Another Mac Pro 4,1 to 5,1 EFI Update Problem

jmurph21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2015
5
0
San Francisco, CA
Hello all, longtime browser, first time poster.

I recently acquired a Mac Pro 2009 (4,1) 2.66 Quad Core for upgrade and I have been failing to be able to get the EFI updater to take the model from 4,1 to 5,1. I have read every post I could find between here and Netkas over the past few weeks and I still am unable to get the update to hold.

I am able to get the actual updater app to work by downloading the firmware found here:

https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1321?locale=en_US

to the desktop. The update says it is successful and I begin the shutdown and boot up procedure. Upon startup, the power light flashes and the long tone plays, a few seconds later the Apple logo and the progress bar flash on the monitor for a millisecond before the system reboots begins a normal startup procedure, still leaving the model identifier at 4,1 in the end.

I have tried multiple boot disks, I have tried Mavericks and Yosemite, I have tried putting the install disks in different physical SATA ports, I have zapped the PRAM.

I'm scratching here, but the only thing I can think of is that I am using SSDs that are not in hard drive bays 1 through 4 which I currently have empty during my tinkering. I have put my SSDs in the optical bay and on a Sonnet Tempo PCI SSD host card. Does the updater need the boot drive to be in the hard drive carrier?

Any help and advice is much appreciated in advance.

Thanks
 

ZombiePhysicist

macrumors 65816
May 22, 2014
1,044
745
Hello all, longtime browser, first time poster.

I recently acquired a Mac Pro 2009 (4,1) 2.66 Quad Core for upgrade and I have been failing to be able to get the EFI updater to take the model from 4,1 to 5,1. I have read every post I could find between here and Netkas over the past few weeks and I still am unable to get the update to hold.

I am able to get the actual updater app to work by downloading the firmware found here:

https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1321?locale=en_US

to the desktop. The update says it is successful and I begin the shutdown and boot up procedure. Upon startup, the power light flashes and the long tone plays, a few seconds later the Apple logo and the progress bar flash on the monitor for a millisecond before the system reboots begins a normal startup procedure, still leaving the model identifier at 4,1 in the end.

I have tried multiple boot disks, I have tried Mavericks and Yosemite, I have tried putting the install disks in different physical SATA ports, I have zapped the PRAM.

I'm scratching here, but the only thing I can think of is that I am using SSDs that are not in hard drive bays 1 through 4 which I currently have empty during my tinkering. I have put my SSDs in the optical bay and on a Sonnet Tempo PCI SSD host card. Does the updater need the boot drive to be in the hard drive carrier?

Any help and advice is much appreciated in advance.

Thanks
Did you try stripping the machine? Meaning just the built in drive. No USB except mouse and keyboard. one screen. Just a basic clean system?
 

MacVidCards

Suspended
Nov 17, 2008
6,096
1,052
Hollywood, CA
You can find out pretty quickly, put one of the SSDs in a HD bay. You can plug them in and let it dangle or just hold it up with tape or stuff something under it.

It only needs to be there for a few minutes so you don't need it to be military grade secure, just stable enough to get through a test run.

Does you video card have EFI? Absolutely must for this to work.
 

jmurph21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2015
5
0
San Francisco, CA
Did you try stripping the machine? Meaning just the built in drive. No USB except mouse and keyboard. one screen. Just a basic clean system?
You can find out pretty quickly, put one of the SSDs in a HD bay. You can plug them in and let it dangle or just hold it up with tape or stuff something under it.

It only needs to be there for a few minutes so you don't need it to be military grade secure, just stable enough to get through a test run.

Does you video card have EFI? Absolutely must for this to work.
Thanks for the replies, guys.

Yes I have tried stripping the system. I'm going to try MacVidCards idea to dangle an SSD boot in one of the hard drive bays and give that a whirl. I was avoiding buying a 2.5 to 3.5 carrier if I didn't need it.

I am unsure if my graphics card is EFI. It is a stock Geforce GT 120 as far as I've been able to deduce. I bought the machine used a while back. How do you find out if it is EFI?
 

flehman

macrumors 6502
Feb 21, 2015
352
193
If you can see boot screen and startup drive option menu then it is EFI. GT120 probably is EFI because that was a stock option for the machine.
 

jmurph21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2015
5
0
San Francisco, CA
I just tried putting the SSD boot drive in hard drive bay #1 and the firmware updater reacted the same way: it says its successful, but after shut down and boot up the progress bar flashes on the screen before the machine restarts back into 4,1.

----------

If you can see boot screen and startup drive option menu then it is EFI. GT120 probably is EFI because that was a stock option for the machine.
Thanks Flehman

In System Profiler it lists:

NVIDIA GeForce GT 120
Device ID: 0x0640
Revision ID: 0x00a1
ROM Revision: 3386
 

MacVidCards

Suspended
Nov 17, 2008
6,096
1,052
Hollywood, CA
Good news, you eliminated 2 problems.

I would suggest you read the whole thread at Netkas. At least try searching it. I vaguely recall issues with some folks having a different boot rom than what Updater expects.

It is likely that someone has hit this snag before. But first check that existing boot rom is the regular one. I bought a new 4,1 late in its run and it had a different rom number but I was still able to flash it somehow.

I have done 3 of them now. Once it's done, it's quickly forgotten.

Good luck .
 
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jmurph21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2015
5
0
San Francisco, CA
Good news, you eliminated 2 problems.

I would suggest you read the whole thread at Netkas. At least try searching it. I vaguely recall issues with some folks having a different boot rom than what Updater expects.

It is likely that someone has hit this snag before. But first check that existing boot rom is the regular one. I bought a new 4,1 late in its run and it had a different rom number but I was still able to flash it somehow.

I have done 3 of them now. Once it's done, it's quickly forgotten.

Good luck .
Thanks for sharing, I'll go over it again with a fine tooth comb and post the results back here.
 

jmurph21

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 7, 2015
5
0
San Francisco, CA
MacVidCards, thanks for the tip. I had no idea on the boot rom version, that was the clue that lead to the solution via searching at Netkas.

I figured if it was a Mac Pro 4,1 it was good to go. My machine had boot rom MP41.0081.B04, but the 5,1 EFI update needs the boot rom to be MP41.0081.B07. I updated it to .B07, and then ran the 5,1 EFI updater, and it all performed flawlessly.

Thank you all for the help!
 

DNComputers

macrumors newbie
Mar 16, 2015
27
9
USA
A few things you need for the firmware to take:
1) Make sure you have an EFI video card (if you have the stock GT120, it should be, just make sure you see the boot screen
2) You need to boot from a harddrive in the sata ports (I always use #1, but I don't think it'd be a problem in any other), you cannot boot from the pci-e adapters or similar.
3) Make sure you're on the latest 4,1 firmware before updating to 5,1. Download here
https://support.apple.com/kb/DL989?locale=en_US
 

Apple Corps

macrumors 68030
Apr 26, 2003
2,575
542
California
Studio K - thanks.

flowrider - I've been bogged down trying to get SSDs working in my 4,1 Mac Pro and wondered if there was some EFI "magic" that was related to SSD mounting and formatting. I've become somewhat brain dead trying to trouble shoot the issue. I am aware of the cpu upgrade protocol / EFI but I have a different headache to resolve.
 

Synchro3

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
1,978
833
flowrider - I've been bogged down trying to get SSDs working in my 4,1 Mac Pro and wondered if there was some EFI "magic" that was related to SSD mounting and formatting. I've become somewhat brain dead trying to trouble shoot the issue. I am aware of the cpu upgrade protocol / EFI but I have a different headache to resolve.
This topic just has begun. But seems to be not easy: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/trim-on-third-party-ssd.1873367/#post-21345929
 

Apple Corps

macrumors 68030
Apr 26, 2003
2,575
542
California
Synchro3 - thanks much - I'll jump into that thread as it is closer to my issue :)

BTW - it does sound complicated and with some risk. The Crucial MX200 series has built in "Garbage Collection" which, in theory, replaces the need for TRIM.

That said - it is all moot if I can't get the drive mounted / unlocked - have never run into a brand new "locked" drive.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
13,987
6,600
Hong Kong
BTW - it does sound complicated and with some risk. The Crucial MX200 series has built in "Garbage Collection" which, in theory, replaces the need for TRIM.
AFAIK, Garbage Collection works much better with TRIM, but not replace TRIM. With TRIM support, Garbage Collection know exactly what's required to be collected, reduce non-necessary read/write operation. Which may increase performance in some situation, and should increase the durability of the SSD.
 

Apple Corps

macrumors 68030
Apr 26, 2003
2,575
542
California
Well, lo and behold, I tried the new Crucial drives in my iMac - they mounted, were already properly formatted, and swapped them into my Mac Pro - Bingo - mounted and ready to go :) All under Yosemite 10.10.3

Many times I am reduced to just trying things with little idea of how these things really work.
 

Apple Corps

macrumors 68030
Apr 26, 2003
2,575
542
California
AFAIK, Garbage Collection works much better with TRIM, but not replace TRIM. With TRIM support, Garbage Collection know exactly what's required to be collected, reduce non-necessary read/write operation. Which may increase performance in some situation, and should increase the durability of the SSD.
Well, looks like El Cap may fix that issue in a few months :)
 

s.m.t.

macrumors 6502
Mar 7, 2010
256
17
I am getting ready to do the 5,1 firmware upgrade on my 4,1... I see comments about adding SSD support, but what does that mean exactly? I have been booting off a Samsung 850EVO for a few months now without any issue...

Also see comments that the 5,1 firmware enables HDMI/DP audio out. I have also been doing that via the "HDMI Audio Fix" , should I remove that before proceeding? Or will I still need that since my card is not EFI flashed?
 

Synchro3

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
1,978
833
I am getting ready to do the 5,1 firmware upgrade on my 4,1... I see comments about adding SSD support, but what does that mean exactly? I have been booting off a Samsung 850EVO for a few months now without any issue...

Also see comments that the 5,1 firmware enables HDMI/DP audio out. I have also been doing that via the "HDMI Audio Fix" , should I remove that before proceeding? Or will I still need that since my card is not EFI flashed?
Firmware 5,1 upgrade does not adding any SSD support, SSD support (TRIM) exists since OS X 10.6.8, you only have to enable it with TRIM Enabler.

AFAIK it enables the HDMI/DP Audio Out with the original Apple ATI HD 5870 card, which could be upgraded in 2010.

The most important: You need an EFI card installed to do the 5,1 firmware upgrade. It will not work with a non EFI flashed card.
 
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