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Author Topic: Mojave and new Boot rom upgrades for an X-Serve  (Read 2797 times)
Rominator
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« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2018, 10:09:27 AM »

Won’t know til I get that stupid cable.

This is one of things so annoying about Apple. There is no reason for this cable to be so freaking delicate.

I have recently acquired iMacs from 2010 and 2011. 2010 LVDS cable is solid, easy to deal with. 2011 version is like this Xserve cable. INCREDIBLY easy to bugger up. It has little metal clasps that mean you have to levitate the screen whilst feeding 2nd hand in to unclip release. If done while iMac standing will probably result in cable ripping the socket off logic board.

Ebay has several people offering fixes for some dollars.

No reason to change this connector, other 3 remained the same.

And. Apple wins. Me telling you this just furthers their goal. “It’s really hard to put in new drive, let’s head to The Grove, have a nice dinner at that Italian place and get a new iMac”

I found a dead 27” in the alley, SCREEN DMASHED,  the AMD GPU seems fine. it was the HD THAT WAS IN FRITZVILLE. Some poor bastard chucked it out a window for a bad $30 part. Most likely because they read it was scary. Maflynn mod at MR encourages readers to cower in darkness and remain terrified of their 7 year old iMacs.

They won’t fix themselves folks, and they certainly aren’t worth paying a genius $800 to fix a $400 machine. Get out your Torx set.

Or chuck it out a window and drive to The Grove with a credit card. The ink ravioli is pretty good.
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Rominator
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« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2018, 12:21:39 PM »

If and when I get that darned cable, it occurred to me that we all know "which Mac it is" comes from serial number.

Which is stored in EFI and the boot.efi file.

So what will happen if I put the Serial number for X-Serve into that 5,1 rom?

Or...for now I guess I could try creating that rom, and flash it to 5,1?

And it occurred to me that we haven't heard any reports from 1,1/2,1 folks.

Will DXE modules from 5,1 work in EFI32 1,1? Like those 3,1 CPU microcodes?

Might as well try everything.

3,1 serial in a 2,1 rom?
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armdn
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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2018, 11:39:16 AM »

I was reading the thread(s) at MR about adding some missing Microcode and NVME to latest Mac Pro 5,1 boot room.

Someone had suggested adding the Westmere CPUs to the X-Serve 3,1 boot rom. It is basically a 2009 4,1 in many regards, down to having 1 or 2@ 2.26 Ghz 4 Cores as base.

I bought an X-Serve a couple years back to work on iMac MXM cards. I figured it was only Mac with MXM 3 A or B size card that could be swapped with 1 or 2 screws. I planned to bootcamp the X-Serve into Windows to flash, then back to OSX to test. X-Serve has a DP port wired through MXM card to back panel. And it used same crappy GT120 as an iMac.

Anyhow, I got the cheapest X-Serve I could get. It had apparently been in service on a submarine that sank. Water damage, things fixed with hammers, parts missing. I wanted cheap and I got it.

It's junk but it runs. Single 4 Core at a blistering 2.26 Ghz. I can watch my beard grow while it boots.

But the whole plan came to a grinding halt when I found out that Windows doesn't run natively on an X-Serve. And running in a VM doesn't let you touch the hardware the way I needed. (Flashing EEPROM on MXM card) Became a large, and potentially dangerous door stop.


I recently decided to finish this quest. So I got the cobwebs out of the X-Serve and fired it up.

Saw those Microcode threads and got excited. Decided I was going to have the first 6 Core X-Serve. Downloaded the various tools and modules.

Digging through the X-Serve boot rom I couldn't locate the 15 Microcode. So I used some thought and located the table that it contains. I would like to contribute the attached files, when used as h9828** thread at MR, it works. I swapped the Microcode on the X-Serve boot rom and was able to up the level from 25 to 28. So that worked.

But sadly, I could not get a W3690 to work. X-Serve is cursed with another similarity to 4,1. Even the single core X-Serve has a dreaded "lidless" CPU. At hand I had a W3690 and a W3520. I tried the 3690 several times, it just never lit the "blue lights of joy" when it attaches to EFI display and boot finally is visible. When I tried the W3520 it worked first boot. So, the Microcde doesn't bring magic all by itself.

Maybe I'll get a chisel out tomorrow and de-lid the Dxxxxxd 6-Core. But I did bend one pin in my ham handed efforts with 6 Core so I'll settle for my minor upgrade to 2.8 Ghz for now.

But hey, the Boot Rom thingie worked.

I'm going to try the NVME boot next. X-Serve never even got APFS so I may need help finding that and adding it.

Oh, and I installed Mojave. Runs just like on a 4,1/5,1. Smooth as butter as long as you don't need Finder.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I was surprised to find that microcode didn't enable Westmere. But obviously this isn't defining piece of code. Otherwise, why do all 5,1s still work with 87 boot rom that lacks any and all Microcode? So by definition, the ability to run 6 Cores lies elsewhere in the rom. No new magic, but protection from bad guys should be important to any remaining X-Serves in Service.

Nothing new. 

Adding an EFI drivers is the same as for Mac Pro, using rEFInd/rEFIt.

I'm already done the NVMe booting OS X Server (High Sierra) on the Xserve2,1 (2008) but with hard upgrades like added SAS SSD (MLC and SLC drives for ZFS Volume) and Intel DC P3700 400GB as boot volume, maximum RAM (64GB) and with second CPU.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 11:41:49 AM by armdn » Logged
Rominator
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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2018, 08:50:19 PM »

I was reading the thread(s) at MR about adding some missing Microcode and NVME to latest Mac Pro 5,1 boot room.

Someone had suggested adding the Westmere CPUs to the X-Serve 3,1 boot rom. It is basically a 2009 4,1 in many regards, down to having 1 or 2@ 2.26 Ghz 4 Cores as base.

I bought an X-Serve a couple years back to work on iMac MXM cards. I figured it was only Mac with MXM 3 A or B size card that could be swapped with 1 or 2 screws. I planned to bootcamp the X-Serve into Windows to flash, then back to OSX to test. X-Serve has a DP port wired through MXM card to back panel. And it used same crappy GT120 as an iMac.

Anyhow, I got the cheapest X-Serve I could get. It had apparently been in service on a submarine that sank. Water damage, things fixed with hammers, parts missing. I wanted cheap and I got it.

It's junk but it runs. Single 4 Core at a blistering 2.26 Ghz. I can watch my beard grow while it boots.

But the whole plan came to a grinding halt when I found out that Windows doesn't run natively on an X-Serve. And running in a VM doesn't let you touch the hardware the way I needed. (Flashing EEPROM on MXM card) Became a large, and potentially dangerous door stop.


I recently decided to finish this quest. So I got the cobwebs out of the X-Serve and fired it up.

Saw those Microcode threads and got excited. Decided I was going to have the first 6 Core X-Serve. Downloaded the various tools and modules.

Digging through the X-Serve boot rom I couldn't locate the 15 Microcode. So I used some thought and located the table that it contains. I would like to contribute the attached files, when used as h9828** thread at MR, it works. I swapped the Microcode on the X-Serve boot rom and was able to up the level from 25 to 28. So that worked.

But sadly, I could not get a W3690 to work. X-Serve is cursed with another similarity to 4,1. Even the single core X-Serve has a dreaded "lidless" CPU. At hand I had a W3690 and a W3520. I tried the 3690 several times, it just never lit the "blue lights of joy" when it attaches to EFI display and boot finally is visible. When I tried the W3520 it worked first boot. So, the Microcde doesn't bring magic all by itself.

Maybe I'll get a chisel out tomorrow and de-lid the Dxxxxxd 6-Core. But I did bend one pin in my ham handed efforts with 6 Core so I'll settle for my minor upgrade to 2.8 Ghz for now.

But hey, the Boot Rom thingie worked.

I'm going to try the NVME boot next. X-Serve never even got APFS so I may need help finding that and adding it.

Oh, and I installed Mojave. Runs just like on a 4,1/5,1. Smooth as butter as long as you don't need Finder.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I was surprised to find that microcode didn't enable Westmere. But obviously this isn't defining piece of code. Otherwise, why do all 5,1s still work with 87 boot rom that lacks any and all Microcode? So by definition, the ability to run 6 Cores lies elsewhere in the rom. No new magic, but protection from bad guys should be important to any remaining X-Serves in Service.

Nothing new. 

Adding an EFI drivers is the same as for Mac Pro, using rEFInd/rEFIt.

I'm already done the NVMe booting OS X Server (High Sierra) on the Xserve2,1 (2008) but with hard upgrades like added SAS SSD (MLC and SLC drives for ZFS Volume) and Intel DC P3700 400GB as boot volume, maximum RAM (64GB) and with second CPU.

Nothing new?

Please show me a post anywhere where someone has a Westmere CPU running in X-Serve.

There isn't one.
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beto2k7
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2018, 01:06:50 AM »

14 VERY LOUD fans.

And I need more pencils.

Anyhow, I really boned myself. Got a Dual CPU X-Serve and I don't have 2 @ Xxxxx Nehalems for it. All I have are a bunch of W3520s and some X5690s.

Don't really want to buy a 2nd piddly 2.26 Ghz 4 Core.

What to do, what to do...

And what GPU is that?

Rominator, i have a pair of E5520 Nehalems from when I upgraded to x5690’s. If you want them you can have them. Only pay shipping from my country to wherever you are. I am located in Guatemala
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edgerider
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« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2018, 01:08:22 PM »

hi there !
so .... sorry if I an a bit slow, but you are saying that we can flash a xserve 3.1 with a macpro 5.1 bootrom and make it recognize a pair of x5690 right?
I’ ve got 2 xserve 3.1 and and an extra motherboard in a full maintenance kit.

I am willing to make the jump, can this be done without a eprom swap?
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Rominator
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« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2018, 12:27:04 AM »

Give it a whirl.

I don't suppose you have an extra backplane cable do you?

The onbe I ordered for $50 is MIA, and I haven't allowed myself to pay $100 for the Ebay one.
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edgerider
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« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2018, 11:43:14 AM »

I have to look on the maintenance kit, as i have never opened it.
if I have, I eill send it for free no worry
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edgerider
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« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2018, 11:57:03 AM »

@rominator
worst case scenario if I dont have the cable in the maintenance kit, I will look if I can pull it from the second xserve that I have and try to find a used xserve here in france I usually buy them complete dor 100$
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Rominator
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« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2018, 11:13:21 PM »

Be careful, as I disc covered the hard way this cable can become "MARRIED" to the board, and only come out in pieces.

I was first getting 6 Core working in X-Serve, but you can be first with 12 Core. Not sure how fans will respond as mine were out of control anyway. And as pointed out, there is a chance you can then install Windows since 4,1/5,1 support it.

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edgerider
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« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2018, 11:55:28 PM »

is it welded or glued ?
I will be back from hollyday monday, and look what is inside the motherboard maintenance kit...
do you have picture of where it is located?
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edgerider
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« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2018, 11:38:31 AM »

Be careful, as I disc covered the hard way this cable can become "MARRIED" to the board, and only come out in pieces.

I was first getting 6 Core working in X-Serve, but you can be first with 12 Core. Not sure how fans will respond as mine were out of control anyway. And as pointed out, there is a chance you can then install Windows since 4,1/5,1 support it.


@ rominator

can you post here where the cable is located on the board?
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