New Mac Pro problems, cause by external hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nitromedia, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. nitromedia macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2014

    Since I have my new Mac Pro, i had a lot of trouble : first it keep freezing. I called Apple Care, they made me do a couple of thing. But nothing work. I did a fresh install of my computer and the problem disappeared.

    A couple weeks later, I started to have problem with my screen. Like a weird glitch like the graphic card of the screen was broken. I called back AppleCare and they asked me to try to find when the problem was happening. Really hard to tell. Freeze came back in the game too. I was really pissed off.

    So since last week, i turned off my external Lacie Drive - it was always open - (don't ask me why i try this, i was desperate haha), and i have no idea why, but all the problem disappear since then. I hope its over for good.

    Could it be possible ? And why an external drive cause so much problems to my new little Mac Pro ?

    Is there anyone here who had so much trouble like I had ?
  2. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    My friend... never buy the first generation of anything.
  3. ClassObject macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2010
  4. chrisn123 macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2011
    Is your external drive connected via Thunderbolt? Is monitor connected to the drive?

    A bad Thunderbolt cable could cause some the problems you described.

    Shouldn't cause screen glitches, but any bad drive or cable (Thunderbolt or otherwise) can cause your system (or certain apps) to "freeze" waiting for I/O.

    In additional to trying different cables, I would use Disk Utility to "Repair" the external drive and see what it shows.
  5. nitromedia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2014
    - External drive is connected through USB3. Should I buy a USB3 to Thunderbolt or simply try another USB3 cable ?
    - My screens (i've got two) are both DVI to thunderbolt. They got the same cable but only one screen is doing the glitch. I'll try to switch the cable.
    - I'll try to repair the permission of the external drive.

    Thanks !
  6. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    What model LaCie drive? Did you check for firmware updates available from LaCie?

    Also, a bad USB 3 cable can also cause issues.
  7. flowrider macrumors 603


    Nov 23, 2012
    Very Helpful, we need folks like here:mad:

    It's obviously not the Mac, but a cable to external problem. Start trouble shooting with the cables.

  8. chrisn123 macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2011
    I have two 30" Cinema displays via adapters. I had a minor "snow" distortion that went away by simply plugging into a different TB port. You might try that as well.

    Someone here mentions that there was a firmware revision to the Apple DVI ADAPTER itself. I was going to looking into that as well.
  9. nitromedia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2014
    Sooo i Though it was my External Hard drive. Everything was fine until this morning.

    The computer freeze like 15 min after starting my external Hard Drive. So rebooted, double check my firmware, write to Lacie. Made some verifications with me, they think its the cable. I thought I finally found my problem.

    I turn off the External Hard Drive continue to work, until now....

    4 hours later, computer froze again....... and the External Hard Drive was turn off !!! :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

    What could it be ????
    I can't find any pattern. I had the same app opened as usual (thunderbird, transmit, itunes, chrome, sublime text, skype) nothing to crash a brand new Mac Pro.....

    I'm 3 hours away from the nearest Apple Store, and i cannot "lose" my Mac for several weeks.
  10. hkoster1 macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2012
    The Netherlands
    You're not the only one having mysterious freezing problems with the new Mac Pro 6,1. There are several threads over at the Apple Support Forums about this.

    In my case, the problems stopped after I enabled the new Power Nap feature in the Energy settings in System Preferences. I have no explanation as to why this works, but it wouldn't hurt you to give it a try.
  11. nitromedia thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2014
    Already did that too. In fact i didn't mention it, but thats the first thing i tried. I thin I tried everything i found on the internet....
  12. Art Man macrumors newbie

    Apr 30, 2015
    pinwheel by hard drive


    I've had similar problem with my Mac Pro and an external hard drive (G Drive Pro 4TB with Thunderbolt) . It started as occasional locking -pinwheel- and gradually got a little worse over some months. Then recently I decided to create a boot-able image of my primary drive-spurred somewhat by the locking up.. So I partitioned the G Dive to a boot drive and a media drive.

    This seemed fine at first-able to boot from backup -but pinwheel became more frequent and harder to get rid of and shortly I had to shut down Mac pro.

    I shut off external drive which I used from the beginning with Mac Pro.

    My Mac Pro now work better-faster- than ever and after several days no more spinning wheel of death-not even for a second.

    This is nice but now it appears the external drive was always a problem and it just got worse after the partitioning.

    I'm new to Mac and am wondering if this is Mac Pro cylinder problem,Yosemite or combo there of ???
  13. bax2003 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2011
    When your Mac Pro freezes, is it complete freeze or you can move your mouse ?
  14. martylouis macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2015
    mac pro pinwheel of death from hard drive

    I've been having a lot of the same problems as stated above. I can move the mouse around, pinwheel continues.

    I noticed that for me it will freeze after about 5-7mins when working with both iTerm and Sublime Text 3, which could possibly be Finder related... no idea.

    This is definitely external hard drive related for me too, because everything runs so smoothly without.

    My Specs with this issue:

    Mac Pro 3.7/12GB/250GB
    27" Thunderbolt Display
    SeaGate FreeAgent 1TB external hard drive with USB 3.0

    Sublime Text 3
    iTerm w/ grunt/browsersync/watch tasks
    Google Chrome

  15. GoofyCyborg macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2013
    Wales, UK

    I wouldn't buy an iPhone untill the 4S launched lol
  16. Reality4711 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2009
    Great Help

    I cannot believe that you actually think that statement is of any use at all.......

    Kind Regards

  17. GoofyCyborg macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2013
    Wales, UK
    I cannot believe you felt the need to tell me that! :eek:
  18. Reality4711 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2009

    Yes I see the humour.

    Just a staid reactionary response on my part.

    Mind you I still cannot bring myself to totally 'be cool' with it.

    But I suppose like everything else in the world I have issues with I will just have to put up with it and 'shut the f***k up'.

    Thanks for reminding me, I won't bother next time.


  19. twomartoe macrumors member

    Mar 15, 2015

    We all face this issue, in this thread

    Was any of your apps fullscreen? I notice my crash happens mostly with chrome/vlc/safari fullscreen video. Senior applecare person told me to unplug my external usb3 hardrive and hub. Crash still happens. I use iterm,phpstorm,c4d, after effects and only remember crashes mostly had video playing, because sound will play even when whole system become unresponsive. Also I have not installed flash on this freshly installed yosemite
  20. allusis, Jan 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017

    allusis macrumors newbie


    Jun 14, 2013
    Niskayuna, NY
    I have a late 2013 Mac Pro using a LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 2 external drive.

    It has run relatively smoothly up until the past few of months. Perhaps since Sierra?

    It started out with the occasional pinwheel of doom, with various degrees of unresponsiveness. Sometimes the mouse would stop tracking for a few seconds at a time, other times audio would cut out, etc. But almost always was unable to shut down or restart the machine. I even let it sit for a couple of hours to see if it caught up. Nope.

    Fast forward a couple of months, and it started happening more frequently. One day after a hard power down, the boot chime happened, it got about 3/4 of the way through the actual sound, cut out, and repeated that process, just looping the boot chime every second or so until it was powered down.

    In a fit of confusion / despair, I yanked some ram modules out, powered it back up, and it booted fine. I thought I had bad RAM for a few days, and then it happened again. Removed another stick. Problem gone.

    I believe what I was really doing was getting it to boot because of an SRAM reset by having it unplugged?

    I brought my machine in to Apple, they believed that it was software related, I agreed to format and reinstall Sierra.
    I got the machine back, felt great, reinstalled my applications, symlinked my hefty folders back from the external drive, and all was well.

    The next morning however, it boot-looped again. I called support and had them listen to it. They were then curious about it being hardware related, so I dropped it off again. It's been in service for almost a week now. I've called twice. Just waiting on "replacement ram" to rule that out, and they have YET to reproduce the issue.

    I'm really wondering if this drive is the reason it's happening here. Or if they're not stressing it out, or testing for long enough.
  21. Reticuli macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2014
    Northern Ireland
    I've been having the same problems. I too have thunderbolt storage. A TB2 array of SSDs (Thunderbay 4 mini)
    I get occasional periods of small freezes, sluggishness and weird UI behaviour. This was rare under El Cap and Yosemite but now frequent in Sierra.
  22. V.K. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 5, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    I had similar problems a couple of years ago and after a lot of investigating it turned out that my Dell monitor was at fault. I got a replacement one from Dell and hasn't had a problem since. You should check your monitor. If you have another monitor to test with try that and see if the problem persists. Also, if you can you should take your MP to an Apple Store and have it tested to see if there are issues with a graphics card.
  23. Reticuli macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2014
    Northern Ireland
    Any chance you see the error below while your problem is occurring?

    void IOAccelBlockFenceMachine::block_fence_timeout(IOTimerEventSource *): prodding blockFenceInterrupt
  24. allusis macrumors newbie


    Jun 14, 2013
    Niskayuna, NY
    I got a couple messages after a reboot on El Cap and Yosemite indicating there was a kernel panic. I have yet to see any error or relevant console messages in Sierra, which like you said, appears to handle it a whole lot worse than the previous two OS versions.

    Do you symlink any ~/.. folders to your external by chance?

    Any commonalities here will be great ammunition for Apple support.
  25. allusis macrumors newbie


    Jun 14, 2013
    Niskayuna, NY
    I got my Mac Pro back from Apple the 3rd time, and this time it wouldn't boot at all. My screen would turn on, but clearly wasn't getting a signal. I was unable to reset NVRAM, or get into safe mode as the machine was completely unresponsive and stuck somewhere between the boot chime and the login screen.

    Oddly, plugging the display into any other machine was fine but the real issue ended up being similar to yours. It is my Thunderbolt display. For some reason a machine that was already booted had no issues right away, but any machine plugged into that monitor during a boot (reset, or a power on) had the exact same issue as my Mac Pro. I'm sure that is why I never witnessed issues on my Mac Book with this display, because well... I never turn it off.

    Apple said that it could be a faulty cable, or the logic board inside of the Thunderbolt display causing the issues. It seems like this is not a common issue, and it can take a while for it to consistently cause issues. The engineers I worked with had never seen or heard of this issue, but their eyes lit up when I was able to demonstrate with my machine and theirs. Up until this point, it was locking my Mac Pro up, and making it boot loop. I have that display in for repair now, and my Mac Pro has been running like a champion for two days without it.

    One more note that probably should have been indicator for me a few weeks back. While plugging in the thunderbolt cable to my MacBook, I saw a small flicker / spark on the signal plug when the cord touched the aluminum on my MacBook. I thought I was seeing things, but that probably isn't right.

    I hope all of my pain and suffering can help someone else :)

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