Help! Unable to reset NVRAM on macpro 2009

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by krishnaM, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. krishnaM macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #1
    I was unable to choose the start up disk by pressing 'option' button at powering the 2009 macpro (osx Mavericks). Then I tried to reset the PRAM by pressing the command+option+P+R buttons after power but it just booted without resetting the PRAM. I tried after SMC reset but no success. I tried multiple times pressing the com+opt+P+R buttons (both before and after the startup chime, before the grey screen) but nothing changes. It is 6 yrs old. Could it be the PRAM battery? Of course no problem with time/date. I'll really appreciate if you can suggest any other ideas.

    Krishna
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    Delaware
    #2
    No, very often it's the keyboard that you use.
    Do you have a wired USB keyboard, and is it connected directly to a USB port on the back (and not through a USB hub, such as the USB port on an Apple USB keyboard.)
    If you are using a wireless keyboard, maybe you have a wired keyboard, or you could borrow one, just to test - If you can't get your normal keyboard to function at boot, be sure to try a different keyboard.

    The battery would not make any difference. The PRAM reset should function, even with no PRAM battery installed at all.
     
  3. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #3
    You can do the following at the command line:
    sudo nvram -c

    If you have an apple full-size, wired, slim aluminum keyboard from around 2009-2010, you may need to update its firmware. There is a bug preventing it from working early enough in the bootup process.

    If you have a wireless keyboard, try a wired USB keyboard. Sometimes the computer can boot faster than the wireless keyboard can negotiate a connection. And some aftermarket bluetooth dongles don't work during boot time at all.
     
  4. krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #4
    Thanks for quick replies. It is the wired Apple key board, bought along with cMP in 2009. How to reset the keyboard firmware?
     
  5. krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #5
    It was working last year when I purchased the new SSD for startup disk.
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #6
    Try a different keyboard.
    If you don't have another Apple keyboard, most non-Apple keyboards will support the keyboard boot commands, especially the PRAM reset. Windows keyboard alternative for PRAM reset will be Win+Alt+p+r - if that's your only choice.
     
  7. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #7
    My apologies, there is no updated firmware, I got that confused with the wireless keyboard. I just did a Google search for the problem and there are a zillion complaints about it but Apple never did anything. You have to use a different keyboard. I had this problem with my 2010 wired aluminum keyboard too. It's disgraceful.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/1416944?start=0&tstart=0
    http://forum.maccast.com/index.php?...num-keyboard-will-not-recognize-boot-options/
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/key-presses-at-startup-dont-work.411805/

    But if you were able to select the boot drive at startup using the option key, then you don't have the problem. I was not able to use any startup key commands with the wired thin aluminum keyboard, but every other keyboard worked fine.
     
  8. krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
     
  9. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #9
    Type the command from post #3.
    Press enter. The sudo part of that command will ask for your admin password.
    Enter it, then press enter again. You will NOT see any characters when you enter your password (it's a security feature), so just type it, then press enter.
    You should get a command prompt back, and you are done with the terminal then.
     
  10. krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #10
    I can't select boot drive either using option key. That was the reason I decided to do the PRAM reset. Did you end up getting new keyboard? Apple or non Apple keyboard? It is funny because no other issues with my Apple keyboard till now. It is just stained and dirty after 6 yrs of daily use.
     
  11. krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #11
    Thanks. I'll give it a try and post you the result. How will I know that it did the reset?
     
  12. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #12
    Any wired keyboard should work, just not the slim wired Apple aluminum keyboard from that era. Most wireless keyboards will work too.

    Yes I got a different keyboard. This is what I use now:
    http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/wireless-solar-keyboard-k750-mac

    It works fine for startup key commands. I wouldn't recommend it though, unless you are okay with solar and you have plenty of light where your computer is.
     
  13. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #13
    Try the command.
    It doesn't matter if you see (or don't see) any result. The important question is: Does it fix your issue?
     
  14. krishnaM, Nov 10, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2015

    krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #14
    I used the command line and this is what I got in reply:

    sudo: unable to stat /etc/sudoers: Permission denied
    sudo: no valid sudoers sources found, quitting
    krishnavadispro:~ krishna$

    I logged on to my wife's account (with adm privileges) and repeated the procedure but same result.

    Houston we have a problem here :(
     
  15. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #15
    Wait - what?
    Is YOUR account an admin account. If it is a standard account, then you can't use sudo anyway.
    That doesn't explain why your wife's admin account won't let the command run.
    Maybe something here can help https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3680870

    I'm pretty sure I would just grab the Mavericks installer, boot to that, and reinstall the system.
    I suspect that will be your fix. An OS X reinstall does not cause you to lose anything that you have on the your hard drive now, just reinstalls the system in place. It will fix up odd file ownership/permissions issues (which I think may be your main issue.) You could try a normal permissions repair with Disk Utility, but I suspect that won't fix your issue.
     
  16. krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #16
    My account is the 'admin account'. My wife has the admin privileges. I tried on her account as for what ever reason it is not recognizing me.
    I have the Mavericks installer on a USB key as well as saved on one of the mac pro drive. Do I have to boot up from the USB key to reinstall Mavericks? That will be a problem as I cannot switch boot drive. It should work only if I can launch the program from a 'non start up drive'.
     
  17. krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #17
    Can I fix the start up disk problem if I download the Mavericks installer on the same drive (i mean start up drive)?
     
  18. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #18
    Do what DeltaMac mentioned in one of his posts and get a different keyboard. Anything, even a Windows keyboard will work (the Win button is the equivalent of the Command key). You could also try connecting THIS keyboard to another computer and see if it works well.
     
  19. krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    Can a new keyboard fix the problem when command line app couldn't?
     
  20. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #20
    Just do it, we'll see. Always better to try than asking "is it going to do anything".
     
  21. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #21
    You can choose your bootable USB OS X installer from your Startup Disk pref pane. Then, restarting SHOULD go by default to the OS X installer, assuming it is bootable.

    As has been mentioned several times - at least part of this may be fixed with a good keyboard. I urge you to try a different keyboard. Doesn't need to be an Apple keyboard (usually), particularly when all you need is a keyboard long enough to test the Option-boot screen, but your best test will be with a wired USB keyboard.
     
  22. krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #22
    You are right. I am going to get another keyboard tomorrow. DeltaMac's suggestion was to fix the startup drive using Mavericks installer.
     
  23. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    New York City, NY
    #23
    Very weird. There has been several reports of people experiencing PRAM issues recently. Fl0r!an also experienced something very similar. He documented the things he tried in THIS THREAD.
     
  24. krishnaM thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2014
    #24
    That was an interesting thread. Do you think my problem is same/similar? How to check the battery is working properly? As I mentioned earlier, I have never used command line app before. Should I take it Apple store for Genius help?
     
  25. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #25
    I don't know of anyway to check the battery. The few times I suspected it needed replacing, I just went ahead and replaced it. If you are unable to resolve this issue, you should definitely take it to a Genius Bar. There are quite a few settings that are stored in NVRAM and having it non-functional will be a pain.
     

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