Early 2008 Mac Pro, ECC errors on RAM, bachball bonanza

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jevel, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. jevel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #1
    I have an early 2008 Mac Pro here that has been running 24 / 7 since I got it, summer 2008. Now it has started beachballing a lot. I put it down to the OS being upgraded and then upgraded and upgraded again from Leo til the current Lion install, so I reinstalled. To my dismay, the beachball still shows from time to time, ranging from a few seconds, to longer periods. (Well over a minute.) When the beachball arrives, the whole system is unresponsive, but my CPU graph in the menu bar updates, and new notifications play as normal.

    I have been trying to figure this out for quite some time, and it turns out that when I have the most severe hangs, I get an ECC error in console. I initially put it down to bad RAM, but I've tried swapping my modules around a little, and it still happens on the same riser, same socket.

    My question is; could it be a bad riser? What are the odds it's something on the main board instead? If it's a riser problem, I've found used risers at an affordable price, but still don't want to waste $100 if chances are small that it will fix the problem. ;)

    -KJ
     
  2. elvisizer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose
    #2
    if you've moved the RAM and the problem stays at the same slot, then the slot is the problem.
    if you're worried it's something that's connecting to that riser, swap the risers and see where the problem goes. if it stays at the same location after moving the riser's then it's your mother board. if it moves with the riser, then it's the riser.

    personally, i doubt it's your motherboard. from what you've described, i'd bet riser. but go ahead and move the risers and find out for sure.

    also, my 2008 will occasionally light up a RAM error light on one of the risers. removing and reseating the riser has always sorted that out, so maybe just try reseating the risers, too.
     
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    If it is a faulty memory riser (it can happen), the part is around $60 to replace. The logic board itself is probably fine.
     
  4. jevel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #4
    Thank you for the replies. I had thought the risers were two different part#, but hadn't really looked at them to see if they could be swapped.

    I see the prices @ ebay are as low as $50 with shipping, but I have to add handling and taxes here in Norway as well. That means I can buy one locally with added warranty @ $100 instead.

    I'll get to swapping the risers around next weekend, and I'll see if I can pinpoint the problem to one riser.

    -KJ
     
  5. ekwipt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
  6. jevel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #6
    Nothing to speak about. Been in an office with daily cleaning. Only a very thin cover on surfaces where the air has not been circulating, as the graphics card and such.

    -KJ
     
  7. djjclark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #7
    mem riser card also has diagnostic lights on them as well. Any red lights on the board?
     
  8. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    The two riser cards are identical.
     
  9. jevel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #9
    Thank you for all replies.

    Did a little switcheroo last weekend, and the problems does indeed follow the riser I first saw it on.

    I found a pair of riser cards at a decent price, and will probably have them installed in a week or so.

    Didn't see this comment before I did the job. Did not try running the Mac with the side off, so I do not know if the leds were green or not. Will have to see when the new risers arrive.

    -KJ
     

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