Hard Drive Problems Mac Pro a1186, Help!

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Hey guys, I recently acquired a Mac Pro 2006 model. It had a blinking light originally, I reseated the ram and got it to post. I took a HD out of my windows machine and the mac booted from it fine.

I then installed additional video cards. The Mac did not have a supplementary power adapter for the card so I spliced one into the molex that originally power a USB PCI-e that came with the mac.

Since then, I have been unable to boot or see a HD within disk utility.

The cd rom drive sometimes shows up in disk utility and sometimes it doesn't ive tried 4 different known good drives...

please help
 

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I then installed additional video cards. The Mac did not have a supplementary power adapter for the card so I spliced one into the molex that originally power a USB PCI-e that came with the mac.

Since then, I have been unable to boot or see a HD within disk utility.

If the Mac Pro will no longer boot after installing these additional video cards…and doing the splicing. Then remove them…and it will work again.:) Basically undo what what did before the problems started (the Mac Pro obviously doesn't like this)!;)

- Nick
 
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I did remove everything and put all back the way it was, still nothing. No hard drives show up in disk util and neither does the cd rom.
 
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Please help me find a solution guys, I would really like to have this up and running by this weekend. I want to upgrade it from the quad to 8 eight core setup... Heres a more detail description of what happened.

1. I unplugged the PCI-E USB card that had supplmentary power via a 4-pin Molex
2. I installed a 650Gt without the supplementary power to see if windows would recognize it - it didn't. But at this point it still regonized the Hard Drives/Booted fine.
3. I then used the 4 Pin Molex from the USB PCI-E card and spliced it to a dongle from a PC power supply that has (2) PCI-E 6 Pin video power adapters.
4. I connected the 6 pin to the video adapters and then got no boot.
5. I then removed everything that I had done and put everything back exactly the way it was, still no boot nor does disk utility see any of the 4 hard drives I installed.
- I also cannot hear the mechanical hard drives turning/spinning.
- Sometimes the CD rom shows up in Disk Util, other times it doesnt.

Any ideas? How should I approach this?
 

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Please do not multi-post (create 2nd thread for same problem). We can discuss things just fine in this thread.:)

Thanks,

- Nick
 

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I did remove everything and put all back the way it was, still nothing. No hard drives show up in disk util and neither does the cd rom.

If I am understanding things correctly from post #1…you had this Mac Pro booting fine before adding the extra video cards…and doing some sort of DIY power cable setup for the video card/cards.

Now you mentioned that you returned things back to where they were when things worked…but now the Mac Pro won't boot properly. There can only be two logical conclusions:

1. Everything has not been returned to the way it was when the Mac Pro worked fine.
2. Or…something got damaged when the extra video cards were installed…and the DIY power setup was done.

What was the condition of this Mac Pro when you purchased it…or became the new owner? Was it supposed to be working fine 100%..or did it have problems? If it had problems…they may be intermittent…and this could be why the computer works fine one second…and not the next (under the same conditions).

- Nick
 
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A friend gave it to me but the power light would steadily blink (which indicates a ram problem). I moved the ram around on the boards and got it to POST. I had 1 red light lit on the top board indicating bad ram modules, but the mac still ran fine.

I then took my SSD out of my PC and to my surprise it booted from it and I was able to manuever around in windows perfectly fine on the Mac. I then decided that I would begin to migrate parts from my PC over to the Mac to upgrade it. I started with the video cards;

I removed the USB PCI-E card that was in the mac and installed a 9600gt and a 650. And hooked them up with the DIY cable.

I hope nothing got damamged. But then again, I am using trying to install OSX with a downloaded version of Snow Leopard, could it be the installer itself?

If not, what do you think is damaged? Maybe the power supply took a hit when I tried to power the video cards? But if so, wouldn't the power supply fail altogether?

Thanks for your help, much appreciated.
 

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We need to start fresh with this computer. What you want to determine is…are the problems hardware based or software based. To do this we need to:

- only have original Apple hardware in place (just the original Apple video card).
- install a freshly erased & reformatted hard drive…and only have one HD installed (no others)
- install a fresh copy of the Mac OS…no other apps

By doing this…we are eliminating any software issues. If all of this is done…and there are still problems…then the problems are hardware based…and they need to be corrected if possible.

As far as the Snow Leopard installer you have. Snow Leopard was always a disk-based installer…and never a downloadable installer. So the Snow Leopard installer you have is not legal, probably from a torrent site, and could be contaminated in some way.

Do yourself a favor…invest the modest sum of $19.99…and get yourself a genuine disk-based installer of Snow Leopard.:)

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard - Apple Store (U.S.)

- Nick
 
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Yeah, I would love to use a Disc based isntaller. But I can't even get the Optical Drive to open upon start. By using the F12 key or holding down the mouse. So thats why I have resulted to using a flash drive.

Should I format the drive in Journaled using my MacPro and then see if it recognizes it with everything removed? I would also like to verify that this is a reliable computer before I start spending any sort of $ on it. I intend on trying to using the OSX versions that I have now and upon successful installtation; format and install with a fresh copy of OSX.
 

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Yeah, I would love to use a Disc based isntaller. But I can't even get the Optical Drive to open upon start. By using the F12 key or holding down the mouse. So thats why I have resulted to using a flash drive.

I'm not sure what keyboard you're using…but if it's an Apple keyboard (within the last 8 years or so)…you shouldn't be using the F12 key…you should be using the key that looks like a triangle with a line under it (should be next to the F12 key or close).

Of course holding down the mouse button when booting should work too.

Last ditch effort…the aluminum door covering the optical drive can be opened by sliding it down towards the floor…then gently (manually) opening the optical drive tray. Of course make sure the data & power cables are attached to the optical drive.

If you don't have a working optical drive…this does present some problems. But if you have access to an external USB optical drive…that would work.

Should I format the drive in Journaled using my MacPro and then see if it recognizes it with everything removed?

Mac OS Extended-Journaled.

I would also like to verify that this is a reliable computer before I start spending any sort of $ on it.

I would too!:)

- Nick
 
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I am using a Standard PC keyboard. I think I may go by Goodwill today and see if I can find an apple keyboard lying around there somewhere. I can usually find them there.

The optical drive worked when I was in Windows, well it opened it atleast. Now it wont at all during startup.

I have a copy of Lion, I may install it to the flash drive and try booting from it.

I'll work on the thing when I get off work and give you an update.

I hope I can get it up and running! I really want an eight core mac.

Thanks
 

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I hope I can get it up and running! I really want an eight core mac.

Lucky you that you have a thrift store that has Mac stuff. I don't think that I've ever seen any Mac stuff in my local thrift stores.:(

For what it's worth. I did this upgrade recently on my 1st Gen. Mac Pro. It was very straight forward. Getting Geekbench scores of about 10,000 (right where it should be).:)

- Nick
 
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Sounds great, I hope I can get mine to that point! Ill probably spend all night working on it
 

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Sounds great, I hope I can get mine to that point! Ill probably spend all night working on it

As you probably know…it's basically a lot of disassembly & assembly. The actual cpu swap/upgrade takes just seconds.:)

Some good videos on You Tube for the disassembly if you haven't done it before. A couple tricks shown help.:)

- Nick
 
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First thing im going to have to do is take the power supply out to reseat one of the female internal connectors as I removed one of the cables and it wiggled lose and wont go back in. Not too difficult I dont think?
 

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First thing im going to have to do is take the power supply out to reseat one of the female internal connectors as I removed one of the cables and it wiggled lose and wont go back in. Not too difficult I dont think?

MUCH easier than the cpu upgrade. The PS is very easily accessible.:)

- Nick
 
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Got the power supply fixed. Still no hdd access through sata or ide. When the Mac first starts up you can hear the hard drives wind up but then they shut right back down it sounds like. I'm installing OS X to external hard drive right now to see what happens when I'm. An operating system... Probably be the same result.

Im guessing its a power issue, not sure if its a short or if the power strip that supplies the peripheral devices is gone out

Are there any programs for mac that will tell you PSU voltage readings?
 
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pigoo3

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Are there any programs for mac that will tell you PSU voltage readings?

I'm glad you mentioned this…since it reminds me of another thread that I was helping someone with probably within the last month.

It's possible that the power supply in this Mac Pro has gotten weaker over the years…and can't handle anything more than minimum power demands. Meaning no multiple hard drives, no multiple video cards, no other PCI cards…other than just a low power stock GT-7300 video card.

To me this explains why you were able to get the Mac Pro running initially…and after installing more video cards…the Mac Pro basically gave up…and shut down.

In theory…removing all but one video card…and removing all but one hard drive might reduce the power demand enough to get it to work again. But…maybe when multiple video cards (and maybe multiple hard drives) were installed…something may have failed completely in the power supply…and that's why the Mac Pro is not working properly now.

From your last post…it sounds like the Mac Pro is working partially…so maybe I'm misunderstanding things…or maybe this "weak power supply" is only affected certain things.

As far as voltages…I think that iStat provides readings of voltages. I'm not 100% sure if this includes the voltages you're looking for. Give it a try. I think that iStat has a free 14 day or 30 day demo period.

http://bjango.com/mac/istatmenus/

HTH,

- Nick
 
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Yes, I was thinking the same thing, as far as the power supply being weak. And replacements are pretty expensive and considered very expensive if you you're 100% sure its the PSU to begin with...

Yes, the mac is running on an external USB hard drive right now. But the device is a hard drive dock which has AC power attached the wall. So the mac itself may be using very little power to transmit to the HDD.

I dont know, I guess ill check out istat
 
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The power makes a clicking sound when the machine is powered on, is that normal for these Nick?
 

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