View Full Version : Is my PowerMac dying?

Feb 7, 2007, 02:59 AM
A couple days ago my PowerMac G5 started making an obnoxious noise...it's hard to describe, but I would say it sounds like something may be wrong with the fan, because the noise is constant. I would think if it were a hard drive I'd only hear it when accessing data. I used Disk Utility to check all my drives just in case, and found no problems.

So it was irritating for a couple days, but I didn't notice any problems until just 2 days ago. I'm starting to get the spinning beach ball quite often, and it locks up the computer completely, forcing me to reboot. This is completely random–no pattern in what software or task I'm doing that causes it.

Anyone have any idea about what the problem could be? I don't have my Apple Hardware test CD with me, and the closest Apple store is 3 hours away :(

Feb 7, 2007, 03:07 AM

applications>utilities>disk utility

click on your drive. Check to see if any of them have red text in the list, and at the bottom of the window check to see if it says anything other than "S.M.A.R.T. Status : Verified" when you click on them.

Also, listen to the tower to isolate the sound.

If the noise is coming from the bottom front, it is the power supply fans.
If it is coming from the upper rear, it is the hard drive(s).

Feb 7, 2007, 03:15 AM
The sound appears to be coming from the fan that is directly behind the optical drive... which is good, I guess. Better a fan than the hard drives. But why would a noisy fan cause system hangups? Maybe that's a different problem altogether?

I actually have 4 hard drives in the computer–2 in the standard bays and 2 in a bracket in front of the RAM slots. They appear to be silent though, and S.M.A.R.T status is verified on each of them.

Feb 7, 2007, 03:28 AM
while in the disc utility, repair permissions on your boot drive. its a good thing to do anyway.

It is always possible that the fans are not working properly, causing hard drives to overheat.

when you open the clear cover, do the fans up top behind the optical drive spin up to full speed? if so, does the strange sound go away?

also. I would try powering down the computer, and disconnecting the power cables from ALL of the hard drives. Then power on the computer, and listen for the sound. Obviously it will not boot, but it will give you a better idea if it is a fan or a drive.

Feb 7, 2007, 03:39 AM
I'm starting to think I'm hearing 2 different sounds. The fans are much louder than they should be, but there is a faint clicking sound that is probably coming from the hard drives (I had thought it was coming from the fan as well, but it sounds like the drives always do when copying large files, like its constantly writing data to the disk... but I can't be sure). I'll boot up with the drives unplugged and see if thats the case.

The fans do spin up and get even louder when the clear panel is removed, but the clicking sound remains constant.

Feb 7, 2007, 03:53 AM
Turns out the noise is coming from the graphics card...

I have an X800XT installed and I noticed that the sticker on top of the fan on the card was a bit warped–no longer perfectly flat. When I touch the fan to stop it, the computer does dead quiet, like it should be.

Hopefully I can get it straightened out... I've already had to send this card in for replacement once before :(

Feb 7, 2007, 03:58 AM
well, look at it this way, it is only a fan. much better scenario than a failing hard drive.

Is your computer still under warranty? If it isn't you can probably get an after market cooler to replace the stock one that is failing.

often times the bearings in the fans need some lube... you could see if the bearings are easily accessible, and add a small drop of oil.

Feb 7, 2007, 04:07 AM
My computer is out of warranty but I purchased the graphics card separately, and it should still be covered.

I'll see if I can't fix it like you suggested first though.

Thanks for the help!

Feb 7, 2007, 04:08 AM
no problem. Good luck!