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Thread: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

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    Super Duper
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    Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    Before I drag all this stuff to a Mac Repair place before my Apple Care runs out on Dec. 10th, I thought to ask here to see if there are any suggestions.

    It's a 3 year old Mac Pro Quad core 3 GHz Intel Xeon running OSX 10.6.5. (This problem has persisted and also happened with the previous OSX). ATY, Readeon1900 graphics card VRAM-512 Mb. Two 30" Mac Cinema 32bit Color run as continuous screen space. Main Mac start up drive is 250 gig, second drive is 500 gig and is kept relatively clear for a scratch disk, 3rd drive is 500 gig, 4th drive is 1 terabyte.

    Basically, if I shut down the computer (not sleep mode), and fire it up later, the screens won't fire up at all. Oddly, if I do a restart, they do fire up no problem.

    I've run all the maintenance programs including using the start-up disc, completely cleaned the insides, etc. etc. No joy.

    Since I've run the dual monitors for the entire 3 years, I'm thinking the graphics card is petering out.

    Thoughts?

    -Marc

  2. #2
    tetsrfun
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    Re: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Before I drag all this stuff to a Mac Repair place before my Apple Care runs out on Dec. 10th, I thought to ask here to see if there are any suggestions.

    It's a 3 year old Mac Pro Quad core 3 GHz Intel Xeon running OSX 10.6.5. (This problem has persisted and also happened with the previous OSX). ATY, Readeon1900 graphics card VRAM-512 Mb. Two 30" Mac Cinema 32bit Color run as continuous screen space. Main Mac start up drive is 250 gig, second drive is 500 gig and is kept relatively clear for a scratch disk, 3rd drive is 500 gig, 4th drive is 1 terabyte.

    Basically, if I shut down the computer (not sleep mode), and fire it up later, the screens won't fire up at all. Oddly, if I do a restart, they do fire up no problem.

    I've run all the maintenance programs including using the start-up disc, completely cleaned the insides, etc. etc. No joy.

    Since I've run the dual monitors for the entire 3 years, I'm thinking the graphics card is petering out.

    Thoughts?

    -Marc
    Likely the GC...When I had to upgrade my MacPro GC when Phocus came out there weren't many options. The ATI 1900 was one. I researched it and IIRC, it had a bad rep for running hot and failing, usually shortly after the warranty ran out. I am using a ATI Radeon HD 3870 with two 30" displays. I suspect that there is now a newer model for the "old" MacPro.

    Steve

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    Re: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    I would second the GC, but it could be a problem with the boot disk hanging... It might not hurt to make a bootable back-up of your OS to a partition on one of the other drives, then try booting from it and see if the problem persists. (You can make a bootable copy by using Carbon Copy Cloner or Super Duper.) If that fixes it, then replace the main boot disk. One thing to make sure of though is that your boot disk is set properly in preferences -- once you have more than one boot disk connected to the computer, it can hang on boot if you don't have a start-up disk designated.
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    Re: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    I remember a similar problem with an older G5 that ultimately traced back to the video card. Once I replaced the card it was fine. But prior to the replacement, it was completely arbitrary as to whether the monitor would activate. Everything was booting fine, you just couldn't tell by looking at the monitor.

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    Re: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    Thanks guys ... I suspected the GC all along.

    I need to upgrade it to the latest greatest that will work with this model anyway ... so I may be able to get a little $$$ off since this one's covered under my Apple care.

    I need a new start-up disk also since I keep maxing this one out when I pile on the wedding photos.

    I just didn't want to lug the tower and two 30" monitors to the Apple store.

    -Marc

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    Re: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    Could be an EFI issue as well. Even if the boot drive isn't responding you should still get a white screen. Try resetting the NVRAM.

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    Re: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Thanks guys ... I suspected the GC all along.

    I need to upgrade it to the latest greatest that will work with this model anyway ... so I may be able to get a little $$$ off since this one's covered under my Apple care.

    I need a new start-up disk also since I keep maxing this one out when I pile on the wedding photos.

    I just didn't want to lug the tower and two 30" monitors to the Apple store.

    -Marc
    Why not first call Apple care and see if they have any GC diagnostics you can run from home to narrow down the problem.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    Actually, you should call them and explain your problem -- they may just send you a new GC, or worst case send you to a local authorized Mac repair place. You probably wont need to drag to both monitors, just the box.
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    Re: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Actually, you should call them and explain your problem -- they may just send you a new GC, or worst case send you to a local authorized Mac repair place. You probably wont need to drag to both monitors, just the box.
    Thanks Jack, that's sort of what I planned on, and made an appointment ... just take the box in and get a better GC anyway ... plus a terabye start-up drive. It isn't the monitors or they would start up at all I think.

    I have to go back and re-read all the stuff I found on this, but for some reason there is an issue with reseting the vram ... plus, this is an older (3 years) MacPro, so only certain CGs will work.

    I'll just leave it to them to figure out ... this stuff freaks me out when it gets beyond basics ... I can take a simple one car de-railment and turn it into an all day train wreak

    -Marc

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    Re: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    Many thanks to all.

    Graphics Card upgraded from Radeon 1900 to Radeon HD5770 (with a Gig of VRAM).

    30" monitors fire up no problem.

    Phocus Software is blazingly fast now. I mean fast!!!!! Instantaneous tethered preview, and full res in about a second. WaHoooo !!!!!

    -Marc

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro Quad won't fire up 30" Monitors?

    oohh ... HD 5770 supports 3 monitors! That solves a problem I've been having with my MacPro 2,1 8 core machine where I recently ran out of slots to house 2x video cards. I have a 30in Cinema display, 2nd calibrated monitor and a Cintiq 21 all connected (or at least were until I added a RAID card and ran out of slot space). Now I can host them all together again.

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