding sounds fromt he hard drive); other times nothing I do (Control-Alt-Esc, Esc alone, pressing Shift, whatever) will reactivate it and I have to restart the computer by pressing the power key for >5 sec. This has happened repeatedly and without warning. I haven't noticed a particular "trigger" yet...
This sounds like sleep activation, like tony21 said. That, or one monitor corner could be set to activate the screen saver.

2) Various key commands seem not to work. For example, I was trying to boot the computer from a Norton Utilities 8.0 CD and neither holding down the "C" key nor the "option" key enabled me to boot from the CD. Also, the Setup Guide that accompanied the computer said that clicking on a program icon while holding down some other key (I've forgotten which, would have to look it up) would reveal the various folders that support the program. This didn't work.
...
Bbazzarrakk is correct. New Macs will not boot from CDs that came out before the new Macs. As for the key combination, you are thinking of the way to view package contents. Most Mac OSX applications are packages (folders) with various supporting files inside. You can reach them by calling up a contextual menu and selecting Show Package Contents. You bring up a contextual menu by either Right-clicking on the icon (if you have a multibutton mouse) or by holding down Control while clicking on the icon.

Older applications are single files, there will be no package contents to look over.
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 10, 2003, 10:33 PM
 
[QUOTE]Originally posted by reader50:
[B]This sounds like sleep activation, like tony21 said. That, or one monitor corner could be set to activate the screen saver.

That's what I thought initially -- but then why won't the computer wake up again when I hit the shift key or any other key for that matter? It doesn't behave as if it's sleeping! It is completely and totally unresponsive...
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 10, 2003, 10:40 PM
 
Ive hade a 1.6 G5 for a couple weeks, I also have a 20' cinema . For the first week I noticed that same thing happening where the screen went blank and the hard drive made a noise. It turns out I was bumping the touch sensitive power "light" on the lower right side which made the computer go to sleep...

Did it then wake up easily? Also, I'm sure I'm not bumping the monitor power light....
     
tony21
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Sep 10, 2003, 11:04 PM
 
Originally posted by suemcc:
Ive hade a 1.6 G5 for a couple weeks, I also have a 20' cinema . For the first week I noticed that same thing happening where the screen went blank and the hard drive made a noise. It turns out I was bumping the touch sensitive power "light" on the lower right side which made the computer go to sleep...

Did it then wake up easily? Also, I'm sure I'm not bumping the monitor power light....
yeah it woke up easily, thats really strang. When it does that can you touch the screen power light? does any thing happen?
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 10, 2003, 11:34 PM
 
Originally posted by tony21:
yeah it woke up easily, thats really strang. When it does that can you touch the screen power light? does any thing happen?

If I touch it for >5 seconds, usually (but not always) I can get the computer to restart. Nothing other than that.....

Argh!
     
willab
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Sep 10, 2003, 11:55 PM
 
Try calling Apple?
Dual 1.8 GHz G5
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suemcc  (op)
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Sep 10, 2003, 11:58 PM
 
re: Most Mac OSX applications are packages (folders) with various supporting files inside. You can reach them by calling up a contextual menu and selecting Show Package Contents. You bring up a contextual menu by either Right-clicking on the icon (if you have a multibutton mouse) or by holding down Control while clicking on the icon.


Yes, this is exactly what I've tried to do to "Show Package Contents" and try (for example) to access my Explorer bookmarks -- holding down Control while clicking the icon gave -- NOTHING!
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 11, 2003, 12:00 AM
 
Originally posted by willab:
Try calling Apple?
OK! I was hoping for a miracle solution from those on this forum, but I think that's probably the best thing to do... Will let everyone know what I learn. (Or, will let everyone know if I return the G5 and go back to my old reliable G4......)
     
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Sep 11, 2003, 12:12 AM
 
Should I cancel my Dual 2Ghz order?
Come see me and my fast computer at:
http://www.geniesongs.com/personal.html

     
reader50
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Sep 11, 2003, 12:42 AM
 
Originally posted by suemcc:
OK! I was hoping for a miracle solution from those on this forum, but I think that's probably the best thing to do... Will let everyone know what I learn. (Or, will let everyone know if I return the G5 and go back to my old reliable G4......)
Another possibility. I worked with a flakey flatscreen iMac once, which had a habit of turning off if you nudged it. Turned out the power cord wasn't pushed all the way into the unit, nudging it would interrupt the power for a moment. It usually rebooted afterwards, once we had completed the animal sacrifices.

About your Exploder bookmarks, they are not in the application package. They are in your Preferences folder. If you are a regular user, they will be located at:
/Users/(you)/Library/Preferences/Explorer/Favorites.html
If you are the root user, they will be located at:
/private/var/root/Library/Preferences/Explorer/Favorites.html

As for viewing Exploder's contents, here is an alternate way. In the Finder, go to the menu Go -> Go to Folder.... Type in the path /Applications/Internet Explorer/Contents and click the Go button. That will get you into IE's package. Adjust the filepath if IE is somewhere else, like an Internet subfolder.
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 11, 2003, 01:04 AM
 
Originally posted by reader50:
Another possibility. I worked with a flakey flatscreen iMac once, which had a habit of turning off if you nudged it. Turned out the power cord wasn't pushed all the way into the unit, nudging it would interrupt the power for a moment. It usually rebooted afterwards, once we had completed the animal sacrifices.

About your Exploder bookmarks, they are not in the application package. They are in your Preferences folder. If you are a regular user, they will be located at:
/Users/(you)/Library/Preferences/Explorer/Favorites.html
If you are the root user, they will be located at:
/private/var/root/Library/Preferences/Explorer/Favorites.html

As for viewing Exploder's contents, here is an alternate way. In the Finder, go to the menu Go -> Go to Folder.... Type in the path /Applications/Internet Explorer/Contents and click the Go button. That will get you into IE's package. Adjust the filepath if IE is somewhere else, like an Internet subfolder.

Thank you! I will check out all of your suggestions -- FYI, I was able to import my bookmarks through Explorer itself ("import Favorites"); perhaps this is the route I should have taken initially.

(By the way, on my G5 the highly-touted Safari internet browser was VERY slow, orders of magnitude slower than Explorer. Given the rave reviews I have heard about Safari, I was very disappointed. My G5 came with Safari installed, so I gave it a go....)
     
awcopus
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Sep 11, 2003, 02:02 AM
 
Whoa. Let us all hope that we are hearing about exceptional cases here. Apple can ill afford another Klendathoo.*
     
Link
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Sep 11, 2003, 02:09 AM
 
Just out of curio.. have you made sure.. as in ABSOLUTELY sure that the power cable is plugged in ALL the way?

Unplug it, check it, push it in as hard as you can, maybe wiggle or try to, just to be sure, or try another power cable.

Some of that funky stuff could very well be that. My g4 used to kernel panic all the time and when I replaced the power cable it's been rock solid since
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zigzag
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Sep 11, 2003, 02:57 AM
 
The review at macintouch.com mentioned that the power cord requires quite a bit of effort to seat fully - make sure you have done this.
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 11, 2003, 03:14 PM
 
OK, here's the update on the annoying G% crashes:

1) Replugged in everything, very firmly. Computer crashed and turned off a few minutes later.

2) Called Apple. They had me reset the PMU/PRAM. Compuer crashed and turned off spontaneously 3 times in the next 20 minutes.

3) Called Apple. Ran diagnostic revealing a serious error (catalog: overlapped extent allocation). Tech suggested I use 3rd party software (Norton Utilities or Disk Warrior) to repair. When I pointed out that one cannot boot a G5 from these CDs, she said "oh, you're right." I then had to erase the hard drive and reinstall the operating system etc.

TWO FULL DAYS DOWN THE TUBES, and another whole day expected to reload my required programs and files.

Grrrrr.... I'm just hoping that the problem is fixed. The moral of the story is (according to the tech at Apple): Always do an erase and reinstall on every new computer from Apple, BEFORE putting all your stuff on it. I only wish this had been in the setup guide...

I'll let everyone know if the problem starts to reoccur; barring that, adios.
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 11, 2003, 03:15 PM
 
Originally posted by suemcc:
OK, here's the update on the annoying G% crashes:
Oops, sorry about the typo, that was G5 crashes!
     
jcadam
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Sep 11, 2003, 03:33 PM
 
Originally posted by suemcc:
OK, here's the update on the annoying G% crashes:

1) Replugged in everything, very firmly. Computer crashed and turned off a few minutes later.

2) Called Apple. They had me reset the PMU/PRAM. Compuer crashed and turned off spontaneously 3 times in the next 20 minutes.

3) Called Apple. Ran diagnostic revealing a serious error (catalog: overlapped extent allocation). Tech suggested I use 3rd party software (Norton Utilities or Disk Warrior) to repair. When I pointed out that one cannot boot a G5 from these CDs, she said "oh, you're right." I then had to erase the hard drive and reinstall the operating system etc.

TWO FULL DAYS DOWN THE TUBES, and another whole day expected to reload my required programs and files.

Grrrrr.... I'm just hoping that the problem is fixed. The moral of the story is (according to the tech at Apple): Always do an erase and reinstall on every new computer from Apple, BEFORE putting all your stuff on it. I only wish this had been in the setup guide...

I'll let everyone know if the problem starts to reoccur; barring that, adios.
Righto, the first thing I do when I receive a new mac is verify that it works in as-is condition. Then I wipe the Hard Drive and re-install. This also allows me to get rid of some of the extra apps and other crap I don't need.
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GreenwoodMO
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Sep 11, 2003, 03:36 PM
 
Maybe these problems are in the OS. I know the OS that comes with the G5 will only work on the G5 and is a modified Jaguar release. Panther might be the solution to these problems.

Just a ponder.
     
cambro
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Sep 11, 2003, 03:43 PM
 
Originally posted by suemcc:
(By the way, on my G5 the highly-touted Safari internet browser was VERY slow, orders of magnitude slower than Explorer. Given the rave reviews I have heard about Safari, I was very disappointed. My G5 came with Safari installed, so I gave it a go....)
Bzzzt, sorry, but there is no way this can be true...either that or suemcc has NO IDEA what an order of magnitude is and IE and Safari are close speed wise. On every single system I have seen, IE is consistently the slowest browser, and Safari the fastest at *most* rendering. Why would this NOT be the case on the G5??

I hate to say it...but with <10 posts, a broken G5, and IE that blows Safari out of the water...do we have...GASP...a troll??? Maybe even from Redmond? lol
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 11, 2003, 03:58 PM
 
Originally posted by cambro:
Bzzzt, sorry, but there is no way this can be true...either that or suemcc has NO IDEA what an order of magnitude is and IE and Safari are close speed wise. On every single system I have seen, IE is consistently the slowest browser, and Safari the fastest at *most* rendering. Why would this NOT be the case on the G5??

I hate to say it...but with <10 posts, a broken G5, and IE that blows Safari out of the water...do we have...GASP...a troll??? Maybe even from Redmond? lol

Thanks so much for your note of warm support. I assume that the problem with Safari was related to the catalog error. I am a scientist and a professor at a respected university and, yes, I do know what an order of magnitude is.
     
reader50
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Sep 11, 2003, 06:25 PM
 
Concerning browsers, most of us have our preferred browsers tweaked for speed, such as image and banner settings. Trying a new browser would be comparing your old tweaked browser to a new one with everything turned on and nothing turned off.

I'm still thinking on your G5 problem. The catalog error was likely caused by the crashing, with incomplete data written to disk. If so, it is more likely a symptom than a cuase. Are you plugged into a surge suppressor? Also, do your room lights flicker, indicating power irregularities? If your G5 is getting unreliable power, crashes would be expected.

After a kernel panic and subsequent reboot, you can check the logfile located at:
/Library/Logs/panic.log which will contain the text of the kernel panic. This may contain hints about what caused the failure, if it was software or certain types of hardware failure. Note, this logfile will not be present if you have not had any kernel panics.

Another place to check is /private/var/log/system.log which contains the text of the last few restarts. It's less likely that you will find anything useful about the crash turn up here, but it sometimes happens.
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 11, 2003, 06:55 PM
 
Originally posted by reader50:
I'm still thinking on your G5 problem. The catalog error was likely caused by the crashing, with incomplete data written to disk. If so, it is more likely a symptom than a cuase. Are you plugged into a surge suppressor? Also, do your room lights flicker, indicating power irregularities? If your G5 is getting unreliable power, crashes would be expected.
Thanks for the suggestion -- I do have a surge suppressor and there are no obvious power problems. (Same line that has run a G4 for many years, including today since I have not yet dismantled the old computer!)

I've just spent over an hour on the phone with an Apple technical rep. The disk erase and reinstall did not cure the crash problem, and running a hardware diagnostic has failed to reveal any problems. The tech rep believes that there is a hardware defect, either with the hard drive or the monitor/power, and that whichever is defective needs to be returned and replaced. I am now using the new G5 with my old monitor; if this pairing is stable then the new monitor is the problem. If the computer continues to crash, though, Apple wants the G5 returned directly to them to figure out what the heck is going on. In fact, the rep almost sounded excited about the prospect of dissecting one of the new machines....

I have asked every tech rep to whom I have spoken (and there have been many today!) whether they are receiving many complaints about G5 problems. There are very few G5s out in the field right now so they haven't gotten many calls yet. I feel very unlucky to have been one of the first. As a Mac user for 14+ years, this is the first major problem that I've had with Apple computers!

Thanks to everyone who offered such excellent and constructive suggestions. I deeply appreciate your advice and input!
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 11, 2003, 06:58 PM
 
Originally posted by reader50:
After a kernel panic and subsequent reboot, you can check the logfile located at:
/Library/Logs/panic.log which will contain the text of the kernel panic. This may contain hints about what caused the failure, if it was software or certain types of hardware failure. Note, this logfile will not be present if you have not had any kernel panics.
p.s. The failures were not kernel panics -- the monitor simply goes black and the power light goes out...
     
voyageur
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Sep 11, 2003, 08:26 PM
 
Sure sounds like you have a dud.
Our new dual G5 did need a PRAM reset upon intial bootup, but since then has been fine (all of one week, knock on wood). Also, Safari is VERY FAST, unlike on yours. Other apps are also very fast. No kernel panics, no unexplained shut downs.
     
olePigeon
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Sep 11, 2003, 08:29 PM
 
If it's not software, maybe it's a hardware problem?

Maybe your monitor card got jiggled during shipping, or RAM, or something else. Try unplugging everything from your G5, open it up, and reseed the PCI and/or AGP cards, replug in your HD, and then replug in your monitor. Something could have gotten knocked loose.
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Boochie
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Sep 11, 2003, 09:24 PM
 
I certainly hope that this terrible experience proves to be the exception rather than "the rule" for new G5 owners. Awhile back there was a thread on this forum as to the merits of buying a first-gen G5 machine or waiting for the second rev in early 2004 (or whenever). I had been in the camp of going for it ASAP, but now I'm starting to wonder...
     
Big Mac
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Sep 12, 2003, 03:42 AM
 
This is the first I've read of such G5 problems. It's too bad a new Mac user had to experience this. Oh, and I imagine he was probably talking about the Windows version of IE when he mentioned how fast it was.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
mmurray
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Sep 12, 2003, 06:17 AM
 
Originally posted by Big Mac:
This is the first I've read of such G5 problems. It's too bad a new Mac user had to experience this. Oh, and I imagine he was probably talking about the Windows version of IE when he mentioned how fast it was.

Ah - I think you misread something


As a Mac user for 14+ years, this is the first major problem that I've had with Apple computers!
Michael
     
videian28
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Sep 12, 2003, 08:37 AM
 
can't hurt to go in the machine and reseat everything

I had that happen on my dual g4, the superdrive never showed up, the cable had wriggled a little loose in shipping...

check vid card, memory, all cables are seated well

a simple rise in temperature can cause "chip creep"
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 12, 2003, 03:03 PM
 
This is what I believe (and hope!) will be my final update on the G5 situation.

As suggested, I reseated everything inside the G5 then hooked it up to my old monitor. The good news is that the G5 actually performed beautifully with the old monitor. It ran for almost 24 hours without any problems, suggesting that either something had indeed been loose or that the new monitor was the source of the problem. This morning I hooked the G5 back up to the new 20" Apple monitor, and the system crashed about 50 minutes later. So it looks like the monitor itself is defective; I have no interest in troubleshooting this any further because my university bookstore accepts returns within 7 days. Back it goes.

I'm happy to say that the G5 itself is super, so those considering a purchase should not view my bad luck as a reason not to go for it!

To those who responded, thanks again for all of your help and input. I really appreciated your advice and suggestions!
     
cambro
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Sep 12, 2003, 03:16 PM
 
Hey suemcc...sorry for the fun-poking earlier. I'm genuinely sorry you had a problem but I'm very happy it all worked out in the end. These boards are great that way.

Best of luck in your research on that smokin' G5.

--Cambro

P.S. I'm a scientist and professor at a major research university too...hence the skepticism!
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 12, 2003, 04:46 PM
 
Originally posted by cambro:
Hey suemcc...sorry for the fun-poking earlier. I'm genuinely sorry you had a problem but I'm very happy it all worked out in the end. These boards are great that way.
Thanks, Cambro! The forum was indeed very helpful. I learned a lot from it and am glad folks directed my attention to the monitor and power cable as a possible source of the problem. I would have been completely focused on the G5 itself were it not for that!
     
gadster
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Sep 14, 2003, 06:45 AM
 
Originally posted by suemcc:
Thank you! I will check out all of your suggestions -- FYI, I was able to import my bookmarks through Explorer itself ("import Favorites"); perhaps this is the route I should have taken initially.

(By the way, on my G5 the highly-touted Safari internet browser was VERY slow, orders of magnitude slower than Explorer. Given the rave reviews I have heard about Safari, I was very disappointed. My G5 came with Safari installed, so I gave it a go....)
You might want to give Safari more of a go. Maybe the pages you were loading hadn't been cached yet?

2
e-gads
     
suemcc  (op)
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Sep 14, 2003, 11:46 AM
 
Originally posted by gadster:
You might want to give Safari more of a go. Maybe the pages you were loading hadn't been cached yet?
Yes, I have -- and it's now amazingly fast, all previous problems have disappeared! (It was previously taking >1 minute to load pages that were taking less than a second in IE, so there was some major problem the first time around...) Found a way to import a new set of bookmarks from IE to Safari (the original, automatic import occured prior to setting up IE with my old bookmarks; it's a pain to re-import with Safari but I assume this forum has been through that issue a thousand times by now!) Anyway, Safari is running beautifully now. Thanks!
     
   
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