NVME boot on 3,1 in El Capitan

Root2k

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2010
26
1
Atlanta, GA
I have a 2008 3,1 running El Capitan and I'm trying to put a pcie nvme adapter in it to boot from. I'm following the instructions on the google doc but I'm not sure if I can actually do this on El Capitan as it mentions High Sierra. I won't be able to upgrade to High Sierra until I get an EFI gpu to be able to see what I'm doing. I don't mind waiting but if I can get this thing running in the meantime that would be great.
 

flowrider

macrumors 603
Nov 23, 2012
6,031
2,273
Let me add - No matter what you do to a cMP 3,1 it'll never work, the Firmware (Boot ROM) is not compatible.

Lou
 
Last edited:

LightBulbFun

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2013
2,264
2,153
London UK
you can boot from an NVMe drive in a MacPro3,1 if you modify its BootROM by inserting the NVMe Driver from a newer macs BootROM.

however it is worth noting El cap does not support non Apple NVMe drives natively

if you want to boot from NVMe on a MP3,1 I recommend either running High Sierra or newer, or use an Apple NVMe SSD from say a 2017 iMac.
 

Root2k

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2010
26
1
Atlanta, GA
Thanks everyone I got it working last night. Booting up just fine now on High Sierra. I'm not getting the max speeds though. I'm having a hard time getting pcitools to enable the usb 2.0. It's only reading 2.5 GT/s no matter what commands I try. The ssd is an Inland Professional 256gb PCIe Gen 3x2 with 1550mb read and 800mb write. The PCIe adapter I have is a Micro Connectors model PCIE-M20803HS M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 x4 adapter with heat sink. I picked up both locally so if I need to exchange it's no problem.
 

Root2k

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2010
26
1
Atlanta, GA
^^^^What slot?

Lou
Slot 2. I even swapped the gpu to Slot 2 and tried the pcie adapter in slot 1. Still same speeds. I think I need to disable SIP again and run the pcitools. I thought that dosdude1's patcher disabled it but I think it was re-enabled after I flashed the rom for the nvme. I'll try that and report back.
 

Macschrauber

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2015
803
310
Germany
Can you explain what driver you injected for 3,1 and what tools you used. I got a little lost with all those firmware versions. Still have apfs boot injected with dosdudes patcher.

Didnt want to brick the spi flash chip as this is the version hard to swap and I have no programmer for this kind of flash.
 

Root2k

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 6, 2010
26
1
Atlanta, GA
Can you explain what driver you injected for 3,1 and what tools you used. I got a little lost with all those firmware versions. Still have apfs boot injected with dosdudes patcher.

Didnt want to brick the spi flash chip as this is the version hard to swap and I have no programmer for this kind of flash.
I didn't inject any drivers for the nvme, I used the ones included in High Sierra. I got it partially working though. I was putting in the wrong pcie address in pcitools when I was trying to activate pcie 2.0 on slot 2. I'm getting 5 GT/s link speed on slot two now and the ssd is much faster. The problem I have now it I'm only getting 2x link width instead of 4x in slots 1 and two. I may just leave well enough alone and try and be happy with 630/680mb read writes on an ssd capable of 1550/800mb.
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,616
8,347
Brazil
I'm not so sure that the process to inject APFS + NVMe driver is 100% secure into MP3,1.

I bricked two while testing, one was a error that I did, but the other bricked some days later - another user here bricked one too. Btw, MP3,1 logic boards are pricier than 2012 backplanes on eBay.

I stopped testing since my last brick, I'm waiting a TSOP32 adaptor, solder paste and solder flux arrive from AliExpress.
 

macguru9999

macrumors 6502
Aug 9, 2006
303
95
An AHCI m2 SSD like the xp941 from samsung will work out of the box in a mac pro 3,1 , with any system that i have tried in a 3,1 and give similar speeds 5-600mb/s depending on the slot. The machine is currently set up with sierra server using the dosdude installer, but it worked equally well with older systems.
 

Macschrauber

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2015
803
310
Germany
hmm so what. I patched apfs driver with dosDudes Tool in my MP3.1s.

NVMe is not bloody necessary - but would be neat.

Is it better to let you, @tsialex, built me a Rom with nvme and apfs ?

As written, I can not program the spi flash of a 3.1 - plus the soldering job is much more effort.
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,616
8,347
Brazil
hmm so what. I patched apfs driver with dosDudes Tool in my MP3.1s.

NVMe is not bloody necessary - but would be neat.

Is it better to let you, @tsialex, built me a Rom with nvme and apfs ?

As written, I can not program the spi flash of a 3.1 - plus the soldering job is much more effort.
Sorry, I'm not going to do any MP3,1 BootROMs - too risky for now.
[doublepost=1546910503][/doublepost]BTW, it's not a SPI flash memory, but a FWB one.
 

freqrider

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2019
65
29
I'm not so sure that the process to inject APFS + NVMe driver is 100% secure into MP3,1.

I bricked two while testing, one was a error that I did, but the other bricked some days later - another user here bricked one too. Btw, MP3,1 logic boards are pricier than 2012 backplanes on eBay.

I stopped testing since my last brick, I'm waiting a TSOP32 adaptor, solder paste and solder flux arrive from AliExpress.

Hmmm? So you weren’t able to reflash the bootrom with Apples firmware restore CD?

Ok, now I’m scared! LOL
 

tsialex

macrumors 604
Jun 13, 2016
7,616
8,347
Brazil
Hmmm? So you weren’t able to reflash the bootrom with Apples firmware restore CD?

Ok, now I’m scared! LOL
Be prepared to buy replacement logic boards, MP3,1 has a non standard BootROM with part into a SOIC SPI flash and the rest into a TSOP FWB flash memory.

MP3,1 is the easiest Mac to brick.
 

freqrider

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2019
65
29
I’ve used DXEInject RomTool, flashrom (linux) to flash my rom several times with no brick, SO FAR! I think UEFITools is a bit buggy. I only use it to verify my DXE’s were actually injected and to browse rom files and extract the .ffs files. Do you have any idea where things went wrong for you?
 

Rodrigo Alvarez

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2019
2
0
Hey guys,

I'm catching up to a lot of context here. I've been running HighSierra out of an HDD an Mac Pro 3.1 for a while and now want to upgrade to SSD. I bough a NVMe adapter and I can mount the SSD and install the patched HighSierra but it does not boot. When booting with option-key pressed the SSD does not show up.

I'm quite overwhelmed by all the threads on the subject and looking for a quick up to date summary (for myself and the community).

Some questions:
Given that I previously installed the patched HighSierra and (presumably) updated the EFI in the process, do I need to insert anything else into the EFI? I'd rather keep (or replace) an HDD than brick it.
Given that I can mount the SSD (from a NVMe -PCIe adapter) does this mean I am good to boot? What am I missing?
What's this business of upgrading PCI to 2.0? Is it needed or just good to have for speed?
I see mentions about which PCIe slot the adapter is in. Mine is in 2. Does this work?

Thank you so much in advance for any light you could shade on this topic.
 

freqrider

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2019
65
29
Hey guys,

I'm catching up to a lot of context here. I've been running HighSierra out of an HDD an Mac Pro 3.1 for a while and now want to upgrade to SSD. I bough a NVMe adapter and I can mount the SSD and install the patched HighSierra but it does not boot. When booting with option-key pressed the SSD does not show up.

I'm quite overwhelmed by all the threads on the subject and looking for a quick up to date summary (for myself and the community).

Some questions:
Given that I previously installed the patched HighSierra and (presumably) updated the EFI in the process, do I need to insert anything else into the EFI? I'd rather keep (or replace) an HDD than brick it.
Given that I can mount the SSD (from a NVMe -PCIe adapter) does this mean I am good to boot? What am I missing?
What's this business of upgrading PCI to 2.0? Is it needed or just good to have for speed?
I see mentions about which PCIe slot the adapter is in. Mine is in 2. Does this work?

Thank you so much in advance for any light you could shade on this topic.

You can not boot from NVMe on a 3,1 UNLESS you modify your bootrom!

THIS IS NOT A NOOB MODIFICATION!!!

You need to:

Download Dosdude1’s RomTool (password: rom)

Extract your bootrom with RomTool (and save a copy somewhere safe!!!)

Extract the nvme.ffs (nvme driver from 5,1 bootrom within Latest Mojave full install) using Pacifist and UEFITools. You have to locate it in Mojave Full install/Contents/Install.dmg/Payloads or something like that, I forget exactly. Open 5,1.fd in UEFITools and search for nvme.ffs. Extract as is. This is the driver you need to inject into your saved bootrom.

Inject the extracted nvme.ffs driver into your saved bootrom using DXEInject. (Follow directions! It’s command line only!!) Name new bootrom something appropriate.

(Optional) Open new bootrom in UEFITools to verify (search for) nvme driver is present.

Flash new, modified bootrom to your 3,1 with RomTool.

Use PCItools to activate PCIe2 speeds. (Slot 1-2 only) Or install lnkspd package from here: https://github.com/matatata/lnkspd
I tested it in slot 2 and it works. Much easier than configuring pcietools.

If you have done it correctly, you will be able to boot from nvme drive on your 3,1.
If done incorrectly, you could brick your machine!
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

That said, I have done it many times with no issues.

Reference the google doc posted below! It is accurate, only nvme.ffs link is outdated. You have to extract it from latest Mojave FULL INSTALL! NOT UPGRADE!!! https://docs.google.com/document/d/...BLAWWJipyM/mobilebasic#heading=h.l23937sx565e

The hardest part for me was finding the 5,1.fd file (5,1 firmware update payload)

Good luck!
 

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