Help! MP 4.1 booting problem

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
So I've had my 4.1 for more than a year now, ran without issues the whole time (I'm the second owner). I haven't turned it on for two days or so and when I did this morning, my system couldn't boot up.

I hear chime, my display switches on after a while and I only see white screen - there is no circular loading symbol, no apple logo, nothing.

So I tried pulling off all drives. Same result. I tried pulling of all RAM - logically without any stick, I won't even hear chime (only blinking power button).

Then I tried putting one stick in each slot (I have four 8GB sticks, regular DDR3), I did this with two sticks but it would always get stuck on the white screen.

Sometimes red light on mobo flashed quickly after pressing power button, I think it happened when I put single stick in slot 2.

I pulled out the original two gig sticks and tried two of those but still nothing happened. Of course I had only my display plugged in. Also the computer draws power from CyberPower UPS but that shouldn't be problem.

I never had any issues and frankly I'm quite concerned it's mobo problem or something. The only "weird" thing this computer had was everytime the display would turn off - either from sleep or when booting, it would take like 5-7 seconds to display anything (I use it with regular DVI display), sometimes the colors were pink-ish for like second and then everything would go back to normal. I wish I had spare GPU to test with but I don't. Mine is ATI Radeon HD5870 (1 gig version).

This computer had power supply exchanged in the past. Unfortunately this 4.1 ran out of warranty few months ago. When I try holding option (ALT) key when booting up, it does nothing.

Any help would be appreciated. (Don't worry guys I have my backup of my important stuff).

P.S.: I also noticed when I let my stuff plugged in - logitech webcam and Onyx audio interface, their LEDs were on. Sort of like stucked, normally they just light up and then stop. I also tried reseating CPU board.

P.P.S.: I tried holding option-command-p-r for PRAM reset, it seems it responds to this command but unfortunately does nothing.

P.P.P.S: If I leave the computer on nothing happens, only fans kick in after a while which is weird but probably related to this problem.
 
Last edited:

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,624
219
Poland
It's most likely the video card. If you have another Mac with firewire, remove the card and boot off of MP's OS drive in target disk mode. Set up screen sharing then access MP remotely from this second Mac. If it will work, you have the answer. Sometimes "not-completely-dead" video card is able to run in safe mode. You can try this as well.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
i have logmein enabled so at least there is that. i justhope its only GPU
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
well I put out the GPU from my Mac Pro. I turned it on after that hoping that I could log in using LogMeIn but nothing (I'm still not sure if I need to be logged in for that to work).

However I tried plugging the keyboard in and hitting the eject button - DVD drive does not eject even though I think it should work.

I will have the FireWire cable on me tomorrow so I will try to put it in target mode and hope that it will let me do anything and I'll try to turn on screen sharing. I'm little doubtful as I think unplugging GPU did nothing.

edit: Also the computer shuts down immediately if I press the power buttton which is the same behaviour I had when GPU was in. I don't need to hold it to turn it off.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
It's most likely the video card. If you have another Mac with firewire, remove the card and boot off of MP's OS drive in target disk mode. Set up screen sharing then access MP remotely from this second Mac. If it will work, you have the answer. Sometimes "not-completely-dead" video card is able to run in safe mode. You can try this as well.
So I had the chance to test it more thoroughly. It seems like the graphic card does not have any influence on the problem.

I borrowed FireWire800 cable and connected the Mac Pro with my 2009 MBP, I connected them together and the I turned on my MP while holding "T" on the keyboard, the disk did not mount on my MBP. (I never did Target disk mode so it was my first time).

I tried reseating CPU board again and observed if everything is allright. Only "slight" thing I noticed was that one of the fins on CPU heatsink was sort of bend (it wasn't horizontal), I put a very small presure on it and fixed it. This did not however had any effect.

Honestly I'm getting a bit worried, I was pretty sure it was GPU but now I don't think it is. I'll probably take Mac Pro to Authorized Service centre so hopefully they'll figure out what's wrong.

Could this be motherboard battery issue?

Is it normal that I hear chime approximately 5-10 seconds after pushing the power button?
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
bumping this.

Lastly I tried single user (command+s) and safe (shift) mode today. Nothing seems to help. Seems like it's stuck before anything is initialized. Anyone has any idea what could be the problem?

I'll be taking it to service centre next monday but it'd be cool if anyone had any experience with common mobo issues on 4,1s. i'm kind of torn now, if it's mobo I'm not sure i'd replace it. i bought this computer to last me at least 3 years and now I'm kinda disappointed cause I got only one year out of it. I guess that's the risk of buying used tech out of warranty.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
Have you tried removing all connected peripherals? I once had an issue with USB peripherals pulling too much power causing long delays in booting.
Yes. It was actually the first thing I did when I noticed the LEDs on my webcam and soundcard were on and there was no booting.

As I wrote before - even when I disconnect every USB device, every SATA device and even GPU (see above), I still get nothing from the machine.

I'll know more in few weeks, next monday I'll have technicians look at it. The diagnostics shouldn't take more than few days I reckon.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
Also can anyone confirm if this is normal behaviour?

When pressing power button it takes 5 or so seconds to hear chime. Also, after pressing the button a red LED flashes briefly on CPU tray. This has been happening since I got the machine and there were no problems before.
 

handheldgames

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2009
1,768
1,022
Pacific NW, USA
Also can anyone confirm if this is normal behaviour?

When pressing power button it takes 5 or so seconds to hear chime. Also, after pressing the button a red LED flashes briefly on CPU tray. This has been happening since I got the machine and there were no problems before.
The light will flash in the CPU Tray. If it stay's on there is a problem with the ram.

TIP: Since you have the mac pro apart take the time to use a can of dust-off (outside of your house office to avoid a dust storm) on your MacPro internals. Be sure to take out the DVD drive assembly and blow out the power supply from front to back as well. A lot of dust can get caked in there over time. Don't forget the GPU fan and heat sync as well. A lot can get hidden behind the plastic. Spinning the fan with air excessively can damage the fan assembly.

Suggested Steps
1) reset the SMC as per Apple's instructions.
2) reset the PRAM as per Apple's instructions.
3) remove all hard disks except for your boot disk to eliminate any issues caused by a faulty device on the chain. Also remove unplug every USB, network, external port Except Display/Keyboard/Mouse.
4) If you have an alternate boot disk, place that one in your system to eliminate issues with your current OS.
5) boot holding [option] to display the selection of bootable devices.

Hopefully you will get to this point and it will eliminate a potential hardware failure.
 

donw35

macrumors regular
Jul 3, 2010
169
0
Los Angeles
had the same problems you are expereincing with a Mac Pro 1,1. It was the graphics card that caused the problem. if you are using Mavericks you can try a supported PC video card and see what happens.

I used a GT240 pc card and that with Mavericks solved the issues.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
The light will flash in the CPU Tray. If it stay's on there is a problem with the ram.

TIP: Since you have the mac pro apart take the time to use a can of dust-off (outside of your house office to avoid a dust storm) on your MacPro internals. Be sure to take out the DVD drive assembly and blow out the power supply from front to back as well. A lot of dust can get caked in there over time. Don't forget the GPU fan and heat sync as well. A lot can get hidden behind the plastic. Spinning the fan with air excessively can damage the fan assembly.

Suggested Steps
1) reset the SMC as per Apple's instructions.
2) reset the PRAM as per Apple's instructions.
3) remove all hard disks except for your boot disk to eliminate any issues caused by a faulty device on the chain. Also remove unplug every USB, network, external port Except Display/Keyboard/Mouse.
4) If you have an alternate boot disk, place that one in your system to eliminate issues with your current OS.
5) boot holding [option] to display the selection of bootable devices.

Hopefully you will get to this point and it will eliminate a potential hardware failure.
Yep it's on CPU board and it flashes briefly, then goes away. I thought it's normal just wasn't really sure up until now. I clean my CPU heatsink and GPU every few months but I ran out of pressurized air, I doubt it'd be dust causing it not to boot but I will try.

I consider myself knowledgeable about computers so I already tried all the steps:

1. Tried like 5x times. Didn't help.
2. PRAM reset is the only thing that computer responds to via keyboard. Did that twice, didn't work.
3. First thing I did was to unplug everything except keyboard. Then of course I proceeded to remove disks, RAM etc (see above). I have been troubleshooting the problem for past few days using only SSD with my OS. I even tried booting with no disks and keyboard plugged in. Didn't help.
4. I have bootable CCC volume on one of the drives. However it is no good since holding option (ALT) does nothing. Remember, the computer is stuck in the phase, when there is no logo, nothing. Just that weird white/greyish color.
5. Does not work (see above).

I even tried resetting the battery (switch next to battery). All it did was that the delay between chime was longer (maybe 20 seconds) than usual.

This does not look good...

EDIT: Thanks to everyone for advice. Even though I (think) depleted all the options I can do in my simple home, communicating keeps me in good spirits.

----------

had the same problems you are expereincing with a Mac Pro 1,1. It was the graphics card that caused the problem. if you are using Mavericks you can try a supported PC video card and see what happens.

I used a GT240 pc card and that with Mavericks solved the issues.
That's what I thought at first, a member even suggested it (see at the top) but I am not so sure about it. You see, I tried booting without GPU in hopes I could reach it via network.

Unfortunately it didn't show up in Finder's sidebar on my MBP. I also tried LogMeIn that is set up with it, no luck - indicating that it doesn't go past the "white" screen.

What's worse, I've already tried target disk mode with my firewire cable when the GPU was out of MP - no luck mounting the drive. So I'm lost, can't imagine what other steps except bringing to repair I could make.
 

donw35

macrumors regular
Jul 3, 2010
169
0
Los Angeles
Mine did not boot either without the video card, I was given the same advice that you followed and it did not work. very same thing you are experiencing.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
Mine did not boot either without the video card, I was given the same advice that you followed and it did not work. very same thing you are experiencing.
I don't understand then. How could it be video card if the system did not boot without it? From what I understand it is perfectly fine to boot without GPU and running it headless.

Maybe I am missing something.
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
Help! MP 4.1 booting problem

Hi, replace the CMOS battery.
Will try this. I wanted to take out and put in again the one I have. I just wasnt sure how to do it and I was afraid I would break sth. Do I slide it out sideways or what? Is the CMOS battery standard 3V coin battery or do I need some special kind?

Edit: Will the battery from Apple remote do? I can check in the morning. Just asking...
 
Last edited:

Ironjer

macrumors regular
Jul 18, 2013
149
15
Will try this. I wanted to take out and put in again the one I have. I just wasnt sure how to do it and I was afraid I would break sth. Do I slide it out sideways or what? Is the CMOS battery standard 3V coin battery or do I need some special kind?

Edit: Will the battery from Apple remote do? I can check in the morning. Just asking...

BR or CR works. Yeah battery from Apple Remote will work. I have a CR working.

Note: put out the old battery with careful and quick.

Maybe a Credit Card or some Plastic Card helps.

Sorry my english is too bad. :)
 

1madman1

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2013
199
89
Richmond, BC, Canada
I've the EXACT same problem on my '09 as of about 3 hours ago. I've eliminated RAM, storage, and the graphics card as the source of the problem. The power supply is less than a month old. Replacing the PRAM battery has had no impact.

This is not good, I really hope Time Machine has been working properly....
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
BR or CR works. Yeah battery from Apple Remote will work. I have a CR working.

Note: put out the old battery with careful and quick.

Maybe a Credit Card or some Plastic Card helps.

Sorry my english is too bad. :)
So I switched the battery from my Apple remote and Mac Pro motherboard - didn't help.

----------

I've the EXACT same problem on my '09 as of about 3 hours ago. I've eliminated RAM, storage, and the graphics card as the source of the problem. The power supply is less than a month old. Replacing the PRAM battery has had no impact.

This is not good, I really hope Time Machine has been working properly....
Man I feel for you. Thankfully I have my critical data on several places. My machine had its power supply replaced just before I got it that means 15 months or so.

The battery had no impact as well. I did the RAM dance again just to be sure but nada. Also it did this weird thing. When I pushed RTC reset switch and also when I replaced the battery, Mac Pro powered up on its own without pushing the power switch. It happened as soon as I plugged in the power cord.

When I let the machine run for about two minutes I can hear the fans spinning up.
 

sunnyj

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2010
428
9
Vancouver, British Columbia
i also had the same booting issue with my mac pro1.1... i tried everything you did and as a last ditch effort, i installed a spare gpu and it booted up fine. do you have another gpu that you can test with?
 

comatory

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 10, 2012
736
0
i also had the same booting issue with my mac pro1.1... i tried everything you did and as a last ditch effort, i installed a spare gpu and it booted up fine. do you have another gpu that you can test with?

unfortunately no. i could buy one easily but i dont want to invest in it since im not 100 percent sure. i might get my hands on GT120 but we'll see


unfortunat
 

1madman1

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2013
199
89
Richmond, BC, Canada
i also had the same booting issue with my mac pro1.1... i tried everything you did and as a last ditch effort, i installed a spare gpu and it booted up fine. do you have another gpu that you can test with?
In my case I do have a spare. I've the original Apple 5870, and an EVGA GTX680 Mac Edition - same behavior happens with either card.
 

1madman1

macrumors regular
Oct 23, 2013
199
89
Richmond, BC, Canada
can you boot to the recovery partition?
No, it does not. I was able to get the system past the grey screen ONCE this morning, after which it attempted to load my Bootcamp install - which unfortunately didn't actually work since that drive was removed at the time. It stuck at the grey screen after that, even with the Bootcamp drive reinstalled.

Fortunately is looks like my Time Machine backups were working, I was able to get my work off via my ancient 2006 Mac Mini. Too bad it can't run the software to actually open it!
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.