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MacPro1,1 to MacPro2,1 and El Capitan installation 19 November 2015

Posted by David Wilson in General.

I’ve posted previously about getting a MacPro1,1 being “hacked” to run an operating system it isn’t allowed to. And for some time there has been some work by some very smart smart people to make this possible for the rest of us humans. The technical wizardry is in the replacement of the boot.efi file and tricking the operating system into believing that’s got a 64bit machine upon which to run – this of course is not true because the machine is only a 32bit one.

This topic is discussed in detail in two threads in the MacRumors forums:
Developers Thread:

General Thread:

Build an installer “pikeify3.1:
The forum post has a link to a zip file – download this, expand and use the script to create your install media.

Lots of my installations failed during installation either with an error around Essentials.pkg or a Kernel Panic I suspect in the same please.
I only had 6GB of RAM available to me and it was suggested that perhaps my RAM was BAD. The link below to Amazon A-Tech RAM was posted so I ordered 2 x 8GB of RAM – giving me 16GB – including shipping it was around NZ$75.00. When the RAM arrived I installed 8GB of it – retried the install and it again failed with the same error. I then added the rest of the RAM now giving me 16GB total – repeated the installation with success! Another forum member has also reported successful installation with 12GB of RAM.


Firmware, SMC upgrades
I have also performed a firmware upgrade – the Machine is now a MacPro2,1 – this is probably only essential if you intend to replace the CPU’s.
In addition I have upgraded the SMC – this is probably not essential.
These upgrades were done when I had the “Bad RAM” … that probably wasn’t – just not enough.
And doing this upgrades is tricky. Difficult to find the software, and difficult to perform – for the SMC upgrade I had to perform this off my 10.9 OS installation.

Some reference links for firmware:
– this one requires a login – I still haven’t got mine!

Some reference links for SMC

This is a fun journey for those that enjoy it. I have two MacPro1,1 machines now with the last one costing me less than NZD$200 plus the RAM plus the appropriate video card (you need upgraded video card to run these later operating system). Add to this a monitor and keyboard and time.

– David



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