Tag Archives: Mac-pro

Mac USB Problems

I’ve been having USB issues with my MacPro3,1. I’ve had the Mac Pro for about four years, but it’s otherwise been running like a champ.

A while back, I started having issues with a USB hub that was plugged into the back of the Mac. I replaced the cable, and things seemed to be fine. Until a while later, when the cable seemed to fail – then I replaced the hub, and all seemed fine.

Then the new hub was starting to have issues. So, I replaced that hub with another hub and new cable and things have been working swimmingly for a few months.

Then, this morning, all the USB ports on the back of the Mac seemed to go wonky – including one port which can recognize a device but always not power it properly. The front ports on the Mac, however, seem fine – sometimes.

I’ve zapped PRAM, I’ve booted into Safe Mode, and I’ve run USB Prober (from the Developer’s Tools) but… the prober tool doesn’t always recognize the device, either – but leads me to believe that every port is running as it should be running.

How could I, without introducing any new USB devices to the chain, be over-runing the system – especially when I’ve removed all USB devices and am still having issues with individual ones (like the wired Mac keyboard, but only sometimes in some ports but not at all in others)?

  • I can plug something like a USB flash drive into a port on the back and it might seem fine – it illuminates, but doesn’t always show a mounted drive (but always does on reboot, irrespective of port).
  • I can also plug Apple’s wired keyboard into a front port and it sometimes works, and sometimes doesn’t. It doesn’t seem to work at all in any of the rear USB ports.
  • I can see a Logitech webcam via USB Prober in one port, and its face illuminates when I open Photo Booth – then its face goes dark and Photo Booth doesn’t show an image.
  • If I plug that same Logitech USB webcam into just about any other USB port, the system doesn’t recognize it at all.
  • I tried reinstalling KEXT files, and that just forced me to reinstall Snow Leopard (which was painless, for whatever it’s worth). No go.
  • Someone in the comments suggested plugging my iPhone into ports to see if power was passing through them – and it was for all but the inner most rear USB port. Ouch.

I can’t imagine that it’s a failing power supply, but can’t help but wonder if I’m missing a software step after going through all of that. I’d hesitate to reinstall the OS only to find out the hardware was still the root cause. Who knows? Maybe Lion will fix the problem (and, at this point, I’m willing to wait a few more weeks for that install before either taking ‘er in or finding a Seattle-area Mac professional to help troubleshoot this on-site).

I believe it’s a hardware issue, but short of replacing the motherboard… ouch. “Repairs and Service Coverage: Expired.” Worse yet? Blake (from our community) sent me this link suggesting that this problem is known throughout my Mac Pro revision / line.

Booting up Apple's New Mac Pro for the First Time!

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The unboxing is done. The new RAM and hard drive are installed. Everything is hooked up. It is now… FINALLY… time to turn this sucker on! Are you ready? I am, that’s for sure. This has been a long time coming. It took me years to get to the point of making this switch. What’s that? Turn it on already? Why? What’s the hurry? Ok, ok. Fine! I’ll turn it on… in full view of over 1000 viewers! We’ll find out whether or not I installed everything correctly. Are you ready?? Here we go!!

We have power. We have sound! We have screen!! W00T! We have logo, folks! Where’s the applause? That’s it? This is all I get?! It turns on, and works… and no one is excited!? How can that be?

My speakers are still on order. They will hopefully be in in a few days. This music just isn’t working for me on these old ones. Ohhh look! It’s searching for the keyboard! Ahhh, it’s found. It wanted the Apple ID, of course. The setup is going smoothly. Even though this keyboard is small, it works really well. Bwana chimed in that he really loves his, so I’ll give it a good chance.

I know that the setup isn’t very exciting for you, but it sure is for me!

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How to Install a Hard Drive in an Apple Mac Pro

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You’ve already seen the unboxing of my new Big Mac. You hopefully watched how easy and beautiful it was to install more memory. Now, let’s put it to the test… and install a third hard drive into it.

The Mac Pro came with two drives. I removed the third one from my old Windows machine, to install into the Mac Pro. If you’ve ever been inside a pc case, you know how many wires are hanging around everywhere. The new Mac Pro is just gorgeous inside. There are no cables. It’s insane. You know what that means… better air flow.

As I was saying all this… you saw me quickly install the third drive. All I had to do was pop out the bracket, seat the hard drive into the bracket… and pop it in. That’s literally all I had to do. In order to use the eSata, it would be much more difficult. I would have to take several things apart in order to get to the right spot on the Motherboard. Is it really worth it? I’ve used eSata on several machines now, and never really USED it, ya know? I just don’t think it’s worth the trouble.

Oh no! There is some dust in the case! I had to put the anti-static strap back on, and get out the canned air. We can’t have the new machine be dirty already. That’s just not cool.

Getting a precision screwdriver kit is highly recommended. The one I have comes with 17 different pieces. No matter what kind of screw may be in a machine, I will have the right size screwdriver to do the job.

As I was preparing to slide the drive into the machine, a very loud scratch sounded over the stream…. along with a loud continuous popping noise. No one was sure what had happened, including me. I had kicked the keyboard on the floor accidentally. Thank you for staying with me, and not giving up. So… let’s commence shoving this thing back in place…

Wait. That’s it? I’m done? Are you sure?! I guarantee that after watching this video, you will wish you had a new Mac Pro the next time you have to open your PC case.

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Apple Computer – Live Mac Pro Unboxing

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Yes, finally my Mac Pro is here! I know, watching me cut open a box isn’t very exciting to you. However, it was quite exciting to me!

The first thing I pulled out of the box is the wireless keyboard I ordered. I can’t get over how tiny and thin it is! I also have the wireless Mighty Mouse. Some people don’t really like it, but I do. I’m not sure if I’ll use it as my primary mouse. I’m still a Microsoft Mouse kind of guy. Ohhhh. Apple sent me the batteries for the mouse and keyboard. It figures that I received my Mac Pro with OS X Version 10.5.1 on the same day that 10.5.2 was released. Isn’t that just the luck? Yes… I just sniffed the styrofoam that covered up the Mac. What do you expect? I’ve waited for this day for a LONG time.

And… ta-daaaaaaaaaa! After grabbing the handles on the sides of the machine, and pulling it out of the box with some fanfare… the Mac Pro is on my desk! That is one sexy looking machine, for sure. Everyone on the private Ventrilo server even has to agree. It’s beautiful! We actually hit 1100 viewers during this unboxing! How amazing is that? Thank you to everyone for joining me for this unboxing.

Now that we’ve opened up Big Mac to take a look, we’re going to close this video down and move on. I’ll be installing more RAM tonight, the new (third) hard drive, and firing this baby up! Stay tuned.

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Buying a Mac Pro

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The night this video was recorded…. I FINALLY ordered my Mac Pro!!! Yes, that’s right. I’m making the switch, and my Mac is being built, baby!

Freeware is what has driven me closer and closer to use a Mac exclusively. I currently run the live stream off of a Mac Mini. I use CamTwist, which allows me to add video effects. It allows me to integrate live weather from WeatherBug. And of course, I can also add in our live chat. I use a free IRC client called Colloquy. Knowing I couldn’t find Windows-equivalent software, I made this choice.

I’ve already nick-named my new Mac! It’s name is “Big Mac”. Get it? It’s beefy!! The specs are just amazing, and blow even MY mind! Yes, I went with the Terrabyte drive. Right now, I only bought two Gigs of Ram. However, I’m thinking about upgrading to much more. I just haven’t decided HOW much yet.

Do you want another reason I’m making this switch? What about the fact that it just works? And the software works? I can configure my Mac to have up to 32 Gigs of Ram. I mean, seriously. Why wouldn’t I switch?

I’m not abandoning Windows completely, not by a long shot. I’ll be running Windows inside of my Mac, using Boot Camp. Am I an Apple fan boi? Absolutely not. Is a Mac perfect? Absolutely not. I still support both companies. I will still use products from both companies. If you look at my MacBook, you’ll see the Apple logo is covered up. So it’s not a matter of “loving” Apple. It’s a matter of getting what I needed and wanted, at a price I can handle. And of course… it’s a matter that it will work.

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