An alternative way to get EFI64 vid cards to work in EFI32 Mac Pros?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AdvocateUK, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. AdvocateUK macrumors regular

    AdvocateUK

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    Jan 10, 2008
    Location:
    Billingham, United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi all,

    A thought just occurred to me. With all the excellent ROM hacking n flashing that goes on here with the various video cards to get them working in machines they shouldn't would it be possible to somehow figure out a way to get one of Apples EFI64 firmware updates and somehow get it to magically upgrade our EFI32 Mac Pros to EFI64?

    It may be impossible, I wouldn't know. But if anyone can figure it out it's you guys! ;)

    Regards

    Alistair
     
  2. shroud macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    #2
    Whoot! Good idea! I bet that some of us 1,1 Mac Pro owners might even be willing to take up a collection fund to help drive the process. I know that I would.

    It would be nice to stick it to Apple on this one since we all probably bought these computers believing in the ability to upgrade them and Apple has shown little regard for us. Too bad we don't have a 'where is the FireWire' thread going for us like the MacBook folks had.
     
  3. AdvocateUK thread starter macrumors regular

    AdvocateUK

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    #3
    Nobody else got any ideas on this?

    Is it even feasible?
     
  4. hyram macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #4
    Ok, I’ll bite. While I’m not entirely sure that this is necessary… or even possible, let’s assume that it is.

    1) First we would need a way to dump the EFI ROM. Anyone have a way to do this??? Maybe the Rominator can chime in here.

    2) Next, we would need to know how many versions of the ROM we’re dealing with. For reference I have:
    Model Pur Date ROM Version EFI
    ----------- --------- --------------- ------
    MacPro1,1 May-07 MP11.005C.B08 EFI32
    MacMini3,1 Apr-09 MM31.0081.B00 EFI64

    I list the MacMini just as reference point. You can get the EFI support by running the command:

    ioreg -p IODeviceTree -w0 -l | grep firmware-abi

    It’d be good to have couple people with every version of Mac chime in here.

    3) Need someone to figure out what the differences are in the various ROMS. What’s important, what’s not.

    4) And finally, we need a few brave volinteers that would be willing to try the new ROM in their Mac.

    Personally, I’m all for the info gathering phase. But I’d like to wait to see what we actually get from SL. This might not be necessary.

    hyram
     
  5. AdvocateUK thread starter macrumors regular

    AdvocateUK

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    #5
    I honestly don't know a lot about this or whether it's feasible but aren't the firmware updates available from the Apple website?

    Is it possible to compare updates for 64bit efi and 32bit efi mac pros n see where to go from there?
     
  6. OZMP macrumors 6502

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    Feb 18, 2008
    #6
    If someone with enough technical knowledge takes interest in this thread, yes.
     
  7. grue macrumors 65816

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    #7
    I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that this is going to end in tears for someone.
     
  8. hyram macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2009
    #8
    I doubt it will end in tears, because it won't ever get that far. I've been doing as much reading on this as I can find... there isn't much by the way. Anyway, to the best of what I can find, it will be next to impossible to do the update to EFI64. There is no way that I can find to dump the onboard ROM. So that looks to be out.

    I had thoughts of popping the ROM off the board and dumping it. but a look at the pcb tells me that isn't going to happen either and being a EE I general don't flinch at these type of things. The biggest issue would be finding someone with a 2008 model that would be willing to help out. No takers on that on I bet.

    At the moment the best we could hope for would be that Apple provides us with an update. The second best will be that we discover that booting in EFI32 has no real degradation compared to EFI64. Once SL is out and the comparisons begin we'll start to see the whole picture. Here's to crying in our soup.

    hyram
     
  9. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Japan
    #9
    I like simh's idea too: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=227213

    Both are possible.

    What AdvocateUK is saying would not be difficult. I'll guess and say writing a utility to suck any thing and all things ROM on the mac pro would not be difficult at all. Probably as simple as finding the location and reading it. I doubt you would even need to flash with the modded image either. You could load it off of disk the rEFIt way.

    How useful this is or conducive it would be to expanding the number of cards older macs could deal with I dunno.
     
  10. Cuda macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #10
    Ok, I tried to stay out of this one, but.................

    There are EFI FirmWare Updates listed on Apple's site.

    And Even A Boot CD to RECOVER FROM A BAD FLASH.

    So, if you really want to try this go to Firmware Restoration CD

    GET THE CORRECT CD FOR YOUR MAC. BURN IT.

    MAKE SURE IT WORKS

    MAKE SURE IT WORKS

    Then find the EFI FIRMWARE UPDATE for your Mac and the 64bit EFI Update that you think is close to your Hardware.

    Figure out what the update app that runs in OS X and the one that Does the Flashing in EFI are LOOKING for The FirmWare and HardWare to Match.

    Once you Have Hacked the Updater for you Machine to take the NEW 64bit Update, FLASH IT.

    GET OUT YOUR RECOVERY CD.

    1. REBOOT TO YOUR USELESS MAC.(99% Chance)

    2. REBOOT TO YOUR 64BiT MAC(1% Chance)

    I won't go into how to Edit/Hack the Firmware update to Flash your Mac with a 64Bit firmware, because if you can't figure that part out yourself, it's not something YOU need to be Doing, but it CAN BE DONE.

    I will give a Hint:Hexedit

    DISCLAIMER: ALL OF THE ABOVE IS NOT ENDORSED OR RECOMMENDED BY ME, OR ANYONE, IF YOU SHOULD FIGURE IT OUT, AND BE BRAVE, STUPID, CRAZY ENOUGH TO TRY IT.

    YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE TO BLAME IF IT BURNS YOU HOUSE DOWN, KNOCKS UP YOUR DOG, KILLS YOUR MAC, ETC>ETC>ECT.
     
  11. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Japan
    #11
    "KNOCKS UP YOU DOG"? Hey! Now you're getting serious! LOL! :D
     
  12. hyram macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2009
    #12
    Wow Cuda, that reminds me of the guy from the Dearhunter that places the loaded gun on the table... only you use more bullets. :)

    hyram
     
  13. Cuda macrumors member

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #13
    Almost pissed on myself.:D
     
  14. jeanlain macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #14
    Surely, it would have been better if apple just released a firmware update for older Mac Pros.
    Keep in mind that these machines will never run a 64-bit kernel (although the rest of Snow Leopard will run in 64 bit).

    So I think we would have better chance with a petition. :D
     
  15. hyram macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2009
    #15
    Ok...why not???
     
  16. jeanlain macrumors 6502a

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    #16
  17. Cuda macrumors member

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #17
    Tim_s seems to be correct on this point, that's Bad news for 32Bit EFI Mac's, As Apple will have no need to Update(EFI32) to EFI64.

    However, G5 Owners Should do a Class Action, as Apple Sold them as 64Bit, and now that the Kernel and Drivers are moving to 64Bit, they drop "Support".

    Less than a 1% chance that Apple will do Anything that will Cost them Sales to 32Bit EFI Owners.

    I don't see any need for 64Bit EFI on these Older Systems, other than the Video card.

    So, time is better spent fixing a 128k of EFI UGA Code, than it is with over 5MB of EFI Modules that will All need a rewrite.

    You must understand, EFI64 Modules that init your Logic Board and Busses are not going to JUST WORK, they would need to be REMOVED, then your 32bit would need decompiled and recompiled 64bit, or just write them yourself, for most HW this would take much less time.

    Best bet, would be find a way to Chain Load 32bit EFI->64bit EFI Duet/rEFI->64bit Video card Module->Mach_kernel.
     
  18. netkas macrumors 65816

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    Oct 2, 2007
    #18
    As I already told you, Mac's uga drivers when loaded and executed (attached to device) in tianocore efi/duet result in efi panic, apple changed smth in uga/gop protocols it seems.

    Snow leo 64-bit kernel works this way - entry point has a little code to switch from 32-bit to 64-bit mode

    and instruction is writen the way they look same (disassembled) in ia32 and x86_64

    few instruction run cpu into 64-bit mode and all continues jsut fine

    64-bit kernel has all it need to work with 32-bit efi stuff, including translation from real to virtual address and vice versa.

    actuly lipoing kernel to only 64-bit binary should make a trick on 32-bit efi macs
     
  19. hyram macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2009
    #19
    Ok... how would you do this???
     
  20. Cuda macrumors member

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    Jun 9, 2009
    #20
    I don't have any trouble, loadpcirom returns success, in Duet, or am I missing a key point?

    I'm new to EFI, so I just don't know anything, so ignore my foolish assumptions.:)
     
  21. netkas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #22
    loadpcirom only loads driver into memory, most likely your gtx285 is already used by vga driver, so the rom doesnt run

    when u will run this command - reconnect -r

    efi will reattach gtx285 to loaded rom (and efi driver inside it), then ohai registers dump on screen :D

    hyram, in snow leo, in terminal

    cd /
    sudo -s
    mv mach_kernel mach_kernel_old
    lipo -thin x86_64 mach_kernel_old -o mach_kernel


    lipo app is part of xcode iirc, so install xcode first
     
  22. TarangSwaroop macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2009
    #23
    A thought just occurred to me. With all the excellent ROM
     
  23. hyram macrumors regular

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    Jun 15, 2009
    #24
    I was looking at the boot up sequence via the "cmd v" boot, but it switches over to the login before I can read it all. Is there a log file that the startup logs to???

    I noticed something I want to look at a little more. About 6 lines down, there was a line stated something like "switching to 64 bit mode". I'm running a macpro1,1 (2007) with 10.4.11. I'd like to understand what this line means.

    I've checked ioreg and it tells me I have EFI32 as expected.

    Any ideas???

    hyram
     
  24. hyram macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #25
    Thanks netkas, once SL is out I'll give it a try.

    I know I'm dreaming, but I'm really hoping that apple does the right thing by us 1,1 owners.

    hyram
     

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