9 Replies Latest reply: Sep 16, 2011 5:28 PM by Ken Jones1
Ken Jones1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

Apple's Hardware Test says its O.K. Wont recognize install disk, so I can't reinstall system software. What do I do now?  This is an 8 core Mac Pro running Leopard.

  • 1. Re: No longer boots. Startup freezes at Apple logo.  What's wrong?
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,360 points)

    Check the disc for dirt or scratches. Run a cleaning disc through the optical drive. If you can't boot from a clean, undamaged installation disc, and it's the one that came with the machine, then you have a hardware failure.

  • 2. Re: No longer boots. Startup freezes at Apple logo.  What's wrong?
    Ken Jones1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks for your input, Linc.  I have tried 3 Install Disks, one each for Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard, so its not the disks.  The startup just doesn't get far enough along to be able to recognize the optical drive. But I don't know because it did, after all, read the Install Disk enough to bring up the Apple Hardware Test program (which came on the original Leopard Install Disk. I ran Apple's Hardware Test Program in both standard and extended tests, with the same negative results.

     

    Perhaps I should mention that the only other clue of a problem is that there is always a screen flash, or two, associated with the freeze.

     

    I have put the computer in Target Mode and been able to access the startup drive on another Mac - ran Disk Utility's First Aid, repeatedly but detected no problems. This Mac has four drives, with two in a raid. One other peculiar thing is that the last drive (#4), the largest and newest drive (2 months old), does not show up at all, not on the desktop nor in Disk Utility, when in Target Mode.  The other drives seem to work fine, and I have been backing up everything I can.  This means that the startup drive seems to be working O.K. but the startup process is not.  So I am leaning towards a system software problem.  Is there a third component involved that wouldn't be a part of a hardware test?  Is Apple's Hardware Test software any good? insufficient?

     

    Is there a way to do a Clean Install of the System from Target Mode (another Mac connected by Firewire)?

     

    Why is this happening to me?!!?

  • 3. Re: No longer boots. Startup freezes at Apple logo.  What's wrong?
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,360 points)

    So I am leaning towards a system software problem.

     

    It can't be that, because the system software isn't loaded when you boot from a DVD. You should be able to do that even if the internal drives are empty.

     

    As a last resort, you can try these:

     

    Resetting your Mac's PRAM and NVRAM

    Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

  • 4. Re: No longer boots. Startup freezes at Apple logo.  What's wrong?
    Ken Jones1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Good point, LInc.  The system software on the startup drive hasn't loaded yet, but neither has the software on the Install Disk.  There must be some permanent software in the machine that takes you from startup to access and booting of a system file. 

     

    I was wondering if these newer Macs still had PRAM to zap.  I remember occasionally doing that years ago.  I will try that next.

     

    I just tried Safe Boot.  After several minutes, startup proceeded to the screen (s).  I have 2 30" monitors attached.  Both screens went to a desktop with a weird purple graphic and a few icons and a window asking for name and password.  That worked and then  Screen 1  went to black, showing no icons or menu bars, but the mouse pointer worked (moved). The second screen continued to show weird purple graphics and a few icons, the pointer moved about, but no icons responded to clicks. Every second or so, the  2nd screen blinked or flashed. Going nowhere, I shut down with the power button and restarted. 

     

    I tried Safe Boot again, with identical results.  After Safe Boots, I tried a standard reboot with no progress - the same freeze of the "wheel of misfortune", a flash, and screen to black.

     

    Thanks Linc, for the referrals.  I am on it.

  • 5. Re: No longer boots. Startup freezes at Apple logo.  What's wrong?
    Ken Jones1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I reset NVRAM, and SMC... does not help.  I am out of ideas.  Please, can anyone here identify the problem?

  • 6. Re: No longer boots. Startup freezes at Apple logo.  What's wrong?
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,360 points)

    The problem is a hardware failure. A negative hardware test doesn't rule that out.

  • 7. Re: No longer boots. Startup freezes at Apple logo.  What's wrong?
    Ken Jones1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    O.K.  Now the very interesting questions are: What piece of hardware exactly, is causing this problem, and why??

  • 8. Re: No longer boots. Startup freezes at Apple logo.  What's wrong?
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,360 points)

    Unplug all wired peripherals except keyboard, mouse, and monitor. If nothing changes, then it's obviously an internal fault. The only way you can find out more is by taking it to an AASP for testing.

  • 9. Re: No longer boots. Startup freezes at Apple logo.  What's wrong?
    Ken Jones1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Graphics Card Died!

     

    Conclusion: The problem turned out to be that the GeForce 8800GT Graphics Card was no-longer working correctly.  Replacement of the card restored (almost) normal function of the computer.  Online research suggested that a ATI Radeon HD5770 graphics card was a compatible, affordable replacement.  I replaced it the 5770.  However, some quirky things are happening, such as the pages in iWeb are gone invisible - they are there full of content, but don't show up on the screen, my screensaver (G•Force Gold) no-longer works, and Warcraft no-longer works, giving me the error message, "Warcraft III was unable to initialize OpenGL.  Please ensure you have OpenGL installed and that your display drivers are current." 

     

    I seem to remember reading somewhere that a download was necessary to make this graphics card function properly, but can someone steer me to it? Thanks!