My MacPro Died, Now What?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by scotttaylor, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. scotttaylor macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #1
    My early 2008 2.8GHz 8-core Mac Pro died last week. I tried all the usual stuff and ended up taking it to the local Apple store genius bar. They ran their diagnostics tool on it and did not find any problems so I had to leave it for a more thorough test. The Apple Store called a few days later and said it was either the main logic board and/or one or both CPU's. They -say- they replaced the main logic board and that did not fix it. They told me it would be ~$2800 USD plus labor to replace the the main logic board and both CPU's. So I took the machine over to another authorized Apple Service center for a second opinion. This other service center seemed confident they could determine which component(s) are defective. I am expecting a call from them on Tuesday of this week and hope to find out more then.

    The symptoms are: When powering the machine I hear the startup sound and the display shows the apple logo. The machine boots for a little while (disk activity is heard) then the machine freezes for about 30 seconds then reboots or just freezes indefinitely. This happens with my 10.6.5 boot system, a second 10.6.x boot system on another internal drive as well as from the 10.6 SL DVD installer disc. Apple could not boot it off their network based systems either. Same symptoms on all startup disks tried so far...

    So, I'd like to know where to go if I need to obtain parts and do the repair myself. I've built a number of PC's in the past and have no concerns about the undertaking. I just need to determine which parts I need. I'm not looking to "upgrade" the machine however if faster CPU's are available for a similar price I'd probably opt for the upgrade. At this point I'd be completely satisfied replacing the defective components with the same stuff that's in the machine now. Any pointers/links/tips/etc. would be most appreciated.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Ifixit.com and eBay would be my choices. For $2800 you're better off investing in a new iMac unless you need the MP.

    No apple care I take it?
     
  3. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #3
    $2800 sounds really steep.

    It is around $850 just for the logic board from the first Mac Repair site I found. I couldn't really find anywhere that sold the CPU's though, but I hardly think it'll be $2000 for a pair of CPUs.
     
  4. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #4
    Assuming they ran the Apple HW Diagnostics and didn't see anything failed, I'm having a little trouble with the CPU(s) being dead. If that were the case, I would think you couldn't even run the diagnostics at all (or any other software).
     
  5. Schtumple macrumors 601

    Schtumple

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    Jun 13, 2007
    Location:
    benkadams.com
    #5
    That's what I thought, very strange.

    As said, ifixit and ebay are your best bet for parts, but even then, it's not going to be cheap.
     
  6. jerry333 macrumors member

    jerry333

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2005
    #6
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    Yeah, even X5482s go for about 600$ per pair and those are 3.2GHz (the fastest for 2008 MP). OP, if I was you, I would get these two CPUs:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-Xeon-Proc...ANZ-/290499979143?pt=CPUs&hash=item43a325e787
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-Xeon-X548...349?pt=CPUs&hash=item230bd15455#ht_2714wt_908

    If you end up buying something else, make sure the spec code is SLAxx as those use C0 stepping which is compatible with your MP. SLBxx use E0 which is not
     
  8. nizmoz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #8
    Sounds like a temp issue possibly. When you first turn it on, when cold, does it do that after 30 sec like you say? Now if you try again, does it do it almost immediately? If so, that's a temp issue.

    It won't be a CPU issue as your machine wouldn't even work if it was. It's possibly the main board, or a cooling issue.
     
  9. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #9
    Have you tried pressing cmd-V when booting up? This will show all the boot messages as it's starting up and may shed a bit more light on the problem. It could even be something as simple as bad memory
     
  10. neckarb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #10
    You can get a logic board on eBay for about £500 so buy one of them and replace it yourself! If your up to it. I'd find it fun!
     
  11. nasabaer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    #11
    Ok... maybe you could test the following:

    Remove all additional PCIe Cards - only the standard GFX Card should be in.
    Remove all memory to a minimal config. If not possible - change the order of the ram in their slots.

    Remove all connected USB/FW devices except keyboard and mouse

    as someone above mentioned - check by starting up your system with cmd+v for verbose mode. this should give some information.
    btwl: startup from the system installation disk. maybe your installation on the hard drives is already got killed.

    all over the time i had a few macbook/pro to fix. after re-installed new systems they lost/crippled data on the hard drive after a few days.
    the apple hardware test gave no results about the error - but i found out that it was caused by faulty ram. this could not be found easily.

    please check the above before purchasing expensive replacement parts.
    i really don´t think that the cpus or logic board will be the problem.
     
  12. SWAN808 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    #12
    hi sorry for the OT but Neckarb - is there any info you can point me towards regarding your Modifications to your 1.1 MP? I have one and have considered the CPU upgrade but have never seen overclocking of RAM and CPU would love to read more...doesnt seem like I can send PMs...thanks
     
  13. scotttaylor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #13
    Follow up

    Hey everyone, thanks for the info, much appreciated.

    Some more info based on some of the questions:

    No AppleCare. Learned my lesson on this on I guess. It's 2.5 years old so out-of warranty. I've never had AppleCare in the past and I've -never- had a mac crap out like this before and I've owned a Mac since the Mac IIci.

    The Apple quoted price of $2800 makes me think Apple just replaces everything and they don't try to narrow things down. I agree, seems odd the CPU(s) could be bad if the machine starts to boot.

    It doesn't seem like a temp issue. It's the same behavior hot or cold. I get the machine startup sound, the display shows the Apple logo, there is drive activity for awhile and it seems like it craps out right before the desktop usually appears. I've tried booting using the Snow Leopard DVD installer disc along with two other 10.6.x system folders. All exhibit the same behavior. I did not know about booting with Cmd-V. I'll try that when I get the machine back on Tuesday or Wednesday. Good to know...

    I also pulled the 16G third party RAM (TransIntl) and replaced it with the original 2G that came with the machine. No change, still wouldn't boot. I already removed all PCIe cards and I'm only using the original Video card that came with the machine. All USB and firewire devices had been disconnected. Still no go.
     
  14. bluesteel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Earth
    #14
    ouch! :( that's painful. this is why i always buy apple care for any mac i purchase. every single mac i have owned in recent years has had at least one expensive repair ($300+) within the first 3 years. essentially, every apple care i have bought has paid for itself.

    i'm sure you'll find a way to do it correctly, on a budget. there are a lot of resourceful people in these forums with great advice for situations like yours. good luck :)
     
  15. neckarb macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #15
    Errm not really i just started playing, all you need to know is that as you increase the FSB on your CPU the RAM will increase in speed to maintain a 1:1 ratio between the two, the faster your RAM's capable of achieving the higher you can push the FSB, I struck out at 400mhz on the FSB which equated to 800mhz RAM, as there is no 1066 FB-DIMM this is as far as I can go. :)
     
  16. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #16
    Depending on your CPU speed, the price you're being quoted actually isn't far off if they are an ASP getting parts directly from Apple.
     
  17. ncc1701d macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    #17
    I had a similar issue / symptoms with a 2009 MacPro. Applecare took care of a new logic board.

    A lame side note - A new logic board will also mean you will need to reset your authorised computers (if you have 5 already listed), through apple itunes support.
     
  18. RebootD macrumors 6502a

    RebootD

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    NW Indiana
    #18
    Man I'm sorry that is terrible news. $2,800 is way too much to spend on an 08 model, you would be much better off with a refurbished 2010 model from Apple. (Or even 2009).

    Best of luck, hope you figure out a cheaper solution.
     
  19. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #19
    All of this is really good advice. Start with the cheap and easy things.

    What is missing so far in this discussion is the video card. See if you can borrow a compatible video card and swap yours out. If you can't find one yourself, see if the Apple Authorized Repair shop has one and ask them to swap the cards - though of course at that point they may charge for time.

    I have just had my 2008 octocore MP repaired. Not the same symptoms - mine wouldn't get as far as yours, but it was a boot problem as well. The hardware diagnostics indicated bad CPU, then bad logic board. They swapped those out, and it still didn't boot. Then they swapped a working video card in, and viola - it worked. In the end it was a bad logic board, and the bad graphics card. But the graphics card never showed up in the diagnostics. They just swapped it out on a hunch, and because they had a working card handy.

    Good Luck.
     
  20. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #20
    To complete snberk103 advice: MP boots without graphics card installed. To check if the problem is here, try to boot it like this and access remotely via ssh or VNC.
     
  21. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #21
    I didn't know you could a boot a MP without graphics card.... thanks for learning me something new. :)
     
  22. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #22
    ^It works also for G5 Dual Core (PCIe graphics). :)
     
  23. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #23
    Sorry to hear about your Mac pro. I just sold mine a few months back. Great machine. Anyways, this is just a suggestion. If it's the motherboard, and your not locked to OSX, a cheaper solution would be to buy a server PC board, such as asus DSEB-DG. Your ram and processors will work on this board. You will have to do a little mod to get it to fit but this has been done before. Then stick Linux or win7 on it. Just a thought.
     
  24. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #24
    Thanks hellhammer for those links. Couldn't pass up on the 3.2 so snagged it. Been looking to upgrade my 2.5's. Just have to be patient for another good deal like that.
     
  25. scotttaylor thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #25
    Diagnosis is in...

    The independent Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) has determined 1 CPU is defective. They want $1050 for the CPU + $129 for the service. If I walk now I will pay about $50 for their time (they won't charge the $129 if no service is performed) and I can pick up a 2.8GHz CPU off Ebay for around $300 and do it myself.

    I don't know which CPU is defective yet, they should provide that information when I pick up the machine. Here's a question, if I pull the bad CPU will the machine boot as a single processor (quad-core) system or is there more to it to convert the machine from 8 core to 4 core and vice versa? This would let me independently verify which CPU is bad...

    So, things are looking better. For about $350 I should be back up and running again.
     

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