Mac Pro freezes and crashes

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by miniConvert, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #1
    Hey folks,

    Some of you know that I have a Mac Pro. What you probably didn't know is that it's not the only Mac Pro in the office.

    A colleagues Mac Pro, bought with mine, has never been quite right. Unlike mine it'll suddenly lock up with no warning and for no particular reason. This has always been bareable, until now.

    Today, suddenly, the monitor switched off. There was no longer video output. I tried to VNC and SSH in to the machine, but it had completely hung. A red light was showing on the logic board when I opened the Mac Pro up, above the RAM risers (between those and the graphics card).

    I restarted it and it was back for a while, but then it locked up again when the screensaver kicked in.

    I've got Apple sending me a replacement ATI card, because the only alternative is to have the machine shipped off for repair and that means downtime. I'm hoping that this will be the solution - but I'd really appreciate your thoughts?

    Thanks,
    miniConvert
     
  2. downset macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #2
    if you want to be 100% sure the mac is faulty before sending it in, do the folowing:

    unplug all external devices and hardware add-ons, use a different usb keyboard and mouse from another mac that works perfectly

    unplug all the sata hard drives and plug in another (working and empty) sata harddrive and do a fresh install of os x

    if it has the same problems it has to go in for repair, if not the problem is with either the software or one of the external devices/add-ons
     
  3. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #3
    Check the drive for directory damage (Single User Mode) if only because hard shutdowns can cause it. Next, remove or swap out the RAM. Don't attempt a reinstall of OSX. This probably won't help and could easily make matters worse.
     
  4. miniConvert thread starter macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #4
    Well, I'll keep my fingers crossed that the new ATI X1900XT sorts out the problem - it may arrive tomorrow, Apple are ever so fast at mail-out-parts.

    Techtool diagnosed the dodgy HDD in my own Mac Pro perfectly, so hopefully it has also correctly diagnosed the video RAM issue. My only worry is that it mentions this could be a video card or logic board issue, and obviously if it turns out to be the latter then the only option is to have Apple replace it.

    I'm considering if my local apple reseller/service centre would be able to help me by getting the parts and fitting them. As they're local it could cut out days of shipping. The other alternative is to use my nearest Apple store but I'd imagine they'll just send it away. Anyway, I don't want to think about that just yet!

    If it does turn out to be the ATI card then that'll mean both of ours have gone. That's pretty poor!
     
  5. miniConvert thread starter macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #5
    I can't believe it, just checked my emails and the moron has ordered the naff nVidia card! I mean I knew he wasn't the brightest spark when I was talking to him on the phone, but grr!

    Still, I'll accept it and put it in anyway... at least I'll know one way or the other what the problem is.
     
  6. miniConvert thread starter macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #6
    To continue my monologue...

    Apple are out of stock of the ATI card. The nVidia card has finally showed up, taking a horrific 4 days to come. Anyway, it has arrived now, so lets get on with it.

    It's tiny! Lol! And passively cooled. Anyway, I've removed the defective ATI card PN 102A5202950 000004 (so the NTK part, no surprise) and installed the nVidia for now because we need the workstation operational again. I'll send it back to Apple when the ATI card eventually shows up, lets just hope that happens before they put a charge on my credit card.

    The great news is that the machine appears to be working perfectly. I'm doing a Show All Windows on 25+ instances of Safari and it's working just fine, as is Dashboard. Before, anything like that would have caused visual imperfections or a full on lockup.

    There's some filesystem issues, from all the lockups I assume, but they should be easy enough to fix and they're not giving any symptoms.

    So, hopefully, all's well that ends well. If your Mac Pro starts regularly crashing and fully locking up and/or perhaps sometimes has visual imperfections such as lines across applications you may want to check out your graphics card! I'm really pleased that Techtool Deluxe picked up the problem correctly :)
     
  7. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #7
    Well it's good to hear you've at least found the source of the problem (by the sounds of things). Just out of interest, did you run the Apple Hardware Test when you had the old ATI card and if so, did it tell you the card was faulty? :)
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #8
    Great. Get your disk directory issues cleaned up (fsck or better) and you should be good to go.

    Lesson: More evidence that the majority of kernel panics are related to hardware issues, not software.
     

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