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Sampetra 06-14-2011 11:39 AM

Mac Pro (early 2009) 10.6.7 Hard Drive Issues
So, about two weeks ago, my Mac Pro started to crash regularly. Each attempt to boot up was met with a flashing "?" inside a folder. After some tech support with Apple, I was told I had a dead hard drive. They sent me a new one.

When that drive got here, the new drive was not recognized by the computer. I called Apple again, and they said that every once in a while a drive arrives DoA. I was sent a new HDD. That drive also did not work. I purchased a compatible SATA drive in a store, and got the same story.

Then, last week, my old original drive seemingly sprang back to life and was working like normal. Unfortunately, it was a short lived respite, the drive crashed again last night, and while I can boot into it, it keeps on unmounting minutes after the boot.

I don't think the issue is the HDDs like Apple said. Is there anything potentially wrong with the motherboard, or anything else that I should be thinking about? The computer was purchased just over a year ago, and I really don't want to be stuck with a machine that can't mount HDDs.

EvenStranger 06-14-2011 12:30 PM

Does it matter which drive bay the drive is in? Or is this only an issue with Bay #1? It's possible it's only a bad SATA cable for that bay, like perhaps it got skinned somewhere along the line and grounded out.

Sampetra 06-14-2011 12:33 PM

Unfortunately I've tried each of the hard drives in each of the bays. The only one that reads (occasionally) is the original drive.

harryb2448 06-14-2011 06:02 PM

When you say the new drive was not recognised when set up in say position two, what did Disk Utility say about the drive as it may well need to be partitioned GUID and formatted Mac OS Extended (Journalled)?

Sampetra 06-14-2011 07:34 PM

The new drives didn't show up in either the disk utility or system profiler.

Two of the 3 new drives were sent by Apple themselves, so they are definitely compatible.

harryb2448 06-14-2011 07:44 PM

Sounds like logic board problems getting power to SATA connectors.

Sampetra 06-14-2011 07:50 PM

Any way for me to fix that from home? I'm a fairly handy guy.

pigoo3 06-14-2011 10:26 PM


Originally Posted by Sampetra (Post 1252625)

When that drive got here, the new drive was not recognized by the computer.

Did you install an OS on it? You didn't say.

- Nick

Sampetra 06-14-2011 11:32 PM

I would have if the drive was recognized. They were not even mounting. I could hear the HDDs spinning, but they wouln't show up in the disk utility, and the OS installer couldn't find them to install the operating system.

powermac G5 06-15-2011 09:39 AM

I refurbish said to be dead Mac pro's and I have experienced your issue with hang ups at boot and flashing folder with well known working drives. Again as the same for others this is an on going problem with the neglected CMOS back up battery. System preferences are saved via this battery and your main boot drive can not be recognized because the system is trying to boot from the default network start up. Replace the flat lithium battery CR2032 and try your original drive with OS installed. If no luck possible HD has gone bad. In that case install a new drive and insert OS disc, powerdown and restart holding option and once screen is reached select OS disc and boot. Once installer is reached be sure to enter disk utility and partion drive as "1" and select the options tab below and select GUID partition table for partition and istall OS. You should be fine from here. I feel the battery will solve this problem as I have seen some of the silliest issues with the pro and bad or dead CMOS back up battery such as failed CPU's HA! So try the easiest and cheapest method first. Also noted in some instances is the Airport card if installed, can go bad causing a short, really confuses the machine. I do not feel this is your problem though.
Post back your results, thank you.

Sampetra 06-15-2011 10:15 AM

Where can I find that battery (in the computer, and where to purchase a new one)?

RavingMac 06-15-2011 10:20 AM

No idea where the battery is, but CR2032 is one of the most common batteries. You will find it at almost any Walmart or other major store.

harryb2448 06-15-2011 05:58 PM

Under the graphics card perhaps held down by a circular clip.

Sampetra 06-22-2011 10:03 PM

Replaced the battery, no dice.

harryb2448 06-23-2011 12:22 AM

Did not think so. Back to the logic board alas.

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