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foonon

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2007
52
12
A strange thing happened today...I pulled my 2009 Mac Pro 4.1>5.1 out of storage today to prepare it for sale.

When I put it in the box it booted into Mojave perfectly. I upgraded the BootROM top version 140.0.0.0 last year and all was well. (see specs below).

But today, it would not boot. The SSD was dead dead dead.

I put a 500GB SSD on the sled and popped it in and booted up my trusty Mojave installation thumb-drive. It came up and I erased the drive and tried to install Mojave (10.14.6).

The installer complained that I needed a Metal-compatible GPU (I have one installed) and I can't have FileVault running on the target disk (it wasn't).

I was able to install a second Mojave SSD that had a previous bootable backup onto another sled and installed that in the system. Using this I was able to install Mojave on the replacement drive, no problem.

So, why wasn't the original thumb-drive able to perform a clean install?
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
9,995
10,653
A strange thing happened today...I pulled my 2009 Mac Pro 4.1>5.1 out of storage today to prepare it for sale.

When I put it in the box it booted into Mojave perfectly. I upgraded the BootROM top version 140.0.0.0 last year and all was well. (see specs below).

But today, it would not boot. The SSD was dead dead dead.

I put a 500GB SSD on the sled and popped it in and booted up my trusty Mojave installation thumb-drive. It came up and I erased the drive and tried to install Mojave (10.14.6).

The installer complained that I needed a Metal-compatible GPU (I have one installed) and I can't have FileVault running on the target disk (it wasn't).

I was able to install a second Mojave SSD that had a previous bootable backup onto another sled and installed that in the system. Using this I was able to install Mojave on the replacement drive, no problem.

So, why wasn't the original thumb-drive able to perform a clean install?

You can't upgrade firmware from USB installer, the installer will fail to upgrade the firmware and fail to detect a NVIDIA METAL GPU too. Clean install from a Mojave disk to another disk works, read the notes, this is explained there.
 
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foonon

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2007
52
12
You can't upgrade firmware from USB installer and the install will check if the GPU is supported. Clean install from a Mojave disk to another disk works, read the notes, this is explained there.
I'm not upgrading firmware. I just wanted to make a cliean install on a system that already had the upgraded firmware.
 

foonon

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2007
52
12
Sorry that was a typo. The firmware was already 144.0.0.0.0.

I tried to install High Sierra from a thumb-drive that I built, but that failed with a 'damaged installer' error (expired signing certificate?)

I ended up booting my old Mojave SSD backup and using dosdude's patchers to create new bootable installation thumb drives for Mojave and High Sierra. These work well and let me cleanly installed either OS directly. I'll be sending these along to the lucky buyer of the system, whoever that may be.

Thanks for the help tsialex. You're a global treasure!

EDIT: I just noticed this in the main post, so of course I have problems with the original thumb-drive! D'oh!
If you have a NVIDIA GTX 680, then you have to do a clean install from your 10.13.6 disk into another disk, since USB installer has a bug that don't identify GT640/740, GTX 680/780/Quadro K5000 as a METAL supported GPU.

EDIT 2: I also just found this, deep in the bowels of this thread. This was why my original High Sierra thumb-drive failed. I was able to get an up-to-date installer by virtue of the dosdude installation patcher.
If you are using an old installer, signing certificates expired October 24. You need to change the clock to a date before the certificate expiration date.
 
Last edited:

tsialex

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
9,995
10,653
I tried to install High Sierra from a thumb-drive that I built, but that failed with a 'damaged installer' error (expired signing certificate?)

I ended up booting my old Mojave SSD backup and using dosdude's patchers to create new bootable installation thumb drives for Mojave and High Sierra. These work well and let me cleanly installed either OS directly. I'll be sending these along to the lucky buyer of the system, whoever that may be.

Thanks for the help tsialex. You're a global treasure!

EDIT: I just noticed this in the main post, so of course I have problems with the original thumb-drive! D'oh!
If you have a NVIDIA GTX 680, then you have to do a clean install from your 10.13.6 disk into another disk, since USB installer has a bug that don't identify GT640/740, GTX 680/780/Quadro K5000 as a METAL supported GPU.

EDIT 2: I also just found this, deep in the bowels of this thread. This was why my original High Sierra thumb-drive failed. I was able to get an up-to-date installer by virtue of the dosdude installation patcher.
If you are using an old installer, signing certificates expired October 24. You need to change the clock to a date before the certificate expiration date.
Apple never updated Mojave installer to support installing with NVDIA Kepler GPUs or to correct the firmware update from USB problem.

Btw, macOS installers that are downloaded from the Mac App Store are signed and the certificates expire regularly - while most people don't know this, it's not exactly news, this happened multiple times in the last 9 years.
 
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foonon

macrumors member
Aug 4, 2007
52
12
Btw, macOS installers that are downloaded from the Mac App Store are signed and the certificates expire regularly - while most people don't know this, it's not exactly news, this happened multiple times in the last 9 years.

While this may be true, for someone who has not had occasion to deal with the problem before, saying the installer is "damaged" is a pretty horrible error message when the problem is an expired signing cert.

"The ravages of time have rendered this installer useless" would at least be more indicative of what's going on :)
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
9,995
10,653
While this may be true, for someone who has not had occasion to deal with the problem before, saying the installer is "damaged" is a pretty horrible error message when the problem is an expired signing cert.

"The ravages of time have rendered this installer useless" would at least be more indicative of what's going on :)
Totally agree, it's a perfect example of a bad UI/UX.
 
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ajmc

macrumors newbie
Dec 9, 2020
1
0
Please fully read this first post, you will probably find that you have one or more problems described into the various notes below.

Mojave will only install if you have upgraded your BootROM to the current release and your Mac Pro have a Metal capable GPU*.

If you are trying to install Mojave on a Mac Pro 5,1 (early-2009 cross flashed with MP5,1 firmware, mid-2010 and mid-2012), you have first to upgrade your BootROM to version MP51.0089.B00 and to High Sierra 10.13.6, then you can install a Metal capable GPU* that works with High Sierra and finally you can upgrade your firmware and install Mojave. It's a two steps firmware upgrade process for anyone that don't have MP51.0089.B00 installed yet.

You can read the Apple Support article here: Install macOS 10.14 Mojave on Mac Pro (Mid 2010) and Mac Pro (Mid 2012).

Remember: Apple Mojave recommend RX-560/580 cards do not have pre-boot configuration support (aka boot screens), so you need to install your original Mac EFI GPU to upgrade your BootROM to MP51.0089.B00 using the Mac App Store High Sierra 10.13.6 full installer. After that, Mojave installer can upgrade your firmware without the need of a Mac EFI GPU and requires that you only have Metal supported cards* installed in your Mac Pro.​
The Apple third-party graphics cards list identifies specific cards that are compatible:​
  • MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDDR5
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 8GB GDDR5
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition
  • NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition
The three cards listed in bold above have pre-boot configuration support/Mac EFI.​
The list also identifies cards that might be compatible, none of which have pre-boot configuration support/Mac EFI:​
  • AMD Radeon RX 560
  • AMD Radeon RX 570
  • AMD Radeon RX 580
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100
  • AMD Radeon Frontier Edition
*METAL capable GPU as in any METAL supported GPU that works with High Sierra:

For upgrading from MP51.0089.B00 to 144.0.0.0.0, METAL support is the requirement, not pre-boot configuration support like from earlier BootROM versions to MP51.0089.B00.

Your GPU can even be a NVIDIA GPU that has METAL support and don't work with Mojave, like Maxwell (like GTX 980) or Pascal (like GTX 1080). Newer AMD GPUs that won't work with High Sierra, like VII (only works with 10.14.5+) and RX 5500/5600/5700 (NAVI GPUs only work with 10.15.1+) won't work for upgrading the Mac Pro BootROM.

A GPU that High Sierra System Information recognises it as METAL: Supported is the key here.


- Cheapest Apple recommended METAL supported GPU:

It's the first card of the Apple third-party list above, but people ask it anyway:​
  • MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDDR5
Usually most AMD Radeon RX 560 models available on the western market works with MP5,1 and Mojave, but not the RX 560 made for the Chinese market since this card have less CUs and a different PCIeID than the real ones and Mojave don't know how to configure it correctly.​

- Hacked installs note:

If you did a hacked install, like dosdude one, you will probably need to do a clean install to upgrade your firmware.​

Only the full Mac App Store installers work for upgrading the firmware, macOS installers patched with dosdude tool can't upgrade the firmware. Apple firmware upgrade tool needs a clean and standard EFI partition to do so, so you probably need to do a clean install before trying to upgrade the firmware if you used a hacked install.​

- AppleRAID, RAID & SATA III PCIe cards note:

You can't upgrade your firmware if you are booting from a RAID array or from a SATA III card. The point is that need to be a single SATA device (HDD or SSD) connected to the Mac Pro southbridge SATA ports, not a RAID, not a SAS, not a PCIe device, not a PCIe SATA controller, not a PCIe AHCI blade. Open your Mac Pro, remove all RAID controllers, PCIe SATA cards, PCIe AHCI or NVMe M.2/U.2 drives, disconnect all RAID drives, including AppleRAID, and use a single SATA drive connected into a backplane native SATA port. Keep it simple and use Apple defaults when upgrading Mac Pro firmware.​
Btw, Mojave don't boot from SoftwareRAID/AppleRAID arrays or any hardware array that present to the OS as multiple disks.​
It's uncommon but sometimes you can't upgrade from PCIe AHCI and NVMe blades too, so use the same advice if you have any problems while upgrading the firmware.​

- Upgrade your firmware from High Sierra installed in an APFS drive:

A lot of people report that can't upgrade the BootROM from High Sierra installed with HFS+, so use a new/empty drive to install High Sierra from an APFS partition. Btw, Mojave requires APFS.​
Keep it simple and use Apple defaults when upgrading Mac Pro firmware.​

- Homemade Fusion drives note:

Mojave has to be installed with APFS and the way Fusion drives are made changed. Use a SATA disk installed on the south bridge ports to do all firmware upgrades and the Mojave install. After you already upgraded your Mac Pro firmware to 144.0.0.0.0 and Mojave is installed, you can recreate the Fusion drive.​
Keep it simple and use Apple defaults when upgrading Mac Pro firmware.​

- Upgrade firmware from USB note:

Firmware upgrade from USB is not possible unless you have the exact original factory config and if your Mac Pro is mid-2010 or mid-2012. Again, you can’t upgrade Mac Pro firmware from createinstallmedia USB-key.​
Don’t waste your time trying, the USB installer asks to upgrade your BootROM, warns that it will do a shutdown for you to enter firmware upgrade mode, but never powers off your Mac Pro. Unfortunately, there are reported cases that shutting down manually bricked the BootROM.​
Do it from High Sierra opening the Mojave Mac App Store full installer when you already have MP51.0089.B00 or if your Mac Pro have an earlier BootROM then MP51.0089.B00, from Sierra to High Sierra - see the set-by-step below.​
- Kepler NVIDIA GPUs (GT 640/740, GTX 670/680/780, Quadro K5000) note:

If you have a supported NVIDIA Kepler GPU like GTX 680 Mac Edition card, GTX 680 flashed with the Mac Edition firmware, GT 640/740, GTX 670/770/780 or a Quadro K5000 you can't do a USB clean install with it at the moment. The USB installer don't detect that the GPU is a Metal supported card and don't continue the install, it's a bug with Nvidia Kepler GPUs.​

To do a clean install, do from macOS with two drives - just select your empty one when doing the install.​

- Bluetooth keyboards/mice note:

A lot of people have problems installing macOS with Apple and third party bluetooth keyboards/mice. It's best to use wired ones, most third party wired USB keyboards work fine.​

- Firmware upgrades not working when you have a 4K display or a display newer than DP1.1:

You can't update to newer firmwares, with a 4K or DisplayPort v1.2/1.4 screen connected to your GPU. It's an old bug that Apple corrected with late-2013 Mac Pro and "forgot" to correct with MP5,1.​
Apple efiflasher for MP5,1 don't support 4K screens or DP v1.2/1.4 displays. Apple OEM GPUs like GT120, HD 4870, HD 5770 and HD 5870 don't have hardware support for DP v1.2/1.4, so you can use a 4K display for upgrading the firmware since your 4K/DP v1.2/1.4 display would be using the supported DP v1.1 spec, but the METAL GPUs and newer EFI flashed GPUs have support for DP v1.2/1.4 and will trigger the efiflasher flasher bug.​
If your monitor has a option to downgrade to DP v1.1 or have a DVI port, use it, if not, you will need another monitor for upgrading your firmware. Apple displays like the common Apple Cinema Display are DP1.1 or even DVI and work fine for firmware upgrades. Check your display specs.​
Since people asked about headless flashing, Xserves and early-2009 Mac Pro, still with MP4,1 firmware, had the option of upgrading the firmware headless via remote firmware flashing, but Apple removed the option and the remote efiflasher with MP5,1 release.​

- Stuttering audio with Dual Processors MP4,1 upgraded to MP5,1 firmware when running Mojave note:

Be aware that with Dual Processors MP4,1>5,1 machines that still have the original Gainestown processors (Xeon 55xx-series), after installing Mojave you will have stuttering audio problems that only can be solved upgrading the Xeon processors to Westmere (Xeon 56xx-series), read about on this thread Strange Audio Issue on MP 4,1>5,1 Mojave 10.14.4.​
This is a problem exclusive of Dual Processor MP4,1, single CPU MP4,1 don't have this problem at all. Some people don't even hear the stuttering audio, but if you are an audio guy or audio engineer, it will make you crazy, do your sanity a favour and upgrade your dual CPU tray to Westmere Xeons.​

- Mojave black screens with AMD Polaris GPUs (RX 4xx/5xx) note:

Some people are getting black screens with Mojave when using RX 4xx/5xx GPUs, if you are having it, do a clean install or debug your kexts, seems a problem with incompatible Air Display kexts. Read here.​

- 144.0.0.0.0 and previous macOS releases note:

Yes, BootROM 144.0.0.0.0 can boot even 10.6.4 (10F2521), the first ever macOS release that supports a MP5,1, but you are limited to GPU driver support since you can't boot a macOS version that don't have drivers for your GPU. For example, with AMD RX 4xx/5xx GPUs, you are limited to 10.12.6/10.13/10.14.​
It's the distribution file inside the macOS installer that defines what Macs are supported. Earlier releases than 10.6.4 (10F2521) don't have MP5,1 support and are not bootable with a MP5,1. Several people on MacRumors checked 10.6.8 and it runs without any problems with 144.0.0.0.0.​

Other limitation is NVMe support if you have a NVMe drive, NVMe only works since High Sierra (Sierra for 4KB/sector drives), read the first post of the PCIe SSDs - NVMe & AHCI thread to know more. SATA support is not affected by NVMe support requirements.​

Btw, you can upgrade your firmware to 144.0.0.0.0 without installing Mojave, just close the installer after the firmware upgrade is done. Remember that you can't do that by USB, read the Upgrade firmware from USB note.​

- 144.0.0.0.0 and High Sierra with HFS+ drives note:

If you want to upgrade to BootROM 144.0.0.0.0 and don't want to upgrade to Mojave, just close the Mojave installer when the installer opens again post firmware upgrade completion. Mojave changes your main drive to APFS, but if you end the install process after the firmware upgrade, nothing will be changed.​
NVMe drives don't work before High Sierra (Sierra for 4Kn drives), read the first post of the thread PCIe SSDs - NVMe & AHCI to know why.​

- 144.0.0.0.0, High Sierra and NVIDIA Maxwell or Pascal GPUs that support METAL but not Mojave:

If you have a NVIDIA GPU from the Maxwell or Pascal families and want to upgrade your Mac Pro BootROM to 144.0.0.0.0 and use it with High Sierra, you can do it. If your GPU is correctly working with High Sierra NVIDIA WEB drivers, just open the Mojave installer and it will ask you to do to the firmware upgrade the same way as with the still supported Kepler NVIDIA and the AMD METAL GPUs. Lot's of people have been using GTX 970/980/1070/1080 with 10.13.6 and upgrading to current BootROMs without any problems.​

Remember that Maxwell and Pascal NVIDIA GPUs are not supported with macOS anymore after High Sierra and won't work with Mojave.​

- 140.0.0.0.0 to 144.0.0.0.0 firmware upgrade note:

The fail-proof way to upgrade a MP5,1 firmware is to fully erase a SATA drive, remove all other drives from your Mac Pro, install High Sierra 10.13.6 to it, download the current Mac App Store full installer (10.14.6), clear the NVRAM 3 times in sequence, after that you try to upgrade the firmware running the Mojave full installer.​



- Upgrading firmware from Catalina will work?

This question is becoming common recently, so let's put it here. If you don't have the current 144.0.0.0.0.0 BootROM release and is using Catalina, you have to go back to 10.13.6 or 10.14.6 to do the firmware upgrade. You can't open a macOS installer earlier than the version you are running, the installer won't open at all.​

- How to do a clean install with a RX 4xx/5xx/VEGA GPU without pre-boot configuration support?

The easiest way is to do from macOS, opening the installer and then selecting the drive you want to install to.​
If you want to do a USB clean install, first create a createinstallmedia USB key, erase the drive that you want to install Mojave, remove all other bootable disks, connect the createinstallmedia USB installer and then power-off/on. When the Mac Pro don't find any bootable SATA/PCIe disk, it will boot from the createinstallmedia USB installer. After three minutes or so, the installer loads the GPU drivers and the screen will work.​


- PCIe drives as external drives:

This is off-topic but since people ask, I added it here.​
All types of PCIe drives (SATA, SAS, AHCI, NVMe, M.2, U.2, RAID arrays, etc) are external to the Mac Pro firmware, only drives connected to the six native SATA ports of the Mac Pro southbridge are internal to the BootROM.​

PCIe drives are bootable, exactly as the internal ones.​


If you have an earlier than MP51.0089.B00 BootROM version, these are the steps to upgrade your BootROM to have Mojave support:

This part of the BootROM upgrade require a GPU with pre-boot configuration support. Apple OEM GPUs or Mac EFI flashed GPUs are a requirement for upgrading to MP51.0089.B00.
  1. Install a Mac EFI64 GPU. Any original Apple card from 2008 to 2012 (HD 2600XT, 8800GT, Quadro FX 5600, GT120, HD 4870/5770/5870) or 3rd party Mac EFI cards like Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition, eVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition, NVIDIA Quadro 4000/K5000 or self-flashed/MVC flashed cards. Please note that if your flashed GPU is not macOS installer compatible, like NVIDIA GPUs from Maxwell and Pascal generations, you need to install one that is.
  2. For GPUs that support DP v1.2/1.4, disconnect any 4K or DP1.2 display. You can't update to MP51.0089.B00, or newer firmwares, with a 4K/DP v1.2/1.4 screen connected to a GPU that has hardware support for DP v1.2/1.4 (read the note). If you monitor has a option to downgrade to DP v1.1 or a DVI port, use it, if not, you will need another monitor.
  3. Disable FileVault2 if enabled, since FV2 is not supported anymore with a Mac Pro 5,1 running Mojave.
  4. If you use a SATA III PCIe card, remove the card from your Mac and move the drive to one of the backplane native SATA ports, a lot of people report trouble doing the firmware upgrade with SATA III PCIe cards installed.
  5. If you ever downloaded any previous version of High Sierra, have it saved in any of Mac Pro external drives, you have to delete it/move to a offline disk and then restart your Mac. You need the current High Sierra 10.13.6 full installer from the Mac App Store, no previous version have the needed MP51.0089.B00 BootROM.
  6. This is the Apple Support page where you can get the link for the 10.13.6 Mac App Store Installer (you need this even if you already are on 10.13.6). see the image below. Note, if you never used Mac App Store before, you need to validate your account first and download a free app before trying to get High Sierra View attachment 793503
  7. Open the High Sierra 10.13.6 Mac App Store full installer, do the firmware upgrade as asked.
  8. After the firmware upgrade, High Sierra installer will open again, you can close it.
  9. Now check if your Mac Pro BootROM is MP51.0089.B00, if yes you can shutdown, remove all non-METAL GPUs (a non-METAL GPU installed will block you from installing Mojave) and install your Metal capable GPU (any AMD equal or newer than HD 7xxx, NVIDIA GTX 680 Mac Edition, Quadro K5000 and other NVIDIA Kepler cards). [If you have a NVIDIA card that need the web driver, Maxwell and Pascal ones, wait for NVIDIA release it for Mojave if ever…]
  10. Download the full Mac App Store installer for Mojave. If you ever downloaded any previous version of Mojave, have it saved in any of Mac Pro external drives, you have to delete it/move to a offline disk and then restart your Mac. You need the current Mojave 10.14.5 or 10.14.6 full installer from the Mac App Store, no previous version have the needed 144.0.0.0.0 BootROM.
  11. Open the installer, do the firmware upgrade as asked. (Note, if you never used Mac App Store before, you need to validate your account first and download a free app before trying to get Mojave).
  12. After the reboot, open System Information and check if you have BootROM 144.0.0.0.0, if yes, you can do a createinstallmedia USB clean install (read NVIDIA GTX 680/780/Quadro K5000 note) or upgrade your previous High Sierra install.


- Mac Pro 5,1 firmware releases, from the oldest EFI update to the newest:

BootROM VersionReleased with:Type:Note:
MP51.007F.B03Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.5General releaseFirst public released Mac Pro 5,1 firmware update, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0083.B0010.13 DP5BetaBeta APFS support, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0084.B0010.13 DP6 and 10.13.0General releaseInitial APFS support, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0085.B0010.13.4 and Mojave DP1 to DP3General releaseAPFS support, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0087.B0010.13.5General releaseMissing microcodes and bricks the Mac Pro if you boot UEFI installed Windows 10
MP51.0089.B0010.13.6General releaseIntel microcodes back with Spectre/Meltdown mitigation (see the April 2 Intel Microcode Update Guidance). Windows 10 works fine again
138.0.0.0.010.14 DP7 and 10.14.0General release5GT/s support for every PCIe 2.0 card. Requirements for upgrading the BootROM changed to METAL supported GPU
139.0.0.0.010.14.1 DP1Betaminor updates and corrections
140.0.0.0.010.14.1 DP3 and 10.14.1 to 10.14.4General releaseNative NVMe boot support, several minor updates and corrections
141.0.0.0.010.14.4 DP2Betaminor updates and corrections
142.0.0.0.010.14.4 DP4 and 10.14.5 DP1BetaUpdated APFSJumpStart EFI module - W3xxx Xeon bricker.

This BootROM version was never released outside betas.
144.0.0.0.010.14.5 DP4 and 10.14.5General releaselot's of corrections, booting improvements, works with W3xxx Xeons.

This is the current BootROM release


If nothing above works for you, or you use a macOS version earlier than El Capitan, or your Mac Pro have a BootROM earlier than MP51.0089.B00, try this:

  1. Download Sierra (10.12.6) - don't use 10.13/10.14 to this, both require firmware updates to install. Download from the Mac App Store, don't use hacked installs, torrents, etc. Download the current installers, not installers that you downloaded years ago and have older firmwares or expired certificates. You need 10.12.6, and later 10.13.6, current installer(s) from the Mac App Store.
  2. Use createinstallmedia to create a Sierra USB key installer.
  3. Shutdown your Mac Pro and remove all PCIe cards except your Mac EFI GPU.
  4. Clear your Mac Pro SMC and NVRAM - clear NVRAM 3 times sequentially.
  5. Remove all disks except the one that you will do a clean install of 10.11.6/10.12.6.
  6. Power on your Mac Pro and do a clean install of 10.11.6/10.12.6.
  7. After 10.12.6 is installed, download the High Sierra 10.13.6 full Mac App Store installer and open it (yes, you will upgrade Sierra to High Sierra don't do a clean install). The High Sierra installer will then ask you to perform a firmware update, shutdown your Mac Pro and do it. Download High Sierra installer from the Mac App Store, don't use hacked installs, torrents, etc.
  8. After your Mac Pro restarts, close the installer and go to SystemInformation and check if your BootROM is MP51.0089.B00 now. If not, you did something wrong.
  9. Use createinstallmedia to create a USB key installer of High Sierra, power off your Mac Pro.
  10. Power on your Mac Pro, boot from the createinstallmedia USB-key and do a clean install of 10.13.6 - always do clean installs.
  11. After 10.13.6 is installed, shutdown your Mac Pro and replace your original GPU with a Metal supported one. Remove all non-METAL GPUs, keep just the METAL one installed since a non-METAL GPU present on your Mac Pro will block you from installing Mojave.
  12. Power on your Mac Pro and download 10.14.6 full Mac App Store installer. Download from the Mac App Store, don't use hacked installs, torrents, etc. Open it, the Mojave installer will ask you to perform a firmware update, shutdown your Mac Pro and do it.
  13. After your Mac Pro restarts, check if your BootROM is 144.0.0.0.0, if it is, you can create a USB-key and do a clean install of Mojave now. If you have a NVIDIA GTX 680, then you have to do a clean install from your 10.13.6 disk into another disk, since USB installer has a bug that don't identify GT640/740, GTX 680/780/Quadro K5000 as a METAL supported GPU.

What to do if during the upgrade process your Mac Pro bricked:

If during the upgrade process you bricked the BootROM, you have three options:

  1. Buy a replacement backplane on eBay and replace the backplane yourself, cheapest option if you can't solder SMD. Remember that you need a 2009 backplane if you have an early-2009 Mac Pro. If you have a mid-2010 or mid-2012 you can use either 2010 or 2012 backplanes. Don't mix early-2009 backplanes with mid-2010/mid-2012 CPU trays, or vice-versa - either scenario is a SMC firmware version mismatch and all your fans will run at maximum RPM, full time and without any software control.
  2. Buy a Mac Pro MATT card and use it as a replacement SPI flash, this is not recommended since all MATT cards are clones and won't work for iCloud/iMessage/FaceTime. A replacement backplane is usually cheaper.
  3. Desolder, reprogram and solder back the SPI flash, chip U8700 on the backplane. It's not possible to read or write to the SPI flash memory while it's soldered on the MP5,1 backplane. A cheap SPI flash programmer like ch341a will work for read/write the BootROM after the SPI flash memory is desoldered from the backplane. Start reading here, read all my posts on the subject from there. I strongly recommend that you replace your original SPI flash memory for one brand new, don't solder it back to the backplane, it will fail soon since SPI flash memories have limited lifetime (manufacture rated for just 100.000 erase/write cycles) when used as NVRAM for a Mac Pro. Again, most bricks are caused by the failure of the SPI flash, it's a US$ 2 component easily available, MXIC MX25L3206E, just replace it! Btw, yes, you can use a MXIC MX25L3206E as a modern replacement for the two older models SST25VF032B and MXIC MX25L3205D used on early-2009 and mid-2010 respectively, Apple did it for mid-2012 Mac Pros.

    Mojave has the generic MP51.fd firmware image inside the full installer, it's enough for boot your Mac Pro again but not for iCloud/iMessage/FaceTime login.

    Code:
    Install\ macOS\ Mojave/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/Firmware/MP51.fd

For MP4,1 to MP5,1 cross firmware flashing process, see this thread below:


Frequent question, it's possible to bypass the METAL GPU requirement?

Simple and direct answer:

No. It's a requirement of the Mojave firmware upgrades, like an Apple OEM GPU or a third party one with pre-boot configuration support was required to do all the previous firmware upgrades from Leopard to High Sierra.

Complex answer:

If you are a firmware engineer with Mac Pro experience, you can reconstruct the whole SPI flash memory image and write to it directly, bypassing the requirements. But if you were one, you wouldn't be asking or looking here, no?
What an excellent post, it’s too bad I didn’t see this before trying to emulate what various YouTube posters have done to upgrade their 4,1 MacPro to Mojave.

I did get there over a period of 2 weeks with many issues, misunderstandings, and headaches. When I got to Mojave I found that I couldn’t multi boot into my 10.9 and 10.11 disks to use my legacy software and M-Audio Firewire interface.

I then tried to implement OpenCore to emulate the EFI boot screen and got even further into the soup. I decided that I shouldn’t have gone further than High Sierra, which would allow me to use both my new Metal supported Sapphire RX 580 and use my legacy video card for multiboot.

Sorry about all the detail but I want to caution others who may wander on this path.

In conclusion: I wiped the drive which contained Mojave, reverted it back to pre APFS status and reinserted the original graphics card. I can now multiboot into my 10.9 and 10.11 disks.

I’ve cloned the 10.11 onto a SSD and attempted to reinstall High Sierra on the SSD over elCap. It won’t install due to the 144.0.0.0.0 firmware remaining from the Mojave install.

Questions:
1. Can someone please clarify…what is the difference between “BootROM”, “EFI Update” and “Firmware”? Is there any, the terms seem to be used interchangeably?

2. Can I revert to the 5,1 firmware from 144.0.0.0.0 using... And then depend on the High Sierra install to make whatever Firmware/BootRom/EFI updates necessary?
2a. Should I use the Netkas tool for this?

3. Will High Sierra permit me to boot into the Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD I’ve mounted in a PCI slot? If so, is there any likelihood I’d be able to install Win10 on it?

Any help to get me past my nightmare would be much appreciated.
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
9,995
10,653
What an excellent post, it’s too bad I didn’t see this before trying to emulate what various YouTube posters have done to upgrade their 4,1 MacPro to Mojave.

I did get there over a period of 2 weeks with many issues, misunderstandings, and headaches. When I got to Mojave I found that I couldn’t multi boot into my 10.9 and 10.11 disks to use my legacy software and M-Audio Firewire interface.

I then tried to implement OpenCore to emulate the EFI boot screen and got even further into the soup. I decided that I shouldn’t have gone further than High Sierra, which would allow me to use both my new Metal supported Sapphire RX 580 and use my legacy video card for multiboot.

Sorry about all the detail but I want to caution others who may wander on this path.

In conclusion: I wiped the drive which contained Mojave, reverted it back to pre APFS status and reinserted the original graphics card. I can now multiboot into my 10.9 and 10.11 disks.

I’ve cloned the 10.11 onto a SSD and attempted to reinstall High Sierra on the SSD over elCap. It won’t install due to the 144.0.0.0.0 firmware remaining from the Mojave install.

Questions:
1. Can someone please clarify…what is the difference between “BootROM”, “EFI Update” and “Firmware”? Is there any, the terms seem to be used interchangeably?

2. Can I revert to the 5,1 firmware from 144.0.0.0.0 using... And then depend on the High Sierra install to make whatever Firmware/BootRom/EFI updates necessary?
2a. Should I use the Netkas tool for this?

3. Will High Sierra permit me to boot into the Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD I’ve mounted in a PCI slot? If so, is there any likelihood I’d be able to install Win10 on it?

Any help to get me past my nightmare would be much appreciated.
1) they are not the same, EFI is part of the firmware. BootROM and firmware are synonymous for most cases.

2) No, you can’t even reflash the same version of the EFI, only newer versions are allowed by the Apple tools.

3) High Sierra support both 512bytes/sector and 4096bytes/sector, Sierra only 4096bytes/sector. Samsung 9xx are all 512bytes/sector.

144.0.0.0.0 EFI has nothing to do with your problems, seems more a corrupt NVRAM volume than anything. 144.0.0.0.0.0 can boot all macOS releases from 10.6.4.

RX 580 is only supported after 10.12.5, if you try to boot it or any other earlier release you won't have a display working.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
9,995
10,653
What an excellent post, it’s too bad I didn’t see this before trying to emulate what various YouTube posters have done to upgrade their 4,1 MacPro to Mojave.

I did get there over a period of 2 weeks with many issues, misunderstandings, and headaches. When I got to Mojave I found that I couldn’t multi boot into my 10.9 and 10.11 disks to use my legacy software and M-Audio Firewire interface.

I then tried to implement OpenCore to emulate the EFI boot screen and got even further into the soup. I decided that I shouldn’t have gone further than High Sierra, which would allow me to use both my new Metal supported Sapphire RX 580 and use my legacy video card for multiboot.

Sorry about all the detail but I want to caution others who may wander on this path.

In conclusion: I wiped the drive which contained Mojave, reverted it back to pre APFS status and reinserted the original graphics card. I can now multiboot into my 10.9 and 10.11 disks.

I’ve cloned the 10.11 onto a SSD and attempted to reinstall High Sierra on the SSD over elCap. It won’t install due to the 144.0.0.0.0 firmware remaining from the Mojave install.

Questions:
1. Can someone please clarify…what is the difference between “BootROM”, “EFI Update” and “Firmware”? Is there any, the terms seem to be used interchangeably?

2. Can I revert to the 5,1 firmware from 144.0.0.0.0 using... And then depend on the High Sierra install to make whatever Firmware/BootRom/EFI updates necessary?
2a. Should I use the Netkas tool for this?

3. Will High Sierra permit me to boot into the Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD I’ve mounted in a PCI slot? If so, is there any likelihood I’d be able to install Win10 on it?

Any help to get me past my nightmare would be much appreciated.
Windows 10 on a NVMe blade requires an UEFI Windows install. MP5,1 is EFI and released 4 years before UEFI Macs.

To use NVMe + Windows 10 UEFI + MP5,1 you will need OpenCore to make it possible. See the OpenCore thread - this is totally off topic here.
 
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PTuser

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2013
29
0
success today - My 5.1 is now running Mojave after replacing my wx3100 with wx4100. Thank you for your help - One new issue is fan noise with Mojave is significantly higher - any ideas?
 

Soba

macrumors 6502
May 28, 2003
365
500
Rochester, NY
success today - My 5.1 is now running Mojave after replacing my wx3100 with wx4100. Thank you for your help - One new issue is fan noise with Mojave is significantly higher - any ideas?
I noticed this behavior with my RX580, and in my case, the fan noise is only temporary. After booting Mojave, try using the Mac for a few minutes and seeing if the fans gradually spin down on your card. Letting the Mac sit idle does not seem to have any impact and the fans will stay spun up, but actively using the Mac eventually causes them to spin down, usually after just 2–3 minutes.

We’re getting off topic for the thread, so I hope this helps you.
 

PTuser

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2013
29
0
I noticed this behavior with my RX580, and in my case, the fan noise is only temporary. After booting Mojave, try using the Mac for a few minutes and seeing if the fans gradually spin down on your card. Letting the Mac sit idle does not seem to have any impact and the fans will stay spun up, but actively using the Mac eventually causes them to spin down, usually after just 2–3 minutes.

We’re getting off topic for the thread, so I hope this helps you.
thanks for your message - is it really off topic if its a side effect of upgrading to Mojave?
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
9,995
10,653
thanks for your message - is it really off topic if its a side effect of upgrading to Mojave?
It's not Mojave related at all, this always happened with high power draw PCIe cards and early-2009 Mac Pros - it's the SMC 1.39f5 racing fan bug of early-2009 Mac Pros. Since you can't upgrade the SMC, you have to find a way to minimize it, one of the ways is what @Soba wrote, another is a tool that @cdf made some years ago:


You started to noticed it right now because of the GPU upgrade to run Mojave, but it's not a Mojave bug. Mojave UI is based on METAL and the GPU draws enough power at the macOS start up process to trigger the SMC bug.

When you have a more powerful GPU with Sierra/High Sierra, you have the same high speed fan problem if you have two or more displays powered at the startup - this happens even with eVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition but it's more pronounced with the Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition. The exactly same hardware config with a mid-2010/mid-2012 (SMC 1.39f11) don't have this bug at all.

This bothered me so much with High Sierra and dual displays that I moved my main Mac Pro to a mid-2012, from an early-2009. The early-2009 was relegated to be my test Mac Pro.
 
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PTuser

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2013
29
0
It's not Mojave related at all, this always happened with high power draw PCIe cards and early-2009 Mac Pros - it's the SMC 1.39f5 racing fan bug of early-2009 Mac Pros. Since you can't upgrade the SMC, you have to find a way to minimize it, one of the ways is what @Soba wrote, another is a tool that @cdf made some years ago:


You started to noticed it right now because of the GPU upgrade to run Mojave, but it's not a Mojave bug. Mojave UI is based on METAL and the GPU draws enough power at the macOS start up process to trigger the SMC bug.

When you have a more powerful GPU with Sierra/High Sierra, you have the same high speed fan problem if you have two or more displays powered at the startup - this happens even with eVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition but it's more pronounced with the Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition. The exactly same hardware config with a mid-2010/mid-2012 (SMC 1.39f11) don't have this bug at all.

This bothered me so much with High Sierra and dual displays that I moved my main Mac Pro to a mid-2012, from an early-2009. The early-2009 was relegated to be my test Mac Pro.
Hi - thanks for your detailed post. Interesting as the wx series are very low power draw cards that are bus powered I thought id be ok. I understand it is a more powerful GPU of course. I purchased a copy of Macs fan control which takes over the fan speeds. It has helped but not sorted it- Im not sure that is a good thing to do long term . It feels like I have one noisy fan in there. The PCI fan was the highest rev according to the app. Ambient temp inside is 27 degrees which isnt high and the card itself is also pretty low temp (under 45 degrees). I will look at the app mentioned in sobas post
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
9,995
10,653
Hi - thanks for your detailed post. Interesting as the wx series are very low power draw cards that are bus powered I thought id be ok. I understand it is a more powerful GPU of course. I purchased a copy of Macs fan control which takes over the fan speeds. It has helped but not sorted it- Im not sure that is a good thing to do long term . It feels like I have one noisy fan in there. The PCI fan was the highest rev according to the app. Ambient temp inside is 27 degrees which isnt high and the card itself is also pretty low temp (under 45 degrees). I will look at the app mentioned in sobas post
Bus powered GPUs draw more power from the PCIe slot than high end GPUs that are primarily feed from the PCIe power connectors.

The consensus around the racing fan bug is that the trigger is the level of power being draw from the PCIe slot power lines.
 
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Factionrider

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2008
47
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Please fully read this first post, you will probably find that you have one or more problems described into the various notes below.

Mojave will only install if you have upgraded your BootROM to the current release and your Mac Pro have a Metal capable GPU*.

If you are trying to install Mojave on a Mac Pro 5,1 (early-2009 cross flashed with MP5,1 firmware, mid-2010 and mid-2012), you have first to upgrade your BootROM to version MP51.0089.B00 and to High Sierra 10.13.6, then you can install a Metal capable GPU* that works with High Sierra and finally you can upgrade your firmware and install Mojave. It's a two steps firmware upgrade process for anyone that don't have MP51.0089.B00 installed yet.

You can read the Apple Support article here: Install macOS 10.14 Mojave on Mac Pro (Mid 2010) and Mac Pro (Mid 2012).

Remember: Apple Mojave recommend RX-560/580 cards do not have pre-boot configuration support (aka boot screens), so you need to install your original Mac EFI GPU to upgrade your BootROM to MP51.0089.B00 using the Mac App Store High Sierra 10.13.6 full installer. After that, Mojave installer can upgrade your firmware without the need of a Mac EFI GPU and requires that you only have Metal supported cards* installed in your Mac Pro.​
The Apple third-party graphics cards list identifies specific cards that are compatible:​
  • MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDDR5
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 8GB GDDR5
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition
  • NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition
The three cards listed in bold above have pre-boot configuration support/Mac EFI.​
The list also identifies cards that might be compatible, none of which have pre-boot configuration support/Mac EFI:​
  • AMD Radeon RX 560
  • AMD Radeon RX 570
  • AMD Radeon RX 580
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100
  • AMD Radeon Frontier Edition
*METAL capable GPU as in any METAL supported GPU that works with High Sierra:

For upgrading from MP51.0089.B00 to 144.0.0.0.0, METAL support is the requirement, not pre-boot configuration support like from earlier BootROM versions to MP51.0089.B00.

Your GPU can even be a NVIDIA GPU that has METAL support and don't work with Mojave, like Maxwell (like GTX 980) or Pascal (like GTX 1080). Newer AMD GPUs that won't work with High Sierra, like VII (only works with 10.14.5+) and RX 5500/5600/5700 (NAVI GPUs only work with 10.15.1+) won't work for upgrading the Mac Pro BootROM.

A GPU that High Sierra System Information recognises it as METAL: Supported is the key here.


- Cheapest Apple recommended METAL supported GPU:

It's the first card of the Apple third-party list above, but people ask it anyway:​
  • MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDDR5
Usually most AMD Radeon RX 560 models available on the western market works with MP5,1 and Mojave, but not the RX 560 made for the Chinese market since this card have less CUs and a different PCIeID than the real ones and Mojave don't know how to configure it correctly.​

- Hacked installs note:

If you did a hacked install, like dosdude one, you will probably need to do a clean install to upgrade your firmware.​

Only the full Mac App Store installers work for upgrading the firmware, macOS installers patched with dosdude tool can't upgrade the firmware. Apple firmware upgrade tool needs a clean and standard EFI partition to do so, so you probably need to do a clean install before trying to upgrade the firmware if you used a hacked install.​

- AppleRAID, RAID & SATA III PCIe cards note:

You can't upgrade your firmware if you are booting from a RAID array or from a SATA III card. The point is that need to be a single SATA device (HDD or SSD) connected to the Mac Pro southbridge SATA ports, not a RAID, not a SAS, not a PCIe device, not a PCIe SATA controller, not a PCIe AHCI blade. Open your Mac Pro, remove all RAID controllers, PCIe SATA cards, PCIe AHCI or NVMe M.2/U.2 drives, disconnect all RAID drives, including AppleRAID, and use a single SATA drive connected into a backplane native SATA port. Keep it simple and use Apple defaults when upgrading Mac Pro firmware.​
Btw, Mojave don't boot from SoftwareRAID/AppleRAID arrays or any hardware array that present to the OS as multiple disks.​
It's uncommon but sometimes you can't upgrade from PCIe AHCI and NVMe blades too, so use the same advice if you have any problems while upgrading the firmware.​

- Upgrade your firmware from High Sierra installed in an APFS drive:

A lot of people report that can't upgrade the BootROM from High Sierra installed with HFS+, so use a new/empty drive to install High Sierra from an APFS partition. Btw, Mojave requires APFS.​
Keep it simple and use Apple defaults when upgrading Mac Pro firmware.​

- Homemade Fusion drives note:

Mojave has to be installed with APFS and the way Fusion drives are made changed. Use a SATA disk installed on the south bridge ports to do all firmware upgrades and the Mojave install. After you already upgraded your Mac Pro firmware to 144.0.0.0.0 and Mojave is installed, you can recreate the Fusion drive.​
Keep it simple and use Apple defaults when upgrading Mac Pro firmware.​

- Upgrade firmware from USB note:

Firmware upgrade from USB is not possible unless you have the exact original factory config and if your Mac Pro is mid-2010 or mid-2012. Again, you can’t upgrade Mac Pro firmware from createinstallmedia USB-key.​
Don’t waste your time trying, the USB installer asks to upgrade your BootROM, warns that it will do a shutdown for you to enter firmware upgrade mode, but never powers off your Mac Pro. Unfortunately, there are reported cases that shutting down manually bricked the BootROM.​
Do it from High Sierra opening the Mojave Mac App Store full installer when you already have MP51.0089.B00 or if your Mac Pro have an earlier BootROM then MP51.0089.B00, from Sierra to High Sierra - see the set-by-step below.​
- Kepler NVIDIA GPUs (GT 640/740, GTX 670/680/780, Quadro K5000) note:

If you have a supported NVIDIA Kepler GPU like GTX 680 Mac Edition card, GTX 680 flashed with the Mac Edition firmware, GT 640/740, GTX 670/770/780 or a Quadro K5000 you can't do a USB clean install with it at the moment. The USB installer don't detect that the GPU is a Metal supported card and don't continue the install, it's a bug with Nvidia Kepler GPUs.​

To do a clean install, do from macOS with two drives - just select your empty one when doing the install.​

- Bluetooth keyboards/mice note:

A lot of people have problems installing macOS with Apple and third party bluetooth keyboards/mice. It's best to use wired ones, most third party wired USB keyboards work fine.​

- Firmware upgrades not working when you have a 4K display or a display newer than DP1.1:

You can't update to newer firmwares, with a 4K or DisplayPort v1.2/1.4 screen connected to your GPU. It's an old bug that Apple corrected with late-2013 Mac Pro and "forgot" to correct with MP5,1.​
Apple efiflasher for MP5,1 don't support 4K screens or DP v1.2/1.4 displays. Apple OEM GPUs like GT120, HD 4870, HD 5770 and HD 5870 don't have hardware support for DP v1.2/1.4, so you can use a 4K display for upgrading the firmware since your 4K/DP v1.2/1.4 display would be using the supported DP v1.1 spec, but the METAL GPUs and newer EFI flashed GPUs have support for DP v1.2/1.4 and will trigger the efiflasher flasher bug.​
If your monitor has a option to downgrade to DP v1.1 or have a DVI port, use it, if not, you will need another monitor for upgrading your firmware. Apple displays like the common Apple Cinema Display are DP1.1 or even DVI and work fine for firmware upgrades. Check your display specs.​
Since people asked about headless flashing, Xserves and early-2009 Mac Pro, still with MP4,1 firmware, had the option of upgrading the firmware headless via remote firmware flashing, but Apple removed the option and the remote efiflasher with MP5,1 release.​

- Stuttering audio with Dual Processors MP4,1 upgraded to MP5,1 firmware when running Mojave note:

Be aware that with Dual Processors MP4,1>5,1 machines that still have the original Gainestown processors (Xeon 55xx-series), after installing Mojave you will have stuttering audio problems that only can be solved upgrading the Xeon processors to Westmere (Xeon 56xx-series), read about on this thread Strange Audio Issue on MP 4,1>5,1 Mojave 10.14.4.​
This is a problem exclusive of Dual Processor MP4,1, single CPU MP4,1 don't have this problem at all. Some people don't even hear the stuttering audio, but if you are an audio guy or audio engineer, it will make you crazy, do your sanity a favour and upgrade your dual CPU tray to Westmere Xeons.​

- Mojave black screens with AMD Polaris GPUs (RX 4xx/5xx) note:

Some people are getting black screens with Mojave when using RX 4xx/5xx GPUs, if you are having it, do a clean install or debug your kexts, seems a problem with incompatible Air Display kexts. Read here.​

- 144.0.0.0.0 and previous macOS releases note:

Yes, BootROM 144.0.0.0.0 can boot even 10.6.4 (10F2521), the first ever macOS release that supports a MP5,1, but you are limited to GPU driver support since you can't boot a macOS version that don't have drivers for your GPU. For example, with AMD RX 4xx/5xx GPUs, you are limited to 10.12.6/10.13/10.14.​
It's the distribution file inside the macOS installer that defines what Macs are supported. Earlier releases than 10.6.4 (10F2521) don't have MP5,1 support and are not bootable with a MP5,1. Several people on MacRumors checked 10.6.8 and it runs without any problems with 144.0.0.0.0.​

Other limitation is NVMe support if you have a NVMe drive, NVMe only works since High Sierra (Sierra for 4KB/sector drives), read the first post of the PCIe SSDs - NVMe & AHCI thread to know more. SATA support is not affected by NVMe support requirements.​

Btw, you can upgrade your firmware to 144.0.0.0.0 without installing Mojave, just close the installer after the firmware upgrade is done. Remember that you can't do that by USB, read the Upgrade firmware from USB note.​

- 144.0.0.0.0 and High Sierra with HFS+ drives note:

If you want to upgrade to BootROM 144.0.0.0.0 and don't want to upgrade to Mojave, just close the Mojave installer when the installer opens again post firmware upgrade completion. Mojave changes your main drive to APFS, but if you end the install process after the firmware upgrade, nothing will be changed.​
NVMe drives don't work before High Sierra (Sierra for 4Kn drives), read the first post of the thread PCIe SSDs - NVMe & AHCI to know why.​

- 144.0.0.0.0, High Sierra and NVIDIA Maxwell or Pascal GPUs that support METAL but not Mojave:

If you have a NVIDIA GPU from the Maxwell or Pascal families and want to upgrade your Mac Pro BootROM to 144.0.0.0.0 and use it with High Sierra, you can do it. If your GPU is correctly working with High Sierra NVIDIA WEB drivers, just open the Mojave installer and it will ask you to do to the firmware upgrade the same way as with the still supported Kepler NVIDIA and the AMD METAL GPUs. Lot's of people have been using GTX 970/980/1070/1080 with 10.13.6 and upgrading to current BootROMs without any problems.​

Remember that Maxwell and Pascal NVIDIA GPUs are not supported with macOS anymore after High Sierra and won't work with Mojave.​

- 140.0.0.0.0 to 144.0.0.0.0 firmware upgrade note:

The fail-proof way to upgrade a MP5,1 firmware is to fully erase a SATA drive, remove all other drives from your Mac Pro, install High Sierra 10.13.6 to it, download the current Mac App Store full installer (10.14.6), clear the NVRAM 3 times in sequence, after that you try to upgrade the firmware running the Mojave full installer.​



- Upgrading firmware from Catalina will work?

This question is becoming common recently, so let's put it here. If you don't have the current 144.0.0.0.0.0 BootROM release and is using Catalina, you have to go back to 10.13.6 or 10.14.6 to do the firmware upgrade. You can't open a macOS installer earlier than the version you are running, the installer won't open at all.​

- How to do a clean install with a RX 4xx/5xx/VEGA GPU without pre-boot configuration support?

The easiest way is to do from macOS, opening the installer and then selecting the drive you want to install to.​
If you want to do a USB clean install, first create a createinstallmedia USB key, erase the drive that you want to install Mojave, remove all other bootable disks, connect the createinstallmedia USB installer and then power-off/on. When the Mac Pro don't find any bootable SATA/PCIe disk, it will boot from the createinstallmedia USB installer. After three minutes or so, the installer loads the GPU drivers and the screen will work.​


- PCIe drives as external drives:

This is off-topic but since people ask, I added it here.​
All types of PCIe drives (SATA, SAS, AHCI, NVMe, M.2, U.2, RAID arrays, etc) are external to the Mac Pro firmware, only drives connected to the six native SATA ports of the Mac Pro southbridge are internal to the BootROM.​

PCIe drives are bootable, exactly as the internal ones.​


If you have an earlier than MP51.0089.B00 BootROM version, these are the steps to upgrade your BootROM to have Mojave support:

This part of the BootROM upgrade require a GPU with pre-boot configuration support. Apple OEM GPUs or Mac EFI flashed GPUs are a requirement for upgrading to MP51.0089.B00.
  1. Install a Mac EFI64 GPU. Any original Apple card from 2008 to 2012 (HD 2600XT, 8800GT, Quadro FX 5600, GT120, HD 4870/5770/5870) or 3rd party Mac EFI cards like Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition, eVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition, NVIDIA Quadro 4000/K5000 or self-flashed/MVC flashed cards. Please note that if your flashed GPU is not macOS installer compatible, like NVIDIA GPUs from Maxwell and Pascal generations, you need to install one that is.
  2. For GPUs that support DP v1.2/1.4, disconnect any 4K or DP1.2 display. You can't update to MP51.0089.B00, or newer firmwares, with a 4K/DP v1.2/1.4 screen connected to a GPU that has hardware support for DP v1.2/1.4 (read the note). If you monitor has a option to downgrade to DP v1.1 or a DVI port, use it, if not, you will need another monitor.
  3. Disable FileVault2 if enabled, since FV2 is not supported anymore with a Mac Pro 5,1 running Mojave.
  4. If you use a SATA III PCIe card, remove the card from your Mac and move the drive to one of the backplane native SATA ports, a lot of people report trouble doing the firmware upgrade with SATA III PCIe cards installed.
  5. If you ever downloaded any previous version of High Sierra, have it saved in any of Mac Pro external drives, you have to delete it/move to a offline disk and then restart your Mac. You need the current High Sierra 10.13.6 full installer from the Mac App Store, no previous version have the needed MP51.0089.B00 BootROM.
  6. This is the Apple Support page where you can get the link for the 10.13.6 Mac App Store Installer (you need this even if you already are on 10.13.6). see the image below. Note, if you never used Mac App Store before, you need to validate your account first and download a free app before trying to get High Sierra View attachment 793503
  7. Open the High Sierra 10.13.6 Mac App Store full installer, do the firmware upgrade as asked.
  8. After the firmware upgrade, High Sierra installer will open again, you can close it.
  9. Now check if your Mac Pro BootROM is MP51.0089.B00, if yes you can shutdown, remove all non-METAL GPUs (a non-METAL GPU installed will block you from installing Mojave) and install your Metal capable GPU (any AMD equal or newer than HD 7xxx, NVIDIA GTX 680 Mac Edition, Quadro K5000 and other NVIDIA Kepler cards). [If you have a NVIDIA card that need the web driver, Maxwell and Pascal ones, wait for NVIDIA release it for Mojave if ever…]
  10. Download the full Mac App Store installer for Mojave. If you ever downloaded any previous version of Mojave, have it saved in any of Mac Pro external drives, you have to delete it/move to a offline disk and then restart your Mac. You need the current Mojave 10.14.5 or 10.14.6 full installer from the Mac App Store, no previous version have the needed 144.0.0.0.0 BootROM.
  11. Open the installer, do the firmware upgrade as asked. (Note, if you never used Mac App Store before, you need to validate your account first and download a free app before trying to get Mojave).
  12. After the reboot, open System Information and check if you have BootROM 144.0.0.0.0, if yes, you can do a createinstallmedia USB clean install (read NVIDIA GTX 680/780/Quadro K5000 note) or upgrade your previous High Sierra install.


- Mac Pro 5,1 firmware releases, from the oldest EFI update to the newest:

BootROM VersionReleased with:Type:Note:
MP51.007F.B03Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.5General releaseFirst public released Mac Pro 5,1 firmware update, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0083.B0010.13 DP5BetaBeta APFS support, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0084.B0010.13 DP6 and 10.13.0General releaseInitial APFS support, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0085.B0010.13.4 and Mojave DP1 to DP3General releaseAPFS support, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0087.B0010.13.5General releaseMissing microcodes and bricks the Mac Pro if you boot UEFI installed Windows 10
MP51.0089.B0010.13.6General releaseIntel microcodes back with Spectre/Meltdown mitigation (see the April 2 Intel Microcode Update Guidance). Windows 10 works fine again
138.0.0.0.010.14 DP7 and 10.14.0General release5GT/s support for every PCIe 2.0 card. Requirements for upgrading the BootROM changed to METAL supported GPU
139.0.0.0.010.14.1 DP1Betaminor updates and corrections
140.0.0.0.010.14.1 DP3 and 10.14.1 to 10.14.4General releaseNative NVMe boot support, several minor updates and corrections
141.0.0.0.010.14.4 DP2Betaminor updates and corrections
142.0.0.0.010.14.4 DP4 and 10.14.5 DP1BetaUpdated APFSJumpStart EFI module - W3xxx Xeon bricker.

This BootROM version was never released outside betas.
144.0.0.0.010.14.5 DP4 and 10.14.5General releaselot's of corrections, booting improvements, works with W3xxx Xeons.

This is the current BootROM release


If nothing above works for you, or you use a macOS version earlier than El Capitan, or your Mac Pro have a BootROM earlier than MP51.0089.B00, try this:

  1. Download Sierra (10.12.6) - don't use 10.13/10.14 to this, both require firmware updates to install. Download from the Mac App Store, don't use hacked installs, torrents, etc. Download the current installers, not installers that you downloaded years ago and have older firmwares or expired certificates. You need 10.12.6, and later 10.13.6, current installer(s) from the Mac App Store.
  2. Use createinstallmedia to create a Sierra USB key installer.
  3. Shutdown your Mac Pro and remove all PCIe cards except your Mac EFI GPU.
  4. Clear your Mac Pro SMC and NVRAM - clear NVRAM 3 times sequentially.
  5. Remove all disks except the one that you will do a clean install of 10.11.6/10.12.6.
  6. Power on your Mac Pro and do a clean install of 10.11.6/10.12.6.
  7. After 10.12.6 is installed, download the High Sierra 10.13.6 full Mac App Store installer and open it (yes, you will upgrade Sierra to High Sierra don't do a clean install). The High Sierra installer will then ask you to perform a firmware update, shutdown your Mac Pro and do it. Download High Sierra installer from the Mac App Store, don't use hacked installs, torrents, etc.
  8. After your Mac Pro restarts, close the installer and go to SystemInformation and check if your BootROM is MP51.0089.B00 now. If not, you did something wrong.
  9. Use createinstallmedia to create a USB key installer of High Sierra, power off your Mac Pro.
  10. Power on your Mac Pro, boot from the createinstallmedia USB-key and do a clean install of 10.13.6 - always do clean installs.
  11. After 10.13.6 is installed, shutdown your Mac Pro and replace your original GPU with a Metal supported one. Remove all non-METAL GPUs, keep just the METAL one installed since a non-METAL GPU present on your Mac Pro will block you from installing Mojave.
  12. Power on your Mac Pro and download 10.14.6 full Mac App Store installer. Download from the Mac App Store, don't use hacked installs, torrents, etc. Open it, the Mojave installer will ask you to perform a firmware update, shutdown your Mac Pro and do it.
  13. After your Mac Pro restarts, check if your BootROM is 144.0.0.0.0, if it is, you can create a USB-key and do a clean install of Mojave now. If you have a NVIDIA GTX 680, then you have to do a clean install from your 10.13.6 disk into another disk, since USB installer has a bug that don't identify GT640/740, GTX 680/780/Quadro K5000 as a METAL supported GPU.

What to do if during the upgrade process your Mac Pro bricked:

If during the upgrade process you bricked the BootROM, you have three options:

  1. Buy a replacement backplane on eBay and replace the backplane yourself, cheapest option if you can't solder SMD. Remember that you need a 2009 backplane if you have an early-2009 Mac Pro. If you have a mid-2010 or mid-2012 you can use either 2010 or 2012 backplanes. Don't mix early-2009 backplanes with mid-2010/mid-2012 CPU trays, or vice-versa - either scenario is a SMC firmware version mismatch and all your fans will run at maximum RPM, full time and without any software control.
  2. Buy a Mac Pro MATT card and use it as a replacement SPI flash, this is not recommended since all MATT cards are clones and won't work for iCloud/iMessage/FaceTime. A replacement backplane is usually cheaper.
  3. Desolder, reprogram and solder back the SPI flash, chip U8700 on the backplane. It's not possible to read or write to the SPI flash memory while it's soldered on the MP5,1 backplane. A cheap SPI flash programmer like ch341a will work for read/write the BootROM after the SPI flash memory is desoldered from the backplane. Start reading here, read all my posts on the subject from there. I strongly recommend that you replace your original SPI flash memory with a brand new one, don't solder it back to the backplane, it will fail soon since SPI flash memories have limited lifetime (manufacture rated for just 100.000 erase/write cycles) when used as NVRAM for a Mac Pro. Again, most hard bricks are caused by the failure of the SPI flash, it's a US$ 2 component easily available, MXIC MX25L3206E, just replace it! Btw, yes, you can use a MXIC MX25L3206E as a modern replacement for the two older models SST25VF032B and MXIC MX25L3205D used on early-2009 and mid-2010 respectively, Apple did it for mid-2012 Mac Pros.

    Mojave has the generic MP51.fd firmware image inside the full installer, it's enough for boot your Mac Pro again but not for iCloud/iMessage/FaceTime login.

    Code:
    Install\ macOS\ Mojave/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/Firmware/MP51.fd

For MP4,1 to MP5,1 cross firmware flashing process, see this thread below:


Frequent question, it's possible to bypass the METAL GPU requirement?

Simple and direct answer:

No. It's a requirement of the Mojave firmware upgrades, like an Apple OEM GPU or a third party one with pre-boot configuration support was required to do all the previous firmware upgrades from Leopard to High Sierra.

Complex answer:

If you are a firmware engineer with Mac Pro experience, you can reconstruct the whole SPI flash memory image and write to it directly, bypassing the requirements. But if you were one, you wouldn't be asking or looking here, no?
At one point I had UEFI windows running on my machine. I'm experiencing some odd behavior with OpenCore that I think may be related to secure boot certs left over from ages ago. To your knowledge is there a comprehensive guide to dumping the rom and checking for certs?
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
9,995
10,653
At one point I had UEFI windows running on my machine. I'm experiencing some odd behavior with OpenCore that I think may be related to secure boot certs left over from ages ago. To your knowledge is there a comprehensive guide to dumping the rom and checking for certs?
While it's easy to confirm if your Mac Pro firmware have SecureBoot certificates inside the NVRAM volume, just run binwalk with your BootROM image dump and see if the output show any X.509 certificates inside, SecureBoot is just a red-herring.

The real problem is the NVRAM data/variables not being erased anymore and the NVRAM volume part of the BootROM becoming full of superseded variables over the years to the point that it's full and then it self destructs. SecureBoot just makes this process much faster since the certificates/DBs/PKs occupy so much valuable space inside the NVRAM volume. MP5,1 NVRAM size is tiny for todays standards, it's 1/4 of the size of a 2019 iMac, for example.

The fragmentation process that self destroy the NVRAM volume and bricks a Mac Pro was first observed back in 2018 when I started to investigate dumps extracted from bricked Mac Pros. At the beginning, it was very poorly understood and we (me and @h9826790) thought that what was causing the bricks was just SecureBoot + the crash caused by the missing microcodes of MP51.0087.B00. Some time later, I started to notice that bricks were happening even with Mac Pros that never had MP51.0087.B00 nor Windows installed. Took lot's of different Mac Pro dumps and months to track and understood what was really going on.

Firmware fragmentation is not easy to check, to see it you have to know what is being written repeatedly, and most importantly, where is being written on the NVRAM volume, this varies from Mac to Mac, there is no one tool to check this and it's not just one parameter that you track to know that is a problem. It's several things at once, for example I have to investigate parameters like free space/quantity of MemoryConfig/bluetoothActiveController per store, checksums/free space indicators to see if a NVRAM volume is healthy or not.

My point is, an almost brick is easy to identify since the NVRAM is almost without free space, but to know that a store is becoming corrupt is more art than science. It's not just one thing, but the combination of several parameters that you infer based on the hardware config, sometimes, an almost brick with a single CPU tray would be a just above than normal dual CPU tray with 8 DIMMs NVRAM volume.

I've sent you a PM with instructions.
 

shiva.n

macrumors newbie
Dec 30, 2020
5
0
Please fully read this first post, you will probably find that you have one or more problems described into the various notes below.

Mojave will only install if you have upgraded your BootROM to the current release and your Mac Pro have a Metal capable GPU*.

If you are trying to install Mojave on a Mac Pro 5,1 (early-2009 cross flashed with MP5,1 firmware, mid-2010 and mid-2012), you have first to upgrade your BootROM to version MP51.0089.B00 and to High Sierra 10.13.6, then you can install a Metal capable GPU* that works with High Sierra and finally you can upgrade your firmware and install Mojave. It's a two steps firmware upgrade process for anyone that don't have MP51.0089.B00 installed yet.

You can read the Apple Support article here: Install macOS 10.14 Mojave on Mac Pro (Mid 2010) and Mac Pro (Mid 2012).

Remember: Apple Mojave recommend RX-560/580 cards do not have pre-boot configuration support (aka boot screens), so you need to install your original Mac EFI GPU to upgrade your BootROM to MP51.0089.B00 using the Mac App Store High Sierra 10.13.6 full installer. After that, Mojave installer can upgrade your firmware without the need of a Mac EFI GPU and requires that you only have Metal supported cards* installed in your Mac Pro.​
The Apple third-party graphics cards list identifies specific cards that are compatible:​
  • MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDDR5
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 8GB GDDR5
  • SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition
  • NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 Mac Edition
The three cards listed in bold above have pre-boot configuration support/Mac EFI.​
The list also identifies cards that might be compatible, none of which have pre-boot configuration support/Mac EFI:​
  • AMD Radeon RX 560
  • AMD Radeon RX 570
  • AMD Radeon RX 580
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
  • AMD Radeon Pro WX 9100
  • AMD Radeon Frontier Edition
*METAL capable GPU as in any METAL supported GPU that works with High Sierra:

For upgrading from MP51.0089.B00 to 144.0.0.0.0, METAL support is the requirement, not pre-boot configuration support like from earlier BootROM versions to MP51.0089.B00.

Your GPU can even be a NVIDIA GPU that has METAL support and don't work with Mojave, like Maxwell (like GTX 980) or Pascal (like GTX 1080). Newer AMD GPUs that won't work with High Sierra, like VII (only works with 10.14.5+) and RX 5500/5600/5700 (NAVI GPUs only work with 10.15.1+) won't work for upgrading the Mac Pro BootROM.

A GPU that High Sierra System Information recognises it as METAL: Supported is the key here.


- Cheapest Apple recommended METAL supported GPU:

It's the first card of the Apple third-party list above, but people ask it anyway:​
  • MSI Gaming Radeon RX 560 128-bit 4GB GDDR5
Usually most AMD Radeon RX 560 models available on the western market works with MP5,1 and Mojave, but not the RX 560 made for the Chinese market since this card have less CUs and a different PCIeID than the real ones and Mojave don't know how to configure it correctly.​

- Hacked installs note:

If you did a hacked install, like dosdude one, you will probably need to do a clean install to upgrade your firmware.​

Only the full Mac App Store installers work for upgrading the firmware, macOS installers patched with dosdude tool can't upgrade the firmware. Apple firmware upgrade tool needs a clean and standard EFI partition to do so, so you probably need to do a clean install before trying to upgrade the firmware if you used a hacked install.​

- AppleRAID, RAID & SATA III PCIe cards note:

You can't upgrade your firmware if you are booting from a RAID array or from a SATA III card. The point is that need to be a single SATA device (HDD or SSD) connected to the Mac Pro southbridge SATA ports, not a RAID, not a SAS, not a PCIe device, not a PCIe SATA controller, not a PCIe AHCI blade. Open your Mac Pro, remove all RAID controllers, PCIe SATA cards, PCIe AHCI or NVMe M.2/U.2 drives, disconnect all RAID drives, including AppleRAID, and use a single SATA drive connected into a backplane native SATA port. Keep it simple and use Apple defaults when upgrading Mac Pro firmware.​
Btw, Mojave don't boot from SoftwareRAID/AppleRAID arrays or any hardware array that present to the OS as multiple disks.​
It's uncommon but sometimes you can't upgrade from PCIe AHCI and NVMe blades too, so use the same advice if you have any problems while upgrading the firmware.​

- Upgrade your firmware from High Sierra installed in an APFS drive:

A lot of people report that can't upgrade the BootROM from High Sierra installed with HFS+, so use a new/empty drive to install High Sierra from an APFS partition. Btw, Mojave requires APFS.​
Keep it simple and use Apple defaults when upgrading Mac Pro firmware.​

- Homemade Fusion drives note:

Mojave has to be installed with APFS and the way Fusion drives are made changed. Use a SATA disk installed on the south bridge ports to do all firmware upgrades and the Mojave install. After you already upgraded your Mac Pro firmware to 144.0.0.0.0 and Mojave is installed, you can recreate the Fusion drive.​
Keep it simple and use Apple defaults when upgrading Mac Pro firmware.​

- Upgrade firmware from USB note:

Firmware upgrade from USB is not possible unless you have the exact original factory config and if your Mac Pro is mid-2010 or mid-2012. Again, you can’t upgrade Mac Pro firmware from createinstallmedia USB-key.​
Don’t waste your time trying, the USB installer asks to upgrade your BootROM, warns that it will do a shutdown for you to enter firmware upgrade mode, but never powers off your Mac Pro. Unfortunately, there are reported cases that shutting down manually bricked the BootROM.​
Do it from High Sierra opening the Mojave Mac App Store full installer when you already have MP51.0089.B00 or if your Mac Pro have an earlier BootROM then MP51.0089.B00, from Sierra to High Sierra - see the set-by-step below.​
- Kepler NVIDIA GPUs (GT 640/740, GTX 670/680/780, Quadro K5000) note:

If you have a supported NVIDIA Kepler GPU like GTX 680 Mac Edition card, GTX 680 flashed with the Mac Edition firmware, GT 640/740, GTX 670/770/780 or a Quadro K5000 you can't do a USB clean install with it at the moment. The USB installer don't detect that the GPU is a Metal supported card and don't continue the install, it's a bug with Nvidia Kepler GPUs.​

To do a clean install, do from macOS with two drives - just select your empty one when doing the install.​

- Bluetooth keyboards/mice note:

A lot of people have problems installing macOS with Apple and third party bluetooth keyboards/mice. It's best to use wired ones, most third party wired USB keyboards work fine.​

- Firmware upgrades not working when you have a 4K display or a display newer than DP1.1:

You can't update to newer firmwares, with a 4K or DisplayPort v1.2/1.4 screen connected to your GPU. It's an old bug that Apple corrected with late-2013 Mac Pro and "forgot" to correct with MP5,1.​
Apple efiflasher for MP5,1 don't support 4K screens or DP v1.2/1.4 displays. Apple OEM GPUs like GT120, HD 4870, HD 5770 and HD 5870 don't have hardware support for DP v1.2/1.4, so you can use a 4K display for upgrading the firmware since your 4K/DP v1.2/1.4 display would be using the supported DP v1.1 spec, but the METAL GPUs and newer EFI flashed GPUs have support for DP v1.2/1.4 and will trigger the efiflasher flasher bug.​
If your monitor has a option to downgrade to DP v1.1 or have a DVI port, use it, if not, you will need another monitor for upgrading your firmware. Apple displays like the common Apple Cinema Display are DP1.1 or even DVI and work fine for firmware upgrades. Check your display specs.​
Since people asked about headless flashing, Xserves and early-2009 Mac Pro, still with MP4,1 firmware, had the option of upgrading the firmware headless via remote firmware flashing, but Apple removed the option and the remote efiflasher with MP5,1 release.​

- Stuttering audio with Dual Processors MP4,1 upgraded to MP5,1 firmware when running Mojave note:

Be aware that with Dual Processors MP4,1>5,1 machines that still have the original Gainestown processors (Xeon 55xx-series), after installing Mojave you will have stuttering audio problems that only can be solved upgrading the Xeon processors to Westmere (Xeon 56xx-series), read about on this thread Strange Audio Issue on MP 4,1>5,1 Mojave 10.14.4.​
This is a problem exclusive of Dual Processor MP4,1, single CPU MP4,1 don't have this problem at all. Some people don't even hear the stuttering audio, but if you are an audio guy or audio engineer, it will make you crazy, do your sanity a favour and upgrade your dual CPU tray to Westmere Xeons.​

- Mojave black screens with AMD Polaris GPUs (RX 4xx/5xx) note:

Some people are getting black screens with Mojave when using RX 4xx/5xx GPUs, if you are having it, do a clean install or debug your kexts, seems a problem with incompatible Air Display kexts. Read here.​

- 144.0.0.0.0 and previous macOS releases note:

Yes, BootROM 144.0.0.0.0 can boot even 10.6.4 (10F2521), the first ever macOS release that supports a MP5,1, but you are limited to GPU driver support since you can't boot a macOS version that don't have drivers for your GPU. For example, with AMD RX 4xx/5xx GPUs, you are limited to 10.12.6/10.13/10.14.​
It's the distribution file inside the macOS installer that defines what Macs are supported. Earlier releases than 10.6.4 (10F2521) don't have MP5,1 support and are not bootable with a MP5,1. Several people on MacRumors checked 10.6.8 and it runs without any problems with 144.0.0.0.0.​

Other limitation is NVMe support if you have a NVMe drive, NVMe only works since High Sierra (Sierra for 4KB/sector drives), read the first post of the PCIe SSDs - NVMe & AHCI thread to know more. SATA support is not affected by NVMe support requirements.​

Btw, you can upgrade your firmware to 144.0.0.0.0 without installing Mojave, just close the installer after the firmware upgrade is done. Remember that you can't do that by USB, read the Upgrade firmware from USB note.​

- 144.0.0.0.0 and High Sierra with HFS+ drives note:

If you want to upgrade to BootROM 144.0.0.0.0 and don't want to upgrade to Mojave, just close the Mojave installer when the installer opens again post firmware upgrade completion. Mojave changes your main drive to APFS, but if you end the install process after the firmware upgrade, nothing will be changed.​
NVMe drives don't work before High Sierra (Sierra for 4Kn drives), read the first post of the thread PCIe SSDs - NVMe & AHCI to know why.​

- 144.0.0.0.0, High Sierra and NVIDIA Maxwell or Pascal GPUs that support METAL but not Mojave:

If you have a NVIDIA GPU from the Maxwell or Pascal families and want to upgrade your Mac Pro BootROM to 144.0.0.0.0 and use it with High Sierra, you can do it. If your GPU is correctly working with High Sierra NVIDIA WEB drivers, just open the Mojave installer and it will ask you to do to the firmware upgrade the same way as with the still supported Kepler NVIDIA and the AMD METAL GPUs. Lot's of people have been using GTX 970/980/1070/1080 with 10.13.6 and upgrading to current BootROMs without any problems.​

Remember that Maxwell and Pascal NVIDIA GPUs are not supported with macOS anymore after High Sierra and won't work with Mojave.​

- 140.0.0.0.0 to 144.0.0.0.0 firmware upgrade note:

The fail-proof way to upgrade a MP5,1 firmware is to fully erase a SATA drive, remove all other drives from your Mac Pro, install High Sierra 10.13.6 to it, download the current Mac App Store full installer (10.14.6), clear the NVRAM 3 times in sequence, after that you try to upgrade the firmware running the Mojave full installer.​



- Upgrading firmware from Catalina will work?

This question is becoming common recently, so let's put it here. If you don't have the current 144.0.0.0.0.0 BootROM release and is using Catalina, you have to go back to 10.13.6 or 10.14.6 to do the firmware upgrade. You can't open a macOS installer earlier than the version you are running, the installer won't open at all.​

- How to do a clean install with a RX 4xx/5xx/VEGA GPU without pre-boot configuration support?

The easiest way is to do from macOS, opening the installer and then selecting the drive you want to install to.​
If you want to do a USB clean install, first create a createinstallmedia USB key, erase the drive that you want to install Mojave, remove all other bootable disks, connect the createinstallmedia USB installer and then power-off/on. When the Mac Pro don't find any bootable SATA/PCIe disk, it will boot from the createinstallmedia USB installer. After three minutes or so, the installer loads the GPU drivers and the screen will work.​


- PCIe drives as external drives:

This is off-topic but since people ask, I added it here.​
All types of PCIe drives (SATA, SAS, AHCI, NVMe, M.2, U.2, RAID arrays, etc) are external to the Mac Pro firmware, only drives connected to the six native SATA ports of the Mac Pro southbridge are internal to the BootROM.​

PCIe drives are bootable, exactly as the internal ones.​


If you have an earlier than MP51.0089.B00 BootROM version, these are the steps to upgrade your BootROM to have Mojave support:

This part of the BootROM upgrade require a GPU with pre-boot configuration support. Apple OEM GPUs or Mac EFI flashed GPUs are a requirement for upgrading to MP51.0089.B00.
  1. Install a Mac EFI64 GPU. Any original Apple card from 2008 to 2012 (HD 2600XT, 8800GT, Quadro FX 5600, GT120, HD 4870/5770/5870) or 3rd party Mac EFI cards like Sapphire HD 7950 Mac Edition, eVGA GTX 680 Mac Edition, NVIDIA Quadro 4000/K5000 or self-flashed/MVC flashed cards. Please note that if your flashed GPU is not macOS installer compatible, like NVIDIA GPUs from Maxwell and Pascal generations, you need to install one that is.
  2. For GPUs that support DP v1.2/1.4, disconnect any 4K or DP1.2 display. You can't update to MP51.0089.B00, or newer firmwares, with a 4K/DP v1.2/1.4 screen connected to a GPU that has hardware support for DP v1.2/1.4 (read the note). If you monitor has a option to downgrade to DP v1.1 or a DVI port, use it, if not, you will need another monitor.
  3. Disable FileVault2 if enabled, since FV2 is not supported anymore with a Mac Pro 5,1 running Mojave.
  4. If you use a SATA III PCIe card, remove the card from your Mac and move the drive to one of the backplane native SATA ports, a lot of people report trouble doing the firmware upgrade with SATA III PCIe cards installed.
  5. If you ever downloaded any previous version of High Sierra, have it saved in any of Mac Pro external drives, you have to delete it/move to a offline disk and then restart your Mac. You need the current High Sierra 10.13.6 full installer from the Mac App Store, no previous version have the needed MP51.0089.B00 BootROM.
  6. This is the Apple Support page where you can get the link for the 10.13.6 Mac App Store Installer (you need this even if you already are on 10.13.6). see the image below. Note, if you never used Mac App Store before, you need to validate your account first and download a free app before trying to get High Sierra View attachment 793503
  7. Open the High Sierra 10.13.6 Mac App Store full installer, do the firmware upgrade as asked.
  8. After the firmware upgrade, High Sierra installer will open again, you can close it.
  9. Now check if your Mac Pro BootROM is MP51.0089.B00, if yes you can shutdown, remove all non-METAL GPUs (a non-METAL GPU installed will block you from installing Mojave) and install your Metal capable GPU (any AMD equal or newer than HD 7xxx, NVIDIA GTX 680 Mac Edition, Quadro K5000 and other NVIDIA Kepler cards). [If you have a NVIDIA card that need the web driver, Maxwell and Pascal ones, wait for NVIDIA release it for Mojave if ever…]
  10. Download the full Mac App Store installer for Mojave. If you ever downloaded any previous version of Mojave, have it saved in any of Mac Pro external drives, you have to delete it/move to a offline disk and then restart your Mac. You need the current Mojave 10.14.5 or 10.14.6 full installer from the Mac App Store, no previous version have the needed 144.0.0.0.0 BootROM.
  11. Open the installer, do the firmware upgrade as asked. (Note, if you never used Mac App Store before, you need to validate your account first and download a free app before trying to get Mojave).
  12. After the reboot, open System Information and check if you have BootROM 144.0.0.0.0, if yes, you can do a createinstallmedia USB clean install (read NVIDIA GTX 680/780/Quadro K5000 note) or upgrade your previous High Sierra install.


- Mac Pro 5,1 firmware releases, from the oldest EFI update to the newest:

BootROM VersionReleased with:Type:Note:
MP51.007F.B03Mac Pro EFI Firmware Update 1.5General releaseFirst public released Mac Pro 5,1 firmware update, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0083.B0010.13 DP5BetaBeta APFS support, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0084.B0010.13 DP6 and 10.13.0General releaseInitial APFS support, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0085.B0010.13.4 and Mojave DP1 to DP3General releaseAPFS support, microcodes vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown
MP51.0087.B0010.13.5General releaseMissing microcodes and bricks the Mac Pro if you boot UEFI installed Windows 10
MP51.0089.B0010.13.6General releaseIntel microcodes back with Spectre/Meltdown mitigation (see the April 2 Intel Microcode Update Guidance). Windows 10 works fine again
138.0.0.0.010.14 DP7 and 10.14.0General release5GT/s support for every PCIe 2.0 card. Requirements for upgrading the BootROM changed to METAL supported GPU
139.0.0.0.010.14.1 DP1Betaminor updates and corrections
140.0.0.0.010.14.1 DP3 and 10.14.1 to 10.14.4General releaseNative NVMe boot support, several minor updates and corrections
141.0.0.0.010.14.4 DP2Betaminor updates and corrections
142.0.0.0.010.14.4 DP4 and 10.14.5 DP1BetaUpdated APFSJumpStart EFI module - W3xxx Xeon bricker.

This BootROM version was never released outside betas.
144.0.0.0.010.14.5 DP4 and 10.14.5General releaselot's of corrections, booting improvements, works with W3xxx Xeons.

This is the current BootROM release


If nothing above works for you, or you use a macOS version earlier than El Capitan, or your Mac Pro have a BootROM earlier than MP51.0089.B00, try this:

  1. Download Sierra (10.12.6) - don't use 10.13/10.14 to this, both require firmware updates to install. Download from the Mac App Store, don't use hacked installs, torrents, etc. Download the current installers, not installers that you downloaded years ago and have older firmwares or expired certificates. You need 10.12.6, and later 10.13.6, current installer(s) from the Mac App Store.
  2. Use createinstallmedia to create a Sierra USB key installer.
  3. Shutdown your Mac Pro and remove all PCIe cards except your Mac EFI GPU.
  4. Clear your Mac Pro SMC and NVRAM - clear NVRAM 3 times sequentially.
  5. Remove all disks except the one that you will do a clean install of 10.11.6/10.12.6.
  6. Power on your Mac Pro and do a clean install of 10.11.6/10.12.6.
  7. After 10.12.6 is installed, download the High Sierra 10.13.6 full Mac App Store installer and open it (yes, you will upgrade Sierra to High Sierra don't do a clean install). The High Sierra installer will then ask you to perform a firmware update, shutdown your Mac Pro and do it. Download High Sierra installer from the Mac App Store, don't use hacked installs, torrents, etc.
  8. After your Mac Pro restarts, close the installer and go to SystemInformation and check if your BootROM is MP51.0089.B00 now. If not, you did something wrong.
  9. Use createinstallmedia to create a USB key installer of High Sierra, power off your Mac Pro.
  10. Power on your Mac Pro, boot from the createinstallmedia USB-key and do a clean install of 10.13.6 - always do clean installs.
  11. After 10.13.6 is installed, shutdown your Mac Pro and replace your original GPU with a Metal supported one. Remove all non-METAL GPUs, keep just the METAL one installed since a non-METAL GPU present on your Mac Pro will block you from installing Mojave.
  12. Power on your Mac Pro and download 10.14.6 full Mac App Store installer. Download from the Mac App Store, don't use hacked installs, torrents, etc. Open it, the Mojave installer will ask you to perform a firmware update, shutdown your Mac Pro and do it.
  13. After your Mac Pro restarts, check if your BootROM is 144.0.0.0.0, if it is, you can create a USB-key and do a clean install of Mojave now. If you have a NVIDIA GTX 680, then you have to do a clean install from your 10.13.6 disk into another disk, since USB installer has a bug that don't identify GT640/740, GTX 680/780/Quadro K5000 as a METAL supported GPU.

What to do if during the upgrade process your Mac Pro bricked:

If during the upgrade process you bricked the BootROM, you have three options:

  1. Buy a replacement backplane on eBay and replace the backplane yourself, cheapest option if you can't solder SMD. Remember that you need a 2009 backplane if you have an early-2009 Mac Pro. If you have a mid-2010 or mid-2012 you can use either 2010 or 2012 backplanes. Don't mix early-2009 backplanes with mid-2010/mid-2012 CPU trays, or vice-versa - either scenario is a SMC firmware version mismatch and all your fans will run at maximum RPM, full time and without any software control.
  2. Buy a Mac Pro MATT card and use it as a replacement SPI flash, this is not recommended since all MATT cards are clones and won't work for iCloud/iMessage/FaceTime. A replacement backplane is usually cheaper.
  3. Desolder, reprogram and solder back the SPI flash, chip U8700 on the backplane. It's not possible to read or write to the SPI flash memory while it's soldered on the MP5,1 backplane. A cheap SPI flash programmer like ch341a will work for read/write the BootROM after the SPI flash memory is desoldered from the backplane. Start reading here, read all my posts on the subject from there. I strongly recommend that you replace your original SPI flash memory with a brand new one, don't solder it back to the backplane, it will fail soon since SPI flash memories have limited lifetime (manufacture rated for just 100.000 erase/write cycles) when used as NVRAM for a Mac Pro. Again, most hard bricks are caused by the failure of the SPI flash, it's a US$ 2 component easily available, MXIC MX25L3206E, just replace it! Btw, yes, you can use a MXIC MX25L3206E as a modern replacement for the two older models SST25VF032B and MXIC MX25L3205D used on early-2009 and mid-2010 respectively, Apple did it for mid-2012 Mac Pros.

    Mojave has the generic MP51.fd firmware image inside the full installer, it's enough for boot your Mac Pro again but not for iCloud/iMessage/FaceTime login.

    Code:
    Install\ macOS\ Mojave/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/Firmware/MP51.fd

For MP4,1 to MP5,1 cross firmware flashing process, see this thread below:


Frequent question, it's possible to bypass the METAL GPU requirement?

Simple and direct answer:

No. It's a requirement of the Mojave firmware upgrades, like an Apple OEM GPU or a third party one with pre-boot configuration support was required to do all the previous firmware upgrades from Leopard to High Sierra.

Complex answer:

If you are a firmware engineer with Mac Pro experience, you can reconstruct the whole SPI flash memory image and write to it directly, bypassing the requirements. But if you were one, you wouldn't be asking or looking here, no?
HI, Im new here. I have a Mac Pro 2010. I just bought a used Geforce GTX 680. When I install it into my computer it doesn't show any picture. Computer boots up cuz I hear the booting sound. But nothing on monitor. Do I need to install drivers first before installing the card? I put back my original graphic card that came with my mac and it turns on fine.
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
9,995
10,653
HI, Im new here. I have a Mac Pro 2010. I just bought a used Geforce GTX 680. When I install it into my computer it doesn't show any picture. Computer boots up cuz I hear the booting sound. But nothing on monitor. Do I need to install drivers first before installing the card? I put back my original graphic card that came with my mac and it turns on fine.
GTX 680 is natively supported from 10.8.x something to BigSur, no drivers required.

Check all output ports, if nothing is working test with a PC.
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2012
4,100
2,220
HI, Im new here. I have a Mac Pro 2010. I just bought a used Geforce GTX 680. When I install it into my computer it doesn't show any picture. Computer boots up cuz I hear the booting sound. But nothing on monitor. Do I need to install drivers first before installing the card? I put back my original graphic card that came with my mac and it turns on fine.
What brand and exact 680 model? Do you have the model number? Know personally of boot issues with many Zotac brand cards.
 

Don_Con

macrumors newbie
Oct 3, 2019
29
8
Alexandria, VA
@tsialex - A huge heartfelt thank you for this wiki. I spent a few hours across the week reading the wiki and the related posts. Took my time and laid out plan with all the nuance you mentioned throughout the discussion.

I've successfully upgraded my BootRom from *.0085.B00 to 144.0.0.0.0 while simultaneously upgrading my Legacy ATI Radeon 7550 1g to a RX 580 8g.

I could only imagine where I'd be if I didn't find this thread, especially with the pointers on removing the PCIe cards (had 2 installed), and insuring I was running things from a APFS formatted drive (all of mine were OS X Journaled), removing all other drives, etc.

I am debating if I actually want to go to Mojave at the end of the day as High Sierra was stable for me. Probably will ultimately do it.

I guess my only real follow-up question is related to the fact that all my drives except one are formatted as OS X journaled.

If I decide to go to Mojave, does Mojave require only the boot drive to be formatted in APFS? Or did the BootRom Firmware upgrade only need to be run from APFS formatted drive?
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jun 13, 2016
9,995
10,653
@tsialex - A huge heartfelt thank you for this wiki. I spent a few hours across the week reading the wiki and the related posts. Took my time and laid out plan with all the nuance you mentioned throughout the discussion.

I've successfully upgraded my BootRom from *.0085.B00 to 144.0.0.0.0 while simultaneously upgrading my Legacy ATI Radeon 7550 1g to a RX 580 8g.

I could only imagine where I'd be if I didn't find this thread, especially with the pointers on removing the PCIe cards (had 2 installed), and insuring I was running things from a APFS formatted drive (all of mine were OS X Journaled), removing all other drives, etc.

I am debating if I actually want to go to Mojave at the end of the day as High Sierra was stable for me. Probably will ultimately do it.

I guess my only real follow-up question is related to the fact that all my drives except one are formatted as OS X journaled.

If I decide to go to Mojave, does Mojave require only the boot drive to be formatted in APFS? Or did the BootRom Firmware upgrade only need to be run from APFS formatted drive?
Don't matter if the disk that you gonna install Mojave is APFS or not, the installer will convert it to APFS. Apple made APFS is an obligatory requirement of any macOS release after High Sierra.
 
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