Hello! I'm an IT support person with my own 40 year old indy production company. Bought G5 Oct 2004. We use FCP, Dreamweaver MX, Photoshop 9CS and not much else on this G5. One external Western Digital 120G and LeCie DVD burner attached. No third party nor unauthorized software.

No problem with G5 until Jan 05. Then freezes prceeded by slowing processing and cursor, 30 seconds later fans kick into high gear. Apple replaced hard drive. All reinstalled. Worked until same problem Feb & Mar, however we were in major projects and OS & software re-installs kept us going. April no problem.

May 4,'05 began again all same symptoms. Apple Support sent us to warranty service provider (Apple wouldn't do "on-site repair" as I couldn't identify problem?). G5 at service provider for one week couldn't duplicate problem. Brought G5 back to office. Same problem 3 days later.

This time no recovery possible. Apple hardware test wouldn't complete. Cursor froze. After a minute or two the fans kicked in. This is exactly the same problem described in January, 2005. The G5 will not acknowledge the keyboard to Force Quit anything, nor allow a troubleshooting CD to be loaded. This time the G5 will not complete the reboot. The Gray Apple comes up with the twirling wheel. After about a minute, the wheel freezes and a couple of minutes later the fans kick in.

We were able to reset the PRAM, however it made no difference. We opened the side to determine if we could tell what was overheating, however, there was no obvious heat nor a hot smell , so we closed it back up.

We attempted to start-up with a CD, however neither the internal CD/DVD drive, nor the external drive would boot the G5. We re-stared the G5 6 more times to see if the problem would clear. It would not.

Took to same Apple service provided (who left first ticket open). Stayed while they booted computer, same freeze for them. Left three days. They still could not boot the G5. Exchanged their own hard drive. Still no boot. On friday May 20, 05, they asked for 3 more business days to try and resolve.

Called Apple Support requesting help. Apple rep indicated this was only 2nd event as their records showed only the hard drive replacement and a couple of "discussions." Apple Support person said he does not see evidence for a replacement, loaner, etc at this point.

Apple service provider is to re-install OS and let us know next week.

We're at wits end to provide service to our clients while keeping afloat with a 667 powerbook and taking on water fast.

Any thoughts appreciated. Thank you! Martin

Two questions. The first, is what version of OS X is this. Also, when the OS was initially installed, was it a clean install, or was it an upgrade from a previous version? (i.e. an upgrade from Jaguar to Panther or Panther to Tiger?)

The second question is have you ever tried DiskWarrior. It's a great, handy lil program that's been a huge help to me in the past.

Thank you for the response. In this last round the G5 is at OS 10.3.9 and have installed all the updates as they came in. Panther was the original OS when the G5 came straight from Apple on line. We have Tiger and were preparing to load it until this last mess. Also, thank you for mentioning Diskwarrior (it's a staple in our IT work). We did run it at every crash with minor fix results, until this last freeze when no CD would boot the G5. Martin

There could be so many things..

One thing you should be trying is booting in verbose mode to see if you can tell where the boot process dies.

Frankly, it not making it through the 'twirling wheel' generally indicates a problem with the boot drive (one of the things happening during boot and the 'twirling wheel' is the auto-fsck in /etc/rc.boot (in Panther. In Tiger it's been moved to /etc/rc). However, subsequent failure to boot to a CD is a likely indicator that it's either NOT the hard drive, or the hard drive is simply one of the other problems here.

It could be bad RAM (try pulling the sticks).

It could be bad processors (Apple will have to solve this one for you).

It could be a bad logic board (or componant thereof) (Apple will have to solve this one for you).

Unfortunately, it's 99.999% likely that it's hardware related and has nothing to do with software/OS.

So far, I'm not very impressed with your Apple Certified support person. Unless they are swamped, it should be taking them this long to figure out the problem.

Thank you for the suggestions. I'll try those when I get the G5 back.

I have been disappointed in the service provider as well. Friday, the Apple Support Staff made one comment that I might want to take the G5 to their Apple Store. However, our repair service provider claims that they are the Apple Store's repair source.

After using Macs in our business since 1986, this is the first time I've NOT received excellent service. I honestly feel as though we're in the Apple Twilight Zone.

When I originally requested "on site" service in January as our extended warranty allows, I was told by Apple Support that they could not provide "on-site" as we're out of the service area (we're 15 miles East of Austin, TX). This time in May when I requested On-Site, the Apple Support person said they could not provide On-Site because neither I, nor the Apple Hardware test could identify the problem. Thhe Apple person said "if we sent out a technician, the person would have to make 2 trips. one to identify the problem and one to bring back the correct part." So?

The other odd thing is that Friday (at this point I'd been passed to senior level rep Mark, in Apple Support) when I asked if Apple Support could replace the defective G5, or at least provide a Loaner, (I even offered to rent and the repair service said they don't have G5s available), Mark said "this incidence does not reach the level of an Apple replacement."

Interestingly, the Austin Apple repair provider said that it takes 4 attempts to meet the "replace criteria" for Apple. However, since the service provider left the same ticket number open from the first week they had our G5, this 2nd repair for them (actually third repair for Apple since they initially replaced the hard drive) is really still the same incidence, so I'll have to do all this two more times. I say this because my "gut" feeling, as Yellow mentioned above, is that this is not a software issue.

One other oddity. When I contacted Apple Support this time, I gave them the Apple Repair Authorization number that was given to me by Apple Support in February (in May Apple Support said I would have to keep the same number), so I could take the G5 in under warranty to the Austin repair provider. On the phone Apple Support said they could find no record of that repair number. Finally Mark (the senior Apple Support person) said "Oh, that's your case number, not a repair authorization."

Unfortunately, I don't know the difference, nor can I figure out why I would be given a case number. The number was right, it just wasn't a repair authorization. Its beginning to look like "smoke & mirrors."

Are you confused. I am. Anyway, our business is on hold until we have the G5 back and we can get back to production. Or, at least continue the process of trying to fix our essential G5.

Sorry for the rambling, just frustration and no way to get on with FCP. Martin

I would definitely worry if your service provider is saying that he is the Apple Store's repair source. All Apple Stores consist of their "Genius Bar" where they provide on-site (at the Apple Store) service and repair while you wait.


Thanks Dani! That is worrisome and very good to know. I will go to the Apple Store when the G5 is returned, if they have not resolved the problem. That seemed to be what Apple Support was hinting at without coming right out and saying so. Apple Support was also concerned that the repair provider had not contacted Apple Support asking for assistance with identifying the problem since they were having difficulty.

Thank you for the "heads up!"

Just FYI, I just returned from the Apple repair provider. They were not able to perform a clean install and decided the G5's problem is the #1 processor. The provider says the #1 processor is now on order from Apple. Assured me 2-3 days and it'll be ready.

Sounds about right. Hopefully this won't fall into the 'reaplce one processor and the other one turn out to be bad (instead/also)'.

Hi all, I too own a dual 2 Ghz G5, its just over a year old and came supplied with 1Gbyte of factory fitted RAM, ATI Radon 9600 128 MByte video card.

I'm running Tiger at the moment and its being upgrades all the way from 10.2 but my machines has frozen regardless of OS version.

Regardless of OS version or application it too will freeze randomly, I'm mainly an FCP user and the one thing I have noticed is the more complex the render (effects etc) the more likely the freeze.

I have ran the hardware check disk 9 times consecutively with no indicated problems (even thou the machine froze during the 5th run).
Local mac support told me to run hardware check as many times as possible to try to catch the problem.

So far I have discovered, when the machine freezes the fans come on and ramp up in speed a a red LED (light) comes on (just behind the grill mounted on the motherboard). Apparently the G5 cooling system is fairly complex and the control electronics talk to the machines OS during normal operation, if an "all is OK signal" is not received at least every two minutes from the OS - the cooling system assumes the worst - a crash/freeze and ramps up the fans to protect the system and switches on the red light.

In addition I have read of conflicts between certain video cards and the mac OS casusing these crashes, I read one account of a OSX programmer who wrote a few lines of open GL code to draw a simple shape and his code can 90% freeze his mac.

Im open to all suggestions including wiping and re installing my system drive, pulling RAM etc any ideas out there.... :rolleyes:

distinguising a sofware problem from a hardware problem is fortunately not that difficult, especially when the machine's behavious falls into that grey area...if you can boot to a CD and see no other symptoms of problems, you just eliminated most of the hardware as a problem source...if you CD boot and still experience freezes, shut down and diconnect the hard drive(s), then boot to the CD again - sometimes a bad hard drive will cause an otherwise healthy machine to freeze under any condition...if your machine still exhibits problem during CD boot with hard drives disconnected, you may have a hardware problem...as a last resort, there is a CUDA button on the motherboard that serves a similar purpose to the PRAM key combo...it clears residual flash-RAM data, which can become corrupt from time to time and cause anything from firewire bus failure and random crashings to boot problems...if your Mac has a CUDA button, the PRAM key combo is not going to be enough to clear that data out (not all Macs have, or need, a CUDA button)...pulling the motherboard battery for about a minute will also help with this process...if all fails to help, you are most likely looking at harware failure

Hi There
I suspect your problem is Hardware, not software.
I have a dual 1.8G5 which freezes every 20 mins or so.
Following all the threads (everywhere), they all point to hardware -- fault with the logic board seems the most likely.
I'm about to start pestering Apple support here in the UK to get my resolved.
Seems like my family motto "NEVER GIVE IN" will be necessary judging by posts on other forums.
Wish me luck!

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