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

PowerMac G5 startup issue


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trampis

 
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So my PowerMac G5 has been having issues for a long time. Basically, it has serious trouble starting up. It won't boot by just turning it on. I have to try a variety of start up commands to get the thing going. Sometimes one command will do the trick, but when I try that same command the next time it won't work. Sometimes a command that did not work in the past will work and get the thing going.

Once I get the computer to boot it works just fine UNLESS it falls asleep. If the computer falls asleep it will not come back on and I have to force it to turn off and start going through the list of start up commands all over again until something works.

I have done numerous searches over the past few years about this issue and not found any solid advice. Some say the logic board needs to be replaced and that I may as well just get a new computer. I would think if it was the logic board that I would not be able to get it to boot at all, which I can. . . sometimes.

Maybe I'm wrong about the logic board, but that's why I am here. Any input will be greatly appreciated.
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pigoo3

 
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Mac Specs: 13" MB 2.4ghz, 2gig ram, OS 10.7.5

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Originally Posted by trampis View Post
Maybe I'm wrong about the logic board, but that's why I am here. Any input will be greatly appreciated.
Could be the power supply as well...especially when you mention all of the startup problems...and wake from sleep problems.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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trampis

 
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Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention in the OP that when it does not boot properly it will generally freeze on the grey screen and eventually the fans will start spinning very fast. Or if i go into single-user mode it will freeze at "DART enabled"and eventually the fans will kick on.

I am looking into the power supply thing, and so far it looks like it is going to be a pain getting to that, but would be a cheaper fix than the logic board. Thanks for the input Nick.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trampis View Post
Thanks for the reply. I forgot to mention in the OP that when it does not boot properly it will generally freeze on the grey screen and eventually the fans will start spinning very fast. Or if i go into single-user mode it will freeze at "DART enabled"and eventually the fans will kick on.

I am looking into the power supply thing, and so far it looks like it is going to be a pain getting to that, but would be a cheaper fix than the logic board. Thanks for the input Nick.
Yes...since the power supply is in the bottom of the case on Powermac G5's...it is pain to get to.

As far as the "freezing"...this could be any number of possibilities:

- hard drive going bad
- maybe the OS got messed up in some way
- maybe some sort of 3rd party apps are causing incompatibilities
- one or more sticks of ram could be bad or going bad
- one or more sticks of ram could be the wrong ram
- the ram could be installed incorrectly

"Freezing" is such a generic term..and so many things can contribute to it. The best things you can do to eliminate most of what I mention are:

1. Boot the computer from an OS install disk...or use a "fresh" and known good hard drive (nothing installed on it)...other than a "fresh" copy of the OS installed on it.

This assures that the hard drive is not the problem, the OS install is not the problem, and no other installed apps. are the problem.

2. Verify that the ram is installed correctly (matching sticks in the proper slots/banks).

3. Be sure that none of the sticks of ram are bad, going bad, or are the wrong ram. This is mostly a "trial & error" process...unless you are 100% sure the ram is not the problem (but ram can always go "bad" even if it is installed correctly & it is compatible ram).

If you can eliminate that the hard drive, the OS install, and the ram are not problems...then you are back to the logic board & power supply.

One other last thought. The Powermac G5's run hot. They have lots of fans inside...and need lots of fresh cooling air. You may want to open the computer up...and check to see if any of the fans and/or cooling fins of the heatsinks...aren't clogged with dirt/fuzz/dust.

HTH,

- Nick

p.s. Could also be a bad video card issue.

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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trampis

 
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There is some dust inside, but nothing too severe. I just ran the Apple Hardware test and everything passed. I have previously re-installed the OS twice and restored to factory settings as well.

I'd hate to spend the money replacing parts and then still have the same problems, but I guess that is a gamble I will have to consider.
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pigoo3

 
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Originally Posted by trampis View Post
I'd hate to spend the money replacing parts and then still have the same problems, but I guess that is a gamble I will have to consider.
When we do our own computer repairs...the best we can do is eliminate as much as possible...and then see what we are left with.

In this case...if the logic board were bad...I don't think that the computer would startup. If this were a laptop computer (with integrated graphics hardware)...it might be a different issue (could have a "bad" logic board/bad graphics & still start up). But since your PM G5 has a video card that is removable/replaceable...this is the only other truely end-user "testable" hardware.

Which then leaves the power supply as the problem. But no guarantees.

- Nick

p.s. FYI...the basic Apple hardware test that comes on the gray DVD...is not always 100% accurate...but better than nothing.

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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trampis

 
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I found this video about testing the power supply without taking it out, and my power supply did pass the test so I am ruling that out as the problem for now.

Test ATX power supply - YouTube

Good news that I won't have to take out the power supply, but I still have no clue what the issue is. I'm debating if I should purchase a new video card and see if that clears things up.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trampis View Post
I found this video about testing the power supply without taking it out, and my power supply did pass the test so I am ruling that out as the problem for now.
Good deal! It's always great to be able to eliminate potential problem areas. The more you can definitively eliminate...the fewer things that are left that can be causing the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trampis View Post
...but I still have no clue what the issue is. I'm debating if I should purchase a new video card and see if that clears things up.
The video card is certainly another area that could be causing problems...of course you have to have a known good card to swap to test. If you happen to know someone with a Powermac G5 (and your video card is compatible with their PM G5)...maybe you could test your video card in their computer. I know that this is a long shot...but worth mentioning just in case.

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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