XFX ATI 5770 Problems, Lion 10.7 Hackintosh.

I’m back and more informal than ever. It’s been a long time since I’ve made a post on this site, only because I haven’t had time nor the energy to upgrade my hackintosh, not that I gave up on OSx86. Also not to mention this is no longer my English Project here at Georgia Tech, rather just a hobby now so I devote time as I have it — Like now in psychology 1101 class (endless time here, rather time seems to halt in this room, it should be allotted for quantum physics 1101 instead!). Lion has been out and I absolutely Love it on my macbook. Now I want it on my hackintosh, but it has been impossible lately. I think I have found the culprit…..

….I recall what I stated earlier, I hereby deem ATI 5770 (ending in …ZNFC) no longer the supposedly “most compatible video card” for the hackintosh community. Love this card, but it is a pain in the ass to get it to work with Lion and 10.6.8 update. However, that is unless you are lucky ( I explain how lucky you must be below…) After a bunch of searching I think I have finally narrowed it down to the specific cause to the problem. First lets begin by analyzing my symptoms.

Following Multibeast tutorial:

  • I am successfully able to update to 10.6.7 no hitches, just remember to roll back USB.
  • I cannot, for the love of all things holy in heaven, boot into 10.6.8 after the combo update and proper re-kext. Even in safe mode, single user and graphicsenabler=no flags. I have tried Verbose mode however I cannot remember the exact error, I’ll post later if i try again anytime soon.
    • Note, this error I get is consistent, even when trying Kakewalk’s tutorial and when trying to boot INTO lion’s installer.
  • So I can’t update to 10.6.8, big deal. You can upgrade to lion anywhere form 10.6.6 and above. So I proceeded to do so exactly. No go. It seems after creating a partition for the installer, running xMove, and (on other trials) remove IntelHD next and power management next (exact ones I cannot remember, I should post more often while I’m doing these things….), it is impossible to boot INTO the lion installation. Since I cannot even boot into the installer partition (even with latest Chimera boot loader) I just am stuck with a 10.6.7 build for now.

The Problem:

  • The problem, as I hinted above most likely has to do with the video card (I think, still not definitive).  I found this blogger: x2jiggy who had the same problem/ symptoms as I did. He however could boot into the lion installer ONLY in safe mode with limited graphics support even after installation. This is what he had to say:

The only way many users were able to overcome this was to flash their graphics card with a different BIOS that allows native support. This made me a little nervous as flashing a device can brick it which renders it useless but determined to complete the lion upgrade I had run out of options and this appeared to be the only solution. Following the messages of forum users in this thread and the ATIFlash documentation, I flashed my HD 5770 with an alternative version of the XFX bios ( available here ) using ATIFlash. The basic process involves making a bootable DOS USB Drive ( I used the HP Boot Utility) including the BIOS file and ATIFlash. My current BIOS file was backed up using GPU-Z. I then booted into DOS and performed the flash.

  • This seems promising however extremely risky. I have a bad tendency of braking things, so the last thing I have the balls for is to flash my video card, that too one I really like and don’t have money to replace if anything goes awry. I went around to google a bit more and found our man x2jiggy (autocorrected as piggly lol) wasn’t the only one the have success in flashing his video card. Here are some testaments:
 I had first tried flashing my XFX 5770 with a Mac ROM (following instructions on Neowin forums). This was successful but the card (using a vervet framebuffer) still did not work using the 10.6.8 ATI kexts (had to go back to 10.6.7 ones).I then flashed the PC Bios mentioned above, and now the 10.6.8 kexts do work. I am only using the two DVI ports, so I can’t comment on the 3 monitor situation.I borked my Lion install (another problem) so I can’t test the newly flashed card on Lion for a few days.

The procedure in short was:
Download a Win95 boot drive iso
Burn the iso onto a CD
Verify that you can boot to the CD and get the DOS prompt
Back on the Mac, create a FAT partition on a drive (I used an old SATA drive and made a 20GB FAT partition)
Download the atiflash utility, put it on the DOS drive
Download the ROM file above, rename it to a DOS friendly name and put it on the DOS drive
Boot using the CD, change to C: to access the DOS partition
save the existing card ROM (in case you need it later)
upload the new ROM to the card
Reboot back to the Mac

Clearly not for the faint of heart- there is a danger of bricking your graphics card.

-agrajag (a geek in training at Tonymac’s site)
The solution:
Basically you have to flash your XFX ATI 5770 if you want it all to work. This will require more than likely a Windows PC computer to do. I will post a tutorial in the coming months so long as I don’t brick my video card. I will attempt to make the tutorial as precise as possible so people following it don’t brick their. Wish me luck…

14 comments on “XFX ATI 5770 Problems, Lion 10.7 Hackintosh.

    • Hey there, well I do have plans of flashing my XFX some time, but not anytime soon. I wanna help you out so here’s some information I gathered for you. I don’t know the EXACT card you are using, but if you’re using the one I am (posted on hardware’s tab my XFX 577A-ZNFC, note the ZNFC!), there is a good chance you can flash the ROM on the video card with Apple’s reference 5770 card (they should both have the same ports and form factor, check if yours does!) and then everything should run as native as it’s gonna get. However, I have heard one success story with this particular rom: VGA Bios XFX.HD5770.1024.090926.bin . You can google around or try this URL http://www.thechpowerup.com There is a risk of bricking your card of you don’t back up and you’ll probably have to use ATI’s utility on Windows to do it. Remember to Back up your current ROM as well. If you want to use Display Port for 3 monitors, you’ll have to reinstall 10.6.7 kext files: ATI5000Controller, ATIFramebuffer, ATISupport. That’s easily done by downloading that combo update and digging through it with Pacifist.I hope this helps, and if you’re willing to do it, im willing to give you editor status to this blog to document your progress and technique! Let me know. Will be updating this blog post regarding this comment as well.

  1. Hey, I’m using the XFX 5770 card as well. My GPU came with this BIOS:


    As I understand it from this guide and several threads, succes can achieved by flashing the BIOS to the first version. I still have a number of questions on this whole process. Forgive me for just listing them:

    – How big is the risk of bricking your card, even when you make a backup?
    – Why does the flashing seem to work for some people and not everyone?
    – How ‘perfect’ will the GPU function, after going through this process succesfully?

    Thanks in advance 😉

      • Thanks for the link!

        I followed the guide step by step, except for the fact that I followed step 15-29 of the Boz guide, instead of step 15-24. This is because ATIWinflash gets stuck on the progress screen when I try to flash with the modified ROM. The flashing goes 100% succesfully when I use ATIFlash in DOS. However, when I start up OS X nothing seems to have changed: I still have to boot with the ‘-v -f -x’ flags (but maybe that’s normal) and the GPU is not detected when I go to system info. I double to checked to see if I was really using the modified ROM but that was the case.

        So in short: failure for now.

  2. damn, I really wish I could help you right now, I have not tried flashing my rom at all, hadn’t had the time. Exactly which modified ROM did you try to use? Got a link to it?

    I am defiantly going to try flashing my 5770 and make a guide for it this summer, if time permits. In classes now but I really want to dig into this…. sorry for the lack of help mate.

    • Good news: Plan B, flashing the BIOS to the first version worked flawlessly 😀

      In fact it works so well that I’m starting to wonder why all the other complicated methods are around. I just used ATIFlash to flash it, using the ‘-f’ flag. I then booted Hackontish (normal boot) and it worked immediately. To whet your appetite, here’s a screenshot:


      Note that I haven’t done thorough testing and I’m sure there will a be number of problems to be solved but at least it’s looking hopeful!

  3. salted my appetite, you link doesn’t work 😛

    That’s great news, Could you link to your old version rom (was it form ATI’s website?)

    also a link to your card specifically, if it’s identical to mine then disregard that, the previous link you posted on your fist comment has been seized by ICE-homeland security it seems.

    also, in case you’re interested in making a step by step tutorial or need any written output to document your progress ad experience in flashing the ATI card, etc. let me know I am willing to give your author contributor status to this domain. But if not totally understand thanks for sharing your experience and keep me updated on your ‘thorough testing.’

  4. Sorry about that, here (http://tinyurl.com/cfakhbl) is the screenshot.

    If you go to this page (http://tinyurl.com/cfsvw3h) you can see all BIOS versions, which might be easier. My GPU came with “2010-03-26 06:42:00”. I flashed to the oldest BIOS “2009-09-26 08:42:00”

    I believe that the main XFX 5770 models are the 577A and 577X models. They only differ in terms of the cooler. I’m using the 577X model (http://tinyurl.com/cscxxyl).

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but think the specific 5770 model will only tell you that there’s e.g. more chance that you’ll have a specific BIOS version.

    I should note that I followed a large part of the guide here (http://tinyurl.com/d9lck9m). So that guide in combination with flashing largely leave me where I am now. Of course, if I run into more things related to flashing I’ll let you know.

    I predicted problems and they came.. in numbers! Well, there are at least two problems. When I boot directly from the hard drive (where Hackintosh is installed) I get a black screen and ‘out of range’ error. I’m using the Chameleon boot loader and I suspect it doesn’t properly recognize the GPU. In fact, I had this problem before but the flashing didn’t solve it, or more positively, the flashing didn’t cause it. I think it has something to do with some of the kexts I need to install. The reason I can still run Hackintosh is that booting using the installation CD (strangely) gives me no problems.

    The second problem is that the DVD player app gives a ‘quit unexpectedly error. This is relevant because many people consider this the ‘ultimate test’ to check if the GPU is properly installed… well, apparently it’s not 😛

    I don’t think these two problems are related but just to let you know!

    I’m also ‘running’ several threads in parallel so hopefully that’ll help making some progress in the coming days. 🙂

    • I am actually surprised you got problems with your 577X model, mostly people been having problems witht he 577A model.

      I think I might be able to help witht he booting issue. If you think it is a kext problem, what versions of ATI5000Controller.kext, ATIFramebuffer.kext & ATISupport.kext are you using? From 10.6.8+? If so, try replacing those kexts from a 10.6.7 or earlier install from snow leopard. You can easily extra these from a 10.6.7 Combo Update and explore with pacifist. Obviously repair permissions and clear chache. Let me know if that works!

      Also in regard to your “out of range” error, are you using a VGA output? Try a digital HDMI or Dvi output instead. If not try the kernel flag: ‘ATIConfig= Vervet’ put Vervet in less than greater than brackets. Ir won’t show in comments for some reason. You can also try other flavors of the flag using the latest chimera boot loader, or even iBoot. If iBoot works normally and your chimera doesn’t, compare and contrast your .boot.plist etc. in your /Extra’s folder and the one found in the CD. The answer must be in there somewhere.

      I really hope you are documenting your steps somehow somewhere in the web formally, it would REALLY help a lot of people out 😛 I hope i was of help, let me know how things work out.

      btw, still an error in your tiny URL to your dropbox image.

  5. Alright, I’ve solved the “out of range” error by using either DVI or HDMI, like you suggested. This allowed me to succesfully boot up Hackintosh using Chimera. I had one small hiccup where the ethernet connection was apparantly gone. I’ve no idea why I didn’t have this problem using the install CD, but.. I was able to solve the problem by setting “32-bit (i386)” in Chameleon Wizard.

    There are still some things to be solved. For a start, I now get black borders around the BIOS screens and apple logo boot screen. I suspect this problem has little to do with Hackintosh and more with how DVI/HDMI handle the resolutions as opposed to VGA. I think VGA scales the image whereas DVI/HDMI do not.

    A more serious problem is that I still have the feeling that the image quality is not quite right yet. Especially when looking at small text the image seems somwhat out of focus with more grey anti-aliasing around it. BTW, this issue is unrelated to using VGA, DVI or HDMI. As far as I could see the image quality of videos, photos, graphics look perfectly fine. I compared it with a Win7 laptop and saw no difference. I stress ‘image quality’, because I do notice hickups once every few seconds when I play videos.

    I suspect these issues are related to kext files, but I’m not sure. AFAIK, I haven’t installed the kext files you mentioned. I think I’m just using the ones that came with Lion.

    • The kext replacement might help, though it would be a pain in the ass having to replace ATI kext after every OSX update (assuming every/many update replaces the kext.)

      For the image quality, I again suggest trying various frame buffers using the “ATIConfig=” boot flag.

      Most popular ones (as far as I have come across) are: Vervet, Uakari, Zonalis and Hoolock.

      Try booting into 32 bit like you did above, then 64-bit.

      Also, purely out of curiosity (maybe it might help), can you tell if the Device ID of the card is in ATI5000Controller.kext?

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