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Mac Pro late 2006 crashing

400 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2012 3:32 AM by japamac RSS
jmd87 Calculating status...
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May 1, 2012 2:10 AM



I've had a Mac Pro second hand for about 3 months. Its had this issue where it crashes with the grey screen saying it must restart about 4 times in a row then its fine after. I was going to send it back but it was such a good deal that I can cope with the issue.


I know want to try and fix it just so I know its ok. I took the Mac pro apart and checked all fans are ok and they are working. I then took the heat sinks out and found they weren't clamped down and had lack of paste on them so fixed that and clamped them down properly. I also found the Thermostats were unplugged (sounds like lazziness on the prevous owners behalf!)


I was listening whilst doing stenuous work on it (Maya) and the fans are kicking in everynow and then unlike before. Now the issue is still there though and I can't make it replicate it so its annoying. Now I'm stuck. Also the wifi/Airport card doesn't work in it so could it be a hardware issue like this?


The report says (apperently BSD is what i should look at?) it says the error is (something like currently not at that computer) chromeihelper or something?


I have done the hardware scan on fast and the really slow one and no errors have appeared but heard this isn't 100% reliable anyway


Can anyone advise please?


Many thanks


  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
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    May 1, 2012 3:18 AM (in response to jmd87)

    Erase and zero a hard drive, then install a fresh OS X.

    Doing this will tell you if the kernel panics are software based (quite possible).


    Don't skimp, do zero the drive (1 pass)......


    Leave out 3rd party software. After a fews starts and test runs, install only what you need, incrementally, testing as you go.


    Airport/Bluetooth module is installed?

    Likely the wires are wrong, especially if the previous owner was DIY.... cPro_install.html


  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
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    May 1, 2012 4:44 AM (in response to jmd87)

    Experience building PCs helps in that you are less afraid to pull and reseat components, all very important in troubleshooting.


    RAM is always a concern when random crashes occur.

    The AHT is "all or nothing" when it comes to RAM tests, so testing with Memtest X or Rember is best.

    Be sure to test ALL the RAM.

    Cycle slots, if you can, to be sure.


    You can look through system logs in Console to find crash reports, hung processes, or just hints as to what is occurring around the time of a failure.

    Just note the time of a crash/freeze, then after restart, browse the logs to the time of and prior to.


    Not 100%, but better than kicking around in the dark.....


    Airport modules can go bad, and even poor seating can panic and crash a machine. You might try removing and  running without the Airport card plugged in. If a crash/freeze occurs without the Airport card, well, you've eliminated one possibility.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,535 points)
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    May 1, 2012 5:35 AM (in response to jmd87)

    FBDIMMs do run hot which is why you should not just open and touch or leave the door open, but wait 10 minutes after shutdown before opening. Mine stay quite nice 60-68*C


    Run SmcFanControl 2.3+ ~ a must to boost fans 400 rpm


    Use one good thermal monitor tool ~ Hardware monitor is what I use for last 10 yrs


    SMC RESET button - yours has a button near PCI slot #4 and drive bay #4


    Apple Hardware Test


    Memtest - run 256MB chunk of memory in each terminal window and run as many as you need for 4-5 loops each


    PRIME for OS X


    Make a list, check off items, there are a lot of things to go through.


    A new drive and zero all is okay but will not spot weak defective sectors using Disk Utility. There are tools that will, like WD Lifeguard excellent and of course what you want on WD drive.

  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
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    May 1, 2012 6:24 AM (in response to jmd87)

    they have said slot 4 came up with an error. I asked them to remove the to big memory boards and leave one out and change the ram stick in there. It appears the same again mem4 (even with a different ram stick) If i try the large memory board in the slot below it appears the same. If i switch boards and repeat the above it appears the same ?!?!?!

    A Memtest error is not to be ignored.

    With all DIMMs showing an error in slot 4, but no errors in any other slot (?), one could surmise that there is a fault in the memory riser with slot 4 (but is it upper or lower?).


    I would run the machine with memory installed in only slots 1 and 2, using both risers if 4 DIMMs are available.


    This brings up the point of memory installation. You are following this (following link) installation positioning, correct?


    Using up to 4 DIMMs, can Memtest run without error?

    Using up to 4 DIMMs, can the machine run without freeze/crash?

    noticed the Ram section was really hot could it need a replacement fan?

    FB DIMMs are notoriously hot, and they have a reputation for early failure.

    I am sure that the heat is also bad on the memory risers.


    Additional cooling might not be a bad idea.....


    It might also be worth replacing the riser, once upper or lower is determined and slot 4 of said riser continues to throw errors (providing memory is otherwise correctly paired and installed).

    Not necessarily here (or here), but, like this:

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,535 points)
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    May 1, 2012 6:42 AM (in response to jmd87)

    DVWarehouse has Risers but more expensive: 922-7695-----NEW-p-37247.html


    The ideal is 4 x nGB using A1:2 and B1:2


    So you could do w/o using slots 3&4.


    A2 for me has always been the warm spot.


    Just put these into my system


  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 1, 2012 6:45 AM (in response to jmd87)

    The same appears in both slots on both risers which I just find a bit odd?

    Both #4 slots?


    Run the machine with DIMMs in only slots 1 and 2 (both risers) and try to make it crash.....

  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 3:32 AM (in response to jmd87)

    I tried the fan control software first and it hasn't crashed since!

    Looks like hot RAM was your problem.


    Errors with the RAM when hot, however, can be written to data on hard drives.


    Make sure your system drive (and others) are properly repaired with (minimum) Disk Utility or (best) Disk Warrior.


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