G5 Weird boot issue

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I got a powermac G5 7.3 off of craigslist. It's always a gamble with CL, and I sort of lost. This happens if the G5 has been off over night or if it is a warm reboot (like for software updates.) When I reboot or turn on, I get fan noise, but no HDD activity, and no apple start up sound. If I press and hold the power button to turn off the unit, some times it will boot, sometimes I have to repeat the cycle. The only thing plugged into the USB is an apple keyboard and mouse. No additional PCI cards, and only the Radeon video card in the AGP slot. Any suggestions?
 

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I've experienced this before (coincidentally on a Powermac G5). It sounds to me like a hard drive that is going bad...but is not completely gone yet.

If you have a 2nd "known good" HD around that you can install into your PM G5 (with an OS installed on it & booted from)...you can test the PM G5 with it. If the problems go away...this would confirm that the HD that came with the PM G5 is "flakey"...and is living on "borrowed time".

HTH,

- Nick
 
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I don't have another sata drive. Do you think I could super duper the drive to an 8GB flash drive and try that?
 

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I don't have another sata drive. Do you think I could super duper the drive to an 8GB flash drive and try that?

Do you have an OS install disk that you can install an OS on the flash drive? Then you wouldn't have to mess around with "Super Duper"....might be a shorter less complex process.

Also (just remembered)...if we're talking OS 10.5...I think that OS 10.5 can take up to 15-20 gigs of HD space...so that 8gig flash drive won't be big enough.

Also...used SATA drives are pretty cheap. I see them on my local CL all the time for $25 for smaller ones. Not sure if $25 is in your budget. Even if the 2nd HD doesn't solve the problem...you could use it as a backup drive (since it sounds like you don't have a 2nd HD for use as a backup).;)

- Nick
 

pigoo3

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FYI...just checked my local CL...and saw some used 80gig SATA drives for $10 bucks each.:)

- Nick
 
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inexpensive sata drives can definately be had on CL, but I run the same risk as before, not knowing if the drive is definately good. I think installing tiger on an 8GB flash is the way to go.
 

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inexpensive sata drives can definately be had on CL, but I run the same risk as before, not knowing if the drive is definately good. I think installing tiger on an 8GB flash is the way to go.

Like I mentioned earlier...I had similar issues with a PM G5 I own. The hard drive was going bad...and had the same symptoms as you're experiencing. When I replaced the drive...everything was fine.

If you installed a 2nd "good" SATA drive...and you don't have thew problems you're experiencing currently...then that will confirm that the other (original) drive has problems.

Yes...installing Tiger on the USB stick may work...and fit.

- Nick

p.s. Sometimes Disk Utility or the info section of "About This Mac" will give you the S.M.A.R.T. Status. Check this. It will usually say pass or fail.

p.p.s. Here's instructions for OS 10.4 (I believe it's the same for 10.5):
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=DiskUtility/10.5/en/duh1896.html

And another link:
http://macperformanceguide.com/Mac-HowToFailingDrive.html

p.p.p.s. Here's a free 30-day utility you can download & use:
http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/24875/smart-utility
 
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For some reason I am unable to install to the USB drive, but when the data drive is unplugged, there is no issue. Sounds like confirmation to me. Now I just need a data drive :(
 
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I swapped the optical drive for an IDE hdd with tiger installed on it. I will let it go for a little while and see what happens. Does anyone know if the G5 powermac die channel is dual or single?
 

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I swapped the optical drive for an IDE hdd with tiger installed on it. I will let it go for a little while and see what happens.

Great idea...I don't think I've heard of anyone doing that for quite a while!:)

How long you figure it will take to see if there's any issues (not sure how long it took with the former HD.

Good luck,

- Nick
 
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Well i seem to have the same issues with the IDE drive hooked up. any other ideas?
 

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Well i seem to have the same issues with the IDE drive hooked up. any other ideas?

Are you really still getting all the symptoms that you mentioned in post#1?:

- fan noise
- no HDD activity
- no apple start up sound

Are we talking LOUD/high rpm fan noise? The HD doesn't spin-up at all?...and no startup sound?

How much ram does it have (total ram & number of sticks)?

- Nick
 
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Okay. Do you spend all day reading MF? every time I have a question, you are the first to respond!

I press the pwr button and I hear a click (presumably the PSU switching off)
The fans run super loud for a brief moment, then are quiet, but can still be heard. They seem to cascade, first loud in the front, then in the back.
No apple startup sound and no audible HDD activity sound (no head movement)

Occasionally (which the data drive installed) I will come back later and all the fans are max speed.

currently with the die drive installed, I get periodic fan speed increases, but it returns to low quiet speeds.

press and hold pwr button 3 seconds, hear another click and power down.

Running 4 sticks of PC 3200, 512MB, 4 more free, 8 slots total.
 
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strange... recent boot attempt, no apple boot sound, but it did boot...
 

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Do you spend all day reading MF? every time I have a question, you are the first to respond!

Are you saying I'm doing "Too Good of a Job"? Maybe I'll stop replying...maybe someone else has better ideas!;)

- Nick

p.s. Maybe I'll just play "Runescape"...and not check Mac-Forums anymore tonight!;)
 
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so far you have had the only ideas! Keep them coming.
 
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My ibook does this sometimes but and i just remove the power cord and the battery for about an hour. I have to do this once a month or so.
 
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here is the latest:
After additional inspection, it looks as if one of the "nubs" the heat sink cover connects to is missing. I suspect it is still in the case somewhere. I don't have the proper hex screwdriver or a long bladed phillips to remove the CPUs, so it looks like this G5 is gonna occupy my shelf for the foreseeable future.
 
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new troubleshooting

So I had written this thing off, as another victim of CL. I noticed the ram installed in this machine is high-density. It had sat over night with no power, so I pulled the ram, and found some low-density PC2100 sticks. of course the light on the front blinked twice to indicate no ram. I found some low-density pc3200, but was unsure of the voltage. put them in, and the unit immediately booted and gave me the apple start sound. I got the "restart your mac screen" so I did, once again it booted with apple sound. I wondered if the ram might have been the issue. I stuck in one set of the ram that came with the unit, and the previous symptoms occurred. swapped for the other set, same thing. put the other pc3200 ram in (that booted twice) and the symptoms persist. I suspect the ram may be causing some sort of issue. I am waiting until the power dissipates with the unit unplugged, to see if I can duplicate the results. Anyone know how long it will take? I don't want to wait over night again:)
 

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2 days ago (when I was responding too quickly or too often);)...the VERY next suggestion I was going to make...was checking the ram. I wanted to see if someone else had a suggestion I may have missed.:)

Certain Mac models can be very "touchy" when it comes to ram...and some users (previous owners) think that just any old ram will do as long as it fits...and this is not always the case.

So we may have 5 possible ram related situations here:

1. The 4 sticks of ram that are in it are the wrong kind (all 4 sticks).
2. If the 4 sticks of ram are "mixed" brands...maybe some are compatible, and some aren't.
3. The ram needs to be installed in pairs...and these "pairs" need to be installed in the correct ram slots.
4. One or more of the sticks of ram are the correct ram...but the ram has gone "bad" for some reason.
5. One or more ram slots are bad.

So my advice would be:

- Check to be sure that all the ram is the same brand (or mixed brands)...which could indicate whether all 4 gig of ram was installed at the same time, different times, or four 1gig sticks were just randomly installed from a large box of ram the previous owner may have had.

- Make sure that the 4 sticks of ram are installed in the correct ram slots. Many times a computer with 8 ram slots will have two "banks" of ram...with the slots being "Bank A" (A1, A2, A3, A4)..."Bank B" (B1, B2, B3, B4). And so the correct slots for matched pairs are A1 + B1, A2 + B2...etc. But sometimes this changes with different models...and sometimes all bank A is filled first...then Bank B. Check to see what your PM G5 does...sometimes there's a diagram on the inside of the side panel that is removed for access.

- Maybe 1 or 2 of the sticks of ram are bad. In this case...only install 2 sticks of ram (matched pairs, in the correct slots) for 2 gigs total ram. If no change...then try a different pair of ram. With 4 sticks of ram this can be a lot of combinations.

- Always possible that one or more of the ram slots are bad.

Good luck,:)

- Nick
 

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