TO DO or NOT TO DO 4,1 to 5,1 Firmware Update

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Vudo2, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Vudo2 macrumors newbie

    Vudo2

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio
    #1
    Is anyone 100% sure that executing the 4,1 to 5,1 Firmware Update won't adversely effect ANYTHING regarding the 4,1 hardware once the firmware is implemented?

    I currently run a 4,1 Mac Pro 8-Core / duo 2.26MHz with 48GB mem (Tri-Channel configured) with a vB07 Boot. This machine presently runs Snow Leopard and will be configured to run a fresh install of El Capitan in a few shorts weeks.

    I do not plan on updating anything hardware related (aside from maybe graphics in the distant future) and not sure if the 5,1 firmware is forward optimized for only running what 5,1 machines had in them. I would hate to to do the firmware update and find my machine, for any reason, runs slower OR is effected more adversely in the future if I do install new hardware like new new graphics cards just because I am running a new firmware version not intended for the original machine build (board or whatever).

    I don't want to cause ANY issues but do want to take advantage of any more I can get out of my awesome 4,1 machine....it IS and HAS been running absolutely incredible for the past 7 years AS IS on Snow and I LOVE IT!

    What brought me to all this crap is now I have to finally bare down and upgrade the OS (going to El Capi) for simply 3 reasons at present:

    - The need to update my browsers (Safari and/or Firefox) moving forward
    - I'd like to finally be able to update my iPhone and iPad to the latest OS and still be able to sync my contacts & calendar
    - El Capi will supposedly run all my Adobe CS4 Apps with minimal to no issues (finally a newer OSX that will)

    If the 1st 2 above were not a concern I'd THANKFULLY and JOYOUSLY be running Snow till the pigs fly or until a new reason surfaced as a must for updating the software further. I have never in my life had a more flawless build than Snow and one that is so lighting fast...and that's without an SSD drive yet!

    To be frank I am pissed as all F@*&% that I have to do anything :mad: but as we all understand its the new Apple life we are now forever forced to mire in and we need to plan effectively to try and get the most out of what we have (incredibly huge investments) till its inevitable that we need to buy-into the NEW beast (without our past fearful leader behind us) or just make the move back to PC (UUUUGH!-PUKE I cringe at the thought of even just typing that):confused:.

    Sooooo...since I DO need to OS upgrade I am thinking it might be a good idea (???) to be ready for a FUTURE install of Sierra (or newer?) - hence the question of the firmware update NOW before we get locked out of anything that even surpass the download firmware check):

    1) How can we be 100% sure there are absolutely no drawbacks to doing/running the third party firmware update with no effect related to the original 4,1 hardware?
    2) Are there any concerns that the Firmware Tool application could have any malware qualities to it unbeknown to a rookie clueless like me?
    3) Have enough people done this to qualify all that or is this still too new of a process to tell?
    4) Has anyone done system bench-marking to determine any performance issues or glitches on a system that has gone from firmware 4,1 to 5,1 (without changing anything else)?
    *From most of what i read most people who perform the firmware update go right to the newer memory type (1333MHZ) and CPU upgrades (these I will NOT be doing at anytime - I'd only do the firmware update to get my hands on a fresh installer of Sierra for archiving before it ends up being too late).

    Thanks to all who took the time to read this post and for any help/insight you can offer.
     
  2. h9826790, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #2
    1) No, there is no 100% guarantee, however, that tool is been here for a long time. Zero report of adverse effect yet (for the stock hardware).

    2) Yes, you should concern this, however, again, there is zero report about that so far.

    3) Not sure how much is enough for you. However, most of the active members here did the upgrade already (including myself) .

    4) Lots of us did, and the firmware has nothing to with the performance (for stock 4,1 hardware). No improvement, but no impact as well.

    Understand that you are NOT going to upgrade the CPU or RAM. However, I suggest you get a SSD. 10.6.8 is good for HDD, but 10.11 or 10.12 is painfully slow if you run them on a regular HDD.

    For your info. There is not zero downside after run this firmware. e.g. you CANNOT use your recovery disc any more, that's for 4,1. Or I know at least one 3rd party hardware (a PCIe SATA III card) that run perfectly with 4,1 firmware, but unable to show the boot manual with 5,1 firmware. However, for stock hardware, both firmwares are perfect.

    Anyway, if you run the upgrade, and you don't like it. You can always downgrade back to 4,1. I tried that before (just for testing), and the downgrade also work flawlessly.
     
  3. Vudo2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Vudo2

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio
    #3
    Thanks kindly for the response h9826790.

    Questions...you say that you can no longer use the recovery disc and I am assuming you mean the actual recovery CDs? I can still use a bootable USB if I need too to do a recovery, yes?
    Also...I should still be able to utilize Time Machine (as designed) on an external drive, correct?

    Also...I have an SSD ready to install which I will be installing the fresh install of El Capi on. My plan is to save Snow Leopard for a bit and boot into each OS as needed....will I still be able to do this if I update the firmware? - manual reboot and drive selection on boot.

    And not sure if you know the answer to this BUT...once I install the Samsung EVO 850 SSD drive will it be OK to enable TRIM support in El Capitan or is there any drawbacks to doing this...will the firmware update effect TRIM support for this drive in any way?

    Last question....the last dated thread I read here on MacRumors regarding the firmware update indicated that the MOST RECENT 5,1 EFI file is no longer working for the firmware update process via the Tool because apparently something was changed by Apple in the file to disable this process. I downloaded the file from the Apple website only a few days ago (in order to mount locally and then run the Update Tool). Have there been any other reports with this being an issue and if so does that mean I need to download an older version of the 5,1 1.5 EFI file and if so do you know of any SAFE sources to get that file?
     
  4. owbp macrumors 6502a

    owbp

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #4
    Yes, he means recovery DVD. Recovery HD (partition on SD or HDD) and USB install/recovery are all working as it should. Time machine works same as when it was introduced AFAIK. Just recently, I recovered my whole User folder which is on RAID HDD without a hiccup.
    Yes you will. The only thing that you cannot do is choose Snow Leopard in El Capitan Startup Disk (or vise versa, can't remember at the moment) because Apple changed too many things along the way. It simply won't be shown. But you can change your OS' without any problem if you have EFI GPU by holding Option key on startup.

    Edit: But that has no connection to this update, just too many years between OS Xs.

    No, TRIM works without any problems.
    You should download 5,1 Firmware update and mount the .DMG file. Then you run the utility and everything will go as planned.

    You are giving it too much thought. I've run Update Tool on my friends 4,1 the whole day unsuccessfully and we didn't mess up a one thing :D (The problem was that he didn't have the last official 4,1 Firmware update installed. He didn't know that and it fell on my mind after few hors of restarting and troubleshooting MP).
    4,1 and 5,1 are same machines with different Firmware and SMC. Your Mac will run after it the same way as before.
    And if you are too scared still, you could just do the update from Snow Leopard, download Sierra, revert to 4,1 and then install El Capitan on your Mac.

    I'm also running 4,1 to 5,1 with updated CPU and RAM and I didn't have any new problem after updating to 5,1.
    Some USB ports (mouse, keyboard and audio interface) are disconnected after sleep, but those exact problems I had with 4,1 firmware too.
    As @h9826790 already said, I don't think that you can find anyone online who messed his MP with this tool.
     
  5. Synchro3 macrumors 65816

    Synchro3

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #5
    - If the recovery disk is a Mac OS 10.6.3 installer you cannot use it anymore. Keep and backup your installation of 10.6.8 and you'll be fine.
    - No problem to enable trim support in El Capitan. Terminal: sudo trimforce enable
    - Mount the EFI 5,1 dmg before you start the firmware upgrade tool
     
  6. Vudo2, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017

    Vudo2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Vudo2

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio
    #6
    OWBP...thank you...very concise and clearly written answers to my questions...this forum has been so valuable for me and I am seriously glad I joined. Thank You, Thank You!

    One thing more....you stated to much thought for me on the Firmware Update (understood I always do this with everything...I think) o_O. But what I was asking is what I read here:

    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/firmware-tool-for-4-1-to-5-1-upgrade.1752143/page-3

    Scroll down to #52 post from WS5926

    Where he states all is done as directed but the process still fails (and he does have the B07 ROM to start)...if you keep reading you see he finally got it to work but had to use an older version of the same Apple 5,1 / 1.5 EFI file (NOT THE MOST RECENT ONE POSTED BY APPLE). Apparently the LATEST version of the file Apple posts for download on the current support page was recently changed/altered (at least sometime just before March of 2016) but still bears the same name and everything, and maybe done so to thwart our efforts to do the firmware updating :eek:.

    He downloads the older 1.5 EFI from another party in the thread and it works...but again not sure of the validity of this download posted IN the forum....was just hoping to use the one at APPLE and mount to desktop as directed.

    Also would like to know if anyone else has had this same issue using the CURRENT (as of at least this year 2017) 1.5 file on the Apple Website as follows:

    https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1321

    Once you are on the Apple Support page page it does state the file as being 1.96MB from October 28th, 2010 but the file downloads as a 2.3MB file nowadays.

    Anyone use this file when running the Firmware Update Tool at min in the last few months? Or even since after March of last year?

    Thoughts?
     
  7. owbp macrumors 6502a

    owbp

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #7
    No problem, glad to help in any way I could.

    I didn't follow that topic, but I did the firmware update two moths ago, in December of '16. Downloaded Update Tool from netkas' forum, 5,1 Firmware from Apple site, mounted Firmware on my desktop and all went well.
    Helped another friend install X5680 in his 4,1 a week ago - same procedure.

    The thing is, no-one can guarantee that all will go well. :)
    But I had 3 times the opportunity to mess thing up and the first time was the real horror show. Although 4,1 wasn't up to date, Firmware update wouldn't finish its job. It just stopped when loading bar started showing and went back to desktop off 4,1 cMP. So IMO, the worst case scenario is just rebooting into old Firmware...
     
  8. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #8
    I've got two perfectly-functioning 4,1>5,1 Mac Pros. I am aware of no issues caused by the EFI Update.

    Just do it, and why not at least try going all the way to Sierra, too?
     
  9. Vudo2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Vudo2

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    Ok OWBP....point well taken and success of your recent executions of the firmware well deserved of confidence in giving it a go when I am ready.

    DPUser....good to hear your success as well...to answer your question on roling right into Seirra...that has to wait as that I still need Adobe CS4 as part of my regular workflow and desperately need that suite to function....EL Capi is the first OS that finally reports no major issues with this version of CS and I surely don't want to fall prey to a subscription based cloud scenario for the remainder of my career just yet. I'm somewhat looking forward to a new spiffed up look and feel of the new OSX but will be dearly missing Snow Leopard as my old faithful. :(

    Hopefully the new SSD upgrade will breath some notable life in the system to make the transition something to be more excited about.

    Thanks all!
     
  10. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #10
    One more thing to mention. If you venture to Sierra or beyond, you're WiFi card MAY be broken and need to be replaced with a later one. Other than that, all the other scenarios have been mentioned above.

    Lou
     
  11. owbp macrumors 6502a

    owbp

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #11
    Flowrider is thinking ahead of us, great point!
    But if you don't need Continuity, Handoff, etc, you can always grab BCM94322 for a few bucks and forget about that.
    That's what I did.
     
  12. Vudo2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Vudo2

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio
    #12
    My current configuration does not include any wireless accessibility....BUT...maybe be something I'd like to incorporate in the future once I can determine what my best options are for running my 3 older Samsung 21" monitors.

    I'm not sure there would still be room on the for anything additional once that gets worked out but if there is I would want to be able to update my iPad and iPhone wirelessly and automatically...that would be huge benefit instead of needing to plug in all the time.

    If you guys have any suggestions on how to better power my graphics to run 3 Monitors I am all ears...right now I run the following (and mind you with OK performance - I do get some delay in my browsers now with scrolling and so forth which I think is now caused form the GPU's being older and not able to handle the multiple video content and/or animations on webpages these days - not sure):

    Present Config for 3 Monitors
    -------------------------------------

    ATI Radeon HD 4870 512GB (MAC OEM) 150w - Running:
    CENTER Monitor DVI (this is my main monitor for graphics and video work)
    RIGHT Monitor MAC Mini DisplayPort with DVI adaptor (used for mostly graphics image review and file searches)
    NOTE: this card utilizes both spare 6 pin power outlets on this box

    Nvidia GeForce GT 120 25watts - Running:
    LEFT Monitor DVI (usually used for overflow windows and open e-mail)
    NOTE: no additional power outlet required

    I will always need to be able to see the boot screen too so that I can do manual boots into more than one hard drive OS...I'd prefer to do it this way moving forward after I get El Cap on the new SSD.

    *I will probably re-post the monitor stuff in another titled thread (question) as appropriate for other users who might like to see this info better categorized.
     
  13. zephonic macrumors 65816

    zephonic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    greater L.A. area
    #13
    Timely thread, as I just purchased a W3680 and am getting ready to do the firmware update. Currently backing up my system disk just in case, but this

    gives me pause. My system disk is an 850EVO in an OWC Accelsior S PCIe card. Is that the one you're talking about?
     
  14. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #14
    No, the problematic one is the Sonnet Tempo SSD card (the whole series).
     
  15. zephonic, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017

    zephonic macrumors 65816

    zephonic

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    greater L.A. area
    #15
    Thanks, bro

    edit:

    Did the firmware update, ran into the 5570 error, downloaded the EFI update, and everything seems fine now.
     
  16. thornslack macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    #16
    Is there any purpose to updating the firmware if you aren't running 1333 ram (with a capable processor of course) or planning to do a processor upgrade?
     
  17. owbp macrumors 6502a

    owbp

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #17
    Other than downloading macOS Sierra from App Store, can't think of any...

    Edit: I don't think you can install Windows 10 in pure UEFI boot mode without 5,1 firmware, but I could be wrong - wouldn't be the first :)
     
  18. ActionableMango, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #18
    Not sure if you are aware, but if for some reason you are unhappy with the results you can roll back to the 4,1 firmware. It's not a one-way road.

    In addition to what owbp said, the 5,1 firmware is also one of the pieces necessary for audio out over GPU (HDMI/DVI/mDP/DP).
     

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