MP early 2008 won't boot - nVidia 8800 fan spins at maximum

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pullman, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. pullman macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    Feb 11, 2008
    Location:
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    #1
    Hello everyone

    My trusty Mac Pro 3,1 won't boot suddenly.

    When I press the power button the nVidia card's fan spins at maximum and doesn't stop. That fan normally spins up for a few seconds quite loudly and then settles down but now it doesn't stop. The pale blue light at the power button blinks continuously and the only thing I can do is to press and hold it in until the computer shuts down.

    The only thing that has changed recently is that I installed a Sonnet Tempo Pro with two SSDs. However, that went without trouble. I installed Mavericks on them as a striped array when attached to the backplane, tried booting a few times, installed a bit of software and all was dandy. Then I set the boot volume back to the original Lion installation on another drive. I go away for the weekend and discover this inability to boot when I come back.

    I suspect the video card fan's behaviour indicates that it might have broken?

    I've tried replacing the CR2032 battery and done a PRAM reset without improvement. All lights on the RAM risers glow red and the RAM sticks are properly attached.

    Thanks for any insights.

    Oh another thing - if the card is fried, which more modern cards can I install?

    Cheers
    Philip
     
  2. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #2
    As you have Mavericks any PC or Mac card should work (no boot screen however with PC), do you have the old drive you can put it and see if it boots then. If not try the graphics card in a different slot, does it make the bong when you press the power?

    Cheers
     
  3. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #3
    Thanks for the reply Jake.

    My normal Lion boot volume is currently selected as boot volume. After I installed Mavericks on the Tempo SSDs I changed the boot volume back to the Lion volume.

    So I don't think this is related to the Lion volume. After work today I'll see if I have another drive lying about which I would pop in and try to boot from.

    I tried the graphics card in slot 2 but no change. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone with another graphics card I could try etc.

    I also tried booting from the original installation DVD (I had to dismantle the computer and open the DVD drive with a paper clip) but it doesn't boot from the DVD.

    I really hope it isn't the logic board. If it is, can I buy one of those myself and install? I'm pretty handy but perhaps that's a very complicated operation.

    About a new graphics card - I thought only a few cards were made for the Mac Pros and OS X. Perhaps I'm misremembering.

    cheers
    Philip
     
  4. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
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    #4
    That's really odd! I don't know what else to suggest, as for logic board a lot of the time they cost more than the machine is actually worth but if you could track one down you might be able to install it and as of 10.7 apple included drivers for most PC graphics cards, you just don't get a boot screen it stays blank until you reach the login screen, but you have the 5770, 5870, 7950 and gtx 680 which are the most popular mac graphics cards that you get a boot screen etc

    Regards
     
  5. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

    Joined:
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    #5
    Yeah it's strange. Thanks for the info about the drivers. I didn't know this.

    The cheapest first step is, I think, to just get a used gfx card and try out. Then take it from there. Fingers xed.

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to help.
    Philip
     
  6. jakesaunders27 macrumors 6502a

    jakesaunders27

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    #6
    No worries, post back if it works!
     
  7. Gav Mack, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014

    Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #7
    Costs even less to bake your 8800 gt in the oven. Have to strip all the heatsinks and fans off and wrap it in tin foil. MacVidCards has done hundreds, and I've successfully revived a few.

    Search the forum for 8800gt bake and you'll find mine and his recipe :D

    Edit: here http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1650511
     
  8. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #8
    The 8800 GT is approaching 7 years old, which is definitely going to be close to (or past) the end of life of the chip.
     
  9. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #9
    Thanks everyone. I removed the nvidia card but no joy. So off to the apple centre. We'll know in a week what it is.

    Thanks again.
    Philip
     
  10. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #10
    I forgot to update this thread. The problem was faulty RAM. Yes I felt like a major fool for not having noticed this. However, the red lights on the riser didn't come on though so I didn't look for this. Luckily the tech didn't think of it either and actually fried a new riser that he had put in, thinking the riser was broken. So while I could have bought a riser myself I would likely have placed the faulty RAM back on the riser and fried it. This meant the repair cost was actually cheaper than buying two risers.

    In any event, all's well now.
     

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