G5 boot stall after installing 2nd SATA drive

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by jelloemtee, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. jelloemtee macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2004

    TIA for any assistance -

    I've just installed a 2nd drive, a Seagate 200 gb. I have a DP 1.8 (first gen) w Panther 10.3.4.

    Symptoms: Stalls on "white screen/gray apple" at boot up -- no spinning icon to indicate that the hard drive is being accessed, no sound from the hard drive to indicate activity. If I leave it, after about 4 minutes the fans kick in hard and I get the hair dryer thing. Forced to power down via the power button (hold for 5 sec) -- usually get a successful bootup on the 2nd or 3rd try.

    Zapped the PRAM, ran the Hardware Test from my OS disk, checked the StartUp Disk settings (only one OS available anyway, on my primary SATA drive -- no bootable external drives). All the usual permissions and drive repairs. System is set to NEVER sleep, only for display sleep and eventual log out after a long period of inactivity.

    System seems to reboot with a better success rate if I happen to need to restart during a session - and I've been doing that a lot lately due to troubleshooting this issue. In other words, cold boot after being shutdown overnight results in almost certain stalls; restart during a session usually encounters no boot problems.

    Any ideas would be most appreciated - TIA!

  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    This might be completely off, but Rev A G5's have had many power supply issues. It is possible - although unlikely - that your added drive pushed yours over the edge, and that, when you reboot, the fact that it's already spinning and therefore doens't suck the power surge to start spinning might be why it behaves better then.

    I would call Apple. I would hope/assume that you have AppleCare. The G5s are supposed to support a second drive. Yours seems to be having problems. It is likely a fault in the computer, not the disk.
  3. jelloemtee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2004
    thanks jsw - that's good info to know, I wasn't aware of the power supply issues with Rev As.

    so you're thinking that the additional drive could be overtaxing the AC supply - certainly seems like something is keeping the drive from spinning at powerup. Everything seems fine once I'm booted -- no data dropouts or hangs that I'm aware of, and I'm accessing audio files from the new drive into Logic so I think I would have noticed if the drive hiccupped at some point due to a power drop out. But I guess it could be a question of sequencing etc specifically at boot up, like in Apollo 13!

    Unfortunately no, I couldn't scrape up the cash for AppleCare - hell I still owe every member of my family for loaning me money for food and shelter after I bought this thing, and that was in January! Apple Care is just such a blatant frickin rip-off anyway - it's morally reprehensible in my opinion to blackmail your loyal customers into paying an extra 10% to guarantee the quality control on such an expensive hi-end product. You get a better warranty on a $99 VCR or a toaster. Anyway sorry about the rant, it's really HOT here.

    I'm not really sure how one would troubleshoot to confirm the problem with the voltage at boot up. Probably something I wouldn't want to attempt anyway, but if you have any ideas on that I'd be appreciative. Do you have any leads or links that might explain the issue in more detail?

    just hoping it's something I'm overlooking in the system setup rather than a crap power supply or bus.

    I also forgot to mention - I merely formatted the new drive into a single-partition volume, with no OS (Disk Utility wouldn't let me install an OS on it). Noobie question: does that sound correct, or did I perhaps format it incorrectly in the first place? I don't need an OS on it - the 2nd drive is just for audio data and it seems to be performing the job nicely -- but maybe I missed something in the formatting stage? Also FYI - I have no external boot drives,and no OS disk in the optical drive - just the one OS on the primary internal drive.

  4. warcraftmaster macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2003
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
  6. jelloemtee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2004
    to warcraftmaster -

    no problems booting off the OS cd, at least as far as the Installer and Disk Utility programs -- I had to do that anyway to run the Hardware Test and test/repair the drives and permissions. Is there a specific trick or diagnostic I can try if I boot into the Finder off the OS disk, or is it just a good thing to do for some reason? I haven't bothered trying that but I didn't see any purpose at the time . . .

    strange though - no other symptoms as far as I can tell. Once I'm actually running I have no issues w losing connectivity to either drive or losing the Finder etc, everything seems fine. But then again I haven't tried running any songs w lots of audio tracks simultaneously streaming off the new drive - maybe if i try to work the drive & bus harder something "interesting" will happen. Gotta back everything up again first . . .

    Thanks everybody - always glad to accept any tips. This one seems to be a bit of a mystery.

  7. blackcrayon macrumors 68000

    Mar 10, 2003

    I am having the *exact* same problem. I too have a second drive installed, I work with audio (with DP though not logic)... And im having the "cold boot" issue... This morning the first time i started up my cinema display just stayed black... So i powered off and on again, this time just the gray startup screen... Then the third time it booted fine and here I am. I don't have any problems once booted into X.

    I have a single firewire drive connected to the front of the machine (not sure yet if that matters), and no PCI cards in the pci slots. My G5 is a dual 2 Ghz, it is a refurb model so it could possibly be one of the older motherboards, but shouldnt be *too* old because it does have the 8x superdrive (unless the superdrive was the item that went bad and was replaced in it :)

    So i still have plenty of warranty left (i JUST got the machine).. But i'm going to troubleshoot it a bit and of course if i cant figure it out i'll take it to apple and see what happens.

    FWIW, the second drive i added is a Maxtor 250 gig SATA drive... I guess i would have to remove it to actually troubleshoot that it is the second drive causing the problem.
  8. jelloemtee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2004

    I haven't actually gone to the full troubleshooting phase of removing devices etc - in the last few weeks I've been getting considerably fewer stalls at boot up (maybe one out of five?) even after leaving the G5 off overnight, and so it's been less of an issue. If I had Applecare I might be more inclined to consult with Apple support on the problem, but at the moment (crossed fingers . . .) I can live with it. I couldn't find any similar problems reported for the G5 re second hard drives on the tech pages at Apple or via a Google search.

    FWIW I do have a PCI card installed - a UAD-1 efx card which I'm sure requires some juice at bootup for its onboard processor. I have a few USB devices (printer, small MIDI interface, optical mouse, Logic hardware key), nothing that would draw an unusual amount of power I would think - plus I have a powered USB hub for most of that stuff anyway. Only my audio interface (MOTU 828) on the firewire 400 bus - I don't believe that it draws any power at boot up though.

    Anyway I haven't changed anything in the device chain, though I've turned off every energy saver/drive sleep option I can find. But as mentioned for some reason the boot up stalling seems to be occurring less often, as though the machine is "learning" how to boot up again. Maybe my new drive was just sticky (!).

    Perhaps the same mysterious improvement will happen with your setup - good luck! We may need it . . .

  9. w00tmaster macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2004
    If you bought it in January, then you still have a warranty on it! Applecare just extends your warranty from the default 1 year to 3 years. You don't have phone support anymore, but you can take it into an Apple retail store and have them look at it.
    You also have until your 1 year warranty runs out to decide whether or not you want applecare, you can buy it 364 days after you first bought your computer.

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