Mac Pro having issues. Not sure if it's Hardware related. How can I tell?

TwitchOSX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 2, 2002
496
2
Southern Oregon
We have had our Mac Pro since about November of last year. Came with Lion installed and it never quite acted right. I would come in in the morning and it would take literally 5-10 minutes to completely wake up and even then it was sluggish. I'd have to reboot sometimes just to make the thing usable.

After installing 10.8, those problems seemed to go away and I was really happy. Figured it was just a cruddy install of Lion causing issues. Anyway, it's acting up again.

Current problem is this: When I rebooted this morning, I got this message

Unable to start the Suitcase Fusion Core.

Suitcase Fusion has detected an incompatible version of FMCore. Suitcase Fusion can not continue.


Ok, fine. I've dealt with this before. The fix is to log out of your account and log right back in. No big deal.

Problem is, when I do that, both the keyboard, mouse and Magic Trackpad don't work on the log out screen and instead, I get a square on the screen blinking in the upper right of the Apple logo. Here is a video of this happening:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4D8Ug7rca4

So, I have no clue what is going on at this point, I can't log back in and I have to do a hard restart by pressing and holding the power key on the front of the machine. I turn it back on and Suitcase Fusion Core still won't start. So basically, every time InDesign is trying to open it freaks out because Suitcase isn't running and I can't get Suitcase to work because I can't successfully log out and back in.

I don't know if this machine has some bad hardware somewhere, if so it probably was bad from the factory. It is a refurbed machine so......

Is there any software I can run to check it out or does anybody have any ideas why the log out screen is being weird?
 

stridemat

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Apr 2, 2008
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UK
When troubling shooting the first thing I do is to create a new temporary user and login as this new user. Do the problem persist? If not then the problem is with the specific account you are having the problems in.

If the problem is still there then it's time to make a back up and restore OS X to see if that sorts the problem. Don't restore your files just yet. Boot the blank OS X install. Does the problem persist? If not the it's a problem with some of your files. If it does then perhaps it might be hardware related. Are you covered with AppleCare?
 

TwitchOSX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 2, 2002
496
2
Southern Oregon
When troubling shooting the first thing I do is to create a new temporary user and login as this new user. Do the problem persist? If not then the problem is with the specific account you are having the problems in.

If the problem is still there then it's time to make a back up and restore OS X to see if that sorts the problem. Don't restore your files just yet. Boot the blank OS X install. Does the problem persist? If not the it's a problem with some of your files. If it does then perhaps it might be hardware related. Are you covered with AppleCare?
No, we are not. This is a refurbished machine we got from Apple back in November.

I'll give the new user thing a try. I wonder if I will still have that weird problem when logging out that I mentioned in my first post.

What do you mean by "boot the blank os x install"?
 

stridemat

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Apr 2, 2008
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By that I mean back up your files and then reinstall OS X, but don't copy your files back over to the new install. It's just the basic OS X install version as if it was a new machine.

I always follow these steps to try and pinpoint where the problem might be.
 

TwitchOSX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 2, 2002
496
2
Southern Oregon
By that I mean back up your files and then reinstall OS X, but don't copy your files back over to the new install. It's just the basic OS X install version as if it was a new machine.

I always follow these steps to try and pinpoint where the problem might be.
That's kind of what I thought. I can either back up to our time machine or get a different backup like Carbon Copy Cloner. Never used CCC but that might be the way to go since it will essentially clone this entire drive.

Also, if I do want to reinstall OSX, I would need to re-download the installer for Mountain Lion from the App Store again to create a bootable DVD right?
 

stridemat

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Apr 2, 2008
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That's kind of what I thought. I can either back up to our time machine or get a different backup like Carbon Copy Cloner. Never used CCC but that might be the way to go since it will essentially clone this entire drive.

Also, if I do want to reinstall OSX, I would need to re-download the installer for Mountain Lion from the App Store again to create a bootable DVD right?
Correct. I followed this guide to create mine.

http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/08/make-a-bootable-mac-os-x-10-7-lion-installer-from-a-usb-flash-drive/
 

TwitchOSX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 2, 2002
496
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Southern Oregon
Weird. When I follow those direction for burning to a DVD, I get to the part where I select the InstallESD.dmg file in Disk Utility and go to burn and it says "The disc inserted does not have enough free space."

The Disc is a standard DVD-R disc. Says on the disc (4.7gb) and when I click on the InstallESD.dmg in Disc Utility, it shows "Total Capacity : 4.75 GB"

Whats up with that?
 

stridemat

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Staff member
Apr 2, 2008
11,179
592
UK
Weird. When I follow those direction for burning to a DVD, I get to the part where I select the InstallESD.dmg file in Disk Utility and go to burn and it says "The disc inserted does not have enough free space."

The Disc is a standard DVD-R disc. Says on the disc (4.7gb) and when I click on the InstallESD.dmg in Disc Utility, it shows "Total Capacity : 4.75 GB"

Whats up with that?
You're 0.05 GB over the space of the disc.
 

akadmon

Suspended
Aug 30, 2006
2,007
2
New England
We have had our Mac Pro since about November of last year. Came with Lion installed and it never quite acted right. I would come in in the morning and it would take literally 5-10 minutes to completely wake up and even then it was sluggish. I'd have to reboot sometimes just to make the thing usable.
Are you sure the problem started as soon as you got your MP? I mean, if my new computer acted like you describe :eek:, I'd have brought it straight back to Apple and demanded a refund.

Since this is a MP, there is no need to reformat your boot drive. Just install a fresh copy of Mountain Lion on a new disk and take it from there. Also, rather than make a DVD, I suggest putting the installer on an 8GB flash drive.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,721
1,820
Not to derail you from your solution, but why is your machine no longer covered by Applecare since it hasn't been 1 year yet?
I was wondering the same thing. Perhaps he is mistaken on warranty length or this was a replacement for a dead unit that was under Applecare yet could not be repaired?
 

TjeuV

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2011
306
4
Belgium
We have had our Mac Pro since about November of last year. Came with Lion installed and it never quite acted right. I would come in in the morning and it would take literally 5-10 minutes to completely wake up and even then it was sluggish. I'd have to reboot sometimes just to make the thing usable.

After installing 10.8, those problems seemed to go away and I was really happy. Figured it was just a cruddy install of Lion causing issues. Anyway, it's acting up again.

Current problem is this: When I rebooted this morning, I got this message

Unable to start the Suitcase Fusion Core.

Suitcase Fusion has detected an incompatible version of FMCore. Suitcase Fusion can not continue.


Ok, fine. I've dealt with this before. The fix is to log out of your account and log right back in. No big deal.

Problem is, when I do that, both the keyboard, mouse and Magic Trackpad don't work on the log out screen and instead, I get a square on the screen blinking in the upper right of the Apple logo. Here is a video of this happening:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4D8Ug7rca4

So, I have no clue what is going on at this point, I can't log back in and I have to do a hard restart by pressing and holding the power key on the front of the machine. I turn it back on and Suitcase Fusion Core still won't start. So basically, every time InDesign is trying to open it freaks out because Suitcase isn't running and I can't get Suitcase to work because I can't successfully log out and back in.

I don't know if this machine has some bad hardware somewhere, if so it probably was bad from the factory. It is a refurbed machine so......

Is there any software I can run to check it out or does anybody have any ideas why the log out screen is being weird?
You could perform a hardware test yourself by holding the "D" key on startup.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1509

Or, hop in an apple store or premium reseller, they'll be happy to help you and run some more tests on your machine.


edit: H=> D-key
 
Last edited:

Apple Corps

macrumors 68030
Apr 26, 2003
2,575
535
California
I agree with the other post - if you got you MP from Apple this past November you ARE COVERED under warranty (assuming you have not hacked your machine)

Quit mucking around here and take it into Apple under warranty.
 

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2007
4,371
1,150
Midwest America.
I think refurbs only get a 90 day factory warranty.
No, same warranty, and same eligibility for AppleCare. Think about it for a minute: Apple does want to sell these systems otherwise the time spent in the refurbishment process is just lost. Sometimes the 'deals' aren;t exactly that great to get something with essentially no warranty. I've never had a problem with AppleCare or the warranty on any of the refurb Apple systems I've had.
 

TwitchOSX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 2, 2002
496
2
Southern Oregon
You could perform a hardware test yourself by holding the H key on startup.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1509

Or, hop in an apple store or premium reseller, they'll be happy to help you and run some more tests on your machine.
I thought somebody on another forum said it was the D key on startup. Tried that last night and the machine just hung and did nothing. I guess I can try the D key. I really think it's a messed up install on the HD or the HD has bad sectors. I'm working on getting a usb stick to install the 10.8 install onto so I can install that onto a new HD to see if things keep messing up.

----------

You could perform a hardware test yourself by holding the H key on startup.
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1509

Or, hop in an apple store or premium reseller, they'll be happy to help you and run some more tests on your machine.
Ahh, it is the D key, not the H key. However, that article did note that I should disconnect everything but the keyboard and mouse which I didn't do last night. It also said that some computers that shipped with Lion can only do a hardware test over the internet... so that may be the case with this computer as it did ship with Lion.
 

TwitchOSX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 2, 2002
496
2
Southern Oregon
Hmm, appears that the Mac Pro is not on the list of computers that can do an Internet Hardware Diagnostic so it must be on this computer. Weird that when I booted the computer last night and held down the D key nothing happened. Maybe that's because I should have unplugged probably the 2nd monitor (since it's not an Apple Monitor), the speakers and external hard drives.
 

TjeuV

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2011
306
4
Belgium
I thought somebody on another forum said it was the D key on startup. Tried that last night and the machine just hung and did nothing. I guess I can try the D key. I really think it's a messed up install on the HD or the HD has bad sectors. I'm working on getting a usb stick to install the 10.8 install onto so I can install that onto a new HD to see if things keep messing up.

----------



Ahh, it is the D key, not the H key. However, that article did note that I should disconnect everything but the keyboard and mouse which I didn't do last night. It also said that some computers that shipped with Lion can only do a hardware test over the internet... so that may be the case with this computer as it did ship with Lion.
Oh yeah sorry about the D - H mess-up. Think I can blame it on the fact that it was quite late at night for me when I typed all that. Sorry for the inconvience
 

TwitchOSX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 2, 2002
496
2
Southern Oregon
Oh yeah sorry about the D - H mess-up. Think I can blame it on the fact that it was quite late at night for me when I typed all that. Sorry for the inconvience
No worries.

Somebody earlier mentioned creating a new user on the system to test from. I did that yesterday and was finally able to log out and log back in to the main user to get Suitcase working so at least that works. Just picked up a couple 8gb flash drives (one to install OSX onto) and a 1tb Seagate Barracuda to throw in which I will do a fresh OSX install onto.
 

TwitchOSX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 2, 2002
496
2
Southern Oregon
So, I got 10.8 installed onto this thumb drive. Do I just put in the new HD and then install or do I put in the HD and the Thumb Drive and then boot off the thumb drive to install OSX on the new HD?

Should I prepare the new HD somehow by writing 0's to it or anything? It's fresh out of the box.
 

stridemat

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Apr 2, 2008
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So, I got 10.8 installed onto this thumb drive. Do I just put in the new HD and then install or do I put in the HD and the Thumb Drive and then boot off the thumb drive to install OSX on the new HD?

Should I prepare the new HD somehow by writing 0's to it or anything? It's fresh out of the box.
Good. I would put both the HDD in and the thumb drive and install OSX off the thumb drive onto the new HDD. The only preparation you need to carryout on the new HDD is to make sure it's formatted to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
 

TwitchOSX

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 2, 2002
496
2
Southern Oregon
Good. I would put both the HDD in and the thumb drive and install OSX off the thumb drive onto the new HDD. The only preparation you need to carryout on the new HDD is to make sure it's formatted to Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
Right, but shouldn't I install the HD, put the thumb drive in and then boot OFF of the thumbdrive to install onto the new HD?

Or do I just format the new HD and just run the installer off the thumb drive straight from the finder?