Powermac G5 Cautionary Tale...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dronecatcher, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #1
    I picked up a G5 today for £5 - missing RAM and HD but a dual processor of some sort so worth a gamble.
    At home I popped in 2 sticks of RAM, connected a Cinema screen, crossed my fingers and hit the power.
    Yes - a bong! Within minutes I'd fitted a SATA drive and was installing Leopard, then came the updates - all seemless as it came with built in Airport Extreme (and Bluetooth).
    The machine was actually the Dual 2Ghz model with the entry level Geforce FX5200 - but at £5, no complaints from me. Then came the inevitable, once everything was installed and updated...I opened it up again to add more RAM, filled the slots and then..... no start up. Reseated all the RAM, took the extra sticks out, tried the first pair in alternative slots, reset PMU, removed the PRAM battery. And every time, the power light giving it's triple flash of "no memory banks detected."
    So (unless I'm missing something) it's yet another victim of fragile soldering at the memory slots - pushing in those extra modules broke the line.
    What a shame but in future, if you get a working Powermac G5 with 'adequate' RAM - upgrade it at your peril!
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #2
    That sucks.

    Fortunately I've been lucky so far. Three G5s and no issues with swapping ram in or out.

    My 2.3DC does seem to have a flaky second drive connector though. I generally leave my Macs on 24/7 but sometimes I shut this Mac off and turn it back on again. It will boot without recognizing the second drive. I have to unplug both the data and power connectors, replug them back in then reboot the Mac for it to recognize the second drive again.

    Shame yours died this way though.
     
  3. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #3
    My old 2.3DP bad slots too - 2Gb used to appear once it warmed up - from cold the modules weren't seen!
     
  4. RhianB macrumors 6502a

    RhianB

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    505 USA
    #4
    Is that something you could hit with a heat gun to try and reflow the connections? For 5 smackers, I’d not be worried to break it & if I could get it to work, well that’s darn cool & a good story to tell all of us about.

    I’ll get the popcorn :)
     
  5. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #5
    I did give it a going over with a heatgun (daughter's hairdryer that is) but to no effect. It probably could be a solution to go down that route but it's not that important to me.
     
  6. jbarley macrumors 68040

    jbarley

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    #6
    Can a hair dryer actually work to melt solder?
     
  7. bobesch macrumors 6502a

    bobesch

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    #7
    No - just melt hair ...

    BTW: also sorry for that another G5 offline ...
     
  8. pixelatedscraps macrumors 6502

    pixelatedscraps

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    #8
    A shame for the bad luck but thanks for sharing. Still, for the price of a pint...
     
  9. AphoticD, Jul 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018

    AphoticD macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #9
    My condolences @Dronecatcher . What a shame to see it fall over. I don't think it was anything you've done in your RAM installation process. They were temperamental even during their early years, but I imagine age has amplified this somewhat.

    Which model DP 2.0 is it?

    What are the chances that if you leave it switched off for a week or so and try again, it will fire up to a full working desktop?

    My three G5s have had a few hiccups recently and each time it was mysteriously resolved with a shuffle, a prod, some downtime and a eventually a power up;

    My Dual Core 2.3Ghz started out as a 2.0 and took an upgrade with a DC 2.3 CPU. I had one RAM related issue late last year where it was only seeing 14GB and also locking up. I re-seated all the sticks and it was back to 16GB and daily-use stability. The Dual Proc 2.0Ghz G5 kept falling over a few months back and I thought it was due to the heat of the 6800 GT AGP card during summer, so I put the FX 5200 back in and eventually that started to fail to boot also. Reseating the RAM seemed to resolve everything and the 6800 GT went back in once the weather got a little cooler. It has been fine since.

    The third G5 which is a DP 1.8Ghz with an FX 5200 was failing to boot (stuck at a blue screen). Eventually I just swapped out the GPU with a spare FX 5200 I had on hand and it was back to business as usual... but the "failing" FX 5200 card works fine in the DP 2.0.

    My old '94 Ford EF Falcon has a similar temperament. Sometimes it comes down to turning the key while crossing your fingers, toes and sticking your tongue to the left (or was it the right?).

    Not sure if I linked to this report before; https://www.macintouch.com/reliability/pmg5.html - It makes an interesting read and reports of failure seem to be consistent dating back to the early days.

    So do these issues come down to failing hardware or intermittent quirks in the design of the G5? I don't really know... *shrug*

    Unfortunately it is time [for me] to say good night to two of these G5s and two G4 towers now. I need to pack up my home office this weekend, downsize and move a minimal setup into the bedroom because this room is getting re-purposed. I will still keep the DC G5 active alongside my cMP3,1 however space is going to be limited to whatever my wife can bare to look at on a regular basis. If it were up to me, the whole house would be packed to the ceiling with Macs.. maybe like @bunnspecial 's collection :)


    EDIT: It might be worth noting that the 'failing' FX 5200 was powering an Apple Cinema Display during the time it wasn't working. The last time a GPU failed on me in a G5, it was also powering the very same display.. maybe the constant power draw is no good for these GPUs in the long run? Either that or the display itself is the culprit.
     
  10. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #10
    It's the first generation 2.0 DP(X). Yes, I suspected the GPU too - reseated the card, then tried it through the DVI to a standard monitor but got the same result. Back to running through the ADC at one point (after a PMU reset) it did bong but screen stayed off and the HD didn't spin up.
    You're probably right - if I left it standing for a while it might just right itself but I'm not comfortable having such a temperamental unit and like you, space is important, It wouldn't just be sitting around as a spare but being used and probably replace my DP 1.42 MDD.
     
  11. Dannyshing27 macrumors regular

    Dannyshing27

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    United Kingdom
    #11
    Have you looked at the ports on the graphics cards for the ADC/DVI connector? I once hard a mac that the ADC connector had flattened a pin which caused it to bridge and not boot
     
  12. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #12
    No, but it was working fine for a couple of hours before I put more RAM in - couldn't have been that.
     
  13. pl1984 macrumors 65816

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #13
    I'll second this. I purchased a 7,2 dual 2.0GHz unit which ran fine when I initially powered it up. I used it without issue and then powered it down. Came back to it a couple of hours later and it exhibited the exact symptoms described here. Maybe the RAM upgrade accelerated your failure but it was well on its way regardless if you had performed an upgrade or not.

    I wonder if the technique dosdude used to replace the GPU in the MacBook Pro would work to fix this issue with the G5. From my understanding the problem is related to the solder breaking. It would seem to me the technique he used to replace the GPU would work here (except the chip doesn't need to be replaced, just re-soldered).
     
  14. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #14
    I take all that back @Dannyshing27

    As these photos testify, that's exactly what happened - I guess I disconnected everything before putting more RAM and did the damage then :/

    Tried again through the DVi port - still the same and removed the card altogether but still gives the triple flash (I'm right in thinking it should start with GPU removed?) I don't have another G5 card to try out unfortunately.

    Damn - kicking myself if I killed it by putting the ADC in :/
    1.jpg

    2.jpg
     
  15. Dannyshing27 macrumors regular

    Dannyshing27

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    #15
    looks exactly how mine looked, I did manage to coax it back to life after I sorted the pins out, however you may not be so lucky. You should be able to get a boot without the GPU in however
     
  16. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #16
    That's what I thought. Incredible how the bins could even get bent - the fittings is so precise.
     
  17. AphoticD macrumors 65816

    AphoticD

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    #17
    Good spotting! I checked mine to be sure and the pins are fine. That's another trick on the troubleshooting toolbelt.
     
  18. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #18
    I did the same on a G4 with ADC. If you can get hold of a craft piercer, that is fine and sturdy enough to sort the GPU pins back into place. I find one invaluable for all sorts of electronics work.

    317tTYF-CJL._US500_.jpg
     
  19. eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #19
    I use a jeweler's screwdriver. One of the smaller ones. Since it's a flat head you can work it between the pins and bend them right.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #20
    I think one of the pins in the GPU is beyond repair - the pin on the Cinema ADC plug however bent back no problem. Either way the G5 isn't waking up, so time to move on....I have my first Mac Pro on the way....
     
  21. pl1984 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Do tell.
     
  22. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #22
    Well, ever since my last Quad, I've been on the look out for one at the right price and I've finally snagged one for £40 - first generation, 2.66Ghz with 9Gb RAM...I can always replace the CPUs later on if need be :)
     
  23. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    Aug 21, 2004
    #23
    This might be a dumb question... but are you absolutely sure the ram was compatible? I remember buying non-Apple branded ram for that same computer (the DP 2.0 was a great machine) and it bricked it. Spent more money on the Apple branded ram than I did on the computer to get it up to eight gigs at that time. Then it worked perfectly. Sorry if this is redundant.
     
  24. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dronecatcher

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    #24
    Well, the RAM was from my old 2.3 DP G5 - same rating as the 2.0 DP. It definitely worked in that machine...and 2 sticks of it were working in this one til I added more (and inadvertently bent the GPU connection). Plus the flashing power light was signalling no memory banks detected as opposed to incompatible memory.
     
  25. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #25
    I thought three beeps meant incompatible memory... as well as no memory detected... but you did clean the ram slots? And of course you did use matching pairs in proper slots? My machine had a bad ram clip and I managed to get it to work after cleaning and jamming the ram down into the slot. The other thing is the hard drives on these G5s were crazy temperamental...
     

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