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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:09 PM   #1
omenaudio
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Mac Pro 3,1 not booting!

A couple of weeks ago i turned on my mac pro and it didn't boot!
The video card fan whirls around for about 5 seconds and clicks off.
After looking around this forum and others for a while i thought it might be a power supply issue. So i took the tower to my local Apple repairer to get fixed. I called a week later to find out what the deal was and was told that its not the power supply and they were still looking at it. A few days later i got a message saying that it had bad ram and was fixed. leaving me 2gig of ram down (i had 8 gig of ram leaving me with 6 gig) and $75 out of pocket.
No sweat!
About a week later it did it again! Not booting!
i push the power button a few times and it booted! Phew!
It did this for a couple more weeks. Not booting sometimes. A few pushes of the power button and away we go.
Until of course i had a recording session booked and the mac pro would not turn on at all!
I've taken all the ram out (8 1gig sticks) and just installed 2 gig at a time. Going through all of them. Even the one the repairers said was bad. With no luck. I've reset the SMC and take the battery out and put a multi meter over it and it seems fine. (I must say that one day the screen went all weird. Kind of like blurred checkers for a minute but came good again.) I tried to boot it up without the graphics card, no luck!
I'm not sure what i should do??
Take it back to the repairer for another $75 or buy some more ram and see what happens.
Is it possible that ALL the ram is stuffed?

Any advice you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks heaps
Damien
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:36 PM   #2
Killerbob
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I had the same thing happen to me about 8 months ago, and I replaced the videocard, and have had no problems since. Luckily enough I had at some point replaced the GT8800 with an HD4870, and I tried putting the original GT8800 back to see if that was it, and it was. Hence I purchased a new HD5870.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1412677

I have also had RAM go bad, but usually just one DIMM at a time, no several. However, when I had the videocard go bad, the only thing that stands out leading up to the problems, was an incredible warm few weeks, and I simply think that affected the videocard.
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:44 PM   #3
omenaudio
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Ah hah! It all started after a really hot day! So they won't boot without a video card??
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Old Feb 8, 2013, 09:45 PM   #4
TPadden
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Mine had the exact same symptoms. I also thought it was the video card. Apple Store determined one of the CPU's was bad, replaced and been running fine for the last 18 months.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 02:34 AM   #5
omenaudio
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can you boot up a mac pro WITHOUT a video card???

I'm really starting to think its the video card...
I had the battery and the video card out this arvo and just the power cable in and notice that the ram card LEDs were staying on red. And a LED up near the Airport card glowed as well.
I pulled the power out. Installed the back the battery and card and turned it on and it still doing the same thing. Fan running for about 5 seconds and thats it.

Can anyone tell me if you can boot up a mac pro without a video card??

Cheers
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 04:55 AM   #6
DanielCoffey
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Ask the place that charged you for the "bad ram" if you have a warranty and get a refund. They appear to have taken your $75 for not fixing the problem.
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Old Feb 11, 2013, 05:26 AM   #7
666sheep
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MP will normally boot without graphics card. But if you've removed it and red LEDs on memory risers don't go off, graphics card isn't the culprit. Red LED near Airport could indicate logic board failure.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 12:10 AM   #8
omenaudio
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Thanks heaps for your replies!!

The invoice sadly states that no refunds on service work that is not covered under warranty....

i Just had another look with the battery in but no video card. And the LEDs are turning on, then turning off. Just like what happens WITH the video card in.

I'm starting to think it might have to go back to the repairer...
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 03:10 AM   #9
Mactrunk
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Sure sounds like power supply to me.
I had very similar symptoms.
Cold days took many tries to reboot.
No click etc.
At the time I got a PSU for fairly cheap.
Fixed the whole thing and I'm very happy.
Easy to do it yourself if you are O.K. with mucking about in the mac.
I don't want to lead you astray, this may not be the problem you are having.
Just sounded familiar to me.
good luck!
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Old Feb 15, 2013, 12:39 AM   #10
omenaudio
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Thanks MacTruck!

I was told the first time i took the MP to the repairer that it wasn't the power supply...

I'm just hoping it's not a logic board....$$$$$$

Cheers!

----------

I've taken the MAC PRO back to the repairer.
I'll post when i get it back.
Fingers crossed its not a expensive repair....
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 04:47 AM   #11
omenaudio
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logic board fail

Its the logic board. $906 to replace.
Not sure what to do now.
The MacPro was for my recording studio. I use a digidesign 002 firewire audio interface and a 42inch LCD display.
Should i go i7 mac mini for around $1000 or get it fixed???
i've got a 13inch macbook pro but it locks up running pro tools on the 002 and the monitor through thunderbolt to vga.
So i guess my question is what would be better? Fix the 8 core mac pro or get a mac mini?? (i don't have the cash to get a new mac pro


(I'm leaning towards fixing the MP. It did what i needed it to do..)

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Old Mar 20, 2013, 10:06 AM   #12
666sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omenaudio View Post
Its the logic board. $906 to replace.
Not necessarily.
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Old Mar 20, 2013, 10:57 PM   #13
PowerPCMacMan
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MacPro3,1 logic board

While in the past those boards were very expensive, running into the 1000's, this is certainly not the case today. I have seen them as low as 2-300 dollars myself. Unlike Foxconn, these were the LAST Intel made boards and they were built rather well.

Sometimes I wish I had my 2008 Mac Pro.. a fine, 64-bit machine!
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 03:44 AM   #14
omenaudio
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logic board fail

Thanks for the reply!

How easy would this be to replace myself? I'm good with a soldering iron!
Or is this a tech job?

Cheers
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 04:15 AM   #15
DanielCoffey
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You could always identify the correct replacement board and source it yourself then ask for a quote for fitting it. They are charging you for supplying the board.
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Old Mar 21, 2013, 01:58 PM   #16
666sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omenaudio View Post
Thanks for the reply!

How easy would this be to replace myself? I'm good with a soldering iron!
Or is this a tech job?

Cheers
Quite easy. No soldering needed. Get yourself a Service Manual, philips screwdriver, 3 mm diameter hex key (9" long and thin one), thermal paste for CPUs (northbridge heatsink is worth to re-paste too) and 2 beers . Swap shouldn't take longer than one hour for the first time.
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Old Mar 22, 2013, 06:10 PM   #17
omenaudio
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logic board fail

Thanks 666sheep! \m/

Is there any way i can test if the logic board is the problem? The report i got back from the mac repairer is:

replaced PSU-failed. Machine still powering off.
*removed all parts from the machine except for MLB, CPU and PSU - FAILED. Machine still powers off.
Looking like MB

Could it not also be the CPU?

Also the SERVICE MANUAL seems to be hard to find. Am i looking for a hard copy or a download? I found a website that claim to have the download manual... For a fee.....
I'm thinking i could just film every lead/screw ect i unplug step by step so i can play it back when i'm putting the new MB in.

What do you think? To risky? Keep looking for a service manual?

The northbridge heat sinks aren't expensive so i'll throw a couple those in if you think its worth it.

Again thanks heaps for your advice!

HORNS UP \m/
omen
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Old Mar 22, 2013, 06:30 PM   #18
TPadden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omenaudio View Post
Could it not also be the CPU?
In my case they first thought video, then PSU, and finally one of the CPU's. I was told it would boot with only one CPU connected and by troubleshooting they found the bad one. The CPU replacement was about $300. Everything has been fine for the last 8 months following .....

Last edited by TPadden; Mar 22, 2013 at 06:38 PM.
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 01:13 PM   #19
666sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omenaudio View Post
Thanks 666sheep! \m/

Is there any way i can test if the logic board is the problem? The report i got back from the mac repairer is:

replaced PSU-failed. Machine still powering off.
*removed all parts from the machine except for MLB, CPU and PSU - FAILED. Machine still powers off.
Looking like MB

Could it not also be the CPU?

Also the SERVICE MANUAL seems to be hard to find. Am i looking for a hard copy or a download? I found a website that claim to have the download manual... For a fee.....
I'm thinking i could just film every lead/screw ect i unplug step by step so i can play it back when i'm putting the new MB in.

What do you think? To risky? Keep looking for a service manual?

The northbridge heat sinks aren't expensive so i'll throw a couple those in if you think its worth it.

Again thanks heaps for your advice!

HORNS UP \m/
omen
See Troubleshooting chapter in MP 3,1 Service Manual. Check Diagnostic LEDs on logic board. Read this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1420427. If red LED mentioned there lights, it points on logic board failure.
Before buying replacement one, check all possible troubleshooting methods to be sure of your diagnose.

You can test CPUs one by one, in upper socket.

Last edited by 666sheep; Mar 23, 2013 at 01:30 PM. Reason: fixed link
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Old Mar 23, 2013, 09:59 PM   #20
omenaudio
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logic board fail

Yep that little LED up near the airport card is glowing when attempting to boot the machine.

Its really looking like the the logic board.
The repairer ordered a new power supply and swapped my one for a new one and the machine failed.
So i can rule the PSU out.
It won't boot with the video card or the ram boards out so i don't think its that.
The repairer basically took every out and tried to boot. But nothing.

I read the service manual (thanks 666sheep) and push the Logic Board Diagnostic LEDs buttons and nothing bad comes up.
I've got:
trickle power.
GPU good
EFI done

Doesn't say the CPU's are bad or errors.

i really think its the mother board....

I tell ya its a bit daunting to throw down a few hundred bucks on a motherboard on a self diagnosis!!!
But i'm thinking i can do it!

I'll keep looking into it over next few days before i buy a new board and if anyone wants to put their 2 bob in i'd greatly appreciate it!

Cheers

omen
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Old Mar 24, 2013, 12:05 AM   #21
Genghis Khan
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Sounds similar to a problem I was having earlier this year.

My computer would start, get to the white screen, then close and restart, saying it had a error (and continue this cycle). Computer performance prior to this had been sluggish as well.

After posting on here, I took someone's advice and took my 8800GT out (and ran on just the ATi 2600XT), and it worked fine. The 8800GT had fried, and just having it plugged into the motherboard was freaking out the computer.

Although, if you've had your computer tested, it probably wasn't that...lol
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