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View Full Version : Pretty sure my PMG5 just died




Mhaddy
Aug 14, 2008, 12:04 AM
What was first just a series of random computer lock-ups (to which I thought it was a HDD failing) now appears to be something bigger. LED 7 as per Apple's support site is staying on after I press the power button and the computer will not start.

Unfortunately this is a dual core 2.0 GHz PMG5 that I purchased in Oct 2005 and I didn't opt to purchase Apple Care, so I'm definitely out of the warranty period. I know I have to call Apple for details/get help, but I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem and the likely scenario.



Firefly2002
Aug 14, 2008, 12:08 AM
We're gonna need more details, but I'd suggest also trying to find help on the Apple Discussion pages (apple's own site) in the G5 section; people who have the same computer as you might be able to help more :)

Mhaddy
Aug 14, 2008, 06:34 AM
I'll definitely throw a post up on Apple's site. As for more details, I've been noticing a slow but gradual slow down in the performance of my Mac, running 10.5.4 over the last couple of weeks. Last night a friend whovisited Japan brought over a Region 2 DVD so to watch it, I switched my region to that region, and started watching. That's when the problems started - the computer just froze and I had to do a hard reset. Hitting the power button again didn't load OS X, only gave me a constant red light from led 7. And this is where I'm at now, won't load the os and just a red diagnostic light from led 7.

UltraNEO*
Aug 14, 2008, 10:57 AM
What was first just a series of random computer lock-ups (to which I thought it was a HDD failing) now appears to be something bigger. LED 7 as per Apple's support site is staying on after I press the power button and the computer will not start.

Unfortunately this is a dual core 2.0 GHz PMG5 that I purchased in Oct 2005 and I didn't opt to purchase Apple Care, so I'm definitely out of the warranty period. I know I have to call Apple for details/get help, but I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem and the likely scenario.


Didn't the 2Ghz G5's have a problem with the processor cards?
I'm sure one of the models have a CPU defect and high failure rate (http://www.macintouch.com/reliability/)?
Just look at those figures! - Shocking....

zmttoxics
Aug 14, 2008, 11:50 AM
I just checked my manual for you:
LED 7—Checkstop: red—contact Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider

What an awesome error. After some google-ing it appears anything can cause that. CPU, motherboard, power, what have you.

I guess you need to contact apple, sad to see a G5 in trouble like that. :(

zmttoxics
Aug 14, 2008, 11:52 AM
Oh, you could also try this:

If your computer still does not start up, try resetting the parameter random access
memory (PRAM). Turn on the computer and immediately hold down the Command
(x), Option, P, and R keys until you hear the startup sound a second time. Release
the keys. Set your hard disk as the computer’s startup disk, by doing the following:

OllyW
Aug 14, 2008, 11:58 AM
Also try resetting the SMU (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1436?locale=en_GB).

rdp5008
Aug 14, 2008, 10:24 PM
I had the same issue a year ago........now I have a new logic board!

Mhaddy
Aug 15, 2008, 07:09 AM
No good news from my end. Went home and reset the PRAM and SMU, no luck. Opened the case up and ensured that all cards/RAM were firmly seated, no luck. Called Apple Support and chatted with them for a good 20 minutes, no luck. Apparently LED #7 is a "CPU related-issue" but when I probed for more information, that's all he could tell me without closer inspection (which makes sense given the range of problems that could exist).

So my PMG5 is going to an Authorized Apple dealer to get fixed... we'll see how much that costs. Given that even the cheapest refurbished Mac Pro models on Apple Canada's Education Store is $2100+tax while new runs run for $2700 and above, I'm not sure what to do. If it's a simple CPU replacement, that should only be ~$150-200, which I think is reasonable. Anything more (i.e., logic board) - I don't know if it's worth investing another $800-1000 in an aging and becoming increasingly legacy system.

Thoughts?

zmttoxics
Aug 15, 2008, 07:22 AM
At that cost (800) you could get another G5. My 2.0 DC G5 was only 700.

Yes the refurbished mac pros start at that price, but you can also get a single cpu quad core mac pro new for cheap which starts at 2,399 CDN.

Hopefully they can get it fixed for cheap. IBM is still making those chips but who knows what it costs to get the apple version (since they come on those fancy logic board things :p).

As a side note, ANY intel based iMac would be a lot cheaper and faster then your G5....

rdp5008
Aug 15, 2008, 10:39 AM
I got my logic board replaced by an apple certified tech for $400. Hopefully you can get by under $500

Mhaddy
Aug 15, 2008, 12:51 PM
Aye, I'm hoping for an inexpensive fix, but I'm not holding my breath.

The only problem for me going to an iMac is that I've already invested in a pair of LCD monitors (both in my signature). I could depart with the smaller one and get the 24" iMac instead. Upgradability-wise, can I put in my own RAM and HDD?

CaptainChunk
Aug 15, 2008, 02:37 PM
Aye, I'm hoping for an inexpensive fix, but I'm not holding my breath.

The only problem for me going to an iMac is that I've already invested in a pair of LCD monitors (both in my signature). I could depart with the smaller one and get the 24" iMac instead.

I guess it really depends on your uses and needs. The iMac only supports one internal hard disk and you'll be limited to FW800 for external hard disk arrays (no eSATA). But it will be faster than your old PMG5 and you can at least connect a second monitor with a mini-DVI to DVI adapter. If you're not totally worried about future expandability, the iMac is a very capable machine. I have a white 20" C2D iMac that I use at home; the Mac Pro sits at the office where I actually need it.

Upgradability-wise, can I put in my own RAM and HDD?

The RAM is easily upgradable in the iMac, but upgrading the hard disk requires removing the back panel and I'm pretty sure that isn't considered a DIY procedure by Apple.

agentphish
Aug 15, 2008, 02:45 PM
A friend of mine had this happen to him. Apple told him that he needed a new logic board and one of the processors was no good.

They wanted like 1300 bucks or something. He argued the high failure rate that was mentioned earlier, and complained that he was treated quite poorly on the phone and by the genius he saw (which he was, I was there, and I was as surprised as he was at the poor service.). He ended up mailing sjobs and they worked out a price that seemed more fair to him.

I think he ended up paying about 600...That said, I think if I had nothing to lose, I'd try to get the parts myself, and do the replacement...it can't be THAT hard.

Mhaddy
Aug 15, 2008, 10:51 PM
I guess it really depends on your uses and needs. The iMac only supports one internal hard disk and you'll be limited to FW800 for external hard disk arrays (no eSATA).This would be a concern for me as I already have two SATA drives in the PM along with an external FW400 drive (that I use for b/u). With the purchase of an iMac, I would either have to consolidate/ditch drives or purchase additional enclosures, all of which adds to the purchase price - not to mention it wouldn't be as quick as an internal option would be.

If you're not totally worried about future expandability, the iMac is a very capable machine.Aside from adding a couple extra sticks of RAM and swapping some HDD's, I didn't touch the PMG5 for upgrades in the just under 3 years that I owned it. When I buy hardware, I always buy for the future so that I won't have to upgrade every couple of years. Mind you, while the PM was a bit sluggish at times for some of my tasks, it did last me three years and given that the iMacs are already faster than it and I only see my computer usage becoming less intensive, it might not be a bad option.

A friend of mine had this happen to him. Apple told him that he needed a new logic board and one of the processors was no good.

They wanted like 1300 bucks or something. He argued the high failure rate that was mentioned earlier, and complained that he was treated quite poorly on the phone and by the genius he saw (which he was, I was there, and I was as surprised as he was at the poor service.). He ended up mailing sjobs and they worked out a price that seemed more fair to him.

I think he ended up paying about 600...That said, I think if I had nothing to lose, I'd try to get the parts myself, and do the replacement...it can't be THAT hard.Indeed. I will be taking the PM in for a quote tomorrow so I will report back with how much they think it's going to cost. If it's anything over $500, I will be walking away with a big paper weight. Before jumping on the Mac wagon 3 years ago, I was a pretty hardcore PC enthusiast, building my own machines and maintaining friends'. That said, I will definitely be looking into DIY repair options because like you said, I haven't anything to lose.

zmttoxics
Aug 15, 2008, 11:04 PM
Indeed. I will be taking the PM in for a quote tomorrow so I will report back with how much they think it's going to cost. If it's anything over $500, I will be walking away with a big paper weight. Before jumping on the Mac wagon 3 years ago, I was a pretty hardcore PC enthusiast, building my own machines and maintaining friends'. That said, I will definitely be looking into DIY repair options because like you said, I haven't anything to lose.

From what I gather you would need a matching cpu + motherboard. Apparently they have to be 1:1 as they are very picky. Could get expensive... :\

Mhaddy
Aug 16, 2008, 10:32 AM
And expensive it is! Just dropped it off at my authorized Apple dealer and while he still has to run the diagnostics to find out what's wrong, he quoted me prices on the 2.0 DC CPU: just under $600... on the logic board: just under $900. Then factor in an hour or two of service and that's $100 + tax and whatever else.

I'm normally an optimist, but I am finding it extremely hard to turn this situation around. I don't want to invest (at minimum) $600+ on this machine... so it looks like I have to start shopping. An iMac would more than likely fulfill my needs (though I would have to sell one of my LCD's), but the HDD situation described above is a bit worrisome. 24" 3.06 GHz iMac for $2100 (CDN EDU) or the 8-core 2.8 GHz MP for $2700 (CDN EDU)? Or a refurbished of either one? I don't have the money for any of them, lol. Oiy. :confused:

zmttoxics
Aug 16, 2008, 10:47 AM
And expensive it is! Just dropped it off at my authorized Apple dealer and while he still has to run the diagnostics to find out what's wrong, he quoted me prices on the 2.0 DC CPU: just under $600... on the logic board: just under $900. Then factor in an hour or two of service and that's $100 + tax and whatever else.

I'm normally an optimist, but I am finding it extremely hard to turn this situation around. I don't want to invest (at minimum) $600+ on this machine... so it looks like I have to start shopping. An iMac would more than likely fulfill my needs (though I would have to sell one of my LCD's), but the HDD situation described above is a bit worrisome. 24" 3.06 GHz iMac for $2100 (CDN EDU) or the 8-core 2.8 GHz MP for $2700 (CDN EDU)? Or a refurbished of either one? I don't have the money for any of them, lol. Oiy. :confused:

Dont forget there is the single cpu mac pro for 2300 (CDN EDU) brand new. Which meens you can put all 3 harddrives in it, and keep your lcds.

rdp5008
Aug 16, 2008, 04:28 PM
There was the dual 2.0 ghz Mac Pro on the refurb section of the Apple Store for $1,799 today. That might be a good option for you.

Mhaddy
Aug 18, 2008, 12:42 PM
I think if I take the leap (back) up to a Mac Pro, I want to go 8-core. Given that my previous PM lasted me (almost) 3 years and still provided enough processing power for most tasks, I'd like to get at least another 3 years out of this next purchase.

I will keep monitoring the refurb section, as it seems I can save a good chunk of change by going that route. Has anyone had any experience in buying Apple certified refurbished computers?

Mhaddy
Aug 20, 2008, 04:13 PM
Update on the status of my PMG5: dead CPU. Just under a $1000 for the technician to fix it, so I'm definitely not going that route. Depending on the cost of the parts, I may try my hand at replacing the CPU myself. Aside from eBay, what are some other Mac parts websites?

Techguy172
Aug 20, 2008, 05:49 PM
Try here, I don't know if this is right but have a look.

Parts (http://www.welovemacs.com/pog520prve2d.html)

zmttoxics
Aug 20, 2008, 05:55 PM
Edit: Whoops! I was wrong. That one might work. But I think this 2.0 is the right one since its the same heat sink thats on my DC 2.0. http://www.dvwarehouse.com/Processor,-2.0-GHz-Dual,-Power-Mac-G5-p-34746.html

Mhaddy
Aug 22, 2008, 11:42 AM
Thanks for the links - I'll take a look around and see what I can find.

California
Aug 28, 2008, 10:52 PM
Just read somewhere will link in a minute --

that someone with a dual Powermac had same problems and the 'processors needed to be reseated" and fixed the fan problems et all. Try it.

Mhaddy
Sep 9, 2008, 08:50 AM
Just read somewhere will link in a minute --

that someone with a dual Powermac had same problems and the 'processors needed to be reseated" and fixed the fan problems et all. Try it.

Unfortunately that quick fix didn't work for me :(. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and pick up a new 2.8 8-core refurb Mac Pro. I don't expect new chips to be released by Intel for Apple until at least mid/end Q1 2009, so I think it's safe to pick up the current model. $2499 refurb when it's posted on the Apple site... not bad, still a kick in the pants though. Thanks to everyone for their troubleshooting tips and input!