Advice needed... possibly bricked my cMP?!?

tpivette89

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So I was in the middle of doing a clean install of Mojave on a NVMe drive on an Angelbird Wings PX-1. Had High Sierra (fully updated 10.13.6 version installed on a 2.5 SATA drive) and downloaded the full installer for Mojave from the App store. When promoted to choose the installation drive, I formatted the NVMe drive to AFPS, and started the installation.

The progress bar loaded until it got to 8 minutes left. I then went to check the mail and to do other mundane household chores while waiting. In the meantime, my 9 year old son grew tired of waiting, and shut down my machine so he could restart it and do his online math homework. After this, the progress bar would display, but never actually progress. Even after swapping hard drives, pulling everything, and even after putting in a USB installer for High Sierra and letting that boot with the “option” key held down to try and wipe everything, nothing would change.

Now I’m at the point of no return... nothing I’ve tried has made the progress bar upon startup, advance. Did my son’s actions brick the system due to Mojave’s halfway install? Is there something else I should try? I’m open to suggestions at this point.

Thanks in advance
 
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crjackson2134

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So I was in the middle of doing a clean install of Mojave on a NVMe drive on an Angelbird Wings PX-1. Had High Sierra (fully updated 10.13.6 version installed on a 2.5 SATA drive) and downloaded the full installer for Mojave from the App store. When promoted to choose the installation drive, I formatted the NVMe drive to AFPS, and started the installation.

The progress bar loaded until it got to 8 minutes left. I then went to check the mail and to do other mundane household chores while waiting. In the meantime, my 9 year old son grew tired of waiting, and shut down my machine so he could restart it and do his online math homework. After this, the progress bar would display, but never actually progress. Even after swapping hard drives, pulling everything, and even after putting in a USB installer for High Sierra and letting that boot with the “option” key held down to try and wipe everything, nothing would change.

Now I’m at the point of no return... nothing I’ve tried has made the progress bar upon startup, advance. Did my son’s actions brick the system due to Mojave’s halfway install? Is there something else I should try? I’m open to suggestions at this point.

Thanks in advance
What firmware level was you System updated to before you started this?
 

bookemdano

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I doubt this is a firmware issue, as you were already in the installation phase. The firmware flash would have happened prior.

Take out the NVMe drive and just put back in your High Sierra SATA drive. Take out all other drives (and PCIe cards except for the GPU). Then do a full SMC reset and PRAM reset.

SMC: Shut down and pull out the power cable. Leave it unplugged for a minute or two and then plug back in
PRAM: Plug in a USB keyboard if possible. Power on the cMP and as soon as you hear the chime, hold down the Command+Option+P+R keys on the keyboard. The screen will stay black. Keep them held down until you hear the machine chime again. If you don't hear a second chime then turn it off and try it again.

See if that helps.
 

tpivette89

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I don’t have a firmware restoration CD.

Firmware was the newest version 140.

Will try a SMC reset. Already did a NVRAM reset (full shutdown and hold P/R/Option/Command keys until 2nd chime) and nothing changed.
 

crjackson2134

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I don’t have a firmware restoration CD.

Firmware was the newest version 140.

Will try a SMC reset. Already did a NVRAM reset (full shutdown and hold P/R/Option/Command keys until 2nd chime) and nothing changed.
I don’t think restoration cd would help you anyway.

If firmware is bricked, you can order a MATT Card.

Order Page
 
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tpivette89

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I don’t think restoration cd would help you anyway.

If firmware is bricked, you can order a MATT Card.

Order Page
I doubt firmware is bricked... i had the newest firmware already installed a few weeks before this installation. It was in the middle of a clean install of Mojave when my son shut it down and then the problems started.

Luckily I had a boot screen compatible GPU on hand, or else I’d have no clue what was going on.

It’s really weird... it’s like no matter what is plugged into the machine... a good, known boot drive SSD, a clean installer USB drive, or whatever... the system just hangs upon displaying the progress bar and refuses to go further.
 
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tsialex

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I doubt firmware is bricked... i had the newest firmware already installed a few weeks before this installation. It was in the middle of a clean install of Mojave when my son shut it down and then the problems started.

Luckily I had a boot screen compatible GPU on hand, or else I’d have no clue what was going on.

It’s really weird... it’s like no matter what is plugged into the machine... a good, known boot drive SSD, a clean installer USB drive, or whatever... the system just hangs upon displaying the progress bar and refuses to go further.
Can you boot with verbose mode, CMD-V, to see where/what is stopping the boot?
 

tpivette89

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Can you boot with verbose mode, CMD-V, to see where/what is stopping the boot?
Tried that, and got a different response from the computer than I’ve gotten used to in the last few hours.

It displayed the following:

Wish I was more of a software guy at this point... I can de-lid, polish CPUs, and install upgrades all day long, but when it comes to software application such as this, I’m at a loss...
 
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Slash-2CPU

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Remove everything. Remove/unplug peripherals, go down to one RAM stick, unplug all PCIe cards besides boot screen GPU. Try booting to a fresh install on a formatted drive.
 

tsialex

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View attachment 804463
Tried that, and got a different response from the computer than I’ve gotten used to in the last few hours.

It displayed the following:

Wish I was more of a software guy at this point... I can de-lid, polish CPUs, and install upgrades all day long, but when it comes to software application such as this, I’m at a loss...
Remove your AirPort Extreme, test. After that try removing the BT card, test again.

Something is blocking booting past ACPI initializing, so probably you have something corrupted, can be BootROM, can be Ethernet firmware…
 
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tpivette89

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Remove your AirPort Extreme, test. After that try removing the BT card, test again.

Something is blocking booting past ACPI initializing, so probably you have something corrupted, can be BootROM, can be Ethernet firmware…
Removed the airport card, and all accessories... hope this works
 

tsialex

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I know that others here have better ideas on this, but if you have another computer whereby you can burn a DVD, I would try to boot a Live Linux DVD just to eliminate the macOS part of the equation.
Nice suggestion, if he can boot a Linux live-cd that has flashrom, he probably can flash MP51.fd.
 
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W1SS

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You can try these 2 additional troubleshooting methods:

1. Shutdown, open the side panel and touch the case from the inside then unplug the power and monitor cable. Also, unplug any externally powered USB hub and speakers. Then proceed to remove the PRAM battery and check its voltage (should be 3V) or just replace it with a new CR2032 one - sony or panasonic are the best. Power on after you have replaced the battery and press Command+Option+P+R.

2. Shutdown, open the side panel and touch the case from the inside then unplug the power and monitor cable. Also, unplug any externally powered USB hub and speakers. Then proceed to remove half of your RAM modules and power back on again.

Please post results including a video of your cMP booting in verbose mode after powering on.

Edit: corrected battery voltage,
 
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crjackson2134

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Then proceed to remove the PRAM battery and check its voltage (should be 3.3V) or just replace it with a new CR2032 one - sony or panasonic are the best.
Just curious, why would you remove the clock battery? AFAIK, it only handles clock function. cMP Board has SPI-Flash (non-volatile ram), not battery powered CMOS, and the NVRAM uses no battery power. Correct me if I’m wrong.
 

W1SS

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Just curious, why would you remove the clock battery? AFAIK, it only handles clock function. cMP Board has SPI-Flash (non-volatile ram), not battery powered CMOS, and the NVRAM uses no battery power. Correct me if I’m wrong.
The PRAM aka parameter RAM stores similar information, not necessarily all, found in the NVRAM that just the current date/time. There are instances when a user is unable to reset the NVRAM using Command+Option+P+R due to a non-responsive system or the system not recognizing the NVRAM reset key combination at boot. Removing the PRAM battery while the power cable is disconnected resolves issues with the resetting of the NVRAM.

There are other instances when the system gets stuck while booting on a blank grey screen. From my experience troubleshooting issues with my mac pros, the only way I found to resolve this was to remove then reinsert the PRAM battery followed by a NVRAM reset.
 

tsialex

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The PRAM aka parameter RAM stores similar information, not necessarily all, found in the NVRAM that just the current date/time. There are instances when a user is unable to reset the NVRAM using Command+Option+P+R due to a non-responsive system or the system not recognizing the NVRAM reset key combination at boot. Removing the PRAM battery while the power cable is disconnected resolves issues with the resetting of the NVRAM.

There are other instances when the system gets stuck while booting on a blank grey screen. From my experience troubleshooting issues with my mac pros, the only way I found to resolve this was to remove then reinsert the PRAM battery followed by a NVRAM reset.
If I'm not wrong, post 2007/2008 no Macs have PRAM.

Mac Pro 4,1/5,1 don't have it, only NVRAM and is totally useless removing the battery to any NVRAM reset.
 
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W1SS

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If I'm not wrong, post 2007/2008 no Macs have PRAM.

Mac Pro 4,1/5,1 don't have it, only NVRAM and is totally useless removing the battery to any NVRAM reset.
There's a lot of confusion about what the PRAM holds/stores on intel-based mac pros. Many refer to the battery as the 'clock battery' when in fact it is used to provide power to a small amount of memory which contains certain system settings including the system clock.

I have not seen any official documents from Apple stating that it only stores the current clock/date settings. A quick search on this forum and the internet reveals that replacing or removing then reinserting the battery (I typically wait a minute before reinserting the battery) resolves unexplained issues with apple computers, including mac pros.
 

tsialex

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There's a lot of confusion about what the PRAM holds/stores on intel-based mac pros. Many refer to the battery as the 'clock battery' when in fact it is used to provide power to a small amount of memory which contains certain system settings including the system clock.

I have not seen any official documents from Apple stating that it only stores the current clock/date settings. A quick search on this forum and the internet reveals that replacing or removing then reinserting the battery (I typically wait a minute before reinserting the battery) resolves unexplained issues with apple computers, including mac pros.
This is a old thing that stopped around 2008. Mac Pro 4,1/5,1/6,1 don't have any SRAM on the backplane, everything is stored into the SPI flash.
 
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W1SS

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This is a old thing that stopped around 2008. Mac Pro 4,1/5,1/6,1 don't have any SRAM on the backplane, everything is stored into the SPI flash.
Please check the technician manual pages 32,33,42,53,77 of the cMP 2010 - Resetting the RTC aka clock battery can help with:

1. Resolving boot issues
2. Resolving unexpected behaviors
3. Addressing video symptoms
4. Non-operational system
5. Power but no boot
6. Hard Drive/SSD Not Recognized/Not Mounting/Drive No Boot
 

tsialex

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Please check the technician manual pages 32,33,42,53,77 of the cMP 2010 - Resetting the RTC aka clock battery can help with:

1. Resolving boot issues
2. Resolving unexpected behaviors
3. Addressing video symptoms
4. Non-operational system
5. Power but no boot
6. Hard Drive/SSD Not Recognized/Not Mounting/Drive No Boot
The clock chip has if I'm not wrong 48bytes 56bytes of space. If I remember the documentation correctly, it's the time and a counter of time passed since boot. I'll have to check if it have anything besides this.

Everything else is stored into the streams of the NVRAM volume.
[doublepost=1542361459][/doublepost]Btw, the clock chip can be accessed by i2c. When I'll have the LPC/SPI breakout working, I'll sniff/dump it.
 
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h9826790

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Sure it isn't bricked. Otherwise, you can't even see the loading bar.

It sounds like your son just accidentally killed the OS.

Since you have a HS USB installer on hand. All you need to do should be

0) Shut down

1) install a SATA drive (can be SSD, however, expect all data will be completely destroyed)

2) with a know good GPU (that HD4870 is good)

3) Hold option to boot

4) select HS installer

5) open disk utility

6) select the SATA drive (NOT the partition, but the drive, you may need to select "show all devices" on the top left)
Screenshot 2018-11-17 at 02.16.09.png


7) Erase it (as per the following parameter, except you can name it to whatever you want)
Screenshot 2018-11-17 at 02.18.49.png


8) install HS to this newly erased drive