Installing Mac OS-X El Capitan 10.11.1 in a 2006 MacPro 1,1

Here is a little write-up on how I installed El Capitan on my 2006 MacPro 1,1.

Before reading any further, please keep in mind that all my attempts to create a bootable USB stick, with the El Capitan installer, failed miserably. So I had to follow a different path to do it, which requires access to a Mac computer, which natively supports El Capitan. In my particular case, I used my early 2009 iMac. If you do not have access to a Mac which can natively support El Capitan, this method is NOT for you.

With this disclaimer out of the way, a quick description of the issue of installing El Capitan on those old Macs.

The 2006 and 2007 MacPros were extremely powerful computers for their time. They were the top of the line, professional machines from Apple and they still are quite capable. Unfortunately, even though most of their hardware is 64-bit, their firmware is only 32 bit. At some point in time Apple decided to no longer provide their OS-X with 32-bit firmware support (I do not exactly remember what was the OS-X version that broke it). As a result, those MacPros couldn’t use the latest releases of OS-X. Thank to some enterprising souls on the Internet, patches were developed, which allowed the use of later OS-X versions on those Macs. And those patches were easy to implement, my 2006 MacPro 1,1 was running Yosemite, before I decided to upgrade it to El Capitan. While some people are quite happy running OS-X 10.6 on their MacPros, I wanted to run the latest and greatest (or so they say) of OS-X, which is El Capitan or 10.11.1.

The following paragraphs describe how I managed to install El Capitan on my MacPro 1,1 and give you some troubleshooting guide on issues you may face after the installation. Please keep in mind that I can not be blamed if something breaks in your computer, by following the instructions below. Always have a backup of your data before doing anything dangerous to your system, and the instructions below are definitely not for those who do not know their way around the Mac OS-X.

OK, let’s start, here is a description of my systems:

1. MacPro 1,1 already running Yosemite (MP for short, from now on).
2. iMac early 2009, also running Yosemite and Server.app

All lines starting with a – are commands you should enter in a terminal window. Do not enter the “- “, only what follows it.

My MP boot disk is an SSD which is twice a day backed up to an external SSD disk, for security reasons. So I got this second SSD disk, let’s call it SSD_Ext, and move it to the iMac. I run App Store on the iMac and downloaded El Capitan installer. However, I didn’t allow it to install on the iMac internal disk. Instead I asked it to install the new software to the SSD_Ext disk, which was now connected to the iMac.

The installer went through it process and ended up by upgrading the SSD_Ext disk to El Capitan. I verified that by allowing the iMac to boot from SSD_Ext. I then changed the System Properties, instructing the iMac to boot from its internal disk (which I remind you has Yosemite installed) and removed the SSD_Ext from it.

I took the SDD_Ext disk to my MP (still running Yosemite). I opened a terminal window and issued the following commands.

– su

The system will ask you for your root password, enter it.

– cd /Volumes/SSD_Ext/System/Library/CoreServices

This will take you to the first place where the boot.efi needs to be replaced.

– chflags nouchg boot.efi

The above command will remove the protection from boot.efi

At this moment, I visited the following URL and downloaded the patched boot.efi needed to have the MacPro run El Capitan:

http://piker-alpha.github.io/macosxbootloader/

Scroll down until you find the “Download” paragraph and download either of the two boot.efi’s mentioned there. One is for a black background with a white apple and the other is for a white background with a black apple. Pick your choice, both work. I saved the boot.efi on my Desktop folder. I then went back to terminal and issued the following commands:

– cp /Users/john/Desktop/boot.efi .

That will copy the new boot.efi to CoreServices, overwriting the standard one. I then issued:

– chflags uchg boot.efi

This will protect boot.efi again.

While in the CoreServices directory, I then used Property List Editor to edit the file called PlatformSupport.plist . Since not all of the readers have this program, you can also edit the file with your favorite editor. I use vi, so here are the instructions on how to do it. Enter the following command:

– vi PlatformSupport.plist

Move your cursor down, until it is on the line saying “<array>”. Then press the letter “o”. A new empty line will open below the line your cursor was on. In the new line, enter the following:

<string>Mac-F4208DC8</string>

Press Esc (the Esc button) and then enter:

:wq

This will save the file and take you back to the prompt. Now enter:

– cd ../../../usr/standalone/i386

This will take you to the second location, where you need to copy the boot.efi file. Just enter the following command:

– cp /Users/john/Desktop/boot.efi .

You are all done now. All that remains is to reboot your system from the SSD_Ext disk, to have El Capitan running. To do that, go to your System Preferences, Startup Disk and select the SSD_Ext as your boot disk. You may need to enter your administrator password two or three times, but that’s OK. Then click on the small apple sign, on the top left corner of your screen and your computer will restart.

There is an alternative way to select what disk to boot from. You simply restart your computer and when the boot sound is heard, press and hold the Option key on your keyboard, until a gray screen appears with all your bootable drives. Select the SSD_Ext (or whatever your external disk is called) using your mouse or your arrow keys and press Enter. The system will boot from that disk, in El Capitan.

Some remarks regarding El Capitan on your MacPro 1,1.

1. It is possible that some of your Internet Accounts are not copied correctly. So please check them out in your System Preferences. In my case, a CardDav account didn’t survive the upgrade, but that was easily fixable.

2. Most probably, you will not be able to boot from your Recovery Partition, which the installer has created on your SSD_Ext drive. The reason is that the boot.efi file installed in it, is the standard one, not the patched one. You can change that (and gain access to the Recovery Partition) by following these instructions.

Boot from your internal disk again, not from SSD_Ext. Open a terminal window and enter:

– diskutil list

This will show you all the partitions on all your disks. Find a partition called “Apple_Boot Recovery HD” which is on the SSD_Ext disk. Notice the last word in that line, something like “disk1s3”. Now issue the following command:

– diskutil mount /dev/disk1s3

The program will tell you that the disk is mounted. Enter this command to verify that:

– ls -l /Volumes

You should see a “Recovery HD” disk there. Issue the following commands:

– cd /Volumes/Recovery\ HD

This will take you into the Recovery HD disk. Issue:

– cd com.apple.recovery.boot
– ls -l

In the directory, you will see a boot.efi file. You need to replace it with the patched one, so issue the following commands:

– chflags nouchg boot.efi
– cp /Users/john/Desktop/boot.efi .
– chflags uchg boot.efi

These will unprotect the boot.efi from the directory you are in, replace it with the patched one and protect the file again (just like we did above).

Then edit the PlatformSupport.plist file found in that same directory, following the instructions above.

You can now restart your computer and try booting from the Recovery HD.

3. El Capitan comes with a strange protection scheme called SIP, which is supposed to prevent overwrite of critical system files. That protection however, may prevent you from running certain programs, which may be crucial for you. In my case, the program XtraFinder which I use, couldn’t run due to that protection. To make it work, you need to disable the protection scheme. To do that, you have to boot from your Recovery HD partition, and from the menu on the top, select Utilities and then Terminal. When you are in the terminal window, enter the following command:

– csrutil disable

For the XtraFinder, it is not necessary to disable SIP completely, so you can enter the following command, instead:

– csrutil enable –without debug

4. An interesting side-effect of El Capitan, for those using two monitors connected to your MP, is the fact that now, the log in screen appears on your primary display, instead of the secondary one. For me, that’s a good thing.

5. Something strange I discovered yesterday night, is that the upgrade to El Capitan erased my trusty Airport Utility 5.6.1, which was inside a directory in /Applications/Utilities. So it seems that Apple doesn’t like us using the old but powerful 5.6.1 version. Thank God, it is easily available on the net, together with the Loader required for it to run on recent Mac OS-X versions.

6. I’ve been using the MP with El Capitan for three or four days now, and I haven’t noticed any significant issues. My Chronosynch scheduler has been disabled, after the El Capitan installation, but that was easily fixed. Also, a strange error message appears, from time to time, which is due to SuperDuper!, again nothing serious, google that issues, easily fixable.

I hope you’ll find these guidelines interesting and useful.

Addendum for problems with my second MacPro (December 25th, 2016)

A few days ago, I got my hands on a second MacPro 1,1. Same computer as the MacPro I’ve been using with El Capitan for some months now. The new computer came with OS-X 10.7.5 installed. The initial plan was to just make a copy of the boot disk from my old MacPro (let’s call it MacPro1 from now on) and install it in the new MacPro (let’s call it MacPro2 from now on) and have two similar MacPros.

Unfortunatelly, this didn’t work out as planned. The disk booted MacPro2 fine, but after a while, the computer hanged up. I tried to figure out what the problem was, but no luck. So I tried the next best thing. I had a copy of El Capitan install file saved, so I used that to create a bootable disk. The version of that install file was 10.11.4. Tried that, but that didn’t work either. So I downloaded El Capitan from the App Store again, and created a boot disk. That download was also 10.11.4, so I updated it to 10.11.6. But I asked the program to import all my settings from my MacBook. Well, that disk didn’t work either, so right now, I am in the process of redownloading and reinstalling 10.11.4 again. I’ll update it to 10.11.6 but won’t import the user settings from any computer. I’ll set it up from scratch. Wish me luck! I’ve had better ways to spend Christmas and next day, than playing with a crazy El Capitan!

Addendum of the addendum

Well, am I stupid or not? The MacPro2 came with only 4GB of RAM. Upgrading that to 8GB solved all my problems!

72 thoughts on “Installing Mac OS-X El Capitan 10.11.1 in a 2006 MacPro 1,1

      • Hi! |I have EC 10.11.4 running without a problem on my MP1.1
        I recently tried to upgrade to 10.11.6,but can’t boot.
        I suspect this has to do with the boot.efi files, but I can’t get it to work.
        In the meantime, I’m booting from an old 10.11.4 HDD.
        Any help would be appreciated.

        • Sure thing. You just have to follow my post on how to upgrade the El Capitan, it is basically the same thing with first installing it. You need to copy over the boot.efi files in the two locations mentioned and edit the .plist file. After upgrading (on a computer that natively supports El Capitan, just copy boot.efi and edit PlatformSupport.plist. Then take the drive and use it to boot the MacPro.

          Happy New Year.

  1. I very much like the style of your guide, thank you for sharing it!
    I was wondering why or wether it is necessary to apply the modifications of the newly installed OS while the disk containing it is connected to the MP. Would it not be just as well possible to do these modifications while the disk is still connected to the “second Mac” (in your case the iMac ’09)? Or is there a special reason why it must happen already connected to the MP??

    I am very curious concerning this questrion 🙂

  2. Hello.
    Maybe the best write-up on this subject : my MP1,1 is now running fine with 10.11.1 ; Anyway, two or three comments :
    – many people don’t know their root past : so use ‘sudo …’ commands instead of ‘su’
    – If everything looks correct, my MP doesn’t want to shutdown, I have to switch it off manually…
    – It seems that 10.11.2 upgrade from AppStore doesn’t work (wait indefinitely on ‘restarting’) : do you have any idea ?
    But … great job !

    • You are correct of course, but I seriously don’t believe a MacPro user won’t know the root password.

      Shutting down is some times an issue for me too. I think it has to do with the machine writing things to its disk, but I can’t prove that.

      As for 10.11.2, did you read my post on the upgrade?

  3. Hi John,
    I’ve been reading your blog, and hope to follow your advice to install El Capitan on to my 2006 MP1.1. Before I start, could you please confirm three things:
    1. That, after installing all the boot.efi patches etc, and when the MP has been rebooted from your SSD_Ext for the first time, all future boots will be from the internal disk, and not SSD_Ext.
    2. That your method will work with the recent El Capitan upgrade to 10.11.2.
    3. How much RAM do you have in your MP 1.1
    Many thanks
    Rob

    • Sorry for the late replies folks, but I wasn’t aware of the comments, until today! LoRL

      Re boot disk, you can always set up the disk from which you want to boot from, in the System Preferences.
      As far as 10.11.2, if you are installing 10.11.2 for the first time (no previous installation of 10.11 or 10.11.1) yes this article should work. If you are upgrading, read my post about how to upgrade.

      When I did the upgrade, my MacPro had 16 GB of RAM.

  4. Pingback: El Capitan on Mac Pro 1,1 – lillerant wiki

  5. This worked perfectly on my May 2007 MP. I took my current SL Server boot disk, cloned it, with dual bay docking statio, then updated to EC on my MBP and did the necessary updated to files there.

  6. First: thank you! I’m in a very similar situation and would like to run El Cap.

    Second: you usually give a brief description of what each step is for either before or after you describe what to do. One exception is where you start: “While in the CoreServices Directory” and end with copying the boot.efi again. What does this part of the process do exactly?

    • Sorry for the late reply, I still am not used to visit this blog to approve comments/replies.

      As for your question, you need to copy the patched boot.efi to both places, in order for the MacPro to work.

  7. The method described here is the only method that worked for me – OS X El Capitan on early MacPro 1,1 with Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT/S graphics card, and special thanks to Piker’s boot.efi.

  8. Thanks for sharing your blog.
    Very Useful, but since I am from the lazy part of the family, I drag the files to the terminal.

    Works for the upgrade to 10.11.4 also.
    10.11.1 happened to freeze with certain Finder-actions.

    I always have a rescue disk available with 10.6.
    On a 1.1 this one becomes the default startup disk in case of trouble. And the terminal actions above work from there too.

  9. Hi! I just installed El Capitan in my Macpro 1,1 but my sub Mac keyboard isn’t working, if I connect the mouse alone to the Mac it works properly, but if I connect the keyboard to the Mac and the mouse to the keyboard it won’t work, is anybody having this problem? Do you now a fix? Thanks.

    • By the way, I know that the keyboard is in working order because I don’t have any problems when I boot into OS X Lion.

  10. Hello, thanks so much for taking time to share a method that worked for you. It looks like you started with a MacPro 1,1 already running Yosemite. Can you tell me what prerequisite steps would be needed for someone starting with a MacPro 1,1 running 10.6.8? Also, for the 2nd drive, is it possible to use a drive added to an available bay inside the MacPro?

    • The installation (or the upgrade of a previous OS) has to be done on a machine that supports El Capitan. If you try downloading the El Capitan installer on your MacPro, it won’t download, since it is not supported on it.

  11. Hi,

    Interesting blog/write-up. I’m trying to get a Macbook Pro 1.1 2006 to work with El Capitan.

    A few questions (sorry if I’m missing something obvious here):

    Can you get it to work with a blank disc on the “old” machine? Or you must have a OS on it?

    The OS is now 10.5.8, does that work?

    You mention that you back up a external disc, how? I just assume that it isn’t TimeMachine.

    Grateful for all tips and trix. Thanks

  12. Well, installing El Capitan on a disk (new disk or a copy of your current system disk) has to be done on a machine that natively supports El Capitan. I am not sure it is supported on your MacBook Pro.

    To backuup my existing disk to the new disk, I use SuperDuper!

  13. Quick question… Im running a Mac Pro 2007 with 10.6.8 installed.
    I have 2 hardrives… 1 is running 10.11 that I download from a mac that natively supports it, My 2015 Macbook Pro.

    I check that it was installed correctly by booting the Macbook Pro from the drive with 10.11 and everything worked fine.

    Now, on my Mac Pro running 10.6, How do I tell the computer to use the hard drive with 10.11 on it, and use the new boot loader, boot_grey.efi ?

    the name of my drive is OSX1011 if that helps in the command line.

    Basically I deleted the normal 10.11 boot.efi but how do i tell it to use the new one I added in?

    Cheers,
    Darius

  14. First of all, I hope you didn’t copy boot_grey.efi in the directories where boot.efi was. You need to copy boot_grey.efi to boot.efi in those directories. Go in them and verify that you have the proper boot.efi, it should be about 300KB.

    Second, to tell your computer that you want to boot from your OSX1011 drive, click on the small apple, at the top left corner of your screen, select System Preferences and then Startup Disk. Or restart your computer and when you hear the bong sound, press the Option key and hold it down until a screen appears with all your boot drives. Select OSX1011 and you should be good to go.

    • No I mean, How do I copy into the boot.efi directories…? Cause i copied boot_grey.efi into the directory where boot.efi was…

      Selecting the drive to boot from wasn’t the issue, except that 10.6 doesn’t recognize the drive with 10.11 on it as a possible option under system preferences to use as startup, but it appears under the option tab after the bong sound.

      Cheers

      • It’s described in the message I posted, in details. You just have to :

        cp /whereveritis/boot_grey.efi /Volumes/SSD_Ext/System/Library/CoreServices/boot.efi

        Where SSD_Ext is the disk you want to install El Capitan on.

        But first, you should change the permissions of the old boot.efi, using:

        chflags nouchg boot.efi

        Read the instructions, it should be clear.

        • Thanks for all your help, I was able to get a fully functioning version of 10.11

          Although I ended up downloading the update from a MacBook Pro running 10.10 then installing the update on a external SSD. My Mac Pro is technically now dual op as one drive is still running 10.6.8 and the other being used as he boot is running 10.11

  15. Hi there. I followed the above instructions to the letter, and for some while had been enjoying El Capitan on my Pac Pro 1.1. All the updates worked fine until 10.11.5, from which point the Mac no longer sees the HD during the boot process. Just nothing happens. Booting into Safe Mode doesn’t happen either. Fortunately I’d saved (cloned) the drive at 10.11.4, which still boots fine. I’ve tried cloning that, and doing an update to .5 but it still fails to boot. I even started from scratch with a fresh download of El C and tried the process again, but it seems to fail at 10.11.5. Any ideas which might solve the problem or am I a ‘one-off’?

    • If I remember correctly, the .5 upgrade needs the same patch as the original one. So I would suggest:

      Start the MacPro from your backup disk.
      Clone it to your normal disk.
      Boot from your normal disk.
      Update from it to .5.
      When the computer restarts, ask it to restart from the backup disk.
      Copy boot.efi and the plist file from your backup disk to your normal disk.
      Boot from your normal disk.

      Let me know how it works.

    • I do not think so. The 2,1 boardid is Mac-F4208DA9, but you can check it yourself, by entering the folllowing command in Terminal.

      ioreg -lp IOService | grep board-id

  16. Hi john, great blog, i followed your instructions and succeed to install EC on my MP, but, trying to solve low vram (only 7MB) of a ati x1900xt card, i erased some files and now i don¨t have video output, do you know how to reinstall video drivers?????
    Kindest Regards
    Rafa

  17. Hi John,
    I am a newbie in working with Apple Servers and I followed it today and managed to upgrade a MacPro 1,1 (OS 10.6.8) to El Capitan and it worked like a charm. A couple of things, though:
    – Server Preferences, Server Admin, Workgroup Manager, Server and System Image Utility are not found on the machine

    I haven’t checked the Terminal yet to see if they are still there, but then I realized El Capitan may not be the right OS to upgrade to.

    I have duplicated the original config (in two restorable instances just in case).

    I wanted to upgrade the server capabilities to allow 64-bit development, but this may not be the path.

    Any suggestions?

    • I think that all those things you mentioned (not sure about System Image Utility, but the rest I am sure) are now part of the Server.app. You need to download Server from the app store.

  18. Hi John, here’s a relative newbie with a 1,1.
    I installed 10.11.6 and although it starts up and seems to work OK, after a few minutes it forces a restart.
    I installed from a laptop onto an SSD, and copied the boot.efi over by simply dragging and thus replacing the originals. Your method described above is more intricate. Am I leaving something vital out?

    • Frank, the boot.efi file is protected, so you need to follow the steps I describe for the installation of El Capitan. You can’t just drag and drop the file in its proper positions. A simple check is to go in the two directories I mention, and check the file size. It should be around 316 or 319 KB, if it is larger, then you do not have the proper boot.efi in place. I am nto sure what happens, this is weird, I do not understand how the MacPro can boot with the wrong boot.efi and stop afterwards. But please check the file size and get back to me.

  19. Hey great info here, love the layout. I have a question about an alternate method and wanted to get your input. I’d like to use a new MacBook running Yosemite to upgrade the SSD in my Mac Pro 1,1 to El Cap. I plan to connect via target disk mode and perform the upgrade instead of buying another drive.

    I would then boot from a USB on the 1,1 with 10.6.8 installed to perform the terminal commands. Do you see any problem with this?

    • Don’t know, I have never tried the target disk mode. Why don’t you just remove the disk from the MacPro and connect it via USB to your MacBook and do the upgrade and the terminal commands? All in one easy step.

        • You can always remove it! Don’t you have one of those kits which allow you to put a disk in a small box and connect the box to a USB port? Or the ones which do not have a box, just a power supply and an interface, which allow you to connect any SATA disk to a USB port?

          • Hey, sorry I’m just now writing back. Everything worked perfectly thanks to you! I do have one question though. When you boot does the mac pro 1,1 hang a little bit on the white screen before going into the black and white startup for El Cap? Mine is doing some of that and It’s not a terrible issue because it starts up after that but just wondering if maybe I did something wrong in the installation to make it slower. Let me know if you can!

          • Pretty … vague question. Can you post a video somewhere? Also, that can depend on your video card, so give some details.

  20. Hi there… Nice post… I have a question: I have a MP 1,1 that I’ve modded to 2,1 for dual Quad Core support (upgraded from dual Dual core). I’ve done you tutorial and managed to make it work, but i have no sound output from the machine… On Windows and Lion, it works flawless, but on EC not a pep is to be heard… Does anyone came across this issue?
    Best regards from Portugal

    • Hmm, I am using external microphone and speakers, so I can’t be sure. You mean you guys do not even hear the boot sound, when the computer starts? ‘Cause I can hear it fine on mine and that doesn’t come through the speakers.

  21. I have followed these steps on a 1.1 Mac Pro with a 7300 GT and it seemed to work, but El Capitan is extremely unstable for whatever reason. after about 1 minute on average the machine crashes and reboots. if i’m lucky. the machine runs for 5 minutes without crashing. in the worst scenarios, it crashes before even booting. strangely it seems to get a little better the more times i boot it, but that could be coincidental. experienced anything like that? it might be worth noting that it only has 2GB of RAM, but that shouldn’t cause it to crash randomly. lion runs just fine on it so i have no idea what’s up with el capitan.

    and its not the gpu, i tried to use a gt 610 which is natively supported in el capitan, the graphics run smoother but the instability remains unchanged

  22. Hi, Great post!
    I have problems restarting from the el capitan partition. It always restarts back from the lion one any thoughts?

    Andres

    • Two things:

      1. Either you are not doing everything correctly, so it can’t boot from the disk, or
      2. The disk is OK, but you are not selecting it as your boot disk. Either go to your System Preferences, Startup Disk and ask to boot from the El Capitan disk, or when the system boots up, and you hear the boot sound, press the Alt key and hold it down until the system shows you all the bootable disks. Select the El Capitan one and see.

  23. Almost everything works fine here on 2006/1.1
    With the original video card, though, it happens that it doesn’t show screen.
    Sometimes it does, sometimes not.
    Weird.

    Connecting via ARD doesn’t work when no screen is shown – so should be something wrong.
    Otherwise, booted perfectly from first time.
    Maybe problems related to Little Snitch …

  24. Hi. I followed your guide to install El Capitan when it first came out, on my Mac Pro 1.1. I recently (30 minutes ago) updated to the latest version using the apple updater, it seemed to install fine but then rebooted into windows during the installation. Since then, I have been unable to boot OSX.

    I have another partition with windows 7 that still works fine, but I am no longer able to boot from either my main El Capitan drive, or the OSX recovery partition. I can select both in the booting screen, it goes black and stays that way for 5 seconds, then boots right back into Windows 7.

    Please help. I will check this daily to see if you respond if I can’t figure it out.

  25. Great guide! Everything booted up just fine. As soon as I run the App Store, the PowerMac crashes and reboots. Any idea as to what could be causing this? (Running 10.11.6)

  26. Ok. I’ve done a clean install and tried again with the updates applied (via MacBook Pro 15 early 2011) to the SSD before transferring to the MacPro. I was able to get both Chrome and iTunes open, running the SSD on the MacPro. In Chrome I was able to go to Netflix, sign in, load a movie and start it…then the MacPro crashed. I rebooted and this time tried iTunes. The application loaded, let me say “no thanks” to Apple Music, let me sign in to my apple account…then the MacPro crashed. Now it won’t boot to the SSD. Am I running into problems because I’m loading the SSD up from a MacBook Pro, or that it’s 10.11.6 and not 10.11.1/10.11.2? Thanks!

  27. I am not sure what to tell you. I never had such a problem. Are you sure MacPro’s memory is OK? Since the computer boots up from the El Capiten disk and the OS loads OK, it’s not an issue with the operating system. Or at least that’s what I think. Some questions:

    1. Is the MacBook running the same OS as the one you installed on the SSD?
    2. Did you download Chrome from scratch?

  28. It’s weird right? The memory seems to be fine on the MacPro since it will still boot Snow Leopard from the internal HD. It has 4GB 667MHz RAM.

    1. The MacBook Pro is running 10.10.5
    2. Yes

    • It is indeed weird. I haven’t the faintest idea why it does that. Have you re-downloaded the El Capitan installation file, the boot.efi file and have you make all the changes I suggest? If you have, I am terribly sorry, but I do not know what to tell you.

    • Well, darn it! I am in the same boat as you are!!! I got myself a new (used) MacPro 1,1, hoping to duplicate my original setup. So I took my backup system disk out of my MacPro No1 and put it in my MacPro No2. Guess what? Same problem you are facing, the system starts, but hangs up after a while, on opening or using some programs. So I thought hell, I’ll redownload El Capitan file and start from scratch. Did that, I updated to 10.11.6 (the download was 10.11.4), imported my settings from my MacBook and then moved the disk to MacPro No1, patched boot.efi etc and then move the disk to MacPro No2. Still the same, the system hangs up after a while!

      More investigation now!!!!!

    • Jon, I think I know the answer to your problems. El Capitan doesn’t seem very happy with only 4GB of RAM. Upgrade that to at least 6GB, or even better to 8GB and I believe your problems will be solved. Read the last few lines of the original article to understand how I reached that conclusion.

  29. Thanks for the clear guide. Actually we were still running Leopard on our Mac Pro 1.1 with Radeon HD 4870 and 20G ram (I upgraded the Ram from 4G after reading some comments prior to installing El Capitan). It started 10.11.4 without problem. Have not tried it a lot as yet though, but internet, mouse, keypad, hp printer C410 all work as they should. Now our Macbook Pro and Mac Pro have the same OS running. We donated to Pike as we were so pleased to keep the “big” computer going.

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