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Ask Max: Mac Pro Power Supply Problems

Asked on 02/05/2014:

I've got a Mac Pro tower (version 3,1 - early 2008). It shuts off after only a few seconds during boot up. It always starts, unlike some posts I've read, but never completes the boot up. I read a lot about this online and think I've tried every trick to come to the conclusion it is my power supply.

I've reset PRAM, punched two small buttons on the logic board, removed peripherals, graphics card, tried a different (known working) graphics card... etc.

Everything I've read seems to point to the power supply, although a few things suggest it might be the logic board. How can I tell for sure? Also, where can I buy a replacement power supply? A few shops I've called (in Boston) say they can swap it out, but can't just sell me the part (I live in Oregon). I've looked online, and it looks like I'll spend over $200 for this. I'd like to be sure before I spring for it.


It's quite possible, that the power supply is having issues. Unfortunately, there really isn't a viable "home test" to verify this. Ideally, it should get placed on the test bench and have the full diagnostic testing performed. This would prevent having to replace multiple components. It would also have the peace of mind of having the repairs warrantied. It's also not easy to secure replacement parts outside of an authorized service provider that are certified to work with your machine.

These points aside: we are also in Oregon. Our service location is in Wilsonville. If you're in the area, we'd be happy to get the diagnostics completed and get to the root of the trouble for you. Please feel free to get in touch, with any additional questions. You can reach technical support at 888-769-7629, ext 202. Alternatively, call your sales representative to schedule a diagnostic test onsite. 

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