How to save your ATI 5770 GPU after a bad BIOS flash

VAGDesign

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 1, 2014
344
187
Greece


This is a simple guide to show you how to save your ATI HD 5770 Mac Edition card in case of a bad BIOS flashing. It seems this is a common problem in the classic Mac Pro users area. As they upgrade their graphics cards for the upcoming Mac OS X El Capitan (to have full Metal support on AMD GPUs 7xxx family and up), sometimes - like me - they end up with a small disaster by flashing the wrong card by mistake.

Well this ends today (at least for the ATI 5770 users).

In my case, I've flashed my ATI 5770 Mac Edition with the BIOS ROM of my XFX 7950 (see the previous guide). The card after the "supposedly successful BIOS flash" ended up a brick. The mistake I made was a number, instead of flashing the "1" card in atiflash, I flashed the "0" card. NOTE: ALWAYS USE atiflash -ai BEFORE YOU FLASH! Only that way you will know what GPU you're going to flash. Forget all the guides around the net with the commands, give the above command so you'll be sure what card YOUR COMPUTER sees in what position (number 0 or 1).
Maybe after the "-ai" to also give these to make sure: atiflash -i 0 and also with atiflash -i 1 and keep screenshots if you have to remember what cards is placed where...

So, let's see how our card looks:


Locate the BIOS chip as seen in the picture. There is a green dot on the top left as seen in this view, this dot gives the pin number "1" to our counting for the upcoming steps.
The numbering is from top to bottom (in this view) 1,2,3,4 and the opposite side 8,7,6,5 as seen in this photo.

A closer look at the BIOS chip:


The pins with numbers 4 and 5 as seen above must be short circuited so we will be able to flash a new BIOS to our bricked ATI 5770 GPU card.

See below a detailed view:

Explanation of BIOS pins (provided by netkas)


As seen here again the bottom 2 pins labeled in this picture with number 4 and 5 must be short circuited. I found very thin bronze cable and created the short circuit WITHOUT any soldering. The reason? Because during the computer operation YOU have to remove the short circuit to be able to flash with new BIOS your card. The short circuit bypasses the BIOS info to the computer and the card from brick becomes a VGA adapter without any Vendor or model (in Windows PC or Mac Pro with Bootcamp). All this info was provided by netkas in his blog here. The only difference is the pin numbers, instead of 1 and 4 a user "omni" reported to netkas, use 4 and 5 as I show you here. (Update: netkas has corrected the article :) )

So, you put the card inside your Mac Pro or your PC, you will need another GPU to view what you're doing, so there is no blind flashing here... Boot and in Windows disable using Task Manager all the AMD/ATI processes and also the Windows Driver Installation Process (Important!). If you don't end those tasks, you will get Error ofl01 failed to read rom in both atiflash and atiwinflash. So better do this now.

Now since there is nothing bothering your bricked ATI 5770 card, let's move on. Find Command Prompt (using search in Windows 7 or 8.1), right click and Run as Administrator.

In Desktop place a folder and call it 5770. Inside put your ATI 5770 Mac Edition rom, atiflash or atiwinflash (click the links to download them, unzip the EFI rom for your Mac Edition ATI 5770 ONLY!).

In Command Prompt (or DOS if you prefer) type: cd.. and then cd.. again, now you're at C:\ (right?) good, now:
cd users
cd "your username goes here"
cd desktop
cd 5770


Normally now you're seeing in the Command Prompt this: C:\Users\user\Desktop\5770\

Having your card with the short circuit as is type: atiflash -ai (you will see the adapter infos that tells you e.g. Adapter 0 JUNIPER blah blah and Adapter 1 your working GPU) IF you want to make sure that the Adapter 0 is the bricked ATI 5770, type: atiflash -ai 0 and see the confirmation, ONLY THEN you will move to the next step.

Now since you're SURE that Adapter 0 is your bricked ATI 5770 card, remove/release the short circuit.


In Command Prompt type:
atiflash -unlockrom 0 (this unlocks the ROM so the card is ready to accept new ROM) Make sure you have the attached 5770.rom I provided in the same "5770" directory at your Desktop)
atiflash -f -p 0 5770.rom (the process will take some seconds, the computer flashes your card with the correct Mac EFI ROM now, if you have a PC version of 5770 this process will convert it to Mac Edition, so be aware of what you're flashing in this guide!)
When the flashing finishes you'll see a success report. Now, restart your computer and confirm that your card is recognized in the System Profiler menu under Graphics Card and PCI info. If everything appears OK, then you're done! Enjoy your un-bricked ATI HD 5770 Mac Edition :)


I want to personally thank netkas for pointing me out to the right direction, without "blind flashing" or this crap I see around the internet. This guide I hope to save you some money and time, in my case, I spent 5 hours trying to figure out what and how to do this unbrick, the most difficult part is the short circuit, thank God I found some old wire that had very thin bronze like hair wires that I used to wrap each pin seperated (4 and 5), then covered them with some electrical tape and was able to release the short circuit during the operation. Make sure you have 2 very thin wires about 10-15cm long, so while the Mac or PC is operating, to be able to undo the short circuit WITHOUT short circuit any other chip/metal/component at your computer. I take no responsibility of your actions, you have been warned by me and also by netkas at his blog.

I wish you good luck and please leave feedback and questions you might have, below :)

Cheers and greetings from Greece!

-VAG
 
Last edited:

netkas

macrumors 65816
Oct 2, 2007
1,121
290
Originally I figured this trick to recover badly flahsed gtx670.

here is description of pins:

Pin 1 is chip select. Pin 2 is data out. Pin 3 is write protect. Pin 4 is ground. Pin 5 is data in. Pin 6 is the clock. Pin 7 is hold, and Pin 8 is voltage. Note that the Chip Select, Write Protect and HOLD pins are all active low.


Chip Select is controlled by the master with a low level needed to select the device. When Chip Select is pulled high, the device is deselected and will not accept commands.

Basically One may short pin 1 and pin 8, but since pin 8 is voltage, can be dangerous, 4-5 looks safer
 
  • Like
Reactions: VAGDesign

Fl0r!an

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2007
906
525
Did you force-flash the HD 5770 with the wrong BIOS? I was under the impression that you couldn't flash with a mismatched devid without doing -f on purpose...

btw, I prefer to have just a single card in the machine when flashing, easiest way to avoid problems like this :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: VAGDesign

VAGDesign

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 1, 2014
344
187
Greece
Thanks again @netkas, I created a graphic of what you just wrote and it's attached here ;)

@Fl0r!an as @666sheep said, "of course I did" You remember the other guide? Well, I forced the flash, and then the "flash forced me" to do this guide :) Everything happens for a reason after all... lesson learned!

Cheers!
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: Fl0r!an

VAGDesign

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 1, 2014
344
187
Greece
Well seems I am wrong, after all maybe I wasn't too tired when I flashed by mistake the wrong card. Maybe it was indeed a program fault or a bug(?) or false info. Anyway, everything is fixed now.
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,017
New York City, NY
Your "finding" is in every datasheet...
Thanks for the very constructive and helpful reply.

Why didn't you tell netkas what he posted on post #2 is in every datasheet? Is it because he's more well known and I'm an easier target?

Doesn't it make you feel superior to give such wise remarks to people?
 
Last edited:

bax2003

macrumors 6502a
Dec 25, 2011
903
139
Serbia
Thanks for the very constructive and helpful reply.

Why didn't you tell netkas what he posted on post #2 is in every datasheet? Is it because he's more well known and I'm an easier target?

Doesn't it make you feel superior to give such wise remarks to people?
Don't make these replies bother you....they are all over macrumors. There is no logical explanation behind them, just ignore them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pastrychef

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,623
211
Poland
Doesn't it make you feel superior to give such wise remarks to people?
Does posting the very same info twice makes you feel you're helping someone more than poster above?
Netkas described all pins in SO8 package already, you posted exactly the same only in graphical form.
Do you think that people can't read?

Don't take it personally, people are doing things like you did very often and it can be annoying.

This whole guide is a repost from netkas blog in fact, but VAG made it in a "step by step" form.
Kudos to him for that.
 

pastrychef

macrumors 601
Sep 15, 2006
4,520
1,017
New York City, NY
Does posting the very same info twice makes you feel you're helping someone more than poster above?
Netkas described all pins in SO8 package already, you posted exactly the same only in graphical form.
Do you think that people can't read?

Don't take it personally, people are doing things like you did very often and it can be annoying.

This whole guide is a repost from netkas blog in fact, but VAG made it in a "step by step" form.
Kudos to him for that.
When I inquired about the write protect, I was told to check myself and I did. Hence, I posted what I found in the hopes that others may also find the information useful. If you bothered to look, the image I linked to gives clear information regarding the write protect.

I think the only one who can't read here is you.

I do take it personally and I find your kind of cynical responses and your belittling of others extremely annoying.

If seeing the reposting of information truly bothers you so much, perhaps the internet is just not for you. Good luck in finding only new, never before posted info.
 
Last edited:

VAGDesign

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 1, 2014
344
187
Greece
Guys... come on. Shake hands (or heads) and move on. We're all here to help and be helped, there is no room for personal insults or attacks. I made this guide to express my gratitude to @netkas while when I asked him in PM for help he gave me the link to his blog. After I tried and had success with all the info over there (except the pins a user had suggested and now netkas corrected it), I thought it would be helpful to post it here and my personal blog, so whoever had the same accident (mistake) as me, to try and save his/her card. All info is welcomed, if you want I can transform the post to Wiki so everyone who wants to contribute, to be able to do so.

Have a nice day and a great weekend, and peace! :cool:
 

minifridge1138

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2010
1,025
52
I'm a little confused. You were trying to flash the PC XFX 7950, but you accidentally flashed your Mac 5770. Correct?
 

Fl0r!an

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2007
906
525
Yes, this guide applies to all bricked GPUs in general (atiflash stuff obviously only for Radeons).
 

gendolfender

macrumors newbie
Apr 22, 2017
4
0
Beeston, England
can anyone help me out i have a HIS 5770 i picked it up locally and wanted to up my old mac pro 1,1 i was flashing about
but regardless of what mods i did i couldn't get apple logo to slap me on the face when booting up the mac then i found a bios file that was supposedly of OG mac 5770 gpu and i decided to flash it with WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG attitude and well long story short card is now goofed windows pc wont post with it mac doesnt see it either and i have no idea how to fix this beast of a card and would really appreciate if anyone could help me here



 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,263
6,251
It will only help if the HIS 5770 has the same board layout (which it might, I have no idea).
Well, he said he had "no idea" what to do. The procedure in the first post tells you what to do and provides excellent pictures. The only difference would be the location of the 8-pin SPI ROM chip. With any luck the chip will be in the same place or nearby, and if not, at least there's a picture of what they look like so he can find it.

It seems helpful to me, in lieu of anyone else providing something even better.
 
  • Like
Reactions: h9826790

MIKX

macrumors 65816
Dec 16, 2004
1,178
445
Japan
It is entirely possible that the OP is a relatively new cMP owner / user as I once was.
In fact, I never frequented any "Mac Hack " forums until I had sold my cMP 2,1 and bought a 4,1>5,1.

And . . until then I had never heard of "Netkas"nor "Macrumors".

We all have to start somewhere. Learn and pass on the knowledge.

His original post was well thought out, definitive and easy to comprehend . . even if to point out any errors if they existed.

I don't see a problem with providing a clear step by step layout with good graphics to help others whom may at the same time have just discovered though the inevitable generation gap penalty . . .the challenges and magical wonder of classic Mac Pro's & perhaps .. even . . The Beatles.

He may be only a enthusiastic teenager or a wizened old man .. but her's here, trying to contribute.

Sometimes we forget why we clan together.

Share.