I recently decided against building my own server from ordered parts and simply bought an older Mac Pro for a good value. It was roughly 200€ more than the build-it-yourself way, but therefor it can run OS X smoothly, which saves me time where I don’t need to babysit my machine.
Nevertheless, it can not go without a bit of hacking.
Upgrading it to the next year’s version (from 4.1 (early 2009) to 5.1 (mid 2010)) is as easy as running a program, just follow these instructions.
For now I did not change the hardware, so everything is the same, but in future I can opt for a faster processor and can install faster (up to PC3-10600) RAM (needs to be supported by the processor as well).
The harder part was getting Apple’s Hardware Test to run, without finding my old OS DVDs!
There are several descriptions to be found, however, only this worked for me:
1. Download Apple’s Hardware Test Software.
(or direct link for a MacPro 5.1)
2. Restore the downloaded dmg file to a usb stick:
2.1 Select a usb stick in ‘Disk Utility’
2.2 Click on the tab “Restore”, choose the dmg file as source and the stick as target
2.3 if it complains “the image has to be scanned …” do it:
2.3.1 Click on the menu item “images”->”Scan Image for Restore…”, chose the source image (which you downloaded in step 1)
cp /Volumes/AHTOne/System/Library/CoreServices/.diagnostics/diags.e* /Volumes/AHTOne/.
2.5 Reboot from the stick with the terminal command:
cd /Volumes/AHTDOne/ && sudo bless --mount /Volumes/AHTDOne --setBoot --file diags.efi && sudo reboot
(you might need to replace “AHTDOne” with the name your stick got, if it is different).
Now the mac should boot directly into the hardware test. Once finished you have to remove the stick to boot normally into OS X.
Thank you http://rivenbyfive.blogspot.de/2012/01/download-and-run-apple-hardware-test.html, which showed me the right way!