I've spent the last several weeks trying to isolate an issue when booting 10.8 on my 2009 Mac Pro that seems fairly unique. Specifically, about 7 in 10 reboots will not get to the login screen (or autologin), instead getting stuck on a blank gray screen (after the Apple logo and spinning progress indicator are dismissed) with a moveable (and sometimes garbled) cursor. This is reproducible for me on a clean installation on (multiple) new hard drives.
After trial and error and research on threads concerned with similar (but not exactly the same) issues, I believe I've isolated this to 10.8 having trouble switching to my NEC 2490WUXi monitor connected via DVI, coupled with either an Nvidia GTX-285 or GT-120 graphics card.
I've tried each of the following to try to isolate the problem, with no success:
- Disk Utility repair permissions & repair disk
- PRAM reset
- SMC reset
- Unplugging all USB & firewire devices except keyboard & mouse
- Replacing GTX-285 card with stock GT-120
- Removing all other PCI cards
- Installing on different, brand new hard drive (with different partition ordering)
- Installing over clone of current Lion system
- Installing over fresh copy of Lion
- installing on drive with single partition
- Swapped monitor input from DVI-D to DVI-I, used different cable
If I have the monitor turned off (or switched to a different input) at the time the login window would appear, then login always proceeds normally, and the monitor can then be turned back on. The same configuration boots 10.7.4 (and 10.6) with no issue.
I don't have any other graphics card or monitors to test with, so I was hoping that someone with a similar display configuration could confirm or deny issues when logging into 10.8.