Surviving w/o Boot Screen on cMP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CrazyNurse, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. CrazyNurse macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2012
    #1
    Has anyone created a sticky or guide somewhere detailing how to troubleshoot a mac without boot screens "just in case"?

    I switched to an RX580 because my 7950 was going out, which was a POS XFX PC card I flashed when I bought the mac.

    The RX580 is so much quieter and has stabilized my system again.
     
  2. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #2
    Not that I'm aware of.

    I'd prepare for the future though by setting up screen sharing, keeping a working bootable clone of your OS drive, and preferably also having a working backup card with Mac EFI.
     
  3. tpivette89 macrumors regular

    tpivette89

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    #3
    I always keep a spare GT120 around in case I need a boot screen. Cheap insurance.
     
  4. handheldgames macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

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    Pacific NW, USA
    #4
    Agreed. Clean your 7950s cooling fins from any dust build up and keep it for energencies. Hopefully it will still limp along when you need it. I have several older cards for this reason.
     
  5. Squuiid macrumors 65816

    Squuiid

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #5
    The only issues I see are the inability to use FileVault and the inability to flash updated firmware to the cMP.
    I’d be reluctant to buy a GT120 at this stage however as the upcoming macOS Mojave will not support it.
    A flashed GTX 680 or 7950 are probably good standby cards to buy right now.
     
  6. CrazyNurse thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 23, 2012
    #6
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I cleaned out the old 7950 real good and will hold onto it just in case.
     
  7. flowrider macrumors 603

    flowrider

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    Nov 23, 2012
    #7
    As mentioned, that will be of absolutely no help when Mojave is released.

    Lou
     
  8. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #8
    Not really, GT120 should still provide the boot screen and unaccelerated screen in 10.14.

    If GT120's EFI can't do that, your MVC flashed 1080 also can't do that either.

    Because until web driver is properly loaded. The only thing that powering the screen is the Mac EFI on your GTX 1080. The EFI itself is not METAL supported. If the GT120's Mac EFI can't display anything in 10.14. I can't see how your card's EFI can display anything.

    The GT120 works nothing more than the Mac EFI for any other unflashed card. It can work as a normal GPU once driver is load is just a bonus, but not the main idea to have it.
     
  9. flowrider macrumors 603

    flowrider

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  10. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #10
    I don't know what you mean by this post.

    That installer is known not to work on any 5,1 yet regardless which GPU installed.

    And Mac EFI is independent to any OS. It activate the GPU and provide display ability even before the OS start to load.
     
  11. flowrider macrumors 603

    flowrider

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    #11
    ^^^^^Though I can't run Mojave, I believe DP2 can install on a 5,1 cMP. I think the message at the bottom is quite clear, it won't install without a Metal capable card. It does NOT say won't install on this Mac. Am I wrong here?

    Lou
     
  12. h9826790, Jun 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2018

    h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #12
    Yes, DP2 can run on 5,1, but the installer is NOT regardless which GPU installed. You have to install DP2 from another Mac, and then it can boot on the 5,1, but not via direct installation. Or at least not directly download the installer form cMP. AFAIK, this step cannot done on the cMP yet.

    That message belongs to a beta installer. And it's known not accurate yet.

    A user may not able to install 10.14 with just the GT120. However, it won't stop the GT120 to serve as an emergency card once 10.14 is installed. That's what post #3 talking about. The EFI (boot screen) will still work because that's OS independent.

    In fact, I believe in your case, you can still install 10.14 if upgrade from High Sierra. Of course, it depends on how Apple check that "Metal capability". If the installer only read the current GPU status in system info, your 1080 should able to tick that "Metal supported" box. But if the check is based on an internal white list, then most likely both of our Nvidia GPU won't have any luck.

    And once the OS is installed, despite there is no Metal GPU detected yet, you should able to boot to desktop with just the EFI display to install the associated web driver (same as the current situation). Again, that's because EFI is independent to OS, as long as no driver to take over, it will work forever.

    And MVC already done the test with a Mac EFI HD6xxx GPU, which has no Metal support, but still able to boot to DP desktop without any acceleration. So, unless Apple intentionally keep us away from 10.14, and further change the rule on how the system "able to boot" (not able to install). Any Mac EFI GPU should able to boot to desktop which including your flashed 1080 (before web driver installed), and GT120.

    However, No matter your "Mac EFI GTX 1080" or "GT120 + any Maxwell / Pascal combination". There may be no way to perform a clean installation. If we boot from the installer, and the installer further check the "current status of Metal capability". There will be no Metal capable card considered installed (because the installer has no up to date Nvidia driver, and can't recognize the Maxwell / Pascal GPU).

    If this assumption is correct. We won't be able to re-install the OS in recovery partition as well unless we have an OOTB Metal supported card.

    But in any case, GT120's EFI should work and should display if 10.14 is installed.

    Post 3# and Post #8 was talking about if GT120 can serve as an emergency card in 10.14, but not if we can install 10.14 with the help of GT120.
     
  13. flowrider macrumors 603

    flowrider

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    #13
    ^^^^OK, maybe you're correct, but my point was it appears it's impossible to install Mojave without a metal capable card. And if that's true, than I further believe that you will not be able too update firmware without a metal capable EFI card. So, while an EFI GT120 may be able to boot to an unaccelerated desktop while in Mojave, you may not be able to do anything with it.

    So, again, what's the point?

    Lou
     
  14. tsialex macrumors 68020

    tsialex

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    Jun 13, 2016
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    Brazil
    #14
    Public Beta installer, downloaded on a MP51, telling "Installing macOS Mojave on this Mac requires that all graphic cards have Metal support" excludes GT120 as EFI failsafe, no?
     

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  15. tpivette89 macrumors regular

    tpivette89

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    #15
    The OP never said anything about Mojave support...
    --- Post Merged, Jun 26, 2018 ---
    Just when installing. I would assume after installation, a GT120 can be used in tandem with a metal compatible card if you need a boot screen.
     
  16. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    #16
    IMO, the whole idea of having GT120 is just able to display without any OS driver support. This is crucial for rescue purpose.

    With that EFI display ability, we able use boot manager, able to use recovery partition, able to install / enable web driver, able to use single user mode, able to run AHT / ASD, able to flash firmware...

    And the GT120 will still able to perform firmware upgrade. It's Mac EFI has the ability to put the cMP into firmware flashing mode (by holding the power button during boot), this procedure happens well before the cMP start to locate the OS. Therefore, again, it's completely OS independent. And once firmware flashing mode is activated, we can update / patch / or even downgrade the firmware to whatever we want. This won't and can't be changed in 10.14, because the process is OS independent.

    So far, the only restriction I can see is just may be unable to install the OS with GT120 only. However, GT120 is still a very good emergency card, because it can do all the above.

    And none of us said we want to run / install 10.14 with just the GT120. That's just an emergency card to assist the primary GPU. As long as 10.14 can be installed with any Metal supported GPU, e.g. my 1080Ti, I can still install 10.14 with the GT120 + 1080Ti combo. And once 10.14 installed. Use the GT120's display ability to install and active the web driver. Practically no difference than your flashed 1080. (I assume this can be done because MVC proved he can boot 10.14 with non Metal supported GPU without acceleration).

    Let's assume your are correct. In 10.14, any firmware upgrade require Metal supported GPU, otherwise, the OS simply doesn't run the firmware updater. Then my 1080Ti already meet the requirement (same as your flashed 1080). So, it is not a problem.

    Then we have to power down the Mac and put it into firmware flashing mod. As discuss above, this part is completely OS independent, so that my GT120 will allow this process to complete (same as your flashed 1080).

    At the moment, the biggest issue is if Apple actually has a "white list" of GPU, and only with those GPU can install and boot 10.14. However, up to this moment, this is not the case. I hope Apple won't change their strategy.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 26, 2018 ---
    This is exactly what I believe, and it's the most logical outcome as well, because boot screen is OS indenpendent, and Mac EFi display ability is OS independent.

    In fact, I tested the GT120 in Windows 10. Even go to device manager to disable it, and remove the drivers. It can still display because the Mac EFI still there. And it works when no driver to take over.

    Therefore, I expect this will be the case in 10.14. No driver for the GT120 at all, it's virtually transparent to the OS, but it will still display because the Mac EFI works since the cMP boot (before any OS start to load). As long as no driver take over, the Mac EFI will keep working and allow the GT120 to display.
     
  17. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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  18. tpivette89 macrumors regular

    tpivette89

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    #18
    Very nice. I was gonna try what he did this weekend when I get back home from work. Radeon 7970 for Mojave support, with a GT 120 for boot screens. Good to know the theory was correct, though.
     

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