Mac Pro booting (no video) issue

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by grekster, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. grekster macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2012
    Hi, hopefully someone here can give me some help on this issue :)

    Some Background:
    I bought a Mac Pro second hand off of a friend of a friend a few weeks ago. I had to have it shipped although on arrival it seemed to be undamaged.

    I manage to install both OSX 10.6.3 and Windows 7 on the machine and everything seemed to be working fine.

    The problem I have now is that I get no video output on my monitor when I switch the machine on. The last thing I did before it stopped working was select the "Boot to OSX option in boot camp from within windows".

    The fans start up and the power light is on solid. At first I had no start up chime but I do get that now after resetting the PRAM on the machine. If I press f12 I can open the cd drive and if I let the machine run for a while I can ping it from another machine so it sort of seems like it is booting just without any video output.

    I have tried reseating the graphics card but it made no difference.

    The most obvious solution to the problem I guess is that the graphics card has failed and I would just buy a new one if it weren't for the fact that it was working right up until I selected reboot into OSX.

    ...So a couple of questions for you then:
    1) Is there anything else that could be causing this issue for me other than the graphics card giving up on me (or anything I could try to resolve it).

    2) If I removed the suspect card and placed it in my PC would that be a valid test of whether it works? Or will it not work in a PC for different reasons?

    I'm new to Mac's and I'm not exactly sure which model mac pro I have. I can find out if it would help with the problem. I know its an Intel machine and the graphics card is an NVIDIA 8800GT

  2. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003

    Not familiar with the bootcamp side of Macs, but you could try booting while holding the "Shift" key. If that doesn't make any difference, turn it off, and reboot while holding both the "Command" + "S" keys.

    Good luck,

  3. grekster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2012
    Hi Loa, unfortunately neither of those helped with the video issue.

    Thanks for the suggestions though :)
  4. Kusakun macrumors member

    May 9, 2008
    Could you tell me the the 8800 GT is extremely hot? Because it might be the video card about to die...

    I changed my 8800 gt for a ATI 5770 and everything was alright.
  5. derbothaus, Mar 5, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012

    derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    I'd also sort the 8800GT first as they are known for premature death and graphics anomalies. If you can slot another card, that would be best. Otherwise, can you remote into it at all? Like ssh or ARD/ Screen Sharing?
    You could possible write a preference setting to allow this access in single user mode if it was not previously allowed. Usually with dead card it wont boot fully though.

    This should turn on screen sharing if you get that far:
    sudo sh -c "/bin/echo -n enabled > /private/etc/ScreenSharing.launchd"

    And to disable:
    sudo sh -c "/bin/rm /private/etc/ScreenSharing.launchd"
  6. Unfair macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2007
    I have this issue as well. I have the "No Sound When Rebooting From Bootcamp to OSX" issue as well.

    First, what monitor do you have?
    I have a 4.1 (2009) Mac Pro w/ 5870 Video Card - I also have 16GB of RAM. (This is important. System Originally came with 6GB 3 sticks.)
    The primary screen is a Dell U3011, hooked via mini DP. No adapters, straight cable.

    So, here's what happens. If I power down my system, or restart, I have to physically unplug the monitor BEFORE I power down or restart, so when the system comes up, I hear the chime, hear my system either load into OSX or Windows7, then plug the monitor in. If I don't, I have to physically unplug power from the system, and the monitor, then power it back up, and wait till I'm in the OS to plug the monitor in.

    If I do that, all is well. Is a real pain.

    (Important note, Apple Branded (over priced) Video Card, OWC Memory.)

    NOW, the reason I mentioned memory early on. I did not have this problem originally with the original 6GB of RAM in the system. Same monitor, same video card, same everything, no unplugging of screen required. Everything is fine.

    ANY change in Memory (I've tried varying kinds, configurations, etc..) I get back to the screen not powering up issues.
    I've been told it is the video card. (which I've replaced, still does it) I've been told its the monitor (not getting another to test, too expensive).

    Seems to just be a quirk and a bug in the "it just works" mentality of the Apple Product.
  7. PrePressAcrobat macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2010

    keying -- Command+F2 --

    after the thing is up and running.

  8. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Use DVI not MiniDP. You're complicating the rest.
    Also everyone should just hold down the option key at boot and choose the OS you want. Why choose in the boot camp app thing? Never ever had a problem with option boot. Unless you have Windows on the SAME HDD as OS X you don't need boot camp. It is worthless.
  9. grekster thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2012
    Wow lots of replies!

    @Kusakun: No the graphics card is not extremely hot, just slightly warm.

    @derbothaus: I'm not sure how to go about ssh'ing into the mac, If you can point me in the direction of some instructions on the matter it would be much appreciated :)

    @Unfair: The monitor I have is some bog standard Benq 22" thing, it was working ok with the Mac last week and it still works if I plug it into the machine I'm writing this from. The amount of RAM is upgraded to 10GB from whatever was in the original. I optimistically tried your 'unplug everything and boot the machine before plugging the monitor in' sequence but it still didn't work

    @PrePressAcrobat: that shortcut didn't do anything either, but cheers for the response!
  10. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    You need to turn on remote access in the System Prefs Sharing pane 1st or you'll get denied. This may not be possible as you can't boot the Mac though.
    You also need to know the hostname or IP of the box.

    Open a Terminal shell on another Mac on the network. Type:
    ssh youraccountname@whateveryourIPorHostNameis

    ssh admin@

    Enter password and you are in.
    Standard Unix commands will apply and you can peruse the filesystem etc...

    MIght be better to use the screen sharing on another Mac though as it can sniff bonjour broadcasts without having to turn on a service. We may be going down a rabbit hole here though.

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