Random Mac Pro 5.1 failures - advice please

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by js2704, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. js2704 macrumors member

    May 20, 2015
    So, apologies in advance for the somewhat rambling problem description, but over the last month I've had the following sequence of events (Mac Pro 5.1, 2x2.4, 48GB RAM, SM951 PCIE boot drive):

    - Upgraded to Radeon RX460. Plug and play, worked nicely, much better gameplay but occasionally froze during high action scenes in Diablo III
    - Decided in a fit of securityness to turn on FileVault. Oh god. Couldn't get to login screen; lots of noise but just a grey screen.
    - Swapped video card back for stock 5770. Still the same for a few attempts then, finally, just as I was set to do a full clean install from USB, login reappeared. Phew.
    - RX460 no longer taking me to login screen though. Hmmm. Back to 5770.
    - Turned off FileVault. Behaved itself for a few days. Deliberately didn't do anything to it. All fine.
    - Added another SSD in an Icy Box. Partitioned, all fine. Moved some data around between non-boot disks. No issues. Nice clean machine.
    - Behaved itself for a few days
    - Yesterday it suddenly decides it doesn't have Bluetooth. Shut down, restarted, all fine. Then it did it again. Repeat. Eventually googled and concluded corrupt plist so deleted it, restarted, all fine.
    - I'm reading email. It suddenly tells me off for ejecting a data storage SSD (i.e. not boot) that's been in it for a year. I haven't done anything of the sort; I'm just reading email. Take it out, reconnect, all fine.
    - Bluetooth goes off again. Turn off machine, restart. Bluetooth's there but now the data SSD isn't (again).
    - When I restart, it shows grey, then a longish progress bar while it starts (which I don't remember taking that long), then a garbled inch-high bar across the top of the screen, then it settles down to the login screen. I don't remember this behaviour before but then until I replaced the graphics card it hadn't been logged off / turned off for at least 6 months.

    So, any advice welcome. Is something serious on its way out? Is a PRAM reset worth it (haven't done one of those since my G4 days when it was a regular occurrence)? Clean install to a non-PCIE drive? Is it time to wipe down to base, yank most of the drives, sell it and go for a 6,1 - or 7,1 :)

    Thanks in advance...
  2. lclev macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2013
    First - I would have never messed with FireVault. That way lies madness.... I have read many interesting problems arising from its use. Unless your job requires it... but that is water over the bridge as you have already done that and now your drive is NOT encrypted by FireVault.

    My suggestions: Reset the PRAM (NVRAM) and SMC. If that does not work - I am afraid a nuke and pave (reinstall OS X) might be your only option. Since this whole mess started after turning FireVault on then off, I am willing to bet it probably corrupted some parts of the OS.

    Your new video card issue causing freezing would most likely be a driver issue. A clean install of OS X then installing the drivers of the video card might just clear that up.

  3. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I agree with @lclev, a fresh install of OS X. There are too many things going on and doing that will eliminate software, settings, etc as the issue. If the problems continue immediately with a fresh install then you'll know it's bad hardware.
  4. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    I'd replace the battery on the motherboard.
    Panasonic 3v BR2032. My 4,1 was experiencing some strange issues that made no sense until I replaced the battery, and now it's stable again.
  5. mugwump macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2004
    My year long random restarts ultimately came from mis-matched RAM, and then a bad RAM stick! I finally figured it out and ordered a new set and all is stable again.
  6. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Are they ECC RAM?
  7. lclev macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2013
    Well mis-matched RAM will do it. Especially if one goes bad. They are very picky. I use matched ECC RAM always.

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