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Old Jul 29th, 2020, 02:48 PM   #1
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Can't boot OS from SSD in MacPro 3,1

I'm trying to use some legacy equipment on an old Mac Pro 2008 (3,1). Yosemite is supported, but when I try to select the faster SSD as as the startup disk for Yosemite (visible in startup options), it ignores it and reverts to Yosemite on the regular SATA HD.

The SSD is a Kensington 240GB model. The Yosemite operating system was cloned from the SATA to the SSD using Carbon Copy Cloner.

Is there something obvious I might be missing?
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Old Jul 30th, 2020, 08:57 AM   #2
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Have you tried blessing the new startup drive via the Bless command in Terminal?

This should happen automatically when you select that Volume as your start-up, so I am not too optimistic that will solve the issue. Still it might be worth a try.

Should also ask if the SSD is mounted in one of the HD drive bays, spare optical drive bay, external FireWire, or did you use a PCI slot? I was advised not to use a PCI slot as there might be difficulties booting.

FWIW with a MacPro 4,0 and ElCap and a Crucial 500GB SSD, I have found the only real speed advantage is boot time, otherwise things are about the same as booting from a regular HD. However I do have Stoplight totally disabled, and my HDs are all 7200RPM WD Caviar Blacks.
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Old Jul 30th, 2020, 10:10 AM   #3
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Thanks, eMacMan. I've tried it through a USB enclosure and through a sled adapter. "Startup Disk" allows me to select the SSD as the source of the OS, but then reverts to the SATA HD.

I am trying to create a dual boot machine that can start in both Snow Leopard and Yosemite--for two different purposes. Since I posted that message I added Snow Leopard to one of the partitions on that startup SATA HD using a bootable USB key. Installation went fine, but following that installation I can no longer boot in Yosemite. I understand that I can't select Yosemite from Snow Leopard as a viable startup operating system--it's too old to recognize it. However, I can't boot in Yosemite even when doing a restart with the Option Key depressed. Just ignores the choice and reverts to Snow Leopard.

I thought this would be easy!
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Old Jul 30th, 2020, 11:24 AM   #4
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The terminal method of blessing the start-up folder should be this:

To get full admin privileges, from the Snow Leopard admin account:
sudo -s
(hit 'enter')
enter password as prompted
(hit 'enter')
bless -folder YosemiteVolumeName/System/Library/CoreServices
(hit 'enter')

NOTE: Just drag Yosemite icon onto terminal to get correct volume name.

Hopefully that will at least allow you to boot from Yosemite via the option key. Otherwise re-clone and run the bless command right after you do the clone, before you disconnect the external from the Yosemite computer.

FWIW I directly mounted my SSD to an old sled from my MacPro1,0. Used one tiny screw pulled from a dead HD. I had to modify the key slot on the sled so the door would close. That allowed me to plug the SSD directly into the SATA slot. (Main reason I did that was the horrendous cost of shipping the adapter sled from the US, when pre-clearing customs.) So far it has worked flawlessly.
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Old Jul 30th, 2020, 11:27 AM   #5
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I ran into a very similar issue on my 3.1 Mac Pro, and figured out a couple of solutions.

I was happily using Snow Leopard, and felt no need to upgrade, until browser support in Snow Leopard ended last year. I have an iMac that runs High Sierra, so was getting comfortable with that OS too. Recently, I discovered a hack that allows several older Macs to run High Sierra (and above) (look up macOS High Sierra Patcher). This gave me some incentive to run High Sierra on my 3.1 Mac Pro. The High Sierra install went without an issue, and I was running nicely in High Sierra (but long boot time). The problem started when I changed the startup disk to Snow Leopard. After reverting back to Snow Leopard I couldn't get back into High Sierra. If I hold down the Option key during startup, the High Sierra disk is selectable, but when booting I just got the circle with a diagonal line through it, and it would eventually start back in Snow Leopard. Doing this multiple times just ends in frustration. Fortunately, I also had some other OS versions on other partitions I could try. The El Capitan partition had the same issue as High Sierra, but I was able to select and boot from a Mavericks partition. From the Mavericks partition I was able to select the High Sierra disk in System Preferences as the desired boot drive. Obviously, this isn't a very elegant solution.

An easier solution is to change the System Preferences startup disk selection during the Option boot process. Usually during the Option key boot the drive selected is a one-time selection. You can change that to the long-term selection by using the Control key to select the drive. Here are the steps.

1) Hold down the Option key during bootup

2) When the list of boot drives appears, click on the drive you want to boot from (but DON'T click on the arrow symbol below it yet)

3) An arrow symbol will appear below the startup drive you've selected. Press and hold the Control key. The arrow symbol below the selected startup drive will change to a circular arrow symbol. While still holding the Control key, click on that circular arrow symbol with your mouse. This will change the startup drive in System Preferences to the drive you've selected, so it's no longer a one-time selection. It will now try to boot from that drive.

In my case, I still get the circle with the slanted arrow through it, but instead of reverting back to Snow Leopard it goes on through to High Sierra.

The problem only happens when Snow Leopard is the startup disk set in System Preferences. It seems that you can't option boot to another drive that isn't seen in the Snow Leopard startup disk System Preferences. On the other hand, you can do a normal Option key boot to Snow Leopard if High Sierra is the normal startup disk in System Preferences. I now leave the normal boot drive as High Sierra, and use the Option key boot selection when I need to use Snow Leopard with some older software.

I found out about the Control key setting from a site on the internet, but have lost the link. I still don't know why this issue even occurs, and since it happens on El Capitan too, it's not just because I have a hacked system. I'm guessing it has somthing to do with the way the startup disks are registered in System Preferences.
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Old Jul 30th, 2020, 12:42 PM   #6
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The issue may be specific to the macPro 3,1

I am running Snow Leopard on a HD in the first bay, and am easily able to boot via option key into ElCap on the SSD which is in the second bay. MacPro 4,1.

Another thought. Are you using the older standard GUID partition mapping on the SSD, or the more recent version intended only for SSD devices (and the most recent versions of OS-X)? Perhaps that's where the issue lies. On my computer both devices are using the older GUID.
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Old Jul 30th, 2020, 12:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eMacMan View Post
The issue may be specific to the macPro 3,1

I am running Snow Leopard on a HD in the first bay and am easily able to boot from ElCap on the SSD which is in the second bay. MacPro 4,1
I'm curious about one thing. When you've booted in SL, does it recognize ElCap as a viable OS--or do you need to do an "Option" start?
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Old Jul 30th, 2020, 12:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfury View Post
I'm curious about one thing. When you've booted in SL, does it recognize ElCap as a viable OS--or do you need to do an "Option" start?
It's viable, I have switched that way on occasion. See the part I just added regarding partition mapping, I think that avenue might be worth investigating. Maybe re-clone after setting up the SSD to the older GUID scheme?
https://www.macobserver.com/tips/qui...at-drive-guid/
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