Running Sierra on Mac Pro Early 2009

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by pitosalas, Aug 12, 2016.

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  1. pitosalas macrumors newbie

    pitosalas

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    #1
    I bet this has been discussed already but I can't find it by searching so sorry for probably an answered question.

    I have MacPro (Early 2009) - MacPro4,1 which according to Apple's list will not run Sierra. It requires MacPro5,1 (Mod 2010.) But from all I have read MacPro4,1 is almost identical MacPro5,1 which does run Sierra. As it turns out I have mine tricked out with 20Gig of memory and an ssd and I'd love to keep using it as it runs great.

    I understand there's a way to make mine look like a MacPro5,1 and it's pretty easy. But I can't find instructions that look trustworthy. Can someone here help me? Thanks!
     
  2. pitosalas thread starter macrumors newbie

    pitosalas

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    #2
    I found this:

    It's seems like a fairly risky procedure.
     
  3. hwojtek macrumors 65816

    hwojtek

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    #3
    You say "risky" - you don't want to install beta OS on your production HDD, do you? What is the risk if installing to an empty HDD then?
    BTW it's very easy. Just bump your 4,1 to 5,1 firmware (link under the first post here) and install Sierra on your 5,1.

    The video you have attached does not show anything regarding firmware upgrade, just installing Sierra in a trick mode. If such an installation is too risky for you, you'd probably be disappointed with running OS X Sierra on an unsupported machine anyway.
     
  4. pitosalas thread starter macrumors newbie

    pitosalas

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    #4
    Fair enough... i was going to wait for the released sierra. But my point about risky is that the utility seems to be "patching" the installer, and that sounds to me as something risky. I would be happier if there was one PROM 'key' that I had to change or something like that. Who knows what patching the installer really entails. If I could see the technical details, I would feel better.

    By the way do you think that the difference between the 4,1 and 5,1 hardware is indeed negligible so that sierra should work perfectly on it?
     
  5. hwojtek macrumors 65816

    hwojtek

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    #5
    Once the firmware on the 4,1 is upgraded to 5,1 there is absolutely no difference between an upgraded one and 'real' 5,1 - you will be safe running Sierra as Apple intended (bearing it will be a DIY 5,1 that's a funny point, actually).

    Patching the installer was a story for us, 1,1/2,1 Pro owners with ElCap. Fair to say, since all the patches and tricks were open-source, very well documented and the development was transparent, I had no holdbacks to patch my installation and run on my maxxed out 2,1. I expect same thing happening in regards of Sierra.

    That said upgrading the 4,1 firmware to 5,1 seems to be the simplest, cleanest and smartest solution.
     
  6. pitosalas thread starter macrumors newbie

    pitosalas

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    #6
    >>That said upgrading the 4,1 firmware to 5,1 seems to be the simplest, cleanest and smartest solution.

    And this is what the instructions do that you indicated from the first post: MacPro2009-2010FirmwareTool.zip?

    If it's a firmware patch, is it to the boot disk or the computer itself. In other words, if I am using an extra disk to do this process on, if I boot again on the original boot disk, the computer will once again be 4,1? In other words, it's fully reversible?
     
  7. hwojtek macrumors 65816

    hwojtek

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    #7
    Yeah, that's exactly what it does. It is a one-time rewrite of the computer firmware that is fitted into a chip on the motherboard. Once you run this successfully, your computer will be a 5,1 forever, no matter what disks you put in it.
    The machine serial number does not get altered in this process.
     
  8. fischersd macrumors 601

    fischersd

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    #8
    We do have an entire thread / wiki (top of the Sierra section) for discussion on unsupported Macs.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macos-10-12-sierra-unsupported-macs-thread.1977128/

    Please read as much of the content as possible before asking questions (as they may have been asked and answered already). :)
     
  9. pitosalas thread starter macrumors newbie

    pitosalas

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    #9
    I did, but being new to the forum I didn't find the answers... But anyway hwojtek has given me lots of good info!
    --- Post Merged, Aug 14, 2016 ---
    Just to be clear, the link from: here is to a zip file called MacPro 2009-2010 Firmware Tool. The dates on that concerned me in that it might be an old file. Can you confirm that it is indeed designed for getting Sierra to run on MacPro 4,1?

    [To all: the reason this is tricky is that there are now at least 2 but probably numerous different "tools" floating around which say they will allow me to do what I want, but how do you know if the tool is good, or worse, that it's not malware? It's by discussing it with a human who sounds legit. Thanks @hwojtek.]
     
  10. hwojtek macrumors 65816

    hwojtek

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    #10
    This one comes from one of the most respectful parts of the Mac Pro internet, the netkas forum, so don't worry. You're good with it.
    It has not been made 5 years ago as a tool to run Sierra per se, obviously. It is a tool to upgrade the 4,1 to 5,1, which is a fairly safe procedure since. The fact that it makes your computer fully supported by the Sierra installer is just a coincidental byproduct courtesy of Apple hardware requirements for Sierra.
     

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