MP 1,1-5,1 ? Link to good 4.1 to 5.1 Rom Change Guide?

LeicaM8

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 29, 2012
97
6
West Michigan
Please - my search skills are a 0 today and I can't find a guide to changing the Rom on my 4.1 to 5.1 can anyone link me up? I know it's a small question, but would improve my Saturday a bunch.
thanks a million
Richard
 

jameslmoser

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
563
340
Las Vegas, NV
You want this thread:

Look at the -- 4,1 to 5,1 Firmware Upgrade -- Section. You want to follow this link from there:

Download the tool from that first post (its in the signature):
* MacPro2009-2010FirmwareTool.zip

The tool use to work automatically but the last time I tried it it gave an error code because apple changed the download links for the firmware or something... There was a post here that said what to do when you got that error but I can't find it now... If I had the error code I probably could again.
 

LeicaM8

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 29, 2012
97
6
West Michigan
You want this thread:

Look at the -- 4,1 to 5,1 Firmware Upgrade -- Section. You want to follow this link from there:

Download the tool from that first post (its in the signature):
* MacPro2009-2010FirmwareTool.zip

The tool use to work automatically but the last time I tried it it gave an error code because apple changed the download links for the firmware or something... There was a post here that said what to do when you got that error but I can't find it now... If I had the error code I probably could again.
Thanks. I was trying that tool but kept getting the 5570 error, but sounds like someone in the thread has the solution. I'll go scroll.
R.
 

LeicaM8

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 29, 2012
97
6
West Michigan
Thanks. I was trying that tool but kept getting the 5570 error, but sounds like someone in the thread has the solution. I'll go scroll.
R.
Dang. Stymied. I found the info on that thread for how to make the old script work, but I can't hack and have zero ability to run the hack written in post 1058:
Re: Mac Pro Firmware Upgrade Utility Released!

I think I will be forced to install an old OS and run the little app in there. Then work my way back up to Mojave. sigh.

Not having the cash to upgrade to a trash can or the latest model is such a pain.
R.
 

jameslmoser

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
563
340
Las Vegas, NV
I think that is the post I used... I think there was a simple typo in it, and there are some errors shown when running it but it does work.

I wouldn't call the trash can an upgrade.... =)
 
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LeicaM8

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 29, 2012
97
6
West Michigan
I think that is the post I used... I think there was a simple typo in it, and there are some errors shown when running it but it does work.

I wouldn't call the trash can an upgrade.... =)
I would have 100% agreed up until a short while ago re the 6.1, but my 5.1 going bonk and needing to get a stored 4.1 up and running has brought the sharp painful realization of how the physical exertions needed to stay in the beloved land of Aluminum Beasts is nearly beyond me.

Carefree OS updates and lightweight gear suddenly looking very attractive, tbh.

=)
 

minifridge1138

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2010
1,106
154
It's been a while since I looked into it, but I think the problem with the install script is that Apple moved the firmware, so the link in the script doesn't work.

If you download the Firmware files from Apple and mount them, then I think the script works.

You have nothing to lose by trying.
 
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LeicaM8

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Original poster
Nov 29, 2012
97
6
West Michigan
It's been a while since I looked into it, but I think the problem with the install script is that Apple moved the firmware, so the link in the script doesn't work.

If you download the Firmware files from Apple and mount them, then I think the script works.

You have nothing to lose by trying.
Sooooooo what you're saying is what that poster was describing as 'hacks' were just scripts for use in Terminal? If that's true then I am grrrrrrr cuz words have meanings and I'm exceptionally of the mind that a Terminal Script in no way is a 'Hack'. I may be nervous nelly using them, but for pete's sake - It's just the using of an app and commands built right into the system by Apple. sigh.
 

jameslmoser

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
563
340
Las Vegas, NV
I would have 100% agreed up until a short while ago re the 6.1, but my 5.1 going bonk and needing to get a stored 4.1 up and running has brought the sharp painful realization of how the physical exertions needed to stay in the beloved land of Aluminum Beasts is nearly beyond me.

Carefree OS updates and lightweight gear suddenly looking very attractive, tbh.

=)
Carefree is nice, until Apple decided it should no longer be that way like what they did with Catalina.... oh well, OpenCore is awesome. =)

What is wrong with your 5.1? Was it upgraded from a 4,1 as well? if so could you use the already updated logic tray in your stored one?
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,674
8,375
Brazil
Sooooooo what you're saying is what that poster was describing as 'hacks' were just scripts for use in Terminal? If that's true then I am grrrrrrr cuz words have meanings and I'm exceptionally of the mind that a Terminal Script in no way is a 'Hack'. I may be nervous nelly using them, but for pete's sake - It's just the using of an app and commands built right into the system by Apple. sigh.
The script just fools the Apple EFI tools to accept an MP5,1 firmware flash over a MP4,1 BootROM. This is done modifying certain checksums and cleverly changing other parts of the firmware image.

Unfortunately the script don't change the BootBlock region of the BootROM and this makes impossible to use Firmware Recuperation CD after the flash since the firmware is now MP5,1 but with a MP4,1 BootBlock.

There are better ways to do it, but don't try to do it if you don't fully understand what you are doing.
 
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LeicaM8

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 29, 2012
97
6
West Michigan
Carefree is nice, until Apple decided it should no longer be that way like what they did with Catalina.... oh well, OpenCore is awesome. =)

What is wrong with your 5.1? Was it upgraded from a 4,1 as well? if so could you use the already updated logic tray in your stored one?
it's a factory 5.1 with low end 4 core and 32gig Ram.
Ram Slot 1 appears to have failed.
First symptom was Random OS instability.
As investigated found popped out ram sticks and a Red light on motherboard.
The 1st ram slot appears to have failed entirely. I seem to also have other hardware problems I can't diagnose. The Mac is basically unuseable and unstable.

My stored 4.1 with high end 8 core cpu with 64gig of Ram
Decided my efforts were better served finally getting that one up to snuff. I originally planned to make the 5.1 the backup then illness and a move got in the way.
- - Post merged: - -

The script just fools the Apple EFI tools to accept an MP5,1 firmware flash over a MP4,1 BootROM. This is done modifying certain checksums and cleverly changing other parts of the firmware image.

Unfortunately the script don't change the BootBlock region of the BootROM and this makes impossible to use Firmware Recuperation CD after the flash since the firmware is now MP5,1 but with a MP4,1 BootBlock.

There are better ways to do it, but don't try to do it if you don't fully understand what you are doing.
Latter half of your post translates into I shouldn't be doing it myself.
---
Now that I think about it you and I exchanged a DM on this topic a year ago.
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,674
8,375
Brazil
it's a factory 5.1 with low end 4 core and 32gig Ram.
Ram Slot 1 appears to have failed.
First symptom was Random OS instability.
As investigated found popped out ram sticks and a Red light on motherboard.
The 1st ram slot appears to have failed entirely. I seem to also have other hardware problems I can't diagnose. The Mac is basically unuseable and unstable.

My stored 4.1 with high end 8 core cpu with 64gig of Ram
Decided my efforts were better served finally getting that one up to snuff. I originally planned to make the 5.1 the backup then illness and a move got in the way.
- - Post merged: - -


Latter half of your post translates into I shouldn't be doing it myself.
---
Now that I think about it you and I exchanged a DM on this topic a year ago.
If you are in the US, with some searching, you can buy a replacement MP5,1 single CPU tray on eBay for around $75, shipping included. It's not every day that eBay has MP5,1 trays with such low price, but happens frequently. I bought two in the last months, both times for $49 + shipping.

MP4,1 to MP5,1 firmware upgrade can be done by netkas forum tools, or by my reconstruction instructions that will make a real/complete MP5,1 firmware, including the BootBlock, if you know your way around a hex editor.
 

jameslmoser

macrumors 6502a
Sep 18, 2011
563
340
Las Vegas, NV
Found it! This is the instructions that helped me get it working:

I still have the files in a drive containing High Sierra. I wanted to make sure I could find them because I still have a spare logic board that might need it some day =)
 
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LeicaM8

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 29, 2012
97
6
West Michigan
If you are in the US, with some searching, you can buy a replacement MP5,1 single CPU tray on eBay for around $75, shipping included. It's not every day that eBay has MP5,1 trays with such low price, but happens frequently. I bought two in the last months, both times for $49 + shipping.

MP4,1 to MP5,1 firmware upgrade can be done by netkas forum tools, or by my reconstruction instructions that will make a real/complete MP5,1 firmware, including the BootBlock, if you know your way around a hex editor.
a) You make a very economical suggestion about a new cpu tray for my 5.1 and I will follow thru on.
b) I’ve never used a hex editor and have doubts about making the attempt.
-
- to clarify, I understood you in previous response to say the linked netkas forum tool wouldn’t produce the ’real/complete mp 5,1 firmware” result I’m looking for. is that correct interpretation on my part? or are you saying if I research on NetKas I can find tools apps or scripts to automate the process?
- And sincere thank you for the input and feedback. Much appreciated.
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,674
8,375
Brazil
a) You make a very economical suggestion about a new cpu tray for my 5.1 and I will follow thru on.
b) I’ve never used a hex editor and have doubts about making the attempt.
-
- to clarify, I understood you in previous response to say the linked netkas forum tool wouldn’t produce the ’real/complete mp 5,1 firmware” result I’m looking for. is that correct interpretation on my part? or are you saying if I research on NetKas I can find tools apps or scripts to automate the process?
- And sincere thank you for the input and feedback. Much appreciated.
Let me start this post with a very clear disclaimer here.
I documented everything needed to clean up, upgrade and downgrade MP5,1 firmwares in the last three years. If you follow the rabbit hole, you can create clean a NVRAM volume, MP4,1 and MP5,1 MLB/LBSN sectors (they differ with the jump points, you can't use a MP4,1 MLB/LBSN sector with a MP5,1 firmware or vice-versa, will be a brick) and provided detailed instructions on how to repair bricks. You can even upgrade a NVRAM hardware descriptor from MP4,1 to MP5,1 changing the Base_xx (17, 18 and 19 for MP4,1 - 20 and 21 for MP5,1) with my posts. For years I cleaned, upgraded and reconstructed BootROMs for free, I did more than three hundred, but since my time is now very restricted and people abused my goodwill to the extreme, now I only do it as a contract service and by PM.

MP4,1 and MP5,1 BootROMs are more than just the firmware. Apple designed the Mac Pro to use one SPI flash memory for all these things, simplified a lot for easy comprehension:

  • the EFI firmware,
  • the NVRAM,
  • the BootBlock,
  • to store the hardwareIDs, where you differentiate one Mac from another.
MacEFIRom script from Netkas forum use Apple efiflasher toolkit to upgrade your Mac Pro BootROM from a MP4,1 to a MP5,1 firmware. It works with some caveats:
  1. Don't work with MP41 B08 firmware, it expects that you have a B07.
  2. Only works with earlier macOS releases, 10.6 to 10.9, SIP and recent macOS security improvements severely constrain the use of the script.
  3. Only upgrades the EFI Firmware. The NVRAM, BootBlock and hardwareIDs are kept exactly the same. So you have a hybrid that won't work for Firmware Restoration CD, for example, since your still have a MP4,1 BootBlock with a MP5,1 EFI firmware. That's why we usually call these hybrids as MP4,1>5,1.

My quick and dirty instructions are a improvement over the script and the result will be a MP5,1 firmware, still with MP4,1 NVRAM but now with a MP5,1 BootBlock. Firmware Restoration CD 1.9 (MP5,1 version) can be used, if needed.

I don't like to explain this topic much, since some people will think that I'm advertising a service, but a complete upgrade from MP4,1 to MP5,1 can be done. It involves more things, like the total clean up of 1st and 2nd stores, upgrade of the 3rd store of the NVRAM from MP4,1 override versions (the hardware descriptor) from MP4,1 versions (Base_17 to Base_19 for normal MP4,1s and Base_20 for B08 2009 Mac Pros) to mid-2012 standards (Base_21 override version from late manufactured mid-2010 and all mid-2012) and correction of several checksum hashes to make everything valid.
 

LeicaM8

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 29, 2012
97
6
West Michigan
Let me start this post with a very clear disclaimer here.
I documented everything needed to clean up, upgrade and downgrade MP5,1 firmwares in the last three years. If you follow the rabbit hole, you can create clean a NVRAM volume, MP4,1 and MP5,1 MLB/LBSN sectors (they differ with the jump points, you can't use a MP4,1 MLB/LBSN sector with a MP5,1 firmware or vice-versa, will be a brick) and provided detailed instructions on how to repair bricks. You can even upgrade a NVRAM hardware descriptor from MP4,1 to MP5,1 changing the Base_xx (17, 18 and 19 for MP4,1 - 20 and 21 for MP5,1) with my posts. For years I cleaned, upgraded and reconstructed BootROMs for free, I did more than three hundred, but since my time is now very restricted and people abused my goodwill to the extreme, now I only do it as a contract service and by PM.

MP4,1 and MP5,1 BootROMs are more than just the firmware. Apple designed the Mac Pro to use one SPI flash memory for all these things, simplified a lot for easy comprehension:

  • the EFI firmware,
  • the NVRAM,
  • the BootBlock,
  • to store the hardwareIDs, where you differentiate one Mac from another.
MacEFIRom script from Netkas forum use Apple efiflasher toolkit to upgrade your Mac Pro BootROM from a MP4,1 to a MP5,1 firmware. It works with some caveats:
  1. Don't work with MP41 B08 firmware, it expects that you have a B07.
  2. Only works with earlier macOS releases, 10.6 to 10.9, SIP and recent macOS security improvements severely constrain the use of the script.
  3. Only upgrades the EFI Firmware. The NVRAM, BootBlock and hardwareIDs are kept exactly the same. So you have a hybrid that won't work for Firmware Restoration CD, for example, since your still have a MP4,1 BootBlock with a MP5,1 EFI firmware. That's why we usually call these hybrids as MP4,1>5,1.

My quick and dirty instructions are a improvement over the script and the result will be a MP5,1 firmware, still with MP4,1 NVRAM but now with a MP5,1 BootBlock. Firmware Restoration CD 1.9 (MP5,1 version) can be used, if needed.

I don't like to explain this topic much, since some people will think that I'm advertising a service, but a complete upgrade from MP4,1 to MP5,1 can be done. It involves more things, like the total clean up of 1st and 2nd stores, upgrade of the 3rd store of the NVRAM from MP4,1 override versions (the hardware descriptor) from MP4,1 versions (Base_17 to Base_19 for normal MP4,1s and Base_20 for B08 2009 Mac Pros) to mid-2012 standards (Base_21 override version from late manufactured mid-2010 and all mid-2012) and correction of several checksum hashes to make everything valid.
Thank you for the clarifications.
- You have greatly helped me. The eBay suggestion has given me some fabulous affordable resurrection options for my broken 5.1 and your info re: steps I may choose to take with my 4.1 has been equally helpful. The guide and screenshots make me feel much more confident about tackling that route. If I succeed I'll let you know and if I brick my tower rest assured I know it will fully be on me.
Sincerely,
Richard
 
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