Powermac G5 dead ... but resurrects after a few hours

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Mr Skills, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Mr Skills macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #1
    My 2x2.5 PowerMac G5 acts completely dead when I turn it off - I cannot switch it on again and there is no indication of power whatsoever. But after it's been off for a few hours, it starts working again. At first it took 20 minutes to restart working, but the gap is getting longer and longer.

    Does anyone have a clue what this might be?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. timswim78 macrumors 6502a

    timswim78

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #2
    I've never had this happen and do not have your computer in front of me. So, I'll toss out a few ideas/suggestions.

    - Perhaps this is a heat issue? Are the coolers leaking? What kind of temperatures do you get when the machine is running?

    - Have you tried replacing the battery on the mainboard?

    - Have you tried another outlet (preferably on another circuit)? Another power cord?

    - Have you run Apple Hardware Test? Maybe it can detect something? Maybe the RAM is bad?

    - Does it ever shut off on its own?

    - Installed any new hardware or peripherals lately?
     
  3. Osarkon macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #3
    That would be my first thought as well. When I've come across this problem with desktops it's been due to a faulty fan not working, or not enough ventilation.

    Could that be the case?
     
  4. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #4
    Thanks very much Timswim :)

    I haven't noticed any symptoms of overheating (e.g. fans going crazy) and there was no evidence of leakage when the cover was off. I will check the temperature next time it is working.

    This was the first thing I tried BUT I took back the battery when it did not immediately work. I've since wondered if I should have given it a couple of hours in case something needs to charge up...?

    I've tried another outlet and another power chord.

    I can't find the disc :( Is there anywhere I can download it?

    Nope.

    Nope.
     
  5. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #5
    OK, here's an update. I've been living with the G5 like this for a couple of weeks now - turning it on in the morning and making sure not to switch it off until evening.

    It looks like it's chosen the very moment I posted on a forum to die completely. It won't turn on this morning :( ... hopefully it will in a couple of hours.
     
  6. makku macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    #6
    Check if any of the capacitor is bloated since that is what the problem sounds like.
     
  7. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #7
    Well it started working again, but I had to turn off after a crash (the second in two days... hmmmm) and now it's dead. I could not see anything odd with the capacitors, but then I don't think you can see all of them because of the big processor box. I tried pressing the reset button again... :(

    I'm pretty sure it's not a heating problem because the fans seem to react normally on the big Logic sessions I'm doing - the capacitor idea seems the most likely. Maybe it needs to charge before it will let me turn the computer on?
     
  8. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #8
    Firstly pull the power cord from the back of the Mac for 5 minutes... this resets the PMU. If it does restart try sleeping her rather than shutting down from now on, just to see how things go.

    As you've tried a different power outlet I assume you're not using a UPS?

    I have the same PowerMac as you and suffered from similar problems. I done all the normal trouble shooting and even arranged for an engineer to visit. I felt such a berk when he simply plugged it into the wall socket and all was well (dead UPS). His over-the-phone diagnosis was dying power supply, which apparently is fairly common on the dual 2.5 and a bastard to replace.

    I would try to find a local Apple Authorised Repairer and ask them what they charge to diagnose a fault. Then you'll be better equipped to decide whether to repair or replace.

    Good luck mate ;)
     
  9. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #9
    Hi Southernboy,

    No, I'm not using a UPS. I've been pulling the power chord every time, and at first it restarted after a few minutes, but this has upped to several hours. (Really Silly Question™ - I'm pulling the plug from the wall, not the back of the mac, I assume this makes no difference?).

    My local Apple Store is the cheapest place to get it fixed - they charge about £50 ($100) just to look at it :(
     
  10. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #10
    Apple specifically say pull the cord from the computer, so it's worth a try. See:

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300341

    50 quid to repair it doesn't sound too bad to me.

    Love your music BTW ;)
     
  11. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #11
    The 50 squid is just to diagnose (assuming they can't fix it in the 20 minute Genius Bar session, which I doubt)... Glad you like the music. There's more (and newer) at broadjam.com/templescene ... and there'd be even more if I could get this G5 fixed! :D

    [/plug] :)
     
  12. AdeFowler macrumors 68020

    AdeFowler

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    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    England
  13. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #13
    No, I'm afraid. I think I just need to bite the bullet and pay to get it fixed.
    I'm in the middle of a project at the moment - on the one hand, if the computer hangs I'll lose half a day's work; on the other, I can't have the computer away for days being repaired. :(
     
  14. nimsat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    I'm afraid I can't offer any help but I have exactly the same problem on probably the same machine (2x2.5 GHz Powermac G5 (June 2004)). It first started a few months ago and one time it took about 48 hours before it would restart. I was about to take it in to be looked at and just gave it one more try and it started. I leave it on all the time now, it restarts okay when required after software updates etc but if it has to be shut down it just acts dead until it decides to come round in its own time. It's hardly eco-friendly but I have to leave it running continuously because I can't put it to sleep. I have a UAD audio DSP card in it and that prevents sleep without disabling drivers for the card which I've found to be a bit flakey in the past so I want to avoid that too.

    When the machine is up and running it runs along very smoothly under fairly heavy audio workload. Until today it has been a couple of months since I've had to shut it down fully. I installed the new Logic Studio update and had a kernel panic on AUval when I launched Logic 8 for the first time.

    I found this thread when I decided to look and see if anyone else was suffering the same start up problem and had hopefully found a solution. This specific start up problem seems pretty rare. It has crossed my mind that since we both seem to do audio work that perhaps there's something common on our systems that has caused this but that's a long shot. I couldn't pinpoint any hardware or software change I'd made at the time it first occured, just came out of the blue.

    I've tried everything at various times, resetting PMU, removed and reseated all RAM, tried to start with most of RAM out, reseated the video card, removed the PCI cards, changed the battery, zapped PR, reset open firmware, ran Apple Disk Utility and Disk Warrior on drives, ran Apple hardware tests and Tech Tool Pro tests etc etc. I even checked the voltage coming out of the power supply one time and that was apparently okay too even though the machine was in a dead phase. Nothing seems to make any difference and it just comes round in its own time.

    Today it's been dead for approx 4 hours and counting. I don't need to use it over the weekend so I'll see if I can get it to start up again before Monday.

    I get the feeling that something is gradually failing and it'll have to be serviced eventually but I'm trying to persevere with this until something falls over completely and it won't start at all. I'll keep you posted on any progress I make.
     
  15. Dezmented macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #15
    Exact same problem

    Hi all, just here to let you know Im in the exact same boat...same comp, same year(june 2004) same problem. I cant turn it off or it wont start up again until some random time hours from when it turned off. I leave it on all the time and kind of got a work around where I adjusted the power mode to turn back on after a power failure. that has worked up until now but it doesnt seem to be working now...this problem started happening earlier this year. I did call an Apple tech and described the situation and he told me it could 1 of 3 things.
    1. The Logic board needs to be replaced (eeek!!) which he told me would be roughly 1200 cdn.
    2. One of the processors is gone and needs to be replaced (eeek!!) another 1200 cdn job.
    3. The power source isnt supplying the proper 5 volts to turn it on, which he told mewould be around 5-600 cdn.

    Im knd of at a loss as to what to do from here. if it is a 1200 job I might as wll get a new g5. gahhhh...this sucks i know.

    Anyway Im gonna possibly be taking it in this weekend and they wont get to it until next week but Ill definite post what his diagnostic is on the situation.

    :eek:
     
  16. nimsat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    After this most recent playing dead episode my machine started up after 64 hours. Well it was somewhere between 42 and 64 as it was still refusing to start after 42 hours but started when I next tried at the 64 hour mark.
     
  17. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #17
    Thanks guys - it's good to know there are more people with the same problem. Dezmented - I'm looking forward to hearing the results!
     
  18. bhaymes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #18
    Hi...I have the same problem with my Dual 2 Ghz G5 (mid 2004 model) but it's only occasionally, maybe one out every 10 starts...Strangely enough I work in audio too!!!.Noticed the red LED behind the power button flickers rather than being constant (power supply?)...What I've found is, if it won't start,opening the case , removing the air deflector, and sometimes the fan, and tapping around the back of the case (where the USB, firewire etc. plugs are) helps to start it. Don't know if this is just coincidence???......Give it a try..Bruce..P.S..Forgot to add..I also have to turn it off at the wall after shutting down, or there's no chance of it starting.Anyone else experienced that or have any ideas??
     
  19. Dezmented macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #19
    Update on my Mac

    Well I didnt end up taking it in to a tech because it started up again...teehee. Im just so freaked out its gonna cost me over 1 k to fix it so Im just gonna leave it on for now. I also do work in audio production and have an mBox right now as my I/O. Im gonna lurk around the digidesign forums to see if anyone is experiencing this problem. so you actually tried "tapping" huh? haha...im too scared to tap anything in there. But until anyone actually takes their machine in and is willing to pay for the fix....we will not know whats wrong until someones mid 2004 never resurrects itself from the dead.
     
  20. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #20
    I was planning to upgrade over the next few months, but this problem has brought it forward, since I suspect it will be expensive to fix. At the moment, I'm just trying to nurse my G5 until the next Mac Pro update. I use this machine when I'm working from home, so I'm now running important projects on Firewire drives so if I'm in a real bind I can switch to an iMac on which I've installed all my software.

    The really frustrating thing is that this will have caned the resale value of my PowerMac :(
     
  21. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #21
    One interesting thing. After I've left the computer for 12 hours with the plug out of the wall, it still won't start straight away. I then have to leave the computer for 20-30 minutes with the plug in the wall socket before it will start.

    i wonder if this will shed some light on the cause?
     
  22. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #22
    Oh dead. It's been dead for 36 hours now. I'm taking it to the Apple Store tomorrow...
     
  23. nimsat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    Mr. Skills,

    Did you get any feedback on what the problem might be when you took it in?
     
  24. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #24
    Yes! In fact I just heard back. Thankfully, nothing expensive has been replaced. They said that it seemed to fix itself when they removed one of the processors and re-seated it. So fingers crossed it will still be working when I get it home! I'll post again just as soon as I've found someone with a car to help me collect it :)
     
  25. Mr Skills thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mr Skills

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    #25
    Well I've had the computer for several days and it all seems fine so far. It seems the the answer was re-seating components - it's just that in this case it was a component I could not re-seat at home (one of the processors). So for everyone else, I would say it's still worth trying to re-seat stuff like memory and graphics card, in case it makes a difference.

    Hooray!
     

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