Flashed 4,1 no longer booting into Windows..ideas please!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by StuAff, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. StuAff macrumors regular

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #1
    Up until the holidays, my early 2009 MP (flashed to 5,1 firmware) also doubled up as a very capable Windows machine, particularly once I got the RX 580 card in. Wolfenstein 2 demo ran very very nicely indeed, and I was going to be gaming a lot more in Boot Camp. The only slight issue was booting from HD, and speed thereof. Like wading through treacle, or molasses for the leftpondians. So, I got a new Crucial MX300 SSD in the sales, put that as new HS boot drive on the PCIe card, putting the existing SSD in a drive bay. I copied my (stable, working…at least before this!) Win10 install from the HD with Winclone (& then erased that HD so there would be no confusion). And…nothing. Whether picking the Windows option from the boot manager, the Startup Disk preference, or BootChamp (yes, SIP is disabled…I did the kext edit hack to get 10.13.2 sleeping OK again with the RX 580, so it has to be)…nothing. It just hangs at the boot menu if I select Windows that way, or with the plain white screen right after boot (at least with monitor plugged into the GT 120) otherwise. Nor will it boot from a Win10 install DVD, Win10 boot USB, or even my retail 8.1 DVD. They just hang the same way.
    What I've tried, with both the SSD and the HD…
    (Multiple) reinstalls via Winclone of Win10 & 8.1 images.
    (Multiple) erases & reformats of the Windows discs via both the Boot Camp Assistant and Disk Utility. Clean install wouldn't work because of the DVDs and USB not working.
    Partition table checked (multiple times) with GPT fdisk.
    'Make Legacy Bootable' option applied successfully, repeatedly, with Winclone. EFI didn't work either, at risk of stating the obvious.
    Moving the drives around the various bays (it was worth a try)
    Pulling out and reseating the processor tray (I really did try and think of everything)
    Two PRAM resets.
    I wasn't convinced Apple's method of resetting the SMC actually did anything- I tried it a few times and the lack of confirmatory chimes doesn't help- so today I pulled the RX 580 out and held the SMC reset button on the motherboard down. No dice.

    Zero issues booting into any of the other options (my primary SSD, the HD where my files live, Recovery or Time Machine). Parallels trial version SNAFUd the Boot Camp drive installing its tools, but VMware Fusion did not. And that way, via Fusion, Windows 10 boots just fine. Go figure.

    This is annoying rather than exasperating- Windows is a 'nice to have' not essential for me, and it did at least stop me spending some money in the Steam sale- but I can get Windows booting working again that would be great. However, I'm out of ideas......
     
  2. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2017
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    Tanagra
    #2
    So you've tried to reinstall Windows via Bootcamp? You are pulling all other hard drives when you reboot to start the Windows installation, correct?
     
  3. wonderspark macrumors 68040

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    I have a Win10 SSD in one of my four slots that I occasionally boot into, and mine has been acting up since around the same time... just after the holidays.

    What I've found is that I just have to keep trying to boot it, sometimes up to four times. It will say "repairing", "diagnosing PC", boot into the troubleshooting blue screen, etc., and then usually after that, it boots into Windows 10 fine. I just keep at it until it works, and so far, it eventually gets there. (Just jinxed myself, certainly.)

    I'm using a 4,1 -> 5,1, with an MVC 980 Ti as well as an Areca RAID card with two attached RAID boxes, and I don't pull out any of the Mac drives prior to booting into Windows. When I boot, I usually just restart, but sometimes shut down first, and then I choose Windows by holding the Option key after the chime.

    It USED to just boot in perfectly every time, but once prior to the holidays, it seemed to be screwed like yours, so I did a complete reinstall. Then it was fine a few more weeks without issue. Then this Christmas, it started taking multiple boots to get up and running.

    My first install was 0% using Bootcamp. Just pulled all drives but one, and did the install via DVD that I made using the Microsoft installer tool online. That one worked amazing for a while, until something went wrong and it never booted up anymore. I assumed it was because I was using Paragon HFS+. Second install, I did something or other with Bootcamp, but it was probably not right. I seem to recall that I installed Bootcamp AFTER doing the same install as the first time without it, and now I have a Bootcamp icon down on the taskbar in Windows... though I haven't used it once.

    I'm sure that if I pull every drive but the Windows one, it would boot right away the first time, but I don't feel like pulling all my drives out of the ODD bay and HDD bays for that, so I just suffer through multiple boots for now. Maybe I'll try and fix it later when I'm not so busy.

    Also, I just noticed that in the System Preferences under Paragon NTFS, I can select BOOTCAMP or System Reseved as choices for 'Set as startup', so maybe I'll try that once. However, I hope that doesn't make that the default startup, because I like how right now, it boots to OS X without touching anything. Might be worth trying it out.
     
  4. StuAff thread starter macrumors regular

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #4
    Yup, tried that- pulled everything except the SSDs. Still no dice.
     
  5. CrazyNurse macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #5
    Gosh, I wish I had written down all the steps I did to finally get Win10 loaded last year. Such a PITA. But pulling all the other hard dives during the install seems to ring a bell.
     
  6. murnau macrumors regular

    murnau

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #6
    Use the left drive bay, put inside the HD or the SSD.
    Use the dvd of windows 7 or later for instance. The SSD/HDD must be formated in FAT32 before install. You will format it later during the install in NTFS...
    That should work.
    Otherwise if you have access to windows elsewhere, make a bootable USB install key and it will be recognized by the 4.1.
     
  7. StuAff thread starter macrumors regular

    StuAff

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    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #7
    Tried all that I'm afraid. None of it worked.
     
  8. devon807 macrumors 6502

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #8
    Did you try installing again without the RX 580?
     
  9. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #9
    I can't speak to winclone and all that. But no matter how borked up your existing installs are, you should be able to do a clean install from a bootable Win 10 Install DVD onto an SSD.

    So what does "not working" mean, exactly? What happens?
     
  10. StuAff thread starter macrumors regular

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #10
    As per my original post, they just hang at the white pre-boot screen. This is whether I've held down the C key, selected the drive in Startup Disk, the boot manager…no Windows drive on any media (HD, SSD, DVD or USB) I have works. DVDs are original Win 8.1 retail & Win 10 burnt from ISO. Fusion can start up the Boot Camp partition just fine though…
     
  11. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #11
    Can you boot from a DVD with all HDDs and SSDs removed? Literally just the optical drive installed as the only drive.

    The DVD should be known to be bootable by testing it on another computer.
     
  12. haralds macrumors 6502a

    haralds

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    #12
    Odd. Something about the disk structure is not what the Mac EFi is expecting to go into BIOS emulation mode. I have had good luck with WinClone, but have found that EFI mode has not worked reliably. Other people have reported more success with that.

    If you have the Win partition on the same disk as the boot partition, matters can get complicated with High Sierra, since it adds the APFS container. The Windows partition must be primary and there cannot be more than 4. But this is not the case in this case, since you are booting from a disk that only has Windows. This is similar to my configuration on my 5,1, there I have 1TB SSD for Windows 10 and a second just for Windows games storage. They are controlled by a Faster card.

    I would clear the disk of any containers and formatting and format with FAT32 but use GUID (Mac standard) partitioning. Then I have found the safest approach is to configure the disk in a primary slot using BootCamp Assistant. If will leave GUID but with MBR emulation. After that I do not boot into the installation, but use WinClone instead to copy the original disk and set it to BIOS boot (e.g. Not EFI Bootable.)

    My suspicion is that the disk is not partitioned in GUID format. MBR disks should work, but might not.

    BTW, one of the annoyances of Windows partitions not on the primary disk is that the mount order and disk assignment of the other disks changes, which messes with trying to boot these in VMware. I ended up setting up a startup script that looks at the actual mount table and patches the BootCamp Vmware configuration - a bit of a PITA.
     
  13. StuAff thread starter macrumors regular

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #13
    The DVDs were both bootable- it's how I got first 8.1 and then 10 installed. The SSD is in Bay 1. The boot SSD is on PCIe card, so BCA & the Windows installer (when it's worked in the past) both ignore it. I checked the partitioning scheme, multiple times, with GPT fdisk & Disk Utility, and it was as it should be. I've always (since 2006) kept Windows on its own disk, never used partitioning on any other drive.
     
  14. murnau macrumors regular

    murnau

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #14
    Hi again.
    Could you boot from the install DVD or not at all?
    If yes, try to format the SSD first in FAT32 format and boot from DVD and install, it WILL work.
    If no, look for another version of the Windows install disk, burn it and try again.
    The GPU should be mac genuine.
     
  15. StuAff thread starter macrumors regular

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #15
    No, as stated in the first post, no Windows disk I have on any format will boot, including the DVDs. Not hard drives, not SSD, not USB. And yes, the DVDs used to work, I booted them to install 8.1 and 10 in the first place....
    Video cards are an Apple GT 120 & Radeon RX 580. Multiple Windows reinstalls since the 580 went in, without issues, at least until just after Christmas....
     
  16. murnau, Jan 16, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018

    murnau macrumors regular

    murnau

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #16
    Maybe the DVD player or the DVD dont work properly anymore.
    I would try with another DVD or another dvd player.
    USB does not work all the time, I dont know why.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 16, 2018 ---
    Hmm
    I am reading again. And I had this strange issue - I installed a partition of bootcamp with Win 7 on my main SSD with os X on it. I had before that a HDD with Win7 in the 1st bay. When I wanted to boot from the SSD with th SSD partition, I was able to do so ONLY when the HDD in the 1st bay was present...
    If I pulled it out, WIN7 on the SSD would just stop to work and hang on the black screen...

    I dont know if that has something to do with your issue...
     
  17. haralds macrumors 6502a

    haralds

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    #17
  18. orph macrumors 65816

    orph

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    you can just go to Microsoft site and stick in your windows SN to let you re download the disc image then re burn it to a DVD or stick it on a new USB stick, maybe your old media has corrupted.

    it helps if you have a windoz computer to test if it will boot at all but we dont all have that (i dont)

    if you cant get the installer to load even with new boot media say and ill chime in.

    or i think y can use VM ware to install? the os

    this is the uk link i think?
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10ISO

    >.< still on win 7 and not had to re download for ages so may have changed a bit
     
  19. StuAff thread starter macrumors regular

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #19
    DVDs are fine- thought they were, as they mounted on the MP fine, showed up in startup disk & boot manager. To double check, I've booted my old MacBook (early 2009) with the Win10 disc, no problem.
    Still no joy booting the MP with any of those discs.
     
  20. murnau macrumors regular

    murnau

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    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #20
    In your case I would install Win on a disk on another mac pro 4.1 and come back to put it in yours see if it boots.
     
  21. StuAff thread starter macrumors regular

    StuAff

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #21
    Haven't got access to another machine to try that. Given what I've tried, and that I know there is not a problem with either the DVDs or the Winclone images, I reckon it must (somehow) be a firmware issue....one that only affects Windows formatted discs.
     
  22. murnau macrumors regular

    murnau

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2017
    Location:
    Bulgaria
    #22
    Well, from what I read, yes, I think too this is somehow related to the NVRAM and WIN.
    That is why I told you what happened to me with the 2 windows disks...
    I dont know how to reset this NVRAM
     
  23. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #23
    If it's firmware issue, you should not able to boot into Windows right after your firmware update, not even with the original HDD.

    Your issue sounds very strange to me. I can see that you already tried everything. And the whole situation is not that logical. So, very hard to find out which part is the root cause. Let focus on the changes right between the "before and after".

    I read you post quite a few times. Start from your Mac working flawless with Windows installed on a HDD. So, you want a SSD. And then

    1) You get a new MX300, put that on a PCIe card.
    2) Connect the existing SSD to a native SATA 2 port.
    3) Install / recover HS onto the MX300
    4) Recover a Winclone image to the existing SSD
    5) erase the Windows on the HDD

    You only make these 5 changes, right? And then Windows stop working. Not with the existing SSD, not with the original HDD (I assume recovery from the same Winclone image), cannot boot from any Windows installation disc (or USB drive). But Parallel and VM Fusion actually able to boot a virtual machine from that "unbootable" existing SSD.

    If yes, lets focus on these 5 "changes" (If no, what else I missed)

    1) Is this PCIe card always there?
    1.1) If yes, then this should not be the issue
    1.2) If no, then did you try to remove this card?
    2) Did you install your Windows in EFI mode or legacy mode?
    2.1) If EFI, sorry, I can't help. I have zero experience on this issue. But may be you didn't successfully restore an EFI windows to a hard drive.
    2.2) If legacy, did you try haralds's suggestion? I also found that use Bootcamp assistance is the most reliable way to to "prepare the drive" in legacy mode.
    2.3) Of course, no matter which mode, it should not stop to boot from the installation material. So, I don't think this is the root cause.
    2.4) AFAIK, that "make Legacy / EFI boot" option in Winclone won't really change the Windows mode. It's more like the PC's BIOS setting. e.g. If you convert a legacy into EFI mode after installation (e.g. via the mbr2gpt tool), then you may use this tool to "set EFI boot". In general, this option can't fix anything.
    3) Did you try remove all PCIe cards and hard drives, except GPU, and the existing SSD? Can you boot Windows / or installation disc in this config?

    The whole situation looks complicated to me. TBH, I hope the PCIe card is newly installed. If yes, then may be it's the issue, relatively easy to isolate. But if no, then this may be a consequence of some combination factors. e.g. optical drives failure (or intermittent), so can't boot from DVD + USB boot drive won't work reliable on cMP (this is very common indeed) + Windows boot mode doesn't match the SSD format... therefore, end up you can't boot into Windows (or its installation material) at all.
     
  24. murnau macrumors regular

    murnau

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    Oct 21, 2017
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    Bulgaria
    #24
    When in OS x, does the DVD player read the Windows install disk?
     
  25. StuAff thread starter macrumors regular

    StuAff

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Portsmouth, UK
    #25
    The DVD mounts, appears in Startup Disk & boot manager.
     

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