Screwed Up: Dropped screw in processor area

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by NoManIsland, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. NoManIsland macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    #1
    I had to remove the front fan assembly on my MP 2008 to access the ODD SATA ports, and in the process the screw that secures it to the motherboard dropped into the processor area. I'm hesitant to remove the heatsinks , lest I damage the processors. What do you think the level of risk would be in this situation? Alternatively, how important is that screw or where could I get one? The fans seem to be operating fine without it, they're functioning and I can't hear any vibrations from misalignment - could it cause any problems down the line?
     
  2. brentsg macrumors 68040

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #2
    Remove the processor tray and turn it upside down maybe? I'd be more afraid that the screw might short something.
     
  3. thunderboltspro macrumors regular

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    Oct 4, 2009
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    Midwest
    #3
    Uh yea it could cause problems, a spark, a short,heat problems(seated correctly misaligned).

    Turn it up side down and shack a bit or guts up and remove the heat sink.
     
  4. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #4
    IMO, it was a HUGE risk applying power prior to finding the screw. You really need to find it, as it could easily be pure luck it hasn't fallen onto circuitry.

    I believe, as the other poster said, the processor(s) are removable. Most likey, the screw will fall out if you can turn the processor module over (and shake, if necessary).

    I'd need to refer to the service guide to see what's involved with removing the heatsink. I would guess, at a minimum, any heat transfer medium would need to be replaced.
     
  5. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #5
    Wow! You've gotta have a screw loose to turn on a computer with a screw loose...
     
  6. NoManIsland, Dec 23, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2010

    NoManIsland thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2010
    #6
    I have a 2008 Mac Pro, where the processors aren't on a tray (otherwise it would have been easy).

    I followed your all's advice and was able to eventually dislodge the screw by turing the machine over and shaking - almost lost it above the hard drive rack, but luckily my wife is deft with jewelry pliers.

    So I got the screw out, but I couldn't put it back in, as the fan assembly jams against the ODD SATA ports, even though I have angled SATA cables carefully routed - seems like a bad design element on Apple's part, but perhaps I'm missing something - anyone use the ODD ports on the 2008 and have the same problem?

    ******!! My pro just started flicking itself off after a minute or so of runtime. It boots, then I have a minute of working, then it flicks off. The power led still glows, and if I press it again it makes a grunt and goes off. Then if I press it again, it boots but slowly - then flicks off after running a minute or so. Could this be caused by the misalignment of the fan, or perhaps the SATA cable getting crimped? Help me here guys, I'm freaking out!

    Okay, a last hope thing - I disconnected the ODD SATA leads entirely, as that was the other thing I added to the system. It took 16 min running fine, then flicked off. Taking it into a service centre tomorrow - wish me luck. I need a miracle - I'm broke as hell.

    Okay, I took it to the service centre to get an assessment and his initial impressions are that the logic board has been damaged. He indicated that cost to fix it is likely going to exceed its value (and far exceed my credit). So basically I'm ******** as I use this computer to run my business but I'm already so much in debt to start my business that I can't get enough credit to pay for a new machine, especially as I'm entering my slow season so I won't have an income for four months. Even if you don't have any suggestions, I could really use some sympathy right now, even though it was my own idiotic mistake...:(
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #7
    This may be am ignorant question but how does a screw dropping onto a processor damage it?
     
  8. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    Republic of Ukistan
    #8
    The thing has been run with a loose screw rattling about inside, apparently, though that seems hard to believe...
     
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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  10. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #10
    ...whether screws conduct electricity? Yes, me too. :p
     
  11. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

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    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #11
    I have the OWC external sata hooked to the extra ports. I believe at least one of them is a right angle, so that may be a problem.

    Get the MP back, then try starting it with the bare minimum; 1 HD, Ram and graphics card.

    disconnect the extra SATA ports as well.

    Seems odd that it would die after you got the screw out.
     
  12. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #12
    The fact that it starts, runs for a few minutes, and then shuts down makes me wonder if your fans / temp sensors are working.

    If the system is overheating (or thinks it is) it will shutdown in order to save itself.

    Take the cover off and make sure your fans are running. You may have knocked a power cable loose.
     
  13. NoManIsland thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2010
    #13
    The fans are running, but I'm really hoping what you are saying is the case. The other thing that was done when I lost the screw was that I was removing and reinstalling the fan assembly and my hope is that that resulted in damage to the temp sensor and is causing the behaviour. That would be a much cheaper fix. Regardless it's with the tech now, although he won't get to it until the new year - I'm on needles waiting to hear what he finds.
     
  14. Dadioh macrumors 65816

    Dadioh

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    #14
    Oh maaaaaannnn :(

    I feel for you. I agree with the others. The fact that it runs for a bit and shuts down sounds more like a thermal issue. If the screw shorted something it would tend to just die... Period. If it boots for 15 minutes that should give you long enough to check the temps. I suggest iStat and then see what temp the cores are running. It will also tell you your fan speeds.

    Good luck.
     
  15. NoManIsland thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2010
    #15
    Thanks man - I'm really hoping that is what it is too. You're right that it seems strange that it would run perfectly normally for a time, then flick off - the screw may actually be a red herring in this and it may just be that I damaged the fan assembly when it was impinging on the ODD SATA cables and not fitting properly. Seeing as a new fan assembly is about $100 online, oh my God would I love it if that was the case, as I am basically broke but need this machine to run my business (luckily I'm in my slow season). It's with a tech now, so I just pray that this is the case - thanks for your sentiment :eek:
     
  16. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

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    Seattle, WA
    #16
    New motherboard is $750 here link

    Not too bad considering if it is the logic board.
     
  17. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #17
    Sympathies from here.

    You're getting good advice, imo.

    All I can add is to remove and reseat any peripheral cards. Make sure that any cables are securely plugged in. Push the CPUs down into their seats - ...

    I'm just thinking that it's possible that you shook something loose. I like the idea above about looking at what temperatures the system thinks various bits are. It may help to narrow things down a bit. As an example, if iStat indicates that the GPU temp is high, then you can focus on making sure that any cables, connectors on that video card are secure.... as an example.

    I have the 2008 MP too. Is there any chance you got AppleCare when you bought it? If there actually is damage from your SATA renovations, obviously it won't be covered. If something came loose during the shaking bit, I think you would be covered since system should be able to handle a certain about tossing about.

    Good Luck
     
  18. NoManIsland thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2010
    #18
    No AppleCare I'm afraid - the guy from whom I bought it indicated that it had AppleCare, but what he meant is that it still had warrantee left. By the time I thought to check when the coverage would expire, it was too late to purchase the extension :(

    I'm starting the regret putting it into the shop, as you all have given great suggestions of things I could try to narrow down the problem, and it did cost me $105 just for them to diagnose the problem. However it's in now and I won't know their verdict until after New Years. Besides, it's probably better to have a professional looking at it in case they see something I'd miss, or in case the problem is much more serious then what I am hoping for.
     
  19. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

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    #19
    What did the service centre actually do to it? did they open the unit and inspect it or just turn it on?

    When you turned it on you didn't smell anything burning? nothing has come loose? has all the memory modules been reseated.
     
  20. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #20
    The screw may be stuck to one of the magnets that holds the processor cover in place for cooling airflow.

    -howard
     
  21. NoManIsland thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2010
    #21
    The service centre won't get to looking at it until the New Year as they're swamped plus it's the holidays. When I turned it on, there was no smell and it ran fine for quite a while before I logged on here and realized how dangerous the loose screw could be. I immediately shut down and removed the screw, and it was after that that I had the computer flicking off after 15 minutes or so of runtime. From what I am hearing here and my own knowledge, I am really beginning to think that the screw is a red herring, and that the real damage occurred when I removed the front fan assembly to get it out and replaced it - but it still wasn't flush. I'm just hoping that the damage is on the fan assembly rather than where it connects on the logic board. Does anybody know if the temp sensors are on the fan assembly or the logic board?

    And yes I reseated everything as a first measure of testing, including the memory.

    As I said above, I was able to remove the screw before the problem occurred, simply by turning the machine over. I believe it to have been lodged somewhere in the processor area, as I removed the fan assembly and the memory cage to search for it and found nothing.
     
  22. NoManIsland thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2010
    #22
    I'll just reiterate my question here, as I think it got lost in my big post: does anyone know whether, on a 2008, the temperature sensors for the front fan assembly are on the assembly itself, or on the logic board where it connects?
     
  23. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #23
    I added SATA cables to my 2008 Mac Pro and was unable to re-install the removed fan cage and have the electrical connections on the cage make a good connection and replace the screw due to the SATA connector height. I replaced the cables with some really low-profile ones and then the fan-connectors mated well with the motherboard and the screw was easily replaced.

    Have you removed the aux-SATA cables you added and tried reassembling the system to see if it will then work correctly? Might be worth the effort...

    -howard
     
  24. NoManIsland thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 17, 2010
    #24
    That was the same problem I had! And I was using the OWC kit that's supposed to work :mad: I did try removing them, but the fan assembly still wasn't sitting right, and the problem still happened, but took longer. Where did you get the ultra low profile cables?
     
  25. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
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    #25
    I think I just searched through some I had and found some low-profile ones that came with a motherboard at some time. It was still a bit tricky to get the fan assembly connector lined up properly to mate, but once it did there were no further problems and the screws went right in place.

    I don't remember how many contacts the fan connector had, but there might be some temp monitor feedback pins which if not mated could cause a problem.

    good luck,
    -howard
     

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