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Mike, Mac Medic
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 8620
Experience:  Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.
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Guys, We have an old Mac Pro (Dual-Core Intel Xeon)

Customer Question

Hi guys,
We have an old Mac Pro (Dual-Core Intel Xeon) running OS X 10.6.8 acting as a server.
For some reason this machine keeps going to sleep or hibernation - after about an hour (time varies) the fans die down, monitor goes blank and I'm unable to wake it up again. I can't screen share or VNC in, only SSH works, but most of the primary services are still running - LDAP, Home folders, Network shares and such.
Basically I'm still logged in and anything I was doing is still happening, I just can't see it.
All the sleep options are set to never.
Display and hard drive sleep are disabled.
Repaired the system drive.
Reset SMC and PRAM.
And still no hope, it still goes to sleep and nothing in the console is indicating why. What could be the reason for this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 5 months ago.
Hello and thank you for choosing don tsee you saying anything about the SCREENSAVER?.Have you checked the SCREENSAVER settings?Turn the screen saver OFF.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi,A screensaver has never been active. And after the screen goes black and the fans die down, it doesn't visually respond to any keyboard/mouse input or the power button.
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 5 months ago.
So are you running any resource intensive programs?.You may have to REinstall your OS.When was the last time the HDD was wiped, and a OS reinstall was done ?
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 5 months ago.
Laptops do NOT make the best servers.....especially if you are not running SERVER software..You might have MUCH better luck if you load up the proper MAC SERVER OS......and see if the problem persists.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
This isn't a Macbook Pro, as stated... this is a Mac Pro (tower). The OS is fully functional, all the services that the server is providing to the client machines are working perfectly. I can still SSH into the server (non-graphical).Also, just to be clear, the server itself isn't listed under any Workgroup Manager groups and thus isn't governed by any sleep settings that apply to the client workstations. Everything in System Preferences is set to prevent it from sleeping or the display going to sleep. Hot Corners/Screensavers and whatever else aren't active.I also installed Caffeine as a last resort but that didn't help. It doesn't actually sleep as everything is still running, but any attempt to visually connect with the server fails, such as Screen Sharing, VNC, TeamViewer etc.
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 5 months ago.
Sounds like system files are've done everything that CAN be done already.Theres nothing left, except a FULL reinstall of the OS..Back up data, and Reinstall.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I'm sorry. But it doesn't sound like that's the issue at all, I've seen and fixed OS failures before and this isn't one of them. Your best suggestion is reinstall the OS on a primary server without any suggestion that it could be a hardware failure, such as the very old ATI cards that Mac Pros use?I'm not entirely convinced that is is the graphics card, but it seems far more likely than a corrupt OS.
Expert:  Quiksilver07070 replied 5 months ago.
Your right it could be a hardware failrure......but unless you HAVE the hardware on HAND to swap it out......theres no way to KNOW.REINSTALLING THE OS, wont cost you anything except TIME!
Expert:  Mike replied 5 months ago.
Try this:Resetting the SMC & PRAM for Mac Pro, Intel-based iMac, Intel-based Mac mini, or Intel-based Xserve1. Shut down the computer.2. Unplug the computer's power cord.3. Wait fifteen seconds.4. Attach the computer's power cord.5. Wait five seconds, then press the power button to turn on the computer.6. Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys before the gray screen appears.7. Hold the keys down until the computer restarts again at least twice.8. Release the keys. When it boots up go to Energy Saver and make sure you have it set to Sleep / Never
Expert:  Mike replied 5 months ago.
Sorry if you already did that shut the machine down and unplug from power, open the machine and there should be a gray reset button inside near the RAM slots hold it down for 15 seconds. If it still happens I suggest you install a clean system on an external drive and see if it still happens if it does it is a hardware failure if not then it is something in the other system and we have to look some more.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Mike,I've tried both of those methods with no luck. Currently our OS drive is RAID and tied in with other partitions so it really isn't that easy to reinstall. Would the rest of the server, such as all the necessary services that are running, all the Server Admin config, RAID setup etc. go into meltdown if I booted from a clean external 10.6 drive?
Expert:  Mike replied 5 months ago.
Yes I did not expect you to use the system just install it and remove or disconnect all other drives just to see if it still happens. If it does then we can safely say it is a hardware failure so at least we know.
Expert:  Mike replied 5 months ago.
If it does not happen the first thing I would try is replacing the RAID system drive with an SSD it will be faster and less chance of problems... I had a server with RAID system drive in the past and I had all kinds of problems until I swapped it out.