Boot OSX on a NVMe Card

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

  1. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

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    #126
    Yes, typo .. at 4 am this morning. Couldn't sleep so I did a Boeing Dreamliner X-Plane 10 flight from RJBB Kansai to YBBN Brisbane to make me sleepy :)
     
  2. abdyfranco, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 11, 2018

    abdyfranco macrumors member

    abdyfranco

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    #127
    If that doesn't work, Try rebooting the Mac and hold down the "Alt/Option" key and select the "More Options" option, as the drive is an internal partition, the Mac will save it as the default boot drive. (Requires a Mac EFI GPU)

    If the option does not appear, run the ./scripts/bless_volume.sh script

    I don't know if you're using High Sierra, but the Bless command seems to be bugged in High Sierra and doesn't always work, that could be the reason why it doesn't appear in macOS but appears in Windows.
     
  3. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #128
    I am using the latest 10.13.4 17E202 indeed.

    Also, A quick quick question to ask. That little partition auto formatted to HFS+ after restore from the image file. Is that normal? From memory, it's the very 1st boot loader that I've seen using HFS+.
     
  4. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

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    #129
    Yes, a typo .. . at 4:46 am this morning.. . . yawn . .. ZZz z ..
     
  5. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #130
    I'm confused. I thought that PCIe and SATA were two different types of computer connections (interfaces) and AHCI and NVME are different types of controllers for SSD drives. and that both types (AHCI or NVME) can be installed on a cMP's SATA bus or in a PCIe slot. Again, confused:oops:

    Lou
     
  6. abdyfranco macrumors member

    abdyfranco

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    #131
    Yes, It's normal.

    The vast majority of boot loaders use FAT32 because they are intended to be used both on PCs with EFI/UEFI and on Macs or to perform Hackintosh. Since no computer, except Macs, can boot natively from HFS+, FAT32 is usually used because it is universally implemented and on which all PCs and Macs can boot.

    Since Next Loader is not intended to be used on a PC, only on a Mac, there is no problem with using HFS+.
     
  7. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    The Peninsula
    #132
    You're good here - at the electrical level. (Let's ignore edge cases like mSATA for now.) SATA drives connect over the SATA protocol - even when using a PCIe physical connection. AHCI is for all practical purposes the same as SATA - although AHCI is a slightly higher protocol layered on SATA.

    Close - but not really a "controller" in the sense of a RAID controller or HBA. AHCI and NVMe are the "languages" that the disks understand.

    "AHCI" is the old protocol with lots of assumptions about spinning disks. (A few commands in flight, high latency that gets even worse if you send too many commands to the disk,...)

    "NVMe" is a new protocol that recognizes that SSDs can simultaneously work on thousands of requests in parallel.

    For the simple single threaded case (e.g. AJA or Black Magic) you're unlikely to see massive parallelism - so PCIe AHCI and PCIe NVMe often perform about the same. If you're running a multi-threaded server load, however, the NVMe drive can kill the AHCI drive.

    NVMe kills at Iops, if you want MBps for a single thread there is often little difference.

    Not just confused, but wrong.

    NVMe can never be connected to a SATA bus. Period.

    If you buy a PCIe to M.2 board, some support legacy AHCI M.2 drives, and some support newer NVMe M.2 drives. (Not sure if any support both.)

    Since NVMe uses a different language to talk to drives, if your BIOS doesn't support NVMe you'll have trouble booting from an NVMe drive.
     
  8. crjackson2134, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 12, 2018

    crjackson2134 macrumors 68040

    crjackson2134

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    #133
    What is needed (but will likely never come to pass) is a Hybrid PCIe to M.2 NVMe board. Something that has the basic driver and redirect code that would allow boot to initiate from a small dedicated AHCI memory chip that contains the needed code to make this happen. It’s a very doable variation on the fusion drive technique, but probably not profitable enough for anyone to actually make it happen.

    Seems possible to me anyway...

    Lou, you can connect and use an NVMe as I understand it. You just can’t boot easily or directly because the needed driver didn’t exist when the cMP EFI was coded and therefore a boot driver isn’t loaded prior to OS initialization. It can’t talk to the NVMe device until the OS loads the driver. I believe (as opposed to knowing, since I’ve not done this myself) they will still work as storage drives. I don’t really know all this firsthand obviously, but that’s what I take from most of this.
     
  9. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

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    #134
    I think that what we really need right now is an "easy point & click" tutorial ( with graphics ! ) a clear, explanation to allow ALL cMP owners to (1) Be able to see NVMe drives in Sierra. = DONE ( 2) The same in High Sierra. ( 3 ) Be able to BOOT from those NVMe drives .. .( 3) either through FUSION = DONE or rEFIND. but . .

    Obviously, Apple knows how to do this for 4,1>5,1 cMPs otherwise there would not have been a firmware update to our older cMPS.

    We can be optimistic that in either Gold Master High Sierra or OS X 10.14..x they will relent abd come to their senses.
     
  10. crjackson2134 macrumors 68040

    crjackson2134

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    #135
    It’s a nice optimistic hope, but not likely. This gift would be great, and probably would not veer anyone away from an upgrade to a newer machine when the time comes. They really should just do it.

    I currently get 1500 MB/s transfer speeds with my NGFF PCIe adapted boot blade in my cMP.

    For a single user system, I see no performance enhancement by moving to NVMe. I’d like to see a firmware upgrade that allows this, but there is zero advantage at this point FOR ME.
     
  11. abdyfranco macrumors member

    abdyfranco

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    #136
    The final version of Next Loader will have a easy to use graphical installer. :D:D I only need to do more testing and find some beta testers.
     
  12. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #137
    Just tried to select the Next Loader partition in Windows 10.

    Reboot. No GUI (My GPU is the PNY XLR8 1080Ti, should has UEFI GOP), black screen may be for 15-20 seconds. And then auto boot back to Windows. Not sure if the loader timeout and then auto boot to Windows. Or can't boot to Next Loader. Nothing on the screen, can't see.
     
  13. crjackson2134 macrumors 68040

    crjackson2134

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    #138
    I recently discovered that myself when a TM restore produced a non-bootable recovery with an error plainly stating it wouldn't boot because it wasn't blessed properly.

    I ended up doing a Recovery Install and then migrating the data from the TM. 1st time I've ever had to do that...
     
  14. abdyfranco macrumors member

    abdyfranco

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    Dec 4, 2017
    #139
    Thanks for the feedback, I don't know why Windows booted automatically, the boot loader doesn't have a timeout.
     
  15. expede macrumors regular

    expede

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    Jan 15, 2018
    Location:
    Sweden
    #140
    Hi!

    I got a Q; How do you have the ability to see your "Blade" when it is in slot 3 or 4. It seems like I loose the EFI boot screen when my EVO 960 Pro blade is mounted in slot 3. I change back to my White AMD Radeon 5790 (Mac Edition) and when i pull the "Blade" out the EFI Boot screen comes back. Very strange, or?

    /Per
     
  16. mikeboss macrumors 65816

    mikeboss

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    #141
  17. nigelbb macrumors 65816

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    #142
    Impressive but I think that desoldering the boot ROM flashing it then soldering it back onto the motherboard may be a step too far for most Mac Pro hobbyists.
     
  18. mikeboss macrumors 65816

    mikeboss

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    #143
    I'm pretty confident that we'll find a way to flash this modified bootROM without the need to get out the soldering iron...
     
  19. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

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  20. handheldgames macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

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    #145
    A soldering iron isn’t necessary. The 2009 MacBook Pro and the 4,1/5,1 share the identical EFI / Serial RAM chip. There are plenty of tutorials sharing an easy process to dump and flash efi roms based on the ST25VF032B.

    Searching 2009 MacBook Pro efi flash, there are many easy to follow options.
     
  21. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

    Joined:
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    #146
    Nice to see this ( historic ) thread getting the attention it deserves.

    All we need after this is for Apple to write boot screen drivers for the newer GPU cards.
    That will really breathe new life into our cMPs. :)
    But that would be too much to ask despite how much we willingly, eagerly, paid for these eminently MODULAR machines.
    I do not share Tim Cook's vision. Totally out of touch with the core diehards.
     
  22. abdyfranco macrumors member

    abdyfranco

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2017
    #147
    Today I released an update of Next Loader including several changes in the way it is compiled, now the drivers are compiled directly from the EDK2 UDK2018 source code, this includes the NvmExpressDxe and UEFI GOP driver.

    Unfortunately I don't have a video card or an NVMe SSD to test it, if someone wants to test it and can share their experience it would be a great help to continue and improve the development.

    If you only want to download the Nvme and Gop driver to test with another boot loader, you can download the drivers here: https://github.com/abdyfranco/next-loader/tree/master/build/x64/loader/uefi

    If you want to download Next Loader ready to use: https://github.com/abdyfranco/next-loader/blob/master/build/uefi_x64.dmg

    If you want to download the Next Loader source code (Includes Tiano Core EDK2 UDK2014 and Tiano Core EDK2 UDK2018): https://github.com/abdyfranco/next-loader

    It is likely that for the initial installation you will need a flashed graphics card. In the final version it will not be necessary.
     
  23. MIKX macrumors 6502

    MIKX

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    #148
    How about a precise, step by step tutorial for those who are not expert Terminal users( such as myself ) ?
     
  24. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

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    Dec 17, 2015
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    Red Springs, NC
    #149
    I wonder how much more compatible the NvmeExpress driver is vs. Apple's NVME driver.

    Porting these drivers to the Mac Pro 4,1 and 5,1 firmware should be doable, if they are compatible with the Kernel Apple uses for EFI on these Macs.

    Someone should try and load them from a shell.
     
  25. abdyfranco, May 22, 2018
    Last edited: May 22, 2018

    abdyfranco macrumors member

    abdyfranco

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    Dec 4, 2017
    #150
    I just made and uploaded to the GitHub repository a super easy to use installer. :D
    First you need to create from the Disk Utility a partition of no more than 100MB, Once you have the partition done, run the installer from the Terminal and the installation wizard will appear.

    The installer allows 2 types of installations, The first type installs Next Loader but does not configure it as boot manager, so to access Next Loader you will have to leave "Alt" pressed when booting the Mac and then choose Next Loader from the Startup Manager, This type of installation requires a flashed graphics card and is only recommended for temporary testing.

    The second mode installs Next Loader and configures it as boot manager, so the next time the Mac is booted it will display Next Loader without having to log in to the Startup Manager. This is ideal for permanent installations and for testing whether the GOP driver works, as it does not require the Startup Manager, which requires an installed flashed graphics card.

    You can download the installer here:
    https://github.com/abdyfranco/next-loader/archive/master.zip

    I just left you a short video of how to use the CLI installer.



    I don't really know, I know about some people who managed to boot without problems using NvmExpressDxe but other people (usually those using Apple branded NVMe blades) had to use the Apple's NVMe driver. Next Loader includes both drivers, in order to provide compatibility with as many NVMe blades as possible.

    Theoretically, the drivers compiled with TianoCore EDK2 (like Next Loader's drivers) should work without problems on Mac. The drivers are backwards compatible with the original Intel EFI implementation and with the new UEFI standard.

    As a curious fact, the TianoCore EDK2 GOP driver is partially written by Apple and Intel (you can see it in the source code), so theoretically it should work on a Mac. https://github.com/abdyfranco/next-...MyWorkSpace/EmulatorPkg/EmuGopDxe/GopDriver.c
     

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