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Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:55 pm
by pentium
Getting El capitan to install on a 1,1 Mac pro is a bit of a task. I can't say how I did it or where I got it but in the end I was left with a single 8gb usb stick that would let you perform the install as if it was a bootable CD or any other bootable USB media, however because of the nature, the App Store does not recognize you have a copy of El capitan because to Apple you are running an unsupported configuration. My initial setup was completed with the replacement of both CPU's with Intel SLAED equivalents. You lose most of your power management abilities and the mentioned USB stick is no longer bootable because OS X has trouble dealing with CPU's it does not know about but gain an extra four cores. :D

So fast forward a year and this morning I walk into my work room with a mac that's just sitting there chiming, showing the apple logo and the moment the loading bar appears it resets, chimes and repeats again and again. Cannot seem to boot safe mode either but I can boot the recovery partition (more on this). Either Apple forced an update and reboot before the end of the month and this was the one that finally broke the ability to boot on a 1,1 or odd timing for the OS to crash and commit suicide. Anyone else out there run into issues in the last week? I know Apple just released an update.

So here's what I got:

-I cannot boot and reinstall from the original media without a CPU swap, which will be hard as I'm lacking the proper allen key right now
-I cannot enter safe mode
-I can boot the recovery partition however because of how the original install was handled when you log into the app store the authentication fails with "temporaily unavailable"
-I did not have a Time Capsule because I didn't think of making one....
-All my important files are stored somewhere else, so in the end the only thing I've lost is half a dozen images on the desktop and an OS that was pretty heavily customized

Off the top of my head, the only thing I can come up with is booting from the recovery partition, plugging in the USB stick, opening a terminal window and running the El Capitan install assistant from there and not the install assistant already on the recovery partition that wants to phone home.
If there is a better solution right now I would love to hear it. Optionally, how to execute from the command line when the "open" command is not present, as 99% of the how-to's out there expect.

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:29 am
by uunix
Hey Pentium, El Capitan is the last version that will run on my Late 2009 Mac Mini Server, but it is running, although some applications have compatibility problems, and it runs extremely slow. So I will be reverting back to an earlier release.

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:35 am
by josehill
Unfortunately, I don't have any suggestions for you, pentium, though I suspect that as Apple seems to be delivering more and more automated updates without user permission, it's only going to get more and more difficult to run current software on unsupported Macs, especially Macs with custom upgrades.

As for uunix and his 2009 Mac Mini Server, I received a 2009 mini with its original hard drive and only 2 GB of RAM. It was extremely slow running Mavericks. I upgraded it to 8 GB and an SSD drive, and it runs El Capitan like a champ. Obviously, it's not as fast in raw horsepower as a new machine, but for routine web browsing and light duty serving, it runs without any spinning beach balls, pauses, or other hiccoughs; most casual users would be perfectly happy with it as their main desktop. In fact, it even runs Sierra and High Sierra very nicely (though its AirPort card doesn't work with 10.12/10.13) with Collin Mistr's patchers. That said, given Apple's recent announcement about deprecating macOS Server features, I'd hesitate upgrading past El Cap if you actually run Server.app.

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:30 pm
by uunix
My Mac Mini started life as a server for a client running OSX Server 10.5 or 10.6 can't recall, but it was when server wasn't an APP. He complained that files where going missing, so peace of mind I swapped it out for a Windows Server based environment. Files still went missing and a year later he called me up and confessed it was one of his employees. Anyway..

So I got it back and have used it as desktop forever, it have tonnes of apps, and been through every incarnation of OSX.. probably why it's a bit slow, but you are correct josehill, I suspect many people would find it nice to use as a desktop.

But, my Smoke install on it has gone bad since the updates, So I'm going to do a refresh and keep it on something like 10.6..

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:44 pm
by guardian452
You need to replace the boot.efi with your hacked version again.

I got into the same pickle with my MP1,1 on yosemite. Apple did an update that scrambled a few files (there was one other in addition to the boot.efi, there may be more now). Normally updates were fine so I was really caught flat-footed then.

Anything after 10.8 or 10.9 *really* benefits needs an ssd.

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:57 pm
by pentium
Yeah, there has been an expectation for a while now that eventually Apple would figure out another way to prevent people from using hardware more than five years old. Funny how that business model works. ;)

What exactly is the process for replacing the boot.efi file? All the procedures I can find online either do not refer to OS X or are pretty dated. Additionally, where do I get my new boot.efi file? My recovery partition or will I have to generate a new one, in which case I might be better off just reinstalling on an SSD as per suggestion.

Also I found even before the CPU upgrade the Mac Pro 1,1 is still pretty zippy with El cap. Now mind you I did install 16gb of ram and a Nvidia GTX570 but I never ran into performance issues until I tried to use Youtube's HD 60p modes but I've had a few system choke on that.

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:22 am
by uunix
A little off topic sorry, but OSX came with an easy to use web site builder that vanished over the years. Can anyone recall what it was called?

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:00 am
by Shiunbird
uunix wrote:A little off topic sorry, but OSX came with an easy to use web site builder that vanished over the years. Can anyone recall what it was called?


iWeb

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:16 am
by uunix
Shiunbird wrote:
uunix wrote:A little off topic sorry, but OSX came with an easy to use web site builder that vanished over the years. Can anyone recall what it was called?


iWeb

Ah, thank you sir.

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:53 pm
by guardian452
pentium wrote:Yeah, there has been an expectation for a while now that eventually Apple would figure out another way to prevent people from using hardware more than five years old. Funny how that business model works. ;)

What exactly is the process for replacing the boot.efi file? All the procedures I can find online either do not refer to OS X or are pretty dated. Additionally, where do I get my new boot.efi file? My recovery partition or will I have to generate a new one, in which case I might be better off just reinstalling on an SSD as per suggestion.

Also I found even before the CPU upgrade the Mac Pro 1,1 is still pretty zippy with El cap. Now mind you I did install 16gb of ram and a Nvidia GTX570 but I never ran into performance issues until I tried to use Youtube's HD 60p modes but I've had a few system choke on that.


After 10.7, I kept my MP1,1 up to date with a tool called SFOTT, it made a "special" install disk using the install rom image (from the app store) and tiamo's boot.efi. There were a few other files that it changed too. I'm not sure what the procedure you used is or what is required to get a modern OSX MacOS onto an old Mac, as the last time I did this was in 2014.

There is also a tool that will automatically overwrite the boot.efi if it gets updated. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/20 ... e.1740775/ No idea if it works, still works, or never worked. I am guessing apple recently changed some of the boot firmwares specifically for the intel bugs recently announced.

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:28 pm
by bifo
Shiunbird wrote:
uunix wrote:A little off topic sorry, but OSX came with an easy to use web site builder that vanished over the years. Can anyone recall what it was called?


iWeb

Was that possibly phased out around the time that apple killed off homepage.mac.com?

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:47 am
by josehill
bifo wrote:
Shiunbird wrote:iWeb

Was that possibly phased out around the time that apple killed off homepage.mac.com?

Yes, it was shut down when Apple moved from MobileMe to iCloud in 2012.

Re: Mac Pro El Capitan Recovery?

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:53 pm
by Shiunbird
josehill wrote:
bifo wrote:
Shiunbird wrote:iWeb

Was that possibly phased out around the time that apple killed off homepage.mac.com?

Yes, it was shut down when Apple moved from MobileMe to iCloud in 2012.


AFAIK, you can still use iWeb and publish the pages elsewhere.