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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Power Mac - desperate for G5 solutions...


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migrations53

 
Member Since: Aug 14, 2009
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hi. I'm new here. But desperate for some solutions or suggestions...
I have 2 Power Mac G5s. One is a 1.6 single processor from 2004, the newer one is a 2.3 dual (2005). Both have problems.
I switched to the 2.3 for more power as I am a composer and use mem-heavy samples. The 1.6 used to make loud sudden crashing noises when I used my sequencer program and samples, it was awful.
I had been using the 2.3 for everything until the other day when it started to freeze. Then within a few hours I couldn't boot.
So I switched the two discs in it (which seem ok) to the 1.6 just to be able to work, although it's useless for music audio work and I cannot get any sound. Also, programs (anything, browsers, applications, music notation program...) all just vanish from the screen regularly so I have to save almost every few seconds to be sure not to lose anything. Hopeless.

Now, the big problem with the 2.3. It now has 1.5gig RAM. (Before, it had 3gig) I have a useable disc in it which booted up just once in the hundreds of times I tried, into OS 10.4.11. Nearly all the times I try, it fails to boot. Most times nothing appears on the screen. The next best is the apple screen. But now it never gets past the apple screen.
If I leave the apple screen on, the machine overheats and fan noise increases.
I cannot boot from the CD, same problem.
If I keep the on button pressed I get a tone and then the text screen saying enter 'mac-boot'. This always leads to the same place, apple screen then overheat.
The machine doesn't recognise the opening command to use the apple hardware test.
I have tried pressing the CSU button on the logic board.
I have tried swapping the battery on the logic board.
Apart from 'you need another computer', does anyone out there have any suggestions as to what else I could try?
Very grateful for any ideas... with both 1.6 and 2.3 actually.
I also have 2 faulty G4 laptops... but that's for another time. This place is full of bust macs...
Thanks so much.
Frustrated, from the UK
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harryb2448

 
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There are two what is known as 2.3GHz, a DP DUal Processor and a Dual Core which was released in late 2005 and uses DDR2 memory and comes equipped with PCIE slots.

Pop the original system install disc into the 2.3 and reboot holding down 'C' after the chime and run Repair Disk. If all is well then reboot and hold down 'D', assume that is what you are doing tom access AHT, to run Apple Hardware Test. Also you might resetting the SMU (System Management Unit) and see if that brings any joy.

How to reset the SMU on a Power Mac G5 (Late 2004) or Power Mac G5 (Late 2005)
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migrations53

 
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Hello Harry, thank you for your reply.

Since writing earlier I managed to get the 2.3 to boot. Just once, out of literally hundreds of attempts.....Once booted, it seemed fine, turned off the right way, next time... back to the same old nothing or apple screen.

CD: Trouble usually is getting the CD INTO the Mac... It powers on, fans start, then most times... nothing. Or, the HD may start to boot and the apple logo appears. Then no more, just fan increasing.

The only way to get a CD into the machine I discovered is to hold the on button until the tone (maybe 1 out of 4 times), wait for the firmware screen, press the CD eject. Then when I enter 'mac-boot' the CD opens... However, I cannot do any more with it after that, because the apple logo appears then nothing more.
Incidentally there is never any chime.

Could the version of the firmware be a problem?
Firmware info isower Mac7,3 5.2.4f1 built 03.25.05
It gives a wierd current date: 01/02/1904.... hmm.
Then says 'reducing system power...'...

I have already pressed the SMU button on the logic board.

Again, thanks a lot.
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dtravis7

 
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I wonder if the PRAM battery is dead? What makes me wonder is that strange date. I know a lot of Power PC Macs will not even light the screen if the PRAM battery is dead. Just a guess.
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harryb2448

 
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As dtravis says the PRAM battery. The date change is a dead give away. It is not a Dual Core so you need the 3.6volt PRAM battery and here is a how to from Apple, towards the bottom of the page:-

Inside your Power Mac G5

And this is the battery you need:-

3.6v Newer Technology Lithium 1/2 AA PRAM Com... (3.6VPRAM) at OWC

Keep us posted.
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migrations53

 
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hello, thank you both for suggesting the PRAM battery. However..... I thought of that, and swapped the one in the 1.6 which is working (although with frustrating problems of its own) The same problem, most it gets to is the apple, then a few HD boot sounds then...... stop.
I am wondering if the firmware date is preventing the machine from booting now?
Maybe both batteries are pretty much dead, except the one in the 1.6 is on the edge and just about working! I wonder if new ones will make a lot of difference?
I fear the 2.3 has a more serious hardware fault which I can't fix...
Keep the suggestions coming if possible. Thanks so much.
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migrations53

 
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hi. A week ago I posted a thread about my 2 g5 power pcs. In particular the 2.3 (actually it's a 2.0ghz)
The 2ghtz dual processor machine started to freeze, then failed to boot. It boots haphazardly, but only maybe less than 1% of the time. Maybe 10% of the time it gets as far as the apple screen, then stops and the fans increase.
Sometimes chimes, sometimes not. Sometimes the chime is late.
Never gets past the apple logo these days. Used to be able to get into firmware by holding the power button but that doesn't work anymore now, have to use the 'OF' keys. The date in the firmware was skewed (about 1906 or something) but that was cured by resetting, so it's not that.
I have tried various hard disks.
I have reset the VDRAM, defaults and reset-all in firmware.
I have zapped the PRAM.
I have pressed the button on the logic board.
Now I have replaced the 3.6 battery.
Just the same, if not worse.

Getting nowhere now.
Is there anything else I could try before admitting defeat and biting the financial bullet?

Thanks a lot.
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pigoo3

 
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Sorry to hear that the new PRAM battery didn't solve things.

I think that the very very strange thing that has me confused is...how could something like this happen on two G5 computers at the same time!

Did the problems you're experiencing really start at the same time?.

Because if so, the only explanation I can think of that could cause something like this would be some sort of electrical or power issue, such as:

- an electrical issue in your home
- an electrical spike of some sort in neighborhood
- a sudden electrical spike due to a thunder storm
- etc.

- Nick
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cwa107

 
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Not sure if you can see the actual system board (it might be covered up to keep things aesthetically pleasing), but if you can get to it, take a look at the capacitors on the board:



The picture above shows capacitors that are going bad (notice how the tops are not flat), this is very typical of machines of this vintage - they will either poke up or electrolytic compound will come out of the tops.

In 2003-2004 a rash of bad capacitors were produced by a Taiwanese conglomerate and were widely distributed to systemboard manufacturers, including companies that supply Apple, Dell, HP and many others. After some time, they go bad and start to vary their storage traits, causing all kinds of odd behavior.

This is the first thing I look for when I hear this kind of complaint. If this is the case, you can either replace the capacitors (not easy unless you're handy with a soldering iron) or replace the entire board.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
In 2003-2004 a rash of bad capacitors were produced by a Taiwanese conglomerate and were widely distributed to systemboard manufacturers, including companies that supply Apple, Dell, HP and many others. After some time, they go bad and start to vary their storage traits, causing all kinds of odd behavior.

This is the first thing I look for when I hear this kind of complaint. If this is the case, you can either replace the capacitors (not easy unless you're handy with a soldering iron) or replace the entire board.
Did this capacitor problem extend to other Mac Models other than the infamous 1.25ghz eMac's?

I think that the one perplexing clue in this thread is that two G5 PowerMac's seem to have been affected at the same time (actually I'm trying to find out if this problem did happen at the same time).

- Nick
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
Did this capacitor problem extend to other Mac Models other than the infamous 1.25ghz eMac's?

I think that the one perplexing clue in this thread is that two G5 PowerMac's seem to have been affected at the same time (actually I'm trying to find out if this problem did happen at the same time).

- Nick
As far as I know, any device that didn't use the ultra compact capacitors (like notebook systemboards) can be effected.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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migrations53

 
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Thanks everyone for your input, much appreciated. Will explore capacitors....

No the same problem doesn't affect both. Both are faulty, but I went from the 1.6 to the 2.0 because a) the 1.6 kept crashing, making huge roaring and crashing noises when trying to operate my pro music software, and b) I needed more power for the samples I was using.
I went back to the 1.6 because it's all I had after the 2.0 died on me. And it crashes all the time, twice every minute when you're trying to input musical notation is no joke... finger on apple-S the WHOLE time....
So I'm now on the 1.6, waiting for Firefox to crash any second.
Thunderbird mail.... just a joke, crash crash crash. Then kernel panic for good measure.
I have done a thorough apple hardware test on both computers. No problem.
Used memtes. No problem.
Getting seriously fed up with Mac. I hate to say, because I like Mac...
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cwa107

 
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Well it's certainly not a trait inherent to Macs. Most likely A failing systemboard. Also, is the memory original to the machine or aftermarket?

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Well it's certainly not a trait inherent to Macs. Most likely A failing systemboard. Also, is the memory original to the machine or aftermarket?
I was just going to ask the same thing!

"OP"...have you installed anything such as ram, or hard drives, or a video card on these computers before the problems started?

- Nick
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migrations53

 
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Checked my capacitors..... all nice and flat!
The RAM is a mixture, though some may be original. Some of it is new Crucial RAM. In the 1.6 now is all Crucial, 3gigs.
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