MP 1,1-5,1 Mac Pro 5,1 Troubleshooting boot issues

sliceoftoast

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2012
447
90
In a Toaster
Hi world,

I have a mac pro 5,1 mid 2010 with what i believe to have had the graphics card upgraded before i aquired it (ebay sale)

I do not get any picture until the os starts, its running High Sierra currently but when it i got it the seller had a patched copy of catalina on there and nothing worked so i had to erase and start over.

So my issue now is, how the hell am i supposed to trouble shoot any boot issues/access the boot picker if i don't get any display until the os boots? It is driving me absolutely crazy because i have no idea what it is doing and when its trying to boot of external devices eg usb thumb stick i am constantly looking activity on the stick to see if it is actually reading/booting from it.

My ultimate goal for this is to fill it full of hard drives and use it as a file server but i can't do that if i can't get a os installed.

Has anyone had to deal with this sort of scenario and had to reinstall a os or trouble shoot boot issues if the display isn't active?
 

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
6,470
7,102
Brazil
Hi world,

I have a mac pro 5,1 mid 2010 with what i believe to have had the graphics card upgraded before i aquired it (ebay sale)

I do not get any picture until the os starts, its running High Sierra currently but when it i got it the seller had a patched copy of catalina on there and nothing worked so i had to erase and start over.

So my issue now is, how the hell am i supposed to trouble shoot any boot issues/access the boot picker if i don't get any display until the os boots? It is driving me absolutely crazy because i have no idea what it is doing and when its trying to boot of external devices eg usb thumb stick i am constantly looking activity on the stick to see if it is actually reading/booting from it.

My ultimate goal for this is to fill it full of hard drives and use it as a file server but i can't do that if i can't get a os installed.

Has anyone had to deal with this sort of scenario and had to reinstall a os or trouble shoot boot issues if the display isn't active?
Buy an Apple GT120 for diagnostics, but for macOS installs you don't need pre-boot configuration support at all. Just keep the createinstallmedia USB plus an erased drive and the Mac Pro will always boot from the createinstallmedia USB key. The trick is to only have one bootable drive, the createinstallmedia USB key.

Anyway, what's the GPU?
 

sliceoftoast

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 3, 2012
447
90
In a Toaster
Yeah thats what i have been doing, but if you want to put windows on here eg server 2012r2 or 2019 it will not boot up after its finished installing and does the final reboot. i get black screen. It is driving me absolutely crazy
 

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
6,470
7,102
Brazil
Yeah thats what i have been doing, but if you want to put windows on here eg server 2012r2 or 2019 it will not boot up after its finished installing and does the final reboot. i get black screen. It is driving me absolutely crazy
So, it's time to buy a Mac EFI GPU, there are several options, you will have to investigate what's work best for you.

GTX 680 is one that works fine. It's the most recent flash yourself NVIDIA GPU.

Confirmed and Possible Flashable GTX680 Models

Step-by-Step Instructions for Flashing GTX680
 

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
6,470
7,102
Brazil
You will have to forgive me, i've not had a mac like this before, i have a 6,1 but never owned a 5,1. Why does it need to be flashed?
Current GPUs are made for UEFI PCs, that have GOP pre-boot configuration support.

Mac Pro from 1,1 to 5,1 are EFI v1.10 and support UGA pre-boot configuration. That's why PCs GPUs don't work for pre-boot configuration support and you only have an image on your display after the GPU drivers are loaded/working.

MP6,1 GOP support is very poor, not enough for PCs GPUs to work, only MP7,1 fully support GOP and have fully working pre-boot configuration support with current GPUs.
 

tsialex

macrumors 603
Jun 13, 2016
6,470
7,102
Brazil
No worries thanks so much for your help.
Btw, don't buy a Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition or any GPU that are flashed with it's Mac EFI (HD 7950/HD 7970/R9 280/R9 280X). Very poor support with Windows, several situations where the screen disappear during the install phase and several incompatibilities with DP1.2 and newer displays.

If you intend to use Windows with a MP5,1, you will have less headache with Kepler NVIDIA GPUs, like a self flashed GTX 680.
 

haralds

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2014
1,141
331
Silicon Valley, CA
Btw, don't buy a Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition or any GPU that are flashed with it's Mac EFI (HD 7950/HD 7970/R9 280/R9 280X). Very poor support with Windows, several situations where the screen disappear during the install phase and several incompatibilities with DP1.2 and newer displays.

If you intend to use Windows with a MP5,1, you will have less headache with Kepler NVIDIA GPUs, like a self flashed GTX 680.
I cannot vouch for Sapphire but have a Gigabyte HD7970C-3GD and it works fine with Windows 10.
 

MIKX

macrumors 65832
Dec 16, 2004
1,503
540
Aussie in Japan
My ( backup GPU ) EFI flashed & downvolted Sapphire Dual-X 7970 3 gb works fine in Win 7 & Win 10 installed on their own spinner HDDs with the latest AMD drivers. I paid US$72 ( ¥8,000 ) for it here in Japan.