11 Replies Latest reply: Apr 2, 2011 9:54 PM by gmat5037
gmat5037 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I live in Tokyo and after the recent earthquake, I find that my pre 2009 Mac Pro doesn't start up. When I press the start button, I can hear the fans turning and the light next to the on button was blinking. My video monitor briefly displays 2 DVI with "no input signal" under it. I tried starting it while pressing the d button. No joy. I also tried pressing the command and P and R key and then just pressing the option key and also just pressing the shift key. No joy. Now when I try to turn it on, the light next to the button doesn't blink anymore.
I checked the cables and all seem to be fine.

One thing that did was that while I was cleaning up, I used the vacuum hose to clean the dust from the front grill. I didn't touch anything else.

My three year warrenty expired last month.
Any idea what might be wrong?
Thank you,
Grant

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,370 points)
    do you have uninterruptable power to your Mac Pro?

    A vacuum is not a good idea, even if off and powered down.
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (51,915 points)
    The Mac Pro sold in the US uses a distinctive power cord that has a large square of rubber-like material around it at the computer-end. It is easy to get it so that the power cord is not inserted fully. Remove the power cord from the computer and re-seat it firmly.

    IF your Mac was subject to shaking, you should remove and re-seat some of the internal components such as memory modules and the graphics card.

    What you need to achieve first is a Chime at Startup. The chime is generated in software when the first part of the power-on Self-Test has passed. If a source of software and enough working memory can be found, booting is likely.

    Next, try for something on the Display. There is a routine completely in ROM that will make the screen blue and show arrows to proceed and Icons for any potential Boot Devices. Hold down the Option key to activate it. Since no Boot devices are required, you can try removing all your Hard Drives and Optical Drives.

    One blink followed by off may indicate no RAM available. Three blinks followed by off may indicate part of memory has failed.

    Home vacuum cleaners can generate large static charges with their plastic tools and wands. You should not use them inside your Mac. Instead, move the Mac outside or to a work area and blow the dust into the air with compressed air. If you do this in a nice area of your home, you will be very unpopular.
  • gmat5037 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you for your advice.
    I do have uninteruppted power and have swapped and reseated cables and power cords. I haven't tried to reseat the internal compoments but don't think that that was the problem.
    I should have mentioned that although the fan is audible, there is no start up chime. I fear that I have fried some of the components.
    Should I try to have Apple in Japan fix my Mac Pro, try to replace the Pentium component board myself or just buy a new basic Mac Pro?

    Thank you for any advice.
    Best wishes,
    Grant
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (51,915 points)
    Without a chime, it is very difficult to determine what might be wrong.

    Removing anything that might be dragging down the power, including your graphics card, any PCIe slot card, all the drives, and all but the smallest possible amount of memory is the next step. If you do not get a chime then, there is very little you can do yourself.

    The side door is not interlocked -- it can be removed while your Mac is running. There are additional lights inside, including lights next to each memory module. There are no hazardous voltages inside until you use tools to take things apart.

    If you are not comfortable doing this kind of work, then you should take your entire Mac Pro to the Apple Store or an Authorized Apple Service Provider. It is a good thing it has handles!

    If you make an appointment with the Genius Bar, they will have someone who can work with you for about 20 minutes to try to determine what the problem is. Beyond that 20 minutes, you may have to leave it to be looked at later.

    These units are well built and reliable. They are very repairable, not disposable. Most major components can be replaced for far less than the cost of a new Mac Pro, and used units keep their value pretty well.
  • gmat5037 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank youy for your advice, Grant. I finally had the time to do the tests that you mentioned. I removed all of the hard drives, disconnected the dvd and the graphics card and removed all save one memory cars, but the results were the same as before. No start up chime but all of the fans were running. The only light that I have been able to observe was the brief light up of four lights on each memory board. I can see no lights on the vertical processor ? board. The display still briefly shows 2 DVI and below that no signal in.

    If it is the processor, is better to have that replaced by Apple or get a new basic Mac Pro? I can get a basic model w/o mouse, display or keyboard with Apple Care for about 250000 yen.

    Any advice would be welcome.
    Thank you,
    Grant
  • gmat5037 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you all for the help. I went to Apple Store Japan and they helped me out to get it repaired.

    Best wishes,
    Grant
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (51,915 points)
    Many readers would like to be able to learn from your experience.

    What was the problem, or what did they do to get it going?
    Were parts replaced? Did it cost you a lot of money?
    Was it extremely inconvenient? Would you do this method again, or would you have been happier getting a new Mac Pro?
  • gmat5037 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you for you response, Grant, but apparently I wasn't the only person that had a problem because of the earthquake. Apple Japan is offering to repair free of charge any problems that is earthquake related. I was given this advice at the Apple Store in Tokyo. I was given a number to call and I related my problem. I said that after the earthquake, when I tried to turn it on, I got the following symptoms that I explained above. They asked if I had tried to reset the cables including the one to the display and then to restart it while pressing option and P and R keys. I had, but tried restarting it again. They asked if it had fallen over, which it hadn't. After confering with a supervisor, the person said that they will take it in and repair it. I still don't know what the problem was nor what caused it.

    Thank you.
    Grant
  • gmat5037 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The Mac Pro was returned by Apple. They replaced the logic board. I started it up without adding my extra HDs and Memory. It worked OK. I added my extra HD and it was still OK. I added my memory and put it back on my metal shelf and it failed again. Would bad memory fry my Mac Pro? I guess that I should send it back with everything installed and ask them to check it like that and pay for it.

    Best wishes,
    Grant
  • satcomer Level 4 Level 4 (1,110 points)
    The shaking could have done something to the memory. Try taking of the side and try to power it up and then pay attention to the memory risers to see if any display a error light. Also you can take memory out slowly and see if one of the memory sticks is the culprit.
  • gmat5037 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you for your responses.
    The second problem happened after I got the cpu back and started testing and installing my extra HD and memory one by one. The HDs went in OK and when I turned on the computer each time, it was fine. Then I installed my extra memory, and also put it on my metal bookcase. When I turned it on, I didn't get a chime and the display momentarily showed 2 DVI Digital but no signal. When I tried it again it was the same but now I had a grey screen with the swirling circle. Then the display came on with purple space background with the dock on the side and it seemed to work for a few minutes, and then the screen went blank and the video card fan started running very loudly. I called Apple service and explained the new problem. I thought that possibly my memory was bad and might have caused the problem. I sent my cpu to the Service Center with my added HDs and extra memory installed. They said that they could test it but couldn't replace any of the extra parts, which was more than fair.
    Ultimately, the Service Center fixed the problem. I just got it back. The repair summary says that they replaced the video card and the upper memory card. It works fine now. I haven't put it back on my metal bookcase and will keep it on the floor for now. I will get a computer desk and put the CPU on it. I still don't know what caused it, but it may be the upper memory card, which burned out the video card when I reinstalled the extra memory. That card was empty when I first sent it in to be repaired so it might not have been checked. My HDs and extra memory are working fine, now.

    Thank you,
    Best wishes,
    Grant