Mac Pro Video / Fan Issue (details inside)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by prestissimo, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. prestissimo macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2015
    Hello fellow forum members. Looooooooong time lurker here (seriously, y'all have solved MANY a problem of mine - THANK YOU) but I finally had to create an account because I'm beyond flummoxed.

    I have a 2006 Mac Pro with upgraded CPUs, 16GB, 5770, SL. Most recently, an issue has been happening that I can't figure out.

    I will be doing some mundane task like watching 'Flix / iTunes movie, listening to music, or just browsing the interweb when the display cuts out, the audio is killed (if there was audio), and the front fan does this weird on / off cycle (1.5 seconds on, 2 seconds off, repeat). The computer is completely unresponsive - no video, audio, mouse and keyboard are useless. At this point, I have to force shutdown the tower and restart. However, I have also gone to bed only to wake up to that dreaded cyclic fan noise so it's not symptomatic with active use.

    I've run a mem text using the OEM install disk but it's showing up as ok. I've moved the memory around. I've removed and reinstalled the video card. I don't know what is going on. Here is a link to an audio recording. It's short and starts at :04. I will submit links to copies of the logs tomorrow.

    Now, let me just say that I am not planning on getting rid of this computer since I got it for dirt cheap and I have VERY specific iTunes needs - namely iTunes 11+ sucks balls because multiple playlist windows was disco'd (I teach fitness classes and need to have multiple playlists open to easily create them). That and I like Front Row too much. I have a 2014 MBP (from work) that serves as a tertiary back up system so I'm not really stressed about hardware. Plus, I'm not interested in upgrading for the sake of upgrading - if the current hardware does what I need it to do, I'll keep it until it completely dies.

    With that said, I'd LOVE to get your thoughts on this. At first I was thinking that this issue stemmed from the CPU swap and the F/W update but when I stopped to think about it, this same exact issue happened ages ago when it had the 1900XT installed, just not as frequently (this issue has happened 5 times in the past 2 days).

    Shout out if you have questions / suggestions. I could really use your brainpower as I've exhausted my own. Many thanks in advance!!!
  2. Lucas Godfrey macrumors 6502

    Lucas Godfrey

    Jul 12, 2010
    Somewhere between Here and There
    I would firstly do a smc reset and then a pram reset, then wait to see if the issue shows again.
  3. prestissimo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2015
    Yep. Did that as part of my original troubleshooting.
  4. VAGDesign macrumors 6502


    Feb 1, 2014
  5. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    it would seem like the culprit could be either of the CPU, RAM or video card.

    Any way to get a second internal drive or external to create a new install of OS X and try to eliminate any OS issue?

    Last things it could be are logic board or PSU.
  6. prestissimo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2015

    Well, I opened up Console and started examining the logs. For the life of me, I can't see anything that would cause the system to just black out like that. A couple apps (old, I must admit) were causing errors so I uninstalled them.

    I ran the Macs Fan Control app and the temps were well within reason.

    Likewise, System Profiler says that all memory is OK.

    I'm going to run MemTest86 overnight and see if there is an issue with my memory sticks. Maybe something Profiler isn't detecting?

    Is there a program that will run a similar test on the CPUs? There is the Terminal "Yes" test, but if any of you have a GUI-based program, that would be helpful.

    I'm going to try and boot from a completely green HDD this weekend.

    This is really frustrating. Not to mention this is the first time I've ever seen a Mac (regardless of if it's mine) do this. So weird.
  7. prestissimo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2015
    [update #2]

    So I burned the MemTest86 as an iso and tried to boot to the CD.

    The system hung and proceeded to do the fan cycle issue.

    Disclosure: I have a BluRay drive as the only optical drive in my tower.

    Has there ever been a situation where the optical drive causes the system to hang at startup and do the fan cycling thing?
  8. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Disconnect it and you will know the answer.
  9. prestissimo, Jan 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

    prestissimo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2015
    Obviously, that's the next step.

    But the goal of my question was to see if this is the first instance where this has happened or if there exists (a) prior case(s).
  10. prestissimo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2015
    [update #3]

    For those following, it's getting interesting.

    Booted him up today and this happened.

    So, I did what any good tech did - I booted from the clone. Took AGES to boot but it finally did. I'm going to get a new drive tomorrow and see if it solves the problem.

    Now, I've experienced a drive failing. However, I have never seen a Mac do this with a potentially failed drive. I'm thinking the problem could exist with the onboard connector interface of the drive OR with the connector interface on the logic board.

    The saga continues.
  11. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    I apologise for my poor English and rush reply.

    What I want to say was that's really hard to tell. Theoretically, any hardware that will be initialized during the initial boot process may cause the issue. The only way to find out the truth is by testing it.
  12. prestissimo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2015
    [update #4]

    So the fan issue just occurred so I cracked him open to physically see which fans were having issues.

    It was the graphics card. Took that out, dusted it and plugged it back in.

    Turned on to the unholy trifecta (Apple > missing folder > Ø) flashing screen.

    Bays 1 and 2 are on a software RAID1 so I take out Bay 1. Powering him back up, I see that the array is degraded. So swap out the hard drive with a new one to see if the array will be rebuilt (checkbox is set to automatically rebuild).

    After booting into the installation disk I check...nada. So I set Bay 1 to format for Mac OS Extended (Journaled) for kicks and giggles. Leave for the gym and come back to this.

    Transcribed: POSIX reports: the operation couldn/U2019t be completed. (NSPOSIXErrorDomain error 2 - No such file or directory)

    Google isn't helping much when it comes to this exact error - the errors usually are for MBPs rather than the tower.

    How likely are incidents where the onboard SATA connector fails?
  13. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Do an install on a different drive on a different connector.

    Leave the raid out on that one, just normal install. You'll know answer pretty soon.
  14. prestissimo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2015
    I ended up deleting the RAID array and splitting up the drives. Bay 2 had the second slice and when Option-booting into it, it ran well. Actually, it ran significantly faster than when the drives were in the array. I've put a new drive into Bay 1 and started the cloning process this morning before leaving for work. We'll see if anything happens, i.e. if the computer freezes. If not, I'm cracking open a Korbel.

    If it is the software RAID, I can live with that. It's so weird and I've never seen anything like this before. Oh well, I guess there's always a first time for everything.

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13 January 26, 2015