iBook and ATI video

So I installed ATI Displays for Mac OS X version 4.5.6….

Little did I know….

My iBook (G4 late 2004, 1.2Ghz 12″) started randomly locking up. Easiest way to trigger the lockup was by starting up matlab.

After some panicing on my part I’ve decided that maybe it’s my RAM that is failing – matlab tends to gobble up all the RAM you have and then some. Of course this happened just when I urgently needed to graph something that was due in a couple of hours.

I’ve re-seated the RAM in the iBook,
downloaded and installed memtest for Mac OS X , booted into single user mode (CMD-S on bootup), and run memtest all 3 -L.

Memtest took forever (1 gig stick + quarter gig on board), but didn’t find any problems.

So while in single user mode, I’ve started looking into /var/log/system.log.

Found this little gem:

Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: ** ASIC Hang Log Start **
Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: 0x01005c63 4f000217 00000007 00000003
Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: 0x0200a859 c0001c04 00000002 00000008
Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: 0x00004443 01e1f827 00000e0e 80010140
Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: 0x4000ffff 001e0000 51b3a220 72001005
Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: 0x080a0f00 00000000 040100f8 80000003
Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: 0x0008bbbb 00000002
Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: 0:0x000101ce
Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: 1:0x10014020
Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: 2:0x00000002
Nov 23 11:53:32 gilva kernel[0]: 3:0x000101ce

[about 1020 lines more of similar kernel messages]

Nov 23 11:53:42 gilva kernel[0]: 1021:0xffffffff
Nov 23 11:53:42 gilva kernel[0]: 1022:0xffffffff
Nov 23 11:53:42 gilva kernel[0]: 1023:0xffffffff
Nov 23 11:53:42 gilva kernel[0]: 0x56500bb3
Nov 23 11:53:42 gilva kernel[0]: ** ASIC Hang Log End **
Nov 23 11:53:42 gilva kernel[0]: ATIRadeon::submit_buffer: Overflowed block waiting for FIFO space.   Have 5, need 6. RBBM_STATUS 0x80010140. VAP_CNTL_STATUS 0x00000002
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: ** ASIC Hang Log Start **
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 0x01005c63 4f000217 00000007 00000003
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 0x0200a859 c0001c04 00000002 00000008
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 0x00004443 01e1f827 00000e0e 80010140
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 0x4000ffff 001e0000 51b3a220 72001005
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 0x080a0f00 00000000 040100f8 80000003
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 0x0008bbbb 00000002
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 0:0x000101ce
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 1:0x10014020
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 2:0x00000002
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 3:0x000101ce
Nov 23 11:53:53 gilva kernel[0]: 4:0x10016020

[ ditto ]

Nov 23 11:54:03 gilva kernel[0]: 1021:0xffffffff
Nov 23 11:54:03 gilva kernel[0]: 1022:0xffffffff
Nov 23 11:54:03 gilva kernel[0]: 1023:0xffffffff
Nov 23 11:54:03 gilva kernel[0]: 0x56500bb3
Nov 23 11:54:03 gilva kernel[0]: ** ASIC Hang Log End **
Nov 23 11:54:03 gilva kernel[0]: ATIRadeon::submit_buffer: Overflowed block waiting for FIFO space.   Have 5, need 6. RBBM_STATUS 0x80010140. VAP_CNTL_STATUS 0x00000002
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: ** ASIC Hang Log Start **
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 0x01005c63 4f000217 00000007 00000003
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 0x0200a859 c0001c04 00000002 00000008
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 0x00004443 01e1f823 00000e0e 80010140
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 0x4000ffff 001e0000 51b3a220 72001005
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 0x080a0f00 00000000 040100f8 80000003
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 0x0008bbbb 00000002
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 0:0x000101ce
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 1:0x10014020
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 2:0x00000002
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 3:0x000101ce
Nov 23 11:54:15 gilva kernel[0]: 4:0x10016020
[...]

Based on what I understand, right now the problem is either in the hardware of the system (I’ll run the system through AHT paces once I make it home), or in the ATI Displays driver.

Joys. Somehow my bet is on ATI Displays kernel drivers being buggy. This agrees with me:

On Dec 29, 2004, at 9:37 AM, Avelino Santa Ana Jr. wrote:

Dec 27 21:52:27 localhost kernel: ATIRadeon::submit_buffer: Overflowed block waiting for FIFO space. Have 4, need 6. RBBM_STATUS 0x80116100. VAP_CNTL_STATUS 0xd4f40002


Howard Shere
http://blogs.greendragon.com/index.php/gdc
Altair 8800a to Mac OS X so far...

Hi,
Are you using vertex programs in your port? What hardware are you using? Is it an R200 based chipset (Radeon 8500-9200)? If so, I recall seeing similar issues with a couple of games I beta tested. The problem had to do with the R200 drivers and vertex programs. I'm not sure how the developers solved them.

I just glanced in the archives and Nicholas Francis noted a cause in his app (fog and vertex programs). This was in May 18, 2004 "Re: ARB vartex program crashbug"

[...]

I’ve run 4.5.1 for months with no problems, so I guess I will be reverting to that version, and will see if the problem went away.

Update 20051207: I broght iBook home that day, and run the extended tests using Apple Hardware Diagnostics disk. It passed all tests without any problems, although a gig of Kingston RAM took about 20 minutes to check.

Once I booted the system back up, it locked up about a minute after loging in.
I rebooted, and it locked up at the blue screen that shows for a few seconds while various services are loading (first graphic screen, essentially).

At that point I were still thinking that maybe something is wrong with my install of the OS.

I tried booting from a bootable CD of 10.3.4 (Some repair disk I downloaded a good long while ago, that essentially was starting up, creating RAM disk, and starting 10.3.4 to Finder, with a few diagnostic applications and Terminal.app), but system also locked up as soon as graphic mode started. By this point I knew that the probem is not with the OS. When I booted from the 10.3.5 install DVD that was originally shipped with the system, and it locked up, I knew for certain that the problem is with the video circuitry on the logic board.

I broght it to my local authorized service provider (who gets no link and remains nameless, because they are not great), their technican checked it out, confirmed that the logic board is malfunctioning, and ordered a replacement logic board. At this time system is less then a year old (bought late december 2004).

4 thoughts on “iBook and ATI video

  1. I have the same problem with a brand new iBook 1.42 GHz. It crashes at least once a day more or less randomly, usually when doing something graphical (has crashed a couple of times when switching to Dashboard). Error message in system.log is indicating some problem with ATIRadeon9700; today there was even a ASIC Hang Log, or at least part of it. Usually there is just the kernel message for ATI Radeon.

    Service center put a new hard disk in, but the problem persisted. Hardware diagnostics show nothign, memtest tells everything is OK. Apple phone support can’t say anything about the problem. I have 1GB of RAM, 512M on-board and a 512M Kingston chip approved by Apple.

    I’ll take it back to the service center in a couple of days, hope they can find a solution. But it seems this problem has been around for a while; I found a WWW page from May 2004 reporting just the same error message & crashing while playing American Army.

  2. Based on my experience, this is an OpenGL issue if it happens with a single specific application, and a logic board issue if it happens with different applications or operating system in general.

    In your situation, I’d consider getting in touch either with the local certified Apple serivice provider, or directly with Apple, and seeing if they will replace the logic board for you.

    You mention that you have 512 megs of RAM on board, so you have a newer revision of iBook then I do, but I don’t know what kinds of warranty Apple offers in Finland. If your system is recently (a month or so) out of warranty, you can attempt to call Apple, and see if they will sell you an AppleCare backdated a month. In North America, Apple will do that, if you call them and talk to them. Also in Canada cost of AppleCare is significantly less then the costs of out of warranty logic board replacement.

    Good luck.

  3. Visited a local Apple Service Provider and they agreed to replace the logic board, even though any diagnostics programs they have didn’t show any problems. Warranty covers it of course, as the computer is only 2 months old and has had this problem right from the beginning.

    The technician I talked with said that as their diagnostic tools seem to be unusable with this problem they have no way to know if the replacement board is also malfunctioning or not.

    — pekka

  4. My guess is that that Apple has some kind of a manufacturing problem related with iBooks or ATI graphics chips, which only shows up with new more efficient ATI drivers (Tiger) and when using more complicated graphics features. Most of the iBooks are OK, but there is a minority that simply doesn’t work.

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