Mac Pro won't boot -- tried many things, would really be thankful for some insight

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Cisne, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Cisne, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014

    Cisne macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    #1
    Hello everyone, I hope you're all doing great.

    A friend of mine asked me for some help to try and revive an older model Mac Pro (is there any way I can verify which iteration of the hardware it is without turning it on? Let me know if this would be possible, and necessary to help you all help me! Thank you!) and first I thought we just needed to do a fresh OS install and be good to go -- the Mac Pro has been sitting for the past, hmm, six years or so, without ANY maintenance, any upgrades, nothing, not even file management/folder organization had been done right...

    The problem was that the computer would not pass the initial grey screen (no Apple), but by booting it into Safe Mode, we were able to retrieve and backup important documents, and then I got the "Go" to just wipe the two drives and try a reinstall. Through Target Mode, I erased the drives, and then tried to boot the computer with various OS DVDs, but I would always get the grey prohibited sign on boot.

    As a last resort, I just connected the Mac Pro to my MBP via Target Mode again, and installed Mavericks on one of the drives (I would have tried to install an older OS, but the installers don't open on Mavericks... right?). Now the Apple logo appears on boot on the Mac Pro, but then it goes to the grey screen and it gets stuck. Hm. What should I do? Can you guys help me out? I would be so, so thankful!

    Sorry for the somewhat long post!
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    You can get a general time frame of its build date by looking at the third digit in the serial number. That's the last digit of the year it was built in. The fourth and fifth digits are the week of that year.

    Not all Mac Pros can run Mavericks. But all, except the 2013, can run Snow Leopard and Lion. If you have either of those, try installing it.
     
  3. chirpie macrumors 6502a

    chirpie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #3
    I've also sometimes had a bad ram chip that sometimes causes this kind of behavior.

    If there's a couple chips in there you could try swapping and leaving the bare minimum to see if it'll boot.
     
  4. Cisne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    #4
    Thank you for your kind replies. The serial number tells me this is a 2007 model. I took your advice and took out the RAM chips to the bare minimum but didn't feel much difference. I popped in a OS X Lion DVD and I can ask it to boot from it, but after 10 minutes of DVD and Apple logo spinning, both the DVD and the Apple logo stop, and I'm left with a grey screen with a mouse pointer, and nothing else happens... Any thoughts? Thank you!
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #5
    Lion isn't the happiest booting from a DVD. Try a retail Snow Leopard disc or a USB Lion reinstallation drive.
     
  6. Cisne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    #6
    Thank you again for your insight. I tried both the SL DVD and the Lion bootable USB drive and none worked... Hmm, I think I am a bit trapped now. Thank you for your thoughts!
     
  7. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #7
    Is the Snow Leopard disc a black retail one? Try booting it up while pressing Command-V to start it up on verbose mode. What lines does it get stuck at or repeat?
     
  8. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Location:
    DMV Area
    #8
    Hi, what video card is in this system? I purchased a 1,1 last week, and had similar issues as described here, and it turned out to be a failing GeForce 7300 GT. With the failing card in, I couldn't manage to boot from any install media, but was able to get into the Lion system that existed on the hard drive by booting in Safe Mode, similar to how you did. Do you have any spare graphics cards lying around? I was able to essentially fix my system by slipping in my Radeon 2600 XT and removing the 7300 GT. After the swap, I was able to boot from everything without an issue. Hope this helps.
    -N
     
  9. adam9c1 macrumors 65816

    adam9c1

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    May 2, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #9
  10. ChuckBlack macrumors member

    ChuckBlack

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #10
    Super obvious and whatever but my nMacPro wouldn't boot today, same as you, grey screen, no apple logo. I had to unplug everything but the keyboard to get it to boot.
     
  11. jwt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #11
    Taking it down to the bare minimum isn't the same as isolating the bad RAM module. The bad module could be one of the remaining 2 you kept in the machine. Swap those for another two, and if that doesn't work, buy a fresh pair. A voltage spike in the line could have potentially damaged all of them, or some other component which may end up being the real culprit for that matter. The only two times I've had problems booting, they were both memory module issues. A failed video card will usually display video or imagining artifacts on the screen and will be obvious. If you had the same problems booting off of another boot drive in target disk mode, then it's not the OS or the drive. If it's not memory or video, then it's the mother board. Good luck.
     

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