Screen suddenly freezing up and becoming pixelated? HELP NEEDED ASAP!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SilentEcho13, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. SilentEcho13 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #1
    I own a Mac Pro (2x2.8ghz Quad Core Xeon, 6gb DDR2 Ram, Nvidia 8800GT, running in 64-bit mode), and a 30" cinema display. I am running OS 10.6.5 at the moment as well.

    What happens (and its been happening all day, rarely happened in the past), is that my entire screen freezes up for no real reason, and becomes completely pixelated and nothing but my cursor moves.

    The pixelation even makes it through the force shut down and into the grey apple startup screen, the logo is pixelated there as well.

    For some reason, I can't seem to reset the PRAM (no second startup chime?), and I can't seem to enter safe-mode either (shift at startup?)

    Right now, the problem isn't happening, but at this rate I expect it to start pixelating very, very soon.

    Does anyone have any tips?

    I have AppleCare, but I need to fix this asap. I'm a photographer and a very big project depends on it (needs to be submitted by tomorrow morning).


    -Thanks guys
     
  2. Garen macrumors regular

    Garen

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles Area
    #2
    Do you have spare monitor to check, either rule out or confirm it's the monitor?

    Garen
     
  3. SilentEcho13 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #3
    Unfortunately, I don't have another monitor I can try :/

    If I power cycle and leave the computer off for a bit, it starts to work (for about 15 minutes before pixelating again.)
     
  4. Garen macrumors regular

    Garen

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles Area
    #4
    Disconnect both (Macpro and the monitor) power cords from wall power jacks and let it seat for at least 15 minutes and report back.

    Garen
     
  5. SilentEcho13 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #5
    Done. I don't seem to be having problems as of now, though I'm not sure how long it will last.
     
  6. SilentEcho13 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #6
    Update: Problem happened again after about 30 minutes of use.

    I'm posting this from my iPhone, and will probably leave the system unplugged for the night.
     
  7. jasone6 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #7
    Are you running Adobe CS5? If so, you may be experiencing the same problem I experienced earlier this year when 10.6.4 was released. I have a very similar machine to yours, with the same graphics card. Adobe or Apple (I think Apple), screwed something up big time at some point. It seems to be fine for me now (with 10.6.5 and all my CS5 apps updated), but it was a nightmare at one point.

    If it persists, try disabling the GPU features in Photoshop. That may take care of things. For me, any time I tried to use those features (e.g. canvas rotation or repoussé), my screen would do what you've described—leaving me with no option but to press and hold the power button and shut down the entire machine.

    -J
     
  8. SilentEcho13 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #8
    Yes I'm running Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3.

    I'm currently on 10.6.5 as well, problem is still lingering around though :/

    The problem occurs even when Photoshop or Lightroom aren't running. It just happened while I was browsing around in Chrome, nothing else was open at all.

    I'll definitely try disabling GPU acceleration and all, but would it benefit even if Photoshop isn't running?
     
  9. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #9
    Hmmm... without an image of the symptoms you're describing, I think I can imagine what the problem is...

    Your 8800GT is probably overheating and on the verge of dying.
     
  10. jasone6 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #10
    I'm not very knowledgeable about graphics cards, but my hunch leads me to think that Vylen may be right. Since the issue occurs even at startup, it may not be the issue I described. It definitely sounds like a problem with the card though.

    Wish I had a better answer for ya… hope you get it sorted.
     
  11. jasone6 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #11
    idea: if you have an extra hard drive (or better yet, another system already installed on another drive), you could try booting up with another system. That may help you determine if it's hardware-related. If the problem persists, it probably is. If not, then it would seem to indicate something is awry within the system (software) itself.
     
  12. SilentEcho13 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #12
    A friend of mine suggested that the card is dying as well, I'm starting to believe him. I'm glad I have AppleCare though, otherwise I'd probably upgrade to a 5770.

    I unfortunately don't have another system to boot from, nor another disk. I guess I'll call apple in the morning, need to fix this asap :(

    I'm not too bright with computer hardware and all, but I did notice that after opening up and cleaning the GPU fan out with a small duster and lightly using compressed air, the computer was "alive" for a little longer than usual.
     
  13. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #13
    You should bake your 8800 GT. My 8800 died after a while, and after baking it worked fine. :)
     
  14. SilentEcho13 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #14

    Bake it...lol?
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #15
    The 8800 is a defective card. Your's is likely dying.

    If you have AppleCare, you can get the card replaced (with another defective 8800 that will die again eventually), upgrade to something like the ATI 5770, or, if you're feeling adventurous, bake the card which might fix the issue temporarily, but will end the warranty on your card.
     
  16. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #16

Share This Page