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Thread: MacPro 1,1 won't boot

  1. #1
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    Default MacPro 1,1 won't boot

    It appears that my logic board failed on my MacPro (2006). The light and fans turn on but there is no chime and of course nothing happens. The LED's on the logic board are all off until I push the diag button. Then the first and last lights come on (The trickle and power lights I do believe). From what I have learned reading on the internet, the GPU light (2nd to last) is also supposed to come on? I have a later model MacPro (2009) and I took the video card and swapped it with the 2006 card. The 2006 MacPro still doesn't chime but the 2009 MacPro will chime with the 2006 video card installed. Apparently it doesn't know what to do with that card because the monitor doesn't come on. Anyone have any ideas on this?

    By the way, I did swap/move RAM memory. There are two boards and I took each one out and swapped them. The red LED's on the cards light up and turn off normally. I removed all peripherals.

  2. #2
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    Memory or RAM can cause many strange issues. Did you go back or try the computer with the original or working RAM and see what happens? Do you have or could borrow a monitor to test on it.

    Do things one step at a time so you which variable gets changed and what happens.

    Others will post different suggestions.

  3. #3
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    Would be nice to see the info provided in the Apple service manual for this model. Would give the steps and options to diagnose test/indicator lights.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  4. #4
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    RWM: I assume you are asking me if I tried the RAM from my 2009 MacPro in the 2006 model. Unfortunately it is not compatible. As far as RAM goes, I have two separate boards with RAM and I took each of them out. So unless both of the boards had bad RAM then that should have isolated that problem. Furthermore, since I had 6 RAM cards, I tried leaving only pairs of them in and I still didn't get different results. It doesn't seem like it is RAM that is my problem.

    Unclemac: Yes, I tried a google search to find something in greater detail about the diagnostic lights on the motherboard. I couldn't find much. Just little pieces of information here and there.

  5. #5
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    The video cards aren't interchangeable so that's not going to help you.
    The issue is almost certainly power supply. I've replaced 3 in the last two months with the same symptoms, last one was yesterday. All are now working normally.

  6. #6
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    Oops, misread the post! Sorry, about that. I thought that you meant it wasn't starting up at all.
    If you can strip it down to one pair of memory sticks and then swap again that's one way of testing the ram.
    You may have a dud processor. You should be able to take one out and try to boot it. Then swap them over. If that solves the problem and allows it to start then you'll need to get a replacement processor.
    You have to be really quick with it though as the processors must not be separated from the heatsink for more than 15 minutes or the coating on the processor degrades... you may of course really not feel like doing this on your own, but I had a Mac Pro a while back with a dead processor, it will run with one, just not as quick.

  7. #7
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    Just had a quick look on ebay and there are a number of processors on there for 40 ($65) for 2.66ghz 1,1 Pros.
    If it's logic board then you're going to have to dig deeper.

  8. #8
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    Thanks MacLoon,

    I have nothing to lose by trying your processor trick. Still, it would be nice to know if that GPU light should be on or not. Maybe it's a bad video card? You'd think the computer would at least chime even if the card were bad.

  9. #9
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    But if it's the first processor, I think it's the top one, then you won't get a chime. If it was the bottom one that was faulty then it would most likely start up... as was the case with the one I did.
    I also had the same issue with a DP G5 about 3 years ago. With that one we just took out the duff one and it ran happily but slower.
    You can run CPU test - download here - once you've got it running to stress test the processors.
    It can also be done using Terminal to write endless stuff to max out the processor, but CPU test is very simple to use - Activity Monitor will show you what's going on... but that's after you've got it up and running.

    Just one other thought... do you know that your hard drive is good? Anything bad on an ATA or SATA bus can stop it from booting. I've had a large number of DVD drives I've had that happen with - mainly ATA rather than SATA, admittedly - so you might want to try disconnecting both of those as well to isolate the logic board and processors and then try booting it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bshonk
    By the way, I did swap/move RAM memory.
    I was just making sure you took the computer back to original RAM configuration when it worked properly or before you had booting issues.

  11. #11
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    Apologies for duplicating the advice, but one of the problems with the Mac Pros is that you have to work with the ram in pairs, so if you have one bad stick of ram you don't get to find out which one it is until you split up the pairs... and if you have 2 bad sticks, as happened with one of my customers in his Macbook Pro last week, you are going to have to mess about even more to find out what the situation is.
    There is only one rule when troubleshooting: NEVER assume ANYTHING! Test, test and test again.

  12. #12
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    Update: I went in and took out the CPU's individually. I must say it was worth the effort just to see the elegant engineering inside the computer. I'd never taken CPU's out before! Anyway, I'm sorry to say I still had the same old problem. No boot or even a chime. I took the top one out first, then tried the bottom one. I did not bother to put heat sinks back on them during this trial. I hope there was not some interlock keeping the computer from booting with no heat sinks connected. I only ran it a couple minutes without the heatsinks and the CPU's did not get too hot.

    So we're back to either RAM or video card? I would like to say there was a LOT of dust inside the heat sink cooling fins. So I'd hazard a guess that the computer was not cooling efficiently as a result Well, since at this point I can only fool around with the RAM, I took the suggestion to heart to switch out pairs and such. To answer RWM's question, I lost track at this point the "original" RAM configuration. I guess I should have marked them but I didn't think it was critical at the time. What I found was there are two types of RAM. One card has a super duper heat sink and the other doesn't. I have four of the first type and two of the later. The computer doesn't like the later type at the front of the card. It gives me a blinking light, so I can not use only the two of those. But I did use just the two of various combinations of the super duper heat sink cards in the top slot. Still the same. No boot and no chime!

    Now to make matters more compacted. Since I removed the CPU's, the GPU light is now coming on the LED indicators! So maybe the video card is not in question after all?

    Could it be all my RAM went bad at once? Thanks for your help!

  13. #13
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    Hi.
    Well done on your efforts, many people would bale out at the thought of doing open heart surgery!
    The ram without heat sinks is probably just incompatible rather than bad.
    The ram for the Mac Pros is very specific. Firstly it is ECC, it is also fully buffered and MUST have heat sinks.
    From your testing it's clear that the ram does not meet specification in at least one area. Are there any labels on the sticks?
    Did you get any flashes with any of the other sticks?
    Have you disconnected all of the internal drives yet and then tried to boot?
    To get to the root cause you can take off everything, including the graphics card.
    When I was trying to solve a similar problem last year I had a Mac Pro booting headless - i.e. no graphics card, and that was how i determined the graphics card was the problem.
    Try it - if it boots without and won't boot with it, then you know it's the graphics card.
    Having said that, I was getting the chime and then it was freezing. My bet for you now is that it's either something on the SATA/ATA bus or it's logic board though.

  14. #14
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    For once, time was slow... it wasn't last year, it was my first post in here back in March.
    If you want to take a glance at it, it's here
    It will show you the steps I went through before buying a new graphics card and solving the problem.

  15. #15
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    All the hard drives are working well. I had to put them in the other MacPro to get data off of them. Anyway, I disconnected them all, took out the video card and it does the same thing. No boot no chime. Maybe that RAM was not the proper RAM. I think I bought the computer from MacMall and ordered the extra RAM with it and they installed it. It worked for six years so I have no complaints about it.

    Well thanks everyone for helping me. It looks like we're out of suggestions. Not quite sure what to do about my beloved MacPro, sniff sniff.

  16. #16
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    So, you've eliminated everything and left you with the inescapable conclusion: you need a replacement logic board, or find someone who can do a component repair on it. If you were in the UK I'd tell you where to send it to get it repaired.
    What you could do is email darrell@mac2maconline.com and see if you can find a logic board there.
    I get emails every day with offers on logic boards and other components but it's rare for me to need to import them from the US.

  17. #17
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    Try this link

  18. #18
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    Thanks for that MacLoon! It does seem there is something wrong with the logic board. I'll check out this link you sent me.

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