Mac Cube won't boot

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ajedrez, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. ajedrez macrumors newbie

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    #1
    I have a Mac cube with a Sonnet 1.8 Ghz processor upgrade (OS X 10.3.8), and firmware upgrade to support it. It was running fine, but one day it got "stuck" in the "spinning wheel" mode. So I shut it down (turned it off by pressing the startup light switch). When I started it back up, it wouldn't boot off the hard drive. It just came up with the question mark folder icon. So I tried booting off of a CD (first my DiskWarrior CD, and then my OS X installation disk). That wouldn't work either. It goes to the Apple bite image and the spinning circle, and then it just shows a circle with a line through it (the "not" icon). Do you have any ideas of what is wrong or how I can trouble shoot it?
     
  2. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    #2
    Have you tried removing the CPU upgrade to see if that is the problem?
     
  3. ajedrez thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    No, it takes several hours to take a cube apart and put it back together, so I haven't tried putting the old 450 Mhz CPU back in. I'm hoping there might be a more simple solution. And that CPU is pretty new. I'll be rather angry with Sonnet if it is failing.

    I have considered doing that of course, but if you have ever taken one of those cubes apart, you'll understand what I mean. I've done it about 5-6 times, and it is not fun.
     
  4. NAG macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Yeah, I can understand. Still, it is the most obvious place to have the problem. Did it come with any diagnostic utilities?
     
  5. ajedrez thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I don't remember it having any diagnostic utilities.

    By the way, if I re-install the old CPU, don't I have to remove the firmware update. I don't know how to do that.
     
  6. NAG macrumors 68030

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    #6
    I'm not sure as I've never really fully looked into that (I've never done this myself).
     
  7. ajedrez thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Does anyone think it might be anything other than the CPU causing the problems?
     
  8. NAG macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Have you tried resetting the pmu and all that fun stuff?
     
  9. MacNut macrumors Core

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    #9
    Could be many things not worth repairing. I don't know how long the Cubes were meant to last but Im sure they are working harder then a normal desktop.
     
  10. redAPPLE macrumors 68030

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    #10
    have you tried fsck? (repairing permissions with single-user mode)
     
  11. NAG macrumors 68030

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    #11
    I doubt it is a file system issue if he can't even boot up off a cd. Of course it could be two problems, the card doesn't let him boot off the cd and a hard drive problem doesn't let him boot up off the hard drive.
     
  12. ajedrez thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    I'm guessing that it is a single problem, so I don't think it could be a hard drive problem. Wouldn't it boot off the CD if it was a hard drive problem?

    So fsck wouldn't help would it?

    I tried resetting the PRAM, but not the PMU. I'll give that a try.
     
  13. Mord macrumors G4

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  14. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #14
    I'd try booting into Single User Mode just to see if you can do it. I'd also try starting up in Target Disk Mode and attempting to read the drive from another Mac.

    Bad RAM is a possible culprit.
     
  15. NAG macrumors 68030

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    #15
    You would get the tones of death if it was bad ram. Trying target disk mode if you have another computer to connect to would be a good idea.
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #16
    Hardly ever. I've had two Macs with bad RAM (including a Cube) and neither one indicated as much on startup. In fact the symptoms on the Cube were very similar to the ones described by the OP.
     
  17. Dustman macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I'm willing to bet money that your hard drives failing. It might not be though, in either case, you need to reinstall OS X. The circle with the line through it means some important file that your computer needs to boot is corrupted or missing.
     
  18. NAG macrumors 68030

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    #18
    I guess assuming you don't always get death tones it is more likely than hard drive failure. Might try swapping sticks in and out then.
     
  19. ajedrez thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    I only get the circle with the line through it when I try to boot from a CD. I don't think there are missing system files on the boot CD. I think if I can't boot off the CD means that it isn't the hard drive, but I may be wrong. Booting off of the hard drive comes up with the folder with the question mark icon. I don't get the chimes when it starts up. But I will try swapping out the memory too.
     
  20. ajedrez thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Can someone explain "target disk mode"? I do have another computer, but it is not OS X (it's system 9). Although my daughter will be home for Thanksgiving and I could have her bring her Mac home if this "target disk mode" is something worth trying.
     
  21. NAG macrumors 68030

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    #21
    Macs with firewire (well most of them) have the ability to turn into firewire hard drives, essentially.

    If you hold down the t key while starting up you'll get a firewire symbol on your monitor. That means if you plug a firewire cable between your computer and another one the other computer will see your computer as an external firewire hard disk. You should then be able to perform checks on the drive using a disk utility of one sort or another.
     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #22
    No startup chime at all? That's unusual, assuming the speakers are connected and working. This suggests a low-level hardware failure of some kind. Do you have anything connected to this Cube via USB or Firewire?
     
  23. ajedrez thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    O.k. So reseting the PMU didn't help.

    No, there aren't any chimes when I start it up. So now I will trying connecting it to one of my other Macs using the firewire connection (suggested by NAG). Then I will try the memory swapping.

    And then if all else fails, I'm going to throw the useless piece of junk off of the highest building I can find. Just kidding.

    I'm beginning to think that I fried the Sonnet 1.8 GHz CPU. At some point I will try replacing the old CPU and see if that helps, but I really don't want to take the whole thing apart just yet.
     
  24. jbstew32 macrumors regular

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    #24

    that's what I would guess happened. I'm not sure the cube would be able to dissipate enough heat quickly enough, frying the cpu.
     
  25. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    The Cube does fine with these CPU upgrades. I've been running one for years, a 1.7 GHZ Sonnet. They all come with a base fan, which takes care of the heat issues very effectively. It is worth keeping in mind though that all of these Macs are 6-7 years old now. That's a long time for a computer to remain in service.

    You can also try an Open Firmware reset. Do you know how that is done?
     

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