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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Mac Pro 1.1 won't boot past grey screen

Mac Pro 1.1 won't boot past grey screen
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Andy8
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May 19, 2011, 07:10 PM
 
My Mac Pro 1.1 won't boot past grey screen, but I can boot into Safe Mode.

My issue is I can't get the install dvd to boot when I reboot from safe mode, the drive just ejects the disk each time while I am holding down the command + C keys.

I boot into single user mode to run fsck -fy and it seems to modify the file system once, then I run fsck -fy again and no errors the 2nd time, but when I try to reboot from there it gets stuck on the grey screen again.

Should I reset the PRAM and NVRAM?

I have a full backup on TimeMachine.

OS X 10.6.7.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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May 19, 2011, 07:54 PM
 
It's just the c key not command c.
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 19, 2011, 08:32 PM
 
Try the alt key.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 07:26 AM
 
Tried the key combos above, still wont boot the install disk(s) - tried my 10.5 disk even!

Now I have a blue screen, which shows my mouse pointer but nothing else.

Still boots into safe mode, but I cant do anything from that, apart from restart into safe mode.
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 07:29 AM
 
I have 4 drives internally in this MP 1,1, can I swap my boot drive to another slot and change it to an empty drive and try to boot, install onto that? Or does swapping the drive slots change nothing?
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 20, 2011, 07:59 AM
 
Pull the boot drive altogether and see it you can boot from disc.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Big Mac
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May 20, 2011, 07:59 AM
 
In my experience, at least with my G5, swapping drive slots would swap the startup disk.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 11:11 AM
 
Pulled the boot drive out, still cant boot from disk.

Put the boot drive back in and now back to Safe Mode boot.

Bit lost to know what next to do.
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 20, 2011, 11:20 AM
 
Does it boot into startup manager when you alt-boot it?

Reset the SMC.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Does it boot into startup manager when you alt-boot it?

Reset the SMC.
Yes it does boot into startup manager, but when i select the OS X install disk it doesnt get past the grey screen/apple logo/spinning progress icon - no disc spinning up sounds as such.

I reset the SMC twice.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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May 20, 2011, 11:34 AM
 
Sounds like the OS disk doesn't support the hardware.
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 20, 2011, 11:35 AM
 
You could try verbose booting from the DVD see if that tells you anything (Command-V) but you also might want to inspect the DVD for scratches. Sounds like its a bad disc to me. I assume its a retail copy of Snow Leopard?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 11:39 AM
 
I have tried retail copies of both 10.6 and 10.5, same result with both.

I shall try your verbose booting suggestion in the morning, I have to get some sleep now, have been battling this Mac Pro most of the day.

Many thanks for the suggestions.
     
bdmarsh
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May 20, 2011, 03:48 PM
 
there could be a software issue, and a hardware issue causing your problems.

I've seen many cases of a computer coming in because it won't boot from the HD (although may like yours boot from safe mode), and won't boot from the Install DVD.

the optical drive may also be failing, or the install DVD may be scratched.

There are some possible ways to access the drive and attempt a repair, if you have access to another mac, you could try connecting them through a firewire cable, and boot the Mac Pro that isn't booting while holding down the "T" key for Target Disk Mode.
This would then mount the Mac Pro's hard drive on the other Macs desktop, where if they are running the same OS version, you can try something like running the most recent Combo Update for the OS version (like 10.5.8 Combo Update if it is still running Leopard, and not Snow Leopard)
The system you connect it to should be running the same OS version to effectively repair it.

There could be other reasons the Mac Pro boots to safe mode, but not fully boots - bad kernel extension - failing hard drive on a spot that doesn't affect safe mode. (fsck doesn't check for physical failures, it just checks the filesystem)
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 20, 2011, 05:07 PM
 
If you are going to use another Mac, I'd try booting the other one in target mode to use its optical drive. Though that doesn't work on older MacBooks or iBooks. Need a Pro or PowerBook to use the optical in target mode.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 06:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
If you are going to use another Mac, I'd try booting the other one in target mode to use its optical drive. Though that doesn't work on older MacBooks or iBooks. Need a Pro or PowerBook to use the optical in target mode.
Sadly, my other Mac is a MacBook Air, sans optical drive.
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 06:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by bdmarsh View Post
there could be a software issue, and a hardware issue causing your problems.

I've seen many cases of a computer coming in because it won't boot from the HD (although may like yours boot from safe mode), and won't boot from the Install DVD.

the optical drive may also be failing, or the install DVD may be scratched.

There are some possible ways to access the drive and attempt a repair, if you have access to another mac, you could try connecting them through a firewire cable, and boot the Mac Pro that isn't booting while holding down the "T" key for Target Disk Mode.
This would then mount the Mac Pro's hard drive on the other Macs desktop, where if they are running the same OS version, you can try something like running the most recent Combo Update for the OS version (like 10.5.8 Combo Update if it is still running Leopard, and not Snow Leopard)
The system you connect it to should be running the same OS version to effectively repair it.

There could be other reasons the Mac Pro boots to safe mode, but not fully boots - bad kernel extension - failing hard drive on a spot that doesn't affect safe mode. (fsck doesn't check for physical failures, it just checks the filesystem)
Does target disk mode work over ethernet on 10.6?
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 20, 2011, 07:19 PM
 
Do you have the USB optical for your Air? If you plug it into the Pro before powering on then alt-boot they are supposed to work.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 07:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Do you have the USB optical for your Air? If you plug it into the Pro before powering on then alt-boot they are supposed to work.
Yes I do! excellent suggestion

I am just moving some files to another drive in case I get stuck.
     
AKcrab
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May 20, 2011, 08:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Do you have the USB optical for your Air? If you plug it into the Pro before powering on then alt-boot they are supposed to work.
Interesting. I did not know this.
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 20, 2011, 08:12 PM
 
I haven't tried it yet. Got it from Hardmac.com.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
l008com
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May 21, 2011, 02:17 AM
 
If I were you, I'd netboot your mac pro off my macbook pro (running os x server) and first run SMART Utility to see if any of the disks are failing. Then run Disk Warrior to see if any of the disks have software errors that are causing failure. If everything checked out, you probably just need to reinstall... with some other disk and/or drive than the ones you are using. I would NetInstall :-)

And to be clear, no you can't do any netbooting or netinstalling without a netboot server, which will most likely be OS X Server.
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 21, 2011, 05:48 AM
 
Personally I never go anywhere without a netboot server. I installed one on my iPhone for just that reason.

The above useful advice aside, its time to start minimising your system. Pull the hard drives out, strip it down to two RAM chips, disconnect all peripherals except keyboard, mouse and screen. Pull all expansion cards (might as well re-seat the GPU for good measure) and then see if you can boot from a DVD. If you have the original shipped OS DVD, try that too.

If you get any further, put things back in one by one. Or just put the boot drive in and reinstall if you can. Then you can probably put the rest back in one go.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
AKcrab
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May 21, 2011, 05:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Personally I never go anywhere without a netboot server. I installed one on my iPhone for just that reason.
This is possible, or was this sarcasm?
     
l008com
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May 21, 2011, 07:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by AKcrab View Post
This is possible, or was this sarcasm?
It was sarcasm for him, but its not for me
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 21, 2011, 09:02 PM
 
It was sarcasm.

While I don't doubt its possible to install a netboot server on an iPhone I can't imagine its tremendously useful netbooting wirelessly from one.

The odds of the OP having a netboot server and not thinking to try it in this instance are pretty slim I'd guess.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Big Mac
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May 22, 2011, 01:55 AM
 
No, silly, you don't netbook over WIFI from your iPhone, you use the USB connection. It works like a charm, but you have to be jailbroken and have iOS X Server installed, of course.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 23, 2011, 06:33 AM
 
I believe that the DVD drive is also dying, which is causing me grief when trying to load a new OS onto the original or other internal drives I have in my MP 1,1.

Have tried to boot from the MBA 10.6 usb stick, I get the grey apple logo and spinning thing, then grey screen.

Have tried to install a combo update for 10.6 over the top, same deal.

The only thing I have on hand with a CD drive is an old PPC Mac mini.

I have pulled all the drives out, then added them one by one, reseated the original ram, reseated the original graphics card - still the same.

Now I can't boot into the original 10.6 install, even with safe mode.

I don't have OS X server, and my iPhone is not jailbroken.

Guess its time for some new hardware?
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 23, 2011, 06:52 AM
 
When I said pull the drives and RAM, I meant install OS with them removed.
Hell, pull all the drives and disconnect the optical, then try booting from the Air stick.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
l008com
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May 23, 2011, 07:08 AM
 
You can boot the mini into firewire target mode, then use it as an optical drive for your mac pro.
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 23, 2011, 07:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Hell, pull all the drives and disconnect the optical, then try booting from the Air stick.
Done, no progress past the usual grey screen.
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 23, 2011, 07:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
You can boot the mini into firewire target mode, then use it as an optical drive for your mac pro.
Trying this now.
     
l008com
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May 23, 2011, 07:26 AM
 
Oops I thought you were talking to me
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 23, 2011, 07:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
You can boot the mini into firewire target mode, then use it as an optical drive for your mac pro.

OK, tried this, was making all the right noises, the drive in the Mac mini was spinning up with 10.6 retail - then grey screen and silence. Next added a clean and tested drive into 1 bay and tried again, same deal.

     
l008com
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May 23, 2011, 07:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
OK, tried this, was making all the right noises, the drive in the Mac mini was spinning up with 10.6 retail - then grey screen and silence. Next added a clean and tested drive into 1 bay and tried again, same deal.

You need to try another disk. Ideally another intel mac running in firewire target mode. And instead of trying to boot the DVD like you just did, try booting the mac's hard drive. If your PPC mac mini is running 10.5, you can actually boot off of it's hard drive.
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 23, 2011, 08:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
You need to try another disk. Ideally another intel mac running in firewire target mode. And instead of trying to boot the DVD like you just did, try booting the mac's hard drive. If your PPC mac mini is running 10.5, you can actually boot off of it's hard drive.
OK booted from the PPC mac mini' hard drive running 10.5, got past the grey screen onto a blue screen, spinning beach ball at the moment, but will let it run for a bit longer and see if it progresses.
     
l008com
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May 23, 2011, 08:15 AM
 
Have you tried running the hardware test from your original mac disc? If your computer is having trouble booting multiple drives, then it's gotta be some weird hardware problem.
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 23, 2011, 08:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
Have you tried running the hardware test from your original mac disc? If your computer is having trouble booting multiple drives, then it's gotta be some weird hardware problem.

Yes i tried to run the AHT from the original disks, but my optical drive kept spitting the disk out on boot.

Should I try to run the AHT test disk from the Mac mini's optical drive?
     
l008com
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May 23, 2011, 08:36 AM
 
Might as well.
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 23, 2011, 08:55 AM
 
Ok tried the AHT disk from the Mac mini's optical drive, when booting up the OSX installer popped up on the screen so i went ahead and installed 10.4.x onto the clean internal drive I have in 1 bay, all seemed to go smooth until the restart after the installer finished. Now have had a black screen with a kernel panic message.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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May 23, 2011, 09:46 AM
 
Does 10.4 even support the machine? Someone else could probably tell you what the kernel panic meant if they could read it.
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 23, 2011, 09:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by BLAZE_MkIV View Post
Does 10.4 even support the machine? Someone else could probably tell you what the kernel panic meant if they could read it.
Yes, it shipped with 10.4.8

It is the standard kernel panic message to hold down the power button to restart.
     
BLAZE_MkIV
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May 23, 2011, 10:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Andy8 View Post
It is the standard kernel panic message to hold down the power button to restart.
Sorry the last kernel panic I saw was in BSD and it gives details. Command - v will boot in verbose mode and it should tell you were in the boot process it's crashing.
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 23, 2011, 10:57 AM
 
Does it have an airport card fitted? If it does, consider pulling that.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
l008com
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May 23, 2011, 05:11 PM
 
Mac Pro's shipped with 10.4, but it was the special intel version of 10.4. The retail 10.4 installer was PPC only.
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 23, 2011, 06:19 PM
 
I have a nagging feeling I've seen (and fixed) this before. Just can't remember how.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
l008com
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May 23, 2011, 06:20 PM
 
Its an easy diagnosis if you have the proper tools. You should mail the tower to me
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 23, 2011, 07:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Does it have an airport card fitted? If it does, consider pulling that.
It does have an airport card fitted, but where the heck is it on the board?

*found a service manual online, so will remove it myself*
( Last edited by Andy8; May 23, 2011 at 08:08 PM. Reason: manual located)
     
Andy8  (op)
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May 24, 2011, 05:44 AM
 
OK have removed the airport and bluetooth cards.

Replaced the internal battery with a new one.

Reset the logic board.

Back to grey screen when trying to load an installer via my Mac mini over Firewire.
     
l008com
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May 24, 2011, 06:07 AM
 
What about the hardware test?
     
 
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