Mac Pro 4,1->5,1 startup screen boot failure

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macmesser, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. macmesser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #1
    My flashed '09 Mac Pro running 10.7.5 went to sleep and failed to wake up. Boot drive is 256 GB OWC SSD and I have a 500GB data drive and a 2TB green drive partitioned as Time Machine drives for boot and data. First I did a hard power down and tried to reboot; got the startup screen and spinning wheel which looked good, but the wheel abruptly stopped after a seemingly too short time and disappeared, leaving me stuck on the grey startup screen with Apple. Moving and clicking the mouse resulted in a spinning ball that never went away. I repeated the process and reset PRAM during startup but same thing happened. I rebooted in safe mode and saw everything seemed to be intact but nothing I tried subsequently fixed the problem:
    1)Shut down and restarted from recovery and repaired permissions, verified disk and repaired disk in that order (probably should have been vice versa).
    2) Started from DiskWarrior thumb drive and repaired boot drive directory. I note that DW showed only a few minor file problems (like the dreaded incorrect custom icon) and in fact reported directory was well optimized.
    3) Booted from Drive Genius 3 DVD and ran diagnostics on directory and files. No problems. Also, in safe mode I opened Time Machine and found it was not set up, but it had been so this might be due to safe mode itself. I have found similar cases on Apple forum with suggested causes as graphics card or SSD problems. Ideas as to what happened, how to troubleshoot or how to fix? I need to get this sick puppy back up asap.

    ps- I should mention that the machine has been running essentially trouble free for 3 or 4 years in this same basic configuration. Only a relatively few well known programs from the Mac canon have been installed and software updates have been run regularly. No problems noted afterwards.
     
  2. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #2
    Just some of the basics to try:

    Reset the SMC

    Reset the PRAM

    Remove and re-install the RAM modules.
     
  3. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #3
    Thanks for reply. I reset PRAM. Will try SMC.
     
  4. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #4
    I updated the SSD firmware after cloning ssd boot drive to an external usb drive. Booted from the usb and same thing happened, so I conclude it is probably not an ssd trim problem unless a trim problem can cause damage which will be transferred to a HD. Either way, I'm thinking it can be handled as system corruption and perhaps a clean install of 10.7.5 will fix. Reason I think so is DiskWarrior showed no file problems. Since the only tested problem is boot problem and directory and files are good, I don't think the SSD needs reformatting. Any thoughts?
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #5
    If you want to save time, you may try install the OSX once more on top of your current data. That may repair the system without delete any user data / preference.

    If that still doesn't work, than a clean install is the way to go. And for me, I will format the SSD just in case that can fix some hidden problem as well.
     
  6. macmesser thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Location:
    Long Island, NY USA
    #6

    Thanks for reply. That's what I'm doing now. First thing I did was duplicate the boot ssd to an external usb HD. The external drive had the same problem with booting, so wasn't a trim issue. I then started up from a usb thumb drive Lion installer I had made for the machine and I re-installed Lion on the external HD, which solved the booting problem with that disk. The install apparently went fine but it was a little spotty with message displays because the usb 2 HD couldn't keep up (so it's time for a usb 3 card). Now I'm in the process of duplicating the original boot ssd (using Drive Genius 3) to it's own partition on a large external eSATA HD. That will be my backup copy in case anything goes wrong with next step, which will be booting from the thumb drive Lion installer and re-installing on to the original boot SSD. If all goes well I might create a disk image of the fixed boot ssd and then restore it to the SSD just as insurance. The hardest thing after getting the info and guidance was figuring out how I was going to use the stuff I have to do the job. A big PITA but it could have been worse. I lived, learned and hopefully when my ssd clone is done all will be well. ; )
     

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