Contribute
Register

Solving NVIDIA Driver Install & Loading Problems

slim.jim

Moderator
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
4,109
Motherboard
MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
GTX 970
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
----------------------------
As of the 10.10.5 driver there are no longer the checks in the distribution file for system profile and if the hardware is installed. It only checks for the OS X build number. This makes problems 1 and 3 obsolete.
----------------------------

This is a guide to help solve issues when trying to install the NVIDIA web drivers for the first time. There are various reasons why they won't install due to checks in the package file. This also covers a few issues where the drivers won't load after an OS update or the boot results in a black screen.

CUDA is not the same as the Web Driver - CUDA and the Web Driver are not the same thing and have very different functions. CUDA is a graphics library to enable computation or rendering in certain software using the GPU. Installing CUDA will not make a Maxwell or Pascal card work, you must install the Web Driver to make it work. CUDA can be installed and used on ANY mac with an NVIDIA GPU even if the Web Drivers are not installed.
Table of Contents:
Problem 1: Computer not supported error during install
Problem 2: This version OS X is not supported during install
Problem 3: Install the web drivers without the NVIDIA GPU installed
Problem 4: Black screen when using iMac15,1 or iMac17,1 or MacPro 6,1 system definition
Problem 5: Updated OS X and new drivers aren't available yet
Problem 6: No native NVRAM support to remember driver selection



----------------------------

Problem 1: Computer not supported error during install
This is caused by the system definition not being MacPro3,1/4,1/5,1.

Screen%20Shot%202016-07-05%20at%2010.59.34%20PM_zpszcgc8vcu.PNG
Fix: Edit the "Distribution" file within the package using the Flat Package Editor.

  1. Download the Flat Package Editor (FPE) from Apple: https://developer.apple.com/downloads/index.action
  2. Login and search for "Auxiliary Tools"
  3. Download the "Late July 2012" dmg
  4. Mount the dmg and right click Package Maker to show the package contents
  5. Browse to /Contents/Resources and copy the FPE to your Applications or Utilities folder
  6. Open the NVIDIA Web Driver package using the Flat Package Editor
  7. Drag the Distribution file to your desktop
  8. Open the Distribution file using TextEdit
  9. Scroll down to the line: var system_models = ["MacPro3,1", "MacPro4,1", "MacPro5,1"];
  10. Add your system ID.
  11. Make sure that you don't use smart quotes which look like italicized quotation marks.
  12. Save the Distribution file
  13. Go back to FPE and delete the Distribution file from that window
  14. Drag the edited Distribution file to the FPE window and save the package, command+S
  15. Run the package and you shouldn't get the error.
NOTE: Once the drivers are installed this doesn't matter anymore and you can use any system definition you like and it will update fine.​


----------------------------

Problem 2: This version OS X is not supported during install
This is caused by having the wrong driver for your installed build of OS X.

Screen%20Shot%202016-07-05%20at%2010.38.12%20PM_zpssmiirg1d.PNG
Fix: Find out your build number and then get the right driver.

  1. Open up About This Mac
  2. Click where it says 10.10.2 or 10.10.1, etc.
  3. This will display your build number
  4. Download the right driver for your build:

High Sierra Drivers - 10.13.x

Sierra Drivers - 10.12.x

El Capitan Drivers - 10.11.x

Yosemite Drivers - 10.10.x



----------------------------

Problem 3: Install the web drivers without the NVIDIA GPU installed
Sometimes the system won't boot when the GPU is installed but there aren't any drivers so you have to use the integrated graphics. The problem is the drivers won't install when there isn't a NVIDIA GPU installed.

Fix: Modify the package to remove the GPU hardware check

  1. Obtain the Flat Package Editor (FPE) as described in Problem 1 fix steps 1-5
  2. Open the driver package using FPE
  3. Drag the Distribution file from FPE to your desktop
  4. Open the Distribution file using TextEdit
  5. Find this line and change the 0 to a 1
    Nvidia Driver Package mod.png
  6. Save the Distribution file
  7. In the FPE window, delete the Distribution file inside the package
  8. Drag the modified Distribution file from the desktop to the FPE window
  9. Save the package
  10. Launch the package and it should let you install the driver without the GPU installed


----------------------------

Problem 4: Black screen when using iMac15,1 or iMac17,1 or MacPro 6,1 system definition

Fix: modify the AppleGraphicsDevicePolicy.kext as pointed out by PikeRAlpha here. We have two options, using Clover's built in kext patching (preferred) or manually editing the kext. Using Clover to patch the kext on the fly is preferred because it does not get over written after each OS X update. If you do it manually you will have to make the edits after each update.


Method 1: The easy method


Use KextBeast to install these two kext Lilu.kext and NvidiaGraphicsFixup.kext into your Library/Extensions folder.


Method 2:


Use Shilohh's AGDPfix found here: http://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/black-screen-with-macpro-6-1-or-imac-15-or-imac-17-system-definition.183113/


Method 3:

NOTE: This method does not work with macOS Sierra 10.12.0 - 10.12.3, please use method 1 or 2 above. It does work for 10.12.4.

  1. Open your Clover config.plist using text edit and scroll till you see <key>KernelAndKextPatches</key>
  2. In that section you will want to add the following:

    <key>KextsToPatch</key>
    <array>
    <dict>
    <key>Comment</key>
    <string>(c)Pike R. Alpha</string>
    <key>Find</key>
    <data>
    Ym9hcmQtaWQ=
    </data>
    <key>Name</key>
    <string>AppleGraphicsDevicePolicy</string>
    <key>Replace</key>
    <data>
    Ym9hcmQtaXg=
    </data>
    </dict>
  3. Save your config and now your kext will be patched when you boot by changing board-id to board-ix.


Method 4:


  1. Open Terminal
  2. Enter this command (it is one line)

    sudo nano /System/Library/Extensions/AppleGraphicsControl.kext/Contents/PlugIns/AppleGraphicsDevicePolicy.kext/Contents/Info.plist
  3. Arrow down to where you see <key>ConfigMap</key>
  4. For the iMac15,1 locate the board-id "Mac-42FD25EABCABB274" and change string below it from "Config2" to "none". For the MacPro6,1 you will do the same thing but for the board-id "Mac-F60DEB81FF30ACF6". For the iMac17,1 you'll have to see which board-id is declared in your config.plist SMBIOS: "Mac-B809C3757DA9BB8D" or "Mac-65CE76090165799A" or "Mac-DB15BD556843C820" and change the appropriate entry to "none".
  5. Save the file by pressing Ctrl+O, then enter.
  6. Exit by pressing Ctrl+X
  7. Rebuild the kernel cache using the following two commands in terminal:

    sudo kextcache -system-prelinked-kernel
    sudo kextcache -system-caches
  8. Reboot


NOTE:
you may need to use kext-dev-mode=1 if not already using it to allow the modified kext. For El Capitan you will need to at least partially disable SIP to allow the now unsigned kext.​


----------------------------

Problem 5: Updated OS X and new drivers aren't available yet

Fix: modify the NVDAStartup.kext to force the older drivers to load.
(EDITED FOR MACOS 10.11+)
  1. Open up terminal and enter the following command:

    sudo nano /Library/Extensions/NVDAStartupWeb.kext/Contents/Info.plist
  2. Enter your password and scroll down to where it says NVDARequiredOS
  3. Change the build number below that to your current build number
  4. Rebuild kernel cache suing the two commands from Problem #4
  5. Reboot

----------------------------

Problem 6: You select Nvidia Web Drivers in the menu bar or the Nvidia Driver Manager preference pane but when you restart OS X Default Graphics Driver is checked.
This is caused when your board does not have native NVRAM support such as Gigabyte 100 series boards.

Fix:
setup emulated NVRAM to store the nvda_drv=1 boot flag in boot-args.

Download the latest Clover installer pkg here, launch the installer and choose customize here:
Screen%20Shot%202016-06-17%20at%204.17.27%20PM_zpsyyxgcist.PNG
After that make sure you have selected EmuVariableUefi-64:
Screen%20Shot%202016-06-17%20at%204.16.21%20PM_zpstrh5la5r.PNG
Proceed with the Clover upgrade install and reboot when done. After the reboot open up your system preferences and go the the Nvidia Driver Manager. It is a good idea to make sure you have the most up to date driver so go to the updates tab and click the Check Now button. If there is an update, perform the update and reboot when it tell you to. You should be done at this point. If there isn't an update proceed to the next step.
Screen%20Shot%202016-06-17%20at%204.22.24%20PM_zpss1tshhyz.PNG
If there was no upgrade, click on the Graphics Drivers tab and then choose the radio button next to the NVIDIA Web Drive. Reboot.
Screen%20Shot%202016-06-17%20at%204.21.54%20PM_zpstmrfmdvy.PNG
Once rebooted, it should say that you are using the NVIDIA web driver. If it is not working still then you may need to re-run the Clover installer and select "Install RC scripts on target volume".
Screen%20Shot%202016-06-17%20at%204.27.24%20PM_zpszwpp1ven.PNG
----------------------------

Please let me know of any other errors you are encountering and I will update this post with solutions.

Change log:


  • 4/7/15: initial post
  • 4/8/15: added problem 3
  • 4/22/15: added screenshots
  • 4/23/15: added 10.10.3 driver links
  • 4/27/15: added driver update process
  • 5/5/15: added black screen fix for certain system profiles
  • 5/11/15: added additional steps and notes to #4
  • 5/24/15: added driver download links for f03 & f04
  • 7/1/15: added 10.10.4 driver link
  • 7/30/15: added new driver link for 10.10.4
  • 8/13/15: added link for 10.10.5 beta driver
  • 8/14/15: added link for 10.10.5 final release driver
  • 8/15/15: added news about 10.10.5 driver
  • 10/5/15: updated problem 4 to use sudo nano
  • 10/26/15: added links for El Capitan drivers
  • 12/9/15: added link for 10.11.2 driver.
  • 12/9/15: added problem #5 to help with Yosemite security patches
  • 3/2/16: added Clover patching for AppleGraphicsDevicePolicy.kext in problem #4
  • 4/6/16: updated driver list
  • 7/5/16: added instructions to setup NVRAM support for boards that do not support it natively
  • 7/5/16: updated screenshots
  • 7/27/16: added links for 10.11.6 drivers
  • 9/22/16: 10.12 updates
  • 12/15/16: Updated driver listing with all current drivers for OS X 10.10/11/12
  • 3/10/17: Added new method for problem #4 and changed the order. Added 10.12.3 drivers.
  • 3/28/17: Added 10.12.4 drivers, new 10.11.6 drivers and new 10.10.5 drivers
  • 4/11/17: added Pascal driver link
  • 4/18/17: Added table of contents and anchor links. Updated problem titles.
  • 5/30/17: Added driver link for 10.12.5
  • 7/24/17: Fixed images and added link for 10.12.6 driver
  • 2/14/18: Updated all drivers and condensed that section for readability.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
54
Motherboard
win7, OSX
CPU
i5 3570k, i3 3240, Core Duo, G4
Graphics
Nvidia Gigabyte GTX650/EVGA OC GTX960
Mac
Mac mini
Classic Mac
eMac
Mobile Phone
Solving NVIDIA driver install problems

wow thanks for posting, it is not so simple for "average" user but I will try.

anyway.. I wonder: can I install web drivers even before installing the new GPU?
I mean.. install them with the GT 950 turn off. switch GPU with a GTX9xx and then reboot?

I think it's possible of course.

and another thing, at this point since you already attached modified drivers.. won't be faster to use that one?

cheers
 

slim.jim

Moderator
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
4,109
Motherboard
MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
GTX 970
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
Solving NVIDIA driver install problems

wow thanks for posting, it is not so simple for "average" user but I will try.

anyway.. I wonder: can I install web drivers even before installing the new GPU?
I mean.. install them with the GT 950 turn off. switch GPU with a GTX9xx and then reboot?

I think it's possible of course.

and another thing, at this point since you already attached modified drivers.. won't be faster to use that one?

cheers
Yes you can install the drivers without having the GPU installed. I will update that method as well. It is similar to problem #1. The drivers I linked to are not modified, they are direct links to Nvidia.

EDIT: initial post has been updated
 
Joined
Feb 26, 2013
Messages
54
Motherboard
win7, OSX
CPU
i5 3570k, i3 3240, Core Duo, G4
Graphics
Nvidia Gigabyte GTX650/EVGA OC GTX960
Mac
Mac mini
Classic Mac
eMac
Mobile Phone
Solving NVIDIA driver install problems

I see sorry I misundersood :p
by the way my Yosemite hack just had kernel panic and screwed up after 3 days without using it...
:-/
I reinstalled all from scratch!
downloading web drivers now
thanks for your help!
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2013
Messages
11
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD5 TH
CPU
i7 4770k
Graphics
MSI GTX-970
Mac
iMac, MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Android
Solving NVIDIA driver install problems

I suppose there's also the nuclear approach of just commenting out the hardware and software checks:

function InstallationCheck()
{


//if (!validateHardware()) return false;
//if (!validateSoftware()) return false;


return true;
}
 

slim.jim

Moderator
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
4,109
Motherboard
MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
GTX 970
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
Solving NVIDIA driver install problems

I suppose there's also the nuclear approach of just commenting out the hardware and software checks:

function InstallationCheck()
{


//if (!validateHardware()) return false;
//if (!validateSoftware()) return false;


return true;
}
Yes you could also do this, but it is always good to find out why it isn't working.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
GA-Z170X-UD5 TH
CPU
Intel i7-6700K
Graphics
Nvidia GeForce GTX 970
Mac
iMac
Solving NVIDIA driver install problems

Hello there, how about gtx970 graphics card unrecognized in about this Mac? I've tried a bunch of stuff since Yosemite 10.10 im on 10.10.3 with latest drivers and all, and nothing. I have a post on that as well. Just thought I'd try with u. Thanks
 

slim.jim

Moderator
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
4,109
Motherboard
MSI Z97 Gaming 9 AC
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
GTX 970
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
Solving NVIDIA driver install problems

Hello there, how about gtx970 graphics card unrecognized in about this Mac? I've tried a bunch of stuff since Yosemite 10.10 im on 10.10.3 with latest drivers and all, and nothing. I have a post on that as well. Just thought I'd try with u. Thanks
Are you booting with GraphicEnabler=Yes? If so then that is the problem and it should be "No" or just remove the flag altogether.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2013
Messages
20
Motherboard
ASROCK Z370 Killer SLI/ac
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
iMac
Mobile Phone
Other
Solving NVIDIA driver install problems

So i got the driver installed but now it still defaults to the apple driver and states the NVIDIA driver is not compatible with this version of OS X... and I do have the right version WebDriver-340.02.02f02 for 14D136

NVIDIA_Driver_Manager_and_Drivers_-_Download_NVIDIA_Drivers.jpg

i actually got in touch with NVIDIA tech support last night and they said the driver was still no good...not sure if I believe them, or if he just gave up. I can say he disappeared on the chat for a good 15 minutes...so take that for what its worth :think:
 
Top