Just got a free 2006 Pro

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 8, 2008
2,010
707
Tampa, Florida
I find myself in possession of a 2006 Mac Pro 2x2.66 that I got from my local computer recycler for free. The machine boots fine, the only issue with it is that no USB ports work. The recycler kept the RAM, but RAM for this big guy is cheap on eBay; my concern is the USB. I'd like to get the machine up and running to use as a fun experiment machine, but will simply slapping in a mac-compatible USB card work? I realize that it won't give me the ability to boot from USB, but I can live without that for now.

Much appreciated!
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,263
6,251
Any of the USB 3.0 cards in USB thread in my signature should work provided you meet the operating system requirement for the card (typically 10.8.2 or later).

If your installer is older than that, you're stuck. There won't be USB drivers, and so you won't be able to use keyboard/mouse to complete the installation.

The USB ports will not work during boot. That doesn't just mean that you won't be able to boot from USB drives, it also means you won't be able to do any keyboard/mouse controls at boot, like clearing NVRAM, selecting boot device, single user mode, verbose mode, etc.

There might be boot-capable USB 2.0 cards, but I don't know anything about that.
 

William_si

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2016
188
53
Croatia
Do you have a system with OSX and Firewire that you can use the Mac pro as target disk mode target? Attach, boot installer on other Mac, install to Pro HDD via FW (shows up as normal HDD), patch some files (for newer OS), done.

I installed Mavericks on my 1,1 this way, no need for USB until you reboot first time into the "finishing" installer which should have USB drivers for any common USB 3 card - i used a cheap PCIe x1 4port (1 chip, 4 ports @ 5Gbit total/1 port + HUB) without issues.


Alternatively the 1,1/1,2 will eat any IDE CD/DVD drive which should give you a boot ability for a patched (EFI) image with card drivers.
 

JesterJJZ

macrumors 68020
Jul 21, 2004
2,406
751
Snow Leopard is the sweet spot OS X for that machine in my opinion. I wouldn't go higher than Mountain Lion.
 

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 8, 2008
2,010
707
Tampa, Florida
Thanks for the suggestions all! I have tried resetting the SMC and all that - the previous owner apparently had some electrical issues at their home, which is what killed off the USB ports and ultimately led them to ditch the tower. I have several other Macs that I plan on using to install OS X on; I was going to use my 2010 Pro to install OS X on a HDD, patch it for the 1,1, then stick the drive in the old one, so I'm not so worried about getting OS X installed. I don't need anything fancy with a USB card - a USB 2 card would work just fine.

I'm still debating getting it up and running or just parting it out; the only bits in there that are probably worth anything are the memory risers and maybe the GPU, so I'm not sure that it's actually worth it to part it out.

I'm thinking at this point about fixing it up and giving it to my dad - he has a 2009 mini that he finds to be lagging a bit for him. Throw 16GB of RAM in the Pro from eBay for $20, pop in an SSD that I have around, and it should make a good machine for him for a good while to come. All I'd need to buy is the RAM and a cheap USB card. Any suggestions on a basic 4-5 port USB 2 card?

The machine has an ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB in it at the moment.

Also, this is the correct RAM for this machine, yes?
 
Last edited:

Zlobnick

macrumors member
Mar 6, 2016
47
18
Croatia
Maybe you can hook up Bluetooth keyboard/mouse if machine has a bluetooth adapter :) If not, you could search for one on Ebay and stick it in. There could be a problem if an internal bluetooth adapter is being run of off USB bus, in that case it wouldn't help much if all the USB bus is killed...
 
  • Like
Reactions: ActionableMango

bullschuck

macrumors newbie
Mar 9, 2016
12
1
Thanks for the suggestions all! I have tried resetting the SMC and all that - the previous owner apparently had some electrical issues at their home, which is what killed off the USB ports and ultimately led them to ditch the tower. I have several other Macs that I plan on using to install OS X on; I was going to use my 2010 Pro to install OS X on a HDD, patch it for the 1,1, then stick the drive in the old one, so I'm not so worried about getting OS X installed. I don't need anything fancy with a USB card - a USB 2 card would work just fine.

I'm still debating getting it up and running or just parting it out; the only bits in there that are probably worth anything are the memory risers and maybe the GPU, so I'm not sure that it's actually worth it to part it out.

I'm thinking at this point about fixing it up and giving it to my dad - he has a 2009 mini that he finds to be lagging a bit for him. Throw 16GB of RAM in the Pro from eBay for $20, pop in an SSD that I have around, and it should make a good machine for him for a good while to come. All I'd need to buy is the RAM and a cheap USB card. Any suggestions on a basic 4-5 port USB 2 card?

The machine has an ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB in it at the moment.

Also, this is the correct RAM for this machine, yes?
That's the correct RAM specs but you might also go for the stuff that's spec'd with the bigger heat sinks on them. I just got some 8GB sticks and they run pretty hot (77 to 80 Celsius while idling). The cost is significant, I think 4x4GB would run over $50. Your call.

You might also want to change out the video card. There was a recall for some of the X1900s.

Congrats on getting a steal.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,263
6,251
Any suggestions on a basic 4-5 port USB 2 card?
OWC sells a number of Mac-compatible USB 2.0 cards. But just because they are USB 2.0 doesn't mean they will work at boot time either. I'd contact them and ask them if any of those cards work at boot time, or if they only work after an OS loads the driver.
 

MultiFinder17

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jan 8, 2008
2,010
707
Tampa, Florida
Just wanted to give an update here. I purchased an Inateck KT4004 for the machine, stuck it in, and was good to go. I ended up putting in a generic PC GPU that's supported by El Capitan, and it's been working like a champ. I gave it to my dad to replace his 2009 mini; he has been mentioning for a while now that it feels a bit slow, so I figured that a quad Xeon with 16GB of RAM would be a decent step up from a C2D and 8GB. Now he e-mails me every day to tell me how much faster the machine is than his mini ever was! His old mini is now living a happy life as my media center Mac hooked into my TV.

I also ended up getting an Inateck KT4004 for my own 2010 Mac Pro, and am very happy with it. For the price, you can't go wrong!
 

NOTNlCE

macrumors 6502a
Oct 11, 2013
907
106
Baltimore, MD
Just wanted to give an update here. I purchased an Inateck KT4004 for the machine, stuck it in, and was good to go. I ended up putting in a generic PC GPU that's supported by El Capitan, and it's been working like a champ. I gave it to my dad to replace his 2009 mini; he has been mentioning for a while now that it feels a bit slow, so I figured that a quad Xeon with 16GB of RAM would be a decent step up from a C2D and 8GB. Now he e-mails me every day to tell me how much faster the machine is than his mini ever was! His old mini is now living a happy life as my media center Mac hooked into my TV.

I also ended up getting an Inateck KT4004 for my own 2010 Mac Pro, and am very happy with it. For the price, you can't go wrong!
Love seeing stories like this. Congrats on your new machine and your father's new machine. One of the reasons I love these forums so much.

-N