4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 18, 2012 5:43 PM by Grant Bennet-Alder
DIS100 Level 1 Level 1

Mac Pro 2008 with a Nvidia GT8800. Two monitors started to flicker in a strobing way then became unresponsive. After restarting the computer, the gray loading screen with the apple symbol and gear appear for a while then freeze. The computer continues to work in the background, I know this because I can hear skype load and startup, but I can't see anything but the gray loading screen jerked 1/3 of the way to the side with a little blackness in the top left corner.


I can control the computer a little bit with some remote access software I have installed, but I cannot run the computer in safe mode, or do much else in the way of maintenance because the computer needs to auto boot my remote access software in order for me to see anything that it is doing and safemode does not do this.


I think it might be my graphics card, but could it be software? I just installed Dragon Dictate 2.0 which had a memory leak so I stopped using it, but didn't uninstall. I've also read a few things about RAM going bad and having effects on the displays, but the computer seems to be running fine in the background. Also, since it affects both monitors I don't think it's a connection problem as they have separate cords going into separate ports on the back of the Graphics Card.



  • Simon Teale Level 5 Level 5



    This happened to me too on Wednesday. Same 2008 Mac Pro, same card, same freeze, eaither before or after, most of the time I get the grey screen of death, "You need to restart your computer".


    After a bit of searching, I reckon the video card is cooked. So I'm currently on the hunt for an ATI Radeon HD 4870. I can always go for an ATI Radeon HD 5770 or 5870, but then I'd have to switch to 10.6 (from 10.5) which I'd rather not do.


    Post back if you get a fix.


    Before the card was permanently cooked, I had issues, which I thought were overheating, so I switched off for a while, then removed the side panel, cleared out the dust bunnies and I got it running with video again for another 12 hours overnight, ironically long enough for me to load another 300GB of files for processing. If you get this chance, maybe use it to get OS X 10.6 on in case you need a brand new video card.


    I'm able to still use my Mac Pro "headless"  through screen sharing.


    Hoping someone else has a similar story with a different outcome involving zip-lock bags and freezers.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    If you want to have some fun with the card before recycling it, try this in a well-ventilated room:


    Baking A Video Card - Nvidia 8800 GT (AKA Reflow) - YouTube

    Baking your 8800gtx main board - Nvidia - Graphic-Displays

    Broken Graphic Card?? BAKE IT!!! - YouTube


    Hold the barbecue sauce.

  • Simon Teale Level 5 Level 5

    so if the components can stand 220 degress in the oven, there should be no issue with the card overheating. We'll see what happens ....

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9

    Old fashioned components in plated-through holes were bathed in liquid solder pumped up from below the board to solder them in place. That solder was about 450 degrees F. We have been heating electronic components (powered off) to high temeratures for short durations for a long time. It does not kill them.


    Modern surface-mount components are fixed in place using solder with a much lower melting point. This process ever so slightly re-flows the solder and heals any cracks that may have developed over time.