Leopard crashing - lots of variables

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Rower_CPU, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #1
    I'm starting out here in the broader "OS X Help" forum before diving into a specific sub-forum because I've got a few too many variables to try and eliminate from the equation, so here goes:

    I've been running Leopard since November on a mac pro (2x2.66, 2GB RAM, X1900 XT w/ 512MB - CTO direct from Apple). No issues beyond some initial .Mac sync weirdness with a Tiger machine and occasional graphics glitches like weird lines drawn through an app's window.

    Last week I added a 2TB LaCie drive and started using Time Machine. Again, no problems and things were running smoothly.

    This week I've been working on a Motion project and all of a sudden this rock solid machine is freaking out. Motion will typically crash on me after anywhere from 5 minutes to 2 hours leaving me with a an almost completely unresponsive system: I can still move my mouse pointer, but any attempt to bring up the force quit dialog box, or click in menus or the dock is futile. I'm stuck having to do a hard shutdown by pressing and holding the power button.

    Then, when I restart, I run into odd issues with Spotlight wanting to re-index my internal and external drives, usually resulting in another hard crash unless I unplug/turn off the external drive and boot into single user mode to run fsck first to clean up the boot drive before letting Spotlight do its thing.

    At this point, I've updated the firmware for the graphics card (in case those occasional graphic glitches are an indicator of something weird with the ATI card), and deleted and re-installed Motion, but I'm still having issues. Any advice for what to try next?
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Have you read the crash logs in Console to see if they point to anything?
     
  3. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #3
    I've scanned through them a few times but I'm not seeing anything conclusive. It looks like the .Mac sync is throwing buffer overruns every now and then but I can't see if it's directly related because the timestamp on those errors doesn't match up with my crashes.

    The actual crashreporter log doesn't even have any current entries (as in within the last couple of months) so I can't tell if it's just Leopard putting the report somewhere unexpected or if the system's hanging up so bad the watchdog processes can't write out to the logs...
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    So were Motion's crash logs empty too? When you ran fsck, did it have to make any changes? Sorry for all the questions mate, but you know the drill. :)
     
  5. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #5
    My install does that too... Crashes (or some funky whatever, usually when I'm using it in clamshell mode) and when I reboot twice now it's had to do some spotlight index rebuilding. This only started since 10.5.1, so I'm thinking that part is a leopard error. It doesn't cause another crash though..

    Did you try scanning the hard drive for errors, and repairing permissions (repairing permissions mostly for the placibo effect :D )
     
  6. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #6
    mj: No worries about the questions - I'm pretty good at troubleshooting, but I always appreciate an additional perspective.

    I'll have to double-check Motion's logs when I get to work on Monday. I don't recall seeing anything, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there.

    fsck made changes the first time I did it but not on the subsequent 3-4 times I've tried.

    thejadedmonkey: Yup, did the good old repair permission mojo a couple of times, but it doesn't seem like it's finding anything too strange.
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    Have you used Disk Utility to check the external drive(s)?
     
  8. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #8
    Yup, no issues with the external drive that DiskUtility can see.
     
  9. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #9
    So I'm back at work doing some more troubleshooting. Motion's crash logs only have some entries from last spring under Tiger, nothing recent. I'm thinking the hard shutdown isn't letting any crash reports get written out because I'm not finding much recent in any of the logs.

    I'll report back with any other findings, but if this continues I'm going to have to bust out the old format re-install trick (original 10.5 install was an upgrade install).
     
  10. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #10
    Maybe try the archive & install option first, unless a reformat isn't too much of a hassle. Upgrades can be dodgy.
     
  11. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #11
    Well, the last day has been "fun" - more crashes, some at the login window after entering my username and password, one even when booted off of the Leopard install DVD :eek:. I'm thinking a re-install/archive install won't cut it and I may have to go back to Tiger.

    The symptoms described in this thread seem to fit what I'm seeing now: no discernable pattern of causes, random freezes doing vary tasks, system still "alive" but screen is frozen.

    So, it seems to be coming down to Leopard bugs, my X1900 XT card going bad, or a combo of the 2...:(
     
  12. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #12
    If it's crashing off the Leopard DVD then it's gotta be bad hardware. As useless as it is, have you run the Apple Hardware Test?
     
  13. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #13
    It's been crazy busy at work, but I thought I'd report back with more info on what's turning out to be one of the craziest computer issues I've ever dealt with.

    I ran the Apple Hardware Test, looping it a few times as a mini stress test to see what would happen. Everything passed and ran fine.

    I then popped the video card out to check for dust/blockage creating a heat issue. I blew out the heatsink/fan and got minimal dust out - it's a pretty clean office. On a whim, I plugged the DVI cable into the top port instead of the bottom as it had been before.

    Since then I haven't had a single crash, even while running Motion for a couple of hours yesterday. I've also had less graphical glitches like lines showing up in windows. I don't know if it was blowing out the card, or the fact that the other DVI port might be going bad. :confused:

    Once I get past some projects that will tie up the machine for the next couple of weeks it's going to be time to bring AppleCare/the Genius Bar into the equation and see about getting a new video card.

    Thanks for the assistance and I'll post back if it goes back down in flames. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #14
    Nevermind - still FUBAR

    It only took a couple of hours for my optimism to prove to be unfounded. :p

    I started seeing glitches left and right (though not a full on freeze like before) - areas of the screen not updating, jaggies/tearing in Safari, etc. Take a look at the screenshots.

    Seems it's definitely the video card, so I'll be spending some quality time with AppleCare in the near future...
     

    Attached Files:

  15. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #15
    Damn. Good luck with it all. What a pain in the arse. :(
     
  16. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #16
    A little update...

    I started having issues again so I decided it was time to see if my local Genius Bar guys could help and hopefully hook me up with a new video card. I lugged the Mac Pro into the nearest store (damn thing's heavy after a few hundred meters!) - and of course proceeded to look like an ass because we couldn't reproduce the issues. The guys tells me to try a different monitor in case it's the 23" ACD messing things up :confused: and to track down some qmasterd issues (compresser daemon for clustering render jobs) that seemed to be causing the KPs.

    I took it back to the office with my tail between my legs and tried a Dell screen and started cranking away in Motion after disabling Qmaster and guess what, I'm seeing artifacts again and it will probably crash in a little bit. :mad:

    What's weird is that he did a little stress test of the card with some Grapher animations going, running a bunch of Safari windows, using Exposé and Spaces to toss windows around and everything was OK.

    I'm stuck at this point with maybe a heat issue or something else weird about my setup here (back to the Time Machine problem and FW800 drive plugged in????). So frustrating...

    I found an Apple discussion that sounds close to what I'm seeing but there's nothing more there that will actually help.

    Any fresh ideas are more than welcome.
     
  17. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    Bad power?

    Pure guess.. but is there somewhere else at home you can test the set up? I'm sure it's a pain in the ass to move, but at this point, you've got to try and start eliminating all variables.
     
  18. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #18
    Yeah, power crossed my mind a couple of times. I'll see if I can switch it to a better power strip (no UPSes/line conditioners around here at work, unfortunately).

    On another note, I was able to get a decent sized Motion project to render without a KP this time, so disabling Qmaster seems to have helped on that front.
     
  19. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #19
    If you need to bring it to a store, you can call them to see if they have a pickup / delivery area and if yes, make appointment, and someone will cart your MP in.

    (Unless you prefer to carry it for exercise reasons).
     
  20. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #20
    Another update that will (hopefully) resolve the issue.

    I finally found some log entries that helped point me in the direction of Qmaster issues with Leopard, so I ended up wiping the drive and re-installing Leopard followed by FCS and I've been doing OK on that front.

    However, the screen artifacts and occasional frozen screens persisted. I got fed up today and had some time to troubleshoot so I did some more stress testing and then got on the phone with AppleCare.

    They now have ATI X1900XT + Leopard = screen glitches as an "emerging issue" and recommend a you run the October ATI firmware update. If you already have (like me) and you're still having issues, then they'll send you a replacement card. *phew*

    My new card should be here next week and I hope to be done with this issue at long last. :)
     
  21. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #21
    Fingers crossed mate. I hope the new card sorts things out for you. :)
     
  22. Rower_CPU thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #22
    The new card went in yesterday and after about 30 minutes of stress testing (several Grapher windows with the fancy 3D examples running - this would bring the system down in a few minutes with the old card) I'm happy to report no graphical glitches whatsoever and completely smooth sailing for the past 2 days.

    Woohoo! :D
     

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