[rescue] Minor success - '09 mac pro

Toby Thain toby at telegraphics.com.au
Thu Mar 29 21:50:35 CDT 2018

On 2018-03-29 10:32 PM, Bill Bradford wrote:
> My now-former manager at work mentioned about a year ago that he was
> upgrading
> from his '09 Mac Pro (cheese grater), to a newer Mac Mini.B  I inquired, and
> was told that when he gave up the machine, once our Desktop department
> sanitized it, I could have it.
> Fast forward a year... he switched departments this past Monday, and
> moved out
> of his existing office to another floor.B  I caught him at the elevator on
> Tuesday and mentioned the system.. later that afternoon, one of the Desktop
> guys brought it by my office.B  "No drives, though".B  "Not a problem, I
> have a
> literal pile of 1T SATAs here".
> As of this afternoon, I have:
> - Tested it with a 1T HD, works fine.
> - Installed ElCapitan off a USB stick without problems.
> - Bought a USB wifi dongle as it didn't have an Airport card, got it online
> - Ran the firmware update hack that "changes" it from a MacPro4,1 to a 5,1
> B (2010), which is compatible with Sierra/High Sierra
> - Picked up a couple of 2.5-to-2.5 adapter brackets for some SSDs
> - Dug out a couple of Intel 710-series 100G SSDs from my "parts bin"
> - Done a bare-metal install of High Sierra (without problems) onto one SSD,
> B setup the second for storage, and with the 1T HD as mass storage.

Good score. I'm running an 8 core 2,1 with 16 GB RAM, SSD and El Capitan
as daily driver. These machines are pretty indestructible.

> My next goal is to find a Mac-compatible (Apple EFI firmware, so I can
> get boot logo / option screens / etc) video card that's better than the
> Nvidia GT120 that came with the box.

You can run many modern PC video cards. My 2,1 (which needs the Pikify
EFI64 hack and is definitely stuck on El Cap) currently has a GTX 650,
but your model can run something like a 1050 Ti or even newer, if you
update OS X.

> My total monetary outlay is about $50 (not counting stuff I already had
> lying around).B  Not bad for a couple hours tinkering.B  I've now got a
> quad-core Xeon 2.66Ghz box with 16G RAM and SSD storage.
> Then today, another coworker mentions that he's got the EIGHT-core version
> of the same machine (dual CPU) with at least 16G RAM that he'll sell me for
> cheap in a couple of weeks once he replaces it with an Intel NUC...

Grab it! :)


> I love $ORK's policy of giving away "obsolete" machines to employees.
> That's how I got my home backup staging server - an older core2duo Mac
> Mini - coworker had gotten it from the last batch of upgrades, and I
> traded him a couple IP cameras for it - then maxed it out with 8G of
> RAM, 128G SSD as primary drive, and a 1T SATA drive in the optical bay.
> Bill

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