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Cascaders27 11-30-2012 04:23 PM

Mac Pro Updating
I'm having a heck of a time trying to help a friend with a Mac Pro so I've come here for some assistance!

I'm dealing with a 2006 Mac Pro with the 2X 2.66GHz Xeon Processors, 2GB DDR2, 250GB HDD, and a Nvidia 7300.

It was brought to me with the problem being that when booting the system would usually make all the appropriate noises but not make it to the login screen, and eventually just end up with a seriously strobing screen going on. I cleaned a mess of dust out of it and I've gotten it to occasionally hit the login screen but there are artifacts or pixelizations on the screen. I can move the cursor to the password box but never actually type anything and it would either revert to the 'panic as the disco' flashing screen mode or just taunt me with a spinning rainbow.

At this point I'm leaning towards a failing video card but I figure what the heck I'll try to reinstall the OS clean and see what happens.

I've got OS X 10.4.7 install disks so I started with those. The installation appears to have been a success (at least it tells me that things went smoothly), the system restarts, and I'm no better than I was to begin with, again leading me to believe that I'm dealing with a video card that has been fried.

Since it looks like I'll need to replace the video card anyway I'd like to go to an updated one and upgrade the OS at the same time if possible. It looks like getting 10.8 to run happily is more trouble than it's worth for what I need so I'm leaning towards 10.7. I'm seeing that 10.7 supports most ATI 5XXX and 6XXX cards to begin with so I'm thinking a 5770 would fit the bill if I can still find one. Would trying to use a PC 5770 to save on costs be worthwhile here? And then what do I need to get a card that needs a 6 pin connector its juice?

If I install a 5770 will I then be able to boot from 10.7 install media and have everything work? I tried a handful of video cards I have laying around and none of them would even give me anything on the display, and I don't think 10.4.7 will support a 5770. Or am I going to need to find some sort of intermidiate card to get an install of 10.4.7 going long enough to update it to 10.6 so I have the support for the 5770, then install the card, then jump to 10.7? I'd really appreciate any information you could provide because I'm pretty darn technical but I don't have much Mac time.


Edit -

I'm still going round and round on this one in my head but I guess what I really need to know is this - if I purchase the Apple 5770 and install it into this Mac Pro in place of the 7300 would I then be able to boot from 10.7 install media and install Lion correctly?

harryb2448 11-30-2012 05:13 PM

Yes all points to gfx card. The 7300 were not a strong card and it may well need replacing. Regarding Tiger discs, are they the ones that came with the computer when new? Mountain Lion will not install without very severe hackintosh mauling.

The 5770 will work well. Lion will install and run nicely though more memory will help greatly.

Cascaders27 11-30-2012 08:13 PM

Hey Harby, thanks for the reply!

The Tiger disks are the ones that came with the Mac when it was purchased. They are dated 2006. I appreciate you confirming what I thought about Mountain Lion as well.

As for installing Lion I'd just like to clarify here - I can install the 5770 card (which I assume since I'd get it directly from Apple that it would include any required power adapters), boot from a Lion CD or USB drive (made using the download and turning it into bootable install media), and everything will just work the way I'd like it to?

I guess I'm stumbling over the point where you needed Snow Leopard to install Lion from within the OS and I want to make sure this will work the way I'm seeing it in my head before I ask her to spend $250 on a video card and $20 for the OS and find out I missed something along the way.

harryb2448 11-30-2012 08:24 PM

Well suggest not buying it from Apple unless you wish to pay a premium price. Have a look on eBay and such. Using the USB thumb drive with Lion, insert into a USB slot, reboot and hold down 'C', erase and format the drive, install and update to OS X.7.2? using the combo updater. You may save money looking for a 5770 flashed. Have used this seller many times and all good experiences:-

Cascaders27 11-30-2012 09:01 PM

Again I really appreciate the reply!

I'll source a 5770. I sure don't want to have to pay any more for the card than needed, especially when I consider that the Windows ones never cost that much even when they were new cards 2+ years ago...

A friend of mine has a set of Lion disks he made off the download from when he upgraded his Mac Book Pro. Would those likely work for installing on the Mac Pro or would I run into any driver conflicts or drivers missing?

Sorry if these are foolish questions. If this was a PC I'd be done by now but I'm enjoying learning this side of things for a change :)

harryb2448 12-01-2012 04:18 PM

Strictly speaking the Lion discs will work but consider this. Lion is and always will be tied to the App Store account that purchased it. Lion Recovery will not work for you if you have problems.

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