Another casualty in what seems to be a long war of restarts. Same early 2008 Mac Pro with never a bug, but everything went south after trying to install Lion. After 2 unsuccessful tries the third went through. Days after restarts started. Same symptoms as everybody with a very bad twist, this morning I shut down and tried to start but to no avail. No noise exept a double clicking sounds but appart from that, totally dead. Changed cords, unpluged all the devices, even cursed the machine and it did start. Believe me that was purely random and I'm amazed that Apple hasn't acknowledge theses symptoms. Not sure how long this is going to work, but next time I'll do what I read here, cleaning and checking the rams.
Early 2008 Mac pro. Same random restart issue as everyone else, for about a month. After reading this whole thread, I tried the 3 step fix:
1. unplug, hold down power button for 1o sec, plug back in
2. turn on, hold down commd+ctrl+P+R before grey screen (PRAM reset), listen for second chime
3. once on, set energy setting to defualt and set sleep to never
So far, it has worked, for the past 24 hours. I've tried other fixes before and it seemed to work for a while. We'll see how it goes. I'll note my calender to post back in a couple weeks if I still haven't had a random restart.
It is just strange. When I reset PRAM, it went away for a few days, when I unplugged the power chord, again it went away for a few days. And now this, and it is gone again. WEIRD and ANNOYING!
Has Apple gotten too big for its own good? Are they too focused on the iphone and notebooks?
I think the Mac Pro was a staple of Apple at one point, I guess not anymore
One last thing, and I'll stop. Do you all remember those Apple and PC commercials. Where the Apple was a young kid and the PC was a nerdy older guy, and the older guy would freeze, or run slower. I think Windows should make a comercial where the young kid is in the middle of a sentence, and then just shuts down and starts back up. And then continues to do that, while the PC older guy is tring to help him out. Right? I don't know, I think PC/Windows could use this issue to get back at Apple. It's amazing how long this has gone on with no word from Apple, rough.
If I had the money I would gladly run that commercial
Been getting the same problems with random restarts. I seem to have found a "fix" for my symptoms, though i can't say if they are the same for every one else, i suspect there are several causes for similar symptoms. One being glitch with the energy saving , power supplies / cables, 32-64bit transitions and for me temperature!
I first posted the below post on the adobe forums as it was only Adobe Lightroom that i was getting random restarts. I didn't get any answers.
I am using Lightroom 4.1
on a MacPro
Processor 2x3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Memory 4GB 667 Mhz DDR2 FB-DIMM
Graphics ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB
The Camera Raw files from a canon 5Dmkii are on a separate Sarta drive in the macpro
I am getting more and more frequent but random system restarts while in Lightroom 4.1
I have seen like many people a significant reduction in usable workflow speed in Lightroom 4 but put it down to a 4 year old mac and barely sufficient ram. (extra ram is on order). I am just making do with the slowness. But system crashes!!!!! no way this is not working for me.
I first thought the crashing was a mac issue, But i can not make it crash in any other application? i have maxed the cores out in Photoshop CS4 and FCP 7 Soak tested etc. but no crash?
does any one have any suggestions? it seems odd Lightroom can make the OS fall over as well as run slowly?
Thanks in advance.
I now have 10GB of Ram that fixed the speed issues i was experiencing with the new 64bit program. But I still got random restarts. It occurred to me that it is hotting up here in Spain 29C in doors! Though i have been here several years, and no problems before i guessed that may be there a part of the computer that has deteriorated either with time and or heat.
So i tried a few things.
1. took the computer apart and dusted it thoroughly especially the heat sinks, there is plenty of info on line on how to do this. (i am not an IT Guru)
2. I down loaded a fan control app. http://www.lobotomo.com/products/FanControl/ and made the computer run cooler.
3. down loaded an internal temperature monitoring app. http://www.bresink.de/osx/TemperatureMonitor.html
4. As a belt and braces approach i placed a domestic fan in front of the tower, to force even more air through the box with out it having to use its own motors (getting even hotter).
I have not done lots of testing to experiment what what temperature is optimum as i do not want what ever it is that is failing to wear out any faster than nessessary. But so far making sure no part of the Computer gets above 60C all seems ok! so far fingers crossed.
I hope that gives some of you something to try. It may not be a perfect fix, the fans are much louder than before but it is a lot cheeper than a new silver box.
I experienced many of the same issues.
Some of the same "fixes" that others have used also worked for me- for a while.
I even replaced the power supply (but not the motherboard). But even that didn't fix anything.The only way I could get around it was to remove one of the riser cards- one of the ram cards (not the modules- an entire card), didn't matter which one, and that seemed to do the trick. Things ran a bit slower but at least it was stable.
But after a while the spontaneous restarts have started up again, not as frequent but they still happen. Save your work every few minutes and back up whenever you have anything new you don't want to loose to a disk that is external or one you can remove from the MacPro and mount in another cpu or external carrier (like a Voyager). Almost exclusively happens when using CS5/CS6_ but its not a software issue.
So I did some more investigating and discovered that what was really wrong is that one or more of the capacitors on the motherboard are failing. I can see one of them and it looks bad- bulging at the top instead of being flat, and there might be some leakage as well. But to get at the entire mother board you have to remove your hard drive(s), the riser cards and carrier, the heat sink thats next to it and maybe the fan. This is best done with a 10" allan tool. To get the motherboard out you may also have to remove another fan, and the power supply- but I'm not sure about that- haven't got that far.
So your options are this:
1. take your MacPro in and get the motherboard replaced (>$800.00 US)
2. try to fix it yourself if you feel confident about replacing the capacitors that look bad (bulging or leaking)- you can get the capacitors for <$2 each, but you have to remove the old ones and solder new ones back on the motherboard, without messing anything else up.
3. My "solution" was to get an iMac 27" (quad core, 3.4GHz,i7, 16GB ram). I don't want to spend $1000.00 to send my "old" MacPro into the shop when a new one will be coming out within the next year. I may try to replace the capacitors myself if the current machine gets really unstable. I've ordered four of them to have on hand. But I don't want to do this before it becomes necessary (I'm only using the MacPro to access files on a 6 drive external ESATA array (JBOD) that isn't compatible with the new iMac. If the MacPro dies I can pull the drives from this array and remount in array's that are- if I need to (since the configuration is JBOD, not RAID).
The issue with the capacitors is likely linked to age, heat, or possibly that you got one of the machines that has a bad batch of capacitors- Dell, Apple and others used some of these capacitors during the time your machine was built- yours and mine. There is a lot of discussion about this on the web.
Some of the fixes that others have had some success with- especially cleaning the fans and such- those worked because they reduced internal temps so the capacitors kept working. When they fail, you get the spontaneous restart.
For some folks it was the power supply, but they likely lost the first one due to excessive heat buildup. Unfortunately capacitors aren't made to last forever and are very sensitive to heat. You might get some more miles out of your machine by cleaning out the inside really well. If heat is the problem for you then that might stress the capacitors less and get you back on track. For a while.
If you find that doesn't work I have a power supply that I purchased that is just sitting here on a shelf (haven't got around to putting it on Ebay yet).
Sen me an email if you decide you want to buy it. I'll sell it to you for whatever I paid plus shipping. It didn't make any difference to me because my first power supply was fine- that didn't end up being the problem for me so the original is back in my machine.
Though it was a fix for some others. Its easy to replace. <edited by host>
Gotta get back to work.
Good luck, john
I'm back here after almost two years! Two years of random restarts!
Now I think I've a solution, it is effective on my system, a Mac pro early 2008.
Anyway It is inexpensive and all of you can test it.
In few words i've cleaned up contacs on both memory riser cards (A and B), removing a thick layer of oxidation with a pencil rubber.
I think a better work is done by a crc 6-66 contacts cleaner, but I haven't used it yet.
My system now is perfect and no more restarts have happened.
Here is a link on how to extract riser cards:
Let me know your results,
I thought I had fixed my restart problem by plugging in the power cord more firmly. Then I ultimately discovered that it was actually caused by trying to read a particular PDF file. The file was a scan of a musical score in which the images were highly compressed, apparently using an algorithm that caused Apple's Preview program lots of problems. Reading the first page went OK, but as I moved through the document, after about the fifith page, my computer would freeze up, and then after about a minute or less bit would begin to spontaneously restart. (I had no problems with reading this file with Adobe Reader.) The same problem would also happen if I tried to read the file with Safari at the web page where the document was posted. At that time Safari used a Preview plugin to read the file. Shortly after I reported this to Apple, they changed the PDF plugin for reading PDF files to an Adobe version, and this fixed the problem using Safari. I did not find that it made any difference whether I used Snow Leopard or Lion as the operating system. I also tried reading the same file with Preview on several other machines, such as an iBook and a MacBook Air. These computers would freeze up, but did not restart. The restarts only occurred on my Mac Pro. (My Mac Pro was purchased in Aug 2010 and has a 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor and 3 GB of RAM.) So it seems that on a Mac Pro that somehow an application software problem was able to trigger a system restart. Very odd!
Message was edited by: Robert in Hawaii - fixed a typo
I have a Early 2008 MacPro and mine has developed the same issue. Random restarts. I found this has only started since I installed a SSD drive the first time it started I whipe the drive and reinserted it in. Zapped the PRAM and the usual. Was fine untill yesterday when it started again. Any how not had a good look at it yet although my energy server is set to never. Drive asside (as that may be a coincidence) I never had an issue when running SL
While I think on these are restarts. I have a MacPro Raid Card in and if the machine is turned of incorrectly then the RAID card moans a bout a disorderly shut down' and it doesn't with the restart. So my feeling is for some reason the OS is actually ordering the restart.
Thanks for the info chaoticModels
I had tried unplug cord, PRAM reset, and set sleep to never. It worked for a couple days and then the restarts started again. I'll try cleaning the contacts on the riser cards and I'll post back on here if it worked, although it will take a few days at least before I feel like I can say it worked.
a question to Chaoticmodels: Are you still random restart free since cleaning the contacts on your risers?
FYI, if you boot in 32-bit mode, your applications will use less memory and have access to only 8GB of RAM, but then again, if you are running with just the RAM in riser A, that might be OK. Having RAM in both risers allows RAM to be accessed at 128 bits wide instead of the native 64 bits wide of the RAM modules. If you want to get technical, the RAM is 72 bit wide, 64 bits of data plus 8 bits of ECC data. Both CPUs, if you have them, would still be active as can be confirmed in the About This Mac window or the System Profiler.
it's almost two months that I've cleaned my riser cards and no restarts have happened yet.
Now I've no problem when mac go sleep even for long times, I've formatted hard-disk and installed lion: no problems.
I've manually restarted my mac pro many times and no problems.
Here it's hot and humid, but mac is ok.
Yes, I think that components on our macs are all ok, the problem is: contacts.
We must clean accurately our mac periodically (six months?)
I hope this is the way
Based on these 20 pages of discussion, my client with the early 2008 Mac Pro and the spontaneous restarts, I had the Apple Store replace the 980W power supply and use contact cleaner on riser B. I also removed PowerPC stuff and upgraded to Lion to avoid any Rosetta possibilities. It's been a week so far and no problems. Riser B is in there, along with the RAM. Of course it never misbehaved at the Apple Store before the replacement. Good luck Mac Pro owners.
I've had some luck (fingers crossed) for the last week. I posted earlier that my restarts that occured 10 mins in to start up shortly after I installed an SSD drive. We'll for one swapping the drive back to the old one had no effect. So it clearly wasn't the drive.
So this is what I have done that has given me a full week of no restarts.
I first checked the diagnostic lights on the ram after start up (all ok) I then tested the diagnostic lights on the main board (again all ok).
I then removed ALL the PCI cards from the mac (including an Apple RAID card and the Video Card) and the drives.
I removed the RAM raiser cards (but not the ram from these cards) I did give the unit a quick blow out with compressed air but to be fair I had not long since done this.
For good measure I did run a soft cloth over the ram raiser contacts but only so gently I probably made no difference. but I had at the time no contact cleaner.
Now for what I think is the key thing that I don't recall anyone mentioning.
I removed the CR2032 battery from the motherboard.
Firstly I think this will zap you pram and reset your SMC better than any other method. as the board is now totally void of electricity (bar what may or may not be stored in any capacitors).
I then left the unit in this state for about 30mins. (Time for a coffee :-) )
Now I was aiming to replace the CR2032 anyway but I stuck a multi meter on both an old and new. Old was reading 3.1 V max and new was 3.26 min. Besides the battery was 4 years old.
So re assembled putting back ram and video card and the RAID card but initially left out two PCIe cards (Netstore PCIe expander and Sonnet E4P eSata).
Now a word of warning for Apple RAID card users. Removing the CR2032 resets the clock back to 01/01/2001 so your RAID card will go into battery conditioning mode for the 7 to 12 hours conditioning time. Now when this has finished and you shut down and reboot the card will recondition again for another 7-12 hours as it thinks the last time it was done was 12 years ago!
Ok after 4 days of runing fine I re inserted the final two PCIe cards (I didn't put them back initially incase I was drawing too much power from the PCI buss before) and after another couple of days I decided (again for good measure) to wipe the system drive and install Lion from scratch.
While there's time for the mac to start playing up again I think that after the daft restarting 10mins into the boot (every time!) a week of no issues is a big improvement. (i'd have never got as far as typing this with out the dam thing turning off). I don't think it has any thing to do with heat as mentioned before cos by 10mins in the unit hasn't trully warmed up + once I've been passed the 30min mark I've been able to leave the unit on for 24hours + before.
My advice change the motherboard battery (CR2023) leaving the board battery-less and powerless for half an hour either way its 4 years old and there only a few quid!
Hope this helps someone.