Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Nov 3, 2012 6:42 AM by The hatter
Karen Leighly Level 1 (0 points)

I have a 2006 Mac Pro. 

Last night, I was watching a netflix program and it froze the display, although the sound continued.  I could not force quit (spinning ball) so I shut the computer down.

I restarted the computer, and it froze  in a similar way when I went to full screen.  Then eventually the netflix quit, and the spinning ball eventually quit spinning.


This morning, I started it, and it chimed but I can't get past the grey screen - the apple logo is there, but the thing below it is frozen.


I cannot try a hardware test because I can't get the DVD drive to open.


I should add that, for the last ~6 months or so, occasionally when starting up, it would display a flashing file folder and stop booting.  Probably did that 10 times or so.  I would then shut it off and try again, and it worked.


Any ideas?  Bad boot hard drive?  Fortunately everything is backed up!

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)

    Why do you keep then trying and not use your bootable clone backups, safe boot, Disk Utility from another drive or Disk Warrior to fix the drive or take it out and slap in a new one?


    you can use mouse down to try to open the DVD on startup or mechanically access the drive door and 'pin' - for all the smooth exterior look, accessing DVD can be important... though they want the DVD to go away and die it seems.


    yes the disk directory and the "?" on startup means you zapped pram and haven't reset the default control panel setting for setting startup disk.


    sounds like you keep beating a dead horse to death with 10x and never once taking steps to resolve why.


    Resolve startup issues and perform disk maintenance with Disk Utility and fsck -

    Using Disk Utility in Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later -

    Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permissions 10.0-10.6 -

    "Try Disk Utility" (modified from


    Then boot in Safe Mode, (holding Shift key down at bootup; takes longer to boot this way so be patient), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, reboot when it completes.

    Mac OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode -

    What is Safe Boot, Safe Mode? (Mac OS X) -

    Safe Boot takes longer than normal startup -

    Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5- Computer shuts down during Safe Boot -

    If you don't have an installer disc available you can try effecting repairs using fsk in Single User Mode -

    Post by japamac about using fsk -

    Repairing permissions in Single User Mode -

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,546 points)

    Hold down Option as you start up. Thsi invokes the Startup Manager. It draws an Icon for each potentially bootable drive, then the Eject key goes "live" and that key can be used to open the DVD-reader drawer and insert the Installer/Utilities/Diagnostic DVD.


    Your Mac should then allow you to proceed to the Installer/Utilities, but to run the diagnostic, you would have to Restart again and hold down the D key.

  • Karen Leighly Level 1 (0 points)



    I was able do as you advised and to run the Apple Hardware Test using the original startup disk.  Using the basic test (not extended testing), it says that "No Trouble Found."


    Do you have any further suggestions?


    Even though I have used computers for many years, I use them to compute, and so I am still a novice in many aspects.

  • Karen Leighly Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok, I have tryed to boot in safe mode.  It seemed to be chugging along well for a while, but now it seems to have hung.  That is, the apple logo is there, and the little clock thing, but the clock thing has stopped and no more noise is coming from the computer (i.e., by noise I mean normal computer disk-access sounds).


    Any suggestions?

  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)

    Yes, what you should have already: an alternate system boot drive.


    Do an install on another drive. All you need is say 40GB is more than ample.

    Just Mac Apple OS and any favorite tools you need to boot your system and run, not a full working OS with all the OS and stuff. THAT you can make by cloning this safe emergency boot system to another drive.


    That way you have


    a dead boot drive

    a good emergency system for maintenance

    a solid foundation for a system - and here you want about 200GB at most often much less for OS and apps.


    You can then use your backup to import, migrate, and ONLY touch or import from the sick system drive essentail file that you did not backup or have elsewhere.


    when a drive or system is sick the last thing you want to be doing is using it.



    Disk utility has RESTORE which will also clone your system but not the Lion Recovery partition. Oddly  Apple did not 'endorse' making bootable clone of the system which works too but most choose Carbon Copy Cloner - it works more consistently; it allows for smart update of the backup volume. Both can backup to a sparse disk image if desired.

    Using Cloning as a Backup Strategy

    OS X Lion Install to Different Drive

    How to create an OS X Lion installation disc MacFixIt

    Migration Assistant Update for Mac OS X Snow Leopard

    Create an OS X Lion Install disc tallation-disc


    How to clone your system: ckup.html


    You may of course need to pick up some new system and data drive to work with.


    $100 buys: 1TB WD Black / 128GB SSD also a worthy system drive / 250GB WD 10K VelociRaptor are nice too.


    Isolate the system and all your data and media files and have them on separate disk drives makes life easier - onlythe core /Users/KL_home_account_folder/Library

    is needed on the system drive (makes life easy) and keep all the data safe and on separate disk drive - like WD Black 1 or 2TB for instance.


    Use emergency system for maintenance

    Also always clone your system to another drive before making changes or updates, that way you know yhou have a safe good bootable system - and in a pinch, you can reformat/erase and restore (system does not need to be backed up except for home email and such and CCC or Superduper can do that in under 10 minutes).


    Fixing a sick drive when it FIRST happened can be done, but then it is like an onion or tangle of string that can't be pulled straight. The disk directory may not be easy and the journal can't fix.


    There are 3rd party tools that can or have good chance but then the one I would use and recommend is $90, better to put that into a new drive unless you already have Alsoft Disk Warrior.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,546 points)

    When the gear stops spinning, it initiates Mac OS X. In Safe Mode, it has completed a Disk Utility (Repair Disk ) and loaded minimal extensions. You should get a login screen next. In Safe Mode, it does not use accelerated graphics.


    That may mean you have damage to your Mac OS X image, and may need to re-install.


    It could also mean an undetected Hardware problem. Can you boot to the Installer/Utilities DVD?

  • Karen Leighly Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok, perhaps I stopped it too soon.  It is trying to do that now again, I think, but I am now @work.


    I did try to boot with the installer DVD.  That is, I used the option to get the choice of places to boot from, it gave me the installer DVD as an option, and so I chose it.


    However, that gave me, pretty quickly, a dark grey screen with the "You must restart your computer now" which I understand from searching is a kernal panic.


    I remember having a problem somewhat like this a number of years ago on a different computer, and it ended up being a problem with the startup disk.  I actually have a disk in hand that will work in this machine.  That is, it has four bays, I have three disks in there, and I bought another one thinking that I would put it in, but had not yet because I had sufficient space.


    So I'm sort of thinking that I could assume that a dead startup disk is the problem, install the new disk, presumably install the operating system from the DVD, and then reload the backup from time machine.  Or am I jumping the gun here?


    An issue is that I have a looming deadline and the last thing I need is another problem!  Not doing anything good for my stress levels.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,546 points)

    that gave me, pretty quickly, a dark grey screen with the "You must restart your computer now"

    "A Mac that will not boot from an appropriate Installer/Utilities DVD has a Hardware problem."


    That kernel panic will be stored in a log, and if you can get it working can be read out and analyzed.

  • LexSchellings Level 6 (8,717 points)

    Whatever good things are said, it is VERY probably a dying harddisk. Before you do anything else: Backup as soon as possible, make more than one backup. Backup first your essential files, after that make a clone to avoid loosing a lot of time afterwards.

  • Karen Leighly Level 1 (0 points)

    It is backed up using time machine.  That time machine disk is now not plugged into the computer any more (or plugged into anything).


    My students suggested that given the fact that it won't boot from the install disk, it may be a memory problem.  Does that seem to be more likely than a hard disk problem?


    This machine has four memory modules.  The students suggested that even one bad module can affect the others, so they thought I could take out a module, try to start, etc, until I isolate the bad one.  Does that seem to be a reasonable course of action?  N

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,546 points)

    Good theory, but does not apply to this Mac.


    The Mac Pro 65lb tower uses Error Correcting Code memory. Correctable errors are fixed on the fly, and uncorrectable errors cause a kernel panic. There are no gray areas as there are in Macs without Error Correction.


    A Mac without enough memory to start up will sit there flashing its power-on light.

  • The hatter Level 9 (60,930 points)

    you have 2006 1,1 running olde 10.5.8


    Get 10.6.x DVD from Apple


    You could have a DVD that predates the graphic card and can't boot as it lacks the needed driver support.


    TM is good for data but useless if you want to boot your system from something - and never have I had to go back and use DVD. CLONE and CLEAN SYSTEM INSTALL


    Don't listen to students unless they really are familiar with workstations - yes once in awhile there are FBDIMM issues.


    You could have parity errors and that led to corrupt directory and data - LOTS of things are of course possible.


    A backup plan should be tested, know how to use under worst situation, be redundant, and not just one method, or one backup set.


    Pull out all the hard drives, can be useful.


    ATI Radeon 5770 770.html


    How To Install and Remove Memory Mac Pro


    2x2GB FBDIMM DDR2 667MHz @ $39


    WD Black 1TB $93


    WD Green 3TB $149 - backup


    WD VR 10K 250GB $103 200MB/sec boot drive :

    Those last and last and make a nice boot drive.


    SSD: Samsung 830 128GB $99


    Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

  • Karen Leighly Level 1 (0 points)

    Actually, it occurred to me after I sent the original email that I may have listed the incorrect operating system.  I can't check because I can't get on the computer.  It came with the version before time machine, and I updated to the one with time machine so I could use time machine. 


    Regardless, why would the disk that it came with not operate the graphics card?


    But then thinking about that, I know the answer (yay!)  My primary display is a 30" monitor which has its own software to drive it!  So of course the DVD won't have that driver software.   I need to plug the secondary display (a 24", the one it came with) into the primary display and then retry.



  • Karen Leighly Level 1 (0 points)

    Well, that didn't work either.


    To summarize:

    - freezes during safe mode start

    - shows no problem from the hardware test from the install disk (even with the extended test)

    - does not start from the original install disk - gives a kernel panic.


    I think I have 10.6 install disk at work and I will look for that tomorrow (and in fact I am sure that the current installation is 10.6, rather than 10.5 as I had thought originally).   But I still don't understand why the original install disk wouldn't be able to drive the original graphics card.  Presumably, it worked when the machine was new.


    Any other ideas?  Thanks for your advice.

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