I would like to install Windows 8.1 or 10 on a separate single SSD disk in my MacPro4,1 (not yet flashed to MacPro5,1) using only

EFI/GPT method.

The machine has a 64Bit EFI (rEFIt reports version 1.1 - build 20070328 in the EFI shell using command "ver"), Windows 8 and Windows 10 installer should be downwards compatible from EFI 2.x and should work with EFI Version 1.x as I read somewhere during my extensive research.

Unfortunately the machine freezes after choosing EFI Boot from Windows installer.

I created a USB boot like here https://superuser.com/questions/1045512/how-can-i-create-windows-install-media-that-boots-installs-uefi-only

I tried the same installer and a unmodified DVD ISO on (native, not upgraded) MacPro5,1 and at least came to a blue windows screen with boot error 0xc0000225.

Using rEFIt on a stick, the MacPro5,1 reports the same EFI version and build.

My MacBookPro11,5 boots the stick from Apple Boot Selector Screen and enters setup correctly. When choosing BOOTX64.efi from rEFIt it freezes...!!??

What is funny is that rEFIt reports again the same EFI version 1.1 and build as before on the 2015 Mac...!!

How can I reliably check the EFI version of the machines?

I can get further information through rEFIt if needed. I got access to a native windows machine in the office and I can access command prompt through Legacy BIOS/CMS Bootcamp installation or setup of Windows or boot gparted or use gdisk to modify installers if needed. I can also burn DVDs.

What can I do to get the setup to load in EFI Boot and install Win 8 or 10 on my MacPro4,1?

Thanks a lot for help!

  • Is this a internal or external SSD? If internal, is it a second drive? You can not flash your Mac to a newer model. Flashing updates software. The MacBook4,1 and Macbook5,1 physically contain different hardware. What is an "unmodified DVD ISO"?. A DVD is a piece of plastic. An iso is a software file. You can reliably check the EFI version by following the method post here. – David Anderson May 18 '16 at 21:57
  • Hi, thanks for your comment. This is about MacPro4,1... not a MacBook ! See post. The DVD install disc is unmodified in comparison to the USB installer. On the stick I removed bootmgr files to force EFI boot. See link. Your link to check EFI version directs me back to my own post...!? – 2000one May 18 '16 at 22:10
  • It make little difference whether or not you can do a EFI boot of Windows. The "Boot Camp Support Software" for your Mac is designed for BIOS boots regardless of what ever model software you install. No Mac, though at least the 2015 model year, have a fully compliant UEFI. Apple has implement enough of the UEFI specification on the 2015 Macs to allow Windows to be installed in EFI mode. – David Anderson May 18 '16 at 22:11
  • I would like to EFI install to have AHCI mode enabled natively without hacks. The known AHCI patch for Bios installation will make my drive bays 3 + 4 useless – 2000one May 18 '16 at 22:14
  • If you read Rod Smith's comments made to the question post here, you will see that Macs do not have an UEFI. So the method you posted to determine the EFI version is the correct method. (I assume you already know that Rod maintains the rEFInd software.) The general rule is the following. If 2011 or older, then BIOS for Windows. if 2015 or newer, then EFI for Windows. If 2012 through 2014 then could be BIOS, EFI or both. – David Anderson May 18 '16 at 22:30
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Got it working finally...

The first trick is to remove ALL disks from the MacPro when trying to load setup. You may leave clean HDDs or SSDs where the Mac EFI cannot find MBR or Protected MBR.

After you removed all other disks the MacPro4,1 will not directly freeze after choosing EFI Boot on the installer stick. (You will have to create it like mentioned before here to force an EFI boot of the installer.) There will then be a progress bar loading files but unfortunately you will get stuck on a black screen in a few seconds...

To be finally able to load setup you need to flash MacPro4,1 firmware to MacPro5,1 firmware.

The EFI version reported in rEFit shell will not change. But you will still have a different version after the upgrade flash. Apple does not seem to take great care about correct versioning with EFI standards as I understood from Rod Smith's comment here. This more recent Apple internal version of the MacPro5,1's EFI will be providing us with the ability to boot EFI setup from the Windows 10 Installer on the MacPro4,1 machine.

Setup will load fine then and will give you a clean bootable EFI/GPT install of Windows 10 (W8 I did not try since I am happy with the more recent version). Install bootcamp drivers and enjoy AHCI without patches.

Be sure to strip the bootmgr files from the installer disc or stick. Even when choosing EFI boot, the Apple EFI will still boot the installer in BIOS/CSM Mode when those files are present.

I will probably post more detailed step by step instructions soon...

Here they are:

  1. Make EFI bootable USB Installer

    • Download Win10 install ISO from Microsoft
    • Boot into Windows DVD Setup or existing BIOS/CMI installation to access a Windows command prompt
    • open command prompt (from windows run cmd, from setup press shift+F10)
    • load diskpart and make a clean installer stick
      type in command prompt:

      diskpart
      list disk
      select disk n #n=usb stick
      clean #everything will get deleted!
      convert gpt
      create partition primary
      format quick fs=fat32 label=Winstall
      exit
      exit 
      
    • mount downloaded install ISO (I did it in Windows, should work in OSX too)

    • drag everything from the mounted ISO onto the USB stick
    • delete bootmgr and bootmgr.efi files from the stick to avoid BIOS/CMI boot and force EFI boot. See also here
  2. Flash MacPro4,1 with MacPro5,1 firmware

    Bootrom MP41.0081.B07 (EFI 1.4) to Bootrom MP51.007F.B03 (EFI 1.5) (If your machine shows Bootrom version MP41.0081.B08 you could first try to continue without upgrading. I don’t know which Apple EFI version is contained in there. Downgrading should be possible as well, definitely possible to version MP41.0081.B07. Please research if you don’t want to lose the downgrade possibility to MP41.0081.B08) The upgraded EFI finally enabled me to complete the boot process and you will have all other advantages of the 2010 and later models (hex-core CPU, faster RAM, Audio over DP) This upgrade is reversible. (If using El Capitan you need to disable System Integrity Protection. Otherwise the flash will not perform. If patch is running successfully you can see a big grey loader bar and the apple logo. Optical drives will open. See here how to easily disable SIP)

    • Dowload MacPro5,1 Firmware here -Mount dmg (above steps will avoid error 5570)
    • Download Mac Pro Firmware Upgrade Utility here
    • Run Utility and follow instructions
    • check upgraded bootrom version and identifier in System Information
  3. Setup Windows with EFI boot

    • remove ALL disks from the Mac Pro
    • Plugin USB Installer stick
    • Boot Mac holding option/alt key
    • Choose EFI Boot
    • Enter setup and select GPT installation target disk
    • Install
  4. Install Bootcamp Drivers (optional of course.. You can also manually add what you want)

    • Boot into Windows
    • Download Boot Camp Support Software 5.1.5640 here
    • run setup (the setup was hanging on my machine while installtion of the RealTek Audio drivers. To solve that follow instructions here)

Done.

Only issue I have is with my NVIDIA GTX 680 DVI-D port (and maybe others). After installing NVIDIA drivers screen will go black without signal. Booting then will show Windows logo but will go black w(o signal when login screen should appear. The system will boot to login properly after only 5-10 sec black screen without signal when using the DVI-I port instead. After successful login I could unplug and switch the port. Confirmed on EVGA and Gainward card. Did not have time to investigate further.

  • @klanomath: thanks for the nice formatting! couldn't work it out in a hurry.... – 2000one Jun 7 '16 at 15:27

Faced with the same problem on my Imac 27" (mid 2012), with Mac OS Sierra on board. In order to not depend on the EFI Boot must disable the SIP (System Integrity Protection). How do this? Solution:

  1. Reboot iMac and press and hold the CommandR - loads Recovery.
  2. After downloading Recovery in the menu, select Utilities → Terminal.
  3. Write in the terminal: csrutil disable; reboot
  4. So it starts rebooting, press and hold Option, choose the EFI Boot (your flash disk with Windows)
  5. The process of installing Windows - begins

Thanks to Pavel Urusov

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