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

help: my G5 is having some major starting up problems


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h3o
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I have a 3 month old dual 2ghz G5. Since last week, it has had problems starting up. The power would turn on, but I wouldn't hear the welcome chime noise or it wouldn't trigger my monitor to turn on. I held down the power button and did a hard reboot. I had to do this a few times before it worked. I thought it might be my monitor. Then, a few days ago, I walk into my room and the CPU fans are going crazy, buzzing really loud at full speed. I've never heard it do that before and it sounded bad so I shut it down. Now it crashes every once in awhile, especially when using mac mail... and it is having major problems starting up.

I restarted about 10 times in a row and nothing happened. The system turns on, but nothing after that... no welcome chime or nothing on screen. I tried unplugging and replugging the power cords and monitor hookups, still won't start up. Then I left the room and see if it would start up if I gave it some time... When I came back in about 10 minutes later, its doing that high revving cooling fan thing again. So I shut it down and restarted and now it works. So, now I've found out that it only starts up successfully if I let it go into the high fan mode. That is the only way it will start up now. I have to press the power button, then wait for it to freak out, then turn it off and restart.

What the hell is up with my G5? I've had no problems with it whatsoever until now. I tried doing the permissions thing with disk utility and it keeps crashing without completing the "verify disk permissions" part. Does anyone know whats happening here? I'm going to call apple tomorrow and try and figure it out. Really sucks because I got a **** load of work to do this weekend.
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Rob Charles
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I have a very similar problem on my 2Ghz G5- it works fine in all regards except when it comes to booting-up and waking from extended sleep. What happens is the fans spin (not at a psycho speed) and I get the chime but there is no action on the monitor, I reset and hard boot- the lot, but it only gets up when it wants to. A short sleep is generally OK, but after a nights sleep, thats when things set ugly. I have'nt had the patience to purpoisely leave the 'puter for 10 mins and try again, rather I persist with restarts and apple-option-p-r resets that resets the preferences (NB you hold down those 4 keys through start up and 1st chime untill it makes a 2nd chime ((or 3rd!)). This seems to get its juices going half the time. Anyway I took my mac to the reseller's & just got it back 1hr ago (2nd visit) and they ran full firmware and hardware tests and spoke to Apple Australia directly, initially they (resellers) thought it would turn out to be faulty RAM or the vid card or the internal battery supply; but the weird thing is that it does'nt seem to fail on them in the shop (*******) - they tried a transplant of vid card from display G5's and no change in performance. In short, they can't seem to narrow the problem down and Apple was satisfied that they had done all they could in this instance and asked if I would take the computer back and keep a log of faults so that the problem could be diagnosed in relation with other software active in my system- thing is that this prob 1st occured 2 weeks after I bought my 'puter and ther was no internet connection then and very little actual software on the system (I'm a pc convert) and, since I thought it was an OSX issue to begin with, the old OS went through about 5 clean re-installs and one upgrade and another 2 clean installs of Panther. The problem persists and any interlink with software is just very unlikely. With the video card in the clear, the next suspect to come to mind is the fact I'm using a CRT (instead of a $4000 Aus/ 23" Apple Display) which we all know uses a DVI to VGA adaptor, and since DVI is native, I think the system is failing to find the CRT.
What I have done to survive this headache was to simply turn all sleep functions off in Sys Pref, inc hard disk sleep option and activate my screensaver hot corner and not turn the computer off (just the monitor when I'm away). I think this issue is manifesting itself in a variety of forms because your problem is very similar to mine and a few other sleep related issues I've seen on other sites- my repair guy is good, but some others I have spoken to seem to be playing a bit dumb on this issue (including Apple itself- whom I suspect don't want to go into any more damage control modes since the panther FW800 disaster). If you are experiencing this problem don't procrastinate because it may easily create other problems as I was warned, and hassle. hassle and hassle a fix for this problem. We're all busy people who can't afford 'puter downtime but we're using 1st gen machines with full warranties and if Apple is confident enough in their products to give those on these machines, then they can fix everyone with a problem.
Good-luck because if they cant find anything wrong with your machine, then you've got the same problem as me
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dziner
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I have the same problem. 1.6Ghz G5. Although it hasn't happened for a while because I just keepe my computer on ALL THE TIME. When I first got it I had dial-up and would shut down my computer every night. But in the morning when I would go to start it up, I would not hear the start-up sound and soon after the fans would be running full speed. I'd have to unplug it and try it again. After a few times it would start up. Now I moved and have a cable modem which worked for a few days and then suddenly my G5 would stop getting an IP from the modem. Now it works through a router when I manually give it an IP but still not the modem. I've contacted Apple on both problems and they said they've never heard of anything like this and basically offered no help except for the usual reset PRAM and stuff like that.
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rman

 
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I gave read some where that the G5 is affected by the heat in the room. If the room where the G5 is warm the fan will kick in. I remember reading the lady's air conditioner went out (I think she was in Phoenix, AZ), that is when the fans kicked in like you are describing. Once she had the air conditioner repaired al was normal again.

Since I don't have a G5, I am just asking, are they all positioned such that there is a lot of air flow a round them. In most computer room the hadware must have at least three inches of space around it.

This may not be your problem, just a thought.
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dziner
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The room temp is not the problem in my case. The G5 is in my living room with the temp set to about 65 degrees.
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rman

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dziner
The room temp is not the problem in my case. The G5 is in my living room with the temp set to about 65 degrees.
Have you checked the Apple board to see if others have the same problem?
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h3o
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I took my G5 to the apple store genius bar and figured out the problem. It is because I don't have a good, clean power supply coming from my outlets. My moniter twitches when I turn on my TV, light, etc. the lights dim once in awhile too. When I took it to the apple store, it didn't have any problems starting up or crashing, we even restarted it about 15 times to be sure. A similar problem to my roomates computer happened the same week, so we probably had a surge or something. He suggested I get an APC backup, the fat heavy kinds, not just the surge protector ones. He also told me that the fans probably freaked out because it was idling for so long. I'm using it now and it works fine, but it could be different tomorrow.
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h3o
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oh yeah, and I called apple tech support before I went to the store, and they had me reset the power supply on the motherboard. there is a tiny button on a tiny chrome square piece on the motherboard that says somthing like "psu reset".
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Rob Charles
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Yep, that would have been the "PMU switch"- power management unit switch, my tech tried to walk me through hitting the switch over the phone just before (warning to anyone thinking of attempting this at home- screw-up and the G5's become a new coffee table so be sure you know what you're doing, all plugs out inc phone line). I also removed the extra Gig of RAM in my machine (back to the origional 512) to see if the problem is RAM. It still took three attempts to get the mac on its feet (so you're lucky to be getting this thread at all)- but that's better than the ten boots to get her going yesterday after getting it back from the repairers and 7 failed attempts after work (no success that time) and ten again this morning (with success). I don't think it was the xtra RAM (non-APPLE) causing this issue and the PMU reset has'nt done much to help either. For the rest of the weekend I'm going to try a few different variations (which I will mention at the end) on my configuration to help try narrow down the exact problem (which I'm doing purely to help the tech in his dealings with Apple HQ). The tech reckons the logic/motherboard is to blame, but cannot be sure (quite yet) that it is not one of these issues instead, as follows; video card power supply intermitantly stuffed, potential for pins in DVI slot to be fractionally mis-aligned, potential for DVI-VGA adaptor pin issues, my Mitsubishi CRT sending funky and incorrect signals to VidCard (and causing a small and specific thing to fry-out which would not affect card running a Apple Display for example but making my set-up fail) or the PRAM. I'm assuming that the PMU reset has'nt done much to fix it
What the big issue here is, is that you and I (and I assume Apple policy is fairly standard accross the Western Nations) as consumers have to deal with the repair service of the resellers in accordance with our warranties to get stuff fixed. The re-seller will in turn fix your computer but is bound by a set of rules that in some ways makes it really hard for them to get stuck into the box and replace anything that gets in the way of the 'puter working properly. In short this means that Apple expects perfect diagnosis from the tech for the part to be covered by Apple (this bit gives me the feeling that Apple don't like dealing with anything that costs them) because if by all rights it looks like the vidCard is gone and hence is the problem, and only a new one will show that its not the sole cause of the failure but it turns out to be something other than first anticipated, the reseller has to cop the cost of the first part/parts. There are currently 18 spare new G5 motherboards in my country that could be shipped to my nearest re-seller and answer my tech's central culprit in this problem, but won't order it in untill there is no possible doubt that the part that gets ordered is the right one. This puts all resellers and their service department on a very short leash. I've now discovered that more important than finding a really good tech that knows their stuff, is also finding one that will bend over backwards to go in and bat for you against Apple. I did'nt even buy my mac from this shop, so whats the incentive to offer a service department let alone to walk-ins like me.
To address the advise/findings of you guys, I bought a hardcore Belkin surge arresting powerboard yesterday (NB: APC are not all they are cracked up to be- get the fastest MOV clamping arrestor you can find sub-1 nanosecs is fine with a 1 nanosec response time) before I wrote in, I still have my problem and had a Sparkie install my central splitter for ADSL on Monday and quizzed him on the quality of power supply to my house, and its fine, 2nd, my fans don't run psycho like some of you have experienced (but I'm also too impatient when the system is down to leave it for any long period- so maybe It could happen to mine, but things seem to be pretty settled when its not working, it kicks over and sounds like a boot-up . . . with no screen). 3rdly my studio at home is air-conditioned because I'm in Australia and I guess the weather is a bit like Texas in some ways and ther is heaps of room and cool airflow around the system, 4th Not turning the computer off is the solution I came to as well - but its not really good enough is it? If you do this also disable the hard drive sleep box in energy saver- system preferences 5th I always get the chime, and in frustration often do the apple-option-p-r (preferences reset) two or three times at boot up to try shake the system preferences (and PRAM as well?) to get her going. The funny thing is that after doing the PMU reset today, I don't get the chime anymore, I don't know what this means. Where were you doing "verify disk permissions" (h3o) and what were you trying to achieve because crashing does not seem to be a big issue (yet) for me and it might help if I can make the mac know that I'm running a CRT monitor not a DVI or Apple Display it might be the fix I need (the riddiculous thing is that this huge problem might be that simple to solve). h3o, are you running a CRT or DV?
The other things I'm going to try this weekend is my old (old,old ,old) VGA monitor to see if I can't rule out the Mitsi CRT as the source, and do a 12 hour render in FCP4 of something so I can see how the 'puter handles a long slow task that will provide plenty of opportunity for a intermittant fault in the system to show up. Thats why you might have had 15 successful boots at the dealership. My problem is encapsulated by intermittance and extended sleep/shutdown, so my system worked fine when they sent it to sleep and woke it up multiple times in short succession. I really hope you have it sussed out with the power supply isses and strongly reccomend that you get a surge arrestor for your own piece of mind.
Sorry if this was too longwinded for most of you looking at this, but this little problem has become an exhaustive and involved experience for a guy who just wants to get on and be creative. Will be more brief next time. RC
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Rob Charles
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Although a slow start after the reset of th PMU, Ive had no problems waking the system from sleep all weekend. Although I've not booted up fresh over this period- so I can't say the problem is fixed (yet . . .)
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dziner
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I haven't had any problems waking my G5 from sleep. My Apple Tech friend said to email him the Serial Number and he'll order a replacement power supply. He said some G5 power supplies are not up to par and that could be one of the problems. On the other hand, we still can't figure out why my cable modem won't assign an IP to my Mac. I can surf the web by manually assigning an IP through a router but not directly to the modem. Tried different cables, resetting the modem, etc. Nothing seems to work.
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brookstar78
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My 1.8 Ghz G5 (refurbished) just arrived 4 days ago, dead on arrival, and I had the same no chime/no signal to monitor/no boot/crazy fans problem. Apple first said it was the adaptor I was using to connect my old style mac monitor, but no other monitors (VGA connecting directly to Apple's white VGA adaptor) worked either. I called apple back and after resetting the PMU (small button on motherboard) with the apple specialist (don't do it on your own) still nothing worked and it is now in for warranty coverage.
It was quite a relief to see that I was not the only one with this problem, but quite perplexing due to my impression that Apple is top notch quality, and that they had made a comeback serious about blowing the competition out of the water. My friend has the same computer and his arrived with the combo drive not funcioning. it was replaced, sweetly enough with a superdrive so it worked out well for him, but regardless it was pretty lame to arrive not fully funcioning.
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Rob Charles
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Thanks for responding, my 'puter is still not fixed, I am simply too busy to go through the process right now, but I'm planning to do something later in the month- I assume you read the whole service tech Vs apple thing I wrote before so you will understand that the diagnosis is quite time consuming.
The "get around" I use is simple- I change energy saver in preferences to forbid sleep and uncheck the send hard drive to sleep option as well- then I activate a hot corner with screen saver and never turn my box off. Otherwise I'm stuck with booting-up 10 or so times to get it going properly (restart works fine- thank God). It might be the adaptor as you mentioned- but then it might be the logic board?
I work my system pretty hard, and as a whole have been really happy with its performance- minus this issue. I therefore assume the major inconvenience is probably a minor fault in actuality. I concur that apple is a premium product at top shelf prices and therefore we have the right to expect a smooth experience, but the reality is that the technology is quite new in the microprocessor genre- ie 1st generation 64 bit etc, which generally means in terms of technology, a roll of the dice.
Make sure for these reasons that you upgrage your warranty before the 1st year is up- thats what I will be doing!!
ps Brooke, which country are you in? I ask because it determines how you access apple service to some degree
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