MP 1,1-5,1 MP3,1 Boot Menu Wrong Resolution

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by j3tang, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. j3tang, Jul 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019

    j3tang macrumors regular

    j3tang

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #1
    Let me pre-empt anyone who is quick to jump to the process of "reset PRAM" as the answer to the title. Been there, done that. Didn't work.

    So let me set up the situation (read: long story) before I get to my problem.


    Part 1
    I am the proud owner of a MacPro3,1 that I bought second hand and have owned it since 2013. The machine came originally with the HD2600XT (DVI). I swapped in a Radeon 6870, not flashed, and also purchased an Apple LED Display (miniDP, not thunderbolt). The 6870 crapped out on me and I saw it as a sign that I should go and find a GTX680 and flash it so I can see the boot menu. But in the meantime, I plugged the HD2600XT back in first, found an old monitor to plug in because the Apple LED Display did not have DVI.

    Part 2
    Additionally, I thought it would be a great idea to start fresh and go with a new OS install. I was on Yosemite, capable of upgrading to El Capitan. But I decided I wanted to see how much further I can push this computer. I found dosdude1's Sierra patcher tool for unsupported Macs and I installed Sierra without any issues. Then I found dosdude1's High Sierra patcher and installed using the new APFS system (the OS was on a SSD). All was well thus far! Dosdude1's instructions warned that since there would be no recovery partition for APFS, it needed some additional post-install work as well as log/verbose during the bootup. I didn't mind it not having the clean bootup screen, and so I endured.

    Part 3
    I then found the right seller for the GTX680, plugged her in to slot 1 while the HD2600XT was in slot 3.
    I did not have access to another PC that would allow me to plug in the GTX680 to be flashed so I chose to install Windows10 on a completely separate HDD and have the Mac Pro boot into it (I dug up an 80gb HDD sitting in the basement! Yes 80gb!!). I had been troubleshooting various hiccups running bootcamp and was not able to install Windows at all. This was done while the HD2600XT was plugged into the old monitor and the GTX680 being plugged into the Apple LED Display.

    Part 4
    I then came across this helpful article and by following it line by line everything worked beautifully. Flashed the GTX680 and the boot menu is all visible.



    So what's the problem, you say? Well, somewhere within Part 3 above, I went from seeing a native resolution boot menu with all the verbose logs to a low resolution large icon, large verbose text. From all my Google searches, "mac boot menu wrong resolution", all the solutions pointed to reset PRAM, and so I did ..... except it did not resolve the issue for me. Ok, so I thought maybe towards the end of Part 2 above while I was trying to figure out how to install Windows I goofed up something on the macOS drive. So I decided to wipe the macOS drive and re-install High Sierra using dosdude1's patcher. That clearly didn't fix anything either, because here I am starting this long winded post.

    Aside from the bootup not looking elegant, what bothers me more is that any finder windows or apps that I might have had open prior to bootup always gets resized to a tiny footprint in the bottom left corner because of this resolution issue and I have to resize all my windows after it's boot into the OS.


    I thank those of you who read this entire post and hope someone could help with my issue.
    For those who are curious, my last post on these forums was probably a couple of years ago, i normally lurk and read and try to do everything on my own. I wouldn't be posting if I weren't really stuck :/


    edit: Another issue I forgot to mention is that at the boot menu, the macOS drive is actually named "EFI Boot" instead of my HDD's name, "macOS". I didn't think that was normal either. Is there a fix for that too?
     
  2. cdf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #2
    The UIScale NVRAM variable affects boot screen resolution. It might be worth checking that out.
     
  3. j3tang thread starter macrumors regular

    j3tang

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #3
    Thanks for the idea. I will give that a try tonight.
    In the thread in your example, the code that was pasted in there says "%10". Does that mean it is scaled to 10%? What is the acceptable format of the value entered? Is it supposed to be a percentage or a scaled number?

    I'm curious to know what the default is supposed to be (before I had this hiccup).

    Code:
    sudo nvram 4d1ede05-38c7-4a6a-9cc6-4bcca8b38c14:UIScale=%10
     
  4. cdf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #4
    It's a scale number. You have two options: 1x (%01) and 2x (%02) (but in my experiments other numbers also seemed to work for this option, interestingly).

    As mentioned in the thread that I linked, another possibility is to use rEFInd to set the resolution. You may also want to look into that.
     
  5. j3tang, Jul 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019

    j3tang thread starter macrumors regular

    j3tang

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #5
    I'm testing the NVRAM editing bit. Once I edit that command in, if I use "nvram -xp", am I supposed to see that line in the file? Because I don't ...


    Code:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">
    <dict>
    <key>BootCampHD</key>
    <data>
    AgEMANBBAwoAAAAAAQEGAAIfAxIKAAMAAAAAAH//BAA=
    </data>
    <key>EFIBluetoothDelay</key>
    <data>
    uAs=
    </data>
    <key>SystemAudioVolume</key>
    <data>
    LQ==
    </data>
    <key>SystemAudioVolumeDB</key>
    <data>
    7Q==
    </data>
    <key>bluetoothActiveControllerInfo</key>
    <data>
    BoKsBQEAAAAgXQAfW3Xjig==
    </data>
    <key>bluetoothInternalControllerInfo</key>
    <data>
    BoKsBQAAIF0AH1t144o=
    </data>
    <key>boot-gamma</key>
    <data>
    EAYAACaSAACkBAMXdgAAAAAAAAAJAAEGJQQDDNcJSSUyJxBB8EBXX6deX39/gGSS4ZKz
    zNLPOuuZ7ggAQQWOA0ILHAlJJUknEEJiQZhitWCggCqAp5/KnvvsPO8GAAEFWwMCCtAH
    CSYMKJdfMF+ffit/Z5+Vng==
    </data>
    <key>csr-active-config</key>
    <data>
    dwAAAA==
    </data>
    <key>efi-boot-device</key>
    <data>
    PGFycmF5PjxkaWN0PjxrZXk+SU9NYXRjaDwva2V5PjxkaWN0PjxrZXk+SU9Qcm92aWRl
    ckNsYXNzPC9rZXk+PHN0cmluZz5JT01lZGlhPC9zdHJpbmc+PGtleT5JT1Byb3BlcnR5
    TWF0Y2g8L2tleT48ZGljdD48a2V5PlVVSUQ8L2tleT48c3RyaW5nPjVCQkY2RDg0LURF
    MDEtNDdBNy1BRDdDLUU2MTdCMDk1OUNFRDwvc3RyaW5nPjwvZGljdD48L2RpY3Q+PGtl
    eT5JT0VGSVNob3J0Rm9ybTwva2V5Pjx0cnVlLz48a2V5PkJMTGFzdEJTRE5hbWU8L2tl
    eT48c3RyaW5nPmRpc2syczE8L3N0cmluZz48L2RpY3Q+PGRpY3Q+PGtleT5JT0VGSURl
    dmljZVBhdGhUeXBlPC9rZXk+PHN0cmluZz5NZWRpYUZpbGVQYXRoPC9zdHJpbmc+PGtl
    eT5QYXRoPC9rZXk+PHN0cmluZz5cRUZJXEJPT1RcQk9PVFg2NC5lZmk8L3N0cmluZz48
    L2RpY3Q+PC9hcnJheT4A
    </data>
    <key>efi-boot-device-data</key>
    <data>
    BAEqAAEAAAAoAAAAAAAAAABABgAAAAAAhG2/WwHep0etfOYXsJWc7QICBAQwAFwARQBG
    AEkAXABCAE8ATwBUAFwAQgBPAE8AVABYADYANAAuAGUAZgBpAAAAf/8EAA==
    </data>
    <key>fmm-computer-name</key>
    <data>
    WHNlcnZl
    </data>
    </dict>
    </plist>
    
     
  6. cdf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #6
    The variable will not appear there. After setting it you can read it with
    Code:
    sudo nvram 4d1ede05-38c7-4a6a-9cc6-4bcca8b38c14:UIScale
    You can also delete the variable with
    Code:
    sudo nvram -d 4d1ede05-38c7-4a6a-9cc6-4bcca8b38c14:UIScale
    But you will still be able to read the variable until the machine is restarted.

    Of course, all this should be done with SIP disabled.
     
  7. j3tang, Jul 28, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019

    j3tang thread starter macrumors regular

    j3tang

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #7
    Ok, ran into my first hurdle: dosdude1's install of High Sierra with APFS on an SSD does not have a Recovery Partition (I'm not sure if it's related to dosdude1 or if it's APFS related). So I needed to find a different way to disable SIP. I used the boot USB created from dosdude1's patcher and ran terminal from there to disable SIP. It says it was disabled, but I'm not sure if it achieves the goal.

    I logged back in and set the UIScale to %02 and the resolution seems to get worse (ie. the apple logo got even bigger, so it went to a lower resolution?). Also, i guess this means SIP was properly disabled?

    Anyhow, I set UIScale back to %01 and it is back to the original "wrong" resolution (ie. apple logo is a bit smaller, but still not correct). I tried setting it to %005 because i wasn't sure how to go half scale. It was set, but upon a restart, the resolution seemed no different from %01. Is it possible to go lower than %01?

    Also, another question, is this because of High Sierra? because of the dosdude1 install? or something else I F'd up?

    TL;DR Would I be able to revert all of this if I went and did a fresh install of El Capitan? or Sierra?
     
  8. cdf macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #8
    If you were able to set the variable, then SIP was disabled. There are only two options for UIScale: 1x and 2x. No half-scale.

    Thinking out loud here, perhaps you could create an El Capitan bootable USB installer (with the "createinstallmedia" command). Remove all drives, reset the NVRAM (multiple times in a row to make sure), boot off the USB with no other drives connected, and check the resolution (first stage apple logo). If the issue persists, then the problem is with your MacPro or video card. Otherwise, the issue is with your OS installations. In this case, reconnect your macOS drive and use the installer to reformat the drive as HFS+ and cleanly install El Capitan.
     
  9. j3tang, Jul 29, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019

    j3tang thread starter macrumors regular

    j3tang

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #9
    it would be a shame if the issue lies in the gfx flash!
    Unfortunately, I don't have a DVI monitor to test the original HD 2600XT card with anymore.

    My plan was to go with another fresh install of an OS, and after your suggestion I think that'll be my first course of action.
    Now my issue will be how to get my hands on older installers ... I'm pretty sure I have Yosemite as well as High Sierra, but no El Capitan or Sierra.

    Thanks for the help so far!

    It will probably be a few days before I get around to doing all this because my SSD is mounted to one of the spare optical bays and getting it out of there will be a huge pain in the rear :/

    edit: Just the thought of all this makes me want to do a CPU upgrade while I'm at it ...
     
  10. j3tang, Jul 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019

    j3tang thread starter macrumors regular

    j3tang

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #10
    Ok, kind of unexpected, but I got quite a bit done last evening.

    First thing I tried actually before another new OS install (since I had already tried that once before, re-installing High Sierra again), was swap back in the old graphics card (HD 2600 XT) and borrow an old monitor (since the Apple Cinema Display only has one input, mini DisplayPort). The old HD2600XT only has DVI, so that's what I plugged into the borrowed monitor. To my surprise, everything looked fine right from the bootup!

    Next I put back the GTX680 that I flashed, but plugged it into the borrowed monitor keeping it on DVI -- still, everything looked fine.
    Next I plugged it into the DisplayPort and that's where the resolution is out of whack.

    Narrowing it down, I'm somewhat deflated that this has to do with the GTX680 ... but at the moment a bit unsure of the source of the problem:

    1) Is this an issue with the compatibility of DisplayPort versions? I believe the borrowed monitor is DP 1.1, and I'm not able to determine what the Apple LED Display is. The GTX680 is capable of DP 1.2. Would it be possible that if a DP 1.2 capable monitor was plugged in, the problem goes away? And with that theory, the Apple LED Display is only DP 1.1?

    2) Seeing as my GTX 680 is capable of seeing the boot screen, I'd say the mac rom flash happened properly and so even on an official Mac Edition GTX 680, this problem would still occur?


    Edit:

    Not really sure what options I've got left:
    a) Accept it for what it is.
    b) Revisit the graphics card situation (my previous card, although not flashed, did not have resolution through the displayport). The whole reason for this gfx swap was to get the boot screen.
    c) New monitor? Seems like the most expensive option, and I rather like the Apple LED Display so I'd prefer to keep it.
     
  11. goMac macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #11
    This is a known issue on the 2008s and the 27” Cinema Display. Same card in a 2009 or 2010 will have the right boot screen resolution.

    Dunno why it happens.
     
  12. j3tang thread starter macrumors regular

    j3tang

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #12
    That's sad to hear; I tried to search for this specific setup and still coming up short.
    So it seems the problem only lies with the displayport off the gtx680, because all other ports seem to act normally.
    It's a shame that the Apple Display is (mini) displayport only :(
     

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11 July 25, 2019