Resolved Need help: Mac Pro 4,1 --> 5,1 firmware tool not working

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Hi,

So, those of you who have updated your 4,1 Mac Pros past El Capitan (and/or have done hex/12-core upgrades) know that there is a firmware tool meant to flash a 4,1 to 5,1 firmware, to make upgrades/updates possible. Here's the problem...

I am having a pretty unusual issue with this. I was able to perform this just fine on my first 4,1 Mac Pro (shown in my signature), but my second 4,1 (of the same stock specifications) will not complete the update. Upon starting up, the machine's power light flashes and I let go as soon as I hear the tone; but, without fail, it brings up the normal boot screen once it restarts a second time, rather than bringing up the firmware progress bar. Upon going into System Profiler, I notice that it still identifies as a 4,1 Mac Pro. If I go back to the firmware update tool, it starts me where I was. I've tried this five times in a row, with no luck.

How could this be? There's no error or anything - it just simply doesn't work. Has anyone had a similar issue? Any help is appreciated - thanks.


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Specs of my second 4,1:
-2x 2.26 GHz quad-core Xeons
-8GB 1067 MHz RAM
-Mac Radeon 4870 (or whatever the stock one from Apple was at the time)
-HDD containing a fresh installation of 10.11 El Capitan (base)
[doublepost=1501376552][/doublepost]FYI: I am NOT receiving that common error present with Yosemite+ machines, where the user cannot proceed until he has mounted the Apple Firmware Update package onto his desktop.

The firmware updater tool works its magic just fine - I just get no results and without any errors.
 

owbp

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2016
714
240
Belgrade, Serbia
Any luck?
Since you're not getting any errors, the only thing I can think of is that your 4,1 firmware is not up to date.
But that is mentioned in the first post of the thread you linked...
 

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Any luck?
Since you're not getting any errors, the only thing I can think of is that your 4,1 firmware is not up to date.
But that is mentioned in the first post of the thread you linked...

No luck. :( My firmware is up-to-date, my boot ROM is the latest version, and I've tried El Cap, Lion, and Snow Leopard. I could try Yosemite, Mavericks, or Mtn. Lion, but I find it hard to believe that those would be any different. I've exhausted pretty much everything.

Just in case, can you send the exact firmware update needed before I can update to 5,1? I want to make sure I was trying out the correct thing. When I tried, it said I didn't need the update, meaning that I likely already have it. I'm just getting frantic here because my Mac Pro is the most stubborn one I've seen.

I really don't think it will ever be possible to upgrade this thing... so weird. I can't sell this with El Capitan, and nobody in my own family will want to use it if it's stuck on El Capitan.
 

LightBulbFun

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2013
2,229
2,083
London UK
im just curios have you tried another HDD? since the EFI update gets loaded off of the Hard drive. also what exactly is your Mac Pros boot ROM string? give me the full version (ie MBP91.88Z.00D3.B22.1706182357 not MBP91.00D3.B22)

also have you reset the PRAM and NVRAM? failing that have you tried manually updating the firmware using terminal/an EFI shell?
 

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
Original poster
im just curios have you tried another HDD? since the EFI update gets loaded off of the Hard drive. also what exactly is your Mac Pros boot ROM string? give me the full version (ie MBP91.88Z.00D3.B22.1706182357 not MBP91.00D3.B22)

also have you reset the PRAM and NVRAM? failing that have you tried manually updating the firmware using terminal/an EFI shell?
I tried a fresh installation on a hard drive. Would using a different hard drive matter if the installation is fresh every time? I wiped the HDD clean and tried SL, Lion, and El Cap.

My boot ROM version is the following: MP41.0081.B07

Yes, I tried a PRAM reset. But, what does an NVRAM reset entail? I have not tried manually updating the firmware using terminal/an EFI shell, as I am unaware how that is done.
 

LightBulbFun

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2013
2,229
2,083
London UK
another HDD, as in another physically different Hard disk drive / solid state drive

also thats not the full boot rom version LOL

PRAM-NVRAM using the term interchangeably here, did you try resetting the SMC?

in regards to doing it manually I recommend looking up guides on how people used to flash Mac mini 1,1s to 2,1s as an example
 

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
Original poster
another HDD, as in another physically different Hard disk drive / solid state drive

also thats not the full boot rom version LOL

PRAM-NVRAM using the term interchangeably here, did you try resetting the SMC?

in regards to doing it manually I recommend looking up guides on how people used to flash Mac mini 1,1s to 2,1s as an example

Yeah, I realize that you meant a different HDD. I definitely have spares that I could try. I was just curious, though, why that could cause this to work. Is that a long-shot, or is it a perfectly normal step I might take if I'm having issues with this?

Also, that IS the full boot ROM version. That's exactly what System Profiler tells me - character-for-character. If you need more info, I'll put in a screenshot of it all.
 

Squuiid

macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2006
1,547
800
I'd try removing all PCIe cards and leaving just the video card.
Also, if you've upgraded the RAM perhaps put the original Apple RAM back in it while you do the flash.
And yes, do a PRAM reset once you've done that.
Then try flashing again.
 

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
Original poster
I'd try removing all PCIe cards and leaving just the video card.
Also, if you've upgraded the RAM perhaps put the original Apple RAM back in it while you do the flash.
And yes, do a PRAM reset once you've done that.
Then try flashing again.
All I have in the Mac Pro is the GPU. As for the RAM, I have the original from my other 4,1 (Well, AFAIK, it's the original 6GB). I suppose I could try it in this 4,1 and see what happens.
 

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oh my God! I got it to work! I pulled out a spare drive I had, which had a non-stock installation of 10.8.5 on it. Tried the firmware update with that and it worked. I think it had to do with the fact that I used a different HDD. Not sure why, but it happened to work like that. (Just FYI, I left the other HDD in there whilst performing this task.)

Man... that was a nightmare. Thanks, guys, for answering on this thread. And thanks, LightBulbFan, for mentioning that I try a spare HDD.



If anyone from the future is seeing this, this is how you fix things when no OS version seems to be cutting it.
 

PowerMac G4 MDD

macrumors 68000
Original poster
I had a similar, albeit not as lengthy and frustrating, experience as PMG4 which was resolved in a similar manner... I popped in an old Mountain Lion start up drive and fund success with the EFI update immediately!
Seems to me that the drive is what matters - not the OS version. I'm assuming that the majority of users who have tried other OS versions happened to also be using a different drive to do so.
 
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sepo01

macrumors newbie
Mar 6, 2008
19
5
Anchorage, AK
Seems to me that the drive is what matters - not the OS version. I'm assuming that the majority of users who have tried other OS versions happened to also be using a different drive to do so.
I have the same issue with upgrading.

I have a stock 640gb drive with el cap on it.

I have a spare drive , do I disconnect the current drive after I shutdown and connect the new drive ?

Should I initialize the new drive first ?

Thanks in advance
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
13,987
6,602
Hong Kong
I have the same issue with upgrading.

I have a stock 640gb drive with el cap on it.

I have a spare drive , do I disconnect the current drive after I shutdown and connect the new drive ?

Should I initialize the new drive first ?

Thanks in advance
You better clearly list out what you tried so far.

The stock 640GB HDD should able to perform the firmware flashing.
 

Kalagan

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2018
3
0
Recently Flashed an 8 Core 2.93GHz (2 x 4 Core 2.93 GHz) 4,1 to a 5,1, the Flashing process went off with out a hitch. The machine now shows itself as a 5,1 machine (just like it should), but I can't get the processor Tray to recognize 1333 MHz Ram.

1) If I install a different Processor Tray (2 x 6 Core 3.33MHz) with 1333MHz Ram, it recognizes all 12 Cores and the Ram correctly.
2) If I install the original 2 x 4 Core 2.93 Processor tray, with the Ram from the 3.33MHz Tray, it still says the ram is 1066, not 1333.

I have tried a number of combinations and no matter what I try, I can't get the original 2 x 4 Core 2.93 Processor tray to recognize 1333MHz Ram.

Does the Processor Tray itself, need to be Flashed?
Does the Processor Tray get Flashed during the 4,1 to 5,1 Flashing process?
Are there processor Trays that just can't be upgraded to accept 1333MHz Ram?
Is there something else that could be done to get the processor Tray to recognize 1333MHz Ram?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Kalagan
 
Last edited:

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,388
8,098
Brazil
Recently Flashed an 8 Core 2.93GHz (2 x 4 Core 2.93 GHz) 4,1 to a 5,1, the Flashing process went off with out a hitch. The machine now shows itself as a 5,1 machine (just like it should), but I can't get the processor Tray to recognize 1333 MHz Ram.

1) If I install a different Processor Tray (2 x 6 Core 3.33MHz) with 1333MHz Ram, it recognizes all 12 Cores and the Ram correctly.
2) If I install the original 2 x 4 Core 2.93 Processor tray, with the Ram from the 3.33MHz Tray, it still says the ram is 1066, not 1333.

I have tried a number of combinations and no matter what I try, I can't get the original 2 x 4 Core 2.93 Processor tray to recognize 1333MHz Ram.

Does the Processor Tray itself, need to be Flashed?
Does the Processor Tray get Flashed during the 4,1 to 5,1 Flashing process?
Are there processor Trays that just can't be upgraded to accept 1333MHz Ram?
Is there something else that could be done to get the processor Tray to recognize 1333MHz Ram?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Kalagan
It's not the CPU tray that defines the RAM speed, it's the memory controller in the processor:

Nehalem processor support 800 and 1066MHz RAM speed
Westmere processor 1066 and 1333MHz RAM speed

Install a Westmere processor in your CPU tray to get support for 1333MHz RAM.
 
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Squuiid

macrumors 68000
Oct 31, 2006
1,547
800
Install a Westmere processor in your CPU tray to get support for 1333MHz RAM.
This.
Buy 2x X5677 processors off eBay, delid them with a vice (don’t use washers!) and install with some thermal paste.
You’ll greatly increase the speed of your Mac Pro while also unlocking 1333MHz RAM.
 

Kalagan

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2018
3
0
It's not the CPU tray that defines the RAM speed, it's the memory controller in the processor:

Nehalem processor support 800 and 1066MHz RAM speed
Westmere processor 1066 and 1333MHz RAM speed

Install a Westmere processor in your CPU tray to get support for 1333MHz RAM.
Thanks, I didn't catch that there were different processor families with the same speed. When I saw 2.93MHz, I just figured they were the same. I guess I fell into the old "Assumption Hole", thanks for throwing me a life preserver!!
[doublepost=1535482879][/doublepost]
This.
Buy 2x X5677 processors off eBay, delid them with a vice (don’t use washers!) and install with some thermal paste.
You’ll greatly increase the speed of your Mac Pro while also unlocking 1333MHz RAM.
Thanks for the suggestion, I was hoping to drop in the 12 Core 3.46's, but wasn't even aware of the 4 Core Version. That might be a good option as well. Thanks.
 

skizzo

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2018
255
80
I had a difficult time flashing my 4,1 firmware to 5,1 and I narrowed it down to trying to do it on an aftermarket HDD instead of the stock HDD. The aftermarket one was a Toshiba 4TB HDD. Or at least that seemed to be what created my issue for getting the firmware flashing to actually take. It would do the whole flashing sequence but I never got progress bar so it was just a startup like normal. I think I did the same sequence as the OP, trying it on Snow Leopard and then El Capitan and neither worked. Then once I did the flashing on the stock 640GB HDD and pretty sure it was Snow Leopard, it worked. So given the sequence of troubleshooting I did I am to believe it was due to which disk was used to do the flashing. I'm not sure if that makes sense because it sounds like the OP got it to work with a non-stock HDD?
 

mattplay

macrumors newbie
Sep 2, 2018
1
0
I had a difficult time flashing my 4,1 firmware to 5,1 and I narrowed it down to trying to do it on an aftermarket HDD instead of the stock HDD. The aftermarket one was a Toshiba 4TB HDD. Or at least that seemed to be what created my issue for getting the firmware flashing to actually take. It would do the whole flashing sequence but I never got progress bar so it was just a startup like normal. I think I did the same sequence as the OP, trying it on Snow Leopard and then El Capitan and neither worked. Then once I did the flashing on the stock 640GB HDD and pretty sure it was Snow Leopard, it worked. So given the sequence of troubleshooting I did I am to believe it was due to which disk was used to do the flashing. I'm not sure if that makes sense because it sounds like the OP got it to work with a non-stock HDD?
I have a 2009 Mac Pro 4,1 8-core 2.93GHz that I bought used. When I bought it, the boot HD had already been upgraded to a 512GB SSHD. Therefore, I do not have the original HD. I am running the latest version of El Capitain. I have already purchased my processors to upgrade to 12-core but I can't get the firmware to install to 5,1. When I run the Firmware Tool, upon restarting and holding the power button until it flashes, the system ends up just booting normally and is still 4,1.

Any ideas what I can do? Is my only option to find an original HD with an older OS X installed?
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,388
8,098
Brazil
I have a 2009 Mac Pro 4,1 8-core 2.93GHz that I bought used. When I bought it, the boot HD had already been upgraded to a 512GB SSHD. Therefore, I do not have the original HD. I am running the latest version of El Capitain. I have already purchased my processors to upgrade to 12-core but I can't get the firmware to install to 5,1. When I run the Firmware Tool, upon restarting and holding the power button until it flashes, the system ends up just booting normally and is still 4,1.

Any ideas what I can do? Is my only option to find an original HD with an older OS X installed?
You can circumvent all that:
  1. Boot Recovery, open Terminal, disable SIP with "csrutil disable" then reboot back to macOS
  2. Download ROMTool.zip and do a BootROM dump
  3. Compress your BootROM dump and PM me the file, I'll update your BootROM to the latest one: 138.0.0.0.0.
 

Kalagan

macrumors newbie
Aug 27, 2018
3
0
You can circumvent all that:
  1. Boot Recovery, open Terminal, disable SIP with "csrutil disable" then reboot back to macOS
  2. Download ROMTool.zip and do a BootROM dump
  3. Compress your BootROM dump and PM me the file, I'll update your BootROM to the latest one: 138.0.0.0.0.
Do you happen to know if Apple used De-Lidded processors on the dual Processor (8 Core) 4,1 Machines and Lidded processors for the Single Processor (4 Core) Machines? A friend bought a 4 Core 4,1, Flashed it, bought a 3.46 processor and de-lidded it, then tried to install the new 3.46 de-lidded processor on his 4 Core Processor Tray and the processor Tray had the metal processor clamps, like the 5,1 machines do. So, he was not able to use his de-lidded processor on any of the three 4 Core machines he bought, because all of them had the clamps and needed lidded processors.

It would surprise me if Apple would use two different processors (lidded and de-lidded) within the same family of 4,1 machines, but it would also surprise me that the previous owner of these three 4,1 machines would swap the processor trays with 5,1 Trays and not flash the machines.

Just figured I'd ask, because either explanation seems a little odd to me.
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,388
8,098
Brazil
Do you happen to know if Apple used De-Lidded processors on the dual Processor (8 Core) 4,1 Machines and Lidded processors for the Single Processor (4 Core) Machines? A friend bought a 4 Core 4,1, Flashed it, bought a 3.46 processor and de-lidded it, then tried to install the new 3.46 de-lidded processor on his 4 Core Processor Tray and the processor Tray had the metal processor clamps, like the 5,1 machines do. So, he was not able to use his de-lidded processor on any of the three 4 Core machines he bought, because all of them had the clamps and needed lidded processors.

It would surprise me if Apple would use two different processors (lidded and de-lidded) within the same family of 4,1 machines, but it would also surprise me that the previous owner of these three 4,1 machines would swap the processor trays with 5,1 Trays and not flash the machines.

Just figured I'd ask, because either explanation seems a little odd to me.
Apple only used de-lidded Xeons with 2009 Dual CPU tray. All 4,1 single CPU trays used lided Xeons.
 

Fnhscar17s

macrumors newbie
Jun 25, 2019
14
0
I have a serious issue trying to update from 4.1 to 5.1

Here is some info for you guys:

I have success getting the firmware updater to work and the efi update to mount on the desktop and accept. My problem is no matter what I try it does not install the firmware when starting the computer up (going to shut down, then holding power button until light flashes and hearing tone to release) it simply boots back into the os. I've tried different hard drives, I've pulled all my pcie cards, I'm only using the stock gt120 graphics card ive pulled any extra ram or no stock ram ive even tried different ram slots and pulling more ram, wired keyboard and mouse, and the dvi port to a single monitor and still no go.

Currently on boot rom B07
4 1 mac pro
Gt120 stock graphics card
Only keyboard, mouse (both wired), and dvi monitor attached

Operating system: mountain lion 10.8.5
Tried process with fresh install of snow leopard on different drive and failed

At my wits end I've tried practically everything I've read on the internet.
 
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