Help With Mac Pro Strange Startup Problems

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fifthmanstandin, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. fifthmanstandin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #1
    The computer in question is a Mac Pro Quad Core 2.66 ghz, early 2008 model.

    A friend of mine brings over his mac pro today, says he's exhausted all the help he can find on Google, doesn't know what the problem is. I say ok lets take a look. Get everything plugged in and it does something I've never seen before, I'll be as clear as I can:

    You hit the power button, hear the fans whirr, mac goes 'boom' logon noise. shows the grey/white screen with the apple logo, does the grey spinning circle for about 45 seconds, flashes the usual blue screen....at this point it goes white. The mouse appears in the upper left corner of the screen. There is nothing going on. The mouse is moveable but nothing happens. I've re-booted this thing about 50 times and the only variation is that sometimes the mouse arrow will stay in the corner and if you pull the mouse away from that corner, the arrow will replicate itself and scroll around like a normal mouse while still leaving an unmoving mouse pointer in the same spot in the corner. Sometimes it will turn into the color spin wheel.


    I thought 'ok this must be the hard drive'. I popped his hard drive out, popped it into mine. Booted just fine. Went off without a hitch.

    I thought 'ok this must be RAM'. I pulled both of his riser cards, popped out all of his ram, popped in a pair of mine, rebooted. Same problem.

    Then I thought maybe it was a problem with the SATA connector to the hard drive so I switched it over to the unused 3rd HD slot....same problem.

    Things of note:
    -It is keyboard responsive when sitting in that white screen, I can eject CD's all day.
    -If you boot and hold alt, it will display the snow leopard install cd in the tray as well as the plugged in HD without any problem. If however, you decide to click the snow leopard dvd to boot from it will do the same thing as if you'd booted normally. So no dice there.
    -It will boot into single user mode with no problem.
    -It will will boot into safe mode with no problem.


    I really don't want to tell my friend that he has to buy a new logic board. IS there anything else this could be or anything else I should rule out first?
     
  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
  3. fifthmanstandin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #3
    I attempted to plugin my graphics card to his comp but was unsuccesfuly as mine is the following year's Nvidia model that requires an external power plugin and his power supply does not have one. So no dice there. Just for kicks I did plugin his card to my computer and nothing happened. Just white load screen. Is there any other way to tell if it is the graphics card?
     
  4. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #4
    This is enough. To be 200% sure, put your card in his MP (even without additional power cable, which BTW, goes from logic board to the card, not directly from PSU - so it's removable OFC, see pic where it's connected: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=9228104&postcount=2).
    Most of Nvidia cards could work without additional power, only there will be no 3D acceleration, and you'll get a message about it after OS will load.
     
  5. fifthmanstandin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #5
    How bout that. Never did bother to check that cable before, always thought it was PSU connected. Neat. Thanks. Ok so:

    -plugged my card into his MP, went the extra mile and plugged it up with the power cable. No dice. Black screen, nothing happening. I can hear the hard drive doing it's thing but even still, can't see anything

    -plugged his card into my MP. Same deal. Black screen, I hear the hard drive doing stuff but no dice.

    -in the interest of science, I plugged both of our cards into mine, just to see if it would read. I've got the following showing for his card, which I thought was odd being that it was a stock mac graphic card:

    http://i.imgur.com/bmyMn.png

    as you can see it's not reading the card like it should. Dunno if that's an indication of anything or if I'm an idiot and plugged it in wrong or something but I thought it was noteworthy at least.

    Any ideas?
     
  6. Wally4000 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
  7. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #7
    I'd bet on graphics card anyways, because symptoms are clear:
    - MP stays on white screen and you see graphics corruption (this "arrow thing")
    - it will boot in safe mode or single user mode - there is only basic driver loaded

    One more question: his MP is 2.66 Quad Core (i.e. 2x Dual Core - aka MP 1.1 or 2006 or "original MP"), correct? And your?

    From screenshot, his card is 7300GT, which was stock card for MP 1.1
    If your MP sees it like this, card is dead or you have MP 3.1. In this second case, graphics cards are incompatible between those models (only ATI cards will work in both).

    You can boot his MP without graphics card and access it remotely (VNC, SSH). Or just wait some time to OS fully load and try increasing/decreasing volume from keyboard. If you'll hear sound, you'd know that everything is working except video.

    You also can try baking this card in oven -> google "baking 8800GT" - procedure is the same for 7300 and some people resurrected their dead cards this way.
     
  8. krayon808 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    #8
    Im having the same problem. fifthmanstandin, did you ever find the problem? i did very thing you did. but took it a step further.

    - i troubleshooted the cpu ( found that cpu 1 slot was bad)
    - replaced the logic board and still same problem..

    my brain is going to explode !!!!
     
  9. fifthmanstandin thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #9
    Just in case anyone sees there, apparently there was some form of firmware issue during the install of the newest system update from apple (back when this update was made available) during the reboot process something went haywire. We took it to a programmer friend of ours and through some form of witchcraft and programming he fixed it by resetting the firmware (?) bios (?) whatever it was to factory. It was very involved.
     
  10. leon771 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    Location:
    Australia

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