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Mac Pro (2006-early 2008 model) will not boot

3038 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Oct 18, 2012 3:41 PM by eparq RSS
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Robert McGonnagol Calculating status...
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Jun 1, 2012 7:37 PM

Hey everyone! So, I recently got this Mac Pro (Model number A1186, EMC 2113) with two Quad Core 2.66 GHz Intel Xeon 5150 processors, 16GB of RAM (both RAM riser slots completely filled with 4x2GB sticks of 667MHz DDR2 ECC FB-DIMM each), 2x1TB clean HDDs, and an ATI Radeon HD4870 (512MB DDR5 memory) video card with 2 DVI ports and an S-video port. (I bought the HD4870 later after I found that the one that came with it, an ATI X1900 XT, was part of a recall [sadly this recall ended in 2011.] Plus, the fans on the X1900 were revving up REALLY loud.)

The reason I'm posting here is because the darn thing will not "boot." The machine starts up fine (HDDs spin up, lights on the RAM risers illuminate momentarily, etc.), but there is no output out of either of the DVI ports. Not even a gray Apple screen. I have tried the DVI cord and the monitor on two different machines and they both work perfectly fine, and now I have no other Mac available to test the video card on. I'll just have to assume for now that it works. The video card, after the machine is turned on, has three of the four diagnostic LEDs lighted. The ones that light up are D1601, D1602, and D1603; the other one, D603, does not light up. After some searching around on Google for a little while and sifting through forum after forum, they all seemed to agree upon the fact that these lights were from the two internal power cables (D1602 and D1603) not being plugged in and that there was a critical temperature error (D1601). Note that a) both power cables are in both power slots and hooked in securely and b) these lights turn on immediately after pressing the power button. A light tug from both ends on both cables assures that these cables are not going anywhere soon, and I doubt that there would be such a heating issue as soon as I press the power button, especially since all the fans are running fine. My first thought was that maybe the logic board wasn't getting enough power, but I have no idea on how to check this as almost everything besides the RAM risers and the extension slots are covered by something.

Another problem I found is that some of the diagnostic LEDs that should be lighting up, aren't. Out of all the lights, the ones that do light up are the TRICKLE light and the EFI light. I guess it's good that the CPU lights aren't lighting up, but what about the the GPU and POWER lights? Shouldn't those be lighting up too?

I also tried booting up from a Snow Leopard disc (there isn't any internal CD/DVD drive [the previous owner removed it for whatever reason], so I've been using an external CD/DVD drive). When I plugged in my Apple USB keyboard, I decided to press the caps lock key and see if it would light up green. No dice. I tried all 5 USB ports on the machine and none of them worked. But how did the CD/DVD drive work? It spun up when I turned the machine on. So since the keyboard can't be recognized I am unable to boot from a CD, or anything else for that matter.

One more issue: there is no startup chime! Tried turning it off and on many different times trying some potential solutions out and not once was there a startup chime. I know for sure this is a huge issue.

With all of these huge issues, I tried a few of the recommended solutions: reconfiguring the RAM (which I inserted per Apple's instructions), resetting the SMC, resetting the PRAM (which wouldn't have worked anyways since the keyboard isn't recognized), and resetting the NVRAM (which, again, probably wouldn't have worked since the keyboard isn't recognized.)

So here are my problems. I've asked Mac Rumors,  r/applehelp on Reddit, and sifted through search after search on Google and I can't find the solution. Anybody know how to fix this machine? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Mac Pro
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,105 points)

    If it ever worked with the 1900 in place, drop back to the last configuration that worked.

     

    The lights on the keyboard are under program control. No caps lock light has always meant your Mac crashed, not bad keyboard. So your USBs and your keyboard are probably fine.

     

    If you never got a chime, remove everything that could be drawing down the power. Remove the graphics cards, all the drives, most of the memory. You need the chime.

     

    If you get the chime, then you can add back the graphics card to see what is going on. Even with no drives, you should get the gray screen, then flashing question mark.

     

    The power-on button/light sometimes sends messages early in the process. Indications like "no RAM" and "Bad RAM" can be decoded from flashes.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,105 points)

    Pull the Hard Drives from the bays as well. Sometimes they have stuff on them that precludes booting.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,105 points)

    The Chime is generated in software after millions of instructions that make up the Power On Self Test have passed, and if a source of software can be found, booting is likely.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,105 points)

    Have you checked the large coin-cell battery half hidden behind the graphics card? It should be 3 Volts when new. On Older Macs, a dead battery could preclude booting. They should cost under US$5.

    Another problem I found is that some of the diagnostic LEDs that should be lighting up, aren't. Out of all the lights, the ones that do light up are the TRICKLE light and the EFI light.

    Those lights generally stay OFF if no problem is detected. Trickle may mean you need a power supply. Do the fans come on?

     

    To do a Reset, pull the AC power cord, then press the power-On button for a few seconds to drain the capacitors. Then restore AC power, wait at least five seconds, then proceed. That power cord is a deceptive beast. The large block of rubber sometimes keeps it from seating properly at the computer-end.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,105 points)

    If the fans come on, the colored power wires at a DVD drive Molex connector should be a little over +5 Volts and +12 Volts. Black wires are Return/Common/Earth/Ground (name depending on where you went to school).

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,105 points)

    If you go to measure from a colored wire at a Molex connector to a black wire at a Molex connector with a multi-meter, and what should be slightly over +5Volts or +12 Volts is 1.6 Volts instead, it adds weight to the concept you need a new power supply.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
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