Skip navigation

powermac g5 memory problems

1819 Views 25 Replies Latest reply: Nov 9, 2012 2:29 AM by Robert Albury RSS
1 2 Previous Next
Robert Albury Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 12, 2012 6:08 AM

My trusty Powermac G5 which has not given any problems since I bought it in 2004 is now very unhappy.

 

 

It began when wouldn't boot. I took it into an apple service place who immediately announced that it was obsolete and they wouldn't be able to do anything but look at it and run a diagnostic.

 

 

They returned it saying it was a faulty memory module and it now ok which it wasn't.

 

 

I can now get it up and running for about an hour when it makes a rasping noise and freezes.

 

 

Letting it all cool down and moving the memory modules around (I have reduced it down to 2 x I gb modules) and it boots and repeats the cycle - fine for about an hour and then freezes with the rasping type noise.

 

 

The fans are all fine and it doesn't appear overly hot inside.

 

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

Whilst I shall be getting a new apple desktop I very much want to keep the G5 going as it will keep going all sorts of peripherals which I occasionally use.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,845 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 12, 2012 10:26 AM (in response to Robert Albury)

    Hi Robert, tough to tell, but my guess at this point is that the thermal paste between CPU(s) & heatsink(s) needs replacing.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,845 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 12, 2012 4:14 PM (in response to Robert Albury)

    It requires diassembly.

     

    Replacements are cheap, but of course the thermal paste may need replacing also, since it only lasts about 4-5 years normally.

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (114,845 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 13, 2012 9:45 AM (in response to Robert Albury)

    Yeah, it's a shame really.

  • Jacumba Level 4 Level 4 (2,325 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2012 7:03 PM (in response to Robert Albury)

    Let me give you something to try. The thermal paste has nothing to do with it. Remove the ram from the computer and start the computer up, with no ram in it, and turn it off, you'll probably have to force quit it. Then insert one ram stick in and do a full start up, and turn off. This time you won't have to force quit. Repeat this till you have all the ram sticks back in place. Ram gets corrupted, I've done this on many computers and got them going. It's worth a try. I've seen ram go bad but seldom, usually it's the slot on the motherboard that it fits in, that stops recognizing it.

     

    The symtoms your mentioning though, sounds like a hard drive going bad. When they start to go the computer starts acting erradically and yes freeze up. And it gets that raspy sound. So if you have a spare hard drive and the original OS you could try swapping out a hard drive, if you don't want to give up on this computer that you seem to really like.

  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 6, 2012 5:08 AM (in response to Robert Albury)

    The three flashes of the power LED in a G5 indicate a RAM fault, specifically "No RAM banks passed memory testing" . Although total failure of all RAM at once is likely uncommon, RAM should be tested with Memtest X or Rember to confirm the condition of the RAM. Testing with Memtest X in Single User mode is the surest way to obtain a definitive test result, especially when RAM faults are intermittent.

     

    RAM utilities other than the two mentioned are generally inferior and can only be trusted if fault is found. Most other test utilities are "all or nothing" and rarely find the intermittent faults which are more common than complete failure.

     

    In machines where the RAM tests good, it is a fairly common condition in G5's to have solder connections failing at the memory controller and/or the RAM slots. These failures often cause the three flash report at failure of POST.

    These machines (those with degrading solder) have limited life left, as is, and will require replacement of logic board or reflow of solder connections for prolonged, continued use.

     

    One additional issue that RAM faults can cause is data corruption. Data corruption can cause a myriad of issues and the use of Disk Utility or Disk Warrior is required to repair the data corruption before system failure occurs.

    Boot to the OS X install disc, select the language to be used, then, in the next window, from the menu bar in Utilities, select Disk Utility. Choose your system drive and run the "Repair Disk" command.

     

    If errors are found and corrected, run the Repair Disk command again.

    After the repair attempts are completed, restart normally.

     

    DO test the RAM.......

  • Jacumba Level 4 Level 4 (2,325 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 6, 2012 6:04 AM (in response to Robert Albury)

    When you pull the ram out you add "one stick" back at a time and do restarts. Reading your post seems to indicate you were adding them back in pairs. It's important that you add them back one at at time.

    This may not resolve your problem but it has on alot of computers I've worked on.So it's worth the try.

  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 6, 2012 1:17 PM (in response to Robert Albury)

    Buy a new pair of DIMMs. RAM must be installed in pairs in the G5, as the machines controller is dual channel and balanced RAM is required.

    Power Mac G5: Memory Specifications and Requirements

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/PowerMac-G5-Memory

  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 6, 2012 1:18 PM (in response to Jacumba)

    It's important that you add them back one at at time.

    That doesn't work with the G5 dual channel controller.

    RAM must be installed in size matched pairs.

  • Jacumba Level 4 Level 4 (2,325 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 7, 2012 6:43 AM (in response to japamac)

    Don't tell me it don't I just worked with a Mac ram 2 weeks ago.The ram may have to be installed in size and matched pairs for a computer. But I'm referring to a repair of corrupted ram, you add them back one stick at a time.

    So don't post to me unless you know what your talking about. Just because you read something somewhere doesn't mean it's 100 percent accurate.I have a Mac that doesn't suppose to take a hard drive over 50 GB, well I put a 80 GB in and it worked.

1 2 Previous Next

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.