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mothchip

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2020
6
0
Pittsburgh, PA
Hello! I hope this is the right place. I tried to post to the Netkas forums but it's not sending me an activation email for some reason. I have an iMac 4,1 I picked up from a garage sale that I'm trying to install Linux to, but can't. I believe the core issue is that I cannot update the boot ROM. I'll list what I've tried so far...

So first thing I did was pop in 2 GB of RAM (two 1 GB sticks) and fresh install Snow Leopard 10.6.8 from a thumb drive. That went fine. Then I installed Refit and tried loading a thumb drive of Linux Mint XFCE 19.3 32-bit, but it gave me the error "not found while loading legacy loader" and suggested that I install the latest firmware. I tried a DVD of Mint instead and got the same result, and again with a thumb drive loaded with v18.0 of Mint. After doing some Googling around, I saw that people were having more success with Ubuntu Mate, so I switched to trying v18.04.4-i386. Same issue.

I checked the software updates and noticed that two updates that had completed before were back:

iMac EFI firmware update 1.1
iMac SMC firmware update 1.0

Every time I installed these, it would say they completed successfully, but would then be back after restarting. Thinking that may not matter, I replaced Refit with Refind, but that gave essentially the same error: "Please make sure that you have the latest firmware update installed". Okay, I think I'm putting 2 and 2 together and realizing the EFI and SMC updates do matter. After more Googling I once again come across the Netkas forum post with MacEFIRom's 4,1 to 5,1 firmware update tool. I had initially ignored it since I wasn't planning to put in the Core 2 Duo chip (maybe later), but I decided to try installing it. At first I got the 5530 error, but I followed GuilleCSGO's instructions in that thread, and that seemed to go through successfully. Unfortunately, once I was booted back into OS X, I checked the boot ROM version and found I was on IM41.0039.B00, which seemed to be well below even the versions listed on the 1.1 update. (SMC version is 1.1f2 if that's helpful.)

I'm a Windows guy, so much of this is outside of my experience, and I'm pretty stumped at this point. All of the different variations of "stuck firmware" I try searching for keep leading me back to the firmware update thread on Netkas. Am I just missing something? Do I need to RTFM? I'm hoping you all can help me through this.

Thanks for your time!
 

mothchip

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 3, 2020
6
0
Pittsburgh, PA
A solution has been found! I had to actually run the EFI firmware 1.1 update program from Apps/Utilities and follow the instructions there to install it. I thought the Mac OS updater was doing the actual install. Once I went through that process, Linux loaded fine.
 
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