Possible Crash

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by DrRock, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. DrRock macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
    G5 Power Mac Dual 2.3 running 10.4.11 with 8 GB ram.

    Forgive my not searching the forums for similar threads, but I'm in a pretty bad situation. I was cutting in FCP, playing the timeline which consisted only of a piece of music, and all of a sudden it stared "skipping", like a CD that was stuck.

    The program froze, and I couldn't move the mouse to get back to Finder and Force Quit. I decided to manually shut down with the front power button. The display power light remained on, and after a minute or so I tried powering back up. I got nada. The tower turned on, but nothing comes up on either of my two displays. I manually shut down power again, and unplugged the display and re-powered up once more. Still nada.

    Both are on, but nothing appears on either display, and the fan is running very high. The power light on the front of the tower is blinking a repeated sequence of three.

    Somebody please tell me I'm not royally screwed.


    I removed and reinstalled all of my RAM sticks. I think one or more of them weren't completely seated correctly. I'm thinking they were always this way, and eventually were jostled loose enough to cause the problem.
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603


    Jul 26, 2004
    Montreal, QC
  3. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005

    At first, yes. The problem occurred late Friday night, I re-seated the RAM Saturday morning, and it worked fine all day. Sunday morning, when I went to start up again, it froze again.

    I powered off with the power button, and after that, I continued to get the three-blink "bad RAM" warning. After re-trying all of my RAM sticks two at a time, I finally tried my original factory RAM.

    It would start up with the original RAM, but as soon as I tried to do anything, like move the mouse, it froze again. Then after shutting the machine off, I continue to get the three-blink warning.

    I've dusted off the RAM and the connectors inside, and I still get the same result. Today it started up with my original Apple RAM, but once again it froze after seconds. That's where I stand now.
  4. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I would take it to the Apple Store and see what they can do. Might not be the RAM, maybe the hard drive. Let them take a look at it though.
  5. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    Could be a faulty logic board or a hard drive on the way out.
  6. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
    So, even though I get the RAM warning, it might be something else? I've gotten warnings for my startup disk being nearly full recently, but I've since freed up like 20gb of space. Could the problem be related?

    And if I do have to replace the HD, does anyone know if I can back it all up, and can I replace it with a bigger HD (right now my main drive is 250gb)?

    I will likely take it to the Apple Store and see what can be done. Any idea of what it might set me back?

    Thanks for the info, btw.

    *New Info:

    This is interesting.

    I googled "mac tower 3 blinks" and found these:



    Sounds like this is an ongoing problem. These people are describing exactly the same problem I'm having.

    This sounds like a design flaw or something. Also, it would seem that this would be a known issue to Apple support. Are they aware of it but not willing or allowed to tell the customer that they are aware of it?

    And if so many people are having this problem, why wouldn't Apple be open to fixing this at no charge? It doesn't seem like it could possibly be caused by anything the customer could do.

    **It was indeed the logic board. After much correspondence with the folks at Apple, they finally agreed to replace the part for free. I paid for labor. I was $140 out of pocket, and my machine was gone from Friday to Monday.

    All in all, even though it was a headache, I'm glad I finally have it back and working (knock on wood). I feel fortunate to have gotten out as inexpensively as I did, but I still feel that Apple should acknowledge the problem (which they still never actually did).

    I don't mind paying for someone's time and skill to repair my machine, but a faulty part is a faulty part, and seeing as how so many others here and on other forums seem to have the same issue, I encourage them to pursue the same avenue. The advice of being "firm, polite & persistent" was very good advice and it worked for me.

    Thanks for all info & advice on this issue.
  7. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
  8. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
  9. DrRock thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2005
    It's BAAAACK......

    The logic board has once again failed. It's been a year and two months, almost to the day. I'm getting all the same symptoms.

    I was cutting in FCP, and during a long render, right at the end (sometime past the "10 minutes remaining" mark), I went to check progress. The screen was black, I moved the mouse to wake up the monitor, and nothing happened.

    I hard powered down, and got the same old frozen on the gray apple logo w/no activity. Hard powered down again, unplugged, re-seated the RAM, blew out some dust, etc., finally got it to work for a few minutes, then got the "You need to restart your computer" overlay message on the screen, which I never actually got before. but now I've gotten it twice.

    I am sick in my stomach, knowing that the repair is $1000 or more. Last time Apple replaced the part for free, but stated emphatically that they would not do so again.

    So, advice; is it possible to recover everything on my internal drives & put them on external drives for transfer to a new machine if my machine won't power up? It's beginning to look like that might be my only option.

    Or, is there an avenue through which I can find a used logic board on the cheap & pay to replace mine? I just want to salvage what I have, and the thought of giving Apple a grand to do so just makes me even more sick. ugh...

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