View Full Version : New G5 Arrived with Problems. Any suggestions?

Dec 28, 2004, 10:13 AM
[Note: This is a slightly modified version of an earlier post I made in response to someone's "I just got my new G5" post. I'm reposting it here to solicit suggestions for addressing this issue. Sorry for the redundancy.]

I just got a new G5 and it's a nightmare. Ordered 2.5DP on 12/23 and it arrived yesterday after much anticipation. It came with 1.5 gigs of RAM (free upgrade from 512 by MacMall) and I added an additional 1 gig and I bought from MacMall (same identical 1 gig RAM kit as the one they had already installed).

Starting up resulted in kernel panics, and hanging up on the startup (rotating circle of line segments) screen. Started reseating and removing RAM chips to see if one of them was the culprit and it seemed to work better after removing the two factory 256 meg DIMMS. Started up successfully with the remaining 2 gigs installed and it worked fine, for about two minutes. I choose Sound from the system prefs and suddenly got a solid blue screen and the rotating line segments screen again. Forced quit after staring at that for five minutes and when the machine rebooted, it reported only 1.5 gigs of RAM, not 2 gigs. (The two 512s were now being reported as 256's). I choose About this Mac and got the blue screen followed by rotating line segments again. After a minute or so, the desktop returned. Choosing About this Mac again resulted in the same thing happening. Same with choosing Shut down: blue screen, spinning thing, back to the desktop. Choosing Shut Down again resulted in the same blue screen/spinning line segments/back to the desktop.

MacMall customer service was closed last night, as was AppleCare (I got three years AppleCare with the system), so I couldn't resolve this...

When I get home this afternoon, I can call MacMall or AppleCare (or both). Any suggestions on who would be better to call or how I should best address this? (I know to be firm and polite and respectful and all that. I'm wonderin if there's a solution I'm missing or if I'm wrong in feeling like my brand new G5 is a lemon and should be replaced with a new one.)

Dec 28, 2004, 10:36 AM

Sorry to hear your having problems with your G5, have you tried the hardware test? There should be boot cd or DVD with the box to allow you to test your machine. I think it may be RAM related - so try different configurations.

Good Luck!

Dec 28, 2004, 10:48 AM
I'll give that a shot. I'd be much happier if this turns out to be a bad DIMM rather than a bad motherboard..

Dec 28, 2004, 11:28 AM
I'll give that a shot. I'd be much happier if this turns out to be a bad DIMM rather than a bad motherboard..

Youch... your instincts are right. RAM is almost definitely the culprit. You should strip it down to one DIMM and see if you can get it working at all. Otherwise, how are you going to run the RAM test? Then add the other DIMM chips one at a time, testing with a bootup and few minutes of running each time. If the MacMall RAM is bad, give them a call.

I wouldn't call AppleCare until you test all the RAM. If you can establish that it won't work in any RAM configuration, then you'll be able to get the AppleCare rep to skip over the tedious steps and you'll get to the replacement option faster.

Stinks to spend the first few days with a new DPG5 trying to troubleshoot. I hope it all works out...

Dec 28, 2004, 11:38 AM
Thanks for your thoughts. I'll have to be sure to add the DIMMs in pairs, though, as that's what the machine requires. I'll have to try a bunch of different permutations to identify which one (if it's only one) that's the culprit. My only concern (other than my aching fingertips from plugging the DIMMs into their sockets) is 'am I going to wear something out or break a connection with all of this DIMM plugging and unplugging?'.

Dec 28, 2004, 11:43 AM
As long as you're careful and not too forceful with the RAM, you'll be fine. I'd start off with the Apple RAM only at first and then add the MacMall stuff if all is well. From what you've written, it seems as if there's problems with the MacMall stuff on its own and with both types - you don't mention having tried just the Apple stuff. Start off with the minimum number of DIMMs possible and gradually add more and more until you find a problem (e.g. 512MB -> 1.5GB -> 2.5GB).

Also, make sure all the plugs and cables are seated properly - perhaps something is a bit loose due to it being knocked in transit.

I hope you get it all sorted out - sounds like a nightmare. And at the most inconvenient time of year as well...

Dont Hurt Me
Dec 28, 2004, 11:52 AM
Makes you wonder what that hidden fee was for? it only takes a second to pop in the memory i wonder if MacMall and others even bother turning on the machine when doing the installation? i doubt it. good luck remember you still have applecare.

Dec 28, 2004, 12:09 PM
MacZone waived the hidden fee for the free RAM, but they insisted on installing it even though I would have preferred to. There's a huge scratch on the clear inner door, presumably from this installation process at MacZone. I doubt it came from the factory that way.

(i just realized I typed MacMall in my earlier posts. I actually bought the system from MacZone. Sorry for the slip-up. I originally ordered from MacMall, but canceled when they told me the next day that the G5s were backordered for 1-2 weeks.)

Dec 28, 2004, 12:17 PM
It is probably a RAM issue. When I bought some extra RAM for my G5, I had to push pretty hard to get it to snap in. I would do what others have said and try and run the machine with Apple only RAM and see if that works.


Dec 28, 2004, 12:19 PM
I would call and yell at them. You bought the high end computer and it is not working right. Try to get some free stuff from them for not being happy customer.

Did you buy a refurbished G5? a scratch and they still gave it to you?

Dec 28, 2004, 12:34 PM
It was a brand new G5, not refurb, which makes the scratch more annoying. Is it really a big deal in the scheme of things? No. But, that, couple with the apparent RAM issue has soiled this out of the box experience. No matter whose RAM turns out to be bad, MacZone or Apple's, I'm going to call MacZone and guilt them into sending me a replacement inner door so I don't have to look at that nasty six inch scratch for the rest of the product's life.

Dec 29, 2004, 09:49 AM

After spending some more time investigating the issue by swapping DIMMS in various permuations and running the hardware diagnostics app, I verified that one of the third-party 512 meg dimms from MacZones was DOA. Zones tech support offered that the fastest way to secure a replacement was to deal with the memory company directly.

The AppleCare technician stated that from his experience, virtually 100% of the kernel panics on factory new G5s were caused by third-party RAM.

I'm slightly miffed that I have to deal with the RAM company and not simply have the matter resolved by a simple phone call to MacMall, but at this point, I just want the situation resolved and I'm willing to pursue whatever route makes that happen the fastest.

Dec 29, 2004, 09:51 AM
I keep typing MacMall when I mean MacZone. Sorry. I'm still asleep this morning...

Dec 29, 2004, 12:07 PM
You know you can just use the edit function and not do a new post.

See, I added this after the original post.

Dec 29, 2004, 03:17 PM
If I were you I would make MacZone send me new memory (go for overnight) and send a pre-paid return package for the bad memory.

I had a lot of trouble when I got my G5. It took a week to get it and then it spent two weeks in the shop. It ws finally determined that the video card would not work with my ViewSonic monitor. I then had the choice of a NEW FREE 21" Viewsonic monitor or some $$ back and a dual 1.8 G5.