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ktinkel
04-10-2005, 12:54 PM
For several months now, whenever I boot my Mac G4, the startup screen is grey, with a black apple and grey timing whirligig. It sometimes lasts a little long (though not lately), but otherwise has no consequences that I can see.

I looked it up in Pogue’s Missing Manual, and he says it might mean that I need a firmware update. However, when I look at Apple’s table, my computer does not need any firmware updates at all.

I searched on the web, and found several discussions suggesting a couple of possibilities:

— Booting from a non-stock hard drive. But I am using the one that came with the machine (although there is a second drive also installed).

— Conflict with some USB device. That sounds possible — this may have begun about the time I added a reader for camera memory or moved a scanner to a USB hub. Obviously should take them all off, then re-add them one at a time to see which one (or ones) is causing the problem. Assuming, of course, that any of them is.

But before I spend a couple of hours unplugging, restarting, plugging, etc., my question is does it matter? It may be taking me half a minute longer to restart — are there are other consequences?

annc
04-10-2005, 02:31 PM
For several months now, whenever I boot my Mac G4, the startup screen is grey, with a black apple and grey timing whirligig. It sometimes lasts a little long (though not lately), but otherwise has no consequences that I can see.

I looked it up in Pogue’s Missing Manual, and he says it might mean that I need a firmware update. However, when I look at Apple’s table, my computer does not need any firmware updates at all.

I searched on the web, and found several discussions suggesting a couple of possibilities:

— Booting from a non-stock hard drive. But I am using the one that came with the machine (although there is a second drive also installed).

— Conflict with some USB device. That sounds possible — this may have begun about the time I added a reader for camera memory or moved a scanner to a USB hub. Obviously should take them all off, then re-add them one at a time to see which one (or ones) is causing the problem. Assuming, of course, that any of them is.

But before I spend a couple of hours unplugging, restarting, plugging, etc., my question is does it matter? It may be taking me half a minute longer to restart — are there are other consequences?I think my startup screen might be grey too, but can't remember, because I rarely restart it, and when I do, I tend to press the button and then walk away immediately, without even looking at the screen.

I did notice after the last update that the startup was a lot slower. As soon as I post this and read the other messages, I'll restart mine and report back.

annc
04-10-2005, 03:10 PM
For several months now, whenever I boot my Mac G4, the startup screen is grey, with a black apple and grey timing whirligig. It sometimes lasts a little long (though not lately), but otherwise has no consequences that I can see.Yes, my startup screen is also grey. It turns blue briefly before the progress thermometer appears, also on a blue background.

The blue screen of death in Windows NT4.x turned me off blue screens for life, I'm afraid, and as my machine works well, I'm inclined to ignore it.

Michael Rowley
04-10-2005, 03:49 PM
Ann:

turned me off blue screens for life

White letters on a blue background give less glare than black on white at night.

annc
04-10-2005, 04:01 PM
White letters on a blue background give less glare than black on white at night.It wasn't anything to do with the readability, Michael, just the fear and loathing caused by the well-known phenomenon in NT4.x. A restart required, followed by lots of checking to see what effect it had had on the work I'd been doing. As I was using FileMaker Pro for most of my work, I would have to do some time-consuming data recovery every time.

Shane Stanley
04-10-2005, 04:08 PM
But before I spend a couple of hours unplugging, restarting, plugging, etc., my question is does it matter?

No, unless it starts taking ages. It's just doing some checking and tidying up.

Shane

ktinkel
04-10-2005, 05:00 PM
No, unless it starts taking ages. It's just doing some checking and tidying up.Oh, good. I really do not want to have to deal with it!

Merci beaucoups! :-)

Michael Rowley
04-11-2005, 07:37 AM
Ann:

It wasn't anything to do with the readability

I know that. But I mentioned blue backgrounds because I know that the relative illumination (should that be luminance?) is so different at night. When I used DOS, I was always playing with the colours: I finally decided on yellow on a green background.

Coming back to the greying of the screen: Windows XP does it before it closes, and it's likely that Mac OS does something similar. I think it saves resources at times when what goes on on the screen is less important than what the CPU is doing.

annc
04-11-2005, 12:11 PM
Windows XP does it before it closes, and it's likely that Mac OS does something similar. I think it saves resources at times when what goes on on the screen is less important than what the CPU is doing.Mac OS X doesn't do that. It goes to blue and then black. <g> My Win2K laptop also goes to blue then black. The grey screen Kathleen is talking about is at startup, and it has a dark grey Apple logo in the centre of the screen. My machine has been doing it for a long time., but still works well, so I'm ignoring it.

Michael Rowley
04-11-2005, 03:21 PM
Ann:

The grey screen Kathleen is talking about is at startup

Yes, I read that; but I think the principle is the same: why show pictures in colour when no one's very interested, they just want to get it over with.

ktinkel
04-11-2005, 05:41 PM
The grey screen Kathleen is talking about is at startup

Yes, I read that; but I think the principle is the same: why show pictures in colour when no one's very interested, they just want to get it over with.The point here is that it is a noted symptom of a problem; the question is whether it is a problem I need to deal with. Seems not.

But this is not a normal state. But on a scale of 0 to 10, I guess it is a 1.5, so I will not be focusing on it for the time being! <g>

Steve Rindsberg
04-12-2005, 06:24 PM
Hm. Is this a sign of problems on G-series computers or ???
I ask because my iBook has ALWAYS come up with a gray screen, darker gray bitten apple with a dark gray whirligig below. Eventually it changes to a blue screen with the blue-jelly apple and Mac OS X logo.

Has it been busted ever since I got it??? ;-)

djb
04-12-2005, 08:30 PM
I ask because my iBook has ALWAYS come up with a gray screen, darker gray bitten apple with a dark gray whirligig below. Eventually it changes to a blue screen with the blue-jelly apple and Mac OS X logo.

I've been trying to figure that out too. All our OS X Macs start with a grey (gray, Steve) screen that switches to blue. Have done since 10.0, IIRC.

Steve Rindsberg
04-13-2005, 05:46 PM
Hmm. So any weirdness is MY fault. ;-)

As to gray/grey: I tend to swap between spellings at whim. Equal opportunity for all.

mact
04-16-2005, 02:48 PM
My OS9 box B&WG3/400 seems to come up differently depending on it's whim. Sometimes it doesn't sync with the hig res display until right before it's finished booting, other times it does it right away. Sometimes it dosn't boot all the way at all.

I let it behave how it wants to. If I don't like it, i use the reset button. Bad Computer!

my emac works ok. So far I've not had to power-off more than one-two times when it got so busy counting its fingers and toes (to 124 decimal places, apparently) that it

darn things. worse than cats!

Eric Ladner
04-24-2005, 08:59 PM
I've always seen the black apple on a gray screen during startup, so it never occurred to me that it indicated a problem. But then, I'm using an upgraded antique UMAX S900, from the long-ago days when Steve was gone from Apple for a while, and a few legitimate clones were sold, so, having shoe-horned OS X 10.3.9 onto this "unsupported" system, I probably am a "problem" by definition. It works just fine, though.

--Eric

ktinkel
04-25-2005, 06:13 AM
I've always seen the black apple on a gray screen during startup, so it never occurred to me that it indicated a problem. But then, I'm using an upgraded antique UMAX S900, from the long-ago days when Steve was gone from Apple for a while, and a few legitimate clones were sold, so, having shoe-horned OS X 10.3.9 onto this "unsupported" system, I probably am a "problem" by definition. It works just fine, though.
I decided not to worry about it, either. David Pogue suggests that USB devices are often the problem, and since everything is working, I just ignore the grey startup screen.

Truth be told, the black on grey motif is rather sophisticated; better than gaudy blue any old day! <g>

fhaber
04-25-2005, 06:48 AM
Just to show you how weird I am, I set my NT, 2000 and XP machines to boot with the "SOS" option, which shows a TTY scrolling list of services as they load. I occasionally actually look at the rhythm of this infinitely boring process. I've spotted some failing hard disks and bad drivers this way.

Very different strokes, eh?

(I doubt it's a big problem. Since PCs and Macs share some of the same PCI and AGP video cards, there might be diagnostic conditions, cum messages, happening at boot that a Mac user could never see. (Neither can a PC user, if he has only a DVI-digital-connected monitor.))

ktinkel
04-25-2005, 08:40 AM
Just to show you how weird I am, I set my NT, 2000 and XP machines to boot with the "SOS" option, which shows a TTY scrolling list of services as they load. I occasionally actually look at the rhythm of this infinitely boring process. I've spotted some failing hard disks and bad drivers this way.Well, I sort of knew you were odd, but figured it was usually for good reason!

Actually, I can launch Activity Monitor to see what’s going on on the Mac — though I don’t know if (or how, anyway) I can make it run at startup. It’s interesting — shows which programs gobble up RAM and what they’re doing at the time.

(I doubt it's a big problem. Since PCs and Macs share some of the same PCI and AGP video cards, there might be diagnostic conditions, cum messages, happening at boot that a Mac user could never see. (Neither can a PC user, if he has only a DVI-digital-connected monitor.))I did more or less satisfy myself that it wasn’t anything very serious. If I needed a firmware update (one of the common causes of this grey screen) I probably would have had to get it as the OS wouldn’t run.

Some day maybe I will remove all the non-Apple USB devices and hubs to see if it goes away. But for now, I’ll just be a lazy wench and go on about my business! <g>

Steve Rindsberg
04-25-2005, 01:54 PM
I decided not to worry about it, either. David Pogue suggests that USB devices are often the problem, and since everything is working, I just ignore the grey startup screen.

Truth be told, the black on grey motif is rather sophisticated; better than gaudy blue any old day! <g>
OK, I'll bite. Disconnected the ethernet cable and the USB mouse from the iBook and restarted. Same Same. Gray screen, dark gray/black apple that Eve or somebody's been at.

ktinkel
04-25-2005, 04:41 PM
OK, I'll bite. Disconnected the ethernet cable and the USB mouse from the iBook and restarted. Same Same. Gray screen, dark gray/black apple that Eve or somebody's been at.Ooof. Well, I sure don’t know. I have been going by what I read, and Pogue is da man!

Maybe they really designed it to be black on grey, and the blue only shows up as a sort of bonus if you buy some extravagant extra!! <g>

djb
04-25-2005, 05:33 PM
Ooof. Well, I sure don’t know. I have been going by what I read, and Pogue is da man!

Maybe they really designed it to be black on grey, and the blue only shows up as a sort of bonus if you buy some extravagant extra!! <g>

Maybe Pogue was writing from a developer release and things changed? I don't know that it's true, but it's plausible.