"You need to restart your computer"

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by joeco, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Hello all

    I need help resuscitating my mac pro and any help will be much appreciated.
    My mac is a 2006 mac pro uprgaded with a 8800gt and snow leopard.

    I was playing a game in bootcamp when the game would suddenly freeze, with
    glitchy audio looping and becoming totally unresponsive, I managed to reboot
    and replay the game with this happening again. I rebooted a third time and the apple cinema display started blank and giving 3 short flashes. I managed to boot into
    snow leopard a few trimes and then started to get "You need to restart your computer" message when loading up. Now I get this message on every attempt
    and im not sure how to find out whats wrong and fix it.

    I thought it might be a video card problem from the cinema display going blank when
    booting into bootcamp but thought it might also be a hardrive problem due to the
    forced reboots. Either way have totally no idea what it could be.
    I also did a hardware scan from my install disc and this returned no errors so
    thought it might need a fresh install but cant do this due to the error message.

    Any ideas much appreciated.
  2. macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    If you could scan your hard disk, does that mean you can retrieve
    the system logs from it? If so, they may contain something of note.
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Not sure how to scan my hardrive and retrieve logs, I managed to run a diagnostics test from the install disk. Is there a way to get to the logs?

  4. macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Take the drive out and put it in another machine (if you have access to one)?
  5. macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Its my only machine unfortunately. Does it sound like hardrive failure?
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    It sounds like overheating to me, but it could be a number of things.
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    I have gone through some of those but am unable to follow all the steps
    to isolate the problem, it wont let me load disk utility at boot or start in safe mode or
    check SMART Diagnostics by pressing c, always crashes. I have checked everything is plugged in correctly, ram and gfx card and given it a clean.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 27, 2008
    You say you have upgraded the graphics card? one of the primary causes of kernel panics such as what your experiencing are graphics cards, and RAM Modules.

    If you can, put your RAM in a friends machine maybe? That would normally be the norm for faulty RAM test- put it in another machine.

    What i would also suggest maybe is getting a spare HDD and installing windows and then the nvidia drivers for your card, flashing the card n then seeing if that works.

    Unfortuntately im not a mac pro user, i just read about these things. I imagine there are plenty of other threads around regarding flashing GFX cards.

    You could also try Zapping PRAM see if that helps.

    Did the hardware test you performed bring anything to light?
  10. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Anything overheating in particular? I did notice the 8800gt card felt hot when I gave it a clean but assumed it should feel hot to the touch after being used. Is there a way to test for overheating kernel panics?

    Thanks for the tip.

    The hardware test reported no problems, not sure if it checks gfx cards.
    I have a few ram modules in so could take some out to verify possibly.
    The 8800gt has been working for well over a year now so it wasnt recently
    upgraded but guess it could have gone caput.

  11. macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    The reason I suspect overheating is that you said you were playing a game when it first happened, and that the problem got progressively worse as you continued to try to use the machine (i.e. the heat continued to build up). The hottest components in that case would typically be the video card and the processor. In theory modern components should shut down before they sustain permanent damage from heat, but you never know.

    Checking the RAM is also an excellent suggestion, especially since the machine still doesn't work after it has cooled off.
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
    Would I be able to assume that it might not be the video card as it is able to display the apple logo on bootup and is therefore functioning?

    Thanks for the advice, will check the ram when I get back.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2009
    That's an indication that the video card is not completely broken, but it still could be the card. It might work just long enough to put the logo on the screen before it causes crash. It's probably worthwhile to start by testing other components, but don't cross the video card off the list yet.

    I don't know the RAM configuration of your machine, but one quick and easy test if you have more than one DIMM is to put in only one DIMM at a time and check if it will boot. If only one DIMM is bad, it won't boot with that one but it will boot with the others. That way you don't have to have another computer for testing. This doesn't help if all of the DIMMs are good or all of the DIMMs are bad though, so you won't know if it is the memory or not if it still doesn't boot.
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008
  15. macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    With ONE DIMM it will certainly not boot - this is Mac Pro 2006 - it needs a pair of sticks.

    OP, i don't think that it could be HDD, cause even with damaged one you should be able to run Disk Utility from install disc.

    Check RAM first (as written before) and graphics card (do you got stock 7300 or X1900?).

    8800GT might be "half-dead", cause it has very poor cooling (for the MP case at least) and first crash occured while playing game.
    Reference Nvidia single slot cooling blows hot air directly on HDDs and card is working very hot, what shorts it's life. That's why, in most cases, these cards dying in MP, i think.
  16. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008

    I have an update, I have tried swapping ram sticks out leaving to in at a time
    and still no joy. Tried leaving different hardrives conneted and tried to boot off
    dvd but no luck again. Thirdly I tried removing the 8800gt whilst booting and
    from the hardrive noises it appeared to get a lot further although I couldnt
    see this visually on the monitor. The machine still seemed to be responsive
    after about 5 minutes as keyboard strikes would result in noises from the mac.
    This has confirmed for me that it is the gfx card that is caput but would like a
    second opinion before I go and spend a pretty penny on a new card.
    Does this seem conlusive and a new card should resolve the issue?

    On another issue if I do need a new card im considering getting an hd4870 as
    Ive heard this works unoficcialy in a 2006 mac pro, does anyone know if this is

    Thanks in advance and for all the help so far, its been great.
  17. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2008

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