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Display freezing - NVChannel(GL): Graphics channel exception

65365 Views 427 Replies Latest reply: Oct 28, 2009 6:35 AM by ampamp19 RSS
  • Seanieholden Calculating status...
    We have something like 7 Mac Pros with Nvidia 8800GT cards. So far, I have had to replace 5 within the last 2 months. Of course each card coming back is just another new Nvidia 8800GT.

    It's taken Apple/Nvidia a long time to own up to the issue on the laptops. I find it hard to believe that this isn't the same issue we are seeing on this card, but how long before either Apple or Nvidia own up to this. <Edited by Moderator> That is of course assuming it is the same problem

    Experience has been the same on all machines. Mouse cursor is still active, but all other graphics output frozen. Hence, no ability to ARD either and users lose work back to their last save point.

    Log message below ( and above

    Sep  4 18:42:39 mac99 kernel[0]: NVChannel(GL): Graphics channel exception!  status = 0xffff info32 = 0x3 = Fifo: Unknown Method Error
    Sep  4 18:42:51 mac99 kernel[0]: NVChannel(GL): Graphics channel timeout!

    We have about 15 machines running ATI X1900XT without a glitch!

    On the assumption they own up, what can we receive as a replacement that is going to work? I'd suggest it is almost impossible to work out if they have a good working card, but that's just my opinion.

    Out of interest, we have also had to replace over 30 cards from our other computers, being a mix of Quadra FX 3500 and 3700, (the 3700 having the same GPU as the 8800GT). Make of that what you will.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.2), Various versions of Leopard from 10.5.2 upwards
  • El Presidente Level 2 Level 2 (415 points)
    So i recently bought a refurb MBP and its a maxed out 2.6GHz model. GPU ROM is 3212. Until now i hadnt had any system and i wouldnt even know about the issue had i not been reading the forums i went to see a genius to get the machine tested and sure enough it failed (although i havent heard of a case where an 8600GT user passed the test). I was offered a replacement MLB but i declined because people who have had their boards replaced seem to still have the issue

    Anyway even though the card failed the test i still hadnt gotten any freezing/artifact symptoms so i set out to stress the GPU and make it freeze. I have to admit it wasnt easy to do. I ran ALL the tests on this thread and the card kept chewing through them. I even ran the arabesque screen saver for 30 mins, did Quicklook, iTunes coverflow, Aperture. No dice.

    I had almost given up but i decided to do the Quicklook test one more time and this time i got the freeze and NV Graphics timeout log...i guess the GPU was pretty stressed out at this point and finally caved.

    To be honest in my everyday usage i probably wouldn't task the GPU that much hence the machine would probably chug along for years. Even now i'm trying to recreate the freeze again after restarting but its proving difficult. Anyway better safe than sorry

    Its a big shame really because the computer is otherwise flawless but i guess i'll be returning it and finding something else. Thanks for nothing Nvidia
    MBP Classic 2.6GHz/4GB RAM/200GB 7.2K RPM, Mac OS X (10.5.5), MBA 1.8GHz/2GB RAM/64GB SSD
  • jmistler Calculating status...
    I started having this exact problem on my MAC Pro right after I updated to 10.5.4. The 10.5.5 update did nothing to fix it. Mouse freezes right after boot for about 10 seconds. Launching an app freezes the screen for longer than that. Finally I get control and everything is fine. However, there are some random icon corruptions on the screen that persist after recovery, but not after a reboot.

    Chipset Model: NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT
    Type: Display
    Bus: PCIe
    Slot: Slot-1
    PCIe Lane Width: x16
    VRAM (Total): 256 MB
    Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
    Device ID: 0x0393
    Revision ID: 0x00a1
    ROM Revision: 3011

    Anyone know if I should replace the graphics card, or wait for a software update that will fix it?
    Mac Pro Dual 2.6, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • svu Calculating status...
    To disable the Nvidia-drivers helped me out for the moment.

    Instructions can be found in this thread:

    *http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=8436057#8445967*
    Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • Chain-Ria Calculating status...
    I got my Logic Board replaced.
    Guess what, it didn't help at all.
    No, it even got worse, I have issues with that board like time/date lost and stuff.

    Calling AppleCare now...
    MacBook Pro 15" Rev. C, Mac OS X (10.5.5), 2.2GHz 2.0GB RAM 250GB HDD
  • ch-vox Calculating status...
    According to this seed note by Apple, 10.5.6 will correct some (major) graphics bugs:
    http://www.hmbt.org/blog/2008/11/15/adc-beta-mac-os-x-1056-build-9g38-seed-note/

    Some of them:

    - AppleGraphicsControl
    - AppleGraphicsPowerManagement
    - CoreGraphics
    - DVDPlayer
    - DVDPlayback
    - GraphicsDrivers/OpenGL
    - *Problem with Quick Look and CoreGraphics resolved*
    - *Graphic drivers performance fixes*

    Wait & see....
    Macbook Pro 2,4 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5), 4 GB RAM, 160 GB HD (5400 rpm), NVidia 8600m GT 256 MB
  • fonsolo Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I have just had this error after like ten seconds of display freeze... what triggered it was scrolling in a page inside iTunes Store with this coverflow-like frames. I have had no problems otherwise with coverflow, either in iTunes or in the Finder.
    The system recovered from the freeze fine, though...
    MacBook Pro 2.2GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.5), iPhone 3G 8GB
  • musk Calculating status...
    I sure hope you're right about 10.5.6 fixing this. Like some others here, this issue has come back despite Apple replacing my GPU/mainboard. It worked fine for about 6 weeks before today and now the NVchannel lockup has bitten me twice more. What a mess.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • MB_P Calculating status...
    Updated to 10.5.6 and can't make it crash anymore. Crossing my fingers
  • ch-vox Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    MB_P wrote:
    Updated to 10.5.6 and can't make it crash anymore. Crossing my fingers


    exactly the same for me. with the same tests I used to do before, I can't make my Mac crash through QuickLook for instance. things are getting better !
    Macbook Pro 2,4 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 4 GB RAM, 160 GB HD (5400 rpm), NVidia 8600m GT 256 MB
  • macdigas Calculating status...
    ch-vox wrote:
    MB_P wrote:
    Updated to 10.5.6 and can't make it crash anymore. Crossing my fingers


    exactly the same for me. with the same tests I used to do before, I can't make my Mac crash through QuickLook for instance. things are getting better !


    Well, congrats then. Still happens for me.

    One sure way to trigger a freeze with the same symptoms is to start Freespace2, start a mission and after the briefing the system freezes with this in /var/log/system.log:

    Dec 15 18:33:45 host-126 kernel[0]: NVChannel(Display): Graphics channel timeout!
    Dec 15 18:33:48 host-126 /usr/sbin/spindump[288]: process 286 is being monitored
    Dec 15 18:33:57 host-126 kernel[0]: NVChannel(Display): Graphics channel timeout!
    Dec 15 18:34:20: --- last message repeated 2 times ---
    Dec 15 18:34:20 host-126 /usr/sbin/spindump[288]: process 286 is being no longer being monitored
    Dec 15 18:34:33 host-126 kernel[0]: NVChannel(Display): Graphics channel timeout!
    Dec 15 18:34:36 host-126 /usr/sbin/spindump[288]: process 286 is being monitored
    Dec 15 18:34:39 host-126 sshd[296]: USER_PROCESS: 299 ttys000
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: NVChannel(Display): Graphics channel timeout!
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 /usr/sbin/spindump[288]: process 286 is being no longer being monitored
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: NVDA(OpenGL): Channel exception! status = 0xffff info32 = 0xd = GR: SW Notify Error
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 0000000c
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 00100000 00005039 00000472 00000000
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 0000047c 00000328 00000000 00000003
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 00000000 00000000 00000000
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 0000000c
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 00100000 00005039 00000472 00000000
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 0000047c 00000328 00000000 00000003
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 00000000 00000000 00000000
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 0000000c
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 00100000 00005039 00000472 00000000
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 0000047c 00000328 00000000 00000003
    Dec 15 18:34:44 host-126 kernel[0]: 00000000 00000000 00000000
    Dec 15 18:34:50 host-126 sudo[333]: dirk : TTY=ttys000 ; PWD=/Users/dirk ; USER=root ; COMMAND=/sw/bin/most /var/log/system.log
    Dec 15 18:34:57 host-126 kernel[0]: NVChannel(Display): Graphics channel timeout!
    Dec 15 18:35:23: --- last message repeated 1 time ---
    MacBook Pro 17'' 2.6 Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Gary Kay Calculating status...
    I tried installing 10.5.6 yesterday after I experienced this problem for the first time.

    It doesn't seem to have helped.

    I get the display freeze (which I dutifully wait through in hopes that it will correct itself). After 5 minutes of waiting (since I don't have all day), I do a hard reset...

    On restart of the machine... it kernel panics right before bringing up the Login screen.

    Search of the system log shows the same NVDA (Open GL) Channel Exception!... and Graphics Timeout exceptions that have been listed here repeatedly.

    The most irritating thing to me is that I have had this machine for 18 months, and I've never had the outright freeze up that I first experienced yesterday.

    I ran memory tests (all night) last night which found no issues.
    I ran disk utility repair disk which found no issues.

    I'm at a loss as to what can be done. My Laptop works great until that happens... but it always seems to happen during some sort of processing with the display. The system doesn't throw a kernel panic (during the initial freeze up) so Im fairly confident that my problem is related to the GPU.

    Since I haven't had any issues up until yesterday, and I haven't done any software or hardware changes in weeks, I'm at a bit of a loss as to what the core problem is, if it isn't a graphics issue.

    Perhaps it's related to the external display I use at work... I've only had the problem when that display has been hooked up... SO, here is the info on that thing:

    It's a Dell E228WFP. It's set as my primary display when it is connected.

    We shall see what happens....
    MacBook Pro 2.4 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 4GB RAM, GeForce 8600M GT/256MB/ROM v. 3175
  • slexus Calculating status...
    if the hardware is broken, no amount of apple 10.5.x patching will completely fix this. if they make a workaround for quicklook, it'll pop up somewhere else, etc. this is a lost cause. my MBP has exhibited occasional seemingly completely random freezes, not even the NVChannel errors thrown, i've been sitting on 10.5.4. the best idea is probably to sell the 8600 based machine to someone who doesnt stress it too much, get the next gen and pray that one is fixed. what a hassle.
    MBP 2.4, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • ch-vox Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    slexus wrote:
    if the hardware is broken, no amount of apple 10.5.x patching will completely fix this. if they make a workaround for quicklook, it'll pop up somewhere else, etc. this is a lost cause. my MBP has exhibited occasional seemingly completely random freezes, not even the NVChannel errors thrown, i've been sitting on 10.5.4. the best idea is probably to sell the 8600 based machine to someone who doesnt stress it too much, get the next gen and pray that one is fixed. what a hassle.


    NVidia drivers haven't been updated in 10.5.6 (at least not for Mac Intel). but CoreGraphics engine is newer, and I believe it is also responsible of good results for people like me. but unfortunately, as you said, if the hardware is broken, 10.5.6 could not do anything, even if error messages seem to be the same as CoreGraphics used to provoque when it has thoses bugs. NVChannel error message has two origins:
    - one from CoreGraphics (people like me)
    - and the other from hardware reason (and Apple has extended the warranty to 2 years for concerned MacBook Pro: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2377 )
    Macbook Pro 2,4 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5), 4 GB RAM, 160 GB HD (5400 rpm), NVidia 8600m GT 256 MB
  • jeff Calog Calculating status...
    I'm receiving these errors in the log file as well: NVChannel(GL): Graphics channel timeout!.

    My system will freeze for several seconds to several minutes when this happens.

    It has happened while just surfing the web and using IM. It occurs in World of Warcraft so often that it is unplayable under Mac OS X. I don't think it's heat related since I have seen this problem when the laptop is cool while just surfing the web.

    So I installed Vista on my Macbook Pro and this problem never happens while playing World of Warcraft under Vista! And belive me, I have logged a lot of hours! I don't think this is a heat or a hardware problem. I think it's software and Apple needs to own up to their kernel or driver problem.

    Oh, and something else that is sad. Using the same video settings in WoW I get roughly 10 more FPS, plus Vista is much more responsive while playing WoW and web surfing.

    I have an early 2008 MBP with 512M video ram. (MacBookPro4,1).
    MBP 15" Penryn, Mac OS X (10.5.5)

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