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#34514 - 06/01/15 04:54 PM Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware?
bbenge Offline


Registered: 06/01/15
I have a small recording studio....and have been having startup problems with my early 2008 (see sys specs) Mac Pro.

Upon powering up, it shows the white screen with apple, then the spinning loading wheel (Mavericks), then peripherals come online (audio interface, security keys, etc.). But then there is a long pause, and the apple reappears. The desktop never seems to start. Sometimes behavior varies slightly. Sometimes there will be a spinning beach ball, or the dialog 'You shut your computer down because of a problem....' will appear. But there is next to no responsiveness. After many reboots, what I discovered is that the system's functions are actually happening, but at an ungodly slow rate. Like screen and mouse refreshes in steps. So the OS is actually trying to load, but cannot function reasonably once it starts to show up.

Safe boot does work, BTW. I've tried all the standard diagnostic procedures, tricks, etc.

Safe boot
Repair disk and permissions
Disconnecting all hardware (including internal SuperDrive)
Reset PRAM/SMC (power disconnect, boot key command, and logic board button)
Booting with only a single monitor
Apple hardware test
Emptying out the startup programs

Now HERE'S THE TRICKY PART. Sometimes after hours of trying, the system will eventually boot correctly, and work perfectly without any failure. When that happens, obviously I try to keep the computer on as long as possible....and I can use it perfectly....until I have to power down for some reason. Then it's back to the drawing board. However, I cannot figure out what is causing a successful boot up.

A few things I've been told it could be are...

Bad logic board
Bad memory
Failing system drive
Bad video card
Bad power supply

I recently had the video card replaced. Same as original...(I know. I way overpaid)...and the tech said the card and the 1st PCIe 16x slot it was in were both fried. But the new card was installed in the 2nd slot, and was working fine when it left the shop. All the diagnostics have checked out OK. Even the extended (longer) Apple hardware test.

One last note is that I also have Snow Leopard installed on a 2nd partition. Used to work fine....but now has the same problem. Will not boot up reliably either.

Anybody have any other ideas? I'm perfectly willing to work on this thing. We inherited the tower...and it's a lot better and more powerful than I can really afford. But I do not want to throw money into it that doesn't need to be. Currently NO budget for a new machine...and if this one dies, it's back to docking my MacBook Pro....which really SUCKS.

Would appreciate any further advice or tidbits. Thanks.
B
_________________________
Early 2008 Mac Pro
Processor: 2x2,8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Memory: 8GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB
Software: OS X 10.9.5 (13F1077)

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#34515 - 06/01/15 05:01 PM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: bbenge]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Hi, and welcome to FineTunedMac. smile

You've done a bunch of diagnostics on your hardware, but it looks like you've overlooked system diagnostics, i.e. Disk Utility > Repair Disk (while booted into another volume or from an installer disc) at the least, or DiskWarrior, TechTool Pro or another of their ilk, and I also think it would be worth your while to run a surface scan on your HDD.

Good luck, and please keep us posted.

Edit: It just occurred to me that, since your issue has spread to a second volume, the system diagnostics are probably pointless, but the surface scan remains a good idea under any circumstances.


Edited by artie505 (06/01/15 06:17 PM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#34516 - 06/01/15 05:03 PM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: bbenge]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
The problem may be caused by something as simple as a weak internal backup battery. I had startup issues with my Mac Pro (2007) and replacing the battery solved it. If you don't have the manual, you can download it here. Instructions are found on page 64 and 65. The battery should be readily available in pharmacies, supermarkets, and Radio Shack.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#34517 - 06/01/15 05:12 PM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: jchuzi]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Smacks self on side of head for forgetting about battery. blush

(My very first Mac, a Power PC, had startup issues, and my daughter, a Mac tech...laptop specialist, either didn't know or forgot about that battery, and I wasn't aware of support sites yet; I suffered until I finally upgraded to an iBook.)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#34520 - 06/01/15 10:28 PM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: artie505]
bbenge Offline


Registered: 06/01/15
I ran Disk Utility-->Repair Disk and Disk Permissions out of safe boot and the recovery partition a bunch...until all was green. It's on the list.

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#34521 - 06/01/15 10:29 PM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: jchuzi]
bbenge Offline


Registered: 06/01/15
Didn't list it. But I had checked the battery voltage and it seemed fine.
_________________________
Early 2008 Mac Pro
Processor: 2x2,8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Memory: 8GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB
Software: OS X 10.9.5 (13F1077)

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#34522 - 06/01/15 11:26 PM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: bbenge]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
My bad...lousy reading comprehension.

I still suggest the surface scan.

Edit: Actually, DiskWarrior and its compatriots can do things that Disk Utility can't do, but since your issue affects two volumes it's not very likely that they'd be helpful.


Edited by artie505 (06/01/15 11:29 PM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#34526 - 06/02/15 01:57 AM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: bbenge]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: bbenge
Didn't list it. But I had checked the battery voltage and it seemed fine.
If the voltage checks out OK, the battery could still be bad. I had that experience with my G4 DP 450. Startup was wonky, I replaced the battery, and all was well. I tested the old battery and it read as if it had a full charge. Since the button battery in the Mac Pro costs very little, it would be worth a gamble to simply replace it before doing anything drastic.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.14.3, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#34530 - 06/02/15 04:29 AM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: bbenge]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

If the Mac Pro starts up as expected when Safe Booting, then I wouldn't think the problem lies in the disk, battery, or other internal hardware.

To clarify what you've tried: when you did the Safe Boot, were your peripherals connected? And the Mac started fine under those circumstances? Also, you tried a normal boot with peripherals disconnected, and that didn't work?
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dkmarsh • member, FineTunedMac Co-op Board of Directors

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#34538 - 06/02/15 01:01 PM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: artie505]
bbenge Offline


Registered: 06/01/15
That's kinda what I was thinking. Since both Mavericks and Snow Leopard partitions have identical boot problems, it's probably not the hard drive?.?

I will try a new battery. Voltage checks out on the multimeter...but it is the original battery from 2008....so it could be misfiring or something.
_________________________
Early 2008 Mac Pro
Processor: 2x2,8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Memory: 8GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB
Software: OS X 10.9.5 (13F1077)

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#34539 - 06/02/15 01:04 PM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: bbenge]
bbenge Offline


Registered: 06/01/15
I'm not sure Safe Boot is working 100% perfectly. It's useable as a utility. But is it supposed to kinda stutter around a little and not have smooth animation?? Since I've rarely used Safe Boot before this problem, I don't really have a basis of comparison.


Edited by bbenge (06/02/15 01:07 PM)
_________________________
Early 2008 Mac Pro
Processor: 2x2,8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Memory: 8GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB
Software: OS X 10.9.5 (13F1077)

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#34552 - 06/03/15 02:36 AM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: bbenge]
bbenge Offline


Registered: 06/01/15
Well....I think I found the culprit. I yanked out the video card, and the unit booted up flawlessly several times in a row. I ran it from another mac, using "screen sharing". Played iTunes, and accessed some various files with no problem. Stuck the video card back in, and it booted up rotten again. So it's either the card or the PCIe 16x slot. Not good if it's the slot. frown
_________________________
Early 2008 Mac Pro
Processor: 2x2,8 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Memory: 8GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB
Software: OS X 10.9.5 (13F1077)

Top
#34553 - 06/03/15 03:03 AM Re: Mac Pro won't boot up...hardware? [Re: bbenge]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Good luck!
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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Moderator:  alternaut, dianne, MacManiac