Interrupted Firmware Update


Sparrowhawk

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Hello all, I’ve run into the end of my knowledge trying to fix this problem, as well as my Google skills. Hoping I can find some help here.

I have been running High Sierra on my Mid-2010 Mac Pro for as long as, well, I was cut off from any new updates. Mojave requires Metal, which my stock video card could not run. Finally, I looked up Metal compatible cards, and then bought and installed a Radeon RX 580, which an Apple page said would work. So far so good.

Went to "open" Mojave on the App Store, and then a dialogue opens on my hard drive [from 'install macOS Mojave' window, seems to be part of the OS]:

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To install macOS Mojave, a firmware update is required.

To complete the update, click “Shut Down” and wait for your Mac Pro to power off. Next, hold the power button until the power indicator light flashes or you hear a long tone.

A gray screen with an Apple logo and progress bar will display while the update is in progress. When the update is complete, your Mac Pro will start up normally.

The update may take a few minutes. Do not shut down or restart your Mac Pro while the update is in progress.
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Well, guess what I did. I held the power button down until it began flashing, and as I lifted it, the tone sounded. And then—yes, I'm still kicking myself for this—I shut the computer down! The thing I was just told not to do. Don't ask me why. My excuses wouldn't satisfy you, they do nothing for me. And now I'm kind of stuck in a loop. I can use the computer, don't get me wrong. I can start it up, and all, use it normally.

But that prompt window is still there when I start the computer up. I can only get rid of it by force quitting it. And once the computer is off, no matter how long I hold the power button down now, I can't get the chime or the flashing light to go off again. That is, I cannot get the firmware update to begin again. I can use my computer, but cannot update my OS.

Did I ruin the card? or the firmware? Is there some other way to trigger the firmware update? Applecare wouldn't help me at all because this is not a standard vanilla procedure...I've strayed into renegade territory. I hope someone here can help anyway. Thanks!
 
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Cory Cooper

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Hello,

Thankfully, it sounds like the firmware update didn't progress very far, as you wouldn't be able to use the Mac Pro at all if it had.

Which brand/model is the ATI Radeon RX 580 card?

I would try reinstalling the old graphics card and see if the issue remains. Sometimes, non-OEM Apple graphics cards can cause this issue. You may be able to update the firmware with the original graphics card in place. Of course, proceed at your own risk.

I will do a little more research on this and get back to you, as I don't want to suggest anything that could "brick" the Mac Pro.

Hang in there,

C
 

Sparrowhawk

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Hi, thank you for replying. The card is a Sapphire Pulse. https://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-11265-05-20G-Backplate-Graphics-Graphic/dp/B06ZZ6FMF8

The page that suggested I install this card to enable my Mac to run Mojave is here: https://www.macrumors.com/2018/09/24/mojave-2010-2012-mac-pro-metal-graphics-cards/

Here is the System Profiler info:
_______________
Radeon RX 580:

Chipset Model: Radeon RX 580
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
Slot: Slot-1
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Dynamic, Max): 8192 MB
Vendor: AMD (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x67df
Revision ID: 0x00e7
Metal: Supported, feature set macOS GPUFamily1 v3
______

I'm not sure I can do the firmware update without the card, as I'm pretty sure that firmware update was only triggered by my having installed the [Metal-compatible] card. Before that, when I tried to 'install mojave' [I forget what the App Store button said then, maybe "GET" instead of "OPEN"] there was no prompt for firmware update. Once I installed it, I had the option, finally, to begin moving toward the update.

But I'm about ready to try anything, so let me know what you think.

I was wondering if maybe I damaged or changed some System files when the firmware began? Maybe I have to update High Sierra with a fresh copy to clear up the stuck loop? What do you think? Can that be done? Just reinstall the same OS in the same place? Think that is a possibility?

Thanks Cory. In any case, I won't do any further experimentation. Don't want to make anything worse.

-S.
 

Sparrowhawk

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C: Here is a second page: https://blog.macsales.com/45780-get-ready-for-macos-mojave which has an interesting passage:

...To overcome the boot ROM issue, you can either attempt to locate a graphics card with an Apple boot ROM or keep the original graphics card installed and connected to a second monitor. [My emphasis]

Interesting, because I didn't know putting the old card in WITH the new card was an option. I have two monitors. Maybe sliding the other/old AMD card into the motherboard, and plugging my smaller monitor into it, while keeping my Cinema Display plugged into the new video card would enable me to see not only the Apple logo [on smaller monitor], but any other prompts that would heretofore be invisible to me using the new card, as it lacks an "Apple boot ROM." ? I don't think this is the solution to my problem today...but seems like useful info. Part of the reason I shut off the computer when it was installing firmware was because I could see nothing on the screen happening. That is unusual to me; not used to it, and only is happening because the new card lacks this "Apple boot ROM."

Allright, I'll be quiet now and wait.
 

Cory Cooper

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OK, thanks.

It is my understanding that the firmware update you were performing was for the Mac Pro's logic board, and not the graphics card. By installing the old card, and then holding the power button as described above, it may re-trigger the firmware update.

The Apple warning is there for a reason - normally, when you power off a Mac when applying a firmware update, it will "brick" the logic board and you will lose use of the Mac. Not sure if my suggestion about the old card will work, and I would hate for you to lose the ability to use the Mac Pro by trying something else. I honestly don't have experience with this, and am just thinking logically from what I have done in the past.

I wonder if you contacted Sapphire's customer support if they may have a known solution? Or, there may be another forum that has folks that have done a similar upgrade?

Sorry I can't give you something more definite,

C
 

Sparrowhawk

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C, thanks for the time and the help. I've nothing to lose by trying your suggestion! And I'll continue looking for an answer. When I finally have one, or admit I can't fix it, I'll post back, just in case anyone comes along with the same issue and reads. Be well.
 
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Cory Cooper

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No worries...thanks for your patience and understanding.

Please do share any resolutions or updates, as I am very curious.

Best of luck,

C
 

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