I had different problems with my Mac Pro 2008 for the last 1,5 years. Sometimes it would have a ‘grey screen’ kernel panic. Sometimes an application just quit or froze. There was a period that the SDRAM was partially not recognized. Sometimes the printer wouldn’t connect OK, or other peripherals. It refused to go to sleep or woke up by itself sometimes.
Finding Mac Pro problems
When you find out there is something wrong, the first thing you try to do is to find a pattern. You try to find out what causes it, so you can fix it. This time however, this seemed to be impossible. Combined with the fact that the problem would usually happen only once or twice, it was extremely annoying.
For example: Putting the Mac to sleep would work 10 times on 10 occasions, and then there could be a period that it would wake up immediately after entering sleep mode, twice or more times in a row.
I couldn’t find anything irregular with the software. Of course I tried all the ‘usual’ solutions like repairing rights, resetting the PRAM, etc. Finally, I suspected the memory to be faulty. I did all kinds of hardware tests and once in a while a certain combination of memory banks would not work correctly, according to the software. And there you have it: You never know for certain if it is the software or hardware. Having more than enough of my Mac Pro problems, I decided to replace the memory modules anyway, to be sure.
For a while things seemed to be fine, but after a few weeks they were back. Long story short: I tried all kinds of solutions, software and hardware and even replaced the power supply for a new one, but nothing helped. One time I could even repeat a printer problem by disconnecting the Apple USB keyboard, so I ditched it, but it didn’t change anything.
Lion, the Mac Pro problem solver
Until I tried to work from a Lion installation on an external FireWire disk. I made the Mac Pro work hard, did a serious stress test, but it didn’t go down.
After more testing I decided to install Lion on my main disks. Quite a job because I wanted to do a fresh install of all applications as well.
Although it’s too short to tell yet, I didn’t have any problems so far and things are looking good. Was it a malfunctioning OS after all?
Update november 2013
Meanwhile, it’s almost exactly 1,5 years later. Although I had one ore two unexplainable system wake up’s, so far I didn’t have any serious problems any more. Also, I updated to 10.7.5 by now.