Apparently I’m not the only one with a blown ATI X1900. It might be because I never cleaned out the dust build up. My card was worse than the one shown at xlr8yourmac (see link). This week my monitors started turning off after a few minutes of use. Upon inspection we found a small burn mark on the card. So we ordered a replacement, an ATI Radeon HD 3870 Mac and PC Edition which sounds likeÂ a good card.
Inside the package is the card, an install disc and the note shown above that says “Install the Mac software before the hardware.” How is it possible to install the software before the hardware when my current card is blown?
In this system I happen to also have a Blackmagic Decklink Extreme HD capture card, which uses it’s HD SDI video out as another monitor. I was able to boot the Mac Pro, log in with ARD (Apple Remote Desktop) from my MacBook Pro and control the machine that way to install the software. Had I NOT had the Decklink card, there might not have been a virtual desktop to log into. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered.
1 thought on “Catch 22: ATI Radeon HD 3870 install”
If the software had allowed you to install to a volume other than the boot volume, you could have started the Mac Pro in Target Disk Mode (holding down the "T" key while powering up until you see a large yellow FireWire logo floating on a blue background). At this point, this Mac's internal volumes and drives are available as though it were an external FireWire enclosure. You could then connect it to another Mac and run the software installer there, indicating the Mac Pro's boot volume as the install destination.
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