Where do I start - upgrade to Mavericks goes horribly wrong

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ScottProck, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. ScottProck macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Nampa, ID
    #1
    I decided to upgrade to Mavericks and now I have a huge brick on my desk.

    Specs:

    I have a MacPro 3,1 dual quad core 2.8GHz, running 16GB ram. Two graphics cards one supported and one not so much. ATI Radeon HD 2600XT 256MB and a Gigabit brand GeForce GTX 650ti w/2GB Ram running two Samsung S27B350 HD monitors.

    So ... I wanted to check that the hard drive was without errors before upgrading. Unfortunately there were errors, booting into the recovery HD to repair the hard drive failed. I was given a message that the hard drive could not be repaired by disk utility. Thus starts the major downward spiral of my Mac.

    I decided to do a clean install after reformatting the hard drive, so I created a bootable USB of Mavericks, booted up into the USB, used disk utility to erase and format the system drive for a clean install. The install of Mavericks locked up 4 minutes into the "preparing files for install" so I made another attempt doing the same steps, boot into the USB, erase system drive, install Mavericks. This time it looked up at the 5 minute mark. I waited for over an hour to see if it would resolve, still nothing. Did a hard shut down to see about preparing a new boot drive.

    All this while fighting the displays, I left the radeon card in place just for such an occasion. You see, the GeForce card does not display during the boot sequence. However, the Mac kept getting confused with the displays. The radeon card even with only one display plugged in would display the apple logo on the primary display, but switched the login, drive select etc screen onto the invisible (not plugged in monitor) so there was always a search to find which outlet on the card was passing the display. At one time it even showed up on one side of the GeForce card.

    Soooo ... Here I am, unable to get even a " no operating system" warning to display. I have verified that the boot drives (three different ones, one has Lion loaded onto it) work when I boot them up on my MacBookPro, however there's a working OS on that machine.

    Sorry so long ... My question ... Since the OS was whiped out, am I dealing with a graphic card that can't display for lack of drivers, or could the card have suffered an untimely death. I can't rely on the GeForce card because it is not supported. My best guess is that the boot drives are working I just can't see them. Both monitors are working too. I tested them with the MBP.

    Or ... Is this an issues because there's not a working OS on the hard drive anymore?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    Have you tried a different hard drive? If disk utility couldn't repair it, perhaps there is a problem with installing to it as well, causing the lock up. I'd try a different drive.

    Also, have you tried removing the Geforce card completely and using only one monitor on the ATI? That would remove potential display confusion issues. After Mavericks is installed, updated, and working 100%, you can pop the new card back in.
     
  3. ScottProck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Nampa, ID
    #3
    Thanks for the reply, and yes I verified the drive after I reformatted it, there are zero errors. I did take the GeForce card out, in fact it's still out.

    I would think I should at least see a no operating system warning or a grey screen on the monitor, but I get nothing.

    At this point I'm trying to rule out the card by making sure I can in deed install Mavericks, or Lion even, from a boot drive with a blank (newly formatted MacOS journaled) drive. If it's possible to install on a new or fresh drive, then I'll assume it's the card and look at cheap options for a stock card.
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    Well perhaps you are on to something there. The 2600XT is notoriously problematic and it was recalled by Apple. Apple extended the recall period all the way to December 2012, but obviously that's too late now.

    OTOH, I don't see how it could be causing the problems you describe. Locking up on "preparing files for install" sounds like a problem with either the source (USB installer) or the destination (HDD).
     
  5. ScottProck thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Nampa, ID
    #5
    Yea, it sounds like the card may have been on the way out.

    The instructions I followed for creating the boot drive mentioned some people have had issues with it either not booting up or locking up during the install. It was suggested to try different USB media. I'm thinking the first issues of the installer locking up was most likely related to the boot drive.

    What I'm afraid of, is purchasing a new card, and finding out I can't install mavericks from a boot drive without a functioning OS first in place. I have read that the MacOS updates that were App Store downloads need the ability to login to the App Store, but that was only because that's how you got the update. It's been my understanding that a bootable installation drive should work to install a clean copy of the os. That is what one would have to do if they had a hard drive failure and installed a brand new drive right?
     
  6. palmharbor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #6
    10.9.1

    I choose to wait until the release of 10.9.1.
    Measure twice, cut once.
     
  7. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #7
    Unless Mavericks is very different from all preceding operating systems, you definitely do not have to have a drive with a functioning OS on it before you do a clean install from a USB drive.

    So don't worry about that.

    Is it possible for you to make a new USB kit on a new USB drive? That's what I'd try first. You'd have to have access to another Mac and do another download. I do think you want to rule out that your USB drive is corrupt in some way.
     
  8. ScottProck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Nampa, ID
    #8
    Exactly, a replacement GPU (even low end) is more than I want to spend if the card is not the issue. Especially since the stock card is only needed for a boot sequence.

    @Monokakata I have created a boot drive with three different types of media, and used DiskmakerX, as well as the terminal, and Disk Utility. Three types of media, and three different ways to create the boot drive. I have tested that the boot drives load up using a MacBookPro. (Second computer) So at this point, it's starting to look more and more like a card failure.

    My next challenge is to find a compatible card that is cheap, and allows the boot screen to display. I have no need for an expensive card, as I already have want I need in the GTX card
     
  9. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #9
    I'm waiting for the last build of it.
     
  10. ScottProck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Nampa, ID
    #10
    Ugh ... The price of even a low end card doesn't set well with me. I would almost be better off upgrading the high end card to one that has the EFI boot compatibility and sell the GTX card.

    This has got me thinking about drivers, is there any way possible the displays not showing up could be a driver issue. There's no OS installed to handle the drivers, and I'm not sure the boot disk would have them either.

    Short of taking the Mac into a shop to have the OS installed, I don't know of any other way to verify the card is good/bad. The shop will be cheaper than a new card I'm sure.

    My next possible test is to find the last installation DVD and do an incremental upgrade, I know drivers exist on them, but kill me now, the time this is taking and all I wanted was the new dual monitor support of Mavericks.
     
  11. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #11
    Card with working EFI should display grey screen EVEN WITH NO DRIVES AT ALL IN MAC. If you never get grey screen then 2600 has died.

    If you are in LA / Hollywood area I could put an EFI on your 660. Cheapest guaranteed flash able card is a 8800GT BUT IT MUST BE EVGA BRAND WITH BLUE AND WHITE FAN.

    Or try local Craigslist for Mac cards. Or look on EBay and do a search for 25 miles from your zip code and try to make deal with local person.
     
  12. ScottProck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Nampa, ID
    #12
    Thank You! I just tried to get the DVD of Snow Leopard to show up and still nothing. The screen is black as black can be, so thank you for confirming mY suspicions. I knew I should have got at least some sort of error screen, or something indicating there isn't an operating system if all else failed.

    Wish I were in LA, from Boise ID would be along drive :)

    I thought the 8800GT was one of the optional Apple upgrades for the 2008 MacPro? Shouldn't it already be EFI ready?

    Thanks again
     
  13. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #13
    if you get a Mac one, yes.

    But PC ones are far more numerous.

    You wanted a cheap EFI card, that is cheapest one I can think of that is ALWAYS flashable.
     
  14. BJonson macrumors 6502a

    BJonson

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    Aug 26, 2010
  15. ScottProck thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Nampa, ID
    #15
    I appreciate the input, I'm understanding the differences now. It's amazing how much cheaper the pc brand cards are.

    ----------

    @MacVidCards you mentioned flashing my existing GTX card. Are you saying the GTX 650ti is flashable?

    That may be my best alternative if I can find someone in my area that can flash the card.
     
  16. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #16
    Sorry, not sure 650 ti boost is doable. Thought you had 660.

    Somewhere in Russia is a guy with a 670 4gb with EFI. I had agreed to make him a custom 650ti EFI. The 650 is still on my desk, great clear boot screens, just always crashes after. I gave up and sent him free upgrade.

    Maybe someday I'll figure out 650ti, but the pile of "almost there" cards keeps growing and time is shrinking.
     

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