Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Guide: Black boot screen + white Apple logo on "unsupported" Macs (boot.efi hack)

w0lf

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2013
1,252
87
USA
anybody tried on 10.10.4 or 10.11?

It works on 10.11 for sure (and I would assume 10.10.4) but until I push out an update you have to manually disable rootless to get it to do anything on El Capitan.
 
Comment

madmin

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2012
260
702
It works on 10.11 for sure (and I would assume 10.10.4) but until I push out an update you have to manually disable rootless to get it to do anything on El Capitan.

I'm running the latest 10.10.4 dev beta and Dark Boot says it has detected the presence of Rootless. I can write to /usr/bin using root so it seems mistaken. I didn't accept Dark Boot's offer to disable Rootless and so am stuck for the moment. Any ideas what may be causing this please ?
 
Comment

w0lf

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2013
1,252
87
USA
I'm running the latest 10.10.4 dev beta and Dark Boot says it has detected the presence of Rootless. I can write to /usr/bin using root so it seems mistaken. I didn't accept Dark Boot's offer to disable Rootless and so am stuck for the moment. Any ideas what may be causing this please ?

Whoops yeah I think I used < instead of > try 3.3.1
 
Comment

madmin

macrumors 6502
Jun 14, 2012
260
702
Whoops yeah I think I used < instead of > try 3.3.1

Thanks a lot for doing this !

However, using 10.10.4 beta (14E36b) I get the black boot screen on my 2012 mini without using Dark Boot.
 
Comment

danmcq

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2011
18
10
Can anyone confirm this working on El Capitan 10.11.1? I've followed the guide to a T with my Early 2011 MacBook Pro and it just isn't working. Worked fine prior to the upgrade to El Capitan.
 
Comment

dabrain13

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2010
24
107
Hate to post on a dead thread, but I tried w0lfschild DarkBoot app without any success. After some hunting in the OS system files, it appears that you can set this boot option in the NVRAM. Try:

Code:
sudo nvram 4d1ede05-38c7-4a6a-9cc6-4bcca8b38c14:DefaultBackgroundColor=%00%00%00

This has worked for me on a MBP (late-2011) on 10.11.4 (persisted over OS updates) and on a 2009 iMac 10.11.1. The only problem is that it seems to get rewritten after each boot to the default for your machine. To address that, I created a LaunchDaemon that runs every time your mac boots. Check out the GitHub repo here.

I'll add instructions on how to install a LaunchDaemon with su privileges when I get some free time but you should be able to find that info online.
 
Comment

w0lf

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2013
1,252
87
USA
Hate to post on a dead thread, but I tried w0lfschild DarkBoot app without any success. After some hunting in the OS system files, it appears that you can set this boot option in the NVRAM. Try:

Code:
sudo nvram 4d1ede05-38c7-4a6a-9cc6-4bcca8b38c14:DefaultBackgroundColor=%00%00%00

This has worked for me on a MBP (late-2011) on 10.11.4 (persisted over OS updates) and on a 2009 iMac 10.11.1. The only problem is that it seems to get rewritten after each boot to the default for your machine. To address that, I created a LaunchDaemon that runs every time your mac boots. Check out the GitHub repo here.

I'll add instructions on how to install a LaunchDaemon with su privileges when I get some free time but you should be able to find that info online.

Hmm yeah that works nice. Seems much safer too.
 
Comment

PurrBall

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2007
1,015
54
Indianapolis
Hate to post on a dead thread, but I tried w0lfschild DarkBoot app without any success. After some hunting in the OS system files, it appears that you can set this boot option in the NVRAM. Try:

Code:
sudo nvram 4d1ede05-38c7-4a6a-9cc6-4bcca8b38c14:DefaultBackgroundColor=%00%00%00

This has worked for me on a MBP (late-2011) on 10.11.4 (persisted over OS updates) and on a 2009 iMac 10.11.1. The only problem is that it seems to get rewritten after each boot to the default for your machine. To address that, I created a LaunchDaemon that runs every time your mac boots. Check out the GitHub repo here.

I'll add instructions on how to install a LaunchDaemon with su privileges when I get some free time but you should be able to find that info online.
This worked great, as well as the LaunchDaemon implementation (on my early 2011 MBP with FileVault enabled, I even get the desktop background while booting). Kudos!
 
Comment

MRS265

macrumors newbie
Apr 10, 2016
2
0
Hate to post on a dead thread, but I tried w0lfschild DarkBoot app without any success. After some hunting in the OS system files, it appears that you can set this boot option in the NVRAM. Try:

Code:
sudo nvram 4d1ede05-38c7-4a6a-9cc6-4bcca8b38c14:DefaultBackgroundColor=%00%00%00

This has worked for me on a MBP (late-2011) on 10.11.4 (persisted over OS updates) and on a 2009 iMac 10.11.1. The only problem is that it seems to get rewritten after each boot to the default for your machine. To address that, I created a LaunchDaemon that runs every time your mac boots. Check out the GitHub repo here.

I'll add instructions on how to install a LaunchDaemon with su privileges when I get some free time but you should be able to find that info online.
Until I registered to thank, I worked fine on my Macbook Pro Early 2011
 
Comment

dabrain13

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2010
24
107
Until I registered to thank, I worked fine on my Macbook Pro Early 2011

Glad it worked for you! I've updated the repo with some installation instructions. If it's not working with your OS or hardware, please post an issue on the repo. I'm guessing that this will stay constant over hardware but pre-Yosemite OSs probably won't work.

Check it out here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Javier Herrera
Comment

simon lefisch

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2014
996
241
Glad it worked for you! I've updated the repo with some installation instructions. If it's not working with your OS or hardware, please post an issue on the repo. I'm guessing that this will stay constant over hardware but pre-Yosemite OSs probably won't work.

Check it out here.
I was checking out the instructions and notice something about what location to use:



It says to move it to "/Library/LaunchDaemons which is not the same as /Library/LaunchDaemons"

I assume you mean it's not the same as ~/Library/LaunchDaemons (with the tilde)?
 
Comment

dabrain13

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2010
24
107
I was checking out the instructions and notice something about what location to use:



It says to move it to "/Library/LaunchDaemons which is not the same as /Library/LaunchDaemons"

I assume you mean it's not the same as ~/Library/LaunchDaemons (with the tilde)?


Yep. It needs to go into the /Library/LaunchDaemons NOT ~/Library/LaunchDaemons. My bad. I've updated the readme.

Edit: I've just removed that statement. KALLT is right, there are no "user daemons" so that folder doesn't even exist.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: simon lefisch
Comment

dabrain13

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2010
24
107
So it looks like you can choose any RGB color you'd like. Just google the hex code for the color you'd like, replace the %00%00%00 part of the nvram command with the hex code of the color you want (% two first two hex digits% second two hex digits%third two hex digits) and reboot.
 
Comment

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,173
3,218
So it looks like you can choose any RGB color you'd like. Just google the hex code for the color you'd like, replace the %00%00%00 part of the nvram command with the hex code of the color you want (% two first two hex digits% second two hex digits%third two hex digits) and reboot.

Pics or it isn’t true. :p
 
Comment

dkumfx

macrumors newbie
Jan 1, 2015
2
0
Sorry for the bad quality, but I think it gets the point across!

awesome.. tested on MBP Early 2011 with 10.11.5 ElCapitan ;)
*btw for color can i mod to orange color / something else but not RGB color ?
 
Last edited:
Comment

jbarley

Contributor
Jul 1, 2006
3,969
1,834
Vancouver Island
seeing as how the links to report issues in the post above do not work I'll do my "rant" here.
Just tried DarkBoot on my MacPro 1,1 running Yosemite because it sounded like it should work.
Big mistake, not only can I not get a black boot screen, it messed with the startup progress bar, now it starts off black and progresses about 1/2" then turns white.
No problem I think, just reload my Carbon Copy clone I made before trying DarkBoot, wrong again, same problem still exists.
Next I discover the Alt+boot screen is black, all black, just the HDD icons with no identifying names.
I'm not sure where to start to remedy this mess....

edit:
after I calmed down somewhat I tried the Alt+Cmd+P+R reset and it seems to have put things back to normal.
 
Last edited:
Comment

Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,445
2,032
Australia, Perth
This is a guide for enabling the black boot screen + white Apple logo on "unsupported" Macs.

It should in theory work on all 64-bit EFI Macs.

WARNING: A small mistake or even just a fluke problem could potentially prevent your Yosemite partition from booting. Make sure you have a backup of it! I'm not responsible for anything that happens to your Mac.

NOTE: When you run an update it's possible that it could revert this, so you may have to repeat the process again after the update.

UPDATE: w0lf has been kind enough to write a script to automate this process! This link will always have the latest version: https://github.com/w0lfschild/DarkBoot
note: You may have to make DarkBoot.command executable after downloading. Put it on your desktop, open the Terminal and type the following:
Code:
cd ~/Downloads && chmod +x DarkBoot.command

The following method is how to do this manually, but it's outdated so it won't work on current versions of Yosemite. I have left it here for informational purposes.

If you want to see what the current script is doing, you can open it in a text editor.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you boot back into an older version of OS X after doing this, it will boot with a completely black screen. On the next boot, you will have your white screen back in both pre-10.10 and 10.10 versions. To get the black Yosemite screen again, just reboot into your Yosemite partition twice.

For this guide you need:
-A hex editor such as HexFiend
-Preferably some basic terminal knowledge... however I have done my best to make this guide as fool-proof as possible so even if you have no terminal knowledge you should be able to do it.

First off, I would like to thank Pike R. Alpha for explaining how boot.efi determines whether to use a black or white boot screen, as seen here: http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/298808-can-we-get-back-the-apple-logo-on-boot/?p=2036030 Also, thanks to VanillaCracker who explained how he got this to work on his 2012 Mac Mini in that same thread.

What this hack does is it simply checks the board id of your Mac to determine if it supports the black boot screen.

So basically, what we will be doing is changing one of the "supported" board id's to our own to trick it into thinking our Mac is supported.

Here's how to do it:

1. First, you need to get the board id of your Mac model.
EDIT: Thanks to w0lf, here is a script you can use to tell you your board id:
Code:
var_ID=$(ioreg -p IODeviceTree -r -n / -d 1 | grep board-id);var_ID=${var_ID##*<\"};var_ID=${var_ID%%\">};echo $var_ID
View attachment 479568
As you can see, the board id for my MacBookPro8,1 is Mac-94245B3640C91C81.
2. Now let's back up the boot.efi file just in case. Make a folder on your desktop called "efi_backup" and copy /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi to that folder.
3. Now make another folder called "new_efi" for example, drag boot.efi into that folder. Note that the icon has a lock on it:
View attachment 479434
This means that NO user can modify the permissions or ownership of the file, not even the root user. Let's fix this so we can actually modify it.
4. Open the terminal and navigate to your new efi folder:
Code:
cd ~/Desktop/new_efi/
5. Type this command to disable the lock flag for the file:
Code:
sudo chflags nouchg boot.efi
6. Make sure you have write permissions:
Code:
sudo chmod 755 boot.efi
7. Now we're going to edit boot.efi to tell it that our Mac supports the black boot screen. Open it up with HexFiend, click on the right column, and search for "Mac-" (make sure you have the dash). You should see a bunch of Mac board id's. Highlight one of them, in this example I am using the third one which is Mac-35C1E88140C3E6CF. That's the MacBookAir6,1 board id. Replace that with your board id, which again in my case is Mac-94245B3640C91C81.
View attachment 479433
NOTE: If you have an 8-digit board id, the last 8 digits of the board number you are replacing will have to be replaced with spaces (this can be done by going to the hex side of the window and replacing that section of the board number with 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00)
Save the file and exit hex fiend.
8. Now let's replace the original boot.efi file. Since the file is locked, we need to unlock the original before it will let us replace it, just like we did before:
Code:
sudo chflags nouchg /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi
9. Drag your newly modified boot.efi file into the CoreServices folder to replace it, and type in your password when prompted.
10. The last thing we need to do is set ownership+permissions and re-lock the file:
Code:
sudo chmod 644 /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi
Code:
sudo chown root:wheel /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi
Code:
sudo chflags uchg /System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi
11. Now let's reboot! You will most likely need to reboot twice for the settings to take effect.
Here is the result:
View attachment 479431
View attachment 479432

I'm extremely happy with this hack, I hope some of you will find it as useful as I have!

If this guide is useful to you, please check out my music in my signature. :)


Black boot screen ? didn't that change with El capitan, not Yosemite?
 
Comment

w0lf

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2013
1,252
87
USA
Black boot screen ? didn't that change with El capitan, not Yosemite?

No it was added in 10.10

I believe all new computers use the black boot screen and some older computers were changed to the black boot screen after it was first introduced.
 
Comment

Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,445
2,032
Australia, Perth
so is there a boot.efi hack to get the grey screen back ? When i downloaded back to Yosemite (Retina 2015) i was left with the black boot screen.
 
Comment

Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,445
2,032
Australia, Perth

ok,, worked, however where does it update ?

I looked at /System/Library/ Coreservices boot.efi which i assume is *not* updated because its locked and stays locked after applying changes in the app, so i assume app cannot "re-lock" the boot.efi automatically without user intervention it again.

Knowing that,,, the update has to be stored elsewhere... the above app works, but i'd still like to know where the the change is updated to on the Mac.

com.apple.boot.plist revealed no hints either
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.