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Shannon Mcglathery Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I'm having major issues with my MacPro. Last week I was working when the screen froze. I had to force restart with the power button. Since then it has only booted in Safe Mode.

I've tried booting from MacOS 10.6.3 CD and latest Diskwarrior CD and it get part way through startup then hangs on blank screens. Oddly the cursor works okay at that point.

I suspect the problem might be a bad NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT card. I've seen that issue in a couple other posts

Any help greatly appreciated!

MacPro1,1 Dual-Core Intel Xeon 2.66 GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.8), 3 GB 667MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM, NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT, Cinema HD
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,880 points)
    Why are you using CD and DVD when you could easily and should have another emergency boot drive plus some clone backups of your system, so you can run your Disk Warrior (4.3) and other programs off a 'live' hard drive and other programs.

    If you suspect the 7300, maybe it is time to replace that too.
  • Shannon Mcglathery Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Great idea, hatter. I do have a backup drive but don't have an another drive for an alternate boot drive. I'll remedy that situation ASAP.

    In the meantime I'll see if I can find a decent graphics card upgrade and see if that helps. Any recommendations for compatible cards?

  • Shannon Mcglathery Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I took my MacPro to the local genius bar and they couldn't figure out what is wrong.

    - It passed their hardware diagnostics
    - The hard drive is ok
    - It still only boots in safe mode
    - When it boots in normal mode from any system we tested it get part way through the boot then hangs on a blue screen with a cursor in the upper left. The cursor will move with the mouse but leaves a single copy of itself where it started.
    - The genius bar dude said it still could be the graphics card or maybe RAM
    - My other option is to check the patient in for a full diagnostic

    I'm thinking of buying an ATI 5770 graphics card to see if that fixes the problem.

    Anyone have any other ideas or similar experiences?
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (53,500 points)
    Conventional wisdom is that if it passes Safe Mode, but fails at regular system, the problem lies in the software on your Hard Drive, and most likely in kernel extensions.

    Although it sounds onerous, I suggest you consider a System re-install. It takes about an hour, depending on how fast your Mac is, then another half-hour to bring it fully up-to-date.

    Before actually performing a re-Install, you should be certain there are no flaws in your Hard Drive Directory by running Disk Utility Verify. Any problems must be Repaired in full before you begin the re-Install.
  • Shannon Mcglathery Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    That was my first thought too: It's gotta be the system software. But it has the same problem when trying to boot off other systems. It won't boot from brand new Snow Leopard DVD, Diskwarrior DVD or a fresh install of Snow Leopard on a new external hard drive.

    The guy at the genius bar tried a bunch of different systems and couldn't get it to boot.

    But it will boot in safe mode from my current 10.5.8 system and the fresh Snow Leopard system on the external HD.

    Could it still be the kernel given all that?
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (53,500 points)
    It won't boot from brand new Snow Leopard DVD

    "A Mac that cannot boot from an appropriate Installer DVD has a hardware Problem."

    The software on an Installer DVD is incorruptible, and "one size fits all."
  • Shannon Mcglathery Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I bought and installed an ATI HD 5770 graphics card and now my MacPro boots in normal mode. So we can conclude the GeForce 7300 was the problem. Yay!

    But my 10.5.8 system doesn't seem to have a proper driver for the 5770. For example there is only one resolution available for my Cinema display, iTunes cover flow mode is doesn't work (it shows an error message in place of the flow) and the cursor has a slight flicker.

    I looked online and could not find drivers to download, so I'm hoping an OS update to the latest Snow Leopard will fix the driver issue.
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,880 points)
    did you notice that the requirements for the ATI 5770 really are 10.6.5 or later (for 2009-2010 it is possible but not desirable to boot from a 10.6.4 DVD). There may even be a LACK of SL OS X 10.6.5+ DVDs.
  • Wayne of America Level 2 Level 2 (215 points)

    I have an early Intel Mac Pro that was running a NVIDEA GeForce 8800GT and a 7300.


    Over a period the Mac wouldn't boot, then it took forever to get to the Apple logo and then would only boot into Safe Mode. I put a new formatted HD in, fresh RAM and with a fresh OS. Even with a bare system with no peripherals it was no go.


    Things went from bad to worse over a week or so and I ended up buying a new Mac Pro 8 core so that I could keep producing.


    This weekend working on the old Mac it seems it was indeed a video card issue. I had 3 7300 cards hanging around and it finally booted with one of the 7300 cards and without the later 8800GT.

    I would never have thought a video card would bring a system down completely.

  • Mark Burr Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, I have exactly the same issue.



    Am now convinced it's the video card.


    Any recommendations for a drop in card that has 2 DVI ports and full 10.5.8 and higher driver support. ?

  • Ken Jones1 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Me, too!  With a model 3.1, 2008, 8-core. 



    It turned out to be the graphics card - old nvidia 8800GT died.  New 5770 works but I thinks I need a "driver".  I am also running on 10.5.8 OS.  Do I have to upgrade to Snow Leopard to get the driver needed?  Or is there one that works on Leopard?  Where can I find it?


    <There has got to be a billion Mac Pros with dying nvidia cards about this time - why is the diagnostic and repair process so hard to find? (and why don't graphics cards last as long as their computers - only 3 years!??)>

  • vmalmgren Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm having the same problem. I'd like to get the ATI HD 5770 card. But it requires Snow Leopard and I'm still running 10.4.11. I don't mind upgrading to Snow Leopard. But since my computer won't boot up (except in safe mode, but not from any HD or DVD), I can't install Snow Leopard before installing the new card. Does anybody know if the card will work at all with 10.4.11? Perhaps with limited resolutions or something, but enough to allow me to boot up and then install Snow Leopard? Sharon above seemed to be able to boot up using 10.5.8 in a limited way.

  • briandrankinILM Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for this thread. I recently had the same problem with my Mac Pro 1,1, the computer would only work in safe mode. Out of safe mode and the display would get some weird streaks in it, pointer would freeze then work again. After searching endlessly on the issue I found your post. Desperate, I ordered the ATI HD 5770 card from the Apple store (even tho the desc clearly states requirements are Mac Pro 2010+). Problem solved. Thank You SO much :-)

  • vmalmgren Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    For what it's worth, after doing some research I was actually able to repair my 7300GT. Turns out it's well documented that two of the capacitors on the board fail. If you have a soldering iron it's pretty easy to replace them. I'd never done any thing like it before and it worked out fine. I replaced the two capacitors and my computer booted up with no issues. Problem solved.

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