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G5: 3 blinks and no boot [message #33283] Tue, 15 January 2013 11:50 Go to next message
<valter.prahlad is currently offline  <valter.prahlad
Messages: 4
Registered: January 2013
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Junior Member
Hi all, my trusty PowerMac G5 DP 2.7 (Early 2005) isn't trusty anymore. :-(

Yesterday I was reading my e-mails (in Entourage 2008), and it suddenly froze.
After powering it down and restarting, it won't boot and the power light does 3
blinks, pause, 3 blinks again, on and on.
Apple info says it's "Incompatible memory (RAM) is installed".
But the Ram is the same it was for the last 2 years.
Besides, I tried a couple of Ram sticks I had around, and it does the same; so n
o, I don't think it's really the memory.

Anyway, lots of info on the Net about this event, and quite often it turns out i
t's the logic board (or the memory slots) "gone bad", probably due to lead-free
soldering gone broken somehow (Google "tin whiskers" for some scary stuff).
Although most reports like that are about G5s older than mine.

I've collected answers and suggestions and I'm going to try them, but I wanted t
o ask here, in case some member had similar trouble and found a solution.
The funniest advice is to blow your hair dryer onto the memory slots for some mi
nutes :-D and it seems the best working, but it's usually just a temporary fix.

I hope for some magic or voodoo now. :-)
It would be a waste throwing this beautiful machine into the bin.

TIA,
Valter

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Re: G5: 3 blinks and no boot [message #33284 is a reply to message #33283] Tue, 15 January 2013 12:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Bruce Johnson is currently offline  Bruce Johnson
Messages: 319
Registered: August 2012
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Senior Member

On Jan 15, 2013, at 9:50 AM, valter.prahlad@fastwebnet.it wrote:

> Hi all, my trusty PowerMac G5 DP 2.7 (Early 2005) isn't trusty anymore. :-(

>

> Yesterday I was reading my e-mails (in Entourage 2008), and it suddenly froze.

> After powering it down and restarting, it won't boot and the power light does 3

> blinks, pause, 3 blinks again, on and on.

> Apple info says it's "Incompatible memory (RAM) is installed".

> But the Ram is the same it was for the last 2 years.

> Besides, I tried a couple of Ram sticks I had around, and it does the same; so n

> o, I don't think it's really the memory.

>

> Anyway, lots of info on the Net about this event, and quite often it turns out i

> t's the logic board (or the memory slots) "gone bad", probably due to lead-free

> soldering gone broken somehow (Google "tin whiskers" for some scary stuff).

> Although most reports like that are about G5s older than mine.

>

> I've collected answers and suggestions and I'm going to try them, but I wanted t

> o ask here, in case some member had similar trouble and found a solution.

> The funniest advice is to blow your hair dryer onto the memory slots for some mi

> nutes :-D and it seems the best working, but it's usually just a temporary fix.

>

> I hope for some magic or voodoo now. :-)

> It would be a waste throwing this beautiful machine into the bin.


You can try spraying some contact cleaner into the slots, and gently rubbing a mars eraser (the white rubber kind) gently on the contacts on the DIMMS themselves.

However, the suddeness and the fact that it happened while it was running does seem to indicate that maybe it's amemory controller that failed on the mobo.

Have you tried populating different slots (the G5's need them in pairs, but any pair in any slot set will do) if you get the errors regardless, it's most likely the logic board.


--
Bruce Johnson
University of Arizona
College of Pharmacy
Information Technology Group

Institutions do not have opinions, merely customs


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Re: G5: 3 blinks and no boot [message #33317 is a reply to message #33284] Tue, 15 January 2013 12:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JOHN CARMONNE is currently offline  JOHN CARMONNE
Messages: 98
Registered: August 2012
Karma: 0
Member

On Jan 15, 2013, at 9:09 AM, Bruce Johnson wrote:

>

> On Jan 15, 2013, at 9:50 AM, valter.prahlad@fastwebnet.it wrote:

>

>> Hi all, my trusty PowerMac G5 DP 2.7 (Early 2005) isn't trusty

>> anymore. :-(

>>

>>

>> I've collected answers and suggestions and I'm going to try them,

>> but I wanted t

>> o ask here, in case some member had similar trouble and found a

>> solution.

>> The funniest advice is to blow your hair dryer onto the memory

>> slots for some mi

>> nutes :-D and it seems the best working, but it's usually just a

>> temporary fix.

>>

>> I hope for some magic or voodoo now. :-)

>> It would be a waste throwing this beautiful machine into the bin.

>

> You can try spraying some contact cleaner into the slots, and gently

> rubbing a mars eraser (the white rubber kind) gently on the contacts

> on the DIMMS themselves.

>

> However, the suddeness and the fact that it happened while it was

> running does seem to indicate that maybe it's amemory controller

> that failed on the mobo.

>

> Have you tried populating different slots (the G5's need them in

> pairs, but any pair in any slot set will do) if you get the errors

> regardless, it's most likely the logic board.

>


I have found that seating the RAM in my Dual 2.7 can almost need a
mallet to get them to report. That being said, reseat the LCS and
while doing that check for leaking. Try to boot with an ASD 2.5.7 or
ASD 2.5.8 disc, they bypass a lot of issues on the logic board. Can
you tell if the USB ports are live?


John Carmonne
Broadway Mfg Inc.
Placentia CA 92870





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Re: G5: 3 blinks and no boot [message #33319 is a reply to message #33317] Tue, 15 January 2013 13:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kris Tilford is currently offline  Kris Tilford
Messages: 133
Registered: August 2012
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Senior Member
On Jan 15, 2013, at 11:30 AM, John Carmonne wrote:

> I have found that seating the RAM in my Dual 2.7 can almost need a

> mallet to get them to report.


I agree. On my dual CPU 2.3 with all eight slots (4 pairs) fully
populated, I had to seat & reseat RAM probably 30-40 times (meaning
30-40 restarts) before I was able to get all 4 pairs to recognize
successfully. Since then, zero problems, but seating the RAM was VERY
difficult. My G5 would boot with RAM pairs that weren't being
recognized, so this issue with not booting is probably different, and
I'd suggest being 100% certain the power supply is good still by
getting a G5 pinout and testing each voltage with a multimeter. When
my power supply went bad, only a couple voltages dropped, and the
lights still came on, but I could smell the burned components, so I
knew something was amiss.

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Re: G5: 3 blinks and no boot [message #33320 is a reply to message #33283] Tue, 15 January 2013 15:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peter Devlin is currently offline  Peter Devlin
Messages: 13
Registered: December 2012
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Junior Member
On 15/01/2013 16:50, "valter.prahlad@fastwebnet.it"
<valter.prahlad@fastwebnet.it> wrote:

> I've collected answers and suggestions and I'm going to try them, but I wanted

> t

> o ask here, in case some member had similar trouble and found a solution.

> The funniest advice is to blow your hair dryer onto the memory slots for some

> mi

> nutes :-D and it seems the best working, but it's usually just a temporary

> fix.

>

> I hope for some magic or voodoo now. :-)

> It would be a waste throwing this beautiful machine into the bin.

>

> TIA,

> Valter


If it is a crack or a split in the solder contacts of the memory slots
or even the controller it is possible with sufficient targeted heat to
reflow the solder and eliminate the problem. I did a liitle of that some
years ago with a hot air rework station but it only produced a permanent fix
in around fifty percent of cases. Always worth a try though - the last one I
did was a G5 iMac 17" with artifacting graphics from the non removable
GeForce 5200 card - fixed that.......I imagine an ailing solder joint
generates heat which contributes to it's failure - don't know for certain
though..........still have the station - I seem incapable of getting rid of
anything for which I might have the remotest chance of using during the next
thousand years.

Pete


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Re: G5: 3 blinks and no boot [message #33362 is a reply to message #33320] Tue, 15 January 2013 21:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Valter Prahlad is currently offline  Valter Prahlad
Messages: 87
Registered: September 2012
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Member
Il giorno 15/01/13 21:27, Peter Devlin ha scritto:

> If it is a crack or a split in the solder contacts of the memory slots

> or even the controller it is possible with sufficient targeted heat to

> reflow the solder and eliminate the problem. I did a liitle of that some

> years ago with a hot air rework station but it only produced a permanent fix

> in around fifty percent of cases.


Well, looks like I was lucky. :-)
Right now I'm writing this on my G5, that is "born again". :-D

I tried everything with the Ram sticks (moving them, cleaning, swapping,
trying different sticks), no way. Ok, I knew it wasn't the Ram.

Then I used my hair dryer on each memory bank, and on the memory controller
chip (actually, on its back, since it's located onto the inner side of the
logic board).
Around 3 minutes of blowing hot air on each part, and hey!, the trick
worked!
Knock on wood, I don't know how long it will last. But I was able to backup
my recent stuff, so I'm an happy camper anyway.

I think it was the memory controller, partly because it has always been
really hot, between 70 and 75 degrees Celsius (checking with Marcel
Bresink's Temperature Monitor).
For a comparison, both CPU dies are around 50° C or less.

The funniest thing is, this problem occurred just the day after I decided to
buy an used iMac!
Maybe the G5 got jealous! ;-)

I was planning to sell the G5 afterwards, but now I'm doubtful; I don't want
to sell a lemon. OTOH, the repair was pretty straightforward (once I knew
what to do), so I could sell it informing the buyer about this caveat.
If the problem is going to show up once or twice a year, I think it's
bearable; after all, from the dozens post I read about it, this issue can
happen to any G5.

Thank you to everybody for you suggestions and advice.
Valter


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3 blinks and no boot [message #33426 is a reply to message #33319] Wed, 16 January 2013 11:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lawrence David Eden is currently offline  Lawrence David Eden
Messages: 18
Registered: October 2012
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Junior Member
"3 Blinks and no Boot".....sounds likes like a good name for the
quartet I am forming.

Larry

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Re: 3 blinks and no boot [message #33427 is a reply to message #33426] Wed, 16 January 2013 12:57 Go to previous message
Valter Prahlad is currently offline  Valter Prahlad
Messages: 87
Registered: September 2012
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Member
Il giorno 16/01/13 17:26, Lawrence David Eden ha scritto:

> "3 Blinks and no Boot".....sounds likes like a good name for the

> quartet I am forming.


Well, you can borrow it with my compliments. :-)

Do you plan to go on stage with slippers...? ;-D


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