[help] 2008 Mac Pro (8-core) problems with USB

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by GermanCorbs, Nov 6, 2016.

  1. GermanCorbs macrumors newbie

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    Nov 6, 2016
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I recently picked up a 2008 Mac Pro, and I'm having some problems with USB storage devices.


    When I connect a USB, the Mac will show it in Finder, on the desktop, and in Disk Utility. If I try to open/browse the device the computer freezes, and the USB gets ejected with a message stating that it was improperly ejected. Then, it no longer shows up in Finder or Disk Utility, but it shows up under System Information. The only way to get it to show back up in Finder and Disk Utility is to force quit the "fsck" activity that shows up under task manager, or to plug it into a different computer (I've been using a Windows 10 tablet) and running a disk repair. And the cycle repeats...

    The devices worked well on my 2007 iMac and my 2012 MBP Retina, so I couldn't imagine it being an issue with compatibility. I've tried opening them in Windows 10 in Bootcamp, pretty much the same thing happens. It shows up, but I can't browse the device. The only difference is that after it crashes, all lights on the USB turn off like it lost power. I've tried an external HDD that has a power source and I'm getting the same issues.

    Things that I've noticed: If there are no files on the USB device, I can browse it, but the crashing issue happens after adding at least 1gb of files.

    The USB devices:
    1.) 8gb SanDisk (exFAT);
    2.) LaCie Porsche Design 1Tb external HDD;
    3.) Western Digital 640gb HDD in an external HDD enclosure.



    My system:

    2008 Mac Pro, 2x Quad Core Xeon processor, 10gb DDR2 667Mhz RAM (I have a couple sticks bringing down the speed), PNY GeForce GT 710 graphic card (confirmed this is not the cause), and I'm running Mac OS 10.11.6.

    I've reset the SMC and the NVRAM, but those didn't have an impact.


    Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks in advanced!
     
  2. ColdCase, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #2
    I assumed you've tried all the USB ports? Tried different cables?

    Did you do a clean OS install?

    Do you have access to a USB PCI cards you could borrow?

    When I've had similar issues, it typically was the firmware of the drive enclosure not being fully spec compliant, which may effect one mac more than another.

    I have dozens of USB devices connected to my 2008 Mac Pro without issues.
     
  3. GermanCorbs, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

    GermanCorbs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Yeah, I've done a clean OS install, I've tried a PCI card, and I've tried all of the USB ports (front and back). As for the different cables: I've used different devices... unless you're talking about cables inside the actual machine.

    I've also formatted the storage devices on the Mac Pro.
     
  4. ColdCase, Nov 6, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Dunno, hope someone jumps in to help. The common denominator seems to be the mother board, its just about the only thing left. Is there an Apple HW test that can be run? Try turning wireless off and disconnecting ethernet and any devices besides the KB, mouse, USB device...... have you tried a different KB and mouse?..... something may be causing errors on the usb bus that only affect higher data rate stuff like drives. Do you have any firewire drives to try? is there anything in the environment that could be causing interference, like bluetooth devices? Any grounding issues or sneak paths?

    Good luck, hope you resolve it.
     
  5. rthpjm macrumors 6502

    rthpjm

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    #5
    You say you have 10gb of RAM. Are any of those RAM sticks lower capacity than 2GB? For example, do you have any of the original 512MB RAM cards?

    El Capitan is very sensitive to RAM. My experience is from the original MacPros (1,1 and 2,1), but from here we know that El Capitan does not like the 512mb cards at all. If you have some installed, try removing them completely and see if that helps with your USB issue. It's a long shot, but worth trying....
     
  6. GermanCorbs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6

    I have a 2gb RAM stick and 2x 4gb sticks
     
  7. orph macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    are any of the usb devices your trying to use only powered by the usb cable?
    sounds like usb powered drives not getting sufficient power over the usb cable i used to have to use a double headed usb cable to power an external drive.

    you can test if the usb ports actually work by plugging in your mouse and see if it works if yes the port works
     
  8. kucharsk macrumors regular

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    May 31, 2016
    #8
    I had issues like that once until I reset the SMC:
    1. Shut down the Mac.
    2. Unplug the power cord.
    3. Wait 15 seconds.
    4. Plug the power cord back in.
    5. Wait 5 seconds, then press the power button to turn on the Mac.
     
  9. rthpjm macrumors 6502

    rthpjm

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    #9
    The MacPro requires that RAM be installed in matched pairs. You should not use a single RAM card. Try removing the 2GB card....

    The other option is as @orph mentions above. Do you have USB devices attached that may be drawing a lot of power? Try removing all attached USB devices (except the keyboard and mouse if they are USB)...
     
  10. orph macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    well maybe not that it's drawing a lot just might be that it wants more than the USB port can supply, not all USB ports can supply the same power output.
    if you need to use USB drives that require power a powered USB hub will work.
     
  11. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #11
    1. It's not a software or driver issue since he's done a clean install.
    2. It's not the motherboard since he has tried with a USB PCI-e card.
    Inadequate USB power is the last possible issue...
     
  12. orph macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    i think i had the problem with external usb powered drives on my 3.1.
    it's not hardware problem as his mouse and keybored work so usb ports are working
     
  13. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #13
    On the other hand, if his drives are externally powered, that would eliminate USB power as an issue...
     
  14. orph macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    yep may be bad drives?
    need more info

    might be worth installing osx10.9 or 10.10 on to a usb stick then booting from that, as osx10.11 is not supported on that macpro it may be something failed in the install?
     
  15. ColdCase, Nov 7, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #15
    I've had plenty of USB disk drive problems where the keyboard and mouse worked perfectly. Disks require a lot more link integrity and power. It uses a different stack than other USB devices.
     
  16. GermanCorbs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Thanks everyone for the input. I am going to try removing the 2gb RAM card to see if that's creating an issue as rthpjm suggested.

    I'm also going to have to try downgrading to 10.9 or 10.10 as orph suggested.

    The LaCie Porsche Design 1Tb ext HDD and SanDisk 32gb USB are powered through the USB cables. I know the drives aren't bad because they work on every other computer. I've tried an externally powered external HDD as well with the same issue. My apple keyboard is USB powered and my mouse is BT. I've tried the keyboard in every slot, and I've hooked up USB powered Christmas lights... so that leads me to think that it's not an issue of whether or not the port was receiving enough power. That was my initial guess when I found out about the problem.
     
  17. orph macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    you can just install osx10.9 orosx10.10 on to a usb stick (if you have any that do work) or a drive partition then boot from that.
    id relay recommend that you back up any important data before a downgrade.
    (i
    i keep some USB sticks with OSX installed on which i can boot from if i ever have problems, also i keep backups of old installs of osx on internal drive partitions that are bootble incise i ever need them (osx10.8/10.9/10.10 backups) both can be useful for troubleshooting.

    im fairly shore that on my macpro 3.1 the USB ports where not able to power external drives, they may work for a short time then under any load just shut down (eject).
    i have a usb hub in my display (that is powered) so i used to use that to use external usb powered drives, an powered usb hub will work too (ie one with a mains plug)

    my macpro 5.1 seems to be able to power the usb drives so im gessing it's something that was updated.

    edit
    i used something like this on my 3.1, it has 2 heads on one end to get extra power
    [​IMG]
     
  18. GermanCorbs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I'll try installing 10.9 onto a drive. Right now, I can't get any USBs to function properly with this Mac. The 32gb SanDisk thumb drive is brand new. I opened it just a couple days ago. All of my drives work on various tablets and other computers. My externally powered external HDD (it's an internal hdd in an internal enclosure with a power adapter) isn't making a difference.

    I'm going to try an older version of Mac OS first to see if it might be a problem with the bootloader software. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try a powered USB hub... I just don't want to spend more money and have to return it if a free option fixes the problem.
     
  19. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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  20. GermanCorbs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    I'm not using one, but I didn't know if Mac OS had a bootloader that is creating an issue. I have the same USB issues with my Windows bootcamp (before I uninstalled that partition to make everything completely stock). It seems like this issue isn't necessarily kernel related as much as it might be hardware or at the boot stage before loading the kernel.
     
  21. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #21
    Some people have had their physical ports go bad. I would try a PCIe USB card. They are fairly inexpensive and can help with your troubleshooting to narrow down the problem. And it's not a waste of money because even if you fix the problem, with the card you end up with extra USB ports which are typically handy to have, and an upgrade to USB 3.0 speeds too.
     
  22. GermanCorbs thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22

    ActionableMango, I've already tried a PCIe card.
     
  23. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #23
    My apologies, I missed your second post.

    I'm at a bit of a loss here. I suspected power, like others, but you say even a thumbdrive won't work. I suspected bad USB ports, but you've tried a PCIe card. I suspected corrupted software, but you've tried a fresh install. It also sounds like you've tried many different drives, cables, and they all work on other computers.

    The only thing left I can think of is that El Capitan is well known to be particularly problematic with USB issues. And these issues do not exist in 10.10 or 10.12. So all I can suggest now is to try a different OS like 10.10 or even a drastically different OS like Windows or Linux. With Linux you can burn a "linux live" disc that lets you run from a DVD without having to install it to a hard drive.

    Good luck!
     
  24. rthpjm, Nov 8, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016

    rthpjm macrumors 6502

    rthpjm

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    #24
    I just searched for the various USB power specifications.
    Remember the MacPros of this era will have USB 1.1/2.0 which only delivers 5V up to 1.5A.
    It wasn't until mid2012 that he USB spec changed allowing 20V up to 5A

    It could still be a power draw issue

    Also open the Console app, look at the system log. Connect one of your devices, see if the log gives any indication if/when there is a disconnect event
     
  25. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #25
    Mac Pro 1,1 has USB 2. Also, he has issues with externally powered devices and has tried USB PCI-e card.
     

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