News Archive for Monday September 19, 2011:

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(Unofficial) Mac Pro 1,1 to 2,1 EFI ROM Updater Reports
(Some say it fixed kernal panics in OS X Lion/10.6.8 with Quad-Core CPU upgrades)
  I don't have a mac pro 1,1 (w/Clovertown CPU upgrade) to verify this but posting as a FYI in case anyone else has this problem/finds the Mac Pro 1,1 to 2,1 EFI updater (Source was forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,1094.0.html) helps. (i.e. if the 2,1 rom has some errata fix for any of those CPUs that's a factor.)

The following is from a recent reader mail - several readers have done 2006 Mac Pro Quad-Core CPU upgrades in the past but this is the first mail I've gotten to date on KP's in 10.6.8 and later with them. Not sure if other readers hadn't updated to those OS versions or did and had no problems or just didn't write me about it.

"Subject: Mac Pro 1,1, CPU Upgrades, Lion and Kernel Panics - a solution
I wanted to share this info with everyone who like me got really frustrated about his Pro and a lot of Panics since upgrading to 10.6.8 / 10.7.x. Two years ago I swapped my original dual cores in the MacPro (1,1) with 2 quad cores (btw. following your CPU Upgrade Database)
Everything worked perfectly until I installed 10.6.8 - my pro directly crashed during start, and after that almost every 5 minutes. I went back to 10.6.7 and waited for Lion. With Lion it got better, but still about 3-5 kernel panics a day. (Assume he tried the 10.6.8 Supplimental Update and latest Lion update to date - 10.7.1.)

Luckily I found this blog post: 10.6.8 and Lion (10.7) cause Kernel Panics on MacPro 1,1. Same problems as I had - and all his attempts to find a solution. (Of course I asked if he tried the usual tips - DL/combo updaters, reset pram/nvram/smc, clearing caches, check for corrupted prefs/files, etc. - said he tried that.-Mike)
   Looks like only owners of MacPro 1,1's with quad core CPU upgrades suffered from this. (BTW - I asked if (w/original 1,1 firmware - before the 2,1 update) he'd installed the "AboutThisMac" patch (used w/10.6 and earlier) to properly ID the Quad-core CPUs, noted/linked in a 2006 Mac Pro Clovertown (Quad core) CPU Swaps Revisited post a couple years ago here. Or if his Mac Pro ID'd the Quad-Core CPUs correctly without it. The 2,1 firmware of course recognizes the Quad-Cores natively.-Mike)
  In one of the last comments there was a tip to upgrade the MacPro 1,1 firmware, so the Mac thinks he is a 2,1 (This seems possible, because the 1,1 and 2,1 use exact same hardware except for quad cores in the newer one)
(He's referring to the Mac Pro 1,1 to 2,1 EFI updater at Netkas' forums (login reqd to D/L). Noted in Aug 23rd news page here.-Mike)

Since going for the new firmware I had zero panics (2 days now - very promising) and as a bonus - network performance is much better. I use a Media Center Setup (Plex - MacPro acts as the server, Macmini is the client. Since the firmware fix playback is totally smooth again, before it stuttered every 5-10 minutes.
Hope this Info might be helpful for others who also suffer from the Kernal Panic problem with their upgraded MacPros.
Regards, Jan"

If any other readers with a Quad-Core upgraded Mac Pro 1,1 (w/o the 2,1 firmware update) has/is running 10.6.8 or Lion/10.7.1, let me know. Ditto if you know of specific errata that could cause these problems that was fixed in the 2,1 Mac Pro rom related to any of the compatible quad-core CPUs. (53xx series typically but there were several steppings I suspect.) The 2,1 (rom) Mac Pro was the first series to ship from the factory with Quad-Core CPUs, but again many 1,1 owners upgraded to them without any earlier OS version issues in general. (And of course KPs after OS upgrades are not unheard of even with factory stock machines. They can also be caused by flaky hardware (CPU, ram, etc) or overheating.)

Update: - today (Monday 9/19) got an email from a refurb Mac Pro 1,1 owner that updated the CPUs to Quad-core L5320's (1.86GHz CPUs OC'd to 2.33GHz via bus speed mod) and is running 10.6.8 and Lion/10.7.1 fine ("no problems") with his (L5320) quad-cores upgrade.    He had written asking if anyone else had been unable to apply the 2,1 EFI update - he said the updater restarts before the progress bar fills in/completes. Asked if it was run from a RAID volume, he said no. Curious what EFI rom version he has currently, but suggested he check the netkas thread/write the author. (I also mentioned the old/golden rule - "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".)

Update 2: On Tuesday (9/20) I recd 2 mails from other 2006 Mac Pro owners w/Quad-Core upgrades that reported problems w/Lion. (One said no problems w/10.6.8, only w/Lion.) What's interesting is one of those problem mails was from a reader with L5320's - the same CPUs as a reader on Monday said he had no issues with in his 2006 refurb Mac Pro running 10.6.8 and 10.7.1, although he did say he'd been unable to update to 2,1 EFI. I'm curious if his refurb Mac Pro has later/different rom than what is typical for that model.
At least a dozen readers with 2006 Mac Pros have upgraded them to various Quad-Core CPUs over the years and to date very few reports of kernel panics with 10.6.8 and later so far. (But some may have sold them, not updated to latest OS's maybe.) Kernel Panics can be caused by other things also - an incompatible extension/addon, sometimes corrupted files or prefs. Curious for those with KPs after an update that said the usual tips (noted earlier) didn't help - if a clean install would have. (Creating a new user acct and logging in with the new acct is another old tip as a way to test if a user folder installed addon/file/pref, etc is a culprit. System/global (all users) extensions and files can still be a problem however.)

Update 3: See Sept 21st news for more info/reports on this topic. 2 more reports on KP's w/Lion (only one of the two had issues w/10.6.8) with both saying the EFI 2,1 update helped.

Update 4: See Sept. 26th news for a report on no problems with a Dual X5355 (Quad-core) upgraded 2006 Mac Pro in Lion with the original Mac Pro 1,1 EFI/rom. (Also later had another 5355 upgraded Mac Pro 1,1 owner say resetting the pram/nvram alone fixed his KP issues w/Lion. Resetting the pram/nvram can also help with issues after a firmware update. (That was a tip posted for getting faster ram properly ID'd after the 2010 EFI update for 2009 Mac Pros for instance.)

BTW: For anyone that missed my previous posts on them, the author ("MacEFIRom") of that updater has also done an iMac 4,1 to 5,1 updater (forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,1122.0.html) and Mac Pro 2009 to 2010 updater (back in May). The 2009->2010 Mac Pro updater not only added support for 6-core CPUs to 2009 models, but also MDP Audio support. (And IIRC he's looking into 2006 Mac Mini updater so that C2D upgraded early Mini's could use 4GB of ram for instance. The issue was no apple hosted mini firmware for that model to pull down. IIRC His updaters typically download the firmware as that avoids any apple 'legal' issues by bundling it.)
  

Thunderbolt Software Update for Snow Leopard:
I wondered when they'd release this update for Snow Leopard. (The Thunderbolt SW Update for Lion was posted last week.)

"About Thunderbolt Software Update (Snow Leopard)
This update provides support for the Apple Thunderbolt Display and bug fixes for Thunderbolt device compatibility.

System Requirements: OS X 10.6.8"


  
Firmware Update for Apple Thunderbolt Display:

"About Thunderbolt Display Firmware Update
This update improves the stability of the Apple Thunderbolt Display.
The updater application will be installed in the Utilities folder inside the Application folder and will be launched automatically when you close this installer. Please follow the instructions in the updater application to complete the update process.

System Requirements: OS X 10.6.8 or OS X Lion 10.7.1 or later"


  
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