Help! Can't use my Mac Pro!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by les24preludes, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. les24preludes macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #1
    I have a Mac Pro 2006 1.1 with a 250Gb hard drive. This worked for a long while, then developed a fault and went really unstable. I think this is because the hard drive is nearly full. The operating system will load and if I'm lucky will do simple tasks before hanging, but almost anything I need to do causes it to hang. This includes transferring stuff to the bin and trying to empty the bin. So I haven't figured how to get this hard drive working.

    Alternatives:
    1. I tried to load Tiger from a DVD into both of a couple of extra 500Gb SATA hard drives I bought, and this loaded up to the final part when it asked for registration details, and that's where it hung. Tried all kinds of ids. and passwords - nothing worked. This was probably a DVD that came with my Mac Mini.
    2. I bought a new Snow Leopard installation disc from Apple. This loads half way into a 500Gb SATA and then stops. Tried this multiple times.

    I need a fix for this!!!! Otherwise I have a non-working MP and I'll have to buy another. This is frustrating, since it nearly works.

    Anybody know any smart fixes? Tiger was the nearest thing to installing but Apple don't do it anymore. It also strikes me that if I had another MP, I could put the original working hard drive in it and get rid of a lot of the files so it would maybe run properly again.

    Ideas???????
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    Try booting up in safe mode and then deleting or moving the files.
     
  3. les24preludes thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #3
    Safe mode doesn't seem to make much difference, but thanks for the idea. Could it be a hardware issue like memory or fan not working, or too much dust? If so how would I know? I tried clicking "About this Mac" but it hangs.
     
  4. machenryr macrumors regular

    machenryr

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    #4
    Why don't you buy a new larger hard drive and migrate? Or do a clean install and copy over data? Or use the new drive for OS and applications, migrate the apps and use the old drive for Data storage.

    Thus happened to me a couple of times. Read write sectors get corrupted or over written or something even when it seems as though there should be enough GB left.
     
  5. les24preludes thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #5
    Thanks for relying. I've actually done what you say, if you read my original post. I bought 2 larger hard drives and tried a clean install, but doesn't work with either Tiger or Snow Leopard. Right now I get very limited response from the original hard drive but it hangs very easily.

    Ideas?
     
  6. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #6
    I recently had a client bring in his Mac Pro 3,1 (2008) after he complained about severe stability issues . I tore down his Mac , cleaned all the dust out , especially from the Power Supply Unit , and re-thermal pasted both processors and the northbridge and southbridge controller chips . His Mac is like new again and passed a 12 hour stress test at load without issue . These older Macs require additional maintenance as they are staying in service long after Apple expected . I mean , think about it . A ten year old workstation still working as intended like from the first day of its life ... It's like expecting an Indy 500 race car to keep doing laps for years around the track without a mechanic's tender loving care :confused:
     
  7. les24preludes thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #7
    I'm a bit jealous about "tearing down the Mac"..... Looking at YT videos, they're pretty difficult to take apart.

    Would this explain why the Mac is so unstable? Is this connected or unconnected with why it won't load Snow Leopard in a clean install?

    Another thing - I see hard drives with El Capitan advertised for Mac Pro 1.1 and 1.2. Do these incorporate the fixes for running the EFI as 64 bit? Would that be a solution?
     
  8. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    If you can't get a fresh install of OS X onto a fresh drive, then obviously the computer's instability has nothing to do with existing software/settings nor your system drive being full/corrupted.

    There are many things that can cause this, but in my limited experience, this is more often due to bad RAM than anything else. You can check the RAM independent of OS X by using the bootable version of memtest86. It takes a while.

    You probably have ECC RAM and so the errors would be detected and logged, but there's no way to look at that if you can't even open About This Mac.

    There are certain components that will shut themselves down if they get too hot. I suppose it's possible that a broken fan could cause this. Just run the computer with the case open and observe all of the fans.

    Wouldn't hurt to blow out the dust. Don't use a vacuum cleaner unless it is meant for electronics.

    Do you have any unusual hardware installed?
     
  9. Machines, Mar 7, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016

    Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #9
    "If you can't get a fresh install of OS X onto a fresh drive, then obviously the computer's instability has nothing to do with existing software/settings nor your system drive being full/corrupted."

    But if his System is not stable , then it is a vain act to attempt an OS installation . He needs working hardware before he can worry about loading an OS . He already tried using more than one secondary storage device (HDD) . And that retail DVD copy of Snow should have been completely compatible with a Mac Pro 1,1 (2006) , especially if the disk is new and has not been scratched yet . There's an outside chance his Optical Drive has failed , but it is still a ten year old Mac full of dust and dried thermal paste (almost certainly) .

    The OP should tighten his belt (no need to spend money on another computer), grab a copy of the Service Source , a few tools and tear down the System . It is not that difficult , although it will take time . Once in pieces, clean everything with a compressor and re-thermal paste all chips that have a heatsink with Arctic MX-4 : both processors , both northbridge and southbridge chips and the video card as well .

    I have done this hundreds of times and almost always have a System that can now be sold to a client and operated at load conditions (once additionally hardware upgraded to make it more powerful and capable than its factory configuration .)
     
  10. les24preludes, Mar 8, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016

    les24preludes thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #10
    Well, I've spent days on this computer and nothing works. So looks like I have to bite the bullet and take it apart. This means sourcing all the tools first, getting the right paste, and to be smart, getting a better processor off ebay. That's a lot of stuff to get my head around. I'm not afraid of deconstructing a Mac Pro - I build audio electronics projects - but I would SO prefer to have a 4.1 single processor. Looks so much easier to work on.

    BUT - I just looked inside when booting up and there is a red light on the lower memory card, 03A3. Does this mean anything?
     
  11. les24preludes thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #11
    This is one sick machine. I bought 2 more memory risers and a couple of new 2Gb DIMMs. Played around a bit and eventually the red light went out. However, this has fixed nothing. Still can't load Snow Leopard on a fresh install - hangs half way through. Won't run the OS on the original hard drive either. I think it's going to be a new Mac Pro 4.1 single processor - I can get a decent deal on one. If I have that running I can at least work. Then in time I'll take the MP 1.1 apart and clean it. I'm wasting days looking at the screen showing me a sick computer. I should be working!!

    Thanks for your help everyone - I'm learning a lot about Mac Pros and getting a bit addicted......
     
  12. les24preludes thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    #12
    Moral of this story - listen to Machines where he says "tear down your old Mac".

    The problem was a massive amount of dust in the large heatsinks and elsewhere. My Mac repairman did the job and sent me some gruesome photos. As I get more familiar with Mac Pros I'm going to try cleaning a second 1.1 I bought very cheap as something to experiment on. My working knowledge of computers is small but growing thanks to this site, but I can and do build tube amps and have a small workshop. I also enjoy research and learning new things and have been reading posts here daily and making notes. I'm a bit afraid of getting addicted to Mac Pros. I now have two 1.1 and a 4.1 besides my Mac Mini...... I had to force myself not to buy a second 4.1 at a good ebay price. I only use 2 computers (one for Logic/Garageband) ...... Those Mac Pros are so pretty and it's so tempting to work on them. Slippery slope.
     
  13. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2015
    Location:
    Fox River Valley , Illinois
    #13
    I do the same thing with my clients . It freaks them out into doing proper maintenance . The first thing they do is add a filter to the front of their cMP .

    One of my clients in Chi-town designs and builds custom valve power amps for the audio industry . If you can handle that, you can work on a cMP .

    The addiction doesn't stop at one . I have a storage shed full of PowerMac G4s I will turn into classic gaming machines when I find some spare time , These are really beautiful Macs, iconic desktop computers, much like the cathedral radios from the 1920s .

    You'll find once these old Silver Beasts are rebuilt and properly maintained , they last forever and are capable of sustained load performance . No Mac Pro has been recalled yet (we've had some issues with video cards, though.) But nothing serious like motherboard caps leaking or metal whiskering . This is ten years after initial production, too .
     
  14. haralds macrumors 6502

    haralds

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    #14
    Remove the old drive during the installation. Do a Parameter RAM reset. You did not say, what current OS you were using.
     

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