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Mac Pro 2008 Apple Cinema Displays are black and there are start up issues

359 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 3, 2013 7:47 AM by paulharlan RSS
paulharlan Calculating status...
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Jan 1, 2013 11:36 AM

I have a Mac Pro 2008 Dual quad 2.8 GHz. I have two Apple Cinema Displays (graphics are the standard ATI Radeon HD 2600 – 2 dual link DVI. I have 4 2-GB RAM sticks (8 GB total).


Neither of my displays are showing anything. Their power lights are on but they are completely black throughout the start up process. In addition when I try to boot up with both graphics cards installed, I get nothing – no beeps no chimes. If just one card is installed (either card in either slot) the computer beeps, chimes and makes the sounds of booting up, but not a flicker on the displays. RAM does not seem to be the issue as I have tried booting with several configurations of RAM sticks with no negative or positive effects. I tried booting up with Hard Drives 1 & 2 removed with no effect.  I have tried several different start up moods and have reset PRAM.


My guess is that there is something wrong with the motherboard. Or is it possible that both graphics cards are bad?

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    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
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    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
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    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


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