Mac Pro 4,1 Firmware flashed to 5,1 issue

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by databaze, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. databaze macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #1
    Hello Forum, I have a problem and I can't find any information that is exaclty like it anywhere, so I decided to post it here to see if any ideas come to my help.

    I got a Mac Pro 4,1 flashed to 5,1 and upgraded to 3.46 cpu's with IHS removed. Now, before I paid the guy i tested it running an Apple Hardware Test (short one) which resulted in no issues, I used Hardware Monitor app to see temp and voltage, etc. All seemed good, so I went ahead and paid the guy, took the computer home and went to bed. Next day, before booting it up, I decided to take the side panel off to clean it and install a new copy of OS X. And here is where the problem showed up, when I booted from USB and noticed that both red leds next to the CPUA & CPUB where flashing like a hard drive activity led would, first time I have ever seen something like this. They flash for a while, fans rev up and then things seem to go back to normal. I decided to run an extended hardware test and that is were I got a BOOSTA-1257 error, and for what I was able to find it is related to the CPUA Heatsink fan, but I can see it working just fine and also using fan control I was able to increase and decrease its RPM with no issues.

    Now, this guy did tell me that he did the de-lidding of the cpu himself (IHS removal) but did not tell me that the tray was not the original and that he had bought it from someone else, my bad for buying something of off craigslist (price was just too good) so I Am not sure what could be really wrong with it.

    I've been thinking about taking the tray out and taking both cpu's out, cleaning the heatsinks, applying new thermal paste and putting some new silicon thermal pad and see what happens.

    Have any of you seen the red leds flashing like that before? I get that if there is and issues it usually flashes to let you know or stays lit, but never seen them flash like that before.

    Any help would be appreciated it.

    Here is the video of leds flashing.

    https://vid.me/uFMF
     
  2. SolidCake macrumors member

    SolidCake

    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    #2
    This sounds rather sketchy. I would take it back to the guy and demand him to fix the problem. You can delid the CPU yourself. I am working on a video that shows you how to delid a Xeon X5690. It will be online tomorrow @ 15:00 EST.

    Did he replace the original CPU tray that was already in your mac?

    How did you clean the inside of the mac pro?

    You can try to boot the mac with only CPU A installed and see what happens then.
     
  3. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    #3
    Did you accidentally drop it and inch or two, knock it over or cause it to have a sudden jolt in movement?

    These computers work great when the heatsyncs are locked in, but if he didnt tighten them down good enough, or over tightened them then you can run into problems if the computer gets bumped, falls over ect... Since he said he removed the cpu lids there shouldn't be an over tightening issue (i cant recall anyone breaking one without heat syncs, but you never know lol).

    Id do a few tests first.

    1) Do a Pram reset as well as smc reset.
    2) remove all extra hardware, hard drives, pci ect...
    3) Remove all memory sticks except for 1 stick in slot one of both cpus.
    4) if no boot take the ram currently in the system out and replace it with ones not installed
    5) pull out the cpu tray, and clean up any dust inside to make sure that a clob of dust isnt causing the problem (very unlikly but it doesnt hurt to try)

    If that didnt fix it, then id suggest buying the tool to adjust the cpus since you'll probably need to tighten them down, or loosen them up. If this guy is an honest seller since hes local he could help you fix the problem especially since he did the upgrade himself (unless you bought it 4+ months ago, then i could understand his reluctance).

    When i did my upgrades on my mac pros i had red lights, but i cant remember if solid or flashing. I fixed it by tightening down my cpus more and never had an issue ever again (this was a year or two a ago). There is a possibility that one of the ram sticks went bad which is why i suggested to check your ram.
     
  4. databaze, Aug 6, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2016

    databaze thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #4
    Thanks for all your answers, I got off of craigslist so no go on getting the money back or anything from that guy.

    I will try and take the tray apart and test everything after i put it back together.I just need to get some parts like thermal paste etc. will report back..


    BTW, what kind of Silicon thermal pad should I get since the IHS was removed from the CPU's? I know the 5mm thick was used if it wasn't. Should I get the 3mm one?

    Thanks!
     
  5. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    #5
    You shouldnt need a new one, the one you have will work. The only time you need a thicker one is with the heat shield attached and since its no longer attached you should be good.
     
  6. databaze thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #6
    Sorry for the confusion, I was not talking about the CPU thermal, but for the side resistors under the heatsink, those have a thermal padding to transfer heat to the heatsink and it is quite messed up on mine.
    Not sure about the thickness I should get, people that kept their IHS are using 5mm as pointed out here:

    http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.msg6072.html#msg6072


    PS: I got all new ram, 128gb 1333hz, I will swap all dims and test to see if that takes care of the problem. Will report back
    --- Post Merged, Aug 8, 2016 ---
    Did you get around to uploading that video? If so, please link!
     
  7. SolidCake macrumors member

    SolidCake

    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
  8. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    #8
    yeah thtats what i was talking about too. You shouldnt need a new one, but if its destroyed then thats a difference issue. I believe the the original one is 2mm thick.
     
  9. SteveJobzniak, Aug 8, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016

    SteveJobzniak macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #9


    That is absolutely mental. The lids are often soldered to the CPU core to provide better heat transfer, which means that the lids are mechanically connected to the core, and the vice's pressure on the lid could transfer to the core and crack the CPU core itself.

    And you ruin the 2nd hand value of the CPUs since they no longer have lids.

    Just use washers to raise the Mac Pro heatsinks and keep the lids on!
    --- Post Merged, Aug 8, 2016 ---
    A great list of all parts you need is here, I used it for mine and got a 3.2 mm silicon pad for the resistors around the heatsink, laid on top of the existing 2mm pad for a total height of 5.2mm, as described here:
    http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.msg24313.html#msg24313

    And yes keep the lids on. No problems whatsoever using the method in that post.
     
  10. databaze thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #10

    The IHS lid was already removed on mine so I can't do much about it other than taking it apart to see if there is enough thermal paste and do some cleaning, nothing else I can do.

    Now, I got 128 gb of 1333 RAM (free from old decommissioned server) and already had 64gb 1333 on it, 64 is Samsung, 128 is crucial. I ran Geekbench and got lower numbers when using 128 than 64....why would that be? Or is it totally unrelated?

    Even with new RAM, the same lights are flashing when running Geekbench, I hope there is nothing bad with the whole board, but I'll know more once I take the CPU's out and see if they were set correctly, thermal paste was applied, etc....

    Should I keep the 128 or the 64?
     
  11. SteveJobzniak macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #11
    The Mac Pro has 4 RAM slots per CPU

    Slots 1-3 are unique lanes to the CPU.
    The 4th slot is a shared lane that slows down one of the other lanes (or all lanes, I forget) if used.

    That explains why you get lower performance with more RAM.

    If your need is more RAM speed: Use 3 slots per CPU.
    If your need is more total RAM size: Use 4 slots per CPU.
     
  12. databaze thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #12
    I really appreciate your help, what would determine what i need it terms of speed vs amount? I only run Logic Pro X + AU plugs on this machine for music production.

    Again, thank you so much for your help.
     
  13. databaze thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #13
    Well, Goddamn it, i took apart the board and here is what I found under the CPU'S (see attached images IMG_4985.JPG IMG_4980.JPG

    AS you can see some of the pins are bent of both cpu's....

    Now, the machine was running, but i am not sure if these bent pins would be the cause of the issue with the lights.
    Any idea guys?
     
  14. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #14
  15. databaze, Aug 8, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016

    databaze thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #15

    Well it gets worst, I took it apart to clean it, and even if before it was lighting up with those red leds, it was working, once I took the heatsink and cpus to clean all the thermal paste and found the bent pins and tried to put it all back together, well now it does not post, no chime, nothing, fans work, front light works, but chime, no image....I have no idea what to do now. I paid, $1400 for this machine, replacing that board would be another $400 bucks, but I am not sure if the CPUS are even good now....F$%#....

    What do you guys think? What should I do? If I buy a new board, does it need to be flashed? if so, since I have 3.46 GHz i would have to buy slower pcu's just to flash it to a 5,1 before I would be able to use these CPUs (if they even work anymore)?
     
  16. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #16
    If you can't get a refund, and the machine won't POST after you tried to fix the pin. Apart from

    1) get another tray (cost more money)
    2) retry to fix the pin (may cost lots of time)

    There is not much you can do (if you want to safe this Mac)

    Or may be you can tighten the screw a bit more (Or may need differential pressure on diferent screw), since the pin was damaged, it may new more pressure (or uneven pressure) to keep the CPU contacted properly.
     
  17. databaze thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #17

    I think i might get another board and try to see if the cpus are still working, I have no idea how would i go about fixing a pin really, it is kind of late and i think my eyes are already tired so i will stop for tonight. Maybe in a couple of days i'll be able to get back to it and see what i can do.

    The rest of the computer is fine, I got plenty of memory and all ssd hard drives are working, this is a big set back but for $1400 i can't complain much, I was a dumbass to have trusted craigslist with this kind of thing, I should have invested more money and gotten one already tested and with some warranty. Oh well, no use to cry over spilled milk.

    One question remains: If i get the same board (820-2336-A), am I going to be able to use these CPU's? I mean they are 6 cores each, 3.46Ghz, not sure i could get them to work on the new board unless it was already flashed correct?
     
  18. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #18
    The CPU can be used straight away. I did replace my CPU tray after flash (done by Apple, so must be an unfleshed parts, if any), no problem at all.
     
  19. SteveJobzniak, Aug 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017

    SteveJobzniak macrumors 6502

    SteveJobzniak

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    #19
    I use lidded CPUs but with round washers on each of the heatsink mounting posts, so that the heatsink can never be overtightened. They add as much height as the lid which means it becomes physically impossible to tighten the heatsink any lower than the lid.

    Some fools keep the lids but do not add washers (pindelski or something was one of those fools, luckily he has deleted his guides) and the result is the image you posted above...

    Since you have very fast 6-core CPUs I assume someone replaced them already (I didn't read the whole thread), and weren't careful when tightening.

    I am very sorry to hear about all your trouble. This is a nightmare situation I wouldn't wish on anyone. But try to rescue the old tray first. You should be able to veeeery gently bend the pins straight again, just watch out so they don't fracture from the stress. All you need to do is make them straight enough to make contact with the CPU. I remember now that I had one bent pin on my two trays from the stock Apple install, and I saved it with some gentle pressure to make it straight again so that it connected.

    As for RAM: I ran Logic Pro X with 24 GB of RAM when I still had my Mac Pro. If I wasn't using sample libraries, I rarely hit 8 GB of RAM usage. If you use lots of heavy sample libraries (strings, pianos etc), then they use 0.5-1 GB of RAM per instance depending on sample player (Kontakt, EastWest Play, etc).

    When you mentioned 64 and 128 GB of RAM I expected that you were editing HD videos. Not making music. :D
    --- Post Merged, Aug 9, 2016 ---
    You must have gotten a flashed part. Because the latest stock Mac Pro 4.1 firmware hasn't got support for 6-core Xeons, and won't even boot unless you use the previous-generation 4-core Xeons. That's the whole point of flashing it with 5.1 firmware.
     
  20. h9826790, Aug 9, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #20
    Do you think Apple store will install the flashed parts for me?

    So, it seems the firmware is stored in the logic board, but not the CPU tray.

    Before I took my 4,1 to Apple, I swap the W3520 back in (but keep the 5,1 firmware). Because they have to test all logic board, CPU tray, etc. I just made sure they can do the test without any trouble. (And wiling to fix my Mac)

    After the repair (only CPU tray was replaced), I got my 4,1 back, boot up, and check system info. Guess what, still shows 5,1. So, I swap my W3690 back in, boot up straight away, no problem at all.

    Since the 5,1 CPU tray cannot be used in a 4,1 due to firmware mismatch issue. Therefore, it's impossible for them to install the 5,1 CPU tray for me.

    That's my real experience. Or you also replaced your CPU tray before, but can't boot with the Hex core CPU?
     
  21. SolidCake macrumors member

    SolidCake

    Joined:
    May 20, 2016
    #21
    I suggest you watch the video as I go into detail about why I chose this method and why I think it is the safest. I don't plan on selling these CPU's as there is no better alternative for this Mac Pro model so they'll stay in the machine.

    Here's the netkas link with some annotations:


    No matter what guide you follow, remember THESE rules if you have a dual-cpu Mac Pro 2009 (they came without IHS heatsinks on the CPUs):

    * You MUST flash to firmware 5.1 BEFORE you switch to newer CPUs, or the system will be unbootable.
    * You MUST raise the heatsinks by 2.2-2.5mm via washers so that you avoid crushing the CPU and destroying your motherboard. 2.2-2.5mm? Why the difference in thickness?
    * You MUST NOT overtighten the screws, even when using washers! Hand-tighten them very gently and don't be afraid to leave a small gap between the heatsink and the washers; even the stock machine has a small gap between the heatsink and the pegs/posts. Your washers are just your emergency-rescue against idiocy! What matters is that you tighten with the CPU LID as your tightness reference, NOT the washers! Just a couple of turns will hold the heatsinks in place. You don't want to crush the CPU! Even with all the precautions in place you can still break your mac by crushing the CPU tray. With delidded CPU's you can just follow the apple repair manual and not worry about crushing the CPU's.
    * You MUST cut out room for the fan connectors, because if they don't connect your Case fans will run at 100% speed to compensate for what it thinks is a dead CPU-fan. What's more important, the value of your Mac or the CPU?
    * You MUST add extra-thick thermal strips for the voltage regulators, so that the heat they generate transfers to the heatsink. How thick is "extra-thick"?
    * Do NOT attempt to remove the IHS (integrated heat spreader) "lid" on your Xeon CPUs. They are workstation CPUs with SOLDERED lids (directly onto the cores) that CANNOT be removed using common de-lidding techniques and you'll kill your processor. Even professional electrical engineers with heatbeds have destroyed these CPUs while attempting to remove the lids. Also note that unlike consumer-CPUs, the soldered server-level Xeon CPUs do not benefit temperature-wise from de-lidding because the heat-contact is already practically perfect thanks to the tight soldering. So keep the lids on and follow the above 5 rules! I am not a professional electrical engineer and I made it work with just a vice. My Mac is cooler and quieter than ever and faster than ever.
    * If you install faster RAM, you MUST perform a PRAM reset to re-setup the system to enable the faster speeds. You don't need to do this step if you aren't changing RAM. This is very true and often overlooked.

    When leaving the heat shields on you just create so much more variables that can break your Mac! Pleas do your research and upgrade your Mac in the way you are most comfortable with!

    It pains me to see this! Cleary the guy that performed the upgrade had no idea what he was doing. I feel for you!

    As the same guy also delidded the CPU's you have no guarantee that they could still work as he might have botched that job as well! This part of your post could be the silver lining though. You said that he replaced the original CPU tray. If so there is a real chance you can still get that one back from him. The CPU sockets might still be intact. If he does not want to give it back you can file a police report for stolen goods.

    I hope this helps you out! Please keep us posted on the progress and I hope it gets solved!

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
     
  22. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    #22
    The Apple Store will definitely not install any aftermarket CPUs into a Mac Pro. You may be able to find a service provider who does it, but you'll likely end up needing to do the work yourself.
     
  23. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #23
    Did you attempt to contact the individual who performed this work to discuss the issue with them?
    --- Post Merged, Aug 9, 2016 ---
    This is a civil matter not a criminal one.
     
  24. databaze thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2011
    #24
    Yeah, he pretty much said: "Well, its yours now, so too bad...it was working when i sold it to you...."

    Anyway, I'm going to just try to fix the pins, if that does not work i'll get a new board and if that does not work I'll have to get new cpus and if THAT does not work, I'm going to stop.

    I'll update this thread as I perform each step. If I have to get new cpus I'll just get the ones with the lid and use the washers...
     
  25. ITguy2016 Suspended

    Joined:
    May 25, 2016
    #25
    Perhaps you can file a small claims court action against him? I know it's not the ideal option however he may be willing to work with you in order to avoid such an action.
     

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