Quick way to enable Continuity / Handoff without CAT

robbier

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 27, 2008
75
9
Hi all -

This info is buried inside the other handoff / continuity thread but I wanted to post it here as a quick guide so it is easy to find. I discovered today that the Continuity Activation Tool is only required if you do not have an officially-supported AC WiFi / BT 4 card. As long as you have an officially-supported card (like a card that uses the Broadcom BCM94360 chipset), then there is only one file that must be edited to tell the system that your machine is capable of using continuity and handoff.

Here is the basic procedure:

-The Mac Pro must have an upgraded bluetooth / wifi chipset installed that Apple actually uses in their newer machines and that fully supports handoff / continuity (like the Broadcom BCM94360 chipset as a Mini-PCIe card or in the form of a full size PCIe card like the Fenvi FV-T919)

-Grab your board-ID using terminal:

ioreg -l | grep board-id​

-Write it down

-The following can be done via another machine by connecting your Mac Pro's boot drive to it externally (this avoids having to temporarily disable SIP) OR after temporarily disabling SIP via the recovery partition (be sure to turn it back on after if you do this)

-Find that board-id in the following file using an editor like TextWrangler and change the appropriate value to true:

/System/Library/Frameworks/IOBluetooth.framework/Versions/A/Resources/SystemParameters.plist​

Then just give it 5-10 minutes, and maybe disable and re-enable the checkbox for Handoff in system preferences and you will now have Continuity Camera, Apple Watch Unlock, Handoff, Instant Hotspot, etc.
 
Last edited:

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,318
744
cdf posted a similar method earlier this year that works great. Requires temporarily disabling SIP (but then again so does CAT).

Accessing the Recovery partition to disable SIP is no problem with unflashed video cards (just hold down Command-R as soon as you hear the boot chime). The Recovery partition has the same driver support as macOS so while there will be a black screen while it loads, once it does you will have the full recovery GUI available.

Edit: Also, the modification should be preserved with minor point updates to macOS, at least that's been the case in the past.
 

robbier

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 27, 2008
75
9
Accessing the Recovery partition to disable SIP is no problem with unflashed video cards. The Recovery partition has the same driver support as macOS so while there will be a black screen while it loads, once it does you will have the full recovery GUI available.
Didn't know that! That's awesome. For some reason I thought the recovery partition didn't have full GPU driver support - or maybe I was thinking about the macOS installer?
 

bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
1,318
744
Didn't know that! That's awesome. For some reason I thought the recovery partition didn't have full GPU driver support - or maybe I was thinking about the macOS installer?
The macOS installer works too. Really the only major things you lose with an unflashed card are the option key boot picker, FileVault and firmware password entry screens, Verbose and Single User modes, and you can no longer boot text-based OSes like DOS. Most other stuff works just fine.

Probably good to have this info in a new thread though, as CAT has been unreliable (and unmaintained) for a while and for us on the cMP it turns out to be so much easier. And for folks that absolutely don't want to disable SIP and have another Mac they can use to make the plist modification--your method is a good workaround.
 

crjackson2134

macrumors 601
Mar 6, 2013
4,737
1,883
Charlotte, NC
Accessing the Recovery partition to disable SIP is no problem with unflashed video cards (just hold down Command-R as soon as you hear the boot chime). The Recovery partition has the same driver support as macOS so while there will be a black screen while it loads, once it does you will have the full recovery GUI available.
This is true if you have a video card with native driver support or EFI support. Many NVidia GPU’s have neither, and can’t access the recovery mode. It works for AMD cards because the base package already has the drivers.
 
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bookemdano

macrumors 65816
Jul 29, 2011
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Very true and good point. Completely forgot about the NVidia web driver folks (and I used to be one of them!)
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,239
6,841
Hong Kong
This is true if you have a video card with native driver support or EFI support. Many NVidia GPU’s have neither, and can’t access the recovery mode. It works for AMD cards because the base package already has the drivers.
Very true and good point. Completely forgot about the NVidia web driver folks (and I used to be one of them!)
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/cmp-getting-dell-5k-working-in-sierra.2026628/#post-25075208
 
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