Unstable (system freeze)- must power cycle too often

Discussion in 'macOS' started by SOKY, May 30, 2009.

  1. SOKY macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2009
    Bowling Green, KY USA
    Hello everyone, my name is David Francis and I publish a community magazine in Bowling Green KY. I consider myself fairly adept with computers and technology having been working with them since 1987. I was a full time web developer for 10 years prior to starting a magazine company in 2007. My experience (was) Microsoft (can I say that here?) and PC. I developed ASP websites using SQL databases and I was more or less a MS Partner having invested many years on the PC and the MS Software (lots of money too I should say.)

    I was "persuaded" to learn the Macintosh by a fellow publisher and friend who loaned me a computer and Adobe software for six months. I must say I reluctant, but realized quickly that I needed the tools and performance of the MAC.

    (I'm doing this intro because I'm new here... hope it's appropriate.)

    I purchased a brand new MAC Pro in Nov 07 (2 x 2.66GHz Dual Core), this was the same month that Leopard came out and it was included with the new machine. It came with 2gb of ram which I upgrade (MAC certified ram) to 4bg about six months ago.)I immediately installed Adobe Creative Suite CS3 which I purchased as well as Office for MAC, Parallels so I could run Windows (sorry), and a logitech mouse and keyboard.

    Everything worked fine until a month or two ago.

    The first symptom was that the MAC had trouble turning on in the morning. I turn it off at night to save energy. Basically, the icons looked funny and the system would lock up, I would have to press and hold the power button and then she came back fine.

    I had resorted to leaving it on all night just so I would have the start up troubles in the morning.

    Over the next few weeks, the system lock ups happened more frequently. (not just on start up) It didn't matter what software was running or what I was doing, it would just decide to stop working. The past week, the system has become so unresponsive that it is impossible to use it at all.

    That said, I am in safe mode now and everything works fine (other than an over-use of RAM which I find curious.)

    To try to troubleshoot, I have tried to get back to the basic machine as much as possible. I've removed the expanded ram and even took out the extra hard drives that have since been installed. I am using the keyboard that came with the mac even now. Removing all external devices, printers and even USB cables for cameras, has not helped at all.

    I have reset the PRAM several times as well.

    The only time that the machine is stable now is in safe mode which I think eliminates the possibility of corrupt ram on the video card or on board ram, though I could be wrong.

    I have read the installation instructions on the Leopard disk and there doesn't seem to be a recovery mode. I would prefer not to have to do a clean install because of all of the personal preferences, settings and software tool layouts in PhotoShop and InDesign.

    My biggest mistake I suppose is not investing in a large enough backup hard drive to utilize the time machine. I never enabled it.

    Does anyone know what has happened to my MAC? At less than 2 years old, it has been a great performer, but now has more trouble than any PC I've ever owned.

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    David Francis
  2. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2009
    United Kingdom
    You need to take that to Apple, unless you have AppleCare, however, you will have to pay for whatever needs replacing. It sounds like it could be a graphics card issue, or a power management issue, or it might be a logic board issue.
  3. SOKY thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2009
    Bowling Green, KY USA
    Thanks Chris... I've been is "safe mode" all morning and have had no lock ups, if it were a hardware issue, wouldn't the symptoms remain in safe mode?

    edit: Okay, will buy a graphics card and hope it works. (We don't have an apple store here) I do remember that early symptoms were graphics. Here goes.
  4. SOKY thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2009
    Bowling Green, KY USA
    I guess I should follow up. I'm still really confused how the graphics card could cause freeze ups in regular login and not in safe mode, but that will be another one of those Mac mysteries I guess.

    The bottom line is, I changed the graphics card and all of the issues have subsided. Everything appears to be back to normal.

    For anyone in the local area, we do have an Apple store called "The Place" on the square in Bowling Green. Brad Bitterling helped me not only select a great graphics card, but showed me how to install it myself and even matched online prices for the card and a new 1tb hard drive. I would recommend them if you are in the neighborhood.

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