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Old Dec 24, 2012, 04:41 AM   #1
macrumors 6502
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Ulladulla, NSW Australia
09 Mac Pro Stuck in Boot Loop (Grey Screen)

Hi all,

My 2009 Mac Pro 8-Core 2.93Ghz has been acting a little strange the past few weeks.

Every 2nd boot, it will get stuck in a loop at the grey screen. The rotating/loading graphic appears, then the screen blinks as if it is going to load the desktop, but then reloads the loading graphic. The only fix is to force shut down and try another boot up.

The only things that I have changed recently are swapping 16GB OWC RAM for 32GB OWC RAM, and adding a Caldigit 2 port USB3 PCI Card - all working fine as far as I can tell.

I have an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 3G 240GB as my boot drive, TWO OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSDs in RAID 0 as my work/files drive, and a 2TB WD Black disk for media.

Running 10.8.2, Radeon 4870 and an unused GeForce 120GT, USB3 Seagate for Timemachine.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Mac Pro 8 Core 2.93Ghz 32GB RAM, 2 X SSD 840 PRO 512GB RAID 0, 2 x 24" LED, GTX660 2GB GPU. MacBook Air 13" 2012 i7 2GHz, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM.

Last edited by scottrichardson; Dec 24, 2012 at 04:50 AM.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 06:18 AM   #2
macrumors 65816
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Québec

One at a time, try switching your RAM back to what it was, and removing the card. If the symptom disappears, at least you'll know where to look for conflicts.

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Old Dec 24, 2012, 03:00 PM   #3
macrumors 6502a
Join Date: Jun 2010
That's the best way to figure out what's happening.

Undo all of your changes. See if things are normal.
Make 1 change. See if things are normal.
etc... until you find the cause of your problems.
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Old Dec 24, 2012, 03:45 PM   #4
Dr. Stealth
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: SoCal
Hardware Issue...

It's most likely NOT the ram. PCI cards can and will conflict and you get the startup issues. Make sure you have the latest firmware and drivers for your cards. Drivers especially if they are not already built onto the OS.

I had the looping boot issue just last week while messing with a Velocity Solo X2 card. I was trying to run Bootcamp Win 7 x64 and it was a complete no-go.
Mac Pro 5,1 12 Core @ 3.33GHz - 64GB RAM - Dual 500 GB SSD - Dual EVGA FTW+ GTX 680 4GB
7 TB 7200 HDs - Aux 450 watt PSU - 27" Cinema Display - SpacePilot Pro - GeekBench 30,883
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 04:19 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2012
I have had similar issues on my Mac Pro (2008) for the past couple months. Seems to be caused at times by a photo card reader and other times when it wakes up from sleep overnight or over the weekend.

I was able to take care of the issue by deleting the Finder plist on 3 or 4 occasions, but yesterday that didn't work and now things have devolved into a situation where I can't get past the grey screen with the Apple logo and spinning gear.

I'm approaching it as if there is a hard drive issue and am trying a new drive out to see if that changes things, but now I'm having issues formatting the new drive. If you haven't tried the plist fix though, I'd recommend giving that a shot.
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