Mac Pro 1,1 Upgrades Pt. 2
Continued from part 1...

It has been a few weeks since I have written about my adventures with the 1st generation Mac Pro. I have received the SSD I ordered along with ATI Radeon 5770 video card. I put the new video card in and flashed a copy of macOS El Capitan to the SSD. It booted up and all seemed swell. I booted back into Windows to test out a few more things and then booted back into macOS 10.11 and the Mac started to freeze up and crash. Of course I begun to freak out. Windows 10 and macOS 10.7 function just fine on this machine so I thought the SSD might be bad. To save you 5 days of story telling, I flashed a copy of macOS 10.11 to a mechanical hard drive and it started doing the crashing as well! So the SSD is probably okay. Next thought is that the RAM is bad. Mac Pro 1,1 can accept 8 memory modules up to 4GB in size each. I have 2 4GB RAM sticks in the Mac Pro currently so I tested each unit. It turns out that there are small red indicator lights on the RAM daughter cards that indicate if there is a bad memory module. So I took the bad module out and booted the system back up. El Capitan started doing the weird reboot thing again! So I have discovered that one of the memory modules isn't functioning but have discovered that the SSD may be okay. So I looked into alternative El Capitan installers for the Mac Pro and discovered another method of using the PikerAlpha boot loader.

I prepared a new USB install disk and attempted the install. Failed! I tried again. Failed! 57th try again. Failed! WTF! At this point I am sleep deprived and getting quite upset. I prepared a new install disk and it failed as well. I was following steps off a YouTube video and the creator left a comment stating that the install would fail if the machine had less than 12GB of RAM... That would've been nice to mention in the description or in the video itself. So I pulled out my sore credit card and headed back to macsales.com (not a paid sponsor.) Since Mac Pro can only take RAM in pairs and since I don't want to have redundant RAM for the future I was left with no choice but to buy this RAM in 4GB sticks. I looked at the price and cried a little bit but noticed that if I bought 4 sticks I would save a little money. So I did just that. This will bring my Mac Pro up to 24GB of RAM. This should be enough for the El Capitan install.

In the meantime I attempted to install Yosemite though the SOFFT method, I'll save you some time and 6 hours. It failed. That I don't know why and I don't know why my existing El Capitan install that I flashed to the SSD kept crashing. These will go in the unsolved mysteries folder. I'm hoping that buy doing an official install of macOS 10.11 that the system will stay stable. I would've probably just stayed on Lion but I needed Final Cut Pro installed as well as Logic Pro X.

During my midnight troubleshooting I was on eBay again (not a paid sponsor) looking at the processor upgrade's prices. I noticed that they were coming from China and they wouldn't be here for about a month. So I used 2am rational thinking and went ahead and ordered the processors. This will bring this Mac Pro up to an 8 core Xeon based CPU, with 24GB of RAM, 3.13TB of disk space, and an ATI Radeon 5770 with 1GB dedicated vRAM. This machine will also be triple booting macOS 10.7, macOS 10.11, and Windows 10. If PikerAlpha is able to get macOS Sierra running on this Mac Pro. It's also worth mentioning that when I get the processors upgraded, I will have to flash the Mac Pro 2,1 firmware essentially making it a 2nd generation Mac Pro. I am looking into if I can have 2 of those 5770 graphics cards in the Mac Pro to give me dual GPU support. I am also still looking into if I can get a compatible Bluetooth 4.2 card so I can enable AirDrop 2.0 and Handoff/Continuity.

There is also the issue of the Mac Pro's frame being dented during shipping. Thanks United States Post Office. There's a rant there for another day... I took the Mac Pro into work one day and had someone from maintenance assist me with bending the case back into shape. While it's not perfect, it is much better and the door now goes on better. I will have to touch it up a little with some silver paint. At the time of writing this article, I will have a few days before the new RAM arrives so I may attempt to install Mavericks. In the meantime Windows 10 is up and running as well as Windows can run so it's not like the machine is useless. I also do have an install of Lion so I can record some voice overs in GarageBand. The Mac Pro saga continues...


**Update** Moments after writing this post, Mac Pro no longer sees the hard drive with Windows, macOS 10.7 is unbootable, and the macOS 10.7 recovery partition is unbootable.
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