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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Mac pro, big failure, won't boot.


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Lewis McCallum

 
Member Since: Sep 19, 2012
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Hi there

Thanks in advance to anyone that takes the time to help me out!

Major problem with my Mac.
Can't boot up at all.


So I have a Mac Pro 1,1 that I have owned from new.
2.6 Xeon, 4 cores total
3 gig ram

Here is a link to see video of what's happening....
Mac failure - YouTube

Basically what happens is the boot up screen is messed up with a kind of sloped grid pattern corruption look. Not the same as the *checkered *look I've *seen elsewhere online for other logic board failures. *Then after that all goes blank to black and that's it.

Safe mode didnt help. Just got a messed up looking grey progress bar, then blue screen of death followed with grid kind of corruption pattern overlayed.

So I'm wondering if my problem is a failed graphics card? Or logic board? Or something else?


The problem came after I installed 2 more hard drives from a PC. Had formatted them for mac and erased no problem. Then the next day one of them had a failure and needed to be reformatted again, which I thought was strange.*
The Mac became its broken self when I went away for a bit. I suspect by guessing the timing it happened when it went to go into sleep mode. I came back and the desktop was all warped with a similar pattern to the startup screen.

Could it be that having 4 hard drives running internal that has caused something to give way that was already a weak part? I tried using my Mac in target disk mode and it worked so the hard drives themselves are accessible and have all the data still on them.

Or could it be that because I was inside the Mac putting the hard drives in that it's disturbed something else?

Also, having read other posts, dust seems to be a major cause of these kinds of things. My Mac was very dusty as i was using it in a garage for 6 months. I vacuumed it out when it was back inside but yeah it could definitely be that there is residual dust all thru the machine.*

Any help appreciated!
If there is any more info that could be helpful in solving this just let me know please..

Thanks*

Lewis.
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chscag

 
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It looks like the graphics card may have failed. Do you by chance have another that you can swap it out with? It could also be caused by other things but I would start with the graphics card. You might also run the Apple Hardware Test which might point to something.
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harryb2448

 
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And for starters open her up. remove the graphics card and give it a good clean, and reseat it firmly in slot one and see if there is any improvement. Mac Pro 1.1 came originally with a bottom of the market nVidia 7300GT. If it has failed anything will be an improvement. An ATI Radeon 5770 may be the go.

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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BSD Meister

 
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You said you put it into target mode and the disks were visible. If you have another system, maybe you could put that into target mode and boot the Pro off of that. That would likely eliminate any internal drives being the culprit.

Odds are it's either the graphics card or the logic board. I have seen similar things occur (similar, not identical) when the boot regions of a drive are corrupt.

If booting of the other system doesn't work (or it's impossible for some reason)I would reverse engineer the problem by:

1. Taking the newly installed drives out
2. Reseating all the cards
3. Making sure all the RAM is securely in place
4. Try to remember anything that you might have bumped that might not be connected properly.

If any of those work, then I'd start re-installing the drives one by one.
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Lewis McCallum

 
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Thanks for the help!!

I ran the hardware test have a look here. Gave some nice pretty pictures.
Mac failure 2 - YouTube

Check out the mouse doing the redraws as it runs over the munched up bits.

I did the extended test and it came back with no trouble found (yeah right!)
It tested memory and logic board as far as I saw.

Does that point to anything more clearly now? Graphics card?
Be good if could know for sure and order a replacement.


No i don't have another card but my Dad has a Mac 1,1 as well.. Is there any chance of frying his graphics card if there is some gremlin causing the failure In my machine?

Yep did the reshuffling of all the inside parts reseated the graphics card new hard drives out ram swapped and tested. No joy there.

So if it happened to be a graphics card failure why can't I get into my system at all? Shouldn't it just boot up to my desktop as usual but I would just not be able to see it?

Cool thanks again

Lewis.
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chscag

 
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Quote:
So if it happened to be a graphics card failure why can't I get into my system at all? Shouldn't it just boot up to my desktop as usual but I would just not be able to see it?
When the graphic card or GPU has failed, the machine will be inaccessible. Sometimes if a graphics card is intermittent or just flakey the system will boot but the display may be distorted. But when the graphics card dies, your machine dies along with it.
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BSD Meister

 
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How many ports are on the card? If two, did you try another one? Did you try a different monitor? Did you swap out monitor cables?

Apples hardware test is kind of abysmal, not because there's anything wrong with it but some of the output stages of hardware have analog drivers (amps) that don't get monitored. For example, not too long ago, someone was on here and they'd blown the output stages of their ethernet and diagnostics wouldn't detect it. Only an end-to-end test made it obvious. The FireWire port has a physical interface chip that susceptible to blow out and hardware diagnostics will never detect it.

Why? Because all these ports, just like the video port don't necessarily have to have anything connected to them. There's no guarantee a user will plug in an ethernet cable, a FireWire device, or a video display.

An educated guess on my part would be that the output stages of the video card have blown (or are shorted, which is why I suggested using different cables and monitors), and the video card is reporting back "no video display connected...act like a server....don't display anything." If you have remote access enabled, you could fire the system up and use ssh to do a remote login. I'd be willing to bet that that the odds are at least 50/50 that the thing is actually up and running.

We used to run into a fair number of G4 PowerBooks with a short that would develop in the video lines running to the LCD in the unit. The short would blow the output stages (all of them) but the system would actually boot. In this case the display showed nothing at all. I'm guessing (and it is a guess) some of your output stages are blown. We used to build a FireWire OS up and set it up as a display-less print server, and then clone that to the PowerBooks drive and use them as print servers. In your case, the video card is removable, which it isn't on a laptop.

I'd be wary of swapping in your father's card until you can confirm the monitor itself and/or its cables aren't, or didn't cause the initial problem. I can't guarantee one problem won't create another on a different card.

Hope this helps.
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Lewis McCallum

 
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Hi guys
Thanks again for your help!
I've got helps to go on here.
Sure that I'll be able to diagnose this soon!!

Yeah when trying target mode I had my machine over at my Dads last week, so I was using his monitor and cables so that's been tested.

Aha now I remember.
For the past few months now (before this failure!) I have had a bunch of vertical lines on one of my monitors.
So the graphics card was doing something screwy already.
I'd gotten so used to it I'd forgotten!
just tested that monitor with another computer and no lines on it now so wasn't the monitor...

Ok so my plan is to try do that remote boot this Thursday when Im at my parents place again. I think I didn't have remote boot option set on. But what I'll do is swap my system drive into my Dads machine and boot it up and change the preference in there, then put it back in my machine and do remote boot.

Had a look online about remote booting. Not sure how I'll figure out my dead machines IP address just yet !


Also thought of another possible test to narrow things down....
Could I take my graphics card out and try it in my Dads machine?
Less risk there?
I'd either be putting a dud card into his machine which would not pose a threat to other systems really... Or one that works... Sound like a reasonable idea?

Thanks again

Lewis
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harryb2448

 
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Very reasonable depending on what model Mac Pro Dad has. As said earlier you probably have a failed nVidia 7300GT card on your hands. Late model Mac Pros have dual channelling and require connecting cable/s to the gfx card to the motherboard, sometimes faster cards require two connecting cables.

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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techiesteve

 
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If your graphics card is a 7300GT, check it for two 1500uF or 1800uF 6.3V electrolytic capacitors with bulging tops. If they are, replacing them is a quick fix.

Steve Bell
UK
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Lewis McCallum

 
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Yes just to confirm with you all my card is the nvidia 7300gt
As is my dads.
Our machines are both Mac Pro 1'1 . Except he paid a fraction of what I paid for mine as I got mine new and he got his last year!

Ok cool I'll have a look for those caps!
I'm handy with a soldering iron so I'd definitely give that a shot if i can see that bulging clearly...
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Lewis McCallum

 
Member Since: Sep 19, 2012
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Hi guys
Good news.
I have successfully identified the graphics card has failed.
I put the graphics card into my dads machine and duplicated the problem there.
Thanks so much for all your help

So now, does anyone happen to have ideas on finding a replacement at cheapest cost?
I see on eBay there are the identical replacement cards for around 150us.

I also see that there is a PC version for sale in Australia that has been updated with the Mac firmware.

New Apple Mac Pro 06 07 Nvidia Geforce 7300GT 256MB PCI-E Video Card 7300 GT | eBay

The PC version looks nice and cheap on eBay.com
NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB DDR2 PCI-E Video Card W/ DVI & S-Video VCG7300GXPB 0751492315850 | eBay

Anyone know how I could update it with the Mac firmware??

Or any other cheap alternatives?


Could bake the card? Nothing to lose if it's busted already!!

Thanks again, been nice to have the support on this!!!

Cheers

Lewis
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harryb2448

 
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Lewis your dollars can do better than a 7300 again. Do a search on eBay for say ATI Radeon HD4870 with 1GB of memory. A Hong Kong dealer named local338 flashes PC cards to work in the Mac Pro. Flashing yourself is very dicey and often results in burnt cards.

And lesson one - nothing for a Mac Pro is 'cheap'. The second link will not work in your Mac Pro.

Alternatively here is one advertised in Oz. Bit dear butr better putting the 7300GT cost of about %150 towards it:-

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Mac-Pro-A...#ht_748wt_1398

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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Lewis McCallum

 
Member Since: Sep 19, 2012
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Cool thanks heaps for the contact!
I ordered a nvidia 8800gt with 512mb from the Hong Kong guy.

Not a massive step up but I'm a musician so not much need for visuals.
*might* also allow me to be in the running to install Mountain Lion on my Mac 1,1 one day....

Will let you know if/when I'm back up and running again

Thank you!!
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