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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2012
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    Boston, MA, USA
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    Specs:
    Mac Pro 1,1 - 2.66 GHz, 13GB RAM, OS 10.6.6 + MBP 2.4GHz, 4 GB RAM, OS 10.6.6
    Unhappy Grey screen of death on Mac Pro '06
    Hi. I just recently bought a used Mac Pro 1,1 that I hope is not a lemon. It's a 2.66Quad, 6 GB RAM, MAC OS X 10.6.6, stock vid card. The only OS installed on it was Lion when I bought it.

    When I got it home, I booted it from my FW drive that has my cloned HD's from my MBP2008 and the Mac Pro booted fine. I restored it's other HD with my cloned disks and it also booted up fine for a few days, although it was taking longer than usual to boot & shutdown.

    Now tonight it's started to act funny. My windows on the screen all of a sudden became distorted-like for a second and shortly after that the display flashed a prism of colors that had some white and red and others. I believe I then froze with the grey screen of death. I've tried every which way to boot up with DVDinstall/FW and every reset I can find on the web either keyboard or motherboard and I keep getting the grey screen.

    I've taken out all the ram, the video card and popping back in and the same. I've tried with only the apple memory that it came with and no. I forgot to run a hardware test after I got it. I can't get it to do that either. It will boot in Target disk mode. When I boot and hold the option key it does let me choose a start up disk. I always get the grey Apple screen first, but after a min or so it goes to death. However, when I try and boot with a snow leopard dvd (retail) and hold down c, the apple screen comes on for a while, the optical drive is read but eventually stops and the display now turns black... not the grey screen of death. It was dirty inside and I dusted as best I could. I was planning on taking it apart to thoroughly clean the fans and cpu's. Any ideas?


  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
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    Fort Worth, Texas
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    49,134
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    Late 2013 27" iMac, iPad 3, iPhone 6s+, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Do you have a spare video card that you can try? I'm not that familiar with the inner workings of a Mac Pro but it does sound like it could be a flakey video card. Some of our Mac Pro experts should be along after awhile to chime in, so hang tight for more answers.

  3. #3

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
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    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    To run Apple Hardware Test you need the original discs that came with the Mac POro, version OS X.4.7. If you have the original silver/grey discs, pop in disc one, boot and hold down 'D'. What sort of video card is installed? Standard run of the mill used the nVidia GeForce 7300GT which seems to have a pretty high failure rate.

    Graphic cards such as a flashed ATI Radeon HD 4870, or a 5870, will set you back a couple of hundred dollars. Perhaps much of the problem is the drives cloned from a MBP. MBP discs will never work in the Mac Pro.

    First up give it that really good clean out, clean connectors on graphics card, remove memory and reseat and pop another hard drive in if you have one. If any joy boot from the retail SL disc and format the hard drive, run Repair Disk, and if all is well do a clean install.

    Keep us posted.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
    Posts
    6
    Specs:
    Mac Pro 1,1 - 2.66 GHz, 13GB RAM, OS 10.6.6 + MBP 2.4GHz, 4 GB RAM, OS 10.6.6
    Thanks... Yeah I was thinking maybe the NVidia card too. It was a little difficult to get it out. Maybe just from being in the machine for years

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
    Posts
    6
    Specs:
    Mac Pro 1,1 - 2.66 GHz, 13GB RAM, OS 10.6.6 + MBP 2.4GHz, 4 GB RAM, OS 10.6.6
    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    To run Apple Hardware Test you need the original discs that came with the Mac POro, version OS X.4.7. If you have the original silver/grey discs, pop in disc one, boot and hold down 'D'. What sort of video card is installed? Standard run of the mill used the nVidia GeForce 7300GT which seems to have a pretty high failure rate.

    Graphic cards such as a flashed ATI Radeon HD 4870, or a 5870, will set you back a couple of hundred dollars. Perhaps much of the problem is the drives cloned from a MBP. MBP discs will never work in the Mac Pro.

    First up give it that really good clean out, clean connectors on graphics card, remove memory and reseat and pop another hard drive in if you have one. If any joy boot from the retail SL disc and format the hard drive, run Repair Disk, and if all is well do a clean install.

    Keep us posted.

    I've run the hardware test on my MBP without disks and it ran it. I didn't get the disks that came with it. I'll probably call the guy who sold it to me and I'll ***** a little bit. I'll see if he still has them. Yeah, when I checked system profiler I saw that it was the stock 7300GT. I did notice that it was showing 0 for the amount of vram and thinking, shouldn't it be showing 256mb? Does that indicate anything?

    I realize that the cloned drives might be a problem. Was it less of an issue with PPC's? Still even after the screens of death, I couldn't even boot from a FW drive. I thought that it would be easier to sync my mbp & the mac pro to the same cloned fw drives so that they both had the same files.

    So what do I use to clean the pci contacts on the nvidia card and the ram? I was thinking before this all happened to find some 5300 cpu's and upgrade. For now, while I'm deep inside the guts, should I clean the cpu's and reapply thermal paste while I'm in there? Also what's the best way to clean the fans? As far as video, I don't need a really good one, I'm using this for DAW for music. Isn't there a cheaper vid card option? Thanks

  6. #6

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
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    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    The zero cram is pointing to a failed graphics card. Cloned drives using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper are not a problem unless it is an SSD. OWC technicians are quite insistent drive should be clean install from the system disc and updated via Migration Assistant.

    This describes cleaning the card:-


    http://www.overclock.net/t/344600/gu...-graphics-card
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
    Posts
    6
    Specs:
    Mac Pro 1,1 - 2.66 GHz, 13GB RAM, OS 10.6.6 + MBP 2.4GHz, 4 GB RAM, OS 10.6.6
    Quote Originally Posted by harryb2448 View Post
    The zero cram is pointing to a failed graphics card. Cloned drives using CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper are not a problem unless it is an SSD. OWC technicians are quite insistent drive should be clean install from the system disc and updated via Migration Assistant.

    This describes cleaning the card:-


    [Guide] Cleaning and reseating your graphics card

    Hmm... So there are used 7300Gt's on ebay for $100. Should I just get this cheap replacement just to see whether or not that the vid card is the culprit? I'd hate to blow $200 when I've already spent $500 on the Mac! Approx what are the percentages that this is the problem in your opinion?

    I've tried to stay away from Migration Assistant myself... to me it's better to manually copy stuff, export/import files & not as quirky

    Yeah I use CCC. So when you a retail install Mac OS on different machines is the OS optimized specifically for that model Mac, or universal across all Intel Macs?

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location
    Boston, MA, USA
    Posts
    6
    Specs:
    Mac Pro 1,1 - 2.66 GHz, 13GB RAM, OS 10.6.6 + MBP 2.4GHz, 4 GB RAM, OS 10.6.6
    Smile Up and running again...
    ... for how long is up to the Mac gods. So I replaced the suspect 7300 GT with a 7800 GTX for $100 and so far, so good. It was showing 256 MB VRAM in the sys profile at first, but then I must have switched the display connector into the 2nd slot and it was showing a "0". I just figured out that when I switch it back to the other port, it shows the 256 MB correctly. To me, I would think that the left port on the vid card would be #1 and the right #2. Left to right? Oh well.

    I also took everything out and cleaned thoroughly. The power supply was disgusting, the owner obviously never cleaned this Mac . I cleaned the Xeon chips/heatsinks and re-applied arctic silver. I couldn't see any bulging on the larger caps. I hope that I saved it in time. They're workhorses though. I hope to upgrade to the quad chips when I have the $$. I wanna get used to what this baby can do first.

    So one more quick question... Why is it that my MBP will do a hardware test without a disc and the Mac Pro will not?

    Thanks Harry for your thoughts and helping me out.

  9. #9

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    22,276
    Specs:
    Imac 27" Retina 5K, 512GB flash memory, 3.3GHz, 16GB memory, macOS Sierra beta.
    You might like to give this a go, when connected to the 'net and see if you can access AHT online:-


    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1509

    The original system discs for a Dual Core Mac Pro 1.1 are the Mac OS X.4.8 silver grey discs, AHT version 3A118 and the original discs are part numbers 2Z691-5967-A for disc 1 and 2Z691-5930-A for Disc 2.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

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