Video card dead? Need to get a PC one - flash it if possible, need some help!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by djwirk, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. djwirk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    #1
    Okay, last night finished work and fired up WoW and had several crashes, this morning I could not open WoW without getting a video crash right away. No k.panic or anything, just massive screen artifacts and unable to really do anything.

    I was able to copy files across the network and get some work stuff on my wife's iMac even when the screen was locked up.

    I started backing up a few drives to a central drive, so I could wipe one clean and try a OS reinstal and see if that worked, was able to copy them even when I couldn't access the screen (Watched them populate via the network.)

    I took the card out, popped the plastic cover off and cleaned the dust off - there really wasn't much, so I'm not sure what the issue is. I took a can of air and cleaned off the Ram, CPU heat sinks, etc.

    Was able to boot in a few more times, usually locking up the screen in 4 or 5 minutes, however now booting into OS X, CD or Bootcamp goes straight to a Kernel panic, I've tried letting the card cool off to see if I could boot in real fast and get some pertinent work files (That worked on a PC w/a overheating card for me before, but I can't get past the panic now.

    I live in Vegas, so called a few apple stores who do not have any replacement cards, looking on ebay they are 2-3 hundred for a 8800GT, ug.

    I was going to go to Fry's and pick up a EVGA 8800 GTS, seem to see a lot of how-to-flash posts, etc. claiming that works, and that's a great 'today-fast' around $100.00 solution (Money is VERY tight right now and things are getting worse incrementally w/the Mac dead.)

    However - every tutuorial to flash the card gives me step by step how to do it via making a bootcamp partition, and having both cards installed, etc.

    I don't seem to have the capability to do it from bootcamp as I can't get past the panic. My wife's got an iMac so no way there, the kids have a mini-hp, bleh.

    My bud has a hackintosh I built as a gaming rig last year, I guess my question is, can anyone explain how to patch the card on a PC? Is it even possible or do I need to sell a kidney to get a mac pro specific card, flash the Fry's one and then try to recover some of the loss ebaying the Mac card?

    Sorry if I'm rambling, really still not 100% sure it's the video card, but praying it is as that's the cheapest fix in these rigs.

    Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer!
     
  2. djwirk thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    #2
    The Pro's a 2008 - figures, never got applecare, a month and a half out of warranty.
     
  3. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #3
    Well, if you want to flash a card and your friend has a HackIntosh... You could flash it on his computer if he has a spare lane for it using the exact same instructions. Could you give us a link to the instuctions, just to see if its a kosher idea with what I just said?

    Also, what are the specifics on the kernel panic? It may not be your video card (doubtful), but its best to see the source.
     
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #4
    Need to get one with a big enough ROM, or the flash will fail and brick the PC card.
     
  5. djwirk thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    #5

    Here is one - if you know of a better, by all means share!
    http://www.hardmac.com/articles/78/page1

    Well, it's really just the "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button for several seconds or press the Restart button." full screen error.
     
  6. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #6
    Well, I don't see how that method wouldn't work on ANY computer, but may have to modify a few things to install FreeDOS on another OS - if you want to use the HackIntosh for the job to follow the instructions exactly, go for it (as long as the system is relativly stable).
     
  7. djwirk thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    #7
    Yeah, going to head to Fry's and hope I can find a compatible card. Praying for the best!
     
  8. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #8
    don't know why everyone has such a hard time wrapping their head around this....but since you flash a PC card in DOS...there is no need for 2 video cards to be in system.

    ie.....you set boot disk to be DOS and shut down

    switch cards out and boot to DOS with card you want to flash.

    the 128K EEPROM is REALLY important though

    "nvflash c" will tell you before you brick it
     
  9. djwirk thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    #9
    Well, I picked up a 9800 GT EVGA PCI-2.0 card, Frys had no 8800's at all, but the rep told me with a wink to go ahead and try it out as the card was the same basicly and if I bricked to to return it -

    Flashed the 8800 GT rom onto it, no love.

    Does anyone have a itemized list of cards that are confirmed working? Trying to go as cheap as possible, but don't want to downgrade if I can afford it.

    Also would like to pick something up retail, but Frys only has newer cards really, anyone have any suggestions?
     
  10. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
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    Hollywood, CA
    #10
    what did flashing screens say when you did 9800?

    did you make sure to use the proper efi 32/64 rom for you machine?

    flashing is a detail oriented thing, you have to pay attention if you want results
     
  11. djwirk thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    #11
    Unfortunatly not sure, my buddy did it while I kept my daughter out of his stuff. :/
     
  12. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
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    Hollywood, CA
    #12
    Pity.
    If you had run "Nvflash -c" it would have told us everything we need to know to make card work, assuming it had a 128K chip.

    It is also quite possible that you didn't use right ROM (32vs64bit)

    Same issues will apply to 8800GT BTW.
     
  13. djwirk thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    #13
    Got the Rom Here.

    Original NVIDIA EFI ROMs
    These are not Mac PowerPC ROMs! They are for use on cards in Intel-based Mac only.

    Page URL
    http://themacelite.wikidot.com/wikidownloads2

    OEM 8800 GT (Mac Pro rev 1) xxxx PCIe x16 ?/? MHz 512MB 128KB Download (ZIP)
    DL http://themacelite.wikidot.com/local--files/wikidownloads2/GF8800GT-EFI32-rev3233.ROM.zip

    This is the exact card I have on hand - if there is any way to get a ROM for it that would be great and I could try to reflash it.

    http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=512-P3-N977-TR&family=GeForce 9 Series Family

    I could go back to my buds house and reflash it with the same rom, taking notes this time if that might help?
     
  14. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
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    Hollywood, CA
    #14
    efi32 Rom is for 1st gen

    if yours is 2008, it is 2nd gen / efi64

    = no wonder it didn't work


    why not read the 8800gt efi 64 thread?

    research is a good idea
     
  15. djwirk thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    #15
    Tried my best to research, but the info is scattered all over, and I really needed to get the mac up and running last night. (Self employed and in a time crush to make rent this month.)
    Seems to be a lot to wrap my head around - and with the added stress/frustration of the company not being able to make any sales while the computer is down, it's killing me.

    Trying to read through what I think is the post you are referring to and will keep trying, havn't seen a direct reference to the card I have yet.
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=434092&highlight=8800gt+efi+64&page=2

    Is this the ROM I need?
    http://a.mondit.free.fr/mp2008/mp8800gt.rom

    Thanks again, I'm really trying to grasp this all.
     
  16. djwirk thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    #16
    Sorry again Rominator, just trying as many things as I can get to work at the same time here. Going to try to reflash that card with the bios I posted.
    If that doesn't work, I am reading a lot of people getting the following card to work with a pre 2008 Mac Pro
    http://www.frys.com/product/5845393?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    Going though the forums, I'm not really able to find way to do it on my Pro though, everthing seems to show how to do it for a 1.1
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=661681
     
  17. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

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    Apr 7, 2009
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    Chicagoland
    #17
    Short answer is to follow this guide:
    http://web.me.com/jacobcroft/4870Flash/4870Flash.html
     
  18. djwirk thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2009
    #18
    His guide states:

    "I have a first Generation Mac Pro (MacPro1,1)"

    I have a 2nd Gen, and can't seem to find the right bios.
     
  19. lannister80 macrumors 6502

    lannister80

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    Apr 7, 2009
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    Chicagoland
    #19
    I have an early 2008 Mac Pro and his guide worked perfectly for me. I believe that's because the ROM/BIOS that's referenced in his guide has both the 32bit and 64bit EFI code on it. 32bit for the 1st Gen machines, 64bit for the later ones, so it works in both.

    The OEM Apple cards are the same way from what I've heard, but they're only 512MB. And don't bring up the 2.5GT/s vs 5.0GT/s issue; it's moot in all but a handful of circumstances, especially if you're gaming (and not using Mudbox, for example).
     
  20. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #20
    for the 4870 you need to use atiflash as you can read in the instruction.

    You should run the i-command prior to flashing it and take note of what it tells you about the grafics systems.

    When you run the flash you should also note what atiflash reports on the job.

    Last you can again run the i-command and you will have the best possible information for debugging if something went wrong.

    I do all my flashing on a Shuttle PC which allows booting DOS from a USB stick. It is extremely comfortable.
     
  21. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #21
    he's flashing an Nvidia 9800GT, so advice for 4870 isn't very useful.

    You need the EFI64 ROM for 8800GT, it's in the thread by that name.

    You need to run "Nvflash-c" and it will tell you what EEPROM chip you have. As long as you hve 128K it should work.

    Flash with EFI-64 8800GT ROM.
     

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