Mac Pro 3,1 USB issues

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by c073186, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. c073186 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    Intermittently, I have been having issues with the USB ports on my Early 2008 Mac Pro (3, 1). I start up the computer, and none of the USB ports work - a pop up windows says that it is searching for bluetooth keyboard/mouse because none are connected.

    Sometimes, I can unplug and replug the USB keyboard a few times and it will somehow start working.

    I've also noticed the issue with the USB ports on my Cinema display (at first I thought the ports on the display were not working, but I think it's that the computer's were not).

    The only USB devices I have connected are:
    - Cinema display
    - iPhone charger
    - Keyboard
    - Mouse

    I've noticed if I unplug the display, it seems to get better. But I can't imagine that those 4 USB devices were be too much power for a Mac Pro.

    Is there anything else I can do to diagnose this or hopefully resolve it? I do not think it's an issue with the keyboard mouse because when the keyboard doesn't work, none of the USB devices work.

    I am using OS Maverick.
  2. cebseb macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2011
    Have you cracked open your case lately? I have had odd things happen similar to what you're experiencing whenever my logic board was caked with dust.
  3. tigerintank macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    if you have access to another video card - try swapping it in.

    I've seen issues where a faulty card was somehow pulling the psu down. causing issues with both external ports. issues went away with a new card.

    if its possible to boot without a video card installed and remote in then guess that would work too.
  4. c073186 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    I did actually open my case just a few months ago to install some new RAM and I vacuumed the inside. This USB issue has occurred before and after the new RAM, so I do not believe that is the issue.

    Unfortunately I do not have access to another video card. Is it possible to boot without one?

    Is there any way to determine if it's somehow caused by the Cinema display? Is it possible that it's trying to use too much power and causing other ports to not function?
  5. tigerintank macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2013
    i don't know if its possible to boot without a video card. was hoping someone more knowledgeable than me would respond.

    failing that why not try it.

    you'll need a second mac or another vnc capable device to remote in.

    go to preferences and allow remote management (think thats what its called) on the MP - you can check its working or tweak as required before you remove the video card and then reboot without the video card.
  6. c073186 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    So... this problem has worsened and now my Mac Pro won't even boot - it is in a restart loop. I think it might have something to do with the video card, because during my last successful login, after logging in, the screen became pixelated and then the restarts began.

    I'm wondering,

    (1) How can I find out what video card(s) are compatible with the Early 2008 Mac Pro (3,1)?

    (2) What is the least expensive card I could buy to just get the machine working? I only use it for email/internet at this point.
  7. VAGDesign macrumors 6502


    Feb 1, 2014
    Go for an ATI/AMD HD 5770. There are some bargains on eBay from time to time. You can also get a cheap PC version and flash it yourself if you have to see boot screens.
    The reason I suggest this card is that can work to almost all versions of OS X for Intel processors and since you only browse the net and probably do some photo editing etc. It's great solution and driver-free on OS X.

    Here's a quick search on eBay for you.

    Good luck!
  8. c073186 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2007
    So, I ended up going to Best Buy and basically buying the cheapest thing I could find, in hopes it would work. I picked up a Geforce GT 610 2 GB. And... it booted up successfully (no boot screen of course).

    Will this card be suitable? Like I said, I have pretty basic needs. But will I have any issues with the screen being laggy or choppy if the card isn't meant for Mac?

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7 September 6, 2014