Mac pro 5,1 Startup Problems- help w/ Diagnosing

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by zayaso, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. zayaso macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #1
    Fellow Board members,

    Need help trying to diagnose why my Mac Pro 5,1 (Mid 2010) is exhibiting startup problems.

    The specs on my tower: 2x Quad Core Intel Xeon 2.4Ghz processors, 32 GB of memory, ASUS GeForce GTX 780 nVidia card (DVI, HDMI, display ports), stock GT 120 video card (DVI), 1TB Samsung SSD 2.5" 850 EVO card (connected to SATA port HDD1), Apricorn Velocity Duo X2 card w/ 250GB Samsung SSD 2.5" 840 EVO card (win 7 bootcamp), 2 ea SATA HDD's, stock DVD/CD/burner player, external powersupply 500 W Thermaltake in 2nd DVD bay to drive additional power to GTX 780 card.

    My display is an Apple 30in HD Cinema with a DVI connector.

    Upgraded my 1TB SSD to OS X Sierra about two months ago; upgraded my 250GB SSD to Windows 10, but had to roll back to Win 7 due to the fact the latest nVidia drivers for windows cause the windows bootcamp to be non-bootable.

    The system was functioning just fine until the morning of Wednesday 23 Nov. When I came home in the afternoon, the system was powered on, monitor powered on, but I have a black screen. Now every time I power cycle the system, I hear the boot up chime but my screen stays dark (yes I know with a non-EFI flashed card nothing displays until the OS is ready) even after waiting for 10 minutes- much longer than my normal boot time as the display normally has graphics after about 45 sec-1 min of wait time.

    I kept my stock GT 120 in the system for these types of events, where there were boot issues and I needed to see display output on power cycle, but not even this is working for me.

    My current steps that I have done to diagnose system,:
    1. Power cycled system while Apple display was connected to GTX 780- boot up chime, wait 5 minutes, nothing displays
    2.Turn off system, connect Dell display to HDMI port of GTX 780- boot up chime, wait 5 minutes, nothing displays
    3. Turn off system, re-connect Apple display DVI to stock Gt 120 video card, still have Dell display connected to HDMI port of GTX780- boot up chime, wait 5 minutes nothing displays,
    4. Power system down, remove power cable for 15 minutes, Apple display connected to GT120, remove Dell display HDMI cable, plug power cable back in, turn system on- boot up chime, wait 10 minutes, nothing displays
    5. Power system down, remove power cable, remove GTX 780 video card, Apple display connected to GT 120, wait 15 minutes, plug power cable back in, turn system on - boot up chime, wait 5 minutes, nothing displays
    6. Power system down, remove power cable, pull out 1TD SSD card in HDD slot 1, Apple display connected to GT 120, plug power cable back in, turn system on- boot up chime, wait 5 minutes, nothing displays
    7. Power system down, remove power cable, re-seat 1TB SSD card in HDD slot 1, pull out Apricorn Velocity card, Apple display connected to GT 120, plug power cable back in, turn system on - wait 5 minutes, nothing displays
    8. Power system down, remove power cable, pull out all SSD & HDD drives, Apple display connected to GT 120, plug power cable back in, turn system on - wait 5 minutes, nothing displays

    I know my Dell display functions as I have it connected to my MBP laptop via HDMI. I find it seriously difficult to believe my GTX 780 crapped out (it's connected via the onboard PCI 6pin cable, plus the external PSU 6+2 pins), shorted my Apple 30Inch display (when plugged in it still has the white power light), and fried my drives. All of my systems (tower, display, external PSU are plugged into a surge protector).

    At a complete loss right now as to what next steps I should do, suggestions are appreciated.

    Thank you
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    Have you tried safe mode? (Hold down shift key while booting)

    Not even the boot screens display in this scenario?

    Are any diagnostic LEDs illuminated inside?
     
  3. zayaso thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #3
    Hi ActionableMango,

    I have been reading and doing additional troubleshooting based on information from the internet:

    I found that my Apple HD Cinema display has an issue, so I have removed that as a possible display, currently using an older Gateway display that only has VGA & DVI ports to avoid resolution issues.
    I also removed the third party Apricorn Velocity card with the attached 250GB Samsung SSD with Win 7 Bootcamp image- to remove possible issues.

    I restarted the system connected to the Gateway display (which I know is functioning as I connected to my MBP prior), through Dvi-DVI cable to GT120- still the system chimes but no display.

    I did a PRAM reset holding the Command, Option, P and R keys down through 5 restarts- chimes but still no display.

    I did an SMC reset- unplugging power cable for 5 minutes, pressing power key to get rid of ambient onboard power, plugging cable back in, waiting 30 seconds, powering system back on- chimes but still no display.

    I then swapped out the GT120 video card, and put in the original ATI Radeon HD5770 video card, because it has two mini display ports- easier for me to swap between VGA & DVI- and also replaced the motherboard logic battery with a spare that I had. I hear the boot up chimes, but still no display.

    I removed all memory sticks except for the ones located in slot 1 & 2 (as per Apple documentation)- chimes but no display

    I then tried holding the keys:
    a. Command-S -Start up in single-user mode.
    b. X -Start up from an OS X startup volume when the Mac would otherwise start up from a non-OS X startup volume. Just in case the Mac was trying to boot from bootcamp and since the disk was pulled this would not be possible.
    c. Held the shift key down as you mentioned

    Chimes but no display

    According to this image that I found on the internet, none of these LED's are lit in my system:
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6788584?start=0&tstart=0

    System does start, I hear chimes, if I press DVD eject button it opens, if I press volume key I hear the corresponding noise from internal speaker, I pressed the brightness button on USB keyboard thinking just maybe the screen was "dark" - no such luck.

    Definitely not sure where to go at this point
     
  4. chriz_r macrumors member

    chriz_r

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    #4
    Can you try installing the 5770 on the 3rd or 4th pcie slots, and powering it solely with the external PSU 6-pin? I'd like to see if you're even getting pci power from the board's boost cable and pcie slots. Since you're using stock GPU with efi roms, they should at least show a whit screen or apple screen no matter how you boot (with or without OS or HD installed)

    Im leaning towards pcie slot power issue
     
  5. zayaso thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #5
    Hi chriz_r,

    I installed the GT120 into slot 4, connected the monitor to the display port, and I got a white screen with a folder icon.
    Let me try the HD5770 into slot 1, and then slot 3 or 4; and I will report back.
     
  6. chriz_r macrumors member

    chriz_r

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2016
    #6
    Ok if you're getting video signal then your further away from PCIe hardware issue on the top slots which is a good thing!
     
  7. zayaso thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #7
    chriz_r,

    So silly me forgot that the HD5770 required the 6 pin power cable from the motherboard to power it; thank you for the reminder! ( I feel so silly-- don't use it for the GTX 780 so forgot about cabling that... good thing is that my ATI Radeon works :) ).
    However, I found that my Samsung SSD with OS X Sierra is not booting; I only get the white screen with the folder icon when I remove that drive from the system. I will try with a SATA HDD that has 10.9.5 OS X.
    Will report back in a few hours.. whew! working slowly back out of the abyss
     
  8. zayaso thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #8
    Update: System is operational again as if nothing ever happened to it. The only thing I did after my last steps mentioned in my previous past, was to place a SATA HDD with OS X 10.9.5 in slot 1 of the tower, and my system booted up. I started adding components back piece by piece, restarting after adding each one.
    First all the memory sticks, then the GTX 780, then my Apple display. Last my other disk drives, and this is where I noticed an oddity.
    When I added my OS X 10.12.1 Samsung 1TB SSD into slot 2 of the tower, it is not registering as an additional disk drive in the system. So I connected it into my Apricorn Velocity PCI-E card (removing the Win 7 SSD that was on the card), plugged that into PCI-E slot 2, and now it is being recognized by the system as an additional source that I can boot into. As a matter of fact, I re-booted into that volume and am typing this.

    The only thing left for me to do is power the system down, connect my OS X 10.12.1 SSD into slot 2 or 3 of the tower again, reconnect my 250GB SSD with Win 7 onto the Apricorn Velocity card, and see if there any outstanding problems.

    I am confused as to what could have been the problem, because HDD slot 1 is operational right now with a SATA HDD, but if I put my SSD directly onto the MB it's not recognized, but recognized being connected into the PCI-E slot??
     

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