Mac Pro 5,1 won't boot without Option Key using Accelsior e2

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TourniquetRules, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. TourniquetRules macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
    I apologize in advance if this has been posted elsewhere, I have searched but have found no solutions. My system profile is at the end of the post.

    I purchased my Mac Pro 5,1 last month as a used video editing machine. Soon after I started using it, I could not get it to a Mavericks desktop without holding down the option key and manually selecting the boot drive. I do not recall if this started with the Samsung 1TB SSD that came with the machine or when I replaced it with an Accelsior e2 PCI SSD as my boot drive or even the upgrade to Mavericks from Mountain Lion. Now from a cold start, I get a white screen, Apple Logo and spinning gray dots. Normally nothing happens, I shut it off, restart it, hold option key and before I even selected a drive I get the "abnormal shutdown, do you want to reopen all the windows" dialog box. If I cold start it and hold down the option key it shows up as a boot drive, as does Windows 7 (separate drive) and my External Drive with its recovery partition plus the recovery partition on the Acccelsior e2. From here it works fine. I can restart the machine, boot to Windows, etc without issue. As soon as I reboot it from a cold start, back to no boot drive. Windows 7 works as expected.

    Things I have tried:
    Startup Disk in System Prefs is set as my Accelsior e2. Strangely there is no lock icon present. My Windows boot disk doesn't show up either. I was using Paragon NTFS for Mac which I uninstalled and unplugged the drive. No change.
    I booted a to a recovery partition, used terminal diskutil, fdisk, flag, to set active partition. No change.
    I reinstalled Mavericks to the boot drive from a recovery partition on my external drive. No change.
    Turned off external drives. No change.
    Installed BootRunner. No change.
    I spoke with OWC and the vendor I bought the computer with. No change.

    Other Strange Behaviors:
    Apricorn Velocity x2 card hangs the system at boot even with no drive installed and in any PCI slot.
    No lock icon on Startup Disk.
    Tonight from a cold boot I got a white screen, no apple logo, a couple of hard resets later the screen displayed a bunch of text I could read fast enough (think blue screen of death memory dump in Windows) and then said "you have encountered an error, restart". From here I could select option and pick my boot drive.

    System Profile:
    2010 Mac Pro 5,1
    12 x 3.46Ghz proc
    128GB RAM
    nVidia GTX 770 4GB vid card with custom firmware to provide boot screen
    4x4TB RAID
    Accelsior e2 1TB PCI SSD in PCI slot 2 (x16)
    Startech eSATA card in slot 3
    Blu-ray burner in optical drive bay 1
    Samsung 256GB EVO 840 SSD in optical bay 2 (no unplugged) with Windows 7
    Samsung 1TB EVO 840 SSD in eSATA enclosure connected to Startech card
    Newer Tech Mini Max Blu-ray burner, SD reader and 4TB drive for backup connected to Accelsior eSATA port
    Phillips 27" 2560x1600 monitor connected via displayport
    Apple bluetooth keyboard, Logitech USB mouse
    USB scanner, printer, TV tuner
    Not using Boot Camp drivers as they lock up Windows 7 with my RAID.
  2. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    The bunch of text that you saw sounds like a kernel panic.

    1. Have you tried resetting PRAM?
    2. Have you tried resetting SMC?
    3. Have you tried changing the internal PRAM battery?
  3. TourniquetRules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
  4. hfg, Nov 26, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

    hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
  5. TourniquetRules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
    Resetting the SMC left me with no boot screen on first restart. On second restart I did PRAM reset with 3 chimes and was taken to a recovery partition. I selected the start up disk and got to the desktop. In system preferences I selected my hard drive (only one listed). There is still no lock icon. On next cold start same thing. Unattended I get white boot screen, apple logo, gray dots that spin. After awhile I do a hard reset. On next reboot holding the option key, select the start up disk, I get the "abnormal shutdown, open previous program windows..." error. I will change the PRAM battery next.
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    It seems like it's not "remembering" your setting for boot drive and is searching for a drive to boot from. That's why I think it may the PRAM battery...
  7. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    Could be the PRAM battery, but the machine isn't exactly old.

    PRAM would reset it back to an OS X partition regardless, so that's puzzling.

    Mavericks doesn't have a Lock icon on the Startup Disk, so that should clear that up ;)

    Notice you said you upgraded from Mountain Lion, have you tried using another disk in a SATA / PCIe port and doing a clean install of Mavericks?
  8. TourniquetRules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
    I replaced the PRAM battery. It showed 1.34V. The replacement battery I put in was 2.7V...of a 3V battery. Curiously on next cold start it booted properly. I shut it down and restarted it and same white screen and spinning gray dots. On next reboot without option key held I got the "abnormal prior programs..etc" error without selecting the hard if it was booting the right hard drive. It took me to a desktop. I also plugged my external drive into the Startech eSATA instead of the Accelsior e2.

    Thanks for the missing icon tip...I now notice it is "missing" on my macbook air also.

    Windows 7 boot disk shows up as a startup disk now that Paragon NTFS is uninstalled.

    I would love to install another boot drive on PCIe but since the Apricorn card wouldn't let me boot period I am hesitant to buy/return another card...but open to suggestions.

    I will Winclone my Windows 7 drive and do a clean install of Mavericks to it and make it my boot drive and see what happens. OWC has not seen problems with Mavericks on the Accelsior e2 as a boot drive but did their testing in Mountain Lion.

    My original plan was to put that Samsung on a PCIe card to squeeze more speed out of it versus the SATA 2 speeds.
  9. TourniquetRules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
    Solved...I think

    If I boot from the Samsung SSD connected to SATA, it works fine. My video card is a custom one from MacVidCards. Somehow it is blocking the Accelsior e2 from working fine. OWC confirmed that they had similar problems with the Mac Pro 3,1 and upgraded (yet official Apple cards) video cards. When I put in an off the shelf Radeon 6670 the computer boots fine and repeatedly. When I put the custom nVidia 770 GTX back in, first boot was fine, next boot, same problems as before. I moved the Accelsior to a different PCIe slot, no change. This may be why the Apricorn Velocity doesn't boot. The unit came shipped to me with a Samsung 1TB connected to SATA and worked fine.

    My choices are hold down the option key, find a different, perhaps official Apple card or go back to a SATA connected SSD.

    Thanks to all who contributed solutions.
  10. TourniquetRules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
    For those interested, I replaced my video card with a Sapphire 7950 Mac Edition card and it solved the issue. The Apricorn Velocity card still doesn't work. I suspect it is because of the Accelsior e2. I did not have the motivation to pull out the Accelsior and try the velocity card again.
  11. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    Strange incompatibility if true. I boot from an Accelsior E2 and have a MVC modded 780 and it works.
  12. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    FWIW: I have had compatibility issues when using the Velocity x2 card and other PCIe eSATA cards. Apricorn technical support suggested it was incompatible SATA controllers. There are several threads here with other users also having strange compatibility and PCIe slot sensitivity issues with multiple boards. I seem to have the best luck with the Velocity x2 card in PCIe slot #2 (next to video card) on my Mac Pro 5,1 when also using a Sonnet Pro dual SSD card in RAID-0.

    My problems arise when adding either the Caldigit eSATA/USB3 card or a simple dual eSATA card to this combination.

    Good luck sorting it all out... :)

  13. TourniquetRules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
    For anyone still following this thread,
    I have the 770 video card, so maybe its firmware is enough different. I tried the Apricorn Velocity card in every slot with only the 770 video card installed and still couldn't get it to boot, not even the white boot screen.
    As an aside I used the Caldigit card but gave up when USB 3.0 could only be used with hard drives or optical drives..or at least in a non-hub fashion. The eSATA portion worked fine.
  14. flowrider macrumors 601


    Nov 23, 2012
    I'm running an Apricorn Velocity x2 with a Samsung 500GB 840 drive in slot three of my Mac. Slot 4 has an old USB 2.0 Card, slot 2 is MT, and I have an MVC modified Gigabyte OC GTX780 in slot 1. I have never had an issue with my configuration.

  15. TourniquetRules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2013
    Issue appears to be Mavericks...and fixed

    My vendor replaced the 770 GTX with the 780 GTX and my problems seem to have disappeared. The computer came with Mountain Lion installed and ran fine. After Mavericks upgrade, I had problems. This was reproducible by my vendor as well.

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