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High Sierra Firmware fails to install

ErikVogt

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 24, 2017
1
0
Hi, I’ve been trying to upgrade from Yosemite 10.10.5 to High Sierra and have been unable to install the new firmware.
I get to the "To install macOS High Sierra, a firmware update is required.” section where you select “Shut Down”
I click that button, the computer shuts down, boots up with a ding, the grey apple screen appears, then it immediately shuts off and boots up a second time, and every time after it's done the firmware has not been changed or updated at all.

I’m running a model MacPro5,1
I’ve tried having it reboot holding Shift. It only lets me reinstall 10.10.5, and I have but it didn’t help
I’ve also rebooted holding Command+R but that did not help.
I have also deleted the HighSierraInstaller and gotten a new copy from the app store, but it didn’t seem to help.

I’d be very grateful for any help, and will try to respond quickly
Thanks!
 

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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
20,491
7,275
Do you have the High Sierra installer downloaded already?

If so, I'd suggest this:
- Get a USB flashdrive 16gb or larger.
- Download ONE of the following free apps: "Boot Buddy", "DiskMaker X", "Install Disk Creator".
- Use the app to create a bootable USB flashdrive version of the installer.
- Boot from the USB installer, and try things that way.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,719
7,167
Hong Kong
Since you can see the Apple logo, so I expect you are still using the stock GPU or at least a flashed GPU. Therefore, in terms of hardware, it should be OK to perform the firmware upgrade.

However, may I know if you are still using the stock HDD? Or your own HDD / SSD? There are few reports from the cMP 5,1 users about they can't upgrade the firmware. And eventually, it's the hard drive, for an unknown reason, a perfectly working HDD may stop the firmware flashing.

If that's your own HDD / SSD, try another one. Or if you can perform the upgrade from the stock HDD, that will be the best option.
 

MobiusStrip

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2009
227
176
I'm booting from a known good USB-flash-drive-based High Sierra installer. I'm installing to a freshly formatted new hard drive.

It fails with the firmware-validation error.
 

BLUEDOG314

macrumors 6502
Dec 12, 2015
354
87
Heres what I would do, its a bit complex but I have used it to restore a High Sierra image to a computer that has not had its firmware updated yet so I can attest to its ability to successfully update firmware.

First, since you are not performing a clean install, boot to recovery and run disk check/first aid and make sure it can verify the integrity of your EFI partition.

Second, possibly using another mac if this one will not boot, you will have to control click on the HS installer and show package contents. Go into the Contents folder, then SharedSupport, mount and open the InstallESD.dmg image. When it mounts open packages folder and copy FirmwareUpdate.pkg to your desktop.

Now copy the firmware update pkg to a flash drive. You can now boot back to recovery with the flash drive with the Firmware update package still plugged in. Use disk utility to mount Macintosh HD.

Here's where things get a little more technical. You are going to apply the firmware update using the installer feature. type "installer -pkg /Volumes/USBDrive/FirmwareUpdate.pkg -target /Volumes/Macintosh\ HD" and hit enter. Replace USBDrive with the name of the usb drive you used. Quotes not needed obviously. This will take a few moments to run then say the process was successful.

Now restart the machine and wait. It may take a while to boot or reboot a few times to apply the firmware. Do not reset NVRAM. The installer writes the bootrom, and other firmware to the EFI partition and sets a special NVRAM command that calls a binary to apply the bootrom and such.

If this all works the firmware will have been manually applied and fix your issue.
 

MobiusStrip

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2009
227
176
In the end, all I had to do was reset the NVRAM and SMC (don't know which was truly the solution, but I'd guess NVRAM).

After that, the installer ran for a while, then the computer restarted with a long beep, and a different grey/Apple-logo screen appeared with a chunkier progress bar that had an outline. I suspect that this was the firmware update, but heaven forbid Apple actually tell anyone that.

Then the computer restarted again, and the grey Apple screen with the thinner progress bar reappeared and eventually provided a time estimate to completion.
 
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MobiusStrip

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2009
227
176
You need an Apple graphics card with a bootscreen for the firmware update such as an nVidia GT 120, an ATI 5770 or 5870.

If that was a response to my comment, I don't know what its significance is. But for what it's worth, I have a Radeon HD 6750 M.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,719
7,167
Hong Kong
I'm booting from a known good USB-flash-drive-based High Sierra installer. I'm installing to a freshly formatted new hard drive.

It fails with the firmware-validation error.

Why make it so complicated? In fact, this may be the issue. You should boot from the original hard drive, and run the HS installer from there. There are few reports about failed firmware upgrade, and end up they fixed it by running the installer from the original HDD but not their own upgraded hard drive.

But anyway, it seems your issue is fixed.
 

MobiusStrip

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2009
227
176
Why make it so complicated?they fixed it by running the installer from the original HDD but not their own upgraded hard drive.

WTF are you talking about? Booting from an install disk is "complicated?" Wrong. That's the cleanest way to do it.

Not to mention... How are you supposed to boot from A BLANK HARD DRIVE?
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,719
7,167
Hong Kong
WTF are you talking about? Booting from an install disk is "complicated?" Wrong. That's the cleanest way to do it.

Not to mention... How are you supposed to boot from A BLANK HARD DRIVE?

That's what I want to say, why make the internal hard drive blank, and required to create an external installer, if you can simply run the installer from the internal hard drive at the very beginning (Apple never ship any Mac with just a blank drive, right?). For OS installation, your method is perfectly fine. If you believe that's the cleanest way, and the best way, go ahead. But for firmware update, that's another matter. Your actions simply increasing the chance of getting things wrong. Not all media can perform the firmware upgrade, no matter internal or external. The only known 100% working media is just the original internal hard drive. In some extreme case, the user may not able to upgrade the firmware until (s)he to put the original hard drive back in.

Anyway, it seems your problem is fixed now. So, doesn't matter if it's the best method, but it's definitely a working method.

P.S. I believe this thread is talking about firmware upgrade issue, but not how to perform a clean OS installation.
 

Mac Hammer Fan

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2004
796
120
Belgium
If that was a response to my comment, I don't know what its significance is. But for what it's worth, I have a Radeon HD 6750 M.
I don't think this is an official Apple card. This could be the culprit. Try a nVidia GT 120 or Radeon 5770 from a friend, not a flashed PC-card.
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,719
7,167
Hong Kong
I don't think this is an official Apple card. This could be the culprit. Try a nVidia GT 120 or Radeon 5770 from a friend, not a flashed PC-card.

I think he can't. It sounds like he is with the iMac, and HD6750M may be the native Apple GPU.

OP is having the 5,1. But this guy never say what Mac he is using.
 

MobiusStrip

macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2009
227
176
This is a stock MacBook Pro! Stop bringing in irrelevant nonsense about graphics cards. It's the card Apple configured the machine with.

"Why make the internal hard drive blank?"

Plenty of reasons.

1. The original drive failed. (duh)
2. The system is a corrupted state.
3. ?

And Apple failed to tell anyone about the required firmware update, so, shocker, it fails in many instances.

This is what happens when you stop hiring QA professionals, and instead cheap out by having Apple Store salespeople doing QA on production software. The embarrassing results speak for themselves.

Apple quality declines by the day.
 
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Frixo Cool

macrumors member
Jun 10, 2004
82
2
Croatia
You need an Apple graphics card with a bootscreen for the firmware update such as an nVidia GT 120, an ATI 5770 or 5870.

That is the source of the problem but it doesn't have to be Apple's card, it's just important that it uses Mac EFI, I just borowed NVIDIA GTX 980 and it worked. My card is non-flashed Radeon 7990 and firmware update fails with it. After the firmware update the install went smooth with Radeon.
 

chrfr

macrumors G4
Jul 11, 2009
10,200
3,917
The problem wasn't the graphics card.
It may have been for the original poster for the thread, who had a Mac Pro, not a MacBook Pro. The discussion got confusing when you added your issues about your MacBook Pro to the thread. Unfortunately we never heard back from the OP about the outcome.
 

AlteMac

macrumors regular
Jul 21, 2011
118
12
New York suburb
That's what I want to say, why make the internal hard drive blank, and required to create an external installer, if you can simply run the installer from the internal hard drive at the very beginning (Apple never ship any Mac with just a blank drive, right?). For OS installation, your method is perfectly fine. If you believe that's the cleanest way, and the best way, go ahead. But for firmware update, that's another matter. Your actions simply increasing the chance of getting things wrong. Not all media can perform the firmware upgrade, no matter internal or external. The only known 100% working media is just the original internal hard drive. In some extreme case, the user may not able to upgrade the firmware until (s)he to put the original hard drive back in.

Anyway, it seems your problem is fixed now. So, doesn't matter if it's the best method, but it's definitely a working method.

P.S. I believe this thread is talking about firmware upgrade issue, but not how to perform a clean OS installation.
This. My MacPro 5,1 refused to do the firmware update until I booted from a plain vanilla HD, whether SSD or spinning. Booting from OWC Accelsior SSD refused to do the update. Booting from a hybrid SSD/HD refused to do the update. I used a 128G ssd that I did a clean install of Sierra on via Recovery partition, and then ran the update app. That allowed the firmware update, after which OSX 10.13.2 installed without a hitch.
 

t8er8

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2017
248
99
Quebec, Canada
In the end, all I had to do was reset the NVRAM and SMC (don't know which was truly the solution, but I'd guess NVRAM).

After that, the installer ran for a while, then the computer restarted with a long beep, and a different grey/Apple-logo screen appeared with a chunkier progress bar that had an outline. I suspect that this was the firmware update, but heaven forbid Apple actually tell anyone that.

Then the computer restarted again, and the grey Apple screen with the thinner progress bar reappeared and eventually provided a time estimate to completion.
Thanks for this, it fixed my issue immediately
 
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Jamie Kehoe

macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2019
14
1
Sydney, Australia
My issue was exactly this - would not update the firmware. Once I zapped the NVRAM it went through the process and installed the firmware upgrade needed. Mine is a Mac Pro 2009 Dual Processor. In the process of upgrading to Mojave, need to now install a Radeon Vega 64. Seems as though High Sierra is working just fine.
 
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