5 Replies Latest reply: Dec 19, 2013 1:07 AM by Warwick Teale
Gregory Rivers Level 2 (450 points)

I have a Mac Pro (Intel, 2008). Within the last 6 months, a situation with the Mac Pro has occurred twice.


While asleep, or shut down, I press the Power button to start up the Mac Pro leading to the following events:


  • the graphics card fan runs at full speed.
  • the LED indicators on the RAM cards all light up red.
  • the HDD's begin to spin.
  • the startup chime does *not* sound.
  • the screen does *not* turn on.
  • the fan does *not* slow down.


several seconds after pressing the Power button to start up the Mac Pro, it shuts itself down.


  • it is not possible to reset the PRAM. (the startup sequence does not proceed far enough to allow this to happen.)
  • resetting the system via the reset button on the mother board does not affect the situation.
  • replacing the PRAM battery does not necessarily correct the situation.
  • removing every HDD, RAM card, PCI card and cable does not correct the situation.


this is what has worked for me.


assuming that the Mac Pro is not powered up:


  • unplug the power cable.
  • press the Power button for 5 seconds to drain any residual power from the system.
  • let the Mac Pro sit idle for 12 to 24 hours. (10 minutes simply doesn't do it!)
  • plug the power cable in.
  • press the Power button to boot up the Mac Pro.


removing the HDDs, RAM cards, PCI cards and cables may or may not affect your situation.


the first time my Mac Pro booted after this procedure, only 4GB of RAM was recognised by the system. I shut down the Mac, removed and re-inserted the RAM cards and booted the Mac up again. the Mac then recognised all of my RAM (20GB).


hopefully, we'll see a new generation of the Mac Pro this year with *both* firewire and thunderbolt.


cheers all.

Mac Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 20GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4870
  • Warwick Teale Level 3 (580 points)

    Hi Greg! Yeah good tips. I'd like to add a few other tips that worked for a few of us. I have a 2009 nehalem MPro, 16 cores, 4 used internal bays, 5870 (added in 2011), replaced main boards, power supply, memory and CPU modules under extended warranty. Several ATTO pcie sas cards (r380,h380) bla blah.




    Ok, we we moved the whole suite to new premises some months back and the transportation was safe and well and due to premises issue, the setup above Nd the disk arrays etc sat I. The packing for two weeks...



    Mac Pro would not power on some times.. Else it would power on and then after or during startup would shutdown.



    Did most of the steps you described and


    1) pulled all the disks from bays 1-4, pulled all the pci hba card  including the ati 5870, pulled the two DVD player units and lastly, the CPUs and memory module unit.

    2) cleaned all contacts with cans of clean compressed air of all the above

    3) then proceeded to replace each component then powering up the Mac Pro and make sure the startup chime occurrs, then power the Mac Pro off.

    4) I started with the memory module with a single DIMM in the memory, finally replacing them finally with all of them repeating step 3. I did find a bnd memory dimm doing this. Don't worry if the Simms are not inthe most efficient slots.. Fix this later.


    5) replace the GPU card (in my case ati 5870) strap Nd shutdown

    6) this time hold the power button in for at least 20 seconds and reset the SMC.. Wait for the squeal!,


    7) then do one of the disks or the disk set that you start from..

    8) restart.  .. Wait for it to settle. Power off

    9) plug in the mainscreen display and restart .. By now it all should be ok.

    10) power off again. Power up again with key board and restart and then shutdown

    11) add/insert  each pcie Hba power up and. Reset the SMC AS IN STEP 6 and shutdown. Repeat for any other MAKE SURE THAT THE SPEED OF THE PCIE card matches the rating of the slot.   so remaining hbas.

    12)  should be looking good by now.... So login and then shutdown

    13) and remainder of the internal disks , power up and access file systems.

    14) should u get the memory manager appear at startup and recommend to re-organise the memory Simms, then print the report or use your iPhone to record the display, shutdown and move the dimms s it requests.

    15) lastly serially plug in other peripherals and see hat they can be accesses.


    Summary: worth the effort NDS time. Macpro has been solid ever since.





  • CURRIN_PRODUCTIONS Level 1 (0 points)

    OK so this is now happening to me and I did some reaserch and concluded that my Video Card was the issue. Just ordered a new card and now i see this post...  Story of my life... lol.  Anyway. I have not yet tried these procedures but i will.  So what is the reason that this happens?  I guess I will now have to Video cards if this works. Second question is. Can I now run both these cards at the same time. Im sure the answer is yes but I;m not 100%

  • Warwick Teale Level 3 (580 points)

    By all means try this.. It does work and was provided to me by an Apple engineer agesago. .. however.. as time marchaes on .....

    My current take on these issues. These are simply exacerbated by the age of the components in the machine. Mine (this) 2009 MP is an example. Long after my previous post in this forum I needed to REPLACE most of the major components.. sadly, things such as the PSU, the main board, the risers etc do start to fail. It may be equally one of the PCI cards. (3rd set of boads incl original). THe last lost cost me a small mint!.. no more warranty


    I've had 4 PSU in thos sine 2009... several under warranty.


    Theres an Apple Hardware manual for each of these machines with a rigid procedure to diagnose a range of these issues. You could try and get one and do this.


    Equally sadly, unless you have a basic skill, Id advice you to take it to APPLE themselves, and ask them to diagnose these issues.


    In Hong Kong, Apple Store will do this diagnosis for free, then provide you a quotation to fix it.


    Worth a call. Be prepared for a hit to you wallet....


    Sorry no good news... age is age



  • Gregory Rivers Level 2 (450 points)

    Since people are actually reading this tip... :-)

    A while ago, I noticed that the fan in my graphics card wasn't spinning very well and the computer was pretty hot (as reported by Temperature Monitor). With 12 pets, our home is a dusty environment. So I took the card out, dismantled it, cleaned it, added a drop of oil and reassembled it. and moved it up a slot so that it had room to breath.

    I haven't had a cold-boot problem since!

    Your mileage might vary.


  • Warwick Teale Level 3 (580 points)

    Hi Greg, yes indeed. These cheese grater mac get a lot of dust and fluff. I perform a cleanout every few months... care is needed as always. Hopefully the 2013 MAC PRO announcment this month will have less of an issue with this as the fan is very very quie as there is not a great need fpr the cooling system liek on our current mac pros.


    Yes your advice worked great.. however as I posted earlier today, these are symptoms of age. I WAS turning over these MAC PROS every other generation (2-3 years). This is the olde (2009 March nehalem) ive ever had and it has cost me more than I thought ti keep it alive and function:

    • 2010 warranty replacement ATI 4780
    • 2010 warranty replacement PSU#1 and then PSU#2 .... (a flaky batch from Apple in Singapore maybe)
    • 2011 warranty replacement PSU, Main logic board, risers
    • 2011 more memory
    • 2012 upgrade ATI 5870 GPU (fcpx etc)
    • 2012 PSU - cost me money 3 month warranty)
    • 2013 Apple Store Hong Kong did a great job: Another PSU, repalacement main board, Risers and CPU towers .. lots of $$'s though
    • 2013 OWC Acelsior_E2 PCI ssd - as startup and applicatioins volume / striped 4 bay1-4 ($$s)


    As this is our main money making machine.. we must spend money on it.


    so.... I'm expecting this machine to packup in 2014 and she'll be another OSX server here ..... hopefully the americans have "re-learned how to assemble" the MACPRO 2013 by then and I'll be upgrading..



    Hong Kong