View Full Version : OT help please!

06-12-2007, 04:22 AM
This has nothing to do with LW other than it's really screwing up my work, but I'm a little desperate so I'd really appreciate some advice.

Yesterday I was playing UT2004 when my Mac Pro froze. Nothing was responding, I couldn't force quit so I pressed the power button to shut down. When I rebooted I had all kinds of display glitches and the machine was veeery slow. After 2 or 3 actions (just opening folders or making the dock popup) it would freeze forcing me to power off again. A couple of times I got Kernel Panics (starting to sweat now!) I ran Disk Utility and Hardware checks and neither found any problems. My Windows install wouldn't boot at all, I'd get to the Welcome screen then it would go black, the welcome screen, black, welcome screen.....

I found I could access the HD from another Mac by firewire and all the data is intact so I could backup the few bits that I was working on, Phew!

Next I reinstalled the OS (going back to 10.4.7 from 10.4.9) that made no difference at all.

Finally I phoned Apple and after a few questions they said take it in for repair to my local Apple dealer. I phoned them this morning and they expect a 2 and a half week turn around! Meanwhile I'm stuck working on my old 1.25GHz G4, talk about slow!

Now here's the kicker, I turned it on this morning and it seems to be working perfectly! My guess is it overheated, it was pretty hot yesterday and I don't have air conditioning. On the other hand I don't remember the fans going mad.

So what do I do? I'll phone Apple again and see what they say but I'm guessing I should take it in anyway since all those reboots and kernel panics won't have done it any good? That means I'll be stuck on the G4 for a few weeks though and I'm busier than I've been in ages. Any thoughts/advice?

06-12-2007, 05:25 AM
don't play UT2004 anymore
see if the problem returns
only return the machine if you can show the problem, otherwise they'll just send it back.

06-12-2007, 05:43 AM
Really? That's good news in a way. I still have another 6 months guarantee and Applecare after that so I suppose I can afford to wait and see. Thanks for the advice!

06-12-2007, 05:59 AM
I found this...try step 5 and up...might help, might not.


and try the fsck process :


All the best,

PS. do a serach on fsck before trying it :)


06-12-2007, 06:15 AM
Thanks Kuzey, I'll give it a go!

06-13-2007, 12:08 PM
This probably isn't your problem... but it can't hurt to check...

Open the side door. Remove both RAM cards and take a good look at the motherboard, everywhere that you can see it.

My first 8-core Mac Pro had what looked like a long splotch of spilled solder on the motherboard by the memory cards. It worked fine for a few days and then when I tried to copy files onto it via the front FireWire 800 port it died and then it wouldn't boot with RAM on one of the memory cards (I forget which) and failed the Apple Hardware Test when it did boot.

When I brought it into the local Mac store they said it was probably spilled thermal grease, since it was soft, and they had never seen that before. Apple replaced the entire machine for me and then their engineering even called to verify that I hadn't tried to remove the heat sink or anything weird like that. It was probably a random manufacturing accident.

Anyway the replaced unit is running fine now and I was very impressed with Apple's customer service, tech support, local Mac store and web store since they really took care of this problem fast, without giving me any trouble whatsoever.


If you suspect heat's an issue you might want to run a stress test. I let mine run all weekend without the AC running and let it run four instances of Rember continuously when I was tracking down a recent RAM issue. Everything ran fine except for some ECC errors on one of my third party DIMMs, which is being replaced by the manufacturer...

06-13-2007, 02:17 PM
Thanks Scazzino but it's too late to check now. It ran OK for a while but the same problems came back again so it's now in for repair. Looks like I'll be back on my old G4 for about two and a half weeks! :( I'm not impressed with the time it will take but to be fair it hasn't gone to Apple but to an Apple approved service centre. I'm just crossing my fingers that it will be quicker than they estimate!

06-23-2007, 04:07 AM
Sorry to drag this up again but I could do with some more advice.

It seems it was a bad HD, the repair centre said they got one KP when they first booted but they ran a repair programme (I forgot to ask which one, damn!) and it's been fine since. They're going to replace the HD anyway to be safe and I should have back at the end of next week.

I'd got my most important stuff backed up so no major problems, I may have lost some emails and stuff that I might miss but nothing major. It has shaken my confidence a bit though so I thought I might install a second HD so I can back up my whole HD (and be ready for time machine!)

So my questions....

Is this the best strategy?

Would someone mind checking out the HD I've picked?
Apple say the spec must be
SATA 3 Gbps
3.9" x 5.7" x 1"

The drive I've picked is a Seagate ST3500630AS 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 16MB Cache 7200RPM - OEM 300Mbps You can see it here (http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?rb=0&action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=113428)
The spec says it's fractionally too thick at 2.6cms (1" is 2.54cms) but I'm guessing it's just a matter of rounding up the figures? I'd guess they're a standard size?

Would you think this is a good choice, Seagate are good quality drives right?
Lastly, the works won't be exposed like the pic shows will they, it'll have some kind of case to keep the dust out?

Sorry for the daft questions, I've never added an internal drive before!

Thanks for any help!

06-23-2007, 08:49 AM
internals don't have a case they just have the typical metal housing.........standard SATA DRIVES will fit. One thing though, make sure that you check out drive reviews online and look at the pros and cons. Also make sure the drive does not impede the operation of the machine. There was a situation in which a 3rd party drive actually made the machine run slower. Finally fit the drive in the machine and see if you can install and uninstall it easily and go from there.

06-23-2007, 09:19 AM
Thanks for the info Jat, so far everything I've found out suggests this is an excelllent drive!

John the Geek
06-23-2007, 12:48 PM
I lost my 500GB in my Mac Pro about two months ago. I lost over 120GB of data. Guess who was pissed? :devil:

I had two of them, so when the defective one came back I cloned my good boot drive off to an external, raided the two 500's in a mirror, and restored my cloned system. I then coerced my boss (remember, I lost work data here) into buying me two 750 GB drives to RAID as my new data drive. So now if I lose a drive I have a mirror of it and hopefully no lost data.

I figure it's the best possible prevention for avoiding hardware failure. My Mac Pro looks like it has two drives, but it's really 4.

06-23-2007, 02:11 PM
I lost my 500GB in my Mac Pro about two months ago. I lost over 120GB of data. Guess who was pissed? :devil:

Ouch! That must have hurt! This episode has pissed me off but I suppose I've been lucky not losing too much. I'm afraid I didn't understand the rest of your post at all lol! I need something simple that my non techy brain can cope with lol!

My plan at the moment is to add another drive that I can back absolutely everything up on so if one drive fails I won't lose a thing (chances of both failing together must be tiny?) I may also add an external drive to back up all data on so if my workstation has to go in for repair I can just plug the firewire drive into my old G4 and off I go again, no time lost. Hopefully efficient, safe and fairly cheap and easy to maintain. SuperDuper should take care of my backup routine.

06-23-2007, 02:27 PM
(chances of both failing together must be tiny?)
not really. If you have an electrical failure or a power surge because one component in your pc fails you might loose both drives at once. Happened to me once.

06-24-2007, 01:49 AM
not really. If you have an electrical failure or a power surge because one component in your pc fails you might loose both drives at once. Happened to me once.

Well an external drive would protect against that and I have surge protection and UPS. Should keep me reasonably bullet proof, of course nothing is perfect!

06-29-2007, 05:00 AM
To anyone who's interested it turns out that it wasn't a dead HD. The repair shop have fitted a new drive and the problem is still there so they're running more tests. I hope to get some news this afternoon.

07-07-2007, 10:49 AM
I actually had the heat sink fail on my ATI X800 (G5 Dual 2). It got so hot that the solder that was holding the heat sink started to melt. Needless to say, after I discovered the problem (quite easy, lots of display glitches while running games), I was just amazed at the lack of engineering on how this heat sink was attached to the card and up against the GPU.

I bought an after market cooler (I think it is a Zalman) and everything has been fine, ATI should have been horse whipped for such a craptacular design. The new cooler also came with memory heat sinks, so what the hell, I put those on also. :D


07-08-2007, 01:40 AM
Thanks for the response guys well the repair shop say they finally figured it out and it was the GFX card. When I started it up the day after the initial problems it seemed OK at first but I really didn't use it for anything, just opened a folder or two, played with the dock, the graphics glitches had gone and it seemed OK. I left it to run for a while while I worked on another computer and when I came back to it all the problems were back. I think it was just wishful thinking when I posted it was running fine.

I ran what hardware tests I could which included testing the RAM, they came back no problems found.

Neverko, I think the GFX card problems you refer to were with the first Mac X1900s? I read loads of posts about them overheating and dieing after about 6 months use. I think they're OK now.

Anyway, they say I can pick it up on Tuesday so fingers crossed it runs well from now on! Maybe I should lay off UT on hot days! :(

07-08-2007, 03:11 PM
If I was in your shoes, I would take a hard close look at the way the heat sink is designed on the X1900, if it is the same as the X800, I would after market the thing quick. That is if it is a X1900...I'd still take a close look and maybe get a Zalman fan. Mine eats up another PCI-X slot in the G5, but that is a lot better than having the thing melt down.


07-09-2007, 03:59 AM
Thanks Mark, I don't have a X1900 in my machine, it's the Geforce 7300GT. I haven't heard of any overheating problems with it and the repairshop have said it's very unusual for failure of this type. They're independent too, not directly employed by Apple so it's not like they're biased. Looks like I've just been unlucky! Still I'll take a look at the card placing and cooling when I get it back, I'm not used to poking around inside computers though so I'm not sure I'll be able to make much sense of it all lol!