Why is my MacPro 3,1 randomly crashing?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Moleyman69, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. Moleyman69 macrumors member

    Moleyman69

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I have a MacPro 3,1 running 10.8.4 with a flashed-to-be-a-EVGA-Mac-GTX680, 8 GB RAM (2 x 2GB and 4 x 1GB).

    The set-up has been running fine for years without much issue. However, after I upgraded to 10.8.5 I started to experience total crashes (machine completely locked up, mouse wouldn't move, clock in corner not changing) and the only way to restart was to hold the power button in for seven seconds.

    So, after much searching (and some incredible luck) I managed to find my original 10.8.3 installer so I did a complete clean install of 10.8.3 and then applied the combo update to get me to 10.8.4 - so I was back where I was when I wasn't having these hard crashes.

    However, I am still getting the crashes. What happens is that the machine appears to be completely stable after boot-up. It seems to only happen after the Mac has been woken from sleep too - but it doesn't happen every time though; it seems to be completely random. Also, I have had the machine lock up completely a few times when shutting the Mac down - I get the grey screen with the normal spinning "thing" (not the beach ball) and then the spinning thing just freezes and I have to do the seven second power-off. Again, this seems to happen randomly.

    I wondered if it might be memory-related so I made a bootable Memtestx86 v5 USB stick and ran it for about 24 hours during which time Memtest ran about 12 or 13 complete cycles with no errors found (it did say that there had been 1 ECC correctable error though). So, I swapped all the DIMMs around so that they were all if different slots - I even then put the memory risers back in different positions and then ran the same Memtest for another 24 hours and got the same results (no errors, but 1 ECC correctable error). So I think that the RAM is probably OK.

    Are there any logs that might help me try and work out why the machine randomly locks up?

    If anyone has any ideas or advice that would be great.

    All the best,

    Moley
     
  2. Moleyman69 thread starter macrumors member

    Moleyman69

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #2
    Well, it looks like I have baffled the greatest Mac-minds on the internet :)

    Thanks for looking anyways.

    All the best,

    Moley
     
  3. rotarypower101 macrumors regular

    rotarypower101

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    #3
    I think all the 3,1 machines have thus far :(

    I am sure there are "bandaids" for some out there, but none have seemed to be applicable to me...

    I have not seen anything that attributes what the freezing issues are coming from, only random anecdotal evidence for a fix... which for me, has never worked in any form of a long term fix...

    I did a fresh instal, and have very basic setup, still no satisfaction...
    Pop last OS in and everything is stable again... :(
     
  4. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Sagittarius A*
    #4
    Always tricky, no kernel panic logs?
    Ran apple hardware test?
    Any other PCIe cards other than the graphics card?
     
  5. rotarypower101 macrumors regular

    rotarypower101

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    #5
    Dont want to jack another thread, but...we definitaly need help from technical people on this one I think!

    Here are what I think are important details on my issues.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=18641505#post18641505

    Is there a tutorial to find and present these things that you are asking for in the proper way?
    I am running the appricorn PCIe SSD card, which runs rock solid in the older OS...

    TIA :)
     
  6. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Sagittarius A*
    #6
    Out of luck tonight - with the last two days of work aggro plus breaking my weekday alcohol ban to smithereens last night my brain will kernel panic at the sight of anything too complicated.

    If you have kernel panics go advanced edit to your topic and say so - that will call the cavalry in!:D
     
  7. iMacMad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Location:
    Just a mo I'll check the Blue Dot
    #7
    Having very similar problems I followed the actions of Moleyman69 very closely, and suffered almost identical outcomes.
    Upgrading about 6 months ago to SSDs and other kit to run MacOS on RAID 0 at SATA 3 rates I was not ready to throw in the towel by further upgrading. Plus the New Mac Pro was still only an Apple promise at that time.

    I decided to give the Early 2008 Mac Pro a deep clean by removing all Cards, RAM and Connecting Cables and thoroughly suction cleaning everything. Special attention was paid to the Card and RAM Slots by using a Small Bore Kit designed to fit on a 2000 Watt Suction Cleaner. All Connector Strip edges were wiped clean and all Components and Cables properly reseated/connected.

    Booting up and then running my favourite Maintenance Application completed and the machine restarted. Several months on everything is as slick and smooth as it ever was. All thoughts of upgrading are on hold, but I confess the 'little black waste basket' is very interesting. Pity about the UK pricing!

    Carrying out the above is not without its risks, if you have any doubts about your abilities pay a professional to do the work and take the risks for you. Remember you will be solely responsible for your actions.

    Hope this works for others.
     
  8. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #8
    I do this 1x a year!
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Location:
    Sagittarius A*
    #9
    Good practice to those who are capable. You can add some isopropyl to the cleaning process, 90% if you wish to let the parts dry out gradually but if you're impatient and have good ventilation use denatured isopropyl which literally takes minutes to evapourate. My 3,1 has some glitches such as some issues with the on-board USB and bluetooth not detected in bootcamp so when it gets a day or two break from work it's getting a deep clean and the CPU's re-pasted. It's only had the basic vacuum so far and been in constant use since!
     
  10. Moleyman69 thread starter macrumors member

    Moleyman69

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #10
    Hi again, everyone.

    Firstly, thank you all for taking the time to reply.

    With regards to cleaning out the machine, I last did this during the summer last year. RAM risers out, graphics card out, all hard drives out, front fan assembly out (couldn't work out how to get the power supply out though) and gave it a really good blow out with a couple of cans of compressed air. I then decided to put some fine mesh over the front of the Mac to try and stop getting more dust inside after being inspired by a similar product i saw developed for the MacPro - and this has worked surprisingly well to be honest. Plus my temps and fan speeds haven't really changed.

    Other than when I went up to 10.8.5 (and this was when I started to notice the issues) I really can't think of anything else that has "changed" in my set-up.

    Interestingly though, the Mac has been on constantly for the last 96 hours (with sleep disabled) and it hasn't had any issues; as I mentioned previously - it only seems to happen a couple of minutes after it has been woken from sleep - but not every time it is woke up - and the occasional shut-down at the spinning gear stage.

    Given that other people are having similar sounding issues, I wonder if there is a software issue at play here.

    Are there and log files that I can "reset" and then keeping putting my Mac to sleep and waking it up until I get the crash again and then see what it says in the logs?

    Thanks again, everyone.

    Moley
     
  11. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #11
    I own a Mac Pro 3,1 since it came out.

    I have never had any issues regarding random crashes. Not with any OS.

    Must admit I have upgraded the grfx card at every single opportunity, as IIRC the 8800 GT (CTO) has heat issues which could cause the crashes and with all the updates I never had a grfx card go wrong.

    Are you sure your grfx card is still okay?
    And your HDD?
     
  12. Moleyman69 thread starter macrumors member

    Moleyman69

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #12
    Hi,

    My main boot drive is a Samsung 830 25GB SSD and my graphics card is a GTX680. Both are just under a year old.

    As I mentioned previously, when the Mac is just on and running it is as stable as you could want - it is only after waking from sleep that it occassionally locks-up with even rarer lock-ups on shut-down.

    The "normal" stability of the machine before it goes to sleep is what makes me think it isn't a hardware issue. if it was a hardware issue, I would have thought it would lock-up whenever - just just after waking from sleep.

    All the best,

    Moley
     
  13. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #13
    I've run into similar issues on PC based systems with older power supplies. They are unable to deliver all of the power requirements in their older age. This doesn't sound like a dust or heat issue since the problem occurs at wake and not under load.

    If you can, take yourself down to 4GB of ram, a video card and the SSD to reduce the power requirements to the system. Perhaps you have the 8800GT your 3,1 shipped with? Legacy 1900XT and 2600 cards no longer work in 10.9.

    The 680GTX uses less power than the legacy 8800GT for idle power consumption and requires 100+ more watts at load.

    Waking your 3,1 from sleep pulls all of the components out of sleep and momentarily pushes them into action, potentially pulling more power that the older power supply can cleanly deliver. If there is a dip on a 12v rail powering the RAM a crash can easily occur.

    Likewise, when putting the system to sleep/shutdown: all the disks are powered up and prepared for sleep or shutdown, as is the video card and onboard components etc.

    $100 for a new power supply is much cheaper than a new system.






     
  14. Moleyman69 thread starter macrumors member

    Moleyman69

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #14
    Good morning,

    The thing with the crashing after waking from sleep and before the machine crashes the machine will still work fine for about 1 - 2 minutes before it crashes - it isn't as soon as it wakes from sleep. Basically it goes like one of the scenarios below:


    SCENARIO 1:

    Boot machine up from cold - machine will run nice and stable for as long as I want (days on end even).

    Put machine to sleep.

    Wake machine from sleep.

    Machine will still be rock solid.

    Rinse and repeat.



    or

    SCENARIO 2:

    Boot machine up from cold - machine will run nice and stable for as long as I want (days on end even).

    Put machine to sleep.

    Wake machine from sleep.

    Use machine for about 1 to 2 minutes (browsing, email, whatever) and all seems fine however suddenly - BAM - spinning beachball (I think) and complete freeze (no mouse, no clock changing).



    or

    SCENARIO 3:

    Boot machine up from cold - machine will run nice and stable for as long as I want (days on end even).

    Put machine to sleep.

    Wake machine from sleep.

    Machine will still be rock solid.

    Shut down machine eventually.

    Get to grey shut-down screen with spinning gear symbol and then sudden hard crash.


    So I'm not sure if this rules out the power supply as the cause as it seems to be able to power all components all the time - even after waking from sleep for at least 1 - 2 minutes before it crashes (if it even does crash).

    Thanks again,

    Moley
     
  15. iMacMad macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Location:
    Just a mo I'll check the Blue Dot
    #15
    Moley, I really do appreciate how frustrating your problem is, the erratic nature of my problems caused me to think 'software glitches'.
    The RAM was tested and found OK, there was nil excess heat evident and all the 'resets' and 'maintenance' were carried out 'again' just for luck.
    I went to lengths of reinstalling the MacOS, running a previously 'known good' MacOS Clones [Both on HDD and SSD] and finally a MacOS New Installation on a freshly formatted HDD.
    None of these removed the problems for longer than a few hours.
    This suggested to me that the problem was probably with the Hardware and possibly related to a rise in temperature [From Cold to Normal]?

    I understand that you removed and reseated your RAM, but no mention of doing this with Cards, Drives, Connectors [including the Graphics Card Power Supply Connector(s) and anything else that simply plugs in.

    1. I was hoping that a knowledgeable person would respond to your request:

    Are there any logs that might help me try and work out why the machine randomly locks up?

    This information would appear in Utilities > Console.app, but I am unsure of the exact location to search and what to look for.

    2. If not covered by your efforts thus far it may be useful to see if the problems persist if the machine is Shut Down rather than Put to Sleep?

    3. In your situation I would not hesitate to try the full reseat job, it is obviously good practice to clean at the same time. Seating and reseating everything a couple of times tends to 'scrape' clean although you may prefer to use the alternatives suggested above.

    4. On Apple Discussions there are claims that disconnecting the Ethernet Cable resolved this sort of problem [Note that this is one of the many connections mentioned above]. It is certainly worth reviewing other users similar problems by widening your searches.

    Good luck with what ever you choose to do.
     
  16. Moleyman69 thread starter macrumors member

    Moleyman69

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    #16
    Hi iMacMad,

    You're right - it is very frustrating as there seems to be no consistency to the crashing other that it will only happen after the machine has been to sleep.

    This is what I can't understand - if it was a hardware-related issue I would have thought it would crash at any time, especially if the machine had been on for 4 days straight.

    I have done some stress-testing using the Heaven benchmark so that a lot of components are drawing power and it ran that with no issues whatsoever (as far as I can tell, admittedly).

    I have done some google'ing previously and it seems that some other people have had similar issues to mine since 10.8.5 and then in to Mavericks as well, which is why I thought it was software related.

    If I can't nail down why it is crashing I'll just never put the machine to sleep and shut it down instead as I'm worried that the hard crashing may corrupt data or damage components in some way.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone.

    Moley
     

Share This Page