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Old November 1st, 2008, 03:49 PM   #1
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My Mac Pro Quad is dead

Due to very unstable OS in Tiger, installed Leopard, then FCS2, Adobe Encore
Final cut crashed often, just like when I ran Tiger. Crashes were eternal pinwheel requiring reset.
Hesitant to reinstall everything, I put up with the crashes.
Changed permissions for Leopard in the info section, selecting that everyone have read/write permission.
Restarted the computer, went into eternal loop.
Unplugged all externals. Same.
Tried starting holding down Ctrl-Apple-P-R…nothing changed.
Tried holding down mouse button on restart…nothing changed.
Tried holding down ‘C’ on restart…nothing changed.
Tried starting from Tiger Hard Drive (I had installed Leopard on a clean drive and made it the startup disk)…nothing changed, though occasionally I saw DOS-like info come up momentarily.
Started seeing eternal blue/grey screen instead of loop.
Physically removed Leopard drive…nothing changed.
Physically removed 4gb of RAM that I had installed…nothing changed

Could the factory RAM have failed? Didn’t try removing that.
I cannot open the CD player, or I would try the Leopard Install Disk.
Tried to find the reset button by the upper RAM slot – could not find it.

Since both startup drives will not load, I’m thinking it’s a hardware issue.
Insides are a little dusty and heavily used for hard tasks.

Any thoughts before I take it in?
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Old November 1st, 2008, 05:32 PM   #2
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Tried vacuuming the motherboard? You might have a piece of conductive crap lodged between traces or pins.

The fact that you've re-seated the RAM and drives eliminates a few possibilities. Could be a bad drive cable. Intermittents are tough to find. If you can't spot the problem visually, it's time for the geeks to take over.

Martin
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Old November 1st, 2008, 05:42 PM   #3
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I'd try replacing the RAM, and also a new power supply.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 07:01 AM   #4
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Hi Dana,

Remove all non-factory installed components from the mac (trim the memory to the minimum 2 modules), then reset the System Management Controller (SMC):
  1. Make sure the Mac Pro is switched off
  2. Open and remove the metallic outer door.
  3. Press the SMC_RST switch that is located slightly below and to the right of the row of diagnostic LEDs. Use a non-metallic, non-conductive object, such as a wooden pencil.
    • Note: Mac Pro (Early 2008) does not have an SMC_RST switch, refer to the reset procedure steps in link below.
  4. Replace the metallic outer door.
  5. Press the power button to start up your computer.

See: Mac Pro: How to reset the System Management Controller (SMC)

Try holding down the ALT key as soon as you heer the "boing" sound as you start the mac.

This should get you in the boot selection menu. If you don't get there there is a hardware fault. Try swapping the memory out for other modules.

If that doesn't help getting you in the menu, some other component (graphics for example) may be the problem and you may have to take the system in for repair.. However it very much sounds like a memory problem.

George/

P.S. See this article for the use of start-up modifier keys: Startup key combinations for Intel-based Macs

You may try to run the hardware diagnostics that way (using your Mac OS DVD). Or booting in Verbose mode (this will output OS load sequences).
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 09:50 AM   #5
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You might also try resetting the SMC by doing the following:

1) shut down
2) disconnect everything from the computer, including monitor mouse and keyboard
3) wait 2-3 minutes
4) Connect power cable and keyboard only
5) restart

This is how Apple had me reset it. Didn't need to open anything up, just disconnect all the attachments.

Bigger issue to solve once you get it started is why are you crashing so much!? May be time to wipe everything clean and start anew
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 08:20 PM   #6
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Have you tried booting from the OS X system disc? It could also be bad system hard drive. Open the case and muscle open the drive- carefully but firmly.

Noah
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 09:15 PM   #7
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Possible:
Bad Hard Drive
Bad Motherboard
Bad Memory

This is a hardware issue, the OS is stable but it's not getting the data and instructions properly. I just had an old iMac do this. It turns out that the motherboard went bad after 5 years of daily use. Do you have Applecare? This is a great time to use it.
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Old November 2nd, 2008, 10:30 PM   #8
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Thanks for the help! I finally took it into Apple and they concluded that it was the OS. I was able to access the CD drive and reinstalled/archived Leopard.

Now I have a new problem, in that all my externals are locked up and I have "custom" access. I downloaded ACL Fix and ran it on the drives, but the report says "access denied". In Disk Utility, Repair Disk Permissions is grayed out, so I guess I need to figure out how to sudo the thing, but I have no clue. Anyone know this language?
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 04:36 AM   #9
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Try this if you don't want to use Terminal:

iRepair 1.0.6 software download - Mac OS X - VersionTracker

Regards,
George/
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 08:24 AM   #10
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It didn't work. Nothing is able to unlock the permissions on any one of my external or internal hard drives. I cannot even open these on my other computer.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 09:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
Thanks for the help! I finally took it into Apple and they concluded that it was the OS. I was able to access the CD drive and reinstalled/archived Leopard.

Now I have a new problem, in that all my externals are locked up and I have "custom" access. I downloaded ACL Fix and ran it on the drives, but the report says "access denied". In Disk Utility, Repair Disk Permissions is grayed out, so I guess I need to figure out how to sudo the thing, but I have no clue. Anyone know this language?
Did you open the Get Info box on these drives? See if you can change the Sharing and Permission prefs here.

Do you have the DiscWarrior boot CD or the AppleCare disk with Tech tools? Boot the computer off of one of these and run the repair programs on the hard drives. I'm not sure that it still isn't a hardware problem. Bad memory can cause some strange things to happen. TechTool can find some of these issues. If you don't have the Applecare disc, consider a purchase of TechTool.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 10:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
It didn't work.
When you use iRepair, first click on the padlock button at the bottom-left. Then "Select" a folder, then press "Settings" (if they're not already showing).

Just check all checkboxes (why not) and select your local username as the owner (top drop down list) and "everyone" as the group from the bottom list.

Make sure you have "Include subfolders" checked and press "Apply".

This should work as it is just a GUI for the shell commands.

George/

P.S. I have to agree with William; memory problems can cause all kinds of issues and are sometimes hard to trace down.
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Old November 4th, 2008, 05:16 PM   #13
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It turns out it was the logic board. (Ouch)

God bless you guys for the help along the way.
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Old November 4th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #14
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That sucks. My wife just lost an iMac recently to a logic board failure.
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Old November 6th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #15
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It's the Mac's revenge against Bootcamp. ;o)

I found someone (Mac Media) to fix it for $400! Apple quoted me $1200! I'm so happy I found them.
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