My Buddy Needs Help: Mac Pro Dead

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by osxhero, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. osxhero macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2010
    Here's his configuration:

    • Mac Pro 2006
    • Snow Leopard fully updated

    His computer was running a bit slow, so he rebooted. POW, he gets nothing but a gray screen. He has two monitors and one is dead, and the primary is gray. The chime sounds good, no beeps. He has four drives, 1 - Factory, 2 thru 4 - Raid.

    He had a Mac Pro 2008 in his garage. He pulls the drive from his garage model, removes his primary drive from his dead computer and successfully boots the garage drive in the DEAD computer. Great right? So he then shuts down. Puts his dead drive in Bay 2, removing drives 3 and 4, so only two drives in...the garage one that JUST booted great, and the old DEAD drive in Bay 2. He restarts.

    Now the garage drive won't boot. No biggie right? He moves his garage drive back into the Mac Pro 2008 model. Oops! Now it won't boot.

    Could the CPU be eating drives without any chimes?

    He tested his DEAD drive in the 2008 model, same thing, DEAD.

    Any ideas? I've been working on Macs forever, and I've never heard of this problem.

    I should add that the system won't open the CDROM drive during a USB mouse left-click down. It also won't allow him to reset his PRAM. He holds the keys down, and nothing, and that's on both models. It was my understanding that PRAM resets and CDROMS open even if the system fails to find a drive.

    Too, his system never shows the dead folder. How is that possible?
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Can you reboot in single user mode at all? Hold cmmd-s at boot. Know Unix.
  3. macrominnie macrumors member

    Nov 20, 2010
    Disclaimer: This is very very non-expert advice.

    Something very similar happened to me a couple of years ago, only with three had drives not two. The Mac appeared to die, I swapped it out for a cloned backup, re-booted, and started running a hardware test. In the process of running, the Mac died again. I swapped a second backup cloned drive which started up okay. Then the Mac died again before I could really run another hardware check.

    At this point, I was convinced the Mac was frying every disk. I had thought when with the first non-startup that a bad hard drive was the most likely thing. It seemed very unlikely that hard drive failure could happen two or three times in a row. I tried booted up from a different (older) disk in an external enclosure, and that didn't seem to work

    I was completely puzzled and took the machine to a very good Mac repair person. (I brought along a fourth drive, to swap in, in case my Mac was salvageable.)

    To my surprise, everything on the Mac checked out okay except for the 3 failed hard drives. It seemed like an unbelievable coincidence that 3 hard drives in a row could fail almost simultaneously on an otherwise intact Mac. But that's exactly what happened.

    When an intact hard drive was swapped in, the Mac ran fine with no problems for many months since.

    I'd suggest your friend have only one intact hard drive (total) in the bays, and to run an Apple Hardware Test off whatever DVD/flash drive/boot disk is available.

    In my case, I spent a lot of time with many strategies trying to fix things. I was glad to have a repair person's perspective, because I wouldn't have believed the real solution. I usually try to work through things myself.

    I hope it's some consolation to your friend that weird stuff happens.
  4. osxhero thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2010
    I wish he could. I he can't get anything to do a boot cycle. Not even the usual broken folder icon which was routine in Snow Leopard.


    That is a WILD story. The weird thing with his situation is that the drive booted perfectly from his alternate computer. Then on reboot it died. :(

    It really feels like it killed his drive, but only on reboot. I just can't believe he's unable to reset his PRAM. Such a basic hardware service.

    Thank you for the info regardless.

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