Mac Pro 3,1 black screen on boot, shuts off

ssawer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2018
6
0
I was recently given a dual xeon Mac Pro 3,1 which had been working up until very recently. Before it was passed to me the OS drive (on-SSD) was removed, but it's otherwise as-is.

Turning the machine on with either of my displayport screens using a known-good DP-mDP cable I'm greeted with a black screen. The monitor does turn on as if a signal is detected, but there's nothing on-screen that indicates the mac is booting. The system does make the usual system-on bong sound, looking at the diagnostic LEDs (and pressing the diagnostic button) nothing appears to be up. The white LED above the power button doesn't flash either. After 30/60 seconds the system shuts off.

I've re-seated the RAM boards and individual modules, re-seated the GPU (fan spins when it turns on) and tried both mDP ports on the radeon card.

Any suggestions as to what I can try next? From what I can tell the machine had been running 10.13 from the SSD fine, does part of that process re-flash anything on the board itself, is it related to the lack of the old boot drive?

If not is it something more fundamental?
 

djjclark

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2008
194
7
Plenty here with more knowledge than I but the 3,1 doesn't run 10.13 natively so I bet your video card needs drivers that are not standard for the 3,1. So you can try a different video card or modify your OS with the hack described elsewhere on this site. More information will help - what vcard, what OS now.
 

ssawer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2018
6
0
Plenty here with more knowledge than I but the 3,1 doesn't run 10.13 natively so I bet your video card needs drivers that are not standard for the 3,1. So you can try a different video card or modify your OS with the hack described elsewhere on this site. More information will help - what vcard, what OS now.
The boot SSD was removed, so there's no OS on the box at the moment.

Without a OS wouldn't it throw up the usual white screen with the icon for no boot drive?
 

ssawer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2018
6
0
This means your Mac (hardware) is normal.
What does? As I said in my first post and title it's not doing that, DJJClark said I would need a driver but my point is I have no OS, and would expect the boot message. All I get is a black screen and the system shutting off 30/60 seconds later.
 

twa440

Suspended
Aug 2, 2016
79
149
Make sure the video card is seated properly. If so, it may be defective. You could also try moving it to another slot.
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,499
7,027
Hong Kong
What does? As I said in my first post and title it's not doing that, DJJClark said I would need a driver but my point is I have no OS, and would expect the boot message. All I get is a black screen and the system shutting off 30/60 seconds later.
Sorry, I miss read your last post, I though you said you can see the stop sign, but actually you can’t.

Anyway, which graphic card installed now?
 

ssawer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2018
6
0
Sorry, I miss read your last post, I though you said you can see the stop sign, but actually you can’t.

Anyway, which graphic card installed now?
It's a Radeon, I think it's a 5770. It's the original GPU for the machine. Two mini displayport and one DVI.
 

G4DPII

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2015
314
380
If you have no OS, what do you expect to happen? It needs something to boot from. All you will get is a black screen.

The 3,1 has no magic power to boot into something that doesn't exist. All the bong tells you is that it's got to the point of needing the OS nothing more - RAM is fine, the machine powered on okay.

You are going to have to do one of two things to get that machine running properly, get hold of Snow Leopard and start from there on a new HD or go to an Apple Store and ask them to install Mavericks, Yosemite on El Capitan on a hard drive you take with you.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,499
7,027
Hong Kong
If you have no OS, what do you expect to happen? It needs something to boot from. All you will get is a black screen.

The 3,1 has no magic power to boot into something that doesn't exist. All the bong tells you is that it's got to the point of needing the OS nothing more - RAM is fine, the machine powered on okay.

You are going to have to do one of two things to get that machine running properly, get hold of Snow Leopard and start from there on a new HD or go to an Apple Store and ask them to install Mavericks, Yosemite on El Capitan on a hard drive you take with you.
OP is correct indeed.

No OS means can't boot to desktop, however, the GPU's Mac EFI still working. And the Mac should display a stop sign on the screen, which means no OS drive is located.
[doublepost=1525409367][/doublepost]
It's a Radeon, I think it's a 5770. It's the original GPU for the machine. Two mini displayport and one DVI.
5770 is not the original GPU for 3,1. Not even for 4,1. That's a 5,1 GPU.

But 2x mini display port's 5770 does sounds like a genuine Apple 5770, and it should able to display the boot screen regardless if there is any hard drive / OS in the 3,1.
[doublepost=1525409433][/doublepost]BTW, which monitor you are using right now?
 
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ssawer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2018
6
0
If you have no OS, what do you expect to happen? It needs something to boot from. All you will get is a black screen.
That's untrue, all intel macs (and thinking about it even my old PowerPC system) will show a white screen with the boot volume icon if there's no bootable OS drive installed.

BTW, which monitor you are using right now?
I've two displays (I've tried both) an acer and an LG. Acer is 1440p, LG is 4K.

We've tried with an apple display too, same result. Would have assumed it was just a display issue were the mac not shutting itself off.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,499
7,027
Hong Kong
I've two displays (I've tried both) an acer and an LG. Acer is 1440p, LG is 4K.

We've tried with an apple display too, same result. Would have assumed it was just a display issue were the mac not shutting itself off.
Skip the 4k first, that can cause issue.

The other one is a 1440p 60Hz DP 1.1 monitor?
 
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nigelbb

macrumors 65816
Dec 22, 2012
1,033
201
OP is correct indeed.

No OS means can't boot to desktop, however, the GPU's Mac EFI still working. And the Mac should display a stop sign on the screen, which means no OS drive is located.
[doublepost=1525409367][/doublepost]
If there is no boot volume you should see a grey screen with an icon of a folder with a flashing question mark.
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
3,016
156
NH
I was recently given a dual xeon Mac Pro 3,1 which had been working up until very recently. Before it was passed to me the OS drive (on-SSD) was removed, but it's otherwise as-is.
If there is no bootable drive in my 3,1 it boots to the ? folder screen. If I hold down the option key on restart it starts up the boot manager and it will list bootable drives. I dunno what happens with a non apple video card. What you see may be normal if it wasn't flashed.

Otherwise some thoughts:

Did you try reseting PRAM?

Try removing all drives and other plug in devices except the monitor. If it boots to the ? folder then the issue is one of the disconnected devices. If there is no screen, use a different monitor and cable or try the apple hardware test installed on a CD.

It seems like the problem is something that you are using different than when the machine was working, or damage when the OS drive was removed.

If you want to do more and you have access to another Mac, you could try downloading Apple Hardware test, burn it on a CD and boot to it (hold option D on startup). That will boot to a white screen and offer a short test.

The only time I've had blank screens on startup is when the monitor cable was not fully inserted, bad cable (cats love to chew on them), bad video card, bad RAM. I would start with the items you added, and then remove one RAM card at a time.. then on to more interesting stuff :)


Power-on LED illuminates when power button is pressed, fans spin, and boot tone chimes, but there is no video:

  1. Verify display is properly connected and powered on.

  2. Check video card connector and display cable for any bent pins.

  3. Reseat video card. (Make sure video card is fully inserted in connector and end of card is secured by the connector latch.) For video cards that require power cables, check that they are connected.

  4. Reset PRAM (restart computer while holding down Command-Option-P-R keys until second boot tone chimes)

  5. Reset logic board

  6. Replace video card

  7. Replace logic board

Note: edited to correct bad info
 
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ssawer

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2018
6
0
  1. Verify display is properly connected and powered on.
It is, I can swap another mini-displayport device such as my macbook pro onto the same cable and I get a display.
Check video card connector and display cable for any bent pins.
I'm using MiniDisplayport which I've verified with a known-good source.
Reseat video card. (Make sure video card is fully inserted in connector and end of card is secured by the connector latch.) For video cards that require power cables, check that they are connected.


Reset PRAM (restart computer while holding down Command-Option-P-R keys until second boot tone chimes)
Done, no change
Reset logic board
How?
Replace video card
Can I use any GPU to do this stage? I have a couple of PC GPUs, will they at least get to the white screen?
Replace logic board
If it comes to this it's probably out of my budget to fix sadly.
My first thought is the GPU is faulty.
Can I use any GPU to test this, or does it need to be another mac-specific card?

Is there any chance that you have made a mistake and you have the gt8800 installed instead?
It's branded for team red, I'm pretty certain it's the original ATI board.


Are there no specific circumstances where a mac will shut itself off as I'm observing? If there's no valid OS drive won't it sit on that screen indefinitely?
 

Mnowell69

macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2013
246
36
Bedford, UK
Is it possible that the GPU is a PC version without the mac EFI? Without any OS loaded on a 'non- mac GPU' would cause a black screen right up until graphic card drivers were loaded by the OS.
 

ColdCase

macrumors 68040
Feb 10, 2008
3,016
156
NH
I think most likely and issue with the video card, but:

"System (Logic Board) Reset

  1. With the computer powered up, press the SYS_RST switch located in the upper right-hand corner of the logic board. To press the switch, use the nylon probe tool (Apple part number 922-5065).

  2. If the computer boots after you press the SYS_RST switch, try shutting the computer off and restarting by pressing the front power button. If the computer restarts when you press the SYS_RST switch but not from a cold start, the power supply may need to be replaced. "
 
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