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PC ATI 5770/5870 cards flashed to work with Mac Pro


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#1 Boz

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:09

This guide is deprecated..

Any ATI 5xxx series and I think even ATI 6xxxx series cards excluding the 6890/6990 will work out the box with OSX Lion.. I strongly encourage you guys to not use this guide and just upgrade to Lion. Then you can use most Nvidia and ATI cards these days right out of the box on your mac without the need to flash anything.


Success!

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Flashed ATI 5770 (possible for 5870) to work in Macs.. I'm using it in Mac Pro 3.1 (early 2008).

Apple upgrade is $280.. Newegg price for the card is $136. Saving $140.. PRICELESS Posted Image

This works on original Macs. Not for hackintoshes.

These are the cards you want to use for the seemless flashing:

5870 - http://www.newegg.co.....&Tpk=XFX 5870
5770 - http://www.newegg.co...0-447-_-Product


Here's what needs to be done, not really a huge issue:

GUIDE:

1) Get the ATI 5770 or 5870 card linked above. I got the 5770 one.

2) You need to have a working mac graphics card in your system in PCI-E slot 1 just so you can do all this without problems and so you don't need a PC.

3) Insert the 5770 in your mac in PCI-E slot 2 and connect the power cable.

4) If you have an addition hard drive in your mac, or you have an empty HDD or the one you can tinker with, go to Disk Utility and create a partition on it as FAT. You can do this on your main OSX drive too I just don't like messing with Disk Utility and my main drive. But it's possible to just create additional partition there as FAT too.

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5) Make a DOS boot disc.. The easiest way to do this is to simply go here: http://www.allbootdi...wnload/iso.html . Download Win95B bootdisk ISO ( http://www.allbootdi...5b_bootdisk.iso ) . Burn the image to an EMPTY dvd with Disk Utility.

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6) Download ATIFlash 3.79 or later from here: http://www.techpower...Flash_3.79.html

7) Unzip the ATIFlash 3.79 to the FAT partition you created on your mac. We do this so your hard drive will be visible when you boot in Win95 DOS mode with the DVD.

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8) Put the DVD with Win95 boot disc in the drive and reboot your Mac.

9) Hold C to boot from the DVD disc.

10) Once DOS loads up and you see A:\ type C:\ to switch to FAT drive you created earlier.

11) Type DIR to list the contents of the drive to see if you see ATIFlash files. If yes, it's all good you are on the right drive, if no, you will need to double check if your hard drive is partitioned ok or if there's another drive letter available like D: or E: or G:.

12) Now, when you are at C: and you can see the ATIFlash.exe file on it after the DIR command, you type: atiflash.exe -i to list out all available ATI display adapters in your Mac (just in case you have something beside the 5770 you are flashing). The result should be something like a list view and it should tell you first the adapter number (usually the 5770 will be adapter 0) and the rom size (which should be 20000) and the GPU core will say Juniper.. if you see more then one adapter you have to make sure to note the adapter number for the 5770 Juniper card.

13) Okay, now we are going to backup your existing ROM.. in case something goes wrong. We do this by issuing the following command:

atiflash -s 0 XFX5770.rom 20000


You would call the file XFX5870.rom if you were dealing with the 5870 card. Let me just explain what's going on here.. the -s switch means it will save the rom from the card. the 0 number is the adapter number you would see which is mention one step above. Then we have the name of the rom file and the size (which again should be matching the rom size in the info list we did earlier, and with this card should be 20000).

14) That's about it. Now we have the original ROM saved. We should do another DIR command now and check out to make sure that the rom size in file is 128KB (131 072 B). If you used the cards listed above you should get this without problems. If you don't, well read the "IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG:" paragraph at the end of this post.

15) Now, reboot to OSX and we will do one small modification to our rom file to make it work with the OSX and then we will reflash the card with that new one and that's gonna be it.

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16) Once you have rebooted, you will download the following file http://hotfile.com/d..._Tools.zip.html

17) Extract the content of the zip file in your home folder on your Mac. You should see 3 files: 5770_vervet_netkas.efi, 5870_vervet_netkas.efi and fixrom.py. These are the EFIs compatible with the Macs and the small utility tool that will fix your original card's EFI to work with Macs..

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18) Okay.. we are almost there.. Now copy the XFX5770.rom file you created with ATIFlash tool to the home folder as well (where the other 3 files you just download are) and make sure you still keep the original copy of the XFX5770.rom somewhere just in case something goes wrong and you need to re-flash your card to the original rom.

19) Mucho awesome! Now, in your home folder on your Mac (that's your username folder you click in Finder) you should have 4 files.. 3 of the flash helper files and 1 rom file.

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20) Great, now all you have to do is run TERMINAL (you can start it up from Spotlight if you don't know where it's located) and copy paste these:

If you are flashing ATI 5770 paste this:
blocknum=`printf %d "'\`dd if=XFX5770.rom bs=1 skip=2 count=1 2>/dev/null\`"`
size=$(($blocknum * 512))
dd if=5770_vervet_netkas.efi of=XFX5770.rom bs=$size seek=1 conv=notrunc


If you are flashing ATI 5870 card, paste this:
blocknum=`printf %d "'\`dd if=XFX5870.rom bs=1 skip=2 count=1 2>/dev/null\`"`
size=$(($blocknum * 512))
dd if=5870_uakari_netkas.efi of=XFX5870.rom bs=$size seek=1 conv=notrunc



Once you have pasted into terminal window hit ENTER. Let it do it's thing and you should be good. I used 5770 approach.

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21) Now, let's check if everything is going smoothly. Now you will open the XFX5770.rom (or XFX5870.rom if your card is 5870) from your home folder, with the Text Edit and you will search for string instance "mcuc". If you find 2 instances, everything is AWESOME. If not (if it's only 1 or more than 2), you will need to skip to "IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG:" paragraph.

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22) So far so good, you got 2 instances of "mcuc" and now you are ready for one small last step before you flash the rom back to your card.

23) Open terminal again and run:

python fixrom.py XFX5770.rom XFX5770.rom


(you would use XFX5870.rom if you were using 5870 card). After the small script finishes, you are READY TO FLASH again!

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24) Before we do flash it, let's rename the XFX5770.rom in your home folder to something like MAC5770.rom.

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25) Copy it back to that FAT partition where you placed the ATIFlash file. Remember you should also have the old rom there so that's why we are renaming this one, so when you flash you are 100% sure that you are using the modified rom.

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26) Okay.. that's it.. now we gotta reboot into DOS again using that DVD and when you boot, you switch back to C:\ where the ATIFlash utility is and you run the following command:

atiflash.exe -p 0 MAC5770.rom


now let's analyze this again.. -p switch means that the BIOS should be written to the card. The 0 is the adapter number of the 5770 card (or 5870) you have identified earlier when you used atiflash -i switch. And finally the name of the rom (MAC5870.rom would be the name if you are flashing 5870).

27) When the flash is done, you should see on the screen a message that says you need to reboot in order for VBios to be refreshed or something similar..

28) Power down the Mac. When you hear the bing, hold ALT key to boot into OSX.

29) You should see your ATI card now working natively in OSX. You are done.

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This is guide was basically a more descriptive process recommeneded and outlined by jeanlain on netkas forums and thanks to the netkas and rominator efi mods to make sure you are working with your card's original EFI/BIOS and not using some custom ones that might cause issues and even kill your card.


IF SOMETHING WENT WRONG:
If something went wrong there are several issues that might have happened. You might not be using the card I recommended. Your cards are simply not as compatible as they should be and you will need to do some heavier modding to make them work. In order to find help and make things work, go here and read the steps that deal with your problem (if you have only 1 or more then 1 instances of mcuc in the modified rom file, or if your rom size is more or different than the 128k one mentioned in the tutorial.

Link: http://forum.netkas....php?topic=692.0

In case your card is not powering up or you think you messed something up, reboot the mac with the boot DVD we created and flash the card with the original rom. So it would look something like this: atiflash -p 0 XFX5770.rom. Power down your computer, turn it back on again and your card should be operating with the old ROM as originally created.


This guide is deprecated..

Any ATI 5xxx series and I think even ATI 6xxxx series cards excluding the 6890/6990 will work out the box with OSX Lion.. I strongly encourage you guys to not use this guide and just upgrade to Lion. Then you can use most Nvidia and ATI cards these days right out of the box on your mac without the need to flash anything.



#2 XIII

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:52

Awesome guide, bookmarked. Will check back here if I need to do the same thing in the future.

#3 Lachlan

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:55

oh man that seems like a lot of work to save 140 bucks.. they sure dont make it easy

#4 XIII

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:03

Would it be easier if you do it on PC instead ? I mean, boot the PC into DOS and execute ATI flash and boom you are done.

#5 Miuku.

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:06

oh man that seems like a lot of work to save 140 bucks.. they sure dont make it easy

It looks much harder than it really is, essentially its just "Save your ROM, back it up, apply patch, flash a new ROM". That's it.

I went the easier route, went to the store, bought a Fermi card and installed drivers :p

#6 OP Boz

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 08:44

oh man that seems like a lot of work to save 140 bucks.. they sure dont make it easy


It takes like 5 mins.. Not sure what you mean it takes a lot of work.. I just explained it in a lot of detail.. but other than that.. yeah..

and it's a matter of principle.. I don't want to pay $140 more for something that's a pure ripoff.

#7 OP Boz

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:04

Would it be easier if you do it on PC instead ? I mean, boot the PC into DOS and execute ATI flash and boom you are done.


you do need the Mac to patch the original rom with netkas one. So it's better you do it on a mac.

It looks much harder than it really is, essentially its just "Save your ROM, back it up, apply patch, flash a new ROM". That's it.

I went the easier route, went to the store, bought a Fermi card and installed drivers :p


Which Nvidia card did you get?

I had PC GeForce GTX275 for a while in my Mac but the problem is that injector drivers never really worked good..

Outline the thing (put links) to what you did.. I'm definitely interested if it works in your Mac

#8 Pupik

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:09

I don't want to pay $140 more for something that's a pure ripoff.

Add a zero to that $140, and you're talking about Macs in general and not just a single hardware part in one.

#9 bullydog

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 00:01

You made my day this morning - literally. I've spent all day on pretty much step one, and now I've gotta run. I'm trying to get the burned iso of DOS to recognize the partition I made. Does the partition need to be formatted as Fat16? (Snow Leopard no longer offers that option in Disk Utility - you have to format it in Terminal). Do you have any alternative suggestions for this part of the install process? I'm pretty desperate to get this working asap. Thanks for ANY help.

#10 OP Boz

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:16

You made my day this morning - literally. I've spent all day on pretty much step one, and now I've gotta run. I'm trying to get the burned iso of DOS to recognize the partition I made. Does the partition need to be formatted as Fat16? (Snow Leopard no longer offers that option in Disk Utility - you have to format it in Terminal). Do you have any alternative suggestions for this part of the install process? I'm pretty desperate to get this working asap. Thanks for ANY help.


Snow Leopard does have FAT option.. I have created a partition it's plain FAT in Disk Utility (see the screenshot at the very beginning of the post). Make sure your FAT partition is the first one in Disk Utility.

Then just burn the ISO file I linked to and boot the Mac. You should automatically see the FAT partition as C: drive.

#11 bullydog

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 15:30

Snow Leopard does have FAT option.. I have created a partition it's plain FAT in Disk Utility (see the screenshot at the very beginning of the post). Make sure your FAT partition is the first one in Disk Utility.

Then just burn the ISO file I linked to and boot the Mac. You should automatically see the FAT partition as C: drive.

Yes, I know it has a FAT option, but if you check out the "More info" option when you right-click the new partition, it reveals the format as "MS-DOS (FAT32)" and further research indicates that the only way to format a volume to FAT16 in SL is to use Terminal. No matter - if you're using SL and it worked for you I'm fine with that. I think the issue is that my partition is the last one, rather than the first. However, I'm running into issues still - I can't rearrange the partitions without overwriting some of the existing info on the HDD. Suggestions?
partitionlocation.jpg

#12 Timan

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 15:35

I've read though, you don't get the Apple logo screen, basically no video till you hit the blue/login screen.

#13 giantpotato

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 15:39

I did this with with an ATI 2600 about a year back. I was going to sell it on eBay, then I noticed The exact same model but for Macs was selling for $100 more. So I just flashed to the Mac firmware and made an instant $100 profit. Good 'ol Apple Tax :shifty:

#14 OP Boz

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 16:51

I've read though, you don't get the Apple logo screen, basically no video till you hit the blue/login screen.


This is true.. but I think it would work on analog VGA connection to the monitor.. I haven't really tested this.. the card works as advertised though I do keep it in the SLOT 2 PCI-E and I have the flashed 8800GT in Slot 1. I don't think it's a huge problem.. still rocks that you save $140.

Yes, I know it has a FAT option, but if you check out the "More info" option when you right-click the new partition, it reveals the format as "MS-DOS (FAT32)" and further research indicates that the only way to format a volume to FAT16 in SL is to use Terminal. No matter - if you're using SL and it worked for you I'm fine with that. I think the issue is that my partition is the last one, rather than the first. However, I'm running into issues still - I can't rearrange the partitions without overwriting some of the existing info on the HDD. Suggestions?
partitionlocation.jpg


Yes.. the problem is that the FAT partition is the last one.

You will have to go beyond this guide and boot from the USB stick. That way you can write the rom you are backing up from your ATI card to it...

The best thing for you would be to go and get the HP USB Format Utility (http://files.extreme.../file.php?f=197) and boot your mac with that USB drive. That way you will avoid the boot from the disk and DVD procedure completely. You will need to download a different set of boot files for USB (here: http://files.extreme.../file.php?f=196 )

Once you format the USB and make it bootable, you want to copy the ATIFlash 3.79 files onto it too.

#15 Timan

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 17:19

Question, what'd you do about the card where it requires power cables plugged into it?