going off the Firmware deep end.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by LightBulbFun, Jun 5, 2018.

  1. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #1
    I have no idea where this thread would actually fit on the Mac Rumors forum so im just going to stick it in here since I know yall appreciate a vintage mac :)

    so I have a MacBook2,1 (Late 2006 Core 2 Duo T7200) which had a broken screen so I removed the LCD assembly to make a Mac "Pancake" as @AphoticD likes to call them :)

    now this mac is one of my expendable ones for messing around with Firmware hacking etc (it was the first Mac I hacked new microcode into in this thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/updating-a-mac-pro-s-cpu-microcode.2114187/ )

    and well I was expermanting with it yesterday when I managed to flash MacMini1,1 Firmware onto it and much to my surprise it actually booted up with pretty much no issues

    I tried flashing the MacMini1,1 firmware as a sort of sh*ts and giggles thing, since I knew the MacMini1,1 used the same chipset as the MacBook2,1 I was curious what it would do. (and if I did properly brick the machine I could just re-program its BootROM using an external programmer)

    I was not expecting it to work as well as it did, it actually solved a couple issues in respect to this specific MacBook as im running it with no LCD, but with stock firmware OS X would always think there was an internal display plugged in still, and BIOS emulation would not work properly when running via an external screen

    however flashing the MacMini1,1 Firmware disables the internal LVDS connector completely. allowing OS X and BootCamp to function properly when running with Just an external screen plugged in via mini DVI :)

    I plan to run benchmarks soon to see if the CPU is now running at the full 2Ghz as before due to no battery it would be stuck at 1Ghz


    (curiously flashing the Mac Mini 2,1 Firmware disables all video out completely, and for those wondering I was also able to flash the MacBook1,1 FIrmware too)

    upload_2018-6-5_14-15-44.png

    I Just wanted to document this mad case of going off the Firmware deep-end so to speak, turning MacBooks into Mac minis :D
     
  2. z970mp macrumors 65816

    z970mp

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2017
    #2
    Do you think flashing it to a Mac Mini could somehow increase performance over leaving it on the stock MacBook firmware, considering it will be spending its life essentially as a Mac Mini?

    Really cool stuff. Good job, man.
     
  3. LightBulbFun thread starter macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #3
    from having a quick poke around in windows the CPU is still stuck at 1Ghz so I suspect the whole battery thing might be an SMC thing rather then a Firmware thing, interesting how the SMC has that much control over the CPU like that...

    so no no performance increase for now

    PS it turns out the mini DVI port does work with the Mac Mini 2,1 Firmware I just dont get any BootScreens weirdly... (I have tried resetting the PRAM etc) but I booted leopard up which does have GMA950 Drivers and the display came to life once those kicked in :)
     
  4. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #4
    Another thing you would sacrifice imitating a Mac Mini 1,1 is RAM as that firmware tops out at 2GB. One of the drivers for flashing the 2,1 firmware was that it unlocked the controller and you could get up to 4GB minus the usual overheads.
     
  5. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2017
    Location:
    Australia
  6. weckart macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #6
    Hmm, so either the 2,1 firmware is somehow picking up the internal display connector or there may be a port mapping issue.

    There is an interesting thread on the Netkas forums about getting dead or not fully functional ports to work on flashed PC cards by tinkering with port mappings. I think MacVidCards/Romulator may have been pretty active on it. Not sure how easy it would be to patch the firmware, though.
     
  7. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #7
    I've got a pancake MacBook3,1 and it won't boot to an external screen. Once the driver for the X3100 load, it shows a screen, so I'm not sure if any Minis had the ICH8 chipset with the X3100 GFX.

    Maybe I would have some luck flashing it.
     
  8. LightBulbFun thread starter macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #8
    yeah your a bit SOL there all i965/ICH8 macs with just iGPUs where Laptops sadly. what I recommend there is strapping a small magnet to where the reed switch is so it thinks you have the lid closed then it should re-direct output to the ext Display :)

    the Mac Mini was EFI32 and i945/ICH7 and then jumped right to EFI64/MCP79 skipping over EFI64/i965/ICH8
     

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