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Old Jul 30, 2004, 08:05 PM   #1
mojohanna
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My new G5 is acting funky, need a little help

I need some help. My 1 month old mac is giving me more problems than any of my other macs combined. I have had two instances where the status light on the front flashes 3 times when I turn it on. I hear no start up tone, I don't think it even makes it that far. According to the manual, 3 flashes means incompatible ram. The ram I have is 2x128 factroy installed and 2x256 after market, purchased at the apple store the day I bought the computer (they had a nice deal going).
First time it happened, I took it back to the store. They of course did not find anything wrong with it. They reset the pmu and pulled the ram and reseated it.
This happeded to me again earlier in the week and I again reset the pmu along with the pram. Its working fine now.
My wife uses the computer while I am at work to spend all of my hard earned dollars on eBay, she tells me that today, the fans kicked into high gear, and she got a prompt telling her that she needed to shut the computer down by holding the power button in for 5 seconds.
I have rebuilt the permissions once and I am planning on doing it again as soon as I am finished here.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions or should I just take this thing back to the store and let them work it over?

I have been around macs all my life, so i have a good feel for some of the semi advanced do it/try it yourself stuff.

Thanks for the help in advance. I am new to this sight and I think I have learned more from reading these threads over the last couple of weeks than I have in the past year!!!!
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Old Jul 30, 2004, 09:19 PM   #2
oldfart
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Red face Re: My new G5 is acting funky, need a little help

Try This!!
Remove the two-256M chips that you bought at the store and try rebooting.
If the problem goes away, one or both are defective.

If it doesn't, try removing the two-128M's that originally came installed on your G5 leaving the 256's in.

Reboot and see if the problem goes away.

Last edited by oldfart; Jul 31, 2004 at 04:25 PM.
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Old Jul 30, 2004, 10:17 PM   #3
Maxx Power
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Since you mentioned the fans went full blast, and I know the G5's have a design flaw with the cooling of the hard drives.... Maybe it's something inside overheating...
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Old Jul 30, 2004, 10:35 PM   #4
MisterMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojohanna
I need some help. My 1 month old mac is giving me more problems than any of my other macs combined. I have had two instances where the status light on the front flashes 3 times when I turn it on. I hear no start up tone, I don't think it even makes it that far. According to the manual, 3 flashes means incompatible ram. The ram I have is 2x128 factroy installed and 2x256 after market, purchased at the apple store the day I bought the computer (they had a nice deal going).
First time it happened, I took it back to the store. They of course did not find anything wrong with it. They reset the pmu and pulled the ram and reseated it.
This happeded to me again earlier in the week and I again reset the pmu along with the pram. Its working fine now.
My wife uses the computer while I am at work to spend all of my hard earned dollars on eBay, she tells me that today, the fans kicked into high gear, and she got a prompt telling her that she needed to shut the computer down by holding the power button in for 5 seconds.
I have rebuilt the permissions once and I am planning on doing it again as soon as I am finished here.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions or should I just take this thing back to the store and let them work it over?

I have been around macs all my life, so i have a good feel for some of the semi advanced do it/try it yourself stuff.

Thanks for the help in advance. I am new to this sight and I think I have learned more from reading these threads over the last couple of weeks than I have in the past year!!!!
Is your third-party RAM listed as compatible with your computer?
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Old Jul 30, 2004, 10:58 PM   #5
musicpyrite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMe
Is your third-party RAM listed as compatible with your computer?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMe
....and 2x256 after market, purchased at the apple store the day I bought the computer....
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 06:29 AM   #6
mojohanna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldfart
Try This!!
Remove the two-256M chips that you bought at the store and try rebooting.
If the problem goes away, one or both are defective.

If it doesn't, try removing the two-128M's that originally came installed on your G5 leaving the 256's in.

Reboot and see if the problem goes away.
Is there any sort of diagnositc program that can be run on ram to check it versus the guess work that goes into using pulling the different sticks? I don't mean to sound lazy, but that was the first thing I thought of the first time it happened and that is exactly what I did.
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 07:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojohanna
Is there any sort of diagnositc program that can be run on ram to check it versus the guess work that goes into using pulling the different sticks? I don't mean to sound lazy, but that was the first thing I thought of the first time it happened and that is exactly what I did.
Use your hardware test CD.
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 09:22 AM   #8
mojohanna
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I ran the hardware test. Used the extended test option. Nothing came up. Is it normal for the fans to crank all the way up during the hardware test?
Sounds like it might be software, but that doesn't make sense since nothing boots up when I have the problem.
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Old Jul 31, 2004, 02:04 PM   #9
oldfart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojohanna
Is there any sort of diagnositc program that can be run on ram to check it versus the guess work that goes into using pulling the different sticks? I don't mean to sound lazy, but that was the first thing I thought of the first time it happened and that is exactly what I did.
I have yet to find one....other than TechTools Pro.
I've heard that Apple has a utility that can test RAM, but at best it may be an "urban myth".

My experience is; RAM that tests OK with TT Pro turned out to be defective. Replacing it with a "KNOWN" good RAM solved the problem.

SO.....purchase RAM from known sources that allow you to return it if it doesn't work for you even though THEY may test it OK.

I have used just about evey RAM manufactured out there. The cheap ones are the ones that fail most of the time. The expensive ones (i.e. Kingston, et al) don't fare better than "Apple Branded", "Crucial" or the RAM you can purchase from OWC.

Also make SURE that the RAM you purchase is the same spec as the RAM that originally came with your Mac.
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Old Aug 1, 2004, 02:38 PM   #10
oldfart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojohanna

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions or should I just take this thing back to the store and let them work it over?

I have been around macs all my life, so i have a good feel for some of the semi advanced do it/try it yourself stuff.

Thanks for the help in advance. I am new to this sight and I think I have learned more from reading these threads over the last couple of weeks than I have in the past year!!!!
Is your video card a 5200?? See if you can swap that with another from the Apple Store

Let me know!
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Old Aug 1, 2004, 08:02 PM   #11
MisterMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musicpyrite
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMe
Is your third-party RAM listed as compatible with your computer?
As remarkable as it may seem, I can read. Certainly if I had purchased RAM at the Apple Store, I would have ensured that it was compatible with my computer. It is, however, only an assumption that mojohanna did the same thing. And you know what they say happens when you assume?
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Old Aug 2, 2004, 06:12 AM   #12
mojohanna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMe
As remarkable as it may seem, I can read. Certainly if I had purchased RAM at the Apple Store, I would have ensured that it was compatible with my computer. It is, however, only an assumption that mojohanna did the same thing. And you know what they say happens when you assume?
To end this part of the discussion the ram is apple labled. Again assuming here, but if apple is going to put their name on it I am sure it would work in my machine
Here is the list out from the sys profiler:
DIMM0/J11:

Size: 256 MB
Type: DDR SDRAM
Speed: PC3200U-30330

DIMM1/J12:

Size: 256 MB
Type: DDR SDRAM
Speed: PC3200U-30330

DIMM2/J13:

Size: 128 MB
Type: DDR SDRAM
Speed: PC3200U-30330

DIMM3/J14:

Size: 128 MB
Type: DDR SDRAM
Speed: PC3200U-30330

Its all the same speed etc.

Also, I do have the 5200 card.
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Old Aug 2, 2004, 07:40 AM   #13
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Newer Macs are extremely sensitive to RAM. Just because it is "Apple" RAM doesn't mean that it will perform flawlessly in the hundreds of thousands of computers Apple sells.

If the RAM/Computer is still new, contact Apple and explain *exactly* what happened, and that it was all "Apple" RAM. They may replace the modules.

RAM chip manufacturers make many millions of chips every month, its not beyond reason that a very tiny fraction may have issues in the very sensitive Mac computers these days.

Even 0.1% of all RAM chips produced in a few months is still a huge number, so don't act like this is some huge major flaw that only affects Apple.

People with problems are orders of magnitudes more vocal about their computer use/issues than perfectly satisfied customers, so the signal-to-noise ration is obviously skewed.

Contact Apple or go to an Apple store and explain *exactly* the situation i.e. all Apple RAM, 3 flashing lights on startup. They should replace one or more modules until the G5 starts up normally.

BTW here is some detailed G5 hardware troubleshooting info, including what the power light flashes mean during startup.

G5 Hardware Help
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