10 Replies Latest reply: Jul 3, 2012 4:23 PM by fredbt
fredbt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

My Mac Pro is about 5 years old. It has an Intel processor. I can't tell you much more because I can't boot the computer to see the System Profiler and my memory (In my head, not the computer) isn't that good anymore.

 

Last night I was downloading a 15 minute mpg4 movie file. It was taking awhile so I decided to play Bejeweled while it downloaded. I've done this before without a problem. After playing the game for a few minutes, the game had a gray and red wiggly line pattern over the graphics. I noticed the same pattern on the contents of each window, Also.my second monitor showed the same pattern on the download window.

 

Then, the computer froze up and I couldn't do anything. I tried to force quit, restart _ nothing. All I could do was unplug the computer's power supply. Then I plugged it back in and tried to boot it up. The gray Apple logo came up, but it had the strange red and gray wiggley line pattern. After that, the monitors turned blue, as they should. After a few seconds, the screen turned white and had the "beach ball" spinning.

 

That is all I've been able to do. I tried booting from my system CD. That won't work. I can hear the CD spinning in the drive but nothing happens.

 

Is there any other way to boot a Mac that just can't get past the boot up process? No key commands work: Zapping the PRAM, the C key for the CD, etc.

 

Thanks for any help you can offer.


Mac Pro and MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: Is my Mac Pro now an expensive boat anchor?
    japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)

    Sounds like the graphics card has fried.

    Replacement of the graphics card will likely get you back on track.

     

    Try unloading the graphics drivers; boot to Safe mode (hold the Shift key while starting).

     

    If the machine boots to Safe mode, reboot normally.

     

    Report your results here.

  • 2. Re: Is my Mac Pro now an expensive boat anchor?
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    Also pull that boot drive

    Install OS X to new drive

    Clone and backup!

     

    Your boot drive may be repaired or recover files

    A safe boot may not fix it

    Not booting from DVD acts that way on corrupt disks sometimes

  • 3. Re: Is my Mac Pro now an expensive boat anchor?
    fredbt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for this advice, japamac. Can you clarify your answer a little more?

     

    1. Do you mean to buy a new graphics card and install it before booting in the safe mode or doing anything else?

    2. Where are the graphc drivers located?

     

    I hate to sound so dense, but even though I've used Macs every day since 1986, I still don't know much about how to solve problems other than the obvious things to try. And none of my serious problems are things I've experenced before.

     

    Thanks again.

  • 4. Re: Is my Mac Pro now an expensive boat anchor?
    fredbt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi there, Hatter. Thanks for responding.

     

    I have two drives in this Mac Pro. Only one has OSX and it is the startup drive. How can I install the system on the second drive if it won't read the DVD disk?

     

    Will it read the disk if I uninstall the main startup drive? I think it would have a question mark when it doesn't find a bootable drive. Is this correct? If so, is this when I insert the system disk? If I can get the drive bay to open, that is.

     

    Thanks a bunch.

  • 5. Re: Is my Mac Pro now an expensive boat anchor?
    japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)

    1. No. There is a high probability that it will be necessary (based on the description of symptoms).

    We first need to troubleshoot what we can.

    Safe mode boot is a troubleshooting step.

     

    2. Safe Mode disables graphics drivers, so you don't need to worry about "where" they are.

     

    If you can boot to Safe mode and have no graphic anomalies, but a subsequent normal boot has graphic anomalies, then installing a new graphics card is warranted.

     

    How can I install the system on the second drive if it won't read the DVD disk?

    The purpose of removing the current Startup disc is to determine whether or not the drive is what is causing the machine to not boot.

    A severely damaged boot drive can prevent boot to any source, optical drive included.

     

    Anyhow, try the Safe mode boot.

    If that fails, try removing the startup drive and booting to the OS install disc.

    You may also want to try the original gray disc that has the AHT on it and running the hardware tests on the AHT.

     

    All the above can tell us/ provide clues as to what your issue is.

    Report your results here, please.

     

    If I can get the drive bay to open, that is.

    Hold a mouse click while starting. The drive tray should open.

  • 6. Re: Is my Mac Pro now an expensive boat anchor?
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    Buy a drive! clone and backup sets (2) and of course a spare when needed.

     

    System can fit on less than 30GB which you can create a new partition by shrinking an existing partition.

     

    You have four drive bays so plenty of room for even internal backups.

  • 7. Re: Is my Mac Pro now an expensive boat anchor?
    fredbt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have it booted into Safe Mode and the graphic anomalies are still there. Safe Mode is the only way I can boot up. I can see all of my drives: 2 internal and 2 external and can use any of the applications that the files are associated with on all 4 drives.

     

    I have multiple data copies on the external drives. One is a Seagate 1.5 terabyte drive so there is plenty of room.

     

    Everything seems normal except for the graphic anomalies and the fact that I can't save files because I don't have permission in the Safe Mode.

     

    If the boot drive is damaged can it be used in Safe Mode? It seems fine in this mode.

     

    What should I do now? thanks for all of the helpful advice.

  • 8. Re: Is my Mac Pro now an expensive boat anchor?
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)

    Buy a new graphic card.

  • 9. Re: Is my Mac Pro now an expensive boat anchor?
    japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,390 points)

    If the boot drive is damaged can it be used in Safe Mode? It seems fine in this mode.

     

    What should I do now?

     

    It's not the boot drive. It is a failed graphics card which needs to be replaced.

    Confirm the model of your Mac Pro to determine the compatibility of a new graphics card.

     

    A universally compatible card is the Apple Radeon HD 5770:

    ATI Radeon HD 5770 Graphics Upgrade Kit for Mac Pro

     

    OS X 10.6.4 and newer is needed for the 5770.

  • 10. Re: Is my Mac Pro now an expensive boat anchor?
    fredbt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks to "japamac" and "The hatter". I do appreciate your help in getting my Mac Pro up and running again.

     

    I went looking for a replacement graphics card before I read your last post about the Apple Radeon HD 5770, japamac. However, I bought a used card that is the same as my original card and installed it. It's working perfectly for now. Who knows how long a used card will work, but they claimed it was "like new."

     

    There seems to be only one "This Solved My Question," but I want you both to know that I appreciate both of you and your helpful advice.

     

    PS: I have 10.6.8 snow lepoard.