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2006-2013 Mac Pro and alternatives

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You can use the Nvidia Quadro K5000 for Macs and upgrade your 2010 Mac to Mojave 10.14.6 using the DosDude patch. You won't need the Nvidia software to use this card on the Mac Pro with Mojave, since it has the EFI firmware on board.
Even with EFI firmware, you probably want to install the drivers anyway. Although every manufacturer is different, I would expect the ROM firmware to provide basic functionality, so you can see something during the boot sequence and before drivers are installed. I would expect full functionality (including access to all of the GPU acceleration features) to require the drivers, since you'll want OS-specific code for peak efficiency.
 


Even with EFI firmware, you probably want to install the drivers anyway. Although every manufacturer is different, I would expect the ROM firmware to provide basic functionality, so you can see something during the boot sequence and before drivers are installed. I would expect full functionality (including access to all of the GPU acceleration features) to require the drivers, since you'll want OS-specific code for peak efficiency.
I've got the EVGA GeForce GTX 680 in my Mac Pro 2008 as the video card. This Mac Pro has Mojave installed with the latest macOS 10.14.6 (18G87) and is running an LG 4K monitor — not at the full 4K resolution (but 2560 x 1440 @ 60 Hz); however, it still looks stunning.

The Nvidia Quadro K5000 should give you an excellent 4K experience with 4GB GDDR5 memory installed. If you absolutely have to stay with Nvidia, then these two cards are your only solution on a Mac Pro running Mojave. There is no Nvidia software installed in my Mac Pro 2008, because Nvidia cards are not supported in Mojave, except for these two Mac Nvidia cards. With the DosDude patching, you cannot use AMD Radeon cards in the unsupported 2008 Mac Pro.

I've seen nothing that is slowing down my GPU with a lot of testing. With the 2009-2012 Mac Pros, you can use the AMD Radeon RX 580 video cards (and others), so it's only on the 2008 Mac Pros where you come into this problem where you must use an Nvidia card.
 


The Nvidia Quadro K5000 should give you an excellent 4K experience with 4GB GDDR5 memory installed.
I have the Nvidia Quadro K5000 card in my Mac Pro 5,1. I'm using it to drive two 4K monitors, along with a third, 11" 1200x800 screen that gives me a boot screen. The 4K monitors don't light up during the boot sequence.

The perceived performance is excellent - everything is very smooth and not at all jerky or sluggish. I am not using any specialized software, so I do not need GPU acceleration. I'm currently using it with Mojave, and I had been using it for quite a while with first OS X 10.9 and later macOS 10.12.
 


With the DosDude patching, you cannot use AMD Radeon cards in the unsupported 2008 Mac Pro.
Netkas created a patch that enables the Mac Pro 3,1 to use GCN AMD cards in macOS 10.14.5 by emulating the single SSE4.2 call in the AMD Metal driver. It's included in the Dosdude1 macOS Mojave Patcher Tool. There's some discussion about it on MacRumors.
 


Another "Why I Support MacInTouch" story:

Please recall that a few months ago I requested help with a crash-on-sleep problem with my Mac Pro 4,1, firmware-upgraded to 5,1. A fellow MacInToucher suggested that the problem may be because Mojave had exposed a bug in the CPUs that I had installed a few years earlier. I purchased a pair of Intel Xeon six-core X5680 SLBV5 3.33GHZ off of eBay and finally had time to install them. The process went smoothly, with only two half-turn tweaks of the heat sink screws on Processor B to get everything to boot up and all RAM recognized.

Even better, no more crash-on-sleep issues!
 


I would like to know if anyone has experience with upgrading a Mac Pro 5,1 to Mojave (installing a Metal-compatible card), but still being able to boot the machine in Snow Lepoard (Mac OS X 10.6) from a separate internal hard drive?

I understand that the firmware will be updated as part of the macOS 10.14 install, so I'm wondering if this causes any issue with going back to Mac OS X 10.6? I also understand that one might need to use the original graphics card for video when using Snow Leopard.

I am routinely running High Sierra (10.13.6) now and do not have any APFS-formatted drives.
 


I would like to know if anyone has experience with upgrading a Mac Pro 5,1 to Mojave (installing a Metal-compatible card), but still being able to boot the machine in Snow Lepoard (Mac OS X 10.6) from a separate internal hard drive?

I understand that the firmware will be updated as part of the macOS 10.14 install, so I'm wondering if this causes any issue with going back to Mac OS X 10.6? I also understand that one might need to use the original graphics card for video when using Snow Leopard.

I am routinely running High Sierra (10.13.6) now and do not have any APFS-formatted drives.
The firmware will not be any impediment. As you noted, the biggest problems will come from the graphics card, and, of course, any APFS volumes, which will not be readable in Snow Leopard.

I am not aware of any Metal GPU's that have drivers in Snow Leopard. The oldest I can find is that the GeForce GTX 680 and Radeon HD 7950 are supported in 10.7.5 Lion. So, you will need to have two GPU's: an older one for Snow Leopard, and a Metal one for Mojave. Based on what I've read, you can have them installed simultaneously, and boot successfully into each OS, so long as the Metal card has a Mac-native EFI ROM (not a PC UEFI ROM).
 


The firmware will not be any impediment. As you noted, the biggest problems will come from the graphics card, and, of course, any APFS volumes, which will not be readable in Snow Leopard.

I am not aware of any Metal GPU's that have drivers in Snow Leopard. The oldest I can find is that the GeForce GTX 680 and Radeon HD 7950 are supported in 10.7.5 Lion. So, you will need to have two GPU's: an older one for Snow Leopard, and a Metal one for Mojave. Based on what I've read, you can have them installed simultaneously, and boot successfully into each OS, so long as the Metal card has a Mac-native EFI ROM (not a PC UEFI ROM).
I installed a Metal GPU in my MacPro 5,1 in preparation for moving to Mojave (but have not yet done so). This Radeon R9 280X 3GB GPU supports Snow Leopard just fine—but not everyone has had similar success.
 


The firmware will not be any impediment. As you noted, the biggest problems will come from the graphics card, and, of course, any APFS volumes, which will not be readable in Snow Leopard.
I am not aware of any Metal GPU's that have drivers in Snow Leopard. The oldest I can find is that the GeForce GTX 680 and Radeon HD 7950 are supported in 10.7.5 Lion. So, you will need to have two GPU's: an older one for Snow Leopard, and a Metal one for Mojave. Based on what I've read, you can have them installed simultaneously, and boot successfully into each OS, so long as the Metal card has a Mac-native EFI ROM (not a PC UEFI ROM).
I did have a Radeon HD 7950 in place when I still had the 4,1 -> 5,1 Mac Pro running later (not quite final) Mojave/firmware. While I did not spend a lot of time booted in Snow Leopard, it did seem to work fine when it was up and running, and similarly when I was running Snow Leopard via VMWare (though that was more likely to be in Sierra). Actually, come to think of it, it seemed like Snow Leopard became a little more stable as the Mojave firmware updates progressed; some of the quirks at boot time that had happened with earlier firmware (e.g., the monitor being all scrambled and having to boot again), didn't seem to happen any more.

Now with the iMac Pro in its place, and Snow Leopard running via VMWare, a few things that I tried to reinstall on it are no longer viable with the iMac Pro's modern video card, so an older Metal-friendly video card is perhaps a safer bet on the Mac Pros, depending on the software you may be running.
 


I would like to know if anyone has experience with upgrading a Mac Pro 5,1 to Mojave (installing a Metal-compatible card), but still being able to boot the machine in Snow Lepoard (Mac OS X 10.6) from a separate internal hard drive?
I understand that the firmware will be updated as part of the macOS 10.14 install, so I'm wondering if this causes any issue with going back to Mac OS X 10.6? I also understand that one might need to use the original graphics card for video when using Snow Leopard.
I am routinely running High Sierra (10.13.6) now and do not have any APFS-formatted drives.
It all depends on what your goal is.

If you want to run up to 2 monitors, a Radeon HD 7970 Mac card is a good choice — they are not too expensive and have 3GB GDDR memory and give you all the boot options as they are natively supported.

If you have more than 2 monitors, the card can handle three, but you need some additional thingy to activate the third port (sorry, forgot the name of that thingy).

Alternatively, you can get another card. I have a Radeon Sapphire RX580, but the card only activates the monitors after the OS has booted, and I have no access to boot options, like which drive to boot from, and I can't enter the FileVault password on the boot drive - therefore FileVault isn't turned on, on this machine.

I recently found a place in LA where I could send the card to get reflashed, so it assumes the identity of a native card, which then should just work like the HD7970:


Hope this helps
 


I would like to know if anyone has experience with upgrading a Mac Pro 5,1 to Mojave (installing a Metal-compatible card), but still being able to boot the machine in Snow Lepoard (Mac OS X 10.6) from a separate internal hard drive?
I installed all Mac OS versions from Mac OS X 10.6 through macOS 10.14 on a Mac Pro 5,1 earlier this year.

The quick answer is, there is no issue going back, other than the issues you will see right after installing your new video card using Snow Leopard. Some video cards have no boot screen, others don't work at all. Lower-end Mac cards tended to work better in Snow Leopard the closer their "oldest supported" OS X version was. Modern cards not so much.

One thing may be of interest to you: I found that once I had installed macOS 10.14, I was able to revert the machine to its original graphics card with native Snow Leopard drivers and still use macOS 10.14 despite having less than 2 GB VRAM on the graphics card. For my use (heavy on Mac OS X 10.6, light testing on macOS 10.14), that turned out to be the best solution.

For the intermediate OS X/macOS versions (10.7 through 10.13), there seemed to be a different road block for each of them (my goal was to create a set of fresh startup disks for testing purposes, and put them all on a single SSD).

If your older OS X installer tells you there is an issue with the integrity of your installer, try setting the date of your computer back to within 2 years of the release of that OS version. If I recall correctly that worked well up to 10.9 (Mavericks), provided one did not forget to turn off clock synchronisation, of course.

Starting on OS X 10.10, things got more complicated. In hindsight, I think I could have avoided a lot of trouble by setting the clock and killing all networking (to prevent the installer from phoning home and discovering the true date that way). Obtaining installers for OS X 10.10 and 10.11 from Apple was much more difficult than for older versions, and it feels as though Apple doesn't want people to use these versions at all anymore.

macOS 10.12 was a relatively easy install, but 10.13 and 10.14 added complexity, because I wanted all the macOS volumes to reside on a single SSD (250 GB was fine), and the installer insisted on creating APFS volumes rather than the HFS I wanted to have. I ended up doing an initial install to an empty drive and duplicating the result to bootable HFS partitions with Carbon Copy Cloner.
 


I bought a Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX580 for my 2010 Mac Pro to get better 4K performance in VMware Fusion. As far as I know this is one of Apple's recommended cards for Mojave. However, it is so thick that it partially blocks the other 16x PCIe slot!

I've got a Highpoint 7101a NVMe card in the 2nd slot, and I don't want to move it to a different slot, as then I'd see a 2x drop in maximum speed. Is there an RX580 variant that doesn't block the 2nd PCIe slot?
 


I bought a Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX580 for my 2010 Mac Pro to get better 4K performance in VMware Fusion. As far as I know this is one of Apple's recommended cards for Mojave. However, it is so thick that it partially blocks the other 16x PCIe slot! I've got a Highpoint 7101a NVMe card in the 2nd slot, and I don't want to move it to a different slot, as then I'd see a 2x drop in maximum speed. Is there an RX580 variant that doesn't block the 2nd PCIe slot?
I have the same card in my 2012 Mac Pro, but the card doesn't require 2 slots, just slot 1, which is double-wide.

If you need only two monitors, I recommend an HD7970, unless you need faster graphics.
 


I bought a Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX580 for my 2010 Mac Pro to get better 4K performance in VMware Fusion. As far as I know this is one of Apple's recommended cards for Mojave. However, it is so thick that it partially blocks the other 16x PCIe slot!
Use a small neoprene washer or something like that to separate the Highpoint Card and your Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX580. It may be a little tight for both cards, but it will work. The washer set carefully between the 2 cards will keep the blades of the RX580 from rubbing against your Highpoint Card.
 



I bought a Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX580 for my 2010 Mac Pro to get better 4K performance in VMware Fusion. As far as I know this is one of Apple's recommended cards for Mojave. However, it is so thick that it partially blocks the other 16x PCIe slot!
I had the exact same issue. Where I landed was on the MSI Vega RX 56 card that, although tight, does not block the second slot.


The Asus 580 also does not block the second slot


Took some trial and error, so hope this helps
 


A couple of years ago, I purchased a QNAP NAS and four HGST Ultrastar 4TB drives (HGST HDN724040ALE640) to go in it. As I also wished to have larger drives in my 2009 Mac Pro, I purchased two more identical 4TB drives, thinking that I would have spares for the NAS if needed.

Unfortunately for me, the two NAS drives installed internally on my Mac Pro would only mount on the desktop if the machine was started from off; they would not mount if the Mac was re-started. This was annoying, and I put up with it for a few years but eventually didn't wish to do this anymore.

This time I purchased two non-NAS HGST Ultrastar 8TB drives (HGST HC320), after reading multiple reviews that they worked just fine in reviewers' PCs. Unfortunately for me, as with the older 4TB drives, the new 8TB drives also do not mount if the Mac is restarted. The Mac has to be shut down, then started from scratch for the drives to mount.

This is beyond annoying.

Is there anything I can tweak on the physical drives themselves, either hardware, software or firmware that will enable "mount-on-restart".

Or anything I can tweak on the Mac or Mac OS that will allow this?

FWIW: the specifications for this drive can be found here:
 


Unfortunately for me, the two NAS drives installed internally on my Mac Pro would only mount on the desktop if the machine was started from off; they would not mount if the Mac was re-started. This was annoying, and I put up with it for a few years but eventually didn't wish to do this anymore. This time I purchased two non-NAS HGST Ultrastar 8TB drives (HGST HC320), after reading multiple reviews that they worked just fine in reviewers' PCs. Unfortunately for me, as with the older 4TB drives, the new 8TB drives also do not mount if the Mac is restarted.
Hello, Ladd - that sounds like a problem I had a couple/few years ago. Don't know if I discussed it here. I had the problem with HGST or Seagate (I forgot) 5TB drives. Found out that the drives require more power upon powering up. The powering-up process takes a little more time for the Mac to recognize the problem hard drive. Upon a restart, the Mac is more 'awake' and thus the problem hard drive isn't fully awake when the Mac is reading the available hard drives. From a cold start, the problem hard drive would mount.

I eventually went for the Seagate 6TB hard drives and had no problems. Hope this helps.
 


… Unfortunately for me, the two NAS drives installed internally on my Mac Pro would only mount on the desktop if the machine was started from off; they would not mount if the Mac was re-started. This was annoying, and I put up with it for a few years but eventually didn't wish to do this anymore. … This is beyond annoying.…
Same deal here, reported previously, with WD Black 4TB drives. Oddly, they mount when restarting from Mac OS X 10.6, but not OS X 10.8 nor macOS 10.12. Bang my head against this wall every now and then; have yet to find a solution.

General agreement with “beyond annoying.”
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Same deal here, reported previously, with WD Black 4TB drives. Oddly, they mount when restarting from Mac OS X 10.6, but not OS X 10.8 nor macOS 10.12. Bang my head against this wall every now and then; have yet to find a solution.
I've seen utility apps offer an option to set a hard drive startup delay, which might be helpful here. Unfortunately, I can't remember/find it at the moment. :-(
 


On the same note but a different problem: There is a new ‘strain’ of hard drives out there that has the new SATA 3.3 spec, which basically uses power pin #3 (3.3v) versus the old spec, which does not use that pin and usually has pins 1, 2, 3 tied together supplying 5v . The new spec uses pin 3 to ‘remotely’ signal the drive to reboot/reset itself. However, since the older SATA power connectors usually have pin 3 tied to pins 1,2, the drive is constantly rebooting itself and won’t show up.

This is not the problem being reported in the previous post, even though it occurs as the same issue.

Making things more confusing, the drives from WD all have the same long drive number, but different part numbers, which few vendors list! (I have downloaded the PDF but can not find the link... sorry, I will track it down.) This mostly applies to their DC5XX series drives, but they will be moving forward with the spec, so be aware.

Good news: if you power the drive using an older 4 pin molex connector, or add a SATA —> molex —-> SATA to mix, these drives will work, because the 4-pin molex never supplies 3.3 volts to pin 3. There is another tip — to apply fingernail polish to pin 3 on the drive — but good luck trying that. I mean, how long does finger nail polish even last inside a computer/server case anyway, let alone having the manual dexterity to apply it to only one tiny pin on the SATA connector?

Well if you have a Mac Pro, you should know about this issue moving forward.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I've seen utility apps offer an option to set a hard drive startup delay, which might be helpful here. Unfortunately, I can't remember/find it at the moment. :-(
Actually, I remember now seeing this available in Intel Visual BIOS settings, e.g. for the Intel NUC (running Linux). I still haven't found a way to access that from the Mac, though (and have checked several utilities, including TinkerTool and Northern Softworks' CacheCleaner, as well as Disk Sensei).

No joy from the command line, either (see man:nvram ).
 


Thanks for all the help, but no solution yet.

I posted the link to the drive's specifications because there is text in there for all the various commands that can be sent to the drive to change things; I was hoping someone more knowledgeable would recognize a command that would alter the "no mount after reboot" behavior. Then we could concentrate on how to send that command to the drive.

FWIW: I can unmount the drives via the desktop "eject" command and the drives will remount using the "mount" command via Disk Utility. Unfortunately, Disk Utility doesn't even see the drives when they don't mount after a restart.
 



I can't test [Cocktail's Modify standby delay option] without purchasing it ($19 at the moment for a single license), but FYI:
This appears to be Power Management standby:
Cocktail Help > Disks > Sleep said:
Standby delay
Specifies the delay (in minutes) before writing the hibernation image to disk and powering off memory for standby. This setting is only available on compatible computers.
pmset(1) manual page (man pmset) said:
standbydelay specifies the delay, in seconds, before writing the hibernation image to disk and powering off memory for Standby.
 


A couple of years ago, I purchased a QNAP NAS and four HGST Ultrastar 4TB drives (HGST HDN724040ALE640) to go in it. As I also wished to have larger drives in my 2009 Mac Pro, I purchased two more identical 4TB drives, thinking that I would have spares for the NAS if needed.
Unfortunately for me, the two NAS drives installed internally on my Mac Pro would only mount on the desktop if the machine was started from off; they would not mount if the Mac was re-started. This was annoying, and I put up with it for a few years but eventually didn't wish to do this anymore.
This time I purchased two non-NAS HGST Ultrastar 8TB drives (HGST HC320), after reading multiple reviews that they worked just fine in reviewers' PCs. Unfortunately for me, as with the older 4TB drives, the new 8TB drives also do not mount if the Mac is restarted. The Mac has to be shut down, then started from scratch for the drives to mount....
Same problem here. I have a 2009 Mac Pro with two HGST HDN726040ALE614 4TB drives in slots 3 & 4. If I do a restart, they don't show up anywhere - not in Disk Utility, SoftRAID nor System Information. If I do a shut down to power off and then start, they show up. It's so annoying. When I do software updates, I have to be careful that I can shut down after they install instead of rebooting. Or, if I have to reboot without a shut down, that I don't need the volumes on those drives.

If 4TB SSD were cheaper, these drives would be gone...
 


WD is rebranding the Hitachi Ultrastar drives as the DC HC5xx series. The new model numbers will make it easier to tell which ones have the power disable on pin 3 feature.

How to Read Model Number

Example: WUH721414AL420y = 7200 RPM, 14TB, 4Kn SAS 12Gb/s

W = Western Digital
U = Ultrastar
H = Helium (vs. S for Standard)
72 = 7200 RPM
14 = Full capacity (14TB)
14 = Capacity this model (14TB)
A = Generation code
L = 26.1 z-height
42 = Interface, 4Kn SAS 12Gb/s
(52 = 512e SAS 12Gb/s,​
E6 = 512e SATA 6Gb/s,​
N6 = 4Kn SATA 6Gb/s)​
0 = Power Disable Pin 3 support
(L = Legacy Pin 3 config – No Power
Disable Support)
y = Data Security Mode
1 = TCG encryption (SAS)​
4 = Secure Erase (overwrite only)​
5 = TCG encryption with FIPS (SAS)​

There are a few things that I've discovered from researching the newer drives not mounting on restart.

  1. There was speculation that changing the startup delay may fix it but those that have attempted to change that have not met with success.
  2. The problem does not occur when using Snow Leopard (10.6.x) on either the 2008 or 2009-2012 Mac Pro. I don't know about the 2006-2007 models.
  3. The problem does not occur on 2008 Mac Pros even with newer versions of the OS. I haven't tested this yet on my two units because they are currently in production and I can't shut them down.
The new drives have a new mounting hole pattern that is not compatible with the drive sleds in the Mac Pros. OWC sells drive sleds with the new pattern but only for the 2009-2012 Mac Pro. The OWC sleds are too long to fit in the 2008 model which has shorter sleds. It was an interesting design challenge to modify the original sleds for the 2008 so I could mount the new hard drives on them.
 


An update on finding a better video card for my 2010 Mac Pro that doesn't block Slot 2... I bought a Sapphire Radeon Vega 64 card on eBay (here's the Amazon link to this card). It's a much better fit than the RX580 I had previously purchased. My Highpoint 7101a now easily fits in Slot 2.

The only difficulty was that the Vega 64 pulls too much power for the motherboard video power taps. The workaround for this is the famous "Pixlas Mod", whichs lets you create a video power cable that's tied directly into the power supply output. The link shows how to do it, and what needs to be ordered. It took me about 2 hours to do the first time, and about an hour the second time.

The card works perfectly, although I no longer have the boot screen, as I did with my K5000 for Mac card.
 


I never had this problem with 4TB HGST, and I have used many of them in my two 2012 Mac Pros and my 2009. But, I routinely have had it with the 6TB and especially the 8TB HGST drives - to the point where I gave up.

I will never ever use Seagate again, but I have had no problems with the larger Toshiba drives booting from a restart.

I do have a problem with one single HGST 4TB Ultrastar not rebooting while in an external eSATA enclosure, but I have learned to live with that, even if it still p*sses me off.
 


I am using 2009 Mac Pros running Mojave off an Amfeltec NVMe RAID. Recently, each time I removed and reinstalled the Amfeltec Squid, my computer would not boot up - but the DVD tray would open upon restart.

Historically, I had used NVIDIA cards flashed by MacVidCards, so I could troubleshoot the issue, but to run Mojave, I had to move to unflashed AMD cards and could no longer see what was going on. After some experimenting, I believe that once the Amfeltec card is removed, the computer no longer selects it as the boot drive and hence is unable to boot from it once reinstalled. The solution to this is, before removing the card, to select an alternate startup drive. Hope this helps anyone else facing the same issue

P.S. MacVidCards is now offering a flashed Radeon 580 card and apparently plans to offer Vega versions in about a month

P.P.S. I was always under the impression that during startup, if your boot drive is missing, your computer would boot via any other available bootable drive. While my computer had a bootable drive installed, it did not boot from it. Have no idea why and no way to troubleshoot it.
 


How to Read Model Number...
Your "How to decode the numbers" for my HGST HUS728T8TALE6L4 drives gives me this for the "Power Disable Setting":
L (L = Legacy Pin 3 config – No Power Disable Support)​

Since my drives don't mount on restart, may I correctly assume that when shopping for yet another set of drives (assuming HGST), I would want ones with a "0" (Power Disable Pin 3 support)?

If drives with "0" would mount, how do I tell if they have the old mounting hole pattern that will fit my 2009 Mac Pro mounting sleds?
 


Historically, I had used NVIDIA cards flashed by MacVidCards, so I could troubleshoot the issue, but to run Mojave, I had to move to unflashed AMD cards and could no longer see what was going on.
I wonder if there's some way to configure macOS for a serial-port system console, so kernel messages can be sent somewhere without having a working video card.

I did a bit of web searching for this. I didn't find a solution, but I found a few bits and pieces that might be relevant:
  • Setting up a Serial Console in Mac OS X. This is a pretty old article, but it describes how you can use a USB serial interface (it appears that Apple bundles drivers for interfaces based on an FTDI chip) to connect your Mac to a physical terminal and set it up to allow logins from that terminal.
  • SuperUser: Serial console login on OSX. This is also fairly old, but provides a detailed description of the procedure.
These two articles implement part of the solution: letting you set up a serial port terminal on a Mac. But they don't talk about how to configure the kernel to use that terminal for displaying kernel log messages.

I couldn't find any articles describing this procedure, but I did run across two articles talking about the Darwin kernel's boot arguments, which can be configured in a Mac's NVRAM:
These articles are like drinking from a firehose, but I noticed that there appears to be a boot argument called serial which claims to set up a serial diagnostic console. It appears that it can be used in conjunction with a debug=0x0a option to redirect kernel messages (printf/kprintf) to the debug console. No clue whether this will work over a USB serial interface or if it requires some other kind of serial port (or if it will work at all in currently-shipping versions of macOS).
 


I never had this problem with 4TB HGST, and I have used many of them in my two 2012 Mac Pros and my 2009. But, I routinely have had it with the 6TB and especially the 8TB HGST drives - to the point where I gave up.

I will never ever use Seagate again, but I have had no problems with the larger Toshiba drives booting from a restart.

I do have a problem with one single HGST 4TB Ultrastar not rebooting while in an external eSATA enclosure, but I have learned to live with that, even if it still p*sses me off.
There was a lot of discussion about this drives-vansihing-on-restart problem in the Apple user discussions a couple years ago. There were reports that WD Red drives were OK, but Black (4TB and above) often not. HGST NAS drives did not mount on restart for anyone when installed internally. In external enclosures, they were reported to be OK. At the time, I had an older 4TB WD Black drive installed that did mount properly on restart, unlike some newer models.

So far, the 6TB Toshibas that I have installed have reliably mounted on restart. I've been using the OWC sleds.
 


Your "How to decode the numbers" for my HGST HUS728T8TALE6L4 drives gives me this for the "Power Disable Setting":
L (L = Legacy Pin 3 config – No Power Disable Support)
Since my drives don't mount on restart, may I correctly assume that when shopping for yet another set of drives (assuming HGST), I would want ones with a "0" (Power Disable Pin 3 support)?
If drives with "0" would mount, how do I tell if they have the old mounting hole pattern that will fit my 2009 Mac Pro mounting sleds?
No, the drives with the “L” designation for the Pin 3 feature are the more compatible ones. From what I've read, the Pin 3 power disable feature is not the cause of the failure to mount on restart. I believe if you get a drive with that feature it won't mount at all, either cold boot or restart.

I'm not sure which drives still have the old mounting hole pattern, but I know all the drives I've been purchasing (10TB and above) have the new pattern. In my case, for the two 2010 Mac Pro models I have, I just purchased the OWC sleds, because they can mount drives with both the old and the new hole patterns.
 


No, the drives with the “L” designation for the Pin 3 feature are the more compatible ones. From what I've read, the Pin 3 power disable feature is not the cause of the failure to mount on restart. I believe if you get a drive with that feature it won't mount at all, either cold boot or restart.
Ahh, you had highlighted that feature in red, so I had guessed that was something I should look for when purchasing new drives.

So, is the conclusion that no one here as yet knows exactly what the cause of the internally-installed drives not mounting on reboot; therefore, no one can offer a remedy?
 



I guess I either have to continue to live with this problem, buy new drives (again) and hope they work internally or get an external case that will hold four drives.

Not excited about either option, but I guess there is nothing else I could do. Any suggestions for external cases that connect via USB 3?

I have two eSATA PCI cards that no longer have drivers to work, so USB3 or Firewire 800 is all I have ...
 


I have two eSATA PCI cards that no longer have drivers to work, so USB3 or Firewire 800 is all I have ...
I had a Sonnet Tempo eSATA card that used the Silicon Image drivers that are no longer supported. I changed to the $30 NewerTech MaxPower card that needs no drivers. This has the great additional advantage that you can use it to boot.

This doesn't solve your problem, but others might find it useful.
 


... Since my drives don't mount on restart, may I correctly assume that when shopping for yet another set of drives (assuming HGST), I would want ones with a "0" (Power Disable Pin 3 support)?
Incorrect. It's possible that the ‘0’ will never mount in a classic Mac Pro. It really depends on how Pin 3 is powered - the four SATA / power connectors are actually on the motherboard on a Mac Pro classic. (Any electrical engineer out there who can test?). If it has 5v, then the drive will always be ‘rebooting’. The Mac Pro is SATA 2 (1.5GBs), where pin 3 was not used.
 


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