Snow Leopard has broken my Mac Pro :-(

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CountBrass, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. CountBrass macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    Installed Snow Leopard on my 1st gen Mac Pro and had nothing but trouble: random crashes and re-boots that have gotten so bad that now it crashes during boot up.

    Part way through the spinny wheel you get after the boot-up Apple logo either half the screen goes orange (!) and it crashes, or the centre of the screen corrupts and it crashes or I get the multi-lingual grey screen of death.

    Same happens if I boot from the Snow Leopard DVD.

    Pretty unhappy as you can imagine: can anyone suggest anything? I've tried re-seating the graphics card , blowing out the dust and I've rotated all the memory: makes no difference.
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    So you can't try a clean installation?
  3. CountBrass thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    Nope. Starting from the install DVD crashes as well. I'm suspecting Snow Leopard has screwed my firmware :-(
  4. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    Snow Leopard doesn't modify your firmware or touch it at all.

    If starting from the vanilla Leopard DVD work's fine, it's likely shoddy RAM or something with your machine.

    It could also be coincidence. It getting worse over time points to hardware failure, not Snow Leopard.

    If, for some reason, you still are convinced it's the firmware, you can restore your firmware here:
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    As goMac mentioned, it doesn't touch the firmware. So something's wrong with the hardware.

    Do you have another optical drive you can use?
    I'd check that out first, even before memory,... Higher odds, as it's using mechanical components. ;)
  6. paulpet macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2006
    First gen Mac Pro owner here, with a clean install of Snow Leopard. I also replaced my graphics card with a 4870 at around the same time. My machine has been running better than it's done in quite some time. Rock solid stable.

    So as others have mentioned I'd say it's more likely some sort of hardware issue rather than SL screwing you over.

  7. wpc33 macrumors 6502


    Jul 2, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    Hopefully you have the Hardware Tests disc that came w/ the mac, new.
    If not, try to reinstall onto a different HDD and boot from that.
  8. SG1-1 macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2009
    My Mac Pro 1st Gen is Also rock solid with Snow Leopard, No Problems at all with the system.
  9. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    mac pro 1,1 here too. clean install with migration assistant. couldn't be happier.

    i would lean towards ram or possibly hard drive problems.
  10. kittiyut macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2007
    Mac Pro Early 2008 Octo here. Did an upgrade to Snow Leopard and couldn't be happier. However, with the Caldigit RAID card installed (1 drive for boot camp and 3 for RAID 5) it was quite and ordeal doing the update. Anyway, I followed the instructions from tech support and everything went smooth as Thai silk.
  11. Akula971 macrumors regular


    Aug 25, 2006
    Perfidious Albion
    Graphics card

    It sounds like your graphics card is failing. I had similar trouble with my 2008 Mac Pro. I had kernel panics at start up Diagnostics reported that all was well in the hardware test, could not get it to boot in OSX. Lucky for me that I had previously installed a hard drive with Windows XP on it. This would boot up no problem at all, but no 3D capability was reported, which led me to believe it was the graphics card. I got a new card 4780 and all was well. A bit miffed that the 8800GT failed after 14 months or so!
  12. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I have the same machine but have been holding off because I want to install everything fresh. I did that on my early 2009 Macbook Pro and it's running great.

    If I were you, I'd revert back to my previous system using Superduper or Time Machine. If you erase and install from one of these backups you will be right back where you started from. Then if there are issues you can be assured that they are not due to Snow Leopard. If you are still crashing, it's probably a hardware issue and a coincidence that this happened when you upgraded to Snow Leopard.

    Once you get your computer back to what it was, you can evaluate doing a fresh install. However, I would wait until the next update because it is coming out soon.
  13. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Which card did you flash? I'm looking at doing the same thing but don't want to turn it into an all weekend project. I have an X1900 (my 3rd) but would love to get something new. I wonder if we will ever get Snow Leopard support for a 4870?
  14. paulpet macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2006
    No, didn't flash a PC card. I just bought the one from the Apple store, even though there's no mention of first gen Mac Pros being supported, it works just fine under Snow Leopard on my machine.

    Although buying the PC version and flashing it will save you quite a bit of money I hear.

    I was having all sorts of stability issues and graphical glitches with my X1900. I think it was overheating. I'm really happy with things after replacing it. Also the fan on the 4870 is much quieter on than on the X1900 (at least on my machine), which was a nice additional surprise.
  15. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Can your try to see if a PRAM and SMC reset will fix that?
  16. CountBrass thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    Yep, looking like it's (one hell of) a co-incidence.

    Reading posts from people with similar problems elsewhere it seems the consensus is it's the Nvidia 8800 graphics card that's to blame. Buying a new card this evening to check.

    If so then that's two out of two graphics cards in this Mac Pro that have proven faulty: the original ATI card and the replacement Nvidia card.

    Let's hope that third time's the charm!
  17. CountBrass thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    Yup it was Nvidia's fault.

    4870 now installed in its place and everything is working perfectly.

    So, not SL's fault but still Apple's: graphics cards should last longer than 18 months surely?
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Yes, it should. Keep in mind, Apple doesn't actually manufacture the cards though. Not to say they still aren't responsible (at least partially, depending on one's POV), as they chose to offer that specific part with their name attached to it.
  19. cheapwhyskey macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2009
    Black Sceen of Death

    Install went fine, then after about 12 hours it went to sleep and the monitor never came back. Mac book Pro, with SL update.

    Apple won't even admit the possibility that the two things are related.
  20. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    I doubt they are related as well. Most likely the HDD was about to die and the intensive operation of SL installation was the final straw that killed it dead. Or it over heated during - either way.
  21. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    As a former tech, we had a lot of drives die during a reimage/reinstall. It's simply because it's the most intensive thing that people usually do with their drives. Kind of like a stress test. ESPECIALLY on laptop hard drives.
  22. Baunkjaer macrumors 6502


    Feb 20, 2009
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Well, I received the SL update saturday, and did the upgrade on my white iMac same day. Went like a charm.

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