Bits & Pieces

Seeing Red - Take 2

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I’ve been using computers since we bought an Amstrad PCW back in 1986/87, I went on to an Amiga for video titling in around 1989 and then to an Apple Mac for digital non-linear editing in 1994, since then I’ve owned the full range of MacPro’s from a PowerMac 7100 in 1994 to the last cheesegrater in 2011/12, I’m now on a late 2015 iMac with Big Sur and the latest Final Cut Pro.

Over the years I’ve swapped out PCI cards, installed new hard drives, swapped mechanical HD’s for SSD’s, swapped RAM around and even upgraded processors so I think I know my way around Macs. Around 9 months ago my current Final Cut Pro ‘working’ Mac, a 5.1 maxed out with SSD’s, Metal GFX card and RAM started randomly re-starting, it seemed to happen when using Final Cut Pro, RapidWeaver or browsing the web more than at any other time, I first thought it was overheating, during one important edit session with several re-starts, I placed a big fan on the floor with the side off the Mac and that failed to resolve the re-starts, I then suspected one fan on the 3Gb GFX card was faulty so I replaced it with a 3 fan 4Gb card, the problem still occured.

I switched the RAM around one stick at a time, no change and still random re-starts, I considered a thermal paste breakdown and I bought a new upgraded processor, still random re-starts, eventually I replaced the MacPro with the iMac and I’ve had no problems editing weekly Church services at all with that machine so, my MacPro 5.1 was demoted to email and general web browsing but it annoyed me I could never find the cause of the re-starting.

Recently a good friend offered me an older MacBook Pro that needed upgrades, an SSD, more RAM and a hardware ‘hack’ to make it run Mojave, the cost was around £130 and when I’d finished I gave it another friend of mine who desperatly needed a better MacBook. A few days later he phoned me to say YouTube videos were ‘glitching’ and playing out of sync, I had it back here and tested it, I found he had around 10 Apps all open at the same time time (he had a habit of just hitting the red button rather than quitting the App!), I closed them and YouTube then worked fine for me, so I gave it back to him. Next day he contacted me again to say the problem was still there, I got him to check his internet speed which came back at 24 Mbps download so I got him to drop the MacBook back.

I tried moving the many folders off his desktop to a single folder, running Onyx, clearing his downloads folder, checking all his settings and yes, YouTube did glitch and run out of sync. I then tried the same YT video in Safari - NO GLITCHING! I remembered reading a post on a Final Cut forum of a guy who swore Google Chrome was causing him major problems on his Mac and he recommended everyone delete it, so I transferred all the bookmarks, passwords etc to Safari and deleted Chrome on the MacBook - My friend has not had a problem since, so this got me thinking about my MacPro….

I deleted all traces of Chrome and used EasyFind to find any files I’d missed, I’ve been running without Google Chrome now for 5 days and my MacPro has gone from an average 10 -15 re-starts per day to none in 5 days, I’m even drafting this on it!

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