6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 2, 2007 6:35 AM by James Rothschild
James Rothschild Level 1 (55 points)
Every time my Mac starts up I get the black screen of death.

The error of 'panic(cpu 0 caller 0xFFFF0003)' is just a part of the whole thing as I cannot even get access to any logs to post here as it boots no further. I could take a digital pictire but the first few lines scroll up the screen too fast to photograph and it comes out all blurry, sorry.

I've read about lots of similar issues on the discussions here and read the sites about Kernel Panics: http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/kernelpanics.html ... but I can't even get to using Tech Tool as my Mac will not startup from it's own HD, from the Tech Tool CD/DVD or from it's Systems Discs, or from a 10.4 universal Disc, so I'm really stuck.

I have:

1/ Swapped the ram around. It has 4 * 512Mb Dimms which I have tried in every combination pair, to no avail.

2/ Managed to FireWire T-Boot the Mac O.K. and reinstall a new system from a 10.4 CDROM using a PowerMac G4 Quicksilver, but to no avail as the G5 will not boot from that system.

3/ Disconnected the internal HD.

4/ Swapped Keyboard, Mouse and Monitor.

5/Replaced the PRAM BackUp Battery.

Really worries the CPU's are damaged but if it FW boots does that say it's not 100% dead?

Help please.

G5 Dual 2.3Ghz, Mac OS X (10.4.9), 2 GB Ram
  • Gary Sumlak Level 3 (615 points)
    If you can't startup from you DVD drive, then either your optical is malfunctioning (hardware failures can cause kernel panic) or there may be a bus problem or a myriad other hardware related issues.

    If you still have apples care active, then call a Apple Customer Care immediately and have them verify the problem. They will then give you an authorization number to have a tech from an authorized service center pay you a home visit. They will confirm the problem and take your mac in to be serviced. When ready, they will bring it back to you and set it up.

    If you don't have Apple Care, you will have to take it in to an Authorized Service Center.

    Have you tried booting up from a Firewire drive. You said you can access you Mac in target mode. This tells me that the firewire ports and busses are OK. You may be able to boot from a Firewire drive as a result.

    Have you tried holding the Option key down on boot up. The Mac will boot up, but will only goes as far as loading the firmware. After which, you will get a screen displaying all the drives on you system that are bootable. Here is where you select the FireWire drive.

    BTW - The Firewire Drive can be an HDD, Optical or Target mode drive connect to the problem mac.

    Give it a try and get back with what happens.

    Good Luck
  • James Rothschild Level 1 (55 points)
    Hi Gary, thanks for your suggestions...

    1/ It boots in Target Disc Mode.
    2/ It boots fine off an external FW Drive.

    3/ Won't boot from Internal Hard Drive.
    4/ Won't boot from Internal DVD Drive.

    5/ Installed TechTool Delux 3.1.1 to the booting External FW Drive.
    Ran TechTool Delux.
    It found no problems on the Mac Processor:RAM:Video Ram:USB or Internal HD.

    So it seems to be O.K. ?!
    But still will not boot from Internal DVD or HD

    Cables next?...
  • James Rothschild Level 1 (55 points)
    So it works perfectly but except when you want to start up from it's own internal drives.

    Just thought I would add that final logic...
  • Gary Sumlak Level 3 (615 points)
    Sounds like an internal bus problem. If you can, borrow a DVD from someone and replace the installed one. Re your manual for procedures. Try booting off of that. If it works, then your existing drive is fried (also covered under Apple Care).

    If you replace the DVD drive and you still have a problem, then the problem is most like on the mother board. The DVD and HDD do not share the same bus. Your DVD is IDE and the HDD is SATA.

    I'm afraid the only coarse of action left is to take it in for repairs.

  • James Rothschild Level 1 (55 points)
    Hi Gary,

    I replaced the DVD with a known working one out of another G5 but it would not boot of that either.

    Thanks for your help
  • James Rothschild Level 1 (55 points)
    Hi Gary,

    I replaced the DVD with a known working one out of another G5 but it would not boot of that either.

    Thanks for your help