2006 Mac Pro Boot Issues

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by frjonah, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. frjonah macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Almost Heaven... WV
    #1
    Hello everyone!

    This post is a last resort after several hours of attempts at getting my 2006 Mac Pro (1,1) going again... So, my symptoms are, basically, as follow:

    • I hadn't used the machine in about 2 weeks and when I turned it back on, it got stuck in the boot sequence… on the white screen with the Apple logo and the spinning dashes or whatever it's called
    • I powered the machine down and then turned it back on only to get no video output whatsoever… the post "chimes" rang, but video didn't appear...
    • Since the area this machine was kept in had become cold (30F), I turned the machine off and heated up the area overnight… on day 2, I tried to boot the machine again and the video resumed, but it got stuck on the white screen again...
    • After doing several pram resets and unplugging for several minutes, I tried to reboot and it still got stuck on the white screen again...
    • I plugged in a usb snow leopard flash drive and used Option-Boot to choose my boot source… after choosing the flash drive, it STILL got stuck on the white boot screen (after accessing the flash drive for a couple of minutes)
    • Since the above, I've had all sorts of symptoms including several boot attempts where the video didn't show again, etc… now it's in some weird mode where pressing the power button immediately powers it on and off (i.e. no need to press and hold) and I'm not seeing any video or other results at all (other than the "post" chime)

    This is a Snow Leopard machine, probably the first release since it hasn't been connected to the web for a while. It has something like 12gb of RAM. There are two hard drives installed... only one of them is a boot drive. It's connected to an HP IPS monitor via DVI...no other peripherals are connected except the stock Apple keyboard and mouse.

    Does anyone have any ideas? It seems to me that something fundamental must be seriously wrong, and it's probably not the hard drive or graphics card since the flash drive boot didn't work and the video did intermittently work as well... I'm thinking that it must be either a RAM failure or a more fundamental logic board or logic board component failure, but I'm open to suggestions for additional things to try since, at this point, it seems I don't have much to lose.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. MacPoulet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    #2
    Did you check the diagnostic LEDs on the logic board? If any light up red, there's a problem.

    Do you have a spare video card to rule out the card?
     
  3. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #3
    That's not good. In such temperature condensation occurs, and circuits "do not like it". Dust + humidity often kill electronics.
    Some troubleshooting ideas:
    I'd first disassembly whole machine, as much as you can, and clean all contacts, slots etc. Apple Service Manual could be helpful (google it). Remove all non-factory parts, i.e. RAM (leave only 2 sticks), PCIe cards and HDDs and test.

    Try safe boot. Diagnostic LEDs are also worth to check. Again Service manual will help you with decoding their meaning.

    To rule out HDD, you can boot another SL capable Mac (if you have one) off of it using Target disk mode. If it will boot OK, set screen sharing. It will help you to rule out graphics card if you don't have spare one.
    Your MP will boot without graphics card, so you can safely remove it and try to access MP remotely. If GC is the culprit, Mac will be accesible via Screen sharing.
     
  4. frjonah thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Almost Heaven... WV
    #4
    update...

    Ok, I have a lot of new things to report concerning the non-booting Mac Pro. First of all, I should correct something I said earlier... the temperature where this machine was kept did not get down to 30F... there was a space heater functioning the entire time... it might have reached 45F, which isn't "warm" by any means, but it's definitely above freezing.

    So here's what I've learned:

    • The machine had all sorts of mismatched RAM, even operating at different frequencies. To isolate the RAM, I removed Tray 2 altogether and tried to boot with each pair of RAM installed by itself (there are 6 DIMMs, in matched pairs). The machine wouldn't post at all with only 1 DIMM installed.
    • I went ahead and removed the failed optical drive to remove that from the discussion... no effect...
    • I removed and reseated the graphics card and this had no effect either, though I'm quite confident now that the GPU isn't the source of the issue... it's posts with video every time now, though it's always getting hung on the white apple screen
    • There were 3 hard drives... 1 x 1tb Raptor and 2 x 500gb Hitachis, apparently installed in a RAID Stripe. I have tried booting with the Raptor removed... no effect... I have tried booting with the Hitachis removed... no effect there either.
    • My continued attempts to boot to the USB drive have not worked, though I haven't tried every possible drive configuration yet... I can report more after trying the final 2 configurations

    To the posters above:

    What LEDs? The only LEDs I see while booting are on the RAM tray... they all light up red every time.

    If I can't get the machine to boot, I'll give the target disk mode a try... I suppose I'll need to pick up the appropriate firewire cable to try this out. In any case, it's a great idea and worth pursuing, even if as a way to possibly save my data. One question about Target Disk mode, though... will both drives appear in the other operating system, or only the boot drive.

    Many thanks to you two for the advice... any other ideas to try would be MOST welcome. At this point, I'm leaning towards a failed logic board component, but I'd love to be proven wrong :)
     
  5. frjonah thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Almost Heaven... WV
  6. frjonah thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Almost Heaven... WV
    #6
    Update...

    So, it looks like the root problem may have just been a bad hard drive... I installed an old drive from a defunct Mac Mini and it eventually was able to boot to it. I'm still having a hard time understanding the symptoms, though, since it refused to boot from a USB drive while the offending RAID stripe was not connected to the machine... strange.

    Disk Utility repair disk on the RAID stripe has now failed twice... it initially mounts when booting to the Mac Mini drive, but dismounts upon trying to do any work on it, so it's pretty much gone.

    Thanks.
     
  7. MacPoulet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    #7
    Do the lights stay on? If they stay on, that's bad. Take a look at this Apple Service Source, page 136... http://www.scribd.com/doc/40002997/Mac-Pro#outer_page_136

    There's also a reset button further up on the logic board, small like that one. It helped when I upgraded my CPUs and wouldn't boot.
     
  8. frjonah thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Almost Heaven... WV
    #8
    The lights do not stay on, which is encouraging... where is the reset button on the logic board? What is it near?

    Many thanks!
     
  9. MacPoulet macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    #9
    It's about 1 cm to the right of the slot 4 PCI slot, near the top right-hand corner of the logic board. It's a little grey button.
     

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