Currently Being ModeratedJan 1, 2013 12:10 PM (in response to paulharlan)
The "least intensive" thing you can do is hold down Alt/Option at Startup. Thsi invokes the all-in-ROM Startup Manager, which will light up the screen gray or blue, then attempt to draw an Icon for each potentially-bootable Volume attached (if any). It works as if in slow motion, so you must be patient. If no activity after about two minutes you may count that as a failure.
The next most intensive is to attempt to boot from an incorruptible source of software, such as an Installer/Utilities DVD. This again uses the "one-size-fits-all" display driver, and attempts to load software off the DVD. The dark colored Apple is loaded off a drive -- it is not present inside your Mac.
The next most intensive step is to attempt to boot into Safe Mode. This also uses the "one-size-fits-all" display Driver, and does a disk check as it starts up, adding five minutes to the startup time. It then drwas a login screen and deamds your username and password, even if you normally auto-login.Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
Currently Being ModeratedJan 2, 2013 12:12 PM (in response to Grant Bennet-Alder)
Thanks for the reply.
I have tried the boot up approaches you have suggested plus I have reset PRAM. If I have one of my graphics cards in I get the start up chime and it sounds like it is booting up but the screen(s) remains black. If I put both graphics cards in, there is no chime and no sounds of booting. I have tried booting with either card in either PCI slot and connecting one display or two without success.
I don't know if this matters, but I connected the Mac Pro to my MacBook Pro via Firewire and started the MacPro in transfer mode (holding the 't' key). All three of my hard drives appear on the desktop of the MacBook and I am able to transfer files. The displays remained black.
Do you think both graphics cards are bad? Or could it be the logic board?
Currently Being ModeratedJan 2, 2013 12:39 PM (in response to paulharlan)
Or could it be the logic board?
Absolutely not. Showing and transferring files via FireWire Target Disk Mode can only be done if your Mac (except possibly the display) is working. The processor executes some ROM-based procedures and memory and I/O must function. (it does NOT load any part of the regular Operating System to do this.)
If the logic board were blown, you would get no response when requesting things with FireWire Target Disk mode.Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
Currently Being ModeratedJan 2, 2013 1:04 PM (in response to Grant Bennet-Alder)
Thanks. That helps a lot. Just now I was able to boot the Mac Pro with both graphics cards in their PCI slots - still with black screens. I guess I will try replacing the graphics cards. Originally, the Mac came with two cards. Do you know if I can run it with just one graphics card?
Currently Being ModeratedJan 2, 2013 1:32 PM (in response to paulharlan)
The best bet today is the Apple-firmware 5770. Works in all models of Mac Pro, despite Apple's certifying it only for use in 2009 and later. Drivers for accelerated operation are in 10.6.5 and later.
This card supports two displays easily, three if you use all the right adapters and converters in the correct way. It has one Dual-Link DVI-I and two Mini DisplayPorts.Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers