Boot OSX on a NVMe Card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by foxfoobar, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. MIKX, Apr 28, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018

    MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #101
    As the Japanese say ( I live there ) when they have accomplished something very satisfying .. .

    やた ! = Yata ! = I ( bloody ) DID IT !

    It's 2:20 am here in Japan and I just booted from a USB 3.0 card in my 4,1>5,1 cMP in the cMP USB 2.0 front port ..
    to Sierra 10.12.6 to my brand spanking new Samsung 960 EVO 256 Gb M.2

    First a very, very, very big "Hats OFF to Foxfoobar ! " :D I'm totally in awe of your computing skills.

    What really surprised me was that from EFI boot login screen the total boot to Sierra desktop was around 20 seconds !
    CS 6 Photoshop loads insanely fast from the 960 EVO.
    Also surprising was that the only about 69mb was loaded into the USB 3.o stick. Next time I'll use a 4Gb stick.

    I could have done this procedure with Hi Sierra 10.13.4 but opted to use Sierra 10.12.6 because it is a virtually
    finished product .. good for practice and of course I backed up everything prior to starting anything.

    When Hi Sierra is finalised I will go through the procedure again with it. Sierra was a longer setup as first I had to get Sierra 12.12.6 seeing the 960 EVO but in the end it wasn't that hard thanks to another budding Genius JedNZ

    Kudos to JedNZ !
    Post # 43 https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-best-drive-configuration.2006863/page-2

    I have Hi Sierra on a ¥7,000 El Cheapo stashed away in my DVD compartment. . that was the only other drive besides
    the Samsung 960 EVO and the USB 3.0 stick in the cMP at boot time.

    Finally I'm incredibly happy & satisfied with my decision to buy my 4,1 2009 dual quad 2.93Ghz cMP.
    My gratitude also extends to the Macrumors mods & team.

    =======================================================

    I worked very painstakingly in following Foxfoobar's instructions to the point where I put a space between
    each of the Terminal commands; many cMP owners are not what one would call " Terminal savvy " including myself .
    I hope this example helps.

    Example careful use of Terminal.jpg

    Sierra 10.12.6 boot from 960eVO NVME.jpg
     
  2. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #102
    What was your test?

    An NVMe drive is about the same speed as an AHCI PCIe drive of the same design when doing single stream sequential IO.

    Where NVMe really shines is when you have multi-stream parallel IO - since the NVMe drive has much more parallelism.
     
  3. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #103
    Hi, I used Blackmagic & AJA both with all stress tests .. I'm not booted into the 960 EVO at the moment.
    What benchmark apps do you suggest I use to report here ?

    I must say that the difference between my Sandisk SSD ( around 241 Mb/ s ) connected to the cMP SATA II compared to
    the M.2 960 EVO ( almost 1,400 Mb/s ) is momentous no matter the task. Boot up with the USB 3.0 stick from selecting the 960 M.2 in the EFI screen is around 20 seconds or less. CS 6 Photoshop loads almost instantly etc.

    After scouring the Net it seems that the 960 EVO M.2 and moreover the 960 Pro M.2 blades are a huge improvement over the 850 M.2 series.

    Essentially I'm not using the 960 for any serious work .. I want to come to grips with it.
    I use X-Plane 10 & 11 a lot and will be running them later tonight, that should be interesting.

    I should imagine that if I use one of the more esoteric M.2 carrier boards that a higher transfer speed would be possible but I cant justify the prices yet and I'm quite happy tho have the 960 up and running so well.
    Honestly .. going from 1,400 Mb.s over 241 mb/s takes some getting used to :p.
    After I get over the "WOW" ! period I'll have a realistic idea of the cards strengths & weaknesses .. if any.

    I sincerely hope that some of the Apple High Sierra development team is following the efforts of our talented members who made NVMe ( PCIe M.2 ) booting possible. Hopefully they'll sneak NVMe booting into the next firmware update.
    (if that is possible for 5,1's ? )

    Surely when one looks at current AHCI blade prices the choice is obvious for 4,1>5.1 & 5,1 cMP owners.
    I'm going to save up for a reasonably priced M.2 PCIe carrier card that can take two NVMe SSD's.
    Then 'll have only one 10k RPM spinner drive in my SATA bays for Time Machine. Spinners have had their day but still useful.

    The RehabMan's Patch_NVMe_Master plists do no yet include any for High Sierra but one could safely assume that they are not far off. THAT will be something indeed!

    PS : Tonight, just for fun I attached an LED to my carrier board .. . nostalgic to see drive activity again.
    My first nice desktop was an Amiga A4000T hacked to the hilt :) which I gave to a diehard Amiga nut friend.
     
  4. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #104
    TPC-C (http://www.tpc.org/tpcc/default.asp) is always a good one for measuring parallel IO capacity.
     
  5. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #105
    Literally no time to run benchmarks until tomorrow ( It's " Golden Week " in Japan .. Google it )

    I stop watched Sierra 10.12.6 booting from the 960 EVO M.2 FROM the EFI boot screen.

    16 seconds to Sierra login screen!

    Tomorrow I'll try a cold boot with all other drives removed.

    NVMe M.2 boot screen.JPG

    NVMe on Carrier.JPG
    I bought the 960 EVO for ¥14,796 including sales tax 8% .. about US$135
    The M.2 `carrier card for ¥1,400 ( U.S.$ 12.80 cents ) in Japan.

    The Japanese shop assistant looked at me in bewilderment when I asked if there were any two up M.2 cards available through his shop. There is ONE two-up card available but one of the sockets is for M.2 SATA SSD.
    I plan to get the 500Gb 960 EVO next month.
     
  6. psaintemarie macrumors newbie

    psaintemarie

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2018
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #106
    This is nice !

    I'm trying to do the same but with different hardware:
    - MacPro5,1
    - LyCom DT-129 (instead of DT-120 you are using)
    - Samsung 960 EVO 500Gb M.2 SSD

    It's on slot 4, I can restore a working/known good OS (High Sierra 10.13.4) on it, I can select it form the Startup Disk Preference Panel but I can't boot it. I don't see it on the EFI boot manager either.

    I've tried (just in case) all the terminal commands you've shared earlier but no luck.

    I have ordered the LyCom DT-120 (the one you used) and I'll get it by end of week, maybe that will fix my problem !
     
  7. SneakyTLoD macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    #107
    That's been pretty much my findings too.
     
  8. MIKX, Apr 30, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018

    MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #108
    THIS WHOLE THREAD IS AIMED AT booting from a M.2 Samsung 960 NVMe blade to Sierra 10.12.6.
    Nothing is guaranteed for other blades / Apple OS's .
    =================================================================

    1. Get your NVMe M.2 blade seen in Sierra 10.2.6 ( I have not tried any younger versions )
    Go to this page
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-best-drive-configuration.2006863/page-2

    =================================================================
    2. Buy a new, reputable brand, 4 ~ 8 USB 3.0 memory stick

    3. Format the NVMe blade.

    4. In my case I then Carbon Cop Cloned my working ( but yet non-bootable ) to the Samsung 960 EVO blade.

    ==========================================================================

    5. Now load this : https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/boot-osx-on-a-nvme-card.1967790/

    Follow the EXACT details in Foxfoobar's tutorial.

    This is NOT HARD .. just go slowly if you are not a Terminal wizard. .. which I CERTAINLY am not ! .

    Look at my example POST # 101
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/boot-osx-on-a-nvme-card.1967790/page-5

    ======================

    When you are finished .. insert your USB 3.0 card into your cMP's front USB 2.0 socket

    ( no idea why USB 3.0 memory stick is specified ).

    Shut down.

    Do a cold start up holding own the OPTION key ( must have an EFI flashed card ! ).

    Select the "NVMeBoot" .

    BOOT !

    Enjoy.

    Worked for me.
     
  9. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #109
    The theory is "some USB device is not bootable". This may be the reason why some users claim that they can boot from a USB drive (e.g. USB installer) without any issue. But some others can never get it done.

    Since we expect the problem is not on the cMP itself. And more than one members claim that follow the exact known procedure but still can't boot from the USB drive. Then the biggest suspect will be the USB drive itself is not bootable on a cMP.

    Therefore, may be the newer / faster USB 3.0 drive will have a better chance can boot on the cMP.
     
  10. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #110
    I agree, good point.

    Also it should be noted that the NVMeBoot USB 3.0 memory drive uses only 60.8Mb.
    I used a 32Gb stick ! :oops: . . . . . . .
    Good quality USB 3.0 8Gb or less will be OK.
     
  11. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #111
    Tonight I'm running X-Plane 10 with everything set to HIGH & TONS + nice anti-aliasing.
    I'm getting 48 ~ 52 fps around Sydney YSSY no jitter at all.
    Away from major centers 54 ~ 60 fps.

    NOTE : There are two versions of Sydney - YSSY at x-plane.org, mine which is pretty old now but uses photo scenery.
    and has a lot of custom objects and a newer version which is pretty hard on GPUs.
    I'm flying on my version.

    The combination of the 960 EVO (trimmed) + my EFI flashed HIS 7950 3Gb. DDR5 ram @ 5.0 GT/s seems
    to be really speeding everything up considerably.

    Nice indeed !
     
  12. armdn macrumors member

    armdn

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    #112

    In my opinion, using rEFInd with EFI drivers (NVMe EFI Driver) is much better than that "black magic" with copying OS stuff on USB stick.
     
  13. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #113
    I don't have any free time at the moment but I will try the rEFind + EFI drivers.

    ( I already have everything required stashed away ).

    I'm curious though .. using the rEFind technique is there no need to hold the Option key at boot up.
    ( assuming that only the NVMe M.2 SSD drive is present in the cMP ? )
     
  14. armdn, May 10, 2018
    Last edited: May 10, 2018

    armdn macrumors member

    armdn

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2012
    #114
    No, no need to hold Option key. First bootable drive with rEFInd, which will load EFI drivers, and then point to NVMe.

    I have a bootable U.2 Intel 750 Series SSD.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. abdyfranco macrumors member

    abdyfranco

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    #115
    You can try http://abdyfran.co/projects/next-loader :rolleyes::rolleyes:
    But keep in mind that it's in beta.
     
  16. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #116
    Thanks for the tip.

    OK, downloaded Next-loader.
    I
    For those of us who are not Terminal experts . .
    . . . . what is the install procedure ?
     
  17. h9826790, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 11, 2018

    h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #117
    Wow, UEFI GOP and Build in NVMe. Must give it a try.
    Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 17.55.57.png
    --- Post Merged, May 11, 2018 ---
    Tried.

    Builded the apps without error.
    Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 18.16.49.png

    But doesn't work yet.
    Screen Shot 2018-05-11 at 18.23.20.png
     
  18. JedNZ macrumors 6502

    JedNZ

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2015
    Location:
    Deep South
    #118
    Wow, that is very interesting. Let us know how you go with Next Loader.
     
  19. MIKX, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 11, 2018

    MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
    #119
    I honestly feel that we really need s STICKY titled "Booting EITHER from NVMe PCIe M.2 or NVMe SATA II. . .or whatever" in the Mac Pro thread.
    AHCI drives become rarer and ever more expensive.

    Apple allowed 5,1 cMP's to be flashed for APFS . . so . . . it is not unreasonable for 4,1 > 5,1 owners to ask for the same options & choices that recent Mac Books & Mac Books & `Book Pros have.

    eg ..

    ( Please correct me if I'm mistaken )

    1. Native USB 3.0 boot support ( = USB 3.0 AHCI / NVme PCIe drives incduded in the EFI boot choice )

    2.General NVMe & USB 3.0 support from Mavericks onwards.

    Apple team : Tell us which 4,1> 5,1 upgrade 6 core CPU' we need and then give us the firmware update to allow #1. & #2. ( above ) ( if this is possible )

    Bearing in mind how much the 4,1 & 5,1 cMP's cost at time of purchase .. a CLASS ACTION SUIT highlighting the lack of support bearing in mind how expensive our cMPs were or comments on why firmware upgrades have not beem possible might get their attention.

    My original Mac Pro 1.2 cost over ¥400,000 here in Japan.
    I had two young children & a non-working wife . .yet .. we sided with Apple.

    I honestly feel that Tim Cook never, ever, owned nor faced cMP upgrading challenges.
    He seems to be copying Windows .. which seems to be copying older Mac OS in terms of "user friendliness".

    We can show apple ( & Tim Cook ) that we can in some cases match or exceed what last year's top of the line Mac Book Pros or iMacs can do in terms of data transfer rates. GPUs etc. ( çurrently I boot my 4,1>5,1 cMP from a fusion Samsung 960 EVO M.2 without any qualms whatsoever.)

    Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't APPLE until only recently regarded as THE machine to develop multi-media, video editing platform etc. on?

    Of course Mac Pro users show as a very slender slice on the "Apple Income Pie " spread sheet but I'm guessing that that slender market-margin-slice pro core user group gave those cMP users enough confidence and trust to further expand ownership to Mac Books,iPhones, iPads etc.

    Apple seems to want us to use ONLY laptops & the iMac Pro. . . . dumbing us down little by little.

    Personally, at the grand old age of 68 .. if in 2018 or sooner, in either High Sierra or APPLE OS 10.14.0. . . . I can still natively boot my 4,1` or 5,1 cMP from NVMe M.2 or PCIe mSATA orsimple PCIe SATA and use PCIe SATA3 cards and use an eGPU ( WITH VALID APPLE EFI DRIVERS for BOOT SCREENS ) .. . I'll shut up for a couple of more years.

    Apple's current lack of EMPATHY with the CORE users who in reality helped build Apple's reputation for professional art & video production from the G4 days to now is appalling.

    Never forget how much more expensive our classic Mac Pro's were. . . even more after you got them home.

    Apple does not want any Apple device owner to OPEN THE CASE.
    . . . . but . .. WE DO ! open the cases .. .( and . ... often )

    Keep us stupid.

    PS: Sorry for the rant . . if Apple had been true to their ( "Here to help you, be part of your productive experience family ") motto . .all cMPS would had had comprehensive FIRMWARE UPDATES by now.

    Why is it that from 1.1 ~ 2008 cMP'a are not officially allowed to run Sierra or higher.
    We have conclusively and often shown that we CAN run these Mac OS's.
     
  20. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #120
    I added the "how to boot from NVME / USB 3.0" in the cMP upgrade stick thread few weeks ago.

    Do you have any suggestion of other links? I can add that to the sticky thread as well.
     
  21. abdyfranco, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 11, 2018

    abdyfranco macrumors member

    abdyfranco

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    #121
    The download link only included the source code, but I already updated the link with a compiled version.

    Download the file again, unzip it and you will find a folder called "build", Inside this folder is a file called "uefi_x64.dmg".

    There are 2 ways to install it, one permanent and one temporary.
    The temporary form is quite simple and you only need one usb drive.
    1. Insert the USB drive and then open "Disk Utility", In the left sidebar look for the volume of your USB drive.
    [​IMG]
    2. Once you have selected the volume of your USB drive, in the upper menu click on the "Restore" button, a pop-up will appear with some options, click on the "Image..." button.
    [​IMG]
    3. Finally, go to the place where you left the file you downloaded and select "uefi_x64.dmg" and finally click the "Restore" button.
    [​IMG]
    4. Now the USB drive has Next Loader installed and is blessed, so it is bootable.
    With the USB drive inserted, Restart your Mac and leave the "Alt/Option" key pressed until the Startup Manager appears, now choose the "More Options" option.

    The permanent installation form is similar to the temporary form, but in this case it requires creating a small 100Mb partition on the internal disk and executing the steps for the temporary method, but replacing the USB drive with the created partition.

    And instead of booting Next Loader from the Startup Manager, you can choose the partition as the default boot in System Preferences > Startup Disk, So that the Mac automatically boots Next Loader every time it's turned on. This doesn't seem to work in High Sierra.

    Next Loader uses the GOP implementation of jief7, but refactored to work with the latest version of the rEFInd source code (0.10.9, On which Next Loader is based).
    I still haven't tested if the GOP implementation works properly, I have no way to test it, I only have a Mac Pro 4.1 with the GT 120 card from the factory, I don't have any GOP card to test. If someone has a GOP-compatible video card that is not flashed and wants to test if it works, any feedback is more than welcome. :rolleyes:

    @h9826790 I just made some modifications to the source code of the Boot Manager application, try to compile it again and see if it still shows the same error and thank you for reporting the error, each report and feedback helps to improve the software. :D
     
  22. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #122
    Thanks for providing the detailed instructions.

    I created a 100MB partition on an internal HDD. Make it MS-DOS FAT, and then restore from the image file.
    Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 05.24.58.png

    But can't see it in the Start up disk selection yet.
    Screen Shot 2018-05-12 at 05.25.22.png
     
  23. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #123
    Interestingly. If I boot to Windows, I can see that in the Bootcamp apps. But I didn't try it yet.
    UEFI boot manager.JPG

    If it's smooth. Or I can pull out the HDD and let it boot back to Windows then I will be fine.

    But if it stuck at a unbootable partition, and I can't fix it by simply pull out the HDD (but require to install a Mac EFI GPU), I don't have the time to do that now. So may be test it later when I have more free time.
     
  24. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Location:
    Japan
  25. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #125
    This is likely just a typo, but a drive is either AHCI (SATA) or NVMe.

    SATA drives are always AHCI. PCIe drives can be AHCI or NVMe. (A PCIe AHCI drive has a PCIe connection (not a 6Gbps SATA cable), but speaks the older SATA protocol.)

    If there are any dual-mode (one PCIe drive that can do AHCI or NMVe), please correct me.
     

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